In Praise of Gerard Serafin

And in disgusted condemnation of the despicable, cowardly act of Cardinal Keeler.

I’ve known Gerard Serafin for a number of years, virtually speaking. We’ve been on lists together and I have always seen him to be a gracious, intensely prayerful and loving man. We’ve had our differences, even on this blog. But I am morally convinced that he is a far holier and saintlier man than I will ever be, and I hope that, should he die first, he will intercede with the Blessed Mother and Our Lord (with whom he is very close and who are extremely fond of him) on my behalf. Before God, I would tremble to harm him since I’ve always had the sense that, however much we’ve disagreed, the Light is on his heart in a very special way.

Cardinal Keeler now has cause to tremble before God I think. In one of the most despicable acts of episcopal ass-saving cowardice in a year known for despicably ass-saving episcopal cowardice, the good Cardinal saw fit to publish a big fat list of names of people who were, many of them, merely accused–not convicted, not guilty, not even particularly likely to have done what they are accused of–just accused of abuse. Gerard’s name was on this list and so Gerard–a faithful son of the Church and fine man, is now publicly humiliated (a fact he has poured out his soul about on his blog).

Cardinal Keeler has now joined the ranks of Mahony and Egan in my roster of ecclesiats for whom all I can muster is “salute the uniform” respect. This appalling act of cowardly, despicable, revolting willingness to throw somebody to the wolves, not necessarily because they actually done anything, but because it will play well with the press and help Keeler regain the prestige he has pissed away has served to utterly destroy my respect for him. I will say clearly, I do not believe for one damn minute that Gerard ever did anything wrong. I do believe, in fact I know, that Keeler’s choice to wantonly destroy the reputation of many people merely because they were accused and he needed sacrificial victims to feed to the press is completely in violation of Catholic moral teaching.

It’s ironic really. Nobody has bent over backwards harder to be charitable to the most despicable of our shepherds than Gerard Serafin. And as a victim of accusations, I can understand why he’d want to be very careful. Lives can be destroyed by this stuff. But Cardinal Keeler is Exhibit A in just *why* I’ve been arguing with Gerard that our bishops (some, not all) are behaving deplorably as shepherds, first neglecting their responsibilities to victims and now neglecting their responsibilities to their priests.

There will, I think, be more depressing examples of raw episcopal cowardice, but few will be as memorable to me as Cardinal Keeler’s disgusting, shameful act of human sacrifice with Gerard Serafin and other “accused”.

Gerard, you have my support. Cardinal Keeler: Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame.