Save our Priesthood. Save our Church

Dear Father Bloom (can you assist me please),

Sins of the flesh can only be amended by sacrifices of the flesh.

The Roman Catholic Church is embroiled in a painful scandal about our priests sexually abusing children. This is saddest time for our Church and the most horrific sin imaginable. Each day new accusationsand new revelations are breaking across newspaper headlines. Sadly, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Thousands of children have been victimized but so have hundreds of thousands of good priests. Never again will these holy men be looked at and simply loved because of who they are – priests. Never again,will society revere these men as “Christs” walking among us. How many of us have looked at our parish priests over the past few weeks and wondered… Will we ever allow our children to be alone with them ever again? A new prejudice has entered our society and our good priests are the victims of the intolerable acts of a few bad men.

It is so unfair but that is reality.

Sins of the flesh can only be amended by sacrifices of the flesh.

All Catholics are sinners. For our entire lives, we have sought out priests in our church confessionals for comfort, reassurance, and instruction. Primarily, we knelt before these men, who we know to be Christ-on-Earth, and asked for forgiveness. These men are part of why (us) sinners can look in the mirror. They are the sources of our many, many new beginnings. They not only give the repentant sinner hope, but the promise of eternal life.

Christ took on the sins of all humanity. Innocent, He was scourged, humiliated, andcrucified. Guiltless, He hung from across and died.

I ask humbly, I plead passionately, can we imitate Christ?

Can we take on the sins of a few bad priests and during the thirty-one days of May ask God to:

- forgivethe horrific acts of these men

- heal the suffering of the victims – the physical, mental and spiritual sufferings

- grant Pope John Paul II with strength and wisdom

- purify our own hearts, so we can again look at our priests (the men who baptized our children, comforted our sick and sorrowful, blessed our marriages, and buried our dead) with love, respect, and admiration.

I ask humbly, I plead passionately, can we live celibatelives for thirty-one days? For our priesthood, our Church, the victims, and for those non-Catholics who read thenews, watch the special reports, question our leadership, and mock our perceived hypocrisy, can we make sacrifices of the flesh to amend for our sinsof the flesh?

Prayer is needed, but action is the most beautiful expression of repentance. It is also the strongest indicator of unity. We need to tell our priests that we love them and are with them. We need to show the world that we are united in our faith and firmly behind our leadership. Being Catholic, we profess to be one body in Christ. We Catholics, therefore, need to assume the sins of our priesthood, admit our own sins of the flesh (in what we do, what wesay, what we think, watch, listen to…) and beg for God’s forgiveness.

In asking you to join my wife and me in a month of celibacy, I am hoping we can help the Roman Catholic Church become an even stronger in the wake of these atrocities. The sex scandal is not a priest problem. It is not a Catholic problem. It is a societal problem. Sex is in our television, our internet, our children’s classrooms, our music, our fashion. Pornography is everywhere.

How can our priests not be impacted? How can our children not be impacted? How can we not be impacted?

Let’s use thirty-one days in May to express our concerns to our family, friends, and acquaintances. Let’s use thirty-one days in May to express our outrage to the media. Let’s prove we are God-fearing but in control of own destiny.

We expect our priests to practice celibacy ten, twenty, thirty… years. Can we not walk in their shoes for thirty-one days?

This invitation to join my wife and me in a month of celibacy is a grassroot campaign. It cannot come from our bishops or priests. It must come from the American body of the Roman Catholic Church – we the laity.

Will you please join us? Will you please pass this spiritual invitation onto ten other Catholics? Ideally, each Church across the country will have a leader(s) to rally parishioners. Everyone is encouraged to participate

- Adults(especially men) will take a vow of celibacy beginning May 1st

- Teenagers can participate by turning off MTV, cable movies, etc.

- Teachers and educators can emphasize the beauty of the love act among married couples, describe the benefits of chastity and abstinence, and shed light on the potential destructive path that societies can go when self-control is eliminated and personal freedoms are exploited.

- Priests can describe the beautiful spiritual ramifications of celibacy to their congregation – for the Religious, as well as, secular folks. Perhaps, they can share the secretsthey learned as seminarians to remain faithful to their our vow of celibacy.

I am a forty-three-year-old, father of four children, and have been happily married for seventeen years. I love my Church, our priests, and our society, but I am deeply troubled and sincerely saddened. I want to help the victims of this scandal, our good priests who are being socially victimized, and the souls of the sinful priests.

If we can be imitators of Christ (by taking on the sins of others), we can solicit both the forgiving power of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to build a stronger Church, a holier priesthood, and a stronger society.

The month of May is always devoted to Our Blessed Mother, who has a special love for Her priests. Please do all you can to participate. If you fail, continue trying – that’s what being Catholic means. Please encourage others to participate as well. Please do not be afraid to take on aleadership role. Our priests need you. Our Church needs you.

E-mail me your thoughts. E-mail me your results. Let’s make this happen!

God bless you. God bless us.

John R. VanBuskirk
Kansas City, Missouri

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Pedophiles and Priests

Pedophilia and Teaching of Bible

Other Letter regarding Boston Scandal

Letter from Former Catholic

Catholicism is the Answer

Felony Pedophilia

Is Celibacy the Problem?

"devil is asserting his power"

"you want Holy Priests, then we must adopt them..."

"I would still like to see him stay"

Homily on Boston Scandal

Homily on Local Scandal