Church: It is Silence that Will Convict on Your Judgment!

Here we are dealing with another round of scandal in the Church and most of us are shocked and perplexed to STILL hear that there are more abuse reports coming from our Church here in the West. My wife just read the grand jury report for the Dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, Allentown, Erie and Greensburg and there is just an outcry among family members for justice, transparency and ousting these clearly homosexual and pedophile priests who are STILL alive and some STILL serving in active ministry.

Twenty-five years ago, I was silent about an abuse that happened to me and 4 boys got abused as a result.

The victims may have been more!  Silence is not something that we can encourage, condone or dismiss because of fear of scandal.  I have learned that if there is an abuse, a boundary violation or even what may seem as an innocent impropriety, it needs to be reported to the appropriate authorities.  I just called an Archabbey sexual victims hotline to report something that my wife and I witnessed 6 years ago.  I could no longer be silent in light of the recent reports.  All must bring to the light all darkness that they have witnessed, observed or even heard from credible people.  Frankly, some people don’t have the courage to say anything.  Perhaps those who care and have the muster to make a phone call on someone’s behalf is needed.  When I called the Archabbey and spoke to the director of the sexual victims, he assured me that the priest in question was removed from active public ministry.  It confirmed in my heart that something was indeed wrong.  Six years I waited to say anything!  Why?  I cringe at the thought that my words may have possibly spared an abuse…possibly.   I thank God others came forward before me. Thank God someone had courage!

This is exactly what our Church needs right now: lay men and women with the intestinal fortitude to say the hard things during these tragic times.  It is clear that our priests, on the whole, don’t know what to say to us.  After this recent wave of scandals that have emerged the past two weeks, I personally heard nothing from the pulpit from the priests, and deacons who preached at the masses I was in attendance.  My wife and I are confused.  My wife and I are upset for the lack of transparency and honesty that is so needed at a time like this.  How can we focus on anything else.  This is the crisis of our times.  It is our opportunity to speak the truth and do it with love.  As Scripture teaches, “perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18).  Where is the love for your people Church?  Why are you afraid to speak?  The Vatican is totally silent in response to the grand jury report from Pennsylvania.

I, for one, love my Church more than my own life or the ministry that I lead.  It is time to lay it all on the line.  Our Church is counting on those who are willing to voluntarily suffer for a cause greater than themselves.  This is the definition of fortitude in the Catechism (n.1808).  Our Church is lacking courage plain and simple.  We need men who are willing to be men.  To step up and declare the truth in season or out of season. The truth of the matter is, our Church leaders have failed us from popes down to the newly ordained and those in formation.  We are suffering from the silence that has long enabled predators to prey on their victims all in the name of the Church.  No More!  Not on our watch at The King’s Men apostolate.  I don’t care if this blog will make me or our apostolate unwelcome in certain dioceses.  This has gone on for far too long and if our bishops don’t have the courage to say it, then let it be said now.  No More Church!  You will no longer have the comfort and convenience of our silence!!

Prayerfully your spiritual son,

Mark Houck

President & Founder of The King’s Men, Inc.