Church cant hide from problems

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These are tough times in the Catholic Church and the sudden resignation and subsequent arrest of the head of the church's Antigonish diocese is not going to make things any easier for the faithful.
After a Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest, Bishop Raymond Lahey surrendered to police in Ottawa late last wee, adding to what have been several days of shock and anguish among Catholics across the province.
Lahey's arrest is just the latest controversy to strike the church, but at first glance it's one that threatens to drive even more people away unless the church's leadership, including the Vatican, acts decisively and gives people reason to hold on to their faith.
Already under attack by critics for being too conservative when it comes to change, the church has been forced to deal with a number of sex scandals across North America - each one of which exposes new cracks in the foundation. These scandals have brought shame to a proud institution and are likely to bleed the church dry financially through settlements with victims and their families, including incidentally the settlement Lahey recently announced within his own diocese.
As the Lahey matter makes its way through the justice system, it will be important for the church to be up front with the flock. It has to remind people of the importance of maintaining their faith and cannot allow the actions of few to threaten the level of trust between those who go to church and those who lead. It would be too easy for the church to try to deflect what has happened or attempt to place a cone of silence over yet another indiscretion. Faced with fewer people in the pews and fewer donations in the collection plate, this is really the last thing this church - or any church for that matter - needs to face.
The Roman Catholic Church has a long and storied tradition stretching across centuries. It has had more than its share of problems, and scandals, in the past. But, with much more choice out there when it comes to religion, it cannot continue to stick its head in the sand and tell its members that there's nothing to see.

Organizations: Roman Catholic Church

Geographic location: Antigonish, Canada, Ottawa Vatican North America

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