JPII's Record on Sex Abuse: Spokesman, biographer discuss how John Paul handled the crisis

Pope John Paul II meets with a gathering of cheering youths in St. Louis in 1999.

The man who served as Blessed John Paul II's spokesman and media adviser told reporters that the late pope did not initially understand the gravity of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but once he did he immediately took strong steps to deal with it.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who served as papal spokesman into the first months of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, also said the church's canonical process against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, began under Pope John Paul, but was not concluded until after his death, so the late pope could not have known for sure the allegations were true.

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Meeting reporters at the Vatican on April 25, both Navarro-Valls and George Weigel, a biographer of Pope John Paul, were asked about the pope's knowledge of and reaction to the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Navarro-Valls told reporters that when the abuse crisis became public, "I don't think he understood" how serious it was, "but I don't think anyone did."

Calling clerical sexual abuse a "cancer," Navarro-Valls said it became known publicly "in a geographically limited area, the United States, and with isolated cases," many of which were reported around 2000, but "had taken place 20 or 30 years earlier."

"That does not make the problem any less serious," he said, but with the "purity" of Pope John Paul's thinking, particularly his attitudes toward children and about the priesthood, "this was unbelievable."

Once Pope John Paul was convinced that the problem existed, Navarro-Valls said, "he immediately began taking steps," calling the U.S. cardinals to Rome and instituting new juridical procedures to investigate suspected cases and punish abusive priests.

"One of the important decisions," he said, was to give the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responsibility for handling the cases.

As the April 27 celebration of Blessed John Paul's canonization approached and critics raised questions specifically about the late pope's relationship to the Legionaries of Christ, Navarro-Valls said he has fielded dozens of questions about what Pope John Paul knew about decades of allegations that Father Maciel abused seminarians and was living a double life.

Pope John Paul did not ignore the allegations, he said, but he could not know the results of the Vatican investigation, which began during his papacy and concluded during the first year of the papacy of Pope Benedict. "I was the one who gave the announcement about the result of that inquest," he added.

In 2006, Pope Benedict ordered Father Maciel to withdraw to a life of "prayer and penance" and to abstain from public ministry. The doctrinal congregation said it would not pursue the canonical process of removing him from the priesthood given his advanced age. The Legionaries' founder was 86 at the time.

Weigel, the biographer, also was asked about the scandal.

"I think the only way to think about that comprehensibly is to understand that John Paul II was a great reformer of the Catholic priesthood," he said. "The Catholic priesthood in 1978 was in the worst condition it had been in since the 16th century. Thousands of priests had left the active ministry. We now know that a small minority of priests were involved in horrible crimes and grave sins. Seminary formation was weak. All of that was changed over the next 26 and a half years. So the first thing to be said about John Paul II and the crisis of sexual abuse of the young is that he was a great reformer of the priesthood."

In addition, he said, "I think there was an information gap, particularly between the United States and the Holy See, in the first months of 2002," when the crisis exploded in the Archdiocese of Boston, "so that the pope was not living this crisis in real time as we were in the United States. But once he became fully informed in April of that year, he acted decisively to deal with these problems."

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Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Michael & Anne - maybe you do care more for the protection of the children than the retribution for the bishops? It is just that you never blog about it? You can't even agree with my 6 points above, probably because that would deflect from your main goal, which is to attack the Church. I would ask you and Anne, who were probably not informed about the facts of Bishop Finn's to tell me what you actually want. It is absurd to say he was above the law when he was tried and convicted. Of course apologies are not enough. I never said they were. But, hey are part of repentance. That is why it is possible to forgive even great criminals but not to forgive obstinate refusal to repent. Anne claims hundreds of bishops were protecting pedophiles. That is absurd and bigoted. Anne wants a signal. How is that important for justice, it is just PR. Michael calls for accountability but never offers concrete ideas for solutions. I never say all Bishops did what was right and you should know by now that I defend the Magisterium's charism of protection from error, but not against bad governance, which doesn't just involve pedophiles. They do a bad job challenging heretical teachings as well. So, offer some specific recommendations for punishing individuals or how the Church should better protect children. Try to be part of the solution, not part of he problem.
Michael Barberi
6 years ago
Tim, The title of this article is: JP II's Record of Sex Abuse. My comments are clear and do not need more clarification than I have already given. The record and hypocrisy is that not one bishop was brought to justice under the papacy of JP II for the worldwide sexual abuse scandal. This taints his legacy and the credibility of the Church concerning this scandal. Justice starts with a formal and comprehensive, transparent and unbiased investigation into the allegations against bishops throughout the world involved in the sexual abuse scandal. This is a concrete idea for a solution Tim that you fail to recognize and deliberately ignore. The CDF and JP II never announced any formal inquiry and responsible investigation of bishops involved in the sexual abuse scandal; nor was there any report of such investigations, the evidence, or conclusions. All we got was silence, apologies, a zero tolerance policy, but no justice. All you want to do Tim is exaggerate side issues to deflect from the real facts and arguments made. I am part of the solution by raising legitimate, responsible and respectful criticism of JP II and the RCC for not bringing one bishop to justice for the sexual abuse scandal. According to your philosophy, anyone who responsibly criticizes the magisterium or a pope, or certain teachings of the Church are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Fortunately, few Catholics believe your worldview, philosophy or arguments relative to this issue. Trying to keep you on point, is like trying to nail jello to a wall. I am done here Tim, unless you have something new and significant to offer.
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Not to repeat myself, Michael, see my response above about the ongoing investigations.
Michael Barberi
6 years ago
Tim, Removing a few bishops from office, like Cardinal Law, or forcing the retirement of Cardinal Mahoney, and giving them comfortable positions elsewhere in the Church is not justice, nor are investigations that lead to the same end. I know you think this is appropriate justice. Don't ask me to be judge and jury again because I know you get the point. Fortunately, others who follow these arguments can decide for themselves. I won't repeat my arguments again either. God bless.
Anne Chapman
6 years ago
I am very familiar with the details of the Finn case but clearly you have chosen to put on your rose-colored glasses again. Thank goodness for the civil authorities - at least they did something. But Rome has yet to say or do anything about Finn's negligence. . As far as Cardinal Law goes, it's almost too late to do anything. He is retired, so he can't be forced to resign. At the very least he should be retired to a place that lacks the luxury to which he has become so accustomed in Rome. Perhaps he should live in an inner city rectory and help out the best he can - do something useful before he dies. As far as the hundreds of complicit bishops you seem blissfully (and willfully) unaware of, you could start by reading bishopaccountability.org. The data are there. In the United States alone, 111 sitting bishops (2002 - not counting auxiliary bishops who sometimes were also complicit, but were not the bosses - they just kept silent and obeyed) protected pedophile priests - 2/3 of all US bishops in office as of 2002. That is one country. Australia's commission is still investigating. Australia is a much smaller country so the numbers will be smaller. The global totals of bishops who protected pedophiles is in the hundreds. You could also ponder the reality that none of the bishops who did have enough of a moral compass to stop pedophiles in their own dioceses have ever raised a voice in "fraternal" correction of their "brother" bishops who failed to do so. Cardinal Wuerl's personal track record is good. He is a very influential cardinal, but he has chosen to support his brother bishops, right or wrong. Silence can be a form of complicity. In fact, the bishops elected Cardinal George to lead the USCCB shortly after he had ignored the Dallas charter (that he himself had bragged about) and failed to report Fr. McCormack (this is well after 2002 of course) who had abused kids, moved him to another parish where he repeated it, and only acted after the media and police got into the act. But I'm sure you will find a way to twist the facts of that case also to suit your viewpoint. Cardinal George is still trying to pretend that he didn't do anything wrong. He has trouble facing the truth also. Until the pope makes it clear through ACTIONS that bishops who protect pedophiles will be held accountable, trust will not be restored. The church has been hearing words and apologies for well more than a decade now. But they have been empty words, meaningless apologies. Those who protected pedophiles who are still in office should be asked to turn in their resignations and assigned to a normal parish to live out their days as parish priests. No more mansions or limos or wine cellars and fancy restaurants. People won't kiss their rings. A bit of peace and quiet to allow them to examine their consciences and perhaps gain both true contrition and a bit of humility.
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
And what else do you want to happen to Bishop Finn, Anne, with whatever glasses you wear? It sounds like you think you have more on him? Are there secret charges the civil authorities missed? Cardinal Law was forced to resign, as was Cardinal O'Brien of Scotland. The latter could be your "just one bishop" signal. He was banned from the conclave and is being investigated. You talk of "no fraternal correction." Do you really believe this didn't happen and didn't have an impact on the conclave. You even manage to attack Cardinal Wuerl in this piece and Cardinal George of Chicago is a very holy man in my opinion. See my other comment about the Chicago priest investigated over the last few months. I am all for an ending to kissing of rings, but show some humility in your attacks on people you don't even know. As to bishopaccountability website, it has already condemned Pope Francis, as well as every prominent US Bishop. This is not credible. This should give you pause. This is like saying all the police departments are corrupt (which would account for the massive lack of charges). It is more likely that there is a methodological problem. But, suspicious minds will never consider this. Of course, they're all guilty - of being orthodox Bishops.
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Anne – I am not sure you are responding in good faith when you say “finally.” My position has not changed. I will address your discussion on Bishop Finn. While I resist trial-by-media, here is what I know of the case, based on the NCROnline (http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/timeline-kansas-city-bishop-finns-time-court) and other internet sites. You call for a signal but I am not sure a "signal' is a sign of justice. I cannot believe it will satisfy SNAP or you, but the point is justice, not satisfaction of agitators. It is very different with heresy, as typically repentance is lacking. Bishop Morris will be welcomed back at any time if he repents. Dec-2010: Photos of a naked girl and other clothed girl’s sexual areas were found by a technician on Fr. Ratigan computer. The very next day, the Diocese contacted a police officer and described the naked picture; a Diocesan attorney was shown it. Because the photo was not sexual in nature, the policeman determined that it did not constitute child pornography. Bishop Finn, who never saw the photos at this time, was considering immediately removing Fr. Ratigan from ministry when Fr. Ratigan found out he was discovered and he attempted suicide. Bishop Finn, immediately sent him for psychiatric evaluation. Ratigan was diagnosed with depression but not pedophilia (doctor’s decision!). So, at this point, doctors and police say no crime and no pedophilia. The Bishop removed him to a convent away from children and put him under restrictions. 12-May-2011: Bishop Finn finds out that Ratigan violated those restrictions. More photos are found and sent immediately to the police. Ratigan is arrested 7 days later. The next day the Bishop goes public and apologizes for not acting more swiftly. On June 9, he appoints former U.S. Attorney Todd P. Graves to conduct an independent investigation. Then SNAP and Anderson and the media get involved, trace years’ old acquaintances of Ratigan, find people willing to claim abuse and ambush the Diocese with a press conference. There is a media firestorm, with accusations firing everywhere. Earlier warning signs are discovered but nothing surfaces in the end where Bishop Finn definitely knew of it. Sep-2011: Attorney Graves gives his independent report, and concludes "that Diocesan leaders failed to follow their own policies and procedures for responding to reports" of sexual abuse by clergy. Oct-2011: the county grand jury indicted both the Diocese and Finn personally for failure to report suspected child abuse (the 5 month delay), a criminal misdemeanor. In the end, Bishop Finn is put on 2-year probation for the misdemeanor. All charges to the Diocese are dropped. So, that is what I know. Keep in mind that Bishop Finn thought he was protecting one man from suicide and the children from contact for the 5 months. But, in my opinion, he should have followed the church rules and acted 5 months faster. Other than that I cannot see how he would deserve being defrocked or fired. He was shamed and given a convicted. He has repented. that is enough to deter others. And, Fr. Ratigan is sentenced to 50 years in prison for taking lewd pictures of children. I think that is justice.
Michael Barberi
6 years ago
Tim, Pay attention to what I write and stop being such an extreme apologist. See the facts and the hypocrisy when not one bishop is brought to justice as the result of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal. Everyone sees through your irresponsible rhetoric, such as the one you just sent me. Bringing bishops to "justice" means a formal process to hold people accountable for crimes and immoral actions that they may have committed such as transferring known pedophile priests around to other parishes where they abused more children; and covering up the scandal. Of course they have to be found guilty Tim. Who on this planet does not believe that? What everyone wants is this: A formal investigation that is transparent, open, honest and unbiased with justice carried out properly, appropriately and proportionately. As I said, the fact that not one bishop has been brought to justice taints the legacy of JP II. What do you not understand about that?
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Listen to yourself, Michael: "Of course they have to be found guilty...who on this planet does not believe that?" Let me guess: you, Anne, Roberto, Carolyn, SNAP, etc. etc., Has JP II been found guilty in any way - quite the opposite. All the people who know him deny your justification for "tainting his legacy." Don"t you need witnesses for an unbiased charge? As to no investigations, what about the Irish Catholic Church, which had an in-depth look from abroad and real findings. There have been other investigations, and more are coming. What about the Scottish Cardinal O'Brien. He was banned from the conclave. There is an actual investigation on a bishop right now at the Vatican (Archbishop Wesolowski). A committee has been formed to advise the Church on the process that includes a former abuse victim. I will watch to see how you withhold condemnation before guilt has been established.
Anne Chapman
6 years ago
It's all in how your read the records that are available to all, Tim. You read them with rose-colored glasses and ignore the facts you wish to ignore. Perhaps you can tell me when John Paul II ever faced the justice system? I would be quite happy for him to have had to face the justice system and defend his actions in open court. But that's not the way Rome operates, is it? Cardinal Law resigned for three main reasons: 1) the take in the collection boxes in the diocese fell by about 50%; the Cardinal's Appeal raised only about 50% of what was expected (and what was raised in earlier years) - together the church lost millions and millions in expected contributions; a large number of priests signed an open letter calling for his removal (courageous men, all); and perhaps most important of all - Law had been forced to testify under oath in the civil courts and forced to turn over records that clearly showed that he (and others in charge) knew about the priest predators and moved them from parish to parish. All the ugly truth came out because of Catholic prosecutors and a Catholic judge after the secular media exposed what was going on. Thomas Doyle had reported it too (not Boston specifically, but in the church generally). He did the report following a request by the bishops themselves. He was thorough and he was honest and the bishops not only ignored the report, they went after Doyle. He lost his fast-track job in the Papal Nuncio's office in DC and has been hounded ever since - simply for telling the truth. There was some talk of a federal investigation of the Boston situation and Rome quickly removed Law to Rome and out of the US Justice Dept's jurisdiction. They gave him a luxury apartment, serviced by three nuns (God forbid the man should cook his own breakfast or clean out his own toilet - that's the job of the subservient part of the human race - the female part - a car and driver, an important Cathedral and jobs on several important committees. He was protected by Rome and rewarded for his loyalty to the institution because he maintained silence about priests under his control who were serial child predators. Cardinal O'Brien was not removed because he protected pedophile priests but because he sexually harassed seminarians - IOW, his victims were future priests, not kids. Before being canned, he had refused to have an investigation into child sexual abuse by priests in Scotland even though the majority of the bishops wanted one (probably at least a few good men in that particular group of bishops). One wonders what he was afraid of? There have been others removed for that reason - bishops who themselves preyed on seminarians (of legal age), including one of John Paul II's personal friends. There were two in a row in Miami - after the first was removed for sexually abusing seminarians, he was succeeded by another bishop who turned out to have the same "problem". He too was removed. It appears that when the victims are other priests instead of kids, Rome will act. Rome is investigating Wesolowski while hiding behind the shield of diplomatic immunity and so far refusing requests by the Dominican Republic to return him to their jurisdiction - the jurisdiction where the crimes were committed. At this point, after the sad performance of the hierarachy of the church we've witnessed all over the world for yearsand years now, why would anyone trust Rome to do an honest investigation? I would be thrilled if they conclude that there is enough evidence to stop hiding behind diplomatic immunity and return him to face trial. I would welcome an honest, open investigation by civil authorities, followed by trials when indicated. If these were found to be innocent, I would be the first to pop the champagne corks. I DO want to know the truth. You do not. The Irish Catholic church did not cooperate with the government's investigation for a very long time. It wasn't until Archbishop Martin came to Dublin that a policy of cooperation, and openness started. He handed over everything they asked for, unlike his predecessors. He would have been a good pope. Investigations are all well and good. But they are not enough - the men who enabled child abuse who are still sitting in positions of power in the church as bishops should be removed. Then maybe a new start can begin - with a clean slate.
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Michael and Anne - there you go again, moving the goal posts. Anne -you wanted even one bishop to be forced to resign for poor oversight. Michael has added Cardinal Mahony to my examples. You say "it wasn't until Archbishop Martin came to Dublin." But, he was raised to Archbishop under St. JP II and assigned to Ireland. You may not know that the Vatican also picked an American Papal Nuncio to Ireland as well to lend some external oversight to the reforms there. You and Michael clamor for investigations as if they never happened. But, when I point them out, Anne says "investigations are all well and good, but they are not enough." Just face the fact that Anne cannot be satisfied because your heart is closed to the bishops. I will see if you even trust Marie Collins on the new committee appointed by none other than pope that your site bishopaccountability.com has already convicted by innuendo. Michael. I said nothing hateful but I can understand you getting upset when you are caught in a direct contradiction. You claimed you only wanted bishops punished IF they are found guilty ("of course they have to be found guilty") but you have already convicted them in a trial-by-blogging, with your own version of hateful accusations and it is you who are tainting the memory of St. JP II. But, it's not working. Even in especially troubled Ireland, there is a great reception to the canonization (http://www.irishcatholic.ie/article/canonisations-huge-hit-irish-cinemas). People respond to true holiness. Anne - you said below that you were fine with me having my saints and you having yours. Well then, I am fine with that. Just stop attacking my saints. I hope we can be done now and move on to other topics. And here is something new. News this morning of an investigation into 55 US colleges being investigated by the government for sexual violence (http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/01/us/colleges-sex-complaint-investigations/). They claim 20% of college women are victims. I bet you don't clamor for "collegepresidentaccountabiity.com."
Michael Barberi
6 years ago
Tim, Your hateful rhetoric and accusations are becoming legendary as you like to put motives, intentions and judgments into people's mouths like when you say: Let me quess: you, Roberto, Carolyn, SNAP etc, etc…to my comment that "who on this planet does not believe that someone must be found guilty so that the appropriate punishment/justice can be carried out. Your remarks are foolish and insulting. You like to throw degrading aspersions at everyone who disagrees with you (or the magisterium). Like I said, when Cardinal Law is given a comfortable position in Rome after his horrific and immoral acts in the sexual abuse scandal; and Cardinal Mahoney is removed from office and forced to retire, this is not justice by anyone's reasonable standard. Your tactics are to deflect from the main argument when the evidence is strong and you can't offer intellectually convincing arguments. I am happy that "some" investigations are happening regarding the sexual abuse scandal. Perhaps we will see justice under Pope Francis. In any case, there should be investigations of "all" the bishops who moved known pedophile priests around from parish to parish where they sexually abused more children, then covered up the scandal. Even you admit that those bishops should be investigated, and if found guilty, should be dealt appropriate justice. All you see is what you want to see and that is mostly evil intentions and motives on the part of those who respectfully disagree with you or the magisterium regarding certain teachings. I am done Tim "unless" you have new and significant comments to offer. God bless.
Carlos Orozco
6 years 1 month ago
Michael, I do not minimize the evidence against Maciel. Besides his criminal sexual behavior (all of which was homosexual in nature, by the way -not worthy of media analysis), we can also cite his uncanonical marriage, his brutal treason of the Regnum Christi movement and unjustly tarnishing the memory of John Paul II. Maciel embodies the modern Judas Iscariot. My point was that the reason that Maciel was able to be acquitted of charges was because many of his accusers lacked the courage to sustain their word during decades. That these individuals then charged against the pope is the height of hypocrisy.
Michael Barberi
6 years 1 month ago
Carlos, The Legions of Christ were only ordered in 2007 to remove the vow of obedience where members were prohibited from criticizing a superior or to inform on dissent within the order. This was the culture in the order and also in the church. The fact that those sexually abused by Maciel came forth in 1997 with formal complaints about his immoral and horrific acts is not the height of hypocrisy against the pope as you claim. The courage to come forth was likely helped when the sexual abuse scandal was gaining momentum throughout the world. One year after formal complaints were filed with the CDF, the victims were told by Cardinal Ratzinger that the case was being shelved reportedly by JP II. It was not reopened until 5 years later in 2004 because of the constant outcries from the victims, their attorneys and the press.
Tim O'Leary
6 years 1 month ago
Wait a minute, Michael. You are saying that fully adult members of the order felt themsleves bound by a vow of obedience put on them by their abuser to collude in his duplicity and sex abuse? Surely they could have found the courage to reject that vow, if only to protect future victims. They were fully obligated to expose him. If a bishop made that excuse, you would never have excused him. Were they afraid of scandal? Is that an excuse? Every single first-person witness to what Maciel was doing at the time is much more guilty of negligence than anyone in the hierarchy who didn't know what was going on. This excuse doesn't even reach the level of a double standard. This is a triple standard. An abused adult (1st - who should be the most certain witness) and a non-abused witness member of the order (2nd - order of witness) get a pass while someone in another country far away, has to figure it all out on hearsay, without an investigation? This is the problem I have with SNAP and so many on the sex abuse beat. They will find excuses for silence from the sex abused adults, the fellow priests in the order, the psychologists who say they are cured, the police who fail to do a proper investigation, the prosecutor who will not bring charges. The only one who gets their ire are the bishops in Rome. Crazy logic. So hypocritical.
Michael Barberi
6 years 1 month ago
Carlos, You are leaping to conclusions. The culture in the Order and in the Church is not "an excuse" for seminarian victims that delayed formal accusations about the sexual abuse by Maciel (the leader of the Order). Nor are these victims in "collusion" with their abuser, although I am not a psychiatrist. This culture was and continues to be a huge problem in the church today. Witness the fact that bishops and cardinals believed it was morally right to move pedophile priests around from parish to parish to abuse more children, then cover-up the facts when victims, their attorneys and the press exposed these immoral acts. They pitted an distorted view that it was more important to protect the church from scandal than it was to protect the health and safety of children. While the culture in the church is changing, it has a long way to go in terms of transparency and justice, et al. It is not an "excuse" but a fact that must be understood and put into perspective before one is to judge accusers. If the facts and accusations are false, then an unencumbered, open and comprehensive investigation will uncover the truth. The culture in the Order is only one possible rationale for seminarians delaying the formal accusations against Maciel. Today, most lay people (and seminarians) could not fathom hiding these horrific acts and not bringing their abusers to justice regardless of any type of vow of obedience. However, we need to place ourselves in this past culture. Who knows all the reasons these victims held back the truth about Maciel for a such a long time. Do you really think that they lied and made up the accusations, or exaggerated the facts? Think about all the children abused by clergy and how many years it took for them to expose their clerical abusers…well into their mature adult years I may add. Some of the reasons were shame, embarrassment, and doubt about whether any of their actions would get any legitimate traction in justice. Seminarians abused by Maciel should have had the courage to expose him, as well as resist him. However, this is not the point. They may have been guilty of negligence, poor judgment and a lack of courage, but does these descriptions exonerate Maciel or call into question their honesty? The criminal justice system in the U.S. is not perfect, nor is law enforcement and Church investigations (often held in secrecy) about the hierarchy and church leaders accused of sexual abuse. Because there is some hypocrisy in the secular and church culture does hide the truth. Most importantly, the priests and leaders of the church must abide by a self-imposed higher standard for they are the trusted reflections of Christ for the rest of us. Mercy and understanding without justice is imprudent. Finally, the real proof in the pudding about hypocrisy is the fact that not one bishop was brought to justice as a result of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal.
Roberto Blum
6 years ago
JPII cannot be considered a model Pope or a model Christian nor a saint. His evident omissions regarding the sex-abuse scandals happening during his tenure taint indelibly his pontificate and his whole life. His apologists completely miss the meaning of sainthood.
Carlos Orozco
6 years ago
Fortunately, Christianity never lacks true exemplary models as yourself, Mr. Blum.
Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
Roberto - you see problems with St. JP II because of guilt by association but see no problem (on another contemporary blog on America) with praying to the pro-abortionist activist Fr. Robert Drinan. So, I can understand the kind of model you are looking for. It has nothing to do with holiness, which is so passé for your meaning of sainthood.
Robert Helfman
6 years ago
I have nothing more to say. This is a public declaration made to insure that I keep my word, and stay out of this comment section. Before I raitfy my decision with this post, let me say this: clearly: there is a need to create an edifice, a religion, an institution that provides guarantees of authority not of faith-and whatever is not of faith is sin. Pride and, idolatry are sins. As to who is guilty of which, whatever, where or when I will not judge. It is enough to say this is a religious charade, a tragic-comic circus. May God have mercy on us all.
Roberto Blum
6 years ago
Tim, I agree with your comment. My concept of sainthood is not the same as yours. Anyway, it has been an interesting conversation. By the way, I do not consider myself a model for a Christian. I only hope to be a good catholic man.

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