In our preaching this week we’re looking at the movie Spotlight, the story of how reporters at the Boston Globe uncovered widespread child molestation in the Catholic Church. How could such injustice exist in the church? How could the church abandon the most vulnerable? There are no easy answers, especially when the effects of abuse are so widespread and devastating.
Perhaps the place to begin is here: Why do we believe it’s wrong for the strong to oppress the weak? After all, some cultures believe that might makes right; the weak are there to serve the needs of the strong. It is largely because of the teachings of Jesus Christ, who lived among the most vulnerable, that we believe that every person is of infinite value. In other words, it is the Christian faith which teaches us that abuse is wrong. For example, it was Christians who led the fight to end slavery in the 19th century, even though many Christians owned slaves.
When we’re forsaken; when we see the vulnerable being abandoned, we should remember the last words of Jesus on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus stuck with his plan for redemption knowing that the only way to end injustice, without ending us in the process, was for Jesus to be abandoned.
When it comes to moral goodness, church leaders often fail. The church is at its best only to the extent that it takes part in the suffering of Christ.