Chapter Three: We have been here before

We have been here before


This week, we focus on Chapter 3 of Bishop Robert Barron’s new book, Letter to a Suffering Church, which our parish is reading together.

Bishop Barron observes that while our present abuse crisis is unique in many ways, the current darkness must be seen in historical perspective.

The Church, from the very beginning and at every point in its development, has been marked to varying degrees by sin, scandal, stupidity, misbehavior, misfortune, and wickedness.

In this chapter, Bishop Barron recounts some of the misdeeds and outrageous sins of priests, bishops, and popes in Catholic history.

But he also shows how the Church still emerged on the other side, since there is nevertheless something good, even indestructibly good, about the Mystical Body of Christ.

Watch this short video for more:


  • Why is it useful to point out and understand prior scandals?
  • Compare the accounts of past Church scandals with the current abuse crisis. What are the similarities and differences?
  • Have there been cases of sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable people by clergy in the past?

Return to Book Study Home Page