I write this blogpost as an angry, disappointed, faithful Roman Catholic.
I am not some wild eyed Catholic hater who wants to destroy the Church.
But any faithful Catholic who has not seen the fertile field that our Church has become for Sexual Predators is not seeing reality. I grew up in a great parish in suburban Chicago a place where I was nurtured and supported but even in that environment two priests were removed for the sexual abuse of boys. In our safe place these things happened and the evil was not dealt with properly. The Church chose to protect pedophiles and to allow the abuse of Children....
We as faithful Catholics have seen our institutions destroyed, Hospitals, Parishes, Schools, Universities, that WE paid for with our hard earned dollars have been sold to pay for the evil decisions of Bishops to protect sexual criminals. Our money has been taken to pay for the sexual violence that was perpetrated on our Children.
After college I worked as a Catholic Lay Missioner in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It was the greatest experience of my life and I met Priests and Sisters who were the "real deal". I think about those people, people like Sister Fulvia a Franciscan Sister who worked with prostitutes, Fr Ignacio Harding OFM who embodied St Francis and Fr Oscar DeWulf who really lived and worked to educate the poor and my heart is filled with what is possible. These people reaffirmed my Faith but they are in many ways the exception- not the rule.
I also knew other priests and sisters who were not so saintly. I knew Bishops who had mistresses and Children. I knew Catholic sisters who had affairs with priests and when they got pregnant they were expelled from their orders while the Priests were sent to better postings. I heard rumors about other evils done by priests and brothers to young boys and how nothing was really done about those evils. I also experienced the strong misogyny of a clergy made up of so many sexually underdeveloped men. Men who obviously were not comfortable with women and who had odd proclivities.
I was not surprised by Sexual Crimes that were exposed. What has surprised me is the fact that Bishops chose to ignore or avoid these problems. They chose to protect priests who committed crimes.
- Pope John Paul II gets lauded by Conservative Catholics as a Saint. He is in fact guilty of allowing thousands of Children's abuse
- Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, is also guilty of allowing Children to be abused.
- The Sexual Culture of My Church is sick and needs reforming.
- Women in our Church are abused and ignored everyday.
- When Women Religious dare to challenge the Church they get investigated as they are now.
In the end I remain a practicing Catholic because I believe in the Eucharist. I believe that the Church has produced so much good. Just in our own country we have produced Catholics like Cesar Chavez, Flannery O' Connor, Dorothy Day, Cardinal Spelman, Thomas Merton, John Courtney Murray, Fr. Jacque Marquette, St Francesca Cabrini, Bishop John Ireland, Robert and John Kennedy and so many more. I believe in the Catholic people who struggled to build Churches and Schools in a nation that hated them because they were Catholics and my heart breaks when I see our Bishops and our Popes violating that trust.
If Pope Benedict were a CEO and he did what he did he would be indicted or fired. Perhaps that is what he should do? Maybe we are in need of Reform? Pope Benedict deserves all the derision he is receiving. He allowed a priest in Milwaukee to abuse hundreds of young Deaf boys. There is a special place in hell for someone who allows that kind of evil to continue.
Where is our St Teresa of Avila?
Where is our St Francis?
Where is our Cluny?
Where is our St John XXIII?
Deo Gratia +