Praised be Jesus Christ! One of the quickest ways to date yourself is to talk about the music you grew up with. It’s amazing how generational music can be, and it’s only the rare song that transcends its era. When I was a kid the radio was always on before breakfast so that Dad could listen to the daily news. In the morning there was a lot of country music, so I remember trying to imitate the bass singer from the Oak Ridge Boys who made “Bobbie Sue” sound like it was coming from somewhere deep below the surface of the earth. My brother Tom loved music and he was always a step ahead of me in introducing me to the latest bands and their hit songs. One that I remember understanding from the first time I heard it was John Lennon’s “Days like these.” The refrain was one I’d sing when I was sad or discouraged: “Nobody told me there’d be days like these.” During times of frustration or the disbelief that life can be so overwhelming usually brought that refrain to mind. And now we’re living in such times again. Before making a modest response to the horror of abuse against children, please know the first response of the Church must always be that of a mother. And everyone knows that a mother takes children into her heart forever – we who are members of Holy Mother Church do that best when we pray and offer acts of reparation for those who have been wounded by the sins of others. At some point as a Church we must begin to offer Masses of reparation for the sins committed by bishops, priests, and religious. The Bishop of Madison asked his clergy to join him in fasting on specific days this fall and that’s the right response to the evils that are saddening us to no end. Another wise response is to be very careful about what you read – a friend alluded to some of the sins (that are truly crimes that call out to God for justice) and it just about made me sick. It’s not a good sign if we have some insatiable curiosity about the sins of others. Sometimes we cannot avoid such things as it’s our duty to do something about it. But for most of us, the sins of clerical abuse took place years ago and miles away. For the good of your soul, be careful about ingesting the details of those terrible sins. And if you know of someone who has been abused by a member of the Church, please call the police and report it. Whatever the policies may have been in the past, the abuse of a minor is a terrible crime and must be duly revealed to the authorities who will rightly prosecute the perpetrator. As I’m writing this I once again remember the feeling I had as a kid when humming Lennon’s tune – it’s true, nobody told me there would be days like these. For as long as I’ve been a priest I’ve lived under the cloud of suspicion – the first major revelations of clerical abuse surfaced just two years after I was ordained. Please do not conclude that I’m fishing for sympathy. For priests who are innocent of these sins, God teaches us to offer our suffering the shame and humiliation of being stereotyped for the truly innocent young people who will spend years searching for healing and inner peace. Finally, as you know by now a letter from a high-ranking, retired Archbishop surfaced and it names people who colluded with the clerical corruption that birthed these scandals. While God will be the judge of each and every one of us, many of us are tired of a system that seems to have no desire to correct itself. And so we pray for God to send the Holy Spirit to heal the terrible pain the victims must feel, to purify the Church of clerical corruption, and to restore the hope that not even the devil can destroy Christ’s Bride. Nobody told us there would be days like these... but Jesus will not fail.
May God protect us from the despair that comes from sin, and may He open us to the healing of His mercy!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
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Saturday: 4:00 PM
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Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More