"I'm not ashamed to say that I haven't been ashamed of being a priest," writes Italian Father Pier Giordano Cabra, responding to the "media mocking" of the Catholic Church in recent days related to its handling of clerical sex abuse. While condemning the actions of culpable priests, he underlines the need to support those who are holy and honest.
In an article published over Holy Week in L'Osservatore Romano, Fr. Cabra calls the acts of pedophile priests, “shameful” and repeats Pope Benedict's words that "where there is filth" a cleaning is needed.
"This said," he continues, "I'm not ashamed to belong to a 'category' of people that has devoted their own lives to preparing children and young people for life, that has had the courage to promote with word and with example - yes, precisely with a good example - the ideal of a clean, ... respectful and generous life."
After recalling the the priests who contributed to his own formation and those he has known who "live for others, putting the dignity of the person” he notes that he "can't not see also greed" in the "media storm" of recent days that seeks to take advantage of the situation.” He accused the media of using the abuse cases as an “occasion to besmirch the Church and belittle its doctrine," which he points out, remains firm in not "confusing good and evil, dirty and clean."
"I think of the holy priests... and those (who are) honest. … By remembering them I feel pushed to look ahead with confidence," continues Fr. Cabra.
He also adds that attention should be paid "most of all to not flinging the first stone too easily."
Father Cabra concludes his article saying, "I'm not ashamed of being a priest. I'm only ashamed of not being a holy priest."
Fr. Pier Giordano Cabra is the author of a number of books based on spirituality including "You Will Love," "The Icons of the Consecrated Life," and "The Book of the Acts of the Apostles."