By Milanaka Lachman (Founder of 206 Tours)
Like most Catholics I have been frozen in shock, disgust, embarrassment, and took few days to reflect on scandal, to pray for victims, all those who we looked up to, in authority, those we prayed for every day, the very that have failed us, and left us feeling so humiliated.
I have been praying to Our Blessed Mother to intervene, to help all victims who are hurting heal, to give church and its people strength to firmly pursue truth and justice!
I have been mad and shaken to my core is understatement. My heart shatters with every single thought of a monster-priest who has injected pain to the most innocent.
I am sad for the faith which has been crushed across the globe.
This scandal has effected everyone, faithful members of Church across the globe. It hits me, my home, my business and all that I have done for the past 33 years in a very dramatic way. I have spent most of my life coordinating thousands of pilgrimage journeys across the globe. All were led by a Catholic priest, as after all, every pilgrimage should include daily Mass. I have come to know several thousand priests as very dedicated spiritual directors and leaders. Some were charismatic, others were reserved, shy, gave boring homilies, some told jokes that were not funny, some were conservative others have shown a more liberal views, some even drank too much, but — they they all exuded great love for Jesus, they have all shepherded pilgrims to the best of their ability on their journey to God.
My pilgrimage mission will continue, as I know with 100% certainty that the journey is towards God.
I beg you to pray for all good priests who are unfairly being judged, and who are suffering, perhaps more than anyone.
In 33 years, I was never told, and I was never aware of any abuse by a priest on 206 Tours pilgrimage. So I asked myself, over and over—how could this be? The only thing I come up is that – cowards evil priests do not like Pilgrimages!?
Yesterday, God forgive me, I did the unthinkable, I asked my web-manager to remove image of Pope Francis from our most popular Pilgrimage of Italy (tour 96). I am so angry! Angry for him not telling us what he knew, and if he did not know, then I am angry at him for not making it his business to know!
There have been scandals in the past. Nothing like this. The sadness over this horrific scandal will linger on for a long time, perhaps for generations.
The offenders and those who have covered up the accused must be brought to justice.
Love is telling the truth, no matter how much it hurts. Victims, and we, the people, deserve the truth.
It is time for repentance!!