Project Description

At this point in the year, we’d usually show the Bishop’s Appeal video at all Masses one weekend, as every other parish in the diocese does.  This year, the Bishop knows that it is somewhat awkward to show the video, given the events of the past few weeks, including the revelations about then-Cardinal McCarrick, the results of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, and the media stories about Bishop Rhoades.  The video was produced before any of these things came out, and so it is conspicuously silent about the elephant in the room.  Therefore, the Bishop has asked that the following statement be read at Mass before the video is shown:

 

Before watching the Annual Bishop’s Appeal video, it is important for our diocese to address these painful past few weeks.

The horrible revelations about Archbishop McCarrick and the Pennsylvania grand jury report have brought forth a lot of anger and righteous indignation. So many have been shaken and disturbed upon learning of the awful sins and crimes that have occurred within our beloved Church.

You are not alone in asking the question: how do we move forward despite anger and disappointment? In the words of Saint Paul: “The love of Christ urges us on.” This theme of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal this year has particular relevance. It is faith in God and the love of Christ that impelled faithful Catholics to move forward. When there were times of scandal and corruption in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church, the grace of the Holy Spirit moved powerfully, leading the Church to reform and calling her to greater fidelity to the Lord.  Urged on by the love of Christ, we are all called to increase our prayer, our good works, and our efforts to purify the Church.

Saint Paul clung to Jesus in the midst of many tribulations that he experienced before his martyrdom. Trusting in the Lord’s love and mercy, we must move forward with the mission that we received from Him: our mission to evangelize, to educate and form our children and young people, to support priestly vocations, to serve the poor and needy, and to build up the Body of Christ in our diocese. That is precisely what your support of the Annual Bishop’s Appeal helps the diocese to do.

 

I print this here because we are not showing the video this year.  With our capital campaign underway, our Bishop’s Appeal obligation is rolled up in our $5 million campaign goal.  However, I know the Bishop still wants you to see this statement.

 

This has certainly been a painful few weeks.  We also know that there’s more pain to come, at the very least as Bishop Rhoades publishes the list of all offending clergy from our diocese, and as the Harrisburg investigation into Bishop Rhoades continues.  It’s a black cloud that seems to hang over us always, even as we gather together for Mass.  There are no magic words that will make it go away, and the healing process will take a long time.

 

We’re trying to address this issue as straightforwardly as possible, but if there is any way that you think that we should be ministering to parishioners that we’re not already doing in the wake of this crisis, please let me know.  And please pray especially for those whose old wounds will be reopened in the weeks and months to come, as well as those whose faith in the Church and faith in God has been shaken by these scandals.  It is at times like these when we need our faith more than ever.