The real agenda behind “healing masses”

By David Clohessy

In dioceses where the abuse and cover up crisis has been widely exposed, bishops often do a smart public relations move: they schedule “healing” masses. Bishop James Johnston is holding some of these in Kansas City. It’s worth looking at how one of his staff talks about them.

“There has always been a desire to do more outreach to try and help victims come back to the church, or at least see the church being empathetic and sorrowful,” said Kathleen Chastain, Johnston’s staffer who handles abuse.

Ponder this quote for a second. I’m grateful Ms. Chastain made this comment. Two parts of it leap out at me.

First, notice Chastain is NOT saying “We care.” She’s saying “We want victims to come back to the church.”

Second, she’s saying “We want victims to see the church being empathetic and sorrowful.” See, it’s not about reality. It’s about perception.

We’ve long felt these events are more about them than about us. Ms. Chastain’s comments reinforce our skepticism.

Showing 2 comments

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant