About tonight, and the prayer service/public apology.
I finally decided to turn the television on.
It was already determined that I would be at prayer at six o'clock, the appointed hour. First, it was my job and duty. Secondly, prayer is the only effective way I have to deal with fear --- and I had lots of fear. Fear that my bishop would fail in strength, and become overcome with tears before he could finish. Fear that some church politician would create a statement apart from reality and make it be recited. Fear that the crowd at Mater Christi might be vicious and publicly reject forgiveness, or that the media presence would become a circus.
All the things I feared were unfulfilled, thanks be to God!
Yes, he was a bit gaunt and grey-complected. He entered attended by a single deacon, who presided. The Scripture readings were Psalm 51 and the "Peter,do you love me?" passage from St. John's Gospel. The text of the apology was most definitely his own, with candor that flabbergasted the local news telking-heads. He sought forgiveness for the right things, especially his capitulation to fear in allowing the settlement agreement, rather than dealing with the suit in the open.
The full text is available at www.archmil.org/default.asp and at www.jsonline.com/news/metro/may02/47597.asp
When the prayer service was over, he left with the deacon during the closing hymn, through the sacristry, preventing any media circus but also denying himself any comfort from the people in the chapel.
Archbishop Rembert, I will always owe you a great debt. You taught me, and you showed me by your example, how to live a simple and single and submitted life in this world and time. May you be permitted at least a little of that quiet retirement for which you had planned, and the growth and the healing for which you plead.
And, Bishop Sklba, and whoever comes to be the next Archbishop: it remains my job to keep you always in prayer, and I intend, with God's help, to fulfill that duty faithfully --- for that is part of what it means to dwell in an anchor hold.
karen marie firstname.lastname@example.org