By Courtney Grogan
Washington D.C., Aug 16, 2018 / 03:16 am (CNA).- Fr. Thomas Berg is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, a former Legionary of Christ, and professor of moral theology, vice rector, and director of admissions at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY. He is author of Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics. He spoke recently with CNA’s Courtney Grogan about the challenges Catholics face amid the Church’s sexual abuse and misconduct scandals. The interview is below, edited for clarity and length.
With everything that has been coming out in the news recently about sexual abuse in the Church, how do you think that your book, “Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics,” could be helpful?
In the wake of the McCarrick scandal and ongoing revelations of priest sexual abuse, a very common reaction is one of betrayal.
That’s what I have heard a lot of from persons who have reached out to me, especially persons who for years have collaborated with bishops, worked in chanceries, worked for bishops, collaborated in apostolates, have headed-up bishop’s capital campaigns, have been donors and so on. Part of the very common experience is this raw emotional wound of betrayal.
Much of my book speaks directly to that experience. That’s where I really hope that persons who are going through that betrayal, profound discouragement, disappointment, the bewilderment of the moral failures of bishops, who either failed to report what they should have reported or did not act on what was reported to them.
That is scandalous and that opens up a wound of betrayal really in the whole mystical body.
I very much believe that the book can, hopefully, point to where is the good news in this — Where is the hope in this? Where is Jesus in the midst of this crisis?
Where is Jesus in the midst of this crisis?
Jesus is the healer of wounds, and Jesus does not leave the members of his mystical body without healing when we seek it. We are in the midst of a massive crisis, notwithstanding some resistance to that idea by some of our prelates.
And those wounds are opened up. This is where not only can Jesus bring healing, but he can also use that experience of woundedness, whether that is personally or institutionally or spiritually as the body of Christ. He uses those wounds to bring greater good, to bring grace and healing to His Church.