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By sweeping this under the rug, the church is saying when things skate too close to the pope himself, then perhaps it’s time the public backed off a little — in the interests of the church and all the good it’s done through the centuries.To hear the argument, drawing attention to our one fault, our one sin, potentially blots out the benevolent things we’ve done. Or in the case of these pedophiles, the benevolent things they’ve done. Is it asking too much to overlook their predatory behavior?

Critics will say I’ve taken too many liberties with this column. That I’m overlooking key developments or that such talk will serve only to weaken the church. I want to see a stronger Catholic Church. One that leads. Not one that is sheepish or keeps to the shadows because of unconfessed sins and unreconciled behaviors.

We stand in the midst of questionable times. Doubt creeps and lurks all around us. Like the great economic and political revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries, they also contained equally powerful spiritual revivals such as the Second Great Awakening. We need such a revival. Our very souls cry out for such an awakening. The Catholic Church should take up that mantle, but first it must get right with its Maker.

“The Armstrong Williams Show” is broadcast on XM Satellite’s Power 169 channel from 9 to 10 p.m. weeknights.