A reader weighs in on SNAP’s Stockholm Syndrome

I found an interesting quote in a Boston Globe article about Bishop Lennon’s planned time of prayer and penance for priests over the scandal:

”There is certainly a role for the spiritual in getting out of this crisis, but it is only a limited role,” said Ann Hagan Webb, New England co-coordinator of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. ”What has happened is not spiritual; it is criminal and immoral. Prayer isn’t going to fix it. Action is going to fix it. Real changes are going to fix it.”

First of all, excuse me, but what happened is sin, and sin is spiritual, so what happened is spiritual. Second, if you don’t think prayer can fix it, then you obviously don’t believe in God, in which case you really have no business commenting on the situation.

This quote just goes to show that SNAP has no regard for approaching the situation from a perspective of faith.

Just so. To think that the Situation is not overwhelmingly rooted in sin and therefore in spiritual realities is to be stone blind to any hope of either resolving it or preventing it from happening again. Yes, pietism is not a replacement for action. But neither is a shallow activist mentality a replacement for rootedness in prayer and the Apostolic Tradition. It is the essence of catastrophically bad thinking (AKA “heresy”) to insist on choosing one or the other. In fact, prayer and action are necessary–and prayer is the top priority.


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