Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Snakehandlers Needed.

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Snakehandlers Needed.

Article excerpt

The sexual abuse crisis in the church reminds writer Jo McGowan of an encounter with a venomous snake at her home in India. "We knew it was in [our garage], but we could think of no safe way to approach it.... In the end, we had to empty the whole place, one box at a time, slowly and painstakingly, holding our breath lest we disturb it.... We managed to trap it in a box and carry it out to the woods, where we released it.

"There are people who are so terrified of snakes that they would prefer to sell the house and move somewhere else rather than have to face the beast down. Others react with a foolhardy bravado, claiming ... that snakes are not really that dangerous, Two of my siblings have left the church because of [this scandal].... For me, however, leaving isn't an option. It seems too much like moving to another house because a snake got into the garage. Why should I leave?"

But "just as the discovery of the snake forced us to carefully dismantle the garage, looking into each and every closed carton and trunk, pushing aside piles of accumulated junk, and cleaning behind the towering heaps of newspapers, old bottles and cans, so is the present crisis an opportunity to confront the waste and debris clogging up our church. …

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