Catholic Church must confront its demons
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am not Catholic, but during my first marriage to a devout Catholic, I met some very decent members of that denomination. Our son was both christened in my Protestant tradition and baptised Catholic, as we wanted him to make up his own mind about what faith (if any) he wished to adopt when he was old enough.
He eventually chose to be confirmed as a Catholic and the Church has been a source of stability for him during turbulent times. I suspect that the same is true for many Catholics.
But many are now reeling from the news of rampant child sex abuse by priests that was covered up by all levels of their church.
Ironically, when I had the courage to be my authentic self as a gay man, I eventually met and married a former Catholic priest. My husband left the church not because he is gay (he estimates that upwards of 60 per cent of priests are homosexual) but because of how his church responded when he came out.
Despite preaching against homosexuality, the church was prepared to give my husband and his male partner a parish in a remote village where they could live their lives undetected. This hypocrisy, and not his homosexuality, drove my husband away from his vocation. And that hypocrisy is still thriving in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church must now rend the veil of hypocrisy and reveal their damaging clandestine practices to the light of day. The faithful deserve complete transparency, full acknowledgement of wrongdoing, and holding all abusers accountable under canon and criminal law. The past can't be changed or the hurt undone. But if the Roman Catholic Church wishes to have any relevance in future, it must now act to protect the faithful and not their abusers.
Montego Bay, St James