Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Interrupt the Contagion of Hatred

By: Sr. Nadine McGuinness, CSJ

This is a plea and a suggestion: that Sisters of St. Joseph (CSSJ) be public and outspoken in support of our brother, Pope Francis.

Many are frustrated by Pope Francis’ latest letter on the topic of the evil and sinfulness of the sex abuse incidents and the cover-ups that have occurred in our country and around the world.

To me, this is a sacramental moment. We must each recognize and own up to our biases and blindness. 

We need to let others show us how we have hurt them and ask them how we can help them heal from those wounds. 

We need to change the systems within our Church that have allowed the disease of pedophilia and the sins of arrogance and authoritarianism to fester and remain hidden.

The victims of this abuse must know that we love them and want all that can heal them to be theirs.
The perpetrators, too, must know that we love them and will walk with them as they live in accountability for the harm that they have done and for their abuse of authority.  

In the past five years, Pope Francis has offered us several of his visions: of evangelization; of love of our earth, our common home; of admiration and joy in witnessing family love; and of practical responses to God’s call to be holy. These messages give voice to so many who have not known how to hope or forgive; how to change in the midst of our own history. Yet, there is still much more Pope Francis can do to condemn evil and encourage justice and mercy. 

Our religious faith communities, our consecrated life communities, and all of our world stretching to be its best possible self, need a guide to show the way forward during this tragic and confusing time.  Let us interrupt the contagion of hatred and offer Pope Francis encouragement to lead us where we need to go.

Sisters of St. Joseph are not the only group that must speak up and bear witness to God’s great love.  Likeminded friends and associates are essential to speaking inclusively and offering suggestions for how to change the systems which have allowed this betrayal of children, parents, community-building societies, and hope-filled faith communities.

For these reasons, I make this plea and suggestion: that we, Sisters of St. Joseph (CSSJ), be public and outspoken in our support of our brother, Pope Francis, as he works to respond to the challenges of standing as leader of our Roman Catholic community.

Nadine McGuinness, CSJ
A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange

Sr. Nadine McGuinness

[Nadine McGuinness, CSJ, a catechist who has been writing and speaking on the documents of Pope Francis since 2013, is a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange, CA. She works at Emmaus Spiritual Ministries in Orange, CA. She received a doctorate in systematic theology from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, Canada.]

Editor's Note: This perspective is in response to the U.S. Federation's August 2018 Press Release regarding the sexual abuse by clergy. Perspectives on this blog don't necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph but are rather meant to spur further thoughtful discussion on important and timely topics. Please feel free to post your comments below.

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