There are certain demons that only come out with prayer and fasting.
One of the frustrating features of many bishops’ statements has been a general call for prayer and repentance, but without any personal acknowledgement of guilt. I’m not aware at this writing of any bishop who has come forward to say what he knew and when he knew it. Even our best-responding bishops, to my knowledge, have provided sound condemnations without discussing their own place — whatever it might have been, however innocent — in the McCarrick affair and the like.
If we were to write a typical statement these days:
Oh yeah, this was terrible! Just terrible! I hate it! Someone sinned, but let’s not talk about exactly who. Y’all fast and pray, cause I know you are hurting because someone sinned! Um, okay I have to go now! Sorry my voicemail’s full! But you can totally trust me! Definitely not lying or evading! Y’all fast and pray, okay? Okay??
Well, we do need to fast and pray.
But it isn’t because of collective guilt. Many people are guilty, but let’s be clear: This is Catholic-on-Catholic abuse. This is a group of predators and enablers continuing to fail to take responsibility for their own actions.
So why do we fast and pray? Because we want this demonic behavior out of our Church.