The Pentecost Testimony of a Mad, Fed-Up Catholic

Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash. 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, for by your Cross and Resurrection, you have set us free.

Well, Lord, here we are again. This crap just never  stops coming, and God, I’m getting so disgusted with it all, and if I could not find you in the Holy Eucharist, I wonder if I would find you anywhere else within this church, at least if I look among our “leaders.”

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So many of my friends are fed up and leaving, or getting close to leaving, and I get it, I do! I understand how they feel, even as I pray they won’t leave, because...because well, hell, how does leaving an imperfect something to wade into even less perfect nothing end up serving anything but the creature of the voids and the lowness? I worry about my friends who are leaving, distancing themselves from the food you give us. I’m half surprised that our bishops, as they watch the pews empty out, aren’t putting out statements reminding us that to miss attendance at Mass is to risk eternal damnation.

Pheh. Is that even a real thing anymore, that teaching? Do I even believe it? You know, Lord, there’s a part of me that still goes to confession when I miss Mass, because when it happens it’s always my own failing, but I don’t really get how the church can teach that missing Mass is a mortal sin and expect anyone to take it seriously when we’re in the middle of these depressing, never-ending revelations?

So many of my friends are fed up and leaving, or getting close to leaving, and I get it, I do! I understand how they feel, even as I pray they won’t leave.

Yeah, I know it’s a minority of our clergy indulging themselves in every worldly way, and with seeming impunity, but it’s a powerful minority, isn’t it? It’s a minority that seems to be a pretty well-established and impenetrable boys club, with too many spoiled princes and too few true servants, and how do they even have the cheek to face us and give us these well-lawyered statements—as though if they put their words together in a savvy, politically minded order, we’re all just going to say, “Oh, alrighty, then, here’s my envelope, here’s my help with a fundraiser, here’s my obedience.”

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I mean, really, Lord, I know I’m a sinner—God, you know I know it, and you know I’m failing every day—and I know that all sin is sin, all of it contributes to the breakdown of your Body but Jesus Christ! No, I’m not taking your name in vain, Lord, you know it’s a prayer, a cry from the heart.

How does leaving an imperfect something to wade into even less perfect nothing end up serving anything but the creature of the voids and the lowness?

Jesus Christ…my heart feels broken. Sometimes, Lord it is awful being a Christian, you know that? I want to hate these men. I want to hate them and punish them for all the damage they have done to the church, and therefore to you and your body. And to the whole world, because a world without the church—a world where the church becomes irrelevant, in-credible and unequal to the task of balancing the secular world and all of its influences for good and bad—that’s a world where the lights are getting ready to go out, and all the candles snuffed.

And I want to hate, I do. And there you are, Lord, with your cross, and you’re telling me I must be like you, suffering but willing to be a balance between justice and mercy. I hate that right now all I want is justice and yet you still prompt me to mercy. To have enough mercy to at least wait to hear it all out, so that an eventual justice—and please, God, let there be one—is sound and in fact...just.

And there you are, Lord, with your cross, and you’re telling me I must be like you, suffering but willing to be a balance between justice and mercy.

But I really am so angry, Lord—with the sexual abuse by clergy and the spending $100 a day on fresh cut flowers for the rectory and the couple hundred thousand in “gifts” to other priests and princes.

All I know, Lord, is that I’m grateful that Pentecost is here. I’ll miss the Easter alleluias at Mass, but I’m good and damn ready for a mighty wind to blow through your church. Maybe, as with the Apostles, it will terrify some too-proud bishops and humble them a bit, and maybe change a few hearts for the good. Lord, that’s what all of this feels like—a chaos and tumult, a roaring strain of noise and destruction bearing down upon us, wrecking everything in sight because the job of the Holy Spirit isn’t to make us comfortable but to shake us up, to send us out of our safe, comfortable places.

Is that what’s happening here? Is all of this revealed horror a kind of Pentecost for us? If so, God, please help us live through it. I mean, it’s better that these stories are out, that these crimes and sins are revealed than for things to continue hidden and entrenched as they have been...but Jesus, that just means we’re in for more of this, for a while yet, until all the revelations are through.

Is all of this revealed horror a kind of Pentecost for us? If so, God, please help us live through it.

What was that phrase, “all that is secret will be brought to light,” but damn, Lord, it’s a painful thing to watch this roiling wreckage within our church play out month by dreary month.

But the Holy Spirit comes on the wind, and brings fire, and action. And we’re told that all things work, ultimately, toward your purposes, even though we can’t see it in real time. And I do believe that, Lord, I have to or what sense does anything make? I’ve seen the truth of it in my own life, and I’ve seen the truth of it through your Cross—the most unjust and torturous murder in history, permitted to happen because it was necessary to God’s great purpose of saving us, and loving us. How do I say it? How do I pray it? I thank you, God, in good times and in bad, for by your cross and resurrection, we...well, we’re not free yet, are we? Your church on earth has a ways to go and we’ll be picking through the debris of this storm for a very long time, and it’s feeling to me like we may yet be left with little more than your grace upon which to rebuild, going forward.

And maybe I won’t live to see what new paths will be revealed after the winds have settled. But you’ve told us that your grace is enough. All we have to do is figure out how to cooperate with it to your purposes, right? I wonder. I hope. I pray, Lord, that we’ll be able to do that.

Christ Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner. Amen.

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Sally Ann Glenn
4 months 2 weeks ago

Beautiful! Really says how many of us feel The Eucharist is what holds many of us to the church

Meg Stahley
4 months 2 weeks ago

It is so hard being Christian. But, the Eucharist is greater than the sins of man.

Meg Stahley
4 months 2 weeks ago

It is so hard being Christian. But, the Eucharist is greater than the sins of man.

Meg Stahley
4 months 2 weeks ago

It is so hard being Christian. But, the Eucharist is greater than the sins of man.

Pam Ruigh
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well, I moved from WV but not before my donation may have paid for cut flowers etc. Here in VT I have no idea about our bishop except he was the media man for Cardinal Law.from Boston. Who knows but I think Ill stick with donations to the parish heating bill rather than the Bishops fund.

William Trebing
4 months 2 weeks ago

I am doing the same. I give only to my small local church for its upkeep. Nothing else. Nothing to the Bishops Fund or any of the other "second collection today". The only tool I have to protest the sorry state that our church has become.

Catherine Ivancic
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you! It is my prayer too. You said it so much better though.

Catherine Ivancic
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you! It is my prayer too. You said it so much better though.

J Cosgrove
4 months 2 weeks ago

My God, The Anchoress here. My only advice to her is that it has been worse. And that the sins of many should not affect what one believes. Actually I also advise her to read Benedict’s essay of a few months ago. The real corruption is not the abuse scandal and coverup which are indeed very bad but things far worse which are spelled out in detail in his writing.

The Jesuits have an agenda and the Anchoress fell into it.

Jim Lein
4 months 2 weeks ago

What the church needs now is more condescending sarcasm--I write with sarcasm. We do seem heading toward another reformation or schism or something. The Cosgroves with Benedict, and the Scalias and me with Francis. Lord help us. We do need your guidance. Do we really need two popes?
Our deacon had a good sermon last night, on how Francis in 2013 reminded us of our catholicity, our unity with an abundance of diversity. We should be able to worship together, with our different perspectives, without getting snarky or all superior. We're not doing so well now at receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Too much blindness and deafness and narrowness and certainty. Way too little openness.

Mike Macrie
4 months 1 week ago

What the Catholic Church needs now is less Political Ideology and more Christianity. Conservatives vs. Liberals and each group claiming they have moral authority over the other. The Catholic Church does everything in its power to chase people away from it. The Church has loss its Missionary Zeal. The days are over when Catholics are going to trust Bishops who live in Mansions because they need a home to entertain Wealthy Donors.

Judith Jordan
4 months 2 weeks ago

J Cosgrove----

Several times you have stated the Jesuits have an agenda. I am curious. What is their agenda?

J Cosgrove
4 months 2 weeks ago

Read what Arupe wanted. A worldly political organization. World government and socialism which is common to nearly all the articles written here. Most are hyper critical and specious and rarely evidence based and supported by logic. Completely unlike the Jesuits of old. Nowhere on a Catholic site is a reason given why one should be a Catholic. Elizabeth Scalia did not give a reason why one should be a Catholic. If one believes in the Catholic Church one’s faith is not shaken by bad Catholics especially bad clergy. There have been plenty of immoral clergy. She would have written a completely different article. But she has written one that is consistent with everything else published here. Doubt in the traditional Catholic faith. The traditional Catholic faith is thus mocked which means the Christian God is being mocked.

J Cosgrove
4 months 2 weeks ago

A famous line: what I have failed to do. What have the Jesuits failed to do/say? One can read a person's'/group's intentions by that as well as what is actually said. Sometimes better.

Douglas Fang
4 months 1 week ago

J - your strange obsession with the "agenda" of the Jesuits seems to be quite out of touch with reality and become a figment of your imagination...

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

I have a few questions for you
Why should one be a Catholic? I never see it it answered on this site. Take a crack at it.
Why should the reason one should be a Catholic be affected by the immoral behavior of several clergy?
How many articles on this Jesuit site have implied it does? Isn’t that an irrational attitude for a Catholic?

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

Thank you for the personal attack. It nearly always means that the person attacked is correct. You should address the questions instead especially if they are misguided. There are many more questions besides these.

Anne Chapman
4 months 1 week ago

Please provide a link to where Arupe states that he wants a "worldly political organizaton. World government and socialism". Please provide links to articles in America that seek "world government and socialism".

And please also - define what the word "socialism" means in that sentence.

After reading dozens of your comments, before learning to just skip past most of them, it seems that you are the one with an "agenda". You seek to discredit the Jesuits and every other Catholic who seeks to follow the words of Jesus in the gospels, as opposed to the words of anti-christ-ians - those who are anti the teachings of Jesus in the gospels.

The Jesuit "agenda" that I discern from reading this website is that they are doing their best to teach people what Jesus himself taught - this includes "welcoming the stranger (Matthew 25: 31-40. ). You might want to note also that when the Holy Family escaped to Egypt, they were "illegal" immigrants running from imminent danger, just as today's immigrants and refugees are doing. You do not want them in this country, the richest country in the world, and the perhaps the developed country with the lowest population density of them all. Why? Apparently because they are poor, they are brown, and they are not as educated as you would like to see. Jesus did not say "Welcome the rich, the white, the graduate degreed, and wall out the poor, the brown and black, and the poorly educated". If that is Arupe's "agenda', then it sounds a whole lot like Jesus' agenda. Jesus welcomed the people that the rest of society rejected. He told the rich that they had better tread carefully, as their desire for wealth and security could put them in danger of losing their souls. If what Jesus taught upsets you as much as the Jesuits' reflection of those teachings does, perhaps an OT citation might break through. Deuteronomy 10:19 "Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." This is only one of dozens of times that the people of Israel were ordered by God to welcome and care for the strangers in their lands.

You frequently expressed disdain for the plight of immigrants and refugees colors your entire viewpoint towards the America website and magazine. In addition, your knee-jerk defense of the clericalism that is destroying the church that you claim that you love betrays your true views. Perhaps a bit of study of the gospels would help that. Being a nominal Catholic is not enough - being baptized Catholic does not absolve people from acting like christians - aka - those who try to follow Jesus' teachings, hard as they often are..

I am mildly encouraged that Ms. Scalia, a very conservative Catholic, is finally outraged enough to write this article. I is good that America published it. Most likely it had to appear in America, as the closed-minded "conservative" Catholic sites would probably have refused to publish it.

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

So many questions . I will answer a few at a time. Joseph, Mary and Jesus were not Illegal immigrants. There was free movement in the Roman empire and just about everywhere else in the world at the time. There was less than a billion people in the world and some areas definitely limited movement but not the Roman Empire. So that argument is bogus.

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

I have no problems with immigration and never have said it or implied it. It is just how immigration is to proceed that is at issue. So to call my attitude as anti-immigrant is absurd and I wonder why you said it. I suggest you come up with a comprehensive immigration system to debate. The Jesuits have failed to do so but have published almost 200 articles on the topic. Possible agenda?

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

discredit the Jesuits and every other Catholic who seeks to follow the words of Jesus in the gospels

Nonesense - I point out that the current Jesuits are completely unlike the Jesuits of old and use emotional arguments not rationale arguments based on evidence and logic. They are ultra political when Jesus warned against that.

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

Point out where I discredit those who seek to follow the words of Jesus. I have two things that underline everything I say, Catholic morality as taught since the very beginning and individual freedom which has led to the modern world. The Catholic Church is on record as being against individual freedom for most of its existence. It is an instance of political meddling that led to oppression of the masses.

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

knee-jerk defense of the clericalism that is destroying the church that you claim that you love betrays your true views

Where have I defended clericalism. I have said that most priest are good and faithful Catholics and that probably most bishops and cardinals are too. I have said clericalism is not the main problem which I believe but it is still a problem.
I would suggest you stop making stuff up.

J Cosgrove
4 months 1 week ago

Please provide links to articles in America that seek "world government and socialism"

Have you read Laudato Si? Also any article that denigrates the nation state and populism is an indication of wanting a regional or world government. And there are plenty here including quoting the Pope that do. Point out where the Pope or America, the magazine, recommends free market capitalism or success through individual liberty. "In what I have failed to do" or in this case in what they fail to say.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

Well, thank God. The Jesuits published a piece by a woman who dares be angry. Unapologetically angry. Angry without sweetening it so that we have no hurt clerical feelings that will result in America editors accusing critics in a tantrum of comparing those criticisms to anti-semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry.

A woman who is angry without asking permission to be angry. Angry without pretending that mercy and anger cannot coexist. Anger without pretending that these guys are, in fact, different from us.

They are not.

I once believed they were because, growing up in the RCC, I thought these were men who would ALWAYS stand up for and beside the victim, the outsider, the voice in the wilderness, the vulnerable, the poor, the rejected, the person throwing out the money changers.

But what I have learned as an adult again and again is that the vast majority of you choose the institution, your job, yourself, your fear, your own insistence on belonging and being safe even at the cost of leaving lambs alone in the weather outside.

(And, no, your anti-abortion-while-"disappearing"-women campaign does NOT cancel out all those other betrayals of Jesus hidden in the faces of all the persons you abandon when you choose YOU over the Other. In the end, being anti-abortion is EASY. A perfect see-how-brave-we-are campaign which disguises how institutionalized you have become in the cowardice of choosing self through silence).

So, again, I am stunned that you published a woman who dares speak her just anger on your page without first metaphorically assuring you she doesn't mean you-oh-not-you-Father-______ or by first calling you "Sir", capitalization Matt Malone's in his most recent moniker for another priest who simply did his job.

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 1 week ago

Are you a Catholic? If you are, it is astonishing how Catholics - (and this observed phenomenon extends far beyond this screed, so don't take it too personally) who traditionally have had and should have a richer and deeper sense of reality and accompanying finely tuned B.S meters - have become so devoid of logical deduction and reduce everything to "us vs. them," black vs white paradigms.

So, all priests "circle the wagons" when confronted with the reality that some in their ranks are criminals? Noooo, I don't think so. But we are talking about homosexual cabals within the Church, which are indeed powerful, but they really don't take in the majority of priests, IMHO. I really don't think what you're suggesting describes the reality, and you would extend that idea to a very liberal CAtholic rag (Americ) as well. (Liberals, to me, ARE a big part of the problem - but by the way you conflate this whole "priest problem" with some sort of Pro life advocacy, I mean, the metaphor mixing is just too crazed)

Anyway, smarter persons than myself have said, "Don't get mad, get smart." Following that maxim, to have some reducing everything down to very simplistic "us vs. them" paradigms while extolling public displays of "righteous indignation" (has ANYONE HERE READ THE JOHN JAY REPORT?) just doesn't cut the mustard.

How many here are sending their children to public schools, for example, where the abuse percent is 16 times the rate as we'd find down at St. Whatshernames? I mean, the outrage just doesn't match the reality, and btw, most of these cases in the press are decades old. DECADES OLD!!

J Jones
4 months 1 week ago

Yes, I am Catholic and I spent a decade discerning vowed religious life and living and serving in Catholic Worker houses. Yes, I believe a majority priests (like the vast majority of other workers) look the other way when they suspect or learn of wrongdoing within the organization:; I believe only a small fraction of priests speak up within the organization, as is the case with most workers; and I believe it is the tiniest fraction of priests (or other workers in their organizatuons) who persist even when told by trusted superiors "trust me; I will handle it" or "shut it" for any number of corrupt reasons ranging from "it will be distraction" to "it will cost you a promotion" or, most corrupt of all, "Don't you have faith in God? Don't you have faith that God can handle this? Don't you believe in the power of prayer? Are you dry in prayer?"

Jay, when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church and Roman Catholic clerics, we are talking about the MOTHER (pun intended) of all legitimate Us vs Them conflicts. And it was created by and us sustained and maintained by this self-proclaimed and self-protected THEM by their self-serving alchemical story that they are "ontologically changed by the Sacrament of Holy Orders".

I am a cradle Catholic who came back to the Church and was confirmed by and because of two priests whose ministries I admired and in whose witness and love and joy and self-sacrifice I saw my own deepest desires. And it was because of their accompaniment of all Christ's beloved that I discerned vowed religioys life, lived and served in Catholic Worker communities, found the vocation that had been there all along. I have been those men and I would do anything for either. And I absolutely do not believe either was "ontologically changed by ordination". They were good men who wanted to live a life devoted to discipleship and they are still good men who want to live a life devoted to discipleship.

As I am sure you recognize, the issues addressed in this article and elsewhere include very real and ongoing events. Not "just" those "decades old cases".

I hear you. The only thing you want addressed is misconduct by gay priests. The John Jay study simply does not conclude what you wish it concluded.

No none of this is so overreaction. Roman Catholic be shops and Cardinals and priests and popes want women to risk their LIVES but these guys won't even risk their JOBS.

Marie Barna
4 months 2 weeks ago

I am 64, a life long Catholic, Catholic schools, a Deacon’s wife, and even worked for the Diocese for 15 years. When you’re in it, really in it, you can’t stay. I know too much and feel betrayed. I grieve the loss of my religion, but not my faith. I have found comfort in the Episcopal church, and yes, they have Eucharist. They have the sacraments and even our blessed mother is there. And you realize that the church lied about being the “one true church”. I have found beautiful liturgies and a church that welcomes questions and women and the LGBTQ communities. The anger is subsiding, but it is a grieving process. I hope and pray the Holy Spirit blows thru the Church and renews it. Life is too short to wait for a slow moving church.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

And especially one that is only moving slowly because that's "what we have always done". New Zealand banned assault weapons within weeks of the slaughter of people peacefully at worship. In the US, the line is "it can't be done". In the RCC, the line among the peoplr is "the Church moves slowly" and, of course, then the Church moves slowly because the people have accepted the hierarchy's self-serving story about how they can't move faster because "the Church, she moves slowly because God wants it that way " Marie, thank you for this. I am grieving and I want the Bread of Life that is a community of people who demand discipleship of their faith leaders, not the bulk of these men who served themselves through silence rather than setting Christ's beloved Other by telling the truth about the institutional sickness and, when necessary, sacrificing their own individual priesthoods to save the Other. It is a stomach-churning, enraging irony to me that these men are leaders in the "pro-life" movement, carrying on as they do so beatifically about the need of women to sacrifice their LIVES when these men refuse to sacrifice their JOBS.

Annette Magjuka
4 months 2 weeks ago

Exactly.

Annette Magjuka
4 months 2 weeks ago

Exactly.

Arthur Sullivan
4 months 2 weeks ago

I've taken the Episcopal step, too. Just one day couldn't take any more craziness. It's comforting to attend an Anglo-Catholic mass and pray without the distractions thrown up by Roman clericalism and scandal. I'm meeting some of the most spiritual people ever -- including female priests. Gay people seem genuinely welcome and are part of the family. Still, I pray every day for the Church of Rome and all my friends who are in such pain.

Ross Warnell
4 months 2 weeks ago

Not to mention the Episcopal Church has a much more robust pastoral theology of Baptism and thr Eucharist. The biggest difference between the two churches is Episcopalians admit how screwed-up their church is :-)

arthur mccaffrey
4 months 2 weeks ago

Marie, nice to see you make the distinction between the institution and your faith. Your faith is portable, it does not have to have a "Catholic" stamp on it to be valid. Glad you found a home with the Episcopals, but hope you will come back to help us build a People's Catholic Church after the current dinosaur dies out.

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 1 week ago

That's rich....seriously rich. The religion "left you." The religion that insists on a male priesthood "left you." The religion that insists on heterosexuality being the "norm" - somehow, "left you." (notice the word "left" keeps popping up here.

People, stop mixing your metaphors. Tolerance for a gay presbyterate brought on the abuse that many here seem to be railing about, not "lack of support" for LGBTQ.

I'm not suggesting there are no problems in RCC land, especially inside the RCC Inc. as I like to call the heirarchs, but sheesh, to suggest that not being liberal enough is what got us to this place??? You're not just angry, you're a bit mad.

Annette Magjuka
4 months 2 weeks ago

The corruption of the hierarchy, those protected, coddled, arrogant CRIMINALS, have given a stench to the church that decent people of conscience cannot abide. Our world is so full of injustice, and the criminal bishops and priests protect themselves and turn a blind eye to innocent children put in cages by the current administration! There should be a clarion call for justice! But the criminals in the church are no longer voices for justice and truth. There is homophobia so terrible that our LGBTQ youth despair and consider suicide. Women and families are abandoned. Everyone, it seems, is acceptable collateral damage to these criminal priests and bishops. They seek power, not justice. I have been betrayed. I have been sold a bill of goods—not by God, by the disgusting criminals who pretend to lead us to salvation. Have they no shame?!

Loretta de Córdova
4 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you, Christ, for the Eucharist! Please inspire the everyday parish priests to pray, not to give long insipid homilies; bishops to be wise and kind. Let us remember Teilhard de Chardin and Dorothy Day and Sigrid Undset and Francois Mauriac in our earnest desire to help rebuild a wounded church. In 17th century Puerto Rico, the bishop received tithing from the official brothel...the Vatican has spawned evil as well as goodness for centuries...nothing in new under the sun.

E. Commerce
4 months 2 weeks ago

I so totally get the anger. But here's the thing. Not a word about the victims. Especially the children. It still all feels like poor me, bad them, poor me. Essentially, the Church must change. You must increase, while I must decrease. If Jesus is preparing for His second coming, will our ego allow it? Must we rather become poor and humbled. Perhaps see that we are allowing--have allowed--children to be hurt? Turn our gaze from looking inward at "me" to looking outward and actually seeing "you".

Dr Robert Dyson
4 months 2 weeks ago

The Church threw away the most beautiful and moving liturgy that human endeavour could devise, and all the heartbreakingly beautiful music that went with it; threw away all the dear devotional practices, and all the disciplinary 'rules and regulations' that gave us order and restraint and certainty; protestantised and infantilised Holy Mass, apparently to make it more 'relevant' and attractive to non-Catholics ... and look where it all got us! I am an old man. I have grieved over Vatican II ever since it happened, and I have never changed my view that it was an astoundingly mistaken act of cultural and spiritual vandalism. I don't see anything in the contemporary Church that is likely to make me change my mind now.

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 2 weeks ago

Another nostalgic geezer opines......ahahah......and of course, you are correct, but not just the smells and bells, as they say, but a more serious and profound, richer and more informed sensibility that went along with that - which indeed, you allude to as well.

Now, those were not, in any absolute sense, 'the good old days.' The Church needed, IMHO, to veer towards the vernacular, and Vat II INSISTED on a balanced approach, not throwing out the Latin baby with the bathwater, which has been largely forgotten, sidestepped, ignored, etc. In addition, Vat II NEVER advocated for the Father Friendly show, ad populum, horizontal 'the Jesus in you worships the Jesus in me' anthropocentric Protestant lite, PC infused, languaged neutered, poetically void Novus Ordo.

Dr Robert Dyson
4 months 1 week ago

Since, fundamentally, you agree with me, I wonder why you thought it necessary to begin your reply with a snide comment.

Just sayin'.

Will Nier
4 months 2 weeks ago

We must remember that our Clerics and Religious are human and sin just the the rest of us. Maybe when women are ordained to major orders we will have a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Until them the Church is full of injustice and discrimination.

Dr Robert Dyson
4 months 2 weeks ago

"We must remember that our Clerics and Religious are human and sin just [like] the rest of us. "

With all due respect, I've got rather tired of this mantra. Yes, I know perfectly well that parish priests are not saints; but you don't have to BE a saint to know that it's wrong to molest children or to conceal those who do - do you? The Church's present ills go far, far beyond ordinary sins. They amount to serious, chronic, systemic corruption; they involve deliberate harm, or connivance in deliberate harm, to the trusting and vulnerable - things that cannot be explained as the mere lapses of human beings 'just like the rest of us'.

J Jones
4 months 2 weeks ago

I am appalled that the Catholic Church and its clerics have so corrupted and eroded and debased understandings of right and wrong by the RCC and clerics that lay Catholics repeat this self-serving nonsense about the crimes of the RCC and RC clerics being examples of human sin. The men of the RCC insist they are "ontologically changed by the Sacrament of Holy Orders"; they insist the people of God are "given" to them by God (see article this week by an SJ giving advice to new priest). The crimes of the RCC and RC clerics are committed in God's name, often explicitly, ALWAYS implicitly.

I am a cradle Catholic who devoted a decade discerning vowed religious and living and serving in Catholic Worker communities. My deepest identity is as a person who desperately wants to organize my life around of a Catholic faith community. Over the last four years, that had begun to seem possible if I live close enough to a Jesuit parishes to be a daily communicant and deeply active parishioner.

The betrayal is profound. These sins of theft, of abuse of children and people under the power as subordinates or parishioners, outright lies, of graft, on and on and on the RCC and RC priests are the gravest of sins, I believe.

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 1 week ago

Keep the proper context in mind, proper perspective. The Church is still a jewel, still Chris'ts bride, but great segments of that church have been infiltrated and appropriated by bad actors, often homosexual, who compell others, sometimes with not so veiled threats of exposure. to 'go along." That is called the Lavender Mafia, it is a real thing, it extends to the top. but it is NOT THE CHURCH herself.

People, do read the John Jay report. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

A Fielder
4 months 2 weeks ago

Elizabeth, there was a time when I felt truly sorry for all of those people who “used to be catholic.” But today I admire their integrity and courage, and am grateful that I am no longer addicted to the Eucharist.

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 1 week ago

To use language like "addicted to the Eucharist" is so devoid of respect and perspective, of reality -- that I can only doubt the seriousness of any such attachment to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Please add "never was Catholic" to your list of "feel bad abouts."

William Barlak
4 months 2 weeks ago

Twenty years ago, my wife and I had a conversation with a Domincan priest who was at our parish to lead a parish mission for a few days. One thing led to another in our conversation until he said the following which I will never forget. "In the early church, the cross the faithful had to bear was persecution. Today the cross the faithful will have to bear is curruption and scandal in the hierarchy." He obviously knew something back then that few lay people knew. Since that conversation, whenever I hear a new report of possble scandal or corruption involving bishops or cardinals, I am never surprised. I stopped listening to those guys a long time ago. Like those in the early Church, my faith is being tested not by persecution but by "all the crap that never stops coming." Those who put their faith in humans will always be disappointed.

Alan Johnstone
4 months 2 weeks ago

I am reminded of the wisdom of Paul Hinnebush OP in Praise: A way of life.
He had a chapter on Praising God by complaining.
For those who have mirrored the rage but do not have the appropriate humility before Almighty God it is recommended reading.

Where on earth did anyone get the idea that Yahweh had delegated the implementation of Divine Justice to the baptised?

Vengeance is MINE, says the Lord: I will repay!. The Old Testament is clear; Deuteronomy 32:35 which is ratified in the New; Romans 12:17-19

Jay Zamberlin
4 months 2 weeks ago

Oh just puleeze, try being a Christian in China or Iraq. First world lamentations are so empty and pathetic.

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