Jesus knew about Cardinal McCarrick

Cristo crucificado, by Diego Velázquez, 1632Cristo crucificado, by Diego Velázquez, 1632

There is a permanent lump in my throat as I read the news about our Church—about who knew what and who decided nothing should be done.

I read the news, and I don’t know what to do. I cannot see my way to withholding our paltry weekly contribution to the parishes we attend. Our money helps support the diocese and also the soup kitchen and the little parish school with paper flowers in the windows. Heating fuel in the winter, some modest vestments for Father. The AIDS outreach ministry. The salaries of kind, hardworking Christians. And the diocese. I work for the diocese myself. Is our diocese rotten, too? I have no idea. I am told it is naïve to believe anyone and anything isn’t rotten in the church anymore.

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Last Sunday, I watched my son carry the heavy, brass cross up the center aisle. He loves being an altar boy, is downcast on the weeks when he is not called to serve. I had been allowing myself to daydream of the moment when he might tell me he wants to be a priest. And now I must also think of the moment I will tell him how to protect himself in seminary, how to ward off attack from the depraved, how to keep himself innocent as he learns how to bring Christ into the world.

He knew about Uncle Ted, and he knew about everything else we’re about to find out. That is why he came.

I don’t know what to do. Write to the bishop, I suppose. Demand more oversight by laypeople. Demand that they stop lobbying against extensions of the statute of limitations. Demand more transparency. I will do some penance. I will pray. I will listen to people who rage against the church, and I will offer no defense because all of it is true.

The answer I keep coming to: Jesus already knew. He carried the sin of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in his butchered heart. He groaned the groan of a tortured seminarian as His back was laid open on the way to Calvary. His scalp split with the pressure of the thorny mass of lies, evasions, excuses and accommodations as the decades passed and everybody knew, everybody knew what went on, everybody knew about Uncle Ted. And Christ knew about Uncle Ted. And he wept and bled and died knowing.

You think you want to run away from the church. You think you will find a place where there is not so much hypocrisy, so much entrenched evil, a place that isn’t built from layer upon layer of guilt and shame and depravity. You may find such a place; I don’t know. But you will not find in it a God who weeps and bleeds and dies, who has taken sin into His bosom, swallowed it whole, let it burn in his belly until it finally burns out. You will only find this God in the Holy Roman Rotten Catholic Church, where the depraved teach young men how to confect God.

It is a rotten church. But it is not rotten to the heart because Jesus is the heart. There is more bloodshed there than I expected to see. But Jesus is there. He knew about Uncle Ted, and he knew about everything else we’re about to find out. That is why he came. Remember this, whatever else we do.

This article originally appeared at www.simchafisher.com.

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Danny Collins
4 months 2 weeks ago

Fr. James Martin and many at America Magazine also knew about McCarrick's beach house (i.e., Predator factory). To this day, they refuse to give voice to the victims and interview them, instead focusing on giving space to Cardinal Farrell to lie through his teeth about knowing about Cardinal McCarrick's abuse of seminarians. Fr. Martin's first reaction was to paint a picture of McCarrick as a "complicated man" with lots of good qualities, completely ignoring the public information about McCarrick abusing underage adolescents whom he had power over when a young preist before graduating to young adult seminarians when he climbed the hierarchy and gained power over them.

Jesus, when faced with hypocrisy called the religious leaders whitewashed tombs. John the Baptist called out King Herod publicly for his adultery. America Magazine honors those who sexually abuse others and considered Uncle Ted "a close friend of the magazine." Of course, Jesus and John the Baptist were losers who died for their outspoken engagement with the religious leaders of their day. America Magazine is a respectable publication with offices on the Avenue of the America's in Midtown Manhattan. Folks at publications like the NYT like them for their progressive views on things Jesus condemned. Unlike John and Jesus, Fr. Martin is a worldly success.

Sheila Connolly
4 months 1 week ago

What is your source for this? Do you have personal knowledge, or is it speculation? I certainly want him to be held accountable if he did know and kept it to himself, but I have never heard anywhere that he knew.

Mark Silverbird
4 months 1 week ago

The prophets of old knew when Jesus was coming and so now Catholic saints know when Jesus is coming back. Hold on to your souls in preparation. The anointed ones that have become useless brooms to Him are going to get cleaned out, and the harvesting will effect "ALL" who are a part of that dark flock!

Jesus, I trust in You

Danny Collins
4 months 1 week ago

@Sheila Connolly, My sources are the America articles by the Editorial board June 17, 2018 entitled "The Editors: The Catholic Church should not be shocked by the McCarrick case—it should be ashamed." and Fr. Martin's June 16, 2018 article entitled "Cardinal McCarrick, seminarians and abuse: how could this happen?"

They admit that they knew and did nothing. The primary recommendations that they have are that a) the Church (not the magazine) reform itself and b) people in the pews recognize that McCarrick was a "complicated" figure who did much good in addition to evil.

They were complicit in McCarrick's crimes by their upholding of him as a man worthy of esteem and a good friend of the magazine in spite of hearing stories of McCarrick's sexual abuse whose authenticity they never claim to have questioned. Fr. Martin went on national TV and said that what he did wasn't a crime, but that shouldn't be the standard Catholic institutions use for which clerics that they consider to be "friends" and worthy of honor and public distinction. McCarrick abused young men under his authority and dependent on him for their livelihoods, and then sent those broken men out to abuse adolescent males under their authority: men like Robert Ciolek who abused teenage males after being abused by McCarrick.

J Brookbank
4 months 2 weeks ago

I have been withholding judgment on this writer ever since she used the epidemic of suicides to write about abortion. (Yes, she acknowledged that not everything had to be about abortion but she went ahead and did it anyway. As a person who has lost a sibling to suicide when his severe mental illness roared to life, hijacked his young brain and consigned him to a living hell, I for one wished she had gone with her first instinct and allowed us to spend time focused on people whose suffering is so great that the possibility of a release from this life feels like the possibility of Mercy and peace and, for many of their families and loved ones, a spiritually challenging but very real sense of relief that the person did find peace because we have faith in God's mercy. I was profoundly disappointed that this writer could not stop herself from interrupting that rare and precious cultural moment with THOSE souls for just a few minutes without invoking abortion. So much attention on abortion in RCC circles while mental illness and suicide get comparatively little, and the tragedy of a string of suicides by mentally ill public figures provided an opportunity. And this writer highjacked it for an issue that is front and center in the RCC daily. I wish she hadn't done it).

So I am surprised and grateful to find this gorgeous article.

Thank you.

Tim O'Leary
4 months 2 weeks ago

J - what a perfect example of highjacking one issue to post about another. By a word count you use 95% to complain about a previous article on abortion (by the way, the ultimate child abuse), when this is about sex abuse of adults by bishops. You highjacked this article to complain about an anti-abortion article.

J Brookbank
4 months 1 week ago

Great points, Tim (though the original article was about suicide).

Thank you for your observation. I will keep it in mind in future.

Just a question, Catholic to Catholic: do you ever pause here, Tim, to express empathy or sympthy for anyone? Or is Catholicism all about chastisng sinners for you?

Tim O'Leary
4 months 1 week ago

J - many times, just not necessarily on a blog about Catholic doctrine, practice ideas, and policies. You are again being a little defensive even asking this, since you don't call out those who do nothing but spew hate for the clergy? Examples even on this article's combox?

Anne Danielson
4 months 2 weeks ago

"You will only find this God in the Holy Roman Rotten Catholic Church, where the depraved teach young men how to confect God."

It is not The Faithful who are responsible for the heinous sexual abuse crisis. The Faithful of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, recognize that The Catholic Church's teaching on sexual morality, reflective of The Word Of God, as Revealed through Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and The Teaching of The Magisterium, is grounded in respect for the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person as a beloved son or daughter.
It is not possible for a counterfeit church to subsist within Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church because " it is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion", due to The Unity of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), for it Is , "Through, With, and In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost", that Holy Mother Church exists.

It is not Loving or Merciful to desire that we remain in our sins or not overcome our disordered inclination towards sin and become transformed through Salvational Love, God's Gift of Grace and Mercy. If it were true that it is Loving and Merciful to desire we or our beloved remain in our sin, and not overcome our disorder inclinations, so that we are then led into temptation, and are not transformed through Salvational Love, God's Gift of Grace and Mercy, we would not need Our Savior, Jesus The Christ.
"But when the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on the Earth."
Those who deny The Christ, and thus The Way, The Truth, and The Life (Light) of Love will not be counted among The Faithful if they do not repent and accept Salvational Love, God's Gift of Grace and Mercy.
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves", but if we deny that sin is sin, we deny Salvational Love, God's Gift of Grace and Mercy.
"Know you not, that you are The Temple of God, and that The Spirit of God dwelleth in you."
Our Call to Holiness, has always been a call to be chaste in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds
Pray that all those Priests that desire Holiness will not flee!

J. Calpezzo
4 months 2 weeks ago

Keep giving to the church. The Los Angeles Archdiocese paid $720 million for Cousin Roger Mahony's actions, and inactions. Uncle Ted and Cousin Roger, and dozens of other bishops. They are just as guilty as the perpetrators of child rape, Uncle Ted doubly so. I say make it a truly poor church and strip the Red Hats of every dime. Then they can be like Jesus.

Daria Fitzgerald
4 months 2 weeks ago

Nothing - NOTHING - will change until we see women in positions of true authority in the Catholic Church.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

Amen Daria - Absolutely True!

J. Calpezzo
4 months 1 week ago

Ditto

Will Niermeyer
4 months 1 week ago

Not true for women can also be child abusers and /or sex predators.

Nora Bolcon
4 months 2 weeks ago

It is not rocket science Simcha! We are getting to some degree what we have earned.

We treat women with absolute disdain and as though their bodies would somehow dirty up the Eucharist if we let them be the priests God calls them to be. Yet since women do not abuse at half the rate married men and single men abuse children sexually, we would see less abuse from the mere numbers alone if we ordained women. However, I don't see you fighting or defending your sisters one bit.

Sexism has long been directly connected to child abuse (this was true in our church's abuse situation too) yet where is the outcry to stop this ridiculous bias that Christ taught against when he commanded we treat all the same as we wish to be treated and therefore must treat all people the same - oppressing no one based on flesh.

I can't help but say to this writer, if you want to know where our problems come from, you might want to take a look in the mirror. We get the treatment: sexist, abusive, clerical, arrogant, etc. that we allow for from our leaders. We get what we put up with basically. Righteousness has never been automatic for Christians or anyone else. You have to stand up for righteousness.

Jesus corrects negative behavior thru the actions of the people who love him, and his church and through their demanding recompense and change. This means change of behavior and change of all contributing laws to the oppression and abuse.

If we must be a sexist church then we will also always be an abusive church, abusive to women, children and probably also with seminarians. The two evils walk hand in hand and they always have.

Linda Rooney
4 months 2 weeks ago

Studiously crafty, lacking in passion, theologically weak, spiritually naïve. A mother who wishes to tutor her child in avoiding pedophiles in seminaries, hoping to send him as a lamb to the slaughter, instead of helping him to seek mission and service as a non-ordained priest, prophet and king. One wonders at the editor who thought this was worth publishing.

arthur mccaffrey
4 months 1 week ago

thank god somebody else shares my opinion about the banality of this piece. It teaches nothing except the puzzlement of someone who does not seem to have clue about anything--except to throw Jesus into the mix as if He was somehow responsible for McCarrick. I hope this woman is not teaching CCD class in her parish. Her favorite phrase is "I don't know".

J. Calpezzo
4 months 1 week ago

Keep your eyes closed. It's easier that way.

mpdinnyc@aol.com
4 months 2 weeks ago

Why didn’t HE tell somebody before this sin was allowed to spread and injure innocent people?

Dr Robert Dyson
4 months 2 weeks ago

"And Christ knew about Uncle Ted. And he wept and bled and died knowing."

But it doesn't make any difference, does it? There's your theodicy problem.

William Kuntz
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your beautiful, insightful reflections. God bless you.

Tom Cathooter
4 months 2 weeks ago

Bishop Scharfenberger of Albany wrote a letter, some laud, Friday Pm, and only hours later, at Saturday vigil Mass a priest in his diocese gave a homily telling how nice the Cardinal was when he was a seminarian with the Cardinal in Washington DC at Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
The abused Is a priest at a parish about 30 minutes away. How cold and insensitive to a brother priest. Ignore the bishop’s letter?
The bishop seems to ignore other abuse and bullying of elderly. His focus seems to be on a eucharistic Congress at a shrine which one might characterize as a private club.

A Fielder
4 months 1 week ago

Simcha, when you write to the bishop what will you ask? I am wondering why bishops have a virtual life time appointment. Why not rotate leadership every six years, like most religious orders do. Also why is the bishop the sole owner of all church property? why not create a non profit board of directors to whom the local ordinary reports on personnel and financial matters. This would introduce some of the transparency you suggest we need. Also, you make reference to Jesus in your post. I consider that Jesus could been part of the temple leadership if he wanted, instead he worked to reform Judiasm as a lay person. I have serious doubts that the hierarchy will be able to reform itself without a lot of help from people who are not infected with clerical culture. I would love to see some steps toward turning local churches into diverse communities for moral discernment.

Peggy Harrington
4 months 1 week ago

The summary in the last paragraph is stuff and nonsense. Find another way to support the social services which is your reason for continuing to contribute. What makes you think that your son who holds the cross as an altar boy is destined to be a priest? With ten children, it seems to me that you have drunk "the kool aid". Stand up and think for yourself. And I haven't read your book," Sinners Guide to Natural Family Planning" but the title annoys me. Who are the sinners? There was a joke floating around when the pill became available in the 1960's that said, "What do you call people who practice NFP? Answer: Parents. It seems to me that the joke is on you.

Susan Dwyer
4 months 1 week ago

I agree with the article. This is exactly the point. The problem is that the church is made up of human beings. This is what human beings do. This is why Jesus had to come. Otherwise, evolving from other animals would have created humans who don't hurt each other, but how would that happen? It is heart-breaking to see, but that is the way humans are.

Philip Pia
4 months 1 week ago

I must say, this article is banal and melodramatic rubbish. Neither Ms Fisher nor anyone else knows what Jesus "knew"; and that goes for his own divinity. The interpretation of the death of Christ as sacrifice is one among many. NT texts themselves do not allow this interpretation to be absolutized (as it has been in the history of the faith within the Latin church). Cardinal McCarrick, a frail human being, is capable of receiving absolution and forgiveness for his sins, like the rest of us... so please spare us your histrionic descriptions of Jesus' wounds. The Church is not rotten. There are some rotten hypocrites in positions of leadership within the Church. It is with faith in the Church's long tradition of self-criticism and renovation that this leadership will be changed and improved.

Jeffrey More
4 months 1 week ago

"[T]he Church's long tradition of self-criticism and renovation ...."??? With all due respect, what Church are you referring to?

Arthur Sullivan
4 months 1 week ago

I can't believe I'm reading this drivel in a Jesuit magazine.

Bill Mazzella
4 months 1 week ago

Dorothy Day said "the Church is a whore but it is my whore." Jesus did say that those who know more will be judged more harshly. And indeed, the good thing about our times is that the bishops are being called on their actions and not glossed over as untouchable icons. There is just no excuse for what McCarrick did. Betrayal of those who trust and depend on us is the highest betrayal. Yet we are all sinners and depend on the mercy of God. The mercies of the Lord endure forever.

THE CHRISTOFFERSONS
4 months 1 week ago

A very fine article, indeed. One of the most poignant and earthy integrations I have seen of Jesus and a very human Church.

There is reason for hope, however. Yes, Jesus foresaw these depredations. But he also saw what is to come as we journey toward union with a loving God, so long as we fix our gaze upon the heart that is the Spirit of the living Christ. The heart of Christ is not only the object of individual discernment but the discernment of the institution we call the Church.

Jesus knows that we can do something about the bad that we see. He sees that we were mistaken to think of the Church as a "Societas Perfecta", and that we would come to see what a mistake that was. Seeing that mistake, it now becomes clear that Catholic Social Teaching -- that the structures and practices of society are human creations and can be reformed by humans -- applies to the Church as well.

So we need to be about the work of reforming the structures and practices of our beloved Church, so that it is less vulnerable to abuses that arise for no better reason than that the power to abuse was available.

Rules and safeguards will undoubtedly be helpful. Lay involvement will be most helpful. But most helpful of all will be a different kind of teaching style in our Church, a teaching authority that focuses not so much on rules and norms -- however necessary these are -- but on discernment of the heart of Jesus, to do what is loving and right whether or not there is a rule. If we look more to what is loving and right, and less to lines drawn by rules and norms, then it is more likely that the Church will be able to turn away when the power to abuse presents itself.

Pope Francis took note of this contrast when he spoke to the Chilean Jesuits last January. He said that "what the Church most needs is growth in discernment." And then he gave an example of just the opposite of discernment: adherence to a comprehensive book of rules for Jesuits called the "Epitome".

The power to abuse is remarkably adept at sidestepping the lines drawn by rules and norms, ignoring them entirely if the leveraging of power makes that possible. This is particularly a problem where hierarchical authority is added to the mix. But if the joy of love's possibilities -- the heart of Jesus -- is at the center of what the Church teaches, such power will have no place to hide or grow for its lack of love can be exposed by anyone, high or low, who is empowered primarily by love's possibilities and only secondarily by rules and hierarchy whose burdens can be stifling.

Paul Davis
4 months 1 week ago

Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and articulate response. The substance and style of your reply is more compelling than the original article. And I couldn't agree more with your key point: that the People of God would benefit from an equal balance of "rules and norms" with a quality education on the methods and discipline of prayerful discernment.

Our American culture has a dangerous duality developing: an outsized cultural emphasis on individualism (a characteristic of nation since its' founding), coupled with an ever-increasing tribalism (enabled by technology and a lack of critical thinking). Fierce prioritization of the self, and access to an echo chamber that only reinforces and doesn't challenge beliefs, creates individuals who quickly hate and lash out against anything that threatens them rather than listening critically, thoughtfully and sometimes prayerfully, and then determining the rightness or wrongness of what we're judging.

It's as pervasive in the comments section of these articles as it is on Fox News/CNN, Breitbart/Huff Post or anywhere else. When I'm faced with any idea that doesn't conform to my worldview, rather than discerning its' truth and its' source and either incorporating it into my worldview or discarding it as an ill fit, the modern response is to spit venom out of my keyboard and add more hate, more viciousness into our discourse.

That hate is the Evil Spirit active in our world. Teaching the rules of discernment, including how to pray, consult scripture and Church teaching, and then SHUT UP! Shut out the voices of the echo chambers we live in, and instead listen to the still, small voice after the rushing wind. Only then can we discern whether something is of God or of Satan. Unfortunately, today we're just as vulnerable to the snares of Evil coming from our own fiercely held internal world as we are from the world outside of ourselves. But I suppose that's always been true.

Anyway, thank you for your reminder that our Church has a rich history of using and teaching the discipline of discernment. We just need to encourage its' adoption and use.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
4 months 1 week ago

This sophomoric article is an insult to survivors and to those who actually work with them clinically. It replicates the sadomasochistic interpretation of the Crucifixion as atonement, a view many contemporary theologians reject fully. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment - this naive young woman should be ashamed of herself and should go talk to some real people who as real boys and girls and as real adolescents and as real women and men were defiled by ostensible men of God. She has a lot to learn and this romantic tripe should be beneath the standards of America.

Frank Gibbons
4 months 1 week ago

Name the "many contemporary theologians "who reject the Crucifixion as Atonement" And please don't include that lightweight Richard Rohr. Have you read the Scriptures? Have you read the Bible cover-to-cover? Do you read it every day? If you did you would see that Christ's passion and death were indeed an Atonement for the sins of humanity. The evidence is overwhelming from the typology of the Old Testament to the heavenly hosts worshiping the Lamb who was slain in the book of Revelation. Jesus Himself spoke several times that "the Christ must suffer". The Fathers of the Church, the Doctors, many saints and the Church's teaching office affirm the sacrificial nature of the Atonement. It is in the Creed of the Church. When you deny the Atonement you're denying the primary way Christ demonstrates his unsurpassable love for humanity. So please name the "many contemporary theologians" who fully reject the Atonement. Many theologians are engaged in creative writing and their work is highly subjective. Theologians do not have a mandate to teach; they are called to study the Faith and suggest new ways of understanding reveled truths. Sometimes their contributions are helpful, other times they miss the mark badly. The Word of God, out of His great love for us, assumed our humanity in order to reconcile us with God. As God He is the only one who can make restitution for the offenses committed agains the all-holy, infallible God. As the man Jesus Christ, he stands in our place to pay the price for the sins of humanity. What are some of these sins -- slavery, genocide, war, human trafficking, racism, abortion, etc. God the Father is not punishing His Son. Jesus is one with the Father and willingly enters into His saving mission.

Tim Donovan
4 months 1 week ago

I'm a very imperfect "product" of sixteen years of Catholic education, and was inspired by several teachers (an elderly, tradition-oriented nun, a very intelligent, humorous layman and a humorous, theologically dissenting religious brother) to become a Special Education teacher. My education in "secular"_subjects was excellent, while my religious education varied according to the individual teacher. Perhaps not surprising but sadly to me, dissent regarding core Church teaching was fairly common among my college professors. One of my theology teachers in high school was a priest who was eventually found to have been guilty of getting an adolescent intoxicated and then raping him. Fortunately, this despicable man who used his power to abuse an innocent child was convicted of rape and imprisioned. Anyone--priest or layperson-- regardless of their race, religion, or any other characteristic --who sexually abuses a child should be imprisoned for their shameful and extremely harmful behavior for a lengthy period of time. It's sad that the many good priests who love God and,neighbor have their good names impaired by the scandal of those who molest children, adolescents, and adults. While the number of priests who are guilty of sexual abuse is not negligible, I believe that according to a study published some years ago (the John Jay study) that only a small minority of priests were found to have had sexually molested children or adults. Further, if I recall the overwhelming majority of these despicable men abused boys and adolescent males. I might add that I'm gay, and I don't believe that homosexuality is a particular cause of pedophilia. After all, married and single men sexually molest children. However, I don't think based on the results of the John Jay study that being homosexual is entirely irrelevant regarding the matter of priest sexual abuse. I also would add that years ago I had sex with men, but regretted my acts, and received forgiveness and consolation from a compassionate priest through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I'm certainly not a theologian, however I do believe that while Jesus came into the world to heal people and teach the word of God, that His ultimate purpose was to save us from our sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Again, I 'm no theologian, but as a Catholic who, though sinful in many ways (consequently, I go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation each month) has from a young age been interested in religious beliefs (not only Catholic teaching, but Protestant, Jewish and Muslim teachings--at one point I was an agnostic although I still did my best to follow the teachings of Jesus).I am frankly not necessarily impressed by contemporary theologians, some (many?) of whom don't even believe in essential Christian teachings,, including the Resurrection, the Virgin Birth (even though it is, like the Resurection, a teaching based on the writing of the authors of the Gospel) or even the divinity of Jesus. Authentic Church teaching, as well as the traditional teaching of Orthodox and most Protestant denominations, holds that Jesus was God who became man. Some theologians merely believe that Christ was a great, holy man and prophet (much as Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prophet but not divine). Finally, some contemporary theologians also dissent from long-standing Church teaching regarding the objective immorality of abortion.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
4 months 1 week ago

This sophomoric article is an insult to survivors and to those who actually work with them clinically. It replicates the sadomasochistic interpretation of the Crucifixion as atonement, a view many contemporary theologians reject fully. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment - this naive young woman should be ashamed of herself and should go talk to some real people who as real boys and girls and as real adolescents and as real women and men were defiled by ostensible men of God. She has a lot to learn and this romantic tripe should be beneath the standards of America.

Christopher Lobb
4 months 1 week ago

The author of this article is incredibly (almost tear-stirringly) naive. And THIS is the most depressing thing of all... that despite the apparently never-ending flow of Roman Catholic priest-paedophile/ephebophile sexual scandals, authors like this one will continue to spout such morally reprehensible nonsense in defence of these Christ betrayers.

J Brookbank
4 months 1 week ago

This was one woman's spiritual meditation. She is entitled to it. We are each entitled to our spiritual meditations. I am irritated by her stylistic use of "you" -- that effort to.universalize a personal awareness -- but it is a "thing" these days. Beyond that, I see a woman with whom I disagree on many topics but who is sharing HER spiritual experience without attacking anyone else. I am okay with that. The church is big enough for all of us. A Jesuit whose Masses I love says "Jesus never drew a smaller circle. He ALWAYS drew the circle bigger to include EVERYone". I disagree with this woman and I haven't ever read a piece of hers in which she excludes anyone.

And hey! she gets to teach her kid how to be safe. There are abusers everywhere. Should she build him a bubble in the backyard?

AND I want to say, as a Catholic who supports each woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, THIS woman has the right to bear and raise 10 children and use NFP. Is her choice unrealistic and very likely emotionally and physical unhealthy for the vast majority of the world's women AND their children? I certainly believe so. And I support
her decision to bear and raise 10 children and use NFP because IT IS HER BODY, HER DECISION.

And this wasn't journalism. It was a meditation. A journal entry. A blog post.

Again, I disagree with this woman, and her spirituality doesn't appeal to me; and if there is room for my Catholic Worker spirituality, if there is room for your spirituality, there is room for hers.

Cynthia Yoshitomi
4 months 1 week ago

A very wimpy article full of emotional distortions and denial. I agree with most the others that this writers beneath the intellectual standards of a Jesuit magazine. Although lately with your attempted support of women who question their status in Society I find myself stunned at the lack of journalistic standards. The victims matter here. She has it all wrong. I mean all wrong!!!

J Brookbank
4 months 1 week ago

Who is the you in "your attempted support"?

Steven Holmes
4 months 1 week ago

Jesus most definitely knew. And He speaks. What do we hear? You as a mother? Me, thinking back to my twenties when I, too, was harassed by a priest? What does Francis hear? More importantly, what are we going to do with what we hear? I, for one, have begun to speak the truth and hope for a Reformation by Integrity.

sheila gray
4 months 1 week ago

As a Clergy Abuse Survivor, I want to know what, exactly, your point is. This helps and/or heals no one. You have no right, in my opinion, to express such thoughts unless you... YOU, are a Survivor. This really angers me

Steven Holmes
4 months 1 week ago

Same here.

Mark Silverbird
4 months 1 week ago

You are right to be angry. I was sexually abused by my uncle, but when I accused him, my family disowned me, and my uncle became the victim. The world today is like Isaiah 5:20 Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. 25 Therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them, and struck them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses became as dung in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Be at peace for justice is at hand. God bless you

Barbara Sirovatka
4 months 1 week ago

Thank you for publishing this very real contemplative meditation on evil in today’s world and how it is integrated into the timeless redemptive act of Jesus. My mother (one of the holiest and most practical Catholics I have ever known) could have written it. It speaks to me, another everyday Catholic who has a permanent lump in her throat hearing of yet another Church scandal. It is not beneath America.

Mark Silverbird
4 months 1 week ago

Romans Chapter one is pretty clear in what the world is accepting as truth today, and verses 26 and 32 of this chapter say it all: 26: For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. 32: Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

Romans chapter one explains the times at hand, and yes, Jesus knows what all of us are doing, but which side do you want to be on when He comes back? Personally, I will not go against His biblical scripture of Romans chapter one. The world is exactly what that scripture reads, so I suggest to all, please read it; for salvation is all that matters!

Jesus, I trust in You

Bill Mazzella
4 months 1 week ago

While being honest in our feedback we may need to be aware of participating in tribal behavior (conservatives or liberals are always right). We are a church of sinners and Jesus gave his message to the simple and unlearned of this world. Too many of us who write articles and inhabit these pages have no idea what practicing Catholics are feeling and thinking.

david hennessy
4 months 1 week ago

You gotta love the big Elephant tears from all the lefties and their cocktail party Jesuits.

Everyone at the Arch,everyone in Metuchen, everyone in Newark and Washington knew that the Cardinal was an active and aggressive gay man.who used his power to his own interests. They knew because they all paid his accusers.

Everyone closed their eyes because it was the politically correct thing to do. Now they are all self righteously jumping on the powerless corpse of this former darling of the Catholic and governmental Left to assuage their guilt.
The truth is that the Seminarys and the Chanceries and the Halls of Jesuit learning institutions are full of Uncle Teds. This is why it is difficult for Holy Mother Church to attract and keep good holy and yes Catholic Priests.

Joe Sharkey
4 months 1 week ago

He may have "groaned the groan of a tortured seminarian" but he didn't appear to have done anything about it. Way to go.

Phil Little
4 months 1 week ago

Really, this author is partly why the church is so. "Dumbed down", barely above stupid. What terrible theology. Jesus died because of the blows by Roman soldiers, a lance that was thrust into his side (perhaps), suffocation hanging on a cross. His death had nothing to do with aberrant bishops or pedophile clergy, or even a Prsident like Trump. Get over it lady, the church is an institution, perhaps a grouping of communities, that somewhat propose to be following the teachings and the ethos of Jesus of Nazareth. First off, why would you push your son to be a priest. It is like asking someone from PETA to help out with Barnum and Bailey Circus. The church needs a deep rooted remake, not more priests who go through the same old seminary factory. Get him out of the altar boy gig unless there are altar girls and the whole thing is directed by a lay person who is trustworthy. At least acknowledging that the system is corrupt is a good start, but remember that the system was defended by the good "Saint" JP2, patron saint of the CIA for whom he was an active and paid agent. Ultimately the few people who still go to church have the power of the collection basket, they can require structural change or go elsewhere or better yet go nowhere. Climb a mountain or go to the lake, rescue animals and adopt a vegetarian life style out of communion with other living souls. Jesus did not know about Uncle Ted, nor JP2 or machines that could fly across the ocean.

Peter Schwimer
4 months 1 week ago

A pretty naive commentary. Sure Jesus knew about all of us sinners. And sure prayer is a wonderful thing. So is cleaning out the closets in the spring. God helps him who helps himself. He really doesn't expect us to pray and forget the problem. He expects us to discern the appropriate solution and then apply it.

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