“I’m Still Paralyzed”: What Should a Priest Do When a Stranger Yells “Pedophile!” at the Store?

@frgoyo, Twitter

Of course this happens now.

Everyone knows now about the extremely evil sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Children, teens, even adult seminarians and priests have all been preyed upon by their ecclesiastical superiors.

In addition to the horrific evils the victims have suffered, the Church’s hierarchy has obviously lost a lot of credibility. People used to trust the clergy, but that trust has been broken. Catholics and non-Catholics are now suspicious of priests and bishops.

Fr. Goyo Hidalgo is a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who’s pretty active on social media. Yesterday, he posted a 14-tweet thread about how a stranger recently yelled “pedophile priest” at him at a store, and how the experience has gotten him thinking about how a priest like him should respond. It’s a powerful thread, and we’ve shared it below.

Eastern orthodox commentator and journalist Rod Dreher said of this story: “An important thread. I’ve long said that aside from actual victims and their families, the ones who suffer the most from this scandal are the innocent priests, who have to bear the shame of their corrupt brothers, and the bishops who protected them.”

Here’s the thread:

He’s right.  We’re all rightfully angry at these crimes and their cover-up. Catholics, lay and clergy, shouldn’t get defensive. We should do all we can to help the victims and prevent these crimes from happening again.

[See also: The American Church Is on Fire and Has Been for Decades: A Priest Writes What He Really Thinks]

[See also: This Powerful Meme Tells the Hard Truth About Mistreatment of the Eucharist in Our Parishes]