For the people of Holy Cross, Batavia

Hang in there.

The news you got is less than happy, of course. (For those who don’t know, their pastor, Msgr. Aaron Brodeski, was arrested for indecent exposure.) It’s been a long time since I played there, at least a decade. But I knew a few people who went there, and I’ve chatted with one of the parochial vicars a couple times at confirmation (where he was master of ceremonies), and I’m a nearby Catholic, so I feel very bad and send my sympathies. A few related thoughts:

Don’t presume he’s guilty, but be prepared for it. We don’t know how the legal process will work out. It is possible that he’s innocent, but, of course, there’s the other possible result.

Surround everyone with prayer.  That includes Msgr. Brodeski, your parish, and the victims. If he’s guilty, Msgr. Brodeski likely will need plenty of treatment and counseling if he’s ever to resume ministry, which is probably not a given. The parish is in flux. The victims are potentially traumatized. That’s a lot of pain, and everyone needs support.

See to the other priests. They have lived with Msgr. Brodeski and probably consider him a friend. And they’re baby priests, who need encouragement and care anyway.

Remember that the faith isn’t dependent on us fallible men. Remember the crucifixion? The apostles were all screwups. We’ve had bad priests, bad bishops, and bad popes.  Our faith isn’t in men, but in God.

Remember that priests are human. And they have a terribly challenging job, one where Satan is cheerily after them. It’s high-stress work. with a zillion demands and everyone dumping their problems on them and expecting them to solve them. If the stress gets to them and they don’t have a proper release, it can manifest in destructive ways.

Hang in there, friends. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and help you work through this very difficult time.

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4 responses to “For the people of Holy Cross, Batavia

  1. Dr. Thomas Salvi

    Monsignor Aaron Brodeski is a great man and an exemplary priest. I’m know him personally and I have always experienced a kind, genuine, and wonderful man of God.
    IF he made a mistake, he should be quickly forgiven and re-instated as a priest. I would LOVE if he were to come back to our parish. We would be blessed to have him back.
    I fear that the leaders of the Church, who KNOW that every word I have stated is absolutely TRUE, will cave to the pressure of the media; a media who are determined to destroy the Catholic Church and abuse these situations by condemning people for their political gain.
    If the Church leaders cave, such a failure would by far more offensive to this Catholic than anything Monsignor Brodeski has been accused of.
    Keep the faith, be strong, and keep going, Monsignor !!!

    • Dear Dr. Salvi:

      Thanks for chiming in.

      May I gently suggest that all of us try very hard to avoid letting this fall into an us-vs.-them mentality. Yes, there are forces opposing the Church on, well, pretty much everything. But if Msgr. Brodeski is guilty of the crime in question, he still deserves discipline from the legal system and from the Church. And he would need care and counseling to help him understand why he did what he did. I believe he can, and should, return to ministry (presuming no other allegations), but we must understand that his priesthood is forever, and seriously, changed by what has happened. We cannot unring the bell. Things cannot go back to the way they were, no matter how much we may wish it.

      I’m more than willing to acknowledge that Msgr. Brodeski is a good man, even though I don’t know him and don’t believe I’ve met him. But good men can fail, sometimes spectacularly or in a most humiliating manner. Our response cannot be denial or deflection; it must be mercy and prayer.

  2. Dr. Thomas Salvi

    Years have past, and I still cannot understand your response. You sound “compassionate” in words, yet are condemning and judgmental. Criticize my analysis as you’d like, but I’m right.

    Much of the Church is trying to rationalize gay marriage and acceptance to communion. I’m trying to forgive and move on. Where do you stand on these two issues? Be PRECISE in your answer, please

    • Dr. Salvi:

      I’m sorry, but I literally have no idea what you’re talking about, nor how you have drawn it from what I wrote. Nor can I understand why, three years later, on a blog I don’t have time to update often, this bothers you to the point that you have chosen to reply.

      I am going to use my energies on serving Holy Mother Church. I will not use them on entertaining silliness. I wish you the best.

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