• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 4 comments on Trust Betrayed, but Faith Endures

  1. Over and over and over again I keep reading about this sexual abuse scandal and how it’s affecting children and the person’s like Sister Yacob want to reach out and help them.

    It’s not just about kids. This is about the sexual abuse of the vulnerable: prepubescent children, teens and adults.

    The main issue is power and control on the part of the predator and protection of social position on the part of the bishops.

    Until the “JP II” generation of Catholics understands this all they are doing is putting a flimsy gauze bandage on a gapping wound: the bleeding will stop for a while, but it’ll resurface.

  2. Sister, I feel sorry for you and other blinded by the hierarchical power grabbing and retaining church. The church is so far away from the true life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ it is pitiful.

  3. This kind of issue seems very complicated when we wonder what to do about them, but if we approach the whole thing with patience, compassion, and tolerance, then it becomes simple.

    In the first five Buddhist precepts, the third is, “I vow to abstain from misconduct done in lust.” Lust means any action that is self-centered and “only for me,” and so does not take into account the needs of others. The fifth precept is, “I vow to abstain from lying.” These two taken together mean that in any case in which other leaders become aware of one’s misconduct, they have an obligation to tell the truth. Lying to preserve a sense of “reputation” is also an action that is “only for me” and doesn’t take into account the interests of others, in this case, the victims of sexual abuse.

    So the Church itself needs to exhibit more “for others” action in order to rectify the wrongs of some of its officials. Sure, there are many in the Church who are righteous, upstanding moral leaders who would never even consider sexual abuse.

    For the lay Catholic practitioners, practice and prayer may seem like almost a futile pursuit–“how is that going to help?” For a less intense example: in Korea, all the final exams for students are standardized and scheduled at the same time in every school across the nation. So, Zen temples hold Kido (which means “prayer”) chanting periods during these times, and parents will come to chant for their children to get good grades and graduate. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether their children get good grades or bad grades, but what does happen is that through this practice, the parents’ minds become clear, and they can be more clear in their relationships with their children.

    For such a seemingly large issue like this, followers of the Church should commit themselves to a little more individual practice, a little more individual prayer, whatever it is that helps to bring clarity into your minds and lives. That way, you can bring such clarity into your daily interactions with other people, which means that you can more easily help save all beings from suffering, not just victims of sexual abuse!

  4. Please don’t make comments about what you do not understand. My faith in the Church has given me life, and I cannot imagine my life without it. I’ve learned through Catholicism that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light, as I’m sure your faith has taught you. The people within the Church may be flawed in their human nature, but no mortal will ever cause my faith in Christ to falter. Instead of making generalizations about a faith you’ve never experienced, I humbly ask that you pray for Christian unity across all denominations so that together we might spread Christ’s perfect love and healing to whoever needs it.
    “A new commandment I give to you: love one another, as I have loved you” John 13:34

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