St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436



From the Desk of Father Mac

August 19, 2018

My Dear Friends in Christ,

In today’s second reading Saint Paul warns the Ephesians: “Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15). Recent days have been evil in the Catholic Church in the wake of the abhorrent allegations of sexual misconduct perpetrated on minors and adult priests and seminarians by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, former cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington and the release of the horrific grand jury report in Pennsylvania describing terrible acts of abuse committed by 300 priests on over 1000 victims over a 70-year period. To make matters worse, it appears that scores of priests, bishops, and fellow cardinals knew of the allegations but a culture of cover-up prevented them from coming to light thus allowing the abuse to continue for decades. These allegations cause us anger, sadness, and shame, as well they should.

This latest crisis is a devastating blow to the Church. After weathering the clergy sex abuse crisis which began in 2002, it seemed that the Church was finally emerging from this dark period, but it is not to be. The case involving Archbishop McCarrick and the cases involving other priests and bishops reveals a grievous moral failure within the Church which leaves many asking “Has anything changed?”

Pope Francis, along with many bishops, is now calling for greater accountability and transparency in response to cases of alleged abuse, especially those involving bishops. There have been calls for independent review boards to investigate where breakdowns occurred in the McCarrick case and in Pennsylvania. There are also demands that Church policies be amended to more effectively address abuse, especially accountability of bishops.

These are all welcome steps but words, good intentions, and new policies are not enough. This is more than a crisis of policies and procedures. It is a profound spiritual crisis in our church which requires penance and conversion. I pray that this crisis will bring about a purification of the entire Catholic Church, a purification that is urgently needed if the Church is to continue to effectively preach the Gospel.

Instead of seeing this crisis as a reason to give up on our faith, I suggest that this is an invitation for the laity to re-discover their rightful share in the common priesthood of all the baptized, to give witness to Christ in their own lives and challenge the institutional church to get its house in order. We must be prophets, calling our church leaders to live and proclaim the truth in their words and their lives. We must demand more transparent and expedient responses to allegations of sexual abuse and demand more effective screening and formation of clergy to help prevent future abuse. 

Above all, we need to remind ourselves that we come to church because we believe in Christ, the living Bread come down from heaven as he proclaims in today’s Gospel.  We come to church, because we are broken and in need of healing which can only come through encounter with Christ in the Eucharist and a commitment to conversion.

In Christ,


For Information, please contact the Parish Office at or phone 818.986.8234


St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234


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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website:

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