I'm going to repeat what I've said before, and I will continue to say this every time that I am asked.
I believe that anyone who mishandled sexual abuse within the Church, sexual abuse being both a devastating crime and a sin, should resign their office, whether as a cardinal, bishop or parish priest. I don't really care about the circumstances of whether it was a "minor" or "major" involvement in the mishandling because all of that corrodes faith, whether by small bits of rust and tarnish or large egregious lack of good sense and/or integrity. If it was mishandling and not actual participation in the abuse, I believe that upon resigning the office that these cardinals, bishops and priests should dedicate themselves within religious orders that are contemplative and filled with prayer.
There is supposed to be no "ego" in serving the Lord God, and thus any cardinal, bishop or priest should be gratified to relinquish their offices and in turn become one hundred percent dedicated to the life of prayer, particularly addressing prayer for both the victims of the abuse and for renewal of the priesthood.
People, listen to me carefully, whatever your faith (or not) or beliefs. For decades humanity has teetered on the brink of a total meltdown into depravity. These priest sex abuse cases are, in the sense of showing the incurable addiction of lust and depravity, no different from what we are seeing in society as a whole. I know you want to say, "Hold on, how can that be? Priests are supposed to be different!" Yes, in an ideal world they are supposed to be different, but look at the world today. Are not mothers "supposed to be different?" Yet every week we read about mothers who sell and trade the sexual innocence of even their infants for money, car payments, access to drugs, or some other trivial transaction. Are not teachers supposed to be "different?" Yet every week we read about teachers with child pornography and those who seduce and/or molest children they have access to, in that position of "trust." Are not "those who have been abused themselves" supposed to be "making sure what happened to them never happens to other children?" Yet we know that many of the most violent criminals use the excuse of their own, often horrifying, suffering of child abuse, and far from being protective, they enact their rage on other innocent adults and children. Are not police supposed to be "better than that?" Yet pressuring sex trade workers is a long going problem among police, so long that it has even been the stuff of jokes.
EVERYONE is supposed to be "better than that" but NO ONE IS anymore.
Catholic priests are just as subject to falling into the pit of depravity and vice as anyone else. I know that it seems out of proportion, but hear me now and believe me later. If you start looking at how many children have been molested by their own parents, or baby mama's "boyfriend," and by purveyors of porn, soon we will have a population that has more saying "yes" they've been abused than "no." Abuse has become the "new normal."
You'd have to be living under a rock to not realize that this society has fallen further and further into filth and depravity, and no "group" is "should be better at being pure" than anyone. I've seen some think that married priests or "more women" in the "church hierarchy" will "help." I'd laugh if this was not such a dire, world and soul killing problem. Yeah, women, such pillars of virtue, as they teach their kids to pole dance, wear thongs, offer them for sex to get themselves money or drugs, seduce their male students, etc. So please do not trivialize a worldwide soul destroying crisis of monumental proportion by suggesting this is a "celibate male" problem.
I marvel that God has not burned down this filthy depraved world already. Then I guess you would not have to worry about those priests, huh?
Victims, I know what you have been through as I've been abused, but not by priests, but by those who mettle with sorcery. But victims, I urge you to not be victimized twice. Do not let the outrageous scandal of the Catholic priest sex abuse problem cause you to also lose faith in the Church and in God. If you do, you will be victimized twice and God will not, I repeat, not understand your abandonment of God and his church.
I am not being harsh but realistic. What do you think was done to the early Christians of the Church? Do you think they were not abused and tormented in every way possible, including children? Yet they hung on to their faith to the end. God and the Church remain, no matter what individuals do, both within and outside of the Church. Running away does not make God go away, nor does it invalidate the Church. You can deny all you want but remember, human beings put to death the only pure and sinless man, Jesus Christ, and he proclaimed God with his last breath on the cross.
I will give you an analogy to help. Suppose you read in the paper that someone drowned while swimming in the ocean. Bad ocean, bad water. We no longer believe in water because it drowned someone. Stop bathing and showering. Stop drinking water. Tell everyone you know that water is "bad" and you "no longer believe in water." What will happen? You die of thirst in a matter of days.
No matter what the pain of life it is simply insane and not at all "understandable" that someone "lose their faith in God or the church." It's an unhealthy coping mechanism to think that because one is a victim of bad human behavior that suddenly the overall truth of the world (God and the Church) "no longer mean anything to you." That, my children, is being victimized twice. God will not nod his head in your meeting with him at personal judgment when you perish and say, "Hey, I know, a really bad thing happened to you, so it's A-OK with me that you 'lost your faith' and 'stopped believing in Me' or 'decided my Church was invalid.' Sure, I know that I, God, and my Church are not worth staying and fighting for, even through the pain."
Children, God is pure Truth. If you get only one thing about God in this particular message, understand that God is pure and total truth. God cannot be anything but the sum total of all that is true, that ever will be true, and ever could be true. When you grasp that you realize that God never changes and that while he cares very much for each person, when a person denies God no matter what the reason, they are in danger of not entering heaven at all, because being God's dwelling place, heaven is also pure truth.
The way to healing and to sanity is by embracing more truth, not less.
I hope that you find this helpful.