There is no good in saying other than the truth. The church at this state has no credibility, no standing and no moral authority. The issue is now one of trust, and that is why it will take the rest of my lifetime as a priest to build up that trust again, because the trust and confidence in the church has been broken on a fundamental level. . . . I must admit I am angry at the way the abuse was handled. I feel betrayed and let down to a terrible extreme.This is the wages of decades of covering up sexual abuse by priests and the horrific treatment of many orphans in church-run schools.
The impulse to hide unpleasant truths is strong, especially for those who feel they are fundamentally working for good. There are two problems with sweeping everything under the rug as a policy. First, it makes it easier for problems to go on and on, and even to fester to ever worse levels. Second, when the lies are exposed, the reaction is all the worse.
I feel for men like Father Canny, forced to labor amidst the ruination of disastrous church policy. It will indeed be a life's work for him to regain the trust of his neighbors, no matter how moral and hardworking he is himself.