Reflections on the Sexual Abuse Crises in the Church and Ways Forward
Dear Companions in Mission,
As we continue to respond to the recent revelations of the Grand Jury regarding six Dioceses in Pennsylvania, I will be sending thoughtful responses that I have personally found helpful.
When Fr. Arturo Sosa (General of the Society of Jesus) and Fr. Scott Santarosa (Provincial of Jesuits West) invited us all to a year of prayerful discernment, I doubt that they reckoned it would include appropriate responses to the most recent sexual abuse crises. But it is increasingly clear that we need to discern ways to respond to the abuse and navigate the current “troubled waters” of the Church.
The following are letters and essays that have buoyed me in the current storm. This is something that has damaged and ruined many vulnerable lives. It is also something that impacts us as a Jesuit ministry and a parish of the Diocese of Sacramento. I invite your prayerful reflection and discussion of these materials and the challenge before us.
Peace, courage and wisdom,
All are invited to participate in this opportunity to express concerns, hopes and explore ways of moving forward together as a parish community.
In the middle of the Church you will have noticed the poster (shown here at right) with Christ embracing a child. Beside the poster there is a vigil candle that will be burning throughout the next 8 weeks. This is part of the work of our newly established Parish Task Force on Sexual Abuse – called “It’s Our Church”. We are sponsoring a listening session for anyone to attend on the evening of Thursday, January 31st in the Parish Center Garden Room. This is a chance to express your concerns, frustrations and hopes for our parish and the Church as a whole.
There is information about the listening session on January 31st, links to our parish website, links to important articles on facts concerning abuse in the Church, and the positive steps currently being done in our parish, diocese and the universal Church. Names of contacts for those who might have experienced abuse, or know others who might need support are available on the vigil table as well. Please keep this important effort of solidarity and healing in your prayers.
For more information visit our Reflections on the Sexual Abuses Crises in the Church and Ways Forward page. Letters or emails can be sent at any time to the IOC Parish Task Force Chair, Cheryl Mello at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters from Pope Francis and Bishop Jaime Soto
Jesuits West Province News
Why I remain in the Church
The Way Forward -- Suggestions for Renewal
Our Voices Against Abuse
Here you will find a series of articles, reflections, and meditations to assist during this challenging time in the life of our Church, both locally and globally. You are strongly invited to pray and consider concrete ways of how you yourself can be an ear and heart of support for victims of abuse and an aide in fostering greater accountability in our structures and among our leaders within the Church.
Finding Your Voice - Ephphatha (be opened)
Over the upcoming weeks and months, St. Ignatius Parishioners are invited to prayerfully reflect upon how they are feeling, and explore ways on expressing themselves in some written form. You are encouraged to share your feelings, frustrations and recommendations on how we can move forward as a parish, diocese and global Church community. This movement forward together reflects our way of proceeding that lifts up victims of abuse, seeks accountability among leaders, and rightfully protects the community from predators. We also recognize that we remain a community in Christ of forgiveness, made up of sinners and yet walking in the Spirit. Your letters to the leadership of the Parish Council will be read by a working team of individuals who will shape a plan of prayer, discernment and action for the months ahead.
Your letters or emails can be addressed to Fr. Mike, Fr. Dave, Amy Rogers (Parish Council Chair), or Vivian Macaspac (Parish Council Vice-chair).