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,
Letters from the Pope, Bishop, and Provincial
1. Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God
2. Letter of Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa, on Sharing the Suffering of Abuse Victims, Fostering Culture of Protection
3. Letter From Fr. Scott Santarosa
4. Letter From Bishop Soto
1. Separating Facts About Clergy Abuse From Fiction by Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP
2. On the Abuse Crisis by The Jesuit Post
3. Incarnating Repentance by John D. Whitney, S.J.
4. The Personal Story of a Victim of Clergy Abuse - Fr Brendan McGuire, Vicar General of the Diocese of San Jose
5. Letter From a Parishioner by Robin Williams Rositani
Why I remain in the Church
1. Why I'm Staying in the Church by the Rev. Kevin O'Brien
2. Why Do We Stay in the Church? by Matt Malone, S.J.
3. Why Remain Catholic? (With So Much Scandal) by Bishop Robert Barron
The Way Forward -- Suggestions for Renewal
1. Interview with Fr. Hans Zollner
2. The Personal Story of a Victim of Clergy Abuse - Fr Brendan McGuire, Vicar General of the Diocese of San Jose
3. Former F.B.I. Agent who Led 2002 Child Protection Efforts Says Bishops "Can't Police Their Own" by Jim McDermott
4. This week a ‘best of times, worst of times’ montage on abuse crisis by John L. Allen, Jr.
5. New Guidelines from our Sister Diocese of San Jose by Bishop Patrick McGrath
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).