As of late last year I have been an avid viewer (fan?) of the Central News Network channel. I’m still trying to figure out what it is about CNN that appeals to me. Maybe because they were always up to date every day, 24/7/365, you know the deal. It’s not often that CNN would focus on the most local news around the country (or the world even) unless if they were completely newsworthy.
Now, if you’re one of the people who do pay attention to global news I’m pretty sure you’re still familiar of that infamous sexual abuse scandals among Roman Catholic clergy (specifically the priests) that occurred at some parts of the U.S. and it wasn’t until lately that abuse victims, parents, and concerned parishioners began to sue the Roman Catholic Church for all of these heinous sex scandals. I’d like to touch base on this case in a bit later, being that I’m Catholic myself, and would like to express how I felt regarding this particular scandal.
Going back on subject, CNN had featured an article about our new local cathedral, the CCL, that was recently opened sometime last month. Though it wasn’t about the cathedral itself the article was more towards one particular section of the cathedral that CNN thought was indeed newsworthy. It featured a particular rooftop garden that was built in dedication to all the victims of the Catholic clergy sex scandal. It was also a place for abuse victims to come and visit for reflection and counsel by the staff and clergy that maintains the CCL.
The garden was proposed by a former abuse victim, according to the article, and other abuse victims as well as concerned parishioners voted in favor of the garden (this was during the construction of the CCL). The Diocese of Oakland responded and a garden was built. To me, this was one of the starts that the Church is finally doing something about the issues involving the clergy. I’m aware of the church’s long time history of abuse and corruption to their parishioners and there are a lot of habits with the clergy, I admit, that will not go away. However, gradually the Vatican is finally looking in to all these sorts of issues that had been going on for hundreds (thousands?) of years and are slowly working on atoning for their internal sins, one way or the other. [CNN article here]
I know that the cathedral’s rooftop garden will not solve or help every abuse victim’s feelings or well-beings mentally, I understand that. Healing is a very difficult process to go through. But the garden, again, is a step towards reuniting the parishioners in sync with the clergy again, one way or the other. I think with the addition to the garden I would think that the Vatican or the Diocese should do more than just dismissing priests who committed these heinous acts or re-assigning them to different parishes. They should actually be more cooperative with the law and put these offenders behind bars. I know the Catholic Church may be a lot influential at other countries but in the U.S., people separate religion from state, and in this case I say this from the state’s point of view, not from the Catholic’s point of view.
And there you go. I did sing as part of the new Diocesan Cathedral Choir along with other choirs from other churches two weeks ago at the Cathedral and I didn’t get a chance to visit the rooftop garden. Maybe next time we sing again over there I’ll be sure to share some pictures if I do have a chance to get up there.