From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For February 3, 2019

Last Summer I gave a homily on the priest abuse scandal. At the end of the homily I invited anyone who wanted to talk with me about it to let me know. This is a serious issue and I wanted to make sure that any concerns could be put on the table. I only had two people reach out to me, and I think those conversations went well. With only two, though, I found myself in an unsettling situation. Were people not reaching out because they are handling the scandal well, or were they not reaching out because they dido’t trust me, or was there something else? I left it alone for the time being because I took the approach of “no news is good news” and “don’t poke the bear.”

That being said, I am bringing it up again because soon, probably sometime in February, Channel 8 News will be releasing an “investigative report” on the priests of the Grand Rapids Diocese who have been accused of abuse. I do not know how they will approach the issue or what will be the focus, but I think it is time to talk about this again. I am putting this in the bulletin because I know that this is a sensitive issue and it is difficult to discuss when children are present. This avenue gives me more freedom while also giving parents greater control over what their children hear.

There is no easy way to talk about this issue. Many people have been hurt. First there are those who have been directly hurt by the actions of priests and bishops. Then there are the families and friends who have been with them over the years. Many also have found out that the priest who baptized them or their children, or who came over for dinner, or who married them and gave their children their First Communion, that he is a pedophile. Then there are all the people who have had their faith in Christ and His Church undermined. Then there is everyone who has endured the comments about their faith and their good priests. Countless people have been hurt by the sins of my brother priests and bishops.

As I write about this over the coming weeks, I also extend the same invitation that I gave last summer. If anyone wants to talk about this issue, please let me know. I want to talk with you about this. If anyone has a concern about what is being done, please let me know. I want to help you know what has been happening. If anyone has something that they have never told anyone because of fear, shame and confusion, I want to help you find the best way to handle what you are experiencing, including the proper authorities.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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