Michelangelo's Crucifixion in Santo
Spirito, Florence--the epitome of Divine
Compassion and a call to forgiveness of
This episode demonstrates that the vigor with which the issue of sex abuse is being pursued against Catholic clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors is not an attack on the Church. Sometimes you would think that sex abuse is a disease of the Catholic clergy and sometimes you would think that the venom with which bishops are often pursued for not having dealt effectively with reports of clerical abuse is masking an anti-Catholic or anti-Church campaign. And sometimes it might be. But the rancor that brought down Joe Paterno shows that there is an issue here that is not limited to the Church, will strike even heroes, and won’t go away until our society learns to deal effectively with protecting children. However, at the end of the day, I still feel terrible for Joe Paterno. Compassion doesn’t have to be limited to victims. Indeed, compassion never knows limits and reaches out to understand the suffering not only of the primary victims, nor even the bystanders like JoePa, but even the offenders. But then compassion is the most rare of virtues, and the most precious.