In December of 1776, Thomas Paine penned the immortal words:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
The piece itself is called The Crisis.
We who are suffering in the Church right now might swap some terms and circumstances in Paine’s clarion call and take them to heart.
From a priest…
Dear Fr. Z,
I am one of the priests in the middle of the storm here in PA. We are saddened and angered by the the revelations of the Grand Jury report as many readers are, but we also are now entering a kind of Gethsemane. My request is simple: please keep praying for us and asking the readers to do the same.
Also, if you you find it desirable to do so, please remind them that no diocese is immune from this scourge we are suffering now in PA. I suspect few if any American dioceses could be subjected to the level of scrutiny we were and come out unscathed. (Subpoena of all diocesan personnel files of any priest accused, credible or not, for thorough examination by the grand jury.) I pray that no others are subjected to such a trial.
Please withhold my name and diocese from any mention you might make.
We must not be “summer faithful and sunshine Catholics” and “shrink from service of our Church”.
Penance. Penance. Penance.
Reparation. Reparation. Reparation.
We must stand on our knees now.