"For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel." - Martin Luther
Every Sunday, Christians from a great many denominations pray for the "holy catholic church." Together we recognize the unitive power of the Holy Spirit to work through our collective ministry in ways that are beyond our individual recognition. There is a sort of spiritual equity that is built up as we reflect God's love to the world.
At the same time, we each lament the wrongdoing and hardship of any Christian church or people. The latest news of the abuse in the Roman Catholic Church is disturbing. Any misdeed by the church is troubling, but these are particularly tragic. Abuse of children cannot be tolerated and discovering a coverup makes it more abhorrent. All God's faithful should lament this together and hold all affected in prayer.
The Episcopal Church, along with many others, have made a strident effort to ensure our churches are a safe place for all God's people, most especially children. First, we require those who serve with children to be a part of the church for a year or longer. We also require training, sometimes referred to in short-hand as "Safeguarding." This training helps staff and volunteers to be more aware of signs, both of potential abusers and of those abused.
As we prepare to begin another program year, I hope you will help us to remain vigilant in our collective prayer in our protection of children. May our prayers and actions help to restore the image of the church, that it may be a reflection of God to the world.