Hoping for Resolution
Re “Why Stay?” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 9/17): I was grateful to read Father Malone’s letter on the abuse crisis and its toll. For this Catholic, it is important to hear from spiritual leaders in the church that they understand and share the degree of anger and sadness the scandal has caused many of us, in addition to the pain that the victims of abuse themselves have suffered. It was important for me to read a Jesuit in Father Malone’s position in the media use words like “catastrophic failure” to describe the scandal. Sadly, that is the language it requires.
I also appreciate Father Malone’s message, as I read it, that our anger can itself be a call to action to protect the vulnerable in the future and his call not to lose sight of the central faith to which the institutional church is ultimately a servant and custodian.
Growing up, I was fortunate to see the example of Jesuits of great integrity putting their faith into practice. That is what I read here. If America continues to report on this issue and the steps taken to address it with the magazine’s standard honesty and integrity, I have hope that some
resolution will be found.
A Devastating Summer
This past summer has been devastating. The pain and suffering that has been unearthed, while necessary, has wreaked havoc in so many lives, and I am at a loss to try and understand it. Father Malone’s article helped me put the devastating news of this summer in perspective.
Walking With Christ
In the past, I have been questioned and harassed because of my decision to stay in the church. While this most recent crisis saddens me, the church continues to be where I feel at home.
I felt God’s presence and his love in Father Malone’s words. I hope others can come to the same decision as I did years ago. If I leave the church, I contribute to its demise. If I stay in the church, I serve God and, in that, perhaps strengthen it. I pray that the church can be transformed by
this crisis. I thank Father Malone and all those who work at America for walking with Christ.
Kimberley A. Bassi-Cook
A Global Tragedy
Re “Is The Worst Behind Us? Study Records Continuing Decline in Abuse Reports,” by Mark M. Gray (9/17): If there are indeed fewer cases of clergy abuse here in the United States and Europe, that is because civil authorities are finally taking a role in investigating and prosecuting these crimes. But I predict there will be a future wave of sex abuse cases brought to light in developing countries, where Catholicism continues to grow, like Africa and parts of Asia.
A Humble Teacher
Re “The Model of a Catholic Teacher: Cardinal Avery Dulles,” by Patrick J. Ryan, S.J. (9/17): Avery Dulles taught me at Fordham, too. Some of my best lessons came from this chatty professor, walking around in a beret, available to any student who wanted to talk. On Sept. 11, 2001, he led students to the church and talked about Pearl Harbor. He was humble, and he was wonderful.
Protest and Liturgy
Re “Leonard Bernstein’s Liturgy—Of and For the World,” by Kevin McCabe (9/3): Thank you, Kevin McCabe. Can it be that “protest into liturgy and liturgy into protest” is how that most mysterious, seditious, unbounded love that we call incarnation is legitimately expressed on our planet, stretching toward redemption? Can it be that sometimes when I cry “blasphemy,” I may be missing the idolatry in my worship of a soft, church-building-contained Christ?
I hope as a handmaid of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to find myself among the most loyal of churchwomen. For years I have been beginning to see the crucified Christ containing all agony of every age in a scandalous final hopeful surrender.
Kathleenjoy Cooper, A.C.J.