A genuine crisis – not a self-invented melodrama, but an honest-to-God existential threat – is a funny thing, in that often it produces wildly contrasting effects in people. Among some it can generate burning anger and resentment, in others confusion and despair, and in still others only shrugs and ennui.
According to faculty and students at Rome’s Pontifical North American College, the seminary for future U.S. priests in the Eternal City, that last effect is strikingly common among today’s seminary cohort. If true, it suggests the tantalizing possibility that the horrors of the clerical sexual abuse crisis may, against all odds, result in a stronger generation of priests down the line – or, at the very least, a generation clearer about what’s at stake. “None of us would have asked for this scandal and the hurt it’s caused,” said Father Peter Harman, a priest of Springfield, Ill., and rector of the NAC since 2016. “But perhaps, and I trust in God’s goodness, if this makes us want to be priests for the right reasons, then let it be.”
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Pray always for purity and love
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