"I forgive the man who raped me…"

Recently, writing about the terrible scandals of the church and the need for the hierarchy (and others) to do penance, I added:The fullness of healing, of course, can only come when the victims finally feel capable of saying “I forgive you…” That moment -which cannot be compelled and does not mean forgetting- is the moment when a victim takes his life back. When a victim says, “I forgive you,” she confers her own power over the entire situation, and controls it. It is transformative; it brings … [Read more...]

"As if they can barely see him…"

Irish writer John Waters, on Pope Benedict and the zeitgeist:“When you are invited on to a radio programme, all they want to talk about is sex abuse,” he said. And the Pope – whose writings on beauty, truth, on the nature of man, on Christ, he finds absolutely gripping and of huge importance – is caught up in a drama where no one really listens to what he has to say or takes any notice when it is explained to them.“They’ll just repeat what they are told – that the Pope insulted Muslims or wha … [Read more...]

He Leadeth Them

Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.From this interesting piece on Fr. Walter J. Ciszek and the simple (but not easy to come by) truths he learned while in the Gulag:. . . Lubianka wore him down with its constant hunger and isolation and the all-night interrogations, with their mind games and agonizing afterthoughts. After a year—brutalized, drugged, threatened with death—Ciszek did what he had been sure he would never do: He signed papers that gave the impression he had been spying for the Vat … [Read more...]

Secular Sex Abuse Gets a Look – Poll Added

In New York, Queens Assemblywoman Margaret Markey routinely presents a bill which seeks to open a year-long "window" into the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse cases, allowing victims whose cases may go back as far as 40 years to bring suit for damages.Because the bill has -until now- been limited by Markey to impact the churches, exclusively, it has always either failed or been shelved. It is difficult to pass a bill that essentially finds some sexual abuse victims to be more worthy … [Read more...]

Morning Plots & Errands

Isn't that great? Reader Brian J (who also made the Nun News Network graphic and the Rush/Bullock/Baseball one) sent that over and I love it. In terms of who is in or out, I have always been "out" and my advice on pretty much anything is worth about a nickle, so it's right-on in every way.This morning is going about working at a local hospital, as I mentioned here.Then, I will be dedicating some serious time toward developing two ideas we have talked about here:1) Funding scholarships … [Read more...]

Immigration & the Storm Next Time

Chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery, BrooklynLast week, I was in Brooklyn taping a few episodes of In the Arena, and one of the drivers, taking a route that brought us past The Green-Wood Cemetery, reminisced about Park Slope, where he had lived all his life."We were working class, then. Our fathers were train conductors and shoe salesmen. No, we'd never be able to afford to live here. We'd cut through Prospect Park to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers. In the summer, they'd close off four … [Read more...]

The Great Prostration; Count Me In

In an impromptu, and very beautiful homily, Pope Benedict XVI last week brought up the issue of penance:Penance is grace; it is a grace that we recognize our sin, it is a grace that we know we need renewal, change, a transformation of our being. Penance, being able to do penance, is the gift of grace. And I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word penance, it has seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speak to us of our sins, we … [Read more...]

Staring into the Empty Tomb

"There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." — J.R.R. TolkienThe news is terrible, disheartening, troubling, horrific -choose your a … [Read more...]

Ex-Communicating Oneself for Sins of Others

[Expanding on my thoughts begun here...]:Surrendering the consolations of the Eucharist, (and access to the sacraments, to the fellowship and to the senses-enlivening liturgy) because of the failings of mortal, passing men, this seems like a heavy burden to afflict upon oneself. Baggott seems to be doing the penance best done by those who need to do it. I wish and pray that she does not encourage her mother in this same outsized penance, as it seems so heavy and counterproductive. The good … [Read more...]

Clarity & Spirited Defense re Pope -UPDATED

CLARITY After adding a link to this post, I decided that this piece by Jimmy Akin deserves to be more than a footnote in a blogpiece.I am not saying that the Holy See’s handling of abuse cases can’t be legitimately criticized. I’m not saying that then-Cardinal Ratzinger/now-Pope Benedict XVI didn’t experience a learning curve on this point. And I don’t know what else is out there that remains to be discovered.But I am saying that the media is getting this story wrong, particularly in the case … [Read more...]


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