Stay in the Game

Clergy Corner by Fr. Williams

Clergy Corner

Stay in the Game

Recently the Church in South Carolina released a list of the priests who in the last 70 years had any connection with our Diocese and had been credibly accused of any sexual misconduct or abuse. Whereas much of this info was in the 2007 release by the Diocese, it is the next step in the transparency and healing process of our local church. In any relationship, when one party offends another, the best way to regain the trust is to lay bare before the   other all that they have. That is the first step in rebuilding that trust. It is difficult and shameful, but necessary.  It is a most humiliating thing for any person who has had to do such things in their life. 


I told some of the Masses recently that a friend of mine from seminary recently likened the situation of the Church to a football game where the team had blown a 56 point lead. Now, much of the team has been substituted, some have quit, some have been cut from the team. Many of the fans are disgusted at the team’s performance and have left the stadium, but there are still many devout fans that remain. 


Each of us has a choice in this situation, whether we are the fans tempted to leave or the players being subbed in from the bench, we have a choice. Will we take charge and win back the moment or will we despair and just fill the time ‘til the game ends? The devil wants one and Christ wants the other. No matter who we are though, we all have the same quarterback — Jesus Christ. His power does not rely on the priest or the people; the priest and the people rely on the power of Jesus Christ.


As a young priest, I choose to come into the game well aware of the situation and on fire to play the game as it should be played. As a Christian, the faith has not changed for me, Jesus Christ is no different, the sacraments are no less real, the communion of saints are no less united and potent. I put my faith in Jesus, who sustains and has promised to act through the Church despite its sinful members. There I will labor, there I will place my life like so many before me. And you? Will you follow Jesus every day into Jerusalem with your palms in hand or will you stand on the side and watch him go by because you see that Judas trails behind him?


Let the past decades strengthen your resolve to live a just life, let your life and witness be a signal to the world that Christ lives and that the gates of hell shall make war, but shall never prevail against him.

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