Musings on a Challenged Faith
I confess to you, my brothers and sisters, that I am struggling with my Church right now. I confess that there is much about Her that I love – Her wisdom tradition, Her great models of Faith, the beauty of certain rituals, the ways in which She has opened my mind and my heart to Jesus. I confess that there is much about Her that frustrates, confuses and pains me.
These recent weeks of news about The Church’s complicity in the residential schools system and the suffering it caused our Indigenous brothers and sisters has, frankly, brought me to a crisis of faith, and I find myself crying, “How, Lord, if the Church is truly guided by Your Spirit, could such horrors happen?” One of the 90 plus recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an apology from our Holy Father on Canadian soil to Canadian Indigenous people. Years have passed, and it is true that several apologies have been given by individual orders and diocese, and even privately by Pope Benedict. The Oblates gave a particularly beautiful one in 1991. However it is the Pope who is generally perceived as the head of the Church and it is his official and public apology on behalf of the Church that has been requested and not given. There are questions being asked about the Church’s fulfillment of promises of the financial reparations, which make me uncomfortable. I understand that we are people on a journey, always learning, growing and changing. We make mistakes, terrible mistakes, because we are human and influenced by the culture of our time and our own selfishness. But I am left with this aching question: When a wrong is uncovered, are we not to admit our part, ask forgiveness, and make amends as quickly and as best we can?
So, Lord, I place my confusion and heartache in your tender hands.
I place my Church – Your Church- in the Light, Wisdom and Compassion of Your Spirit.
Guide us in your Truth.
Renew in us the heart of Jesus.
Help us to do what is right.