March 12, 2003
faith - as well as life - integrity does matter
Question: (S-006) The sexual abuse scandal in the
Roman Catholic Church has not been handled well by those
in charge. In your opinion, will that part of the Church
suffer in membership growth in the years ahead? Will other
faith based groups or churches be tarnished by what has
happened with the Romans? In other words, do people at
large see a difference in religious groups or do they
just lump them all together?
Response: Society is tarnished by abusive behaviors.
Such behaviors corrupt, and when ignored, degenerate from
corrosive to destructive. They cost any institution its
reputation, productivity and support financial
and otherwise. It is bad business for the church. It is
bad business for government. It is bad business, period.
human beings do perceive differences, both subtle and
obvious. At least one can assume such thoughtfulness of
those who see inappropriate behaviors whether in business,
politics, or the church. When stresses increase and individuals
feel fears, economic or cultural, there can be a tendency
to close ranks and harden judgments.
this time in history, integrity is under attack, whether
by commission or omission, and levels of trust are eroding
in too many areas.
People may lump religious leadership into one category
Society will right itself and balance will
Those looking for reasons to discount spirituality along
with organized religion will find reasons.
Those predisposed to take spirituality seriously will
continue to do so. Even imperfect religious organizations,
founded to spread the message of love, compassion, repentance,
and forgiveness, will experience certain renewal and restoration.
leaders in government, business and education can change
how they function by becoming more responsive to their
constituencies, then religious leadership can as well.
Maintain the long view of history and have faith in the
common sense of most people. Legitimate values remain.
Know your own, seek those who share your priorities and
be ready to blow the whistle on those who
attempt to corrupt that which you hold precious. After
all, integrity matters.