The laity takes the upper hand.
Today we present our third installment of letters from mothers living in the diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina. (For part one, click here; part two, here.) These faithful Catholics have drawn the line and expect real leadership from their bishop, a sentiment Brittany Makely, author of today’s missive, couldn’t be more clear in expressing. The laity is paying attention as never before. That is hopeful news.
I humbly write as a lifelong Catholic in this diocese, who now experiences the horror of scandal as not just a daughter of the Church, but as a mother of four young, eager, faith-filled children. Words cannot express the depth of my sorrow and anger that so many innocents have had their peace, their joy, their faith, their humanity stolen from them by wolves who were knowingly given access to and authority over the flock. Now, we need shepherds filled with fortitude to expel the wolves, work to heal and comfort the injured flock and not only fortify the pastures but keep vigilant watch for wolves in the future.
We need honesty. We need transparency. We need accountability. We need faithfulness. We need fortitude. We need sacrifice. We need penance. We need reparation. We need righteous anger. We need prayer and fasting. We need contrition. We need sorrow. We need justice. We need protection. We need leadership. We need humility. We need vulnerability. We need strength. We need fighters, leaders, shepherds, fathers who will console us and protect us.
We have defended the Church, sacrificed for her, proclaimed and lived the faith at great cost, raised our children to know and love the Church as Mother, and now find ourselves betrayed by men who claimed the name of Jesus but were commanded by the Enemy. We cannot, we will not, allow ourselves to fall into the abyss to which the understandable fear, suspicion, hurt and anger we feel ultimately leads. We will stay and fight for our Mother, our home, our path to salvation. We will fight for holiness and justice. We will stay to fight for the protection of the innocent. And we will pray; pray for the survivors, for those with shaken faith, for the purification of our Mother, the Church.
But we need generals leading this fight and this prayer. The powerful grace bestowed at your ordination calls and equips you in a particular way to be those generals. We stand at the ready to heed your call and follow your lead. Call us and lead us to a just and righteous purification of Holy Mother Church, the beloved bride of our Lord and Savior. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:4-5).
In Amore Christi,
Catholic Diocese of Raleigh