I was an altar boy for a few years, biking from my home to the church to help out at Masses that often were attended by only a handful of people on a weekday afternoon.
As I listen to and read the news about the latest revelations about what seems to have been a chronic problem of pedophilia and abuse of boys during the time that I was growing up, I consider myself fortunate that I did not experience anything of that sort.
Many years have passed since I was at that stage of life, but as I have reflected on it in light of the most recent revelations, I do recall a couple Jesuit priests at my 9th grade high school who did display behavior that as I think about it now could have been going down that dangerous path. It is so long ago, it is a blur, frankly, and I certainly don't spend time thinking about it.
There clearly are many boys, now men, around the world who were abused. Many of them have had difficult lives as a consequence.
And the institution known as the Catholic Church has mis-handled this matter horribly. From the local parish to the Vatican. For many years. From stopping it when it occurred to how to deal with it ex post facto.
My last interactions with the Catholic Church centered around the deaths of my parents in recent years. I dealt with one priest as my mother was dying whose response to difficult family decisions: "The Church has no problem with that." At my father's eulogy, a priest who worked at the Catholic senior living facility where my dad spent his final years made comments at the service that indicated he did not know my dad at all. He was just there to be the priest at the service/Mass.
I am not one to generalize from personal experiencethat can be a slippery slope. And…
In many ways, the Catholic Church is obsolete.