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Addressing the Scandal: Part II

Dear St Mary’s Parishioners,

After speaking about the scandal in the Church this last weekend and listening to many of you after Mass, we want to do more. Here are some concrete actions for your consideration:

  1. Holy Hour of reparation and healing (Friday September 7 at 6 pm):On the first Friday of September, we will pray for the Church, and specially for the healing of the victims of sexual abuse. The Church has to be a place of healing for those who have suffered. Only the encounter with Christ brings true and deep healing. As gesture of the healing power of Christ in the Eucharist, you are invited to bring a candle in honor of someone who has suffered abuse. We will place each candle before the altar so the healing rays of Christ’s love reach them through our intercession. More than ever we need to pray for an unleashing of God’s spirit upon those who suffer and upon the whole Church.
  2. Sharing Sessions (Sunday September 2nd): This past weekend, after the 9am and 11am Masses, we gathered spontaneously with some parishioners. It was very helpful to hear many of you and to discuss things in more detail. As it was said, this is very complex, we don’t have all the answers but we are in the same boat and we want to journey together through this crisis. Speaking about these things helps clarify them. On Sunday September 2, after the 7am, 9am, and 11am Masses, we will be available in the Upper Social Hall for those who want to ask questions, share testimony, or share fears/concerns. Unfortunately, we are unavailable on Saturday.
  3. Many of you expressed the desire to see an action plan to prevent these things in the future, and we also think: what can we do? For sure, we can neither despair nor leave. We need to pray that our shepherds in the Church act wisely and effectively. However, we’re sure that our faithfulness matters. We need to be faithful in our sphere of influence. Locally, we will revise and reinforce all the policies connected with safe environment required by the Archdiocese of Portland. We will work with the staff to fulfill all the policies to ensure that our ministries are a safe place for children and young adults.We also invite the laity express their voice and propose changes. You can do that directly writing to the Archbishop, or you can also express that to us, the office, or one of the ministry leaders of our parish, and we’ll send it to the Archdiocese. We need to discuss with the parish leadership the way of doing this.
  4. Finally, the former nuncio of the US, Archbishop Carlo Viganó, issued a strong letter related to the McCarrick case. We hope that the truth of all of this comes to light. God is purifying the Church and bringing to light what was hidden, and that’s good.
  5. Be assured of our prayers for you at this moment. In the St. John Society, we pray daily the fifth decade of the rosary for our local bishop and the conversion of the parish. We renew our commitment to pray for the healing of those who have suffered abuse, the strengthening of the faith of our community, and our local leaders, Archbishop Sample and Bishop Peter Smith. As we approach the feast day of our Lady of the Rosary, we invite you to pray daily a decade of the rosary for these intentions as well.
  6. We highly recommend you consider viewing the 24:06’ long video posted on 8/27/18 of Bishop Barron called “Bishop Barron Q&A about the sexual abuse crisis”. It is excellent and we fully endorse all what he says in that video. He combines spiritual aspect of the crisis and concrete actions we should consider. If you were not here this weekend, we have posted the homily about the church scandal in our website and the parish YouTube channel.

Sincerely,

Fr. Ignacio Llorente & Fr. Maximo Stock 

Other letters and resources:

Fr. Ignacio’s First Address of the Scandal

Response from Archdiocese of Portland

Response from the USCCB

Resources from Bishop Barron