#027: Ministering in Time of Scandal

Last week, I began our show with a joke. It’s hard to imagine starting with a joke today. This past week, the grand jury report investigating the sexual abuse of minors within six dioceses in Pennsylvania was released. We’ve all been reeling, trying to navigate the flood of emotions: shock, horror, disgust, anger, grief. 

I know, too, that many of you feel doubly lost. Lost because of this range of emotions, yes, but also lost because you are unsure of how to respond. Unsure of how you yourself should move forward, but also unsure of how to respond to the questions and hurt and anger of others. Pastoral ministers are visible, we are accessible, and we can often become the go-to people for members of our communities. But, what do we do when we don’t know what to say? What do we do when we, too, are angry and outraged?

I’m not sure that I know exactly what to feature, or whom to speak with, in order to help in this critical time. I do know that it’s important to address this head on and to keep the conversation open. So, today, I’m offering what follows in the hopes that, wherever you are on this journey, you might find something of value.



The recording of "Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones" was produced by GIA Publications. The piano recording of "Balm in Gilead" was performed by Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB, on the album Sacred Improvisations

You can find additional resources here:

1. GIA Publications "Hymns for Healing"

2. World Library Publications "We Stand in Hope"

3. PrayTell Blog "Preaching Abuse" and "When a Solemnity and Scandal Fall on the Same Day"

4. Fr. James Martin "The Virtues of Catholic Anger"

5. New compositions by Zack Stachowski and Orin Johnson

You can read the full text of Lumen Gentium by visiting the Vatican website.

Visit NPM's digital resource library, referenced at the end of the episode. 

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