“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
I am all cried out. I have no more tears―only deep groans and righteous indignation. Yet again, we are suffering #ChurchToo aftershocks following the February 22 revelation that the revered, internationally beloved Jean Vanier (1928-2019), founder of L’Arche (“the ark”), was for decades sexually abusing six women who worked with him.
The dissonance boggles the mind.
Shock, disillusionment, spiritual vertigo? It’s hard to find words to capture the moment for those who once flourished under his influence. Hard to fathom the trauma and betrayal those six women have suffered for years, or the courage they summoned to speak up against such a larger-than-life man. Who knows how far or deeply this pain will ripple into the lives of countless long-distance mentees whose trust in Vanier is shattered?
We seem to be drowning in stories of Christian leaders whose lives are painful reminders that the warnings from Jesus and Paul about “wolves in sheep’s clothing” is not much ado about nothing. Vanier wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. But this is no time for tears. So I am giving up my tears for Lent and turning my anger into a call for action.