At Mass this morning I noted how it was fortuitous that the so-called Summit on Abuse at the Vatican was beginning today, on the feast of St. Peter Damian, a great reformer-saint (and Benedictine) of the 11th century, who contended against the very scourges that afflict the Church today.
I mentioned his book, The Book of Gomorrah, in which he inveighed against the moral laxity and sexual incontinence of the clergy of the Italian peninsula during his time — including homosexuality, pedophilia, and concubinage. A new, critical edition of the book came out in English in the past few years (link), including a biographical section on this great Saint and Doctor of the Church, whose suggestions were received by popes and thus contributed to true reform in another scandalous period of history.
As I have been saying from the pulpit, true reform in the Church happens when saints rise up; in other words, we ourselves must be reformed and become holy for there to be any meaningful and lasting improvement. Our own holiness helps cause “all the other ships to rise”. Our prayers and sacrifices contribute to needed atonement and reparation for the atrocious crimes and sins of some, and obtain special graces of healing for victims and repentance for perpetrators.
St. Peter Damian, PRAY FOR US!