Fr. Peter J. Daly
November 24, 2002
A few years ago, the British royal family had a tough year. Its popularity was at an all-time low. There was endless scandal and a royal divorce. One of the queen's castles burned. The British parliament refused to pay for the repairs and cut funding for the allowances paid to royalty. To top it all off, they decommissioned the royal yacht, Britannia.
At a Christmas season speech, Queen Elizabeth II reflected back on the preceding year and said she would be happy to see the end of that "annus horribilis" (horrible year).
I know how she felt. This has been a tough year for the Catholic Church in general and for Catholic priests in particular. We have had our own "annus horribilis" in an endless scandal.
But even in the midst of depressing news there have been a few folks who have shown us that the Holy Spirit is still guiding the "ship of Peter." So, I'd like to give a "bravo" award to a few folks who have earned our trust and our thanks.
Bravo to Cardinal William Keeler of
Bravo to Bishop Wilton Gregory of
Bravo to Gov. Frank Keating of
Bravo to canon lawyers. They are a group that never gets thanked and often gets ridiculed. Canon lawyers have reminded us that even priests accused of horrible crimes and sins have a right to "due process" and a just hearing. Bravo.
Bravo to the victims' support groups of various names and descriptions. They have kept us honest. Sunlight and bleach are the only real remedies for the mold of scandal. The victims' groups, despite occasional excesses, have done the church a service. Bravo.
Finally, bravo to
the faith-filled Catholics who stuck with their parishes and priests.
They could distinguish between the value of the message and the weakness of the
messengers. All over the
I won't be sorry to see this "annus horribilis" come to a close. But there have been people who have made us realize that while sin abounds, grace abounds even more.
Blessed Christmas and a happier new year!