If you were outraged by the scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church these last couple of weeks, I beg you, do not be a slacktivist.
What’s a slacktivist?
A slacktivist is someone who talks about how upset they are about a particular injustice, but does nothing concrete to help. It is someone who updates their status online to express their rage, but fails to go out and act for change. It is someone who reads about and stays up-to-date on issues that are trending, but does nothing substantial to help.
If you were outraged by the scandal, DO something.
I’ll admit, by the time I finished writing my last post (in which I offer ideas for acting), I had already written my letters to my priest and Bishop but hadn’t yet sent them. After challenging others to act, I found myself nevertheless still paralyzed by fear.
Will my letters offend my priest? Will he think I am accusing him of being a bad priest? Will he think less of me? Will my Bishop even read this letter?
For about a day I let all of these and other fear-filled thoughts paralyze me.
Then I sent the letters anyway.
Don’t be paralyzed!
Don’t stay where you are in your anguish out of fear.
Do not be afraid to act.
I was listening to Jen Fulwiler’s podcast, in which she so boldly addressed the scandal, and she said something profound that honestly scared me at first. She said, “Let ALL the scandals come to light. Let there be MORE!”
How could a faithful Catholic say this? Shouldn’t we hope that these scandals wash away so that we can go on living our lives of faith in peace?
No. Not if there are more.
We cannot cower in fear for the sake of our Church.
Cowering in fear does nothing to heal her broken heart.
We need to be filled with hope that the ugliness hidden within our walls will be revealed and remember that GOD IS WITH US in this fight.
If there is more darkness–which, unfortunately, there undoubtedly is–let it be revealed.
Let it come to the light and be visible for all to see.
This is the only way that those who committed these heinous acts will be known, and the only way in which our Church and the victims of the abuse can begin to heal.
This morning in prayer, I kept hearing the line, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I knew these words to be the words Christ uttered on the cross, but this morning, I felt that these same words were the words that His Bride was now crying out.
Our Church is in agony.
The faithful feel abandoned by their shepherds. The victims (surely) feel abandoned by their Father and their brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are all feeling this pain, but at the same time, I believe it would be a mistake to stew in it without doing anything. We need to remind ourselves what Christ did when faced with his agony: After praying, He stood up and made the long, torturous journey to the cross.
I’m afraid this is the same journey you and I have to make right now. As Christ’s Bride, we are one with Him. This means that as He suffered for the sake of sin, we too, will suffer for the sake of sin.
If we stand, we will be persecuted just as Christ was. If we refuse to leave our Church, we will be ridiculed and condemned. If we commit ourselves to her and defend her, we will be spit on, mocked, and ultimately, hated…just as Christ was.
Yet all the same, not our will, but His be done.
Together, we the Church are Christ’s Bride.
Let us not abandon our Bridegroom at the altar.
Don’t be a slactivist. Don’t just talk about this with others endlessly without doing anything concrete to bring about change within the walls of our Church. Don’t let that pain in your heart be your reason for cowering in fear or leaving the Church.
Use it as fuel for this fight.
Pray. Write letters. Reach out. Fast. Repent of your own sins. God to Mass. Sit in adoration. Learn your faith. Read your Bible. Defend.
Don’t be a slactivist.
Be an activist.
Let us, in Christ, work to root out the evil, sin and corruption in our beloved Church.