Every once in a while I realize that the clergy sexual abuse crisis remains the defining characteristic of the Catholic priesthood for many people. And in some ways, I'm glad.
I'm glad because it calls me to accountability. What is most heinous about the sexual abuse was not the abuse itself--as horrible as it is--but the failure of accountability on the part of pastors and bishops.
Everyone who has a public ministry in the Church, from the lector at weekdays Mass right up to the Pope, owes the people of God public accountability for the health of their vocation and their spirituality. I should be prepared for someone to come up to me and ask, "Do you remember when you were ordained deacon, and you promised to keep the daily Liturgy of the Hours for my sake and for the world? Are you faithful to it?" Or I should welcome my Capuchin brother who takes me to task for the hour of mental prayer I have promised to keep each day.