We want an answer, but we don't know what that answer is.
We want accountability, but we don't know how.
We want no more lies and cover-ups, but we can't decide how to enforce this.
I feel like the fish in the plastic bags at the end of Finding Nemo. We made it this far, what next?
I feel like Dory, just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
I am angry, I am agitated. My husband always says everyone has a breaking point, I haven't come close to mine, but I know many who have. I am reminded of Rod Dreher's defection to the Eastern Orthodox faith as he grappled with covering the scandals in the church and found the pressure too much. I cannot fault him as many, many people did when they found out. Everyone has a breaking point, and everyone has different ways of dealing with it when they reach that point. How do I know my reaction would be different?
I have seen many point to the easy solution of just simply changing faiths as an answer. I remember growing up Catholic in a very Protestant south being surprised when I realized that people who found something they didn't like in their denomination just "switched" to another. I saw many Methodists become Baptists, Baptists become Presbyterians, Presbyterians become Evangelicals. I don't know that this is wrong, but for me it was certainly confusing. I know and understand people leave the Catholic church, but not quite with the frequency I was seeing. The phenomenon of being a "cafeteria Christian" is still going strong today. Don't like it, try this counter and see if it's better. While I agree it's probably not too hard to just walk into the local Baptist church and join up, does that make it right? For me, no.
For me, it comes down to beliefs. I believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist through a miracle called transubstantiation. I believe it is a gift to receive the body and blood of Christ in the form of the sacrament of Communion. For that reason, during a period of my life when I did discern whether the Church was where I belonged, the only alternatives I considered were the Greek Orthodox church in my city, a small upstart Ukranian Orthodox church and a Byzantine rite church over 50 miles away in Myrtle Beach.
For me, the hierarchy of the Church does not bother me because I go back to this:
And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Christ instituted a hierarchy with that statement. And in many, many Protestant churches there are hierarchies (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Mormon prophets, the presidents of the Southern Baptist conventions). While they may not serve the same purpose or authority as the Pope does and perhaps are chosen differently, they exist in some form or fashion. I do believe that knowledge or not of incidences does not exempt the Pope from question. As the leader of the Church here on Earth, it's his responsibility to acknowledge problems, address them, and see that they do not happen again. He is accountable both to God and the people of the Church. While we may not elect him, he still should be hearing our voices.
I completely understand and respect the rights of others to disagree with me on these topics. I am not here to debate them, but share what I believe. I believe that right now, I am called to pray for the Divine Mercy to come upon the Church and the Pope to help right the egregious wrongs that were done to so many.