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A hospital for sinners
Posted By Eric Sammons On September 13, 2010 @ 8:46 am In The Church | Comments Disabled
Perhaps this is just another case of “the media doesn’t get religion”, but I was struck by the opening paragraphs of this story :
The former Belgian bishop who resigned in April after admitting he sexually abused a nephew for years said Saturday he would go into hiding to assess his future, despite calls for him to leave the church immediately.
Roger Vangheluwe said in a statement he would immediately leave an abbey in his bishopry of Bruges, where he has been staying since his April 23 resignation. His bishopry has urged him to seek another place to live, and several victims of sexual abuse by clergy as well as a prominent senator have called on him to leave the church as an institution.
“Leave the church as an institution?” What does that mean? Excommunicate himself? Stop going to Mass? The reporter of this story really dropped the ball in this case.
The absolute last thing anyone should want is for this bishop to leave the Church; it is the Church, after all, which is the hospital for sinners and the only place this man can find peace and forgiveness. Obviously, justice must be served and the Church should make sure he never serves in a capacity that endangers other children, but kicking him out of the Church would do nothing to help him.
While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 10-13)
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