Lord Jesus, I lift my saddened spirit to you in humility and faith—also in great hope and trust that your Spirit is guiding my beloved Roman Catholic Church. I believe this, even as the fires of the sex abuse scandal lick around the feet of Pope Benedict XVI.
Lord, bring the triumphalism of our pope and hierarchy to its knees. Let the secrecy and protectionism that shroud your Good News and saving mission in the world end. Give light to our Holiness, Eminences, and Excellencies who have lost their way. Turn their inevitable humiliation into a grace that will purify our defective Church and heal it of its sins. May your gospel no longer be muddied by holy, but empty, words that coddle scandalous behavior in preference to virtue and fidelity. For only by acknowledging their current blindness can our leaders return to their apostolic roots and restore the Body of Christ to full health and vigor.
Lord, inspire our Holy Father to take responsibility for the current rebuke and ridicule that has fallen on our heads. Let him declare a period of “Universal Repentance,” as the King of Nineveh did, when the humbled prophet Jonah called for confession and reparation. And from the sackcloth of this top-down admission of guilt, raise up a newly baptized and cleansed Church to bask in the glory of your divine Light.
Finally, let the renewal for which I pray begin in me. I make this earnest prayer with confidence in the guiding presence of your most Holy Spirit. Amen.