Letters to the Editor

Disagreement with Fr. Rolheiser's "How to Respond" to abuse crisis

Every week I look forward to Fr. Rolheiser's column. After reading “How to Respond,” I find myself in disagreement. Father suggests that we should look to Mary at the cross to seek how we should respond to the current revelations of clergy sexual abuse.

The Blessed Mother is always the one I go to in times of trouble and uncertainty. Always she does one thing. She points to her son. Every question is always answered by pointing us to Christ.

Fr. Rolheiser says that Christ assumes our guilt so that no one looking at the three crosses on Calvary can perceive the non-guilty. All are rendered the same.

Thanks to Mary we can actually see that difference, hear that difference. Nailed to the cross, abandoned by his companions, the just ordained first bishops of the Church.

Scourged and beaten and finally crucified by the Romans, Christ gives us the only example of what we should do after we put our “mouth to the dust.” Christ forgives the Romans, forgives the Apostles, and forgives us.

In all the years we have been dealing with this scandal, we have tried many approaches. First, the second great shame, we lied and covered up. Second, we paid huge ransoms — we tried to buy back our good name with money.

Now, with the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” we wail in anger, shame, and revenge. We revile and deeply desire the hardest and most severe punishment of the perpetrators. Across this great divide we await vindication and the soothing words, “You are not to blame.”

Who are we trying to comfort, the victims or ourselves? We do not like to feel the shame that accompanies these revelations and we want it to go away.

It is natural to harbor and even nurture anger and hatred against those who hurt us and those we love. However, anger and hatred are a cancer to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

No amount of money or sincere apologies will repair the harm done to these innocent victims.  Only one thing will begin that healing. Follow Mary's hand pointing to her son. Hear his words, “Father, forgive them,” and do the same.

Thanks to "a faithful digital minister"

I just read your digital email and coverage for today, and I want to thank you for your coverage and articles. You bring back the loving arms of God to enfold us the caring embrace of Jesus the Good Shepherd to guide us and the inspiration and grace of the Holy Spirit. You bring silence and the spirit back to our faith. You are a faithful digital minister of the Church of Jesus Christ, and you deserve thanks for spreading this message.

Time for priests to protest

A letter to a priest: Women marched for their rights in 2017; teens marched for their lives in 2018; 250,000 people marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 against the injustice and inequalities shown to African-Americans. Even the Ku Klux Klan marched, as though heroes, in 1925, simply to make their presence known. And I think it is about time that priests march to protest the sex abuse scandals inside the walls of the Church they have pledged their lives to. It is time that priests take to the streets around their dioceses’ Cathedral, to get their Bishop’s attention, it is time they use their voices to break through and demolish the walls of silence that screen the deception that protects abusers, men who hide inside the safety and comfort of the Church, men who wear white collars like tricksters and hide their evil deeds. Because if you are not against them…you are with them. I ask, what is keeping the “good priest” from speaking out daily against his degenerate brothers, priests who are destroying the foundation of our modern day Church, priest who are making the “good” priest’s life increasingly difficult to navigate in a mostly secular world? And I ask: What would Jesus say? Yes, the Son of God who said: ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.’ Those same children who have been used for sexual pleasure at the hands of the clergy Jesus once ordained to represent him, no doubt, gave up on the Kingdom of God a long time ago. So this is a call to the “good” priest from a woman who was sexually abused as a child and barely survived: Stop living in your glass houses and do something to protect innocent lives from the dirty legacy of sexual abuse in The Church. It could be the most import thing you have ever done with your vocation.


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