I want to share a beautiful and profound homily by Reverend Edmond
Kline. Many people have offered thanks to me for sharing this sermon- even
a dear friend who’s husband committed suicide after being abused by
a predatory priest.
“I printed out this homily and will read it again and again.”
Because it is so worthy, I wanted to share it’s profound beauty with a
You can find it online here as well.
May it be a blessing for you!
“Yesterday, I went
to ICU to give a Catholic patient Holy Communion. I could see the patient was clearly
distressed. She said, “Father you have no
idea how much I have been wanting to receive Jesus in Holy Communion.”
I gave her Holy Communion and was about to
walk out of her room when she said, “Father I am so upset. What do
you think about all those priests abusing those children?”
She said, “When the Boston scandal came out years ago,
I was going to leave the Catholic Church. But my husband convinced me to stay
and I was glad I did. Now, my husband wants to leave the Church and I want to
She said, “I love my Church. I
can’t imagine becoming Episcopalian or Lutheran or some other religion, yet I
am so disgusted with my Church.”
said, “I am so angry that so many priests
abused all those innocent children. It’s disgusting.”
I said, “I am not only angry
because of the children abused. I am angry because some of the bishops covered
I said, “Pride caused the
bishops to be more concerned about protecting their status, then protecting
I said, “Don’t leave the Church, the Catholic Church is
one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. The Church is going through terrible
times, but it’s the bride of Christ and Jesus will purify His Church. He will
make all things better. The Catholic Church has the true presence of Jesus in
the Eucharist. All of this depravity is caused by the devil, who is attacking
our Church and we need to stand up for our Church and we need to tell the devil,
to go to hell.”
She said, “Will you
speak about it from the pulpit? I know my priest from my parish won’t say a
She said, “You probably feel
like everyone is looking at you as though you have done something wrong.”
said, “Yes, I will speak about it. And yes,
I feel like people stare at me as though I have done something wrong.”
both said we would pray for each other and then I departed her room.
My dear friends,
the revelation of the abuse of children by Catholic priests and the covering up
of the abuse by bishops– has caused many to be scandalized. We are angry, we
are sad. We feel shame. Yet, there is one
person who has suffered more than anyone else, who feels more pain than anyone
else and that person is Jesus. There are two words in the bible I think that
best express the way Jesus feels today. The words are John Chapter 11 verse 35.
Do you recall why Jesus
wept? He wept because of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a symbol of the Church. Today,
He weeps because of what is happening in His Church.
I have a picture
of Jesus crowned with thorns over my bed. It’s called the “Ecce Homo” picture, which means “Behold the Man”.
In the picture you can see a tear falling down the
face of Jesus.
Jesus wept, when each child was abused.
Jesus wept when the
families of the children found out about it.
Jesus wept when Our Lord saw His
sacred ministers use the authority of their status to hurt children.
when they offered the Holy Mass making it a sacrilege due to their sin.
wept when He saw the sacred priesthood defamed.
Jesus wept when he saw the
children grow up to become adults and have emotional problems.
How they fail to
come to know God’s love because they were betrayed by someone who represented
Jesus wept when His bishops, who are
apostles betrayed the children.
Jesus wept when He saw the people of His Church
and the people throughout the world scandalized.
Jesus wept, when He saw people
leave His Church and others not to join the Church because of this scandal.
Love. Forgiveness. Reparation. Call to Action. Hope.What is our
response today? We are to love the abused and love the abusers. Most
especially, we should show our love for those who have been hurt that they will
come to know Jesus suffered with them at that terrible moment. Our love will
cause us to make sure we help establish ways to protect children.
Our love will
cause us to pray they discover God’s love and healing. Sexual abuse is not
limited to the Catholic Church, it’s in every institution and every religion. Over
years as a priest, I met many sexually abused by their father, by their uncle,
or by someone else they trusted and have seen real healing occur by those who spend
time before Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Over a period of time, when
committed to making a weekly Holy Hour, Jesus gently and slowly helps them to
heal and begin to feel loved. He can change their lives.It’s tempting for
us to want revenge and to feel deep anger and even hatred to those who abused
children. But that’s not Christian. Jesus even loved Judas. All He wanted Judas
to do- was to be sorry for his betrayal. To trust in His mercy. But Judas
despaired and as far as we know did not ask for forgiveness. God’s mercy is for
everyone, but it needs to be asked for.Do you recall
Jesus was betrayed with a kiss, by Judas. Our Lord was stripped of His clothes.
He was held down and nailed to the Cross. He was defiled. He was innocent. He was pure. He was sinless.
He was like a lamb led to the slaughter. Jesus said, “What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” What
they did to the children, they did to Jesus. Our Lord suffered in the children.
God is inside us through baptism and so when we feel pain, or sorrow or
distress, Jesus feels that pain, sorrow and distress.In Eucharistic prayer
one, it describes the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist as: “The pure victim. The holy victim. The
spotless victim.” Jesus understands the pain and suffering of the innocent
victims of child abuse because He Himself was a victim. He knows what it is
like to be betrayed by someone whom He trusted.
The word “Host” means victim. On the altar Jesus comes inside the Host
as the eternal victim and then comes to give us His love in Holy Communion. The
more abuse victims receive Jesus in Holy Communion, the more love they receive
from Him, allow Him to soothe their pain and comfort them in their sorrow. When
receiving Communion, the divine Victim gives His love to the human victim.We must love the Judas
betrayers who victimized children. In the simplicity and the purity of their
hearts, children trust adults, but woe to those who betray their trust by
hurting them. Jesus said, “It is
inevitable that scandals will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be
better for him
neck and to be thrown
than to cause one
of these little ones to be
There is a
poem Fr. Leo Clifford used to recite about Judas and Jesus. The poem goes like this:
Judas, if true love never ceases
how could you, my friend, have come to this:
To sell me for thirty silver pieces
and betray me with a kiss?
Judas, remember what I taught you,
do not despair while hanging on the rope.
It’s because you sinned that I have sought you;
I came to give you hope.
Judas, let us pray and hang together,
you on your halter, I upon my hill.
Dear friend, even if you loved me never,
you know I love you still.
Forgive. We need to
forgive our priests and bishops in their colossal moral failure. Though we can
never understand how someone’s mind can become so depraved as to defile innocent
children for their own pleasure, we must forgive. We need to pray for the
priests who have injured the innocent, tarnished the priesthood and gave
scandal to believers and non-believers alike.
We must forgive the bishops who placed their reputations and pride over
the safety of innocent children. We need to pray for them. We need to pray that
those who have been abused will be able to open their hearts to forgive their
Reparation. We need to make
reparation to console the Heart of Jesus so wounded by these sins. We can make
reparation by making a Holy Hour once a week before Jesus in an adoration
chapel or before Jesus in a tabernacle in any church. We can make reparation by
offering the graces from the Masses we attend and the graces from our Holy
Call to Action. It is time for
the laity to get involved and make things happen. You must take action. What action
can you do? First, pray the Holy Rosary, knowing the Rosary is powerful against
evil. Second, fast. To fast once a week for the victims and to fast for bishops
and priests that they may be holy. Fasting is powerful against the workings of
the devil. Third. We need to pray the St. Michael prayer every day and do the
Novena requested by the Bishop. We are battling against evil –against the
diabolical. Fourth. We need to make our voices heard demanding the Vatican and
the US Bishops adequately deal with this crisis to prevent it from happening
Hope. We have hope because Church is the bride of
Christ and He will never forsake her. Jesus said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against her. Our hope is
founded on Jesus Himself. God is always victorious. In the end, we win. In the
end, the devil will be cast into hell forever and the victims will be rewarded
in heaven for being faithful, for trusting God, for persevering. We have hope
that these terrible crimes of abuse are very rare today. We have hope because
in 2005, the Vatican said those who have homosexual inclinations should not be
ordained. We have hope because Pope Benedict changed canon law to clerics who
abuse children are excommunicated from the Catholic Church. We have hope because the report dating back 70
years taken from the secret files of the dioceses chanceries indicated only 2
out of 300, of the accused, were still in active ministry today. They are
either dead or no longer in ministry. We have hope because due to the policies
implemented 12 years ago by the US bishops, the percentage of credible
accusations dropped from 4% to .005 in the past two years. We have hope because
there are many good and holy priests, who sacrifice themselves for God’s people
and proclaim the truth. And the words of
Jesus about His true presence in the Eucharist give us hope. He said, “If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you
will remain in me and I in you”. And
“If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will live forever.”My friends, as we
gaze upon the victim of victims in the Sacred Host, we see the face of God, who
loves us, is with us in our suffering and wants to give us His peace. Through
the intercession of Mary, may God make all things new and restore the Church to
its original beauty as His spotless bride.”
You can find more of Father Kline’s homilies online at:
http:// SundayHomiliesforSundayHomilyS eekers.com/
Much love and prayers for each of you!
May God continue to bless and heal us and His Church!
© Janet Moore 2018. All Rights Reserved.