Pastor's Message

September 16, 2018


How To Address the Sex abuse Crisis & Reform the Church
This summer has been a devastating one for victims of clerical sexual abuse.  Many have carried their hurts for decades revealed by the report issued by the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.  And one in particular, James, was abused as a boy by our former Archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, now consigned to live in seclusion until he faces a church trial.  The N.J. Attorney General has set up a 24/7 hotline so victims in N.J. can seek redress.  The truth has to come out fully before we can address the needed church reforms.
Our Archbishop, Joseph Cardinal Tobin, invited the Archdiocese to our cathedral last Friday for a Service of Reconciliation and Healing.  A victim of abuse spoke alongside the Cardinal.  The cardinal also released a video on the archdiocesan website:  I encourage you to watch.  I think our cardinal will lead us to a deeper understanding of what we must do and invite all of us to be a part of the healing and solution for a better church.
I know that some parishioners are angry but perhaps even more do not even care enough to say anything and have not darkened the doors of a church since these abuses were first revealed in the 1980’s.  The church is not the only institution plagued by the abuse of children but the most shocking because of what we stand for and profess.  Since 2002 when the bishops of the U.S. enacted a zero tolerance policy, any priest or church employee with a credible accusation is removed until the case is resolved.  This has made a big difference.
But a deeper and larger question is the role of laity in church leadership and administration.  I do think that this crisis requires that the church truly embody the church as the People of God especially giving leadership roles to women.  The cardinal has appointed Sr. Donna Ciangio, O.P., as our new chancellor, the third highest position in the Archdiocese.
I invite the parish to come to a meeting hosted by our LGBT group this Wednesday, September 19, 2018, from 7:30 to 9 PM in the Parish Center.  We want to hear from our parishioners: what are your concerns, questions, suggestions and insights.  I hope many will come.  Only together will we come out of this crisis and have a purer, more collaborative and healthier church.
Fr. Alex Santora

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