Young Catholic men, we have a problem.
It’s a problem that is going to require all of our courage, confidence and creativity to solve. It’s a problem that affects many of our friends; it might even be affecting you. Finally, it’s a problem that’s frustrating many of the beautiful, wonderful, young Catholic women in our lives.
We aren’t dating them.
Yesterday, at 10:30am (local time) the Victoria Police announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences” against Cardinal George Pell.
Pell is Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser, the previous head of the Catholic Church in Australia, and the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged for sexual abuse. He’s also my old boss.
Seems relatively straightforward, right?
Those two little words certainly don’t seem to warrant a 2000+ word, 3 part, explanatory guide. But the reality is that “I’m sorry”, by itself, usually isn’t enough.
More than anything else, I would argue that the vast majority of day-to-day conflict is caused by misunderstanding.
Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes that people tend to approach things autobiographically – meaning that our approach to conflict is shaped by our own experience, our own motives, our own fears and frustrations.
This issue with this is when someone’s response or feelings fall outside of our understanding we often handle it poorly.
What follows is a series about what has probably been the hardest life lesson I’ve ever had to learn.
The first piece of writing I ever had published was about break ups. I wrote it in my last year of high school and it was titled If your heart was truly broken, you’d be dead. That cynical title sets the tone of the piece pretty well. You can read it here, but before you do, let me give a bit of a disclaimer.
I wrote the article a couple of weeks after breaking up with my best friend. I don’t mean that in the obligatory-refer-to-your-significant-other-as-your-best-friend-in-a-Facebook-anniversay-post kind of way; I mean this girl had been my best friend and partner in crime for several years before we starting going out. Our relationship was a John Green novel waiting to happen. Once we started dating, everyone just assumed it was going to last.