I realize what I’m asking the Church to do is a pure fantasy. There are insurance companies and consultants and a million unimaginable Machiavellian machinations behind the Vatican’s curtain. No one’s going to advise the Church to admit it all without putting up a fight. Though the Church is asking for mercy and appears contrite, it is using much of the same legal strategy as secular predators such as Bill Cosby.
I can’t say that suffering from acute scrupulosity was all bad. Holding myself to those ridiculously high standards has fostered a sense of fairness and compassion. I am the one to whom my family turns for advice when faced with a moral conundrum. My Jewish in-laws refer to me at the rebbetzin.
But I don’t worry about hell like I used to when I was 11. Nowadays, I swear without feeling guilty, especially when someone mentions the Church’s effort to save its reputation. I don’t need a rosary or a priest’s absolution to feel whole and worthwhile. I refuse to feel guilty turning my back on an institution determined to hide behind its wealth and power.