The latest news of pedophilia in the Catholic Church in Ireland has left me broken. I make the kids' lunch, sweep my floor, and listen to the interviews on the radio; and in my mind I play out that on-going argument with Protestant family and friends on how this terrible sin could occur within a "holy" Church and why sin by members of the Church, even heinous sin, does not rob her of her holiness. And after I have done with my mental arguments, I sweep them into the trash. What argument is there to make? Who am I to be concerned with arguments at moments such as these?
Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
The sin of pedophilia committed by these men and the sin of hiding their sins and passing the men on to other parishes by other men, these are my sins. And I am more guilty yet.
" 'And I shall also tell you, dear mother, that each of us is guilty in everything before everyone, and I most of all.' At that mother even smiled, she wept and smiled: 'How can it be,' she said, 'that you are the most guilty before everyone? There are murderers and robbers, and how have you managed to sin so that you should accuse yourself most of all?' 'Dear mother, heart of my heart,' he said (he had then begun saying such unexpected, endearing words), 'heart of my heart, my joyful one, you must know that verily each of us us guilty before everyone, for everyone and everything. I do not know how to explain it to you, but I feel it so strongly that it pains me. And how could we have lived before, getting angry, and not knowing anything?' Thus he awoke every day with more and more tenderness, rejoicing and all atremble with love."
- "From the Life of the Elder Zosima," The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky