As scandal after scandal erupts in the Catholic Church, the immediate response has been defensive which has resulted in many Catholics wondering if their church was attuned to life in the 21st century. Easter, not only witnesses the rebirth process of Jesus, but it may well be witnessing the rebirth of reality among members of the clergy. In Austria and Switzerland archbishops and bishops marked the holiday with apologies for sexual abuse and asked parishioners to come forth with examples of how they or those they knew were sexually abused by members of the church. Unfortunately, the Vatican remains in a defensive posture operating on the assumption attacking when you are in the wrong is somehow the best defense.
In Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn listened to members of his church who openly discussed abuse cases. “We confess our guilt to the many whom we have wronged as a church, and whom some of us have wronged very directly.” These are words that must be spoken by the Pope.