How long, O Lord?

How long, O Lord? October 15, 2014

What is the *matter* with these idiots?

Details of child sexual abuse that led to charges against a Roman Catholic priest on Thursday were reported to his Pennsylvania diocese nearly five years ago, court records show, but the church authorities did not remove him as a pastor.

The priest, the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., was charged in federal court in Johnstown, Pa., with possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct on trips he made to a boys’ orphanage in Central America. Father Maurizio visited the orphanage over a decade until 2009, when a Virginia-based charity that runs the home uncovered accusations of abuse by “Father Joe,” and passed them on to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, according to a criminal complaint and the group.

Father Maurizio, however, remained as pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City, Pa., east of Pittsburgh, until this month, when he was placed on leave after federal agents raided his parish home and his chapel, carting off computers, a hard drive and other electronics. The diocese said in a statement after his arrest that it was “profoundly disturbed by the allegations.”

No idea how the law works, but it seems to me some jail time for the people who kept this guy in place would not be amiss. For the love of God, this has to end. Five-years-after-the-alarm-bell-went-off bullshit about being “profoundly disturbed” only when the cops are busting down the door just makes it worse.

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  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Yep. Well said. Every time this comes up, the first thing that always goes through my head is:

    .

    “…if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

    .
    We need to stop blaming the culture for the demise of the Church in the West. The real problem isn’t the enemies at the gate. The problem is in our own house.

    • Red

      Hasn’t this always been the case though? I can pretty much guarantee that a quick glance at it’s 2000+ year history will demonstrate that the Church has always been full of sinners. The sins of the culture can always be seen in the Church.

      • The Eh’theist

        That response would be fine if the church didn’t lay claim to a higher moral authority than the average person. You can’t have it both ways, requiring respect for your moral standards and then asking to be treated like everyone else when you don’t live up to them.

        We outsiders understand there are always going to be people who do bad things, it’s the human condition. But when your leadership enables abuse and hinders those who try to stop it, that’s when the goodwill stops. You want to earn some of it back? Having pope Francis purchase a 1 way ticket from Rome to Logan airport and returning a misplaced cardinal would be a good start. More righteous anger like that displayed in this post is also an effort that builds trust. OTOH, the recent eulogy/love fest for an abuse apologist by Catholics across the internet made us question whether you really did understand why what he said was totally unacceptable.

        If you can understand these last two paragraphs, you can also understand why so much of contemporary society has turned against the church, and actively opposes your efforts, instead of the previous detente that existed.

        • Red

          “That response would be fine if the church didn’t lay claim to a higher moral authority than the average person.”

          Average person? Do you mean average westerner whose whole underlying idea of human rights is saturated with the metaphysical foundation that is the judeo-christian reality? Cast thine first stone oh thou who by definition is incapable of tossing the ones that really matter.

          • The Eh’theist

            No, I mean average person anywhere. Catholic morality is equal opportunity when considering itself superior to the morality of others. I don’t claim my morality is better or even original, why wouldn’t I use something that works?

            I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to communicate my concerns in a way that you could accept. I hope someone else will be able to do so in the future. That sad, don’t be surprised if the “average person’s” reception of your apologia for moral failure isn’t warm and hearty.

            • Red

              I won’t be too sad given that the “average person” is generally religious. So at least we nasty religious folk all believe I fairy tales right? They admit to being religious though. Atheists like yourself (and you are one of THOSE atheists) go out of their way to dismiss any religion, philosophy, mythology, history, or whatever else might get into the way of you non-god God that is atheism. Maybe we do have something in common since you apparently like fairy tales also.

              • The Eh’theist

                I do like fairy tales, and mythologies for that matter. Loved reading them to my nephew and my in-laws kids when they were young enough to be read to.

                That said, I can enjoy lots of stories and draw inspiration from something without feeling it should dictate the actions of everyone around me or feel it necessary to downplay all the other mythologies to feel better about one in particular.

                That can lead to losing perspective on things and cause unnecessary suffering when the story and the storytellers aren’t challenged on questionable ideas and actions. Suffering like that which formed the subject of this post we’re commenting on.

                There, now we’re back on topic.

                • Red

                  “That said, I can enjoy lots of stories and draw inspiration from something without feeling it should dictate the actions of everyone around me or feel it necessary to downplay all the other mythologies to feel better about one in particular.”

                  Is this a joke? Have you read Augustine, Boethius, pseudo-Dionysus, Aquinas? Do you actually think they make no references to great thinkers that came before them? There are references to pagan, Jewish, Muslim thinkers alike. Read Boethius’s consolation of philosophy and tell me how restrictive it is. Read the summa theologea and tell me how uncritical aquinas is of augustine. Read John duns scotus and tell me how uncritical scotus is of aquinas. Read aristotle and tell me how uncritical he is of plato. Read Ayn Rand and tell me how uncritical she is of Marx. This is like a joke that is so not funny that it’s actually starting to be funny. Which makes it not funny.

                  • Joseph

                    You two (Red and Eh’theist) are probably the two worst people to be debating Catholicism on the internet.

                    • The Eh’theist

                      Agreed. That’s why I stopped. My original intention was to provide some perspective on the response of non-Catholics on the issue of abuse and we were getting into unproductive tangents.

        • CrustyNatsFan

          This is a fair response and presents an important question many of us need to answer.

          With that being said, and I can’t believe I am doing this, after the post I just wrote, but I have to push back against the remark made about Fr. Groeschel. His remarks about the sex abuse scandal were flat out stupid and wrong and offensive. But I do not think it is fair that his or anyone’s whole life be judged on the criteria of the worst thing they ever said. I certainly know I never want to have that criteria used to evaluate my life. The man did nothing to perpetuate or enable this scandal, unlike many who sit in cathedrals and chose their words ever so carefully.

          • The Eh’theist

            You have no idea how much I would like to agree with you on this. Until I heard those comments, I had tremendous respect for the man, even if I didn’t agree with a lot of things that he said.

            The information has been somewhat scrubbed from the Internet since the incident, but if you ask our host, I think he could confirm that Fr. Groeschel (who was also a psychologist), played a key role in the development of the USCCB protocols for dealing with abuse as well as providing some psychological care for a number of the abusers. What sort of treatment do you provide if you believe the victim was responsible instead of the abuser?

            I thought his participation was a good thing that would help many people until I heard those words from his mouth. Now I can’t shake the idea that his participation while holding those beliefs played a strong role in why this problem is still as acute as it is. I take no pleasure in pointing that out, believe me.

        • Joseph

          “That response would be fine if the church didn’t lay claim to a higher moral authority than the average person.”
          .
          This is a response of someone who doesn’t truly understand the claims that the Church makes. I’m not into combox apologetics. I find it rarely works to convince those with tag names of The Eh’theist. As a former evangelical baptist turned agnostic, I’m well aware of the many straw men required to bash a Catholic Church that doesn’t really exist. It took quite a bit of reading and study to purge that well-ingrained bigotry. The last thing I wanted to be was Catholic, but after so much reading and study, I eventually realised that every anti-Catholic argument I ever encountered was a straw man carefully constructed by bigots at some point in history.

          “The enemies of the Church often do not hate the Church: they only hate what they erroneously believe to be the Church.”

          • The Eh’theist

            Are you saying that the Catholic church doesn’t claim a higher moral authority? Why is the synod going on with all the demands from the faithful to use that authority to pronounce on issues? If the church doesn’t claim a higher moral authority than please show me which other moral authority on earth it submits to.

        • JM1001

          That response would be fine if the church didn’t lay claim to a higher moral authority than the average person.

          I’m not Catholic, so perhaps I’m wrong on some or even all of this. But your objection would have had more weight if you had said something like this…

          The Church teaches that our “most immediate” moral authority is our conscience — which the average person has (Romans 2:14-15). By just being here, criticizing the Church’s behavior, you are exercising this capacity.

          Of course, our conscience can be wrong, either through ignorance or an error in judgment. In which case the person must call upon reason to reveal to them the truth of the matter which conscience alone has failed to do; reason itself, therefore, becomes a source of moral authority, since the person can, in effect, read the “law written on their hearts” and arrive at moral truths through rational analysis (also known as the Natural Law).

          Alongside this, revelation also becomes a source of moral authority, since revelation is the process of revealing truths that our reason would find difficult to arrive at without help. The Catholic Church claims to be the divinely-established communicator of those moral truths. Therefore, if the Church behaves in a fashion that is hypocritical or immoral, it can damage its ability to effectively communicate the moral authority that its tradition derives from reason and revelation.

          • The Eh’theist

            It’s taken a bit of thinking on my part to see if we agree or disagree. I think some of the perceived disagreement is in the possible breadth of definition for the terms church and authority.

            The Catholic church certainly recognizes the role of conscience, with the caveat that it must be “properly formed” i.e. align with the moral precepts taught by the Church. I think reason would be seen as one of the means used to form the conscience and for the conscience to perform its work.

            Likewise, with your point regarding revelation and the Church’s role as communicator. While obviously I don’t hold to the idea of revelation, I agree that this is part of how its role is understood.

            I believe there is an additional aspect to moral authority that I feel goes beyond the scope of what you’ve said, and that is the authority the church claims to impose actions which then are said to have a moral force (let’s go with the classic no meat on Friday).

            The church makes it explicit that this is a discipline that can change (and indeed it has changed in some jurisdictions) so therefore not revelation, but it still had moral force attached to it such that non-observance by Catholics was grave matter and quite possibly mortal sin. Or not mortal sin depending on the time and jurisdiction in which you live.

            Can you see the distinction in this from what you’ve proposed? The church goes beyond the role of communicator and becomes an arbiter of morals. Even a legislator, defining morality where previous laws weren’t specific.

            I agree with your last point about damage to the ability to communicate, but go one further in arguing that such behaviour also removes the pre-existing tolerance by non-Catholics for the claim to legislate as well.

            That’s why I pointed out that so much of the pushback is tied to the action of the bishops rather than those of the abusive priests. We understand that people commit wrongs, but regular, widespread wrongdoing and support of wrongdoing by leaders while the leaders are claiming a moral authority isn’t tolerated.

            It’s the very same principle that Mark Shea applies to the Executive Branch of government as he points out their failings except that the Executive Branch makes no claim to divine mandate for its actions (most of the time).

  • Andy

    And the hierarchy wonders why people aren’t really paying attention? They wonder why the media and culture see the Catholic Church as hollow in many ways? This, plus ignoring persons in need of pastoral care (not tied to the current hair on fire about the synod), reaching the laity where they are, arbitrary closure of churches – the list is long.

    • CrustyNatsFan

      It is not only the media and culture that comes away with an impression of hollowness. Speaking as someone going through RCIA as I try to return to the Church after wondering away. My faith in the authority of the Church is greatly shaken with each one of these revelations of clerical abuse. And the tremors are getting worse. Bishops and faithful Catholics–liberal and conservative alike–were tripping over themselves yesterday to weigh in on an unofficial and unbinding document on the pastoral care of some stinky sheep, like myself. Some think the document signals bright days ahead, for others it is a sign of the end times. One side will win the debate, the other lose. And children will continued to be raped. It has been going on literally my whole life. So why should I listen to the Church?

      For full disclosure, I will tell you that my formative years I spent growing up in the 1990s and 2000s. So, yeah, the Church’s positions on pelvic issues, such as birth control and homosexuality, are not as obvious to me as to many of you who may have grown up in a different times or circumstances. Frankly, it is a stretch for me. But I have been willing to trust, just focusing on my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I tell myself the sex stuff is minor and just focus on Christ.

      It is just that tonight, however, I realize how the abuse scandal really has undermined my ability to trust the Catholic Church on issues of morality. I see stories of people being promptly fired from their positions in a parish or school because of they live an open committed homosexual lifestyle, but yet rapists are routinely protected in both liberal and conservative diocese. This is confusing to me. Why should I allow this institution to inform my conscience on these issues, when it seems so unable to uphold a very basic and uncontroversial moral position such as not enabling the rape of children? Yes, the Church is human. But that is kind of my crisis at the moment. It seems too human to trust fully.

      At the end of my life I would like to be known as a good Catholic. But I know that means I will have to eventually trust the Church fully. And that is getting harder for me to do the longer things like this abuse scandal goes on.

      Thanks for letting me vent.

      • Andy

        To be honest I have many of the same feelings myself – why should I listen to men who covered up abuse and rape of children? They allegedly did so to prevent scandal and in so doing created greater scandal. My wife who is a convert, and a saint for staying married to me and I, a cradle Catholic have the same discussion at least once a week. We lost our music minster, not a paid position because our priest would not baptize her grandson because the child was born out of wedlock, and the mother was afraid to talk to the priest because of his expressed disdain for unwed mothers. I keep asking why listen to him. I just received an appeal from the bishop asking for money due to unexpected expenses – my first question – what were the unexpected expenses caused by?
        I try to be a Catholic -as a kid in Catholic school we used to talk about being a practicing Catholic and at that time it seemed to mean practice what the church teaches and what the priests, bishops and so model. Now I am not sure AI can practice – I keep trying but fall short.
        My answer is to pray and to trust that the we, that is the church will not pass from this Earth until eh return of Jesus, because he built a solid foundation. I am glad that you and the chance to vent as that is at least for me the first step in trying to understand. Much like the document from the synod – people venting ideas and thoughts as they wrestle with thorny, messy issues.

        • Red

          Dude, your idea of Christianity reminds me of a nirvana song. I feel like blowing my brains out. Yeah, maybe I freak the heck out on all sorts of ridiculous, non-freak-outable issues. Mid-synod relatios, statements made by the Pope taken out of context, etc…. You seem to have chosen to curl up in a ball (I guess a ball of prayer) and refer to ALL clergy as “men who cover up rape of children”. I think you know better than this. There are some fantastic, unbelievable, amazing, wonderful priests.

          I don’t even know why I engage people like you. Wake up!!!

          Fine, leave catholicism. Go on. Do you think life is going to be some grand, fantastic, happy rainbow land where whatever worldview you’ve adopted to escape the evil that the child rapists forced on you will be any better? Spare me. As fun as atheism, agnosticism, protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or whatever, look on paper, you’re gonna be disappointed. Do you know why? They’re not true.

          • CrustyNatsFan

            I don’t think anyone said ALL clergy were guilty of covering up or engaging anything criminal. Please. I feel fairly confident saying most clergy are good servants of Christ. Nor has anyone suggested religion shopping, much less finding a religion without sin. The question that I and others are trying to grapple with or in my case find a suitable answer for on my RCIA journey has to do with the claims of authority the Church makes for itself. In order to submit your will and intellect to any authority you should have trust in that authority. And the way the Church here in the US and in Ireland, the two countries I am familiar with, have handled abuse does not inspire my confidence and makes trusting it hard.

            • Red

              That is a great, understandable, and honorable question to ask.I struggled greatly with this myself. I never referred to priests as “men who try to cover up rape of children” even in my darkest moments. Very very very dark moments by the way. I should also point out, it wasn’t some evangelical lay person who ripped me out of despair and presented the mercy Christ offers. It was a priest. A good, good man. A man who reached out to me when the rest of the world saw me as useless. Yeah, I’m familiar with the abuse scandal. I’ve heard of the priests bishops, and lay people who have sinned horribly against children. I’ve also been pulled out of the depths of despair by a priest who loves and lives for Christ. The world will not trust him when they see him. He’s one of those “men who cover up rape of children” by default. Not only to the secular world, but to those who have in fact encountered great priests. Andy has encountered great priests by the way. Trust me.

            • Joseph

              Crusty, I live in Ireland… it’s still bad here. There are tons of rebel priests and bishops who are walking contradictions, wanting to make themselves relevant by preaching in accordance to the whims of popular culture. But, my faith isn’t in them, it’s in Christ, His Sacraments, and His teachings that are fully realised in His Church despite the failings of those ordained to deliver it.

              .
              I also lived in the US, things *have* been getting better there, though it’s a slow process. How the bishops handle abuse has no bearing on the Truth that resides in the Church.

          • Kathleen M. Ritter

            Wow. I bet you bring a lot of people to Christ. A little over the top.

            • Red

              Mmmmm, thank you Kathleen. Your comment really gets at the evil that is my existence and the damage it does to all the faithful, lay on your back and get raped christians like yourself. You know what, I’ll go ahead and internalize my feelings and curl up in my self-righteous little ball. This world doesn’t need more dissent. Then again, my patron saint is St Athanasius. Read a few of his books and tell me what you think of him. By our modern standards he could definitely be classified in the jerk section.

              • Kathleen M. Ritter

                Wow, it’s like you read my thoughts, my very soul. I feel closer to Christ already through your probing analysis of my deepest fears, insecurities and (previously hidden even to me) motivations. Thank you for your witness.

              • orual’s kindred

                By our modern standards he could definitely be classified in the jerk section.

                Perhaps. Even so, being a saint does not absolve or excuse someone from being a jerk.

                Also, it is rather unlikely that the ill-manner he may have engaged in significantly reduced the truth and potency of his words. The Church did declare Saint Athanasius a saint, after all 🙂 Your conduct, however, obscures your point and dilutes the effectiveness of your statements–many of which seem informed and driven by your personal feelings and impressions.

              • Joseph

                Red, you should go back to Protestantism where heaven is assured. Catholics believe that your sort of arrogance is the sin of presumption, that we are all sinners trying, by the Grace of God, to understand life and live according to His will with full knowledge that we are not perfect. You belong in the right religion that allows you to cast down fire bolts of damnation on the wicked beneath you, not Catholicism.
                .
                Sorry man, but wrath is not a virtue… not in Catholicism anyway. I’m sure there’s room in John Hagee’s mega church for you.

          • Dan13

            “I don’t even know why I engage people like you.”

            Then don’t.

          • orual’s kindred

            Fine, leave catholicism.

            He said he wasn’t sure how he can practice. I’m not sure how this translates to a decision to leaving Catholicism. And he went on to address the troubles he expressed with My answer is to pray and to trust that the we, that is the church will not pass from this Earth until eh return of Jesus, because he built a solid foundation. I don’t think someone who is about to leave the Church would say such a thing.

            Furthermore, several saints have spoken about undergoing dark nights of the soul. I believe one of them at least wrote about it 🙂 And not only did the saints overcome their trials, they are now held up by the Church as exemplary witnesses to Christ.

            I don’t even know why I engage people like you

            Somehow I think the saints knew why they engaged the people that they did 🙂

            • orual’s kindred

              I meant, of course, to leave Pfft.

            • Andy

              Thank you for your comments – I have no intention of leaving the church – I am wrestling with several issues within the church writ large and our local parish ( I am the chair of the pastoral council) – this is one of them

              • orual’s kindred

                I didn’t think you were 🙂 When you bring up your problems–which isn’t often–you still defer to the Church, which I for one find encouraging. So thank you for helping me live a Christian life 🙂

                • Andy

                  Thank you

          • Joseph

            Red, pride cometh before a fall. You’re going face a crisis of faith… guaranteed. You don’t see it yet because you’re too busy telling everyone that they are not as Catholic as you are. But, that attitude will only lead to personal trial… God is watching. Look out.

            • She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

              Proverbs 16:18, does indeed state that “pride goes before destruction” but it doesn’t say that it’s guaranteed, lock, stock, and barrel. Red may indeed have a crisis of faith at some point in his life, but then again, he may live the whole of his life without any such crisis. The honest fact of the matter is that there is really only one thing we know that will certainly happen at some point in the future and that is that Jesus will come again at the end of time. That is to say that nothing in life is certain (not even death and taxes because if Jesus shows up and you go with him, you don’t die and well, we all know about people not paying taxes). Nothing. I hope, for his sake, that Red will have a softening of heart toward his fellow Catholics who are wrestling with their faith, but are determined to stay the course and keep the faith despite their questions, doubts, fears, and struggles. That said, if he remains as he is, it’s not guaranteed that he will endure something similar. God IS watching but not just Red. He’s watching ALL of us — you, me, ALL of us. The verse in Proverbs just before the one you quoted says this: “The path of the upright leads away from misfortune; those who attend to their way guard their lives.” Notice that it says nothing about attending to the way of others. It says attend to your own way. It’s one thing to admonish those who are uncharitable, but it’s an entirely different thing to prophesy crisis and misfortune over them.

          • cmfe

            The Church is more than a moral code. It’s a family. It’s a disfunctional family that has caused a lot of pain. No one here has said that all priests are predators. It’s not as much those who were in the grip of some terrible perversion that made this such a mess in the Church, it’s the bureaucrats who coldly calculated the options and decided to throw victims under the bus to save their prestige and power. It’s legitimate to talk about that damage and pain.

          • Andy

            Your rage and wrath seemed to have clouded your reading comprehension. My original statement dealt with people not listening to the hierarchy. Those are the folks who have covered up the abuse and rape of children. Those actions occurred. CNF was asking about how we can trust their leadership – I said I have the same questions. I never said there weren’t wonderful priests – don’t know where you got that idea, I have meant several and count several as friends. There are also priests who are not so wonderful. Our current pastor hovers near that space.
            I also never said I was leaving the church – rather I wonder how to practice my faith when the “leadership’ seems more interested in preventing scandal then protecting people.
            As a favor though since you do not know why you engage with people like me, then don’t bother to.

          • Newp Ort

            You’re such a fucking idiot. These are people that WANT to stay, despite their confusion and misgivings. And your solution is to usher them out the door.

            Fine, leave catholicism! I’ll take my football and go home!

            Assholes like you don’t just want to make people leave, they make others not want to come back. Enjoy your tiny fortress church, with the rest of the unsullied.

          • petey

            what an irrational post.

        • CrustyNatsFan

          I hear you. Prayer and trust in God is all we really have. Prayer at least keeps me from letting my anger get the best of me. The trust thing might take some time.

        • Dan13

          “We lost our music minster, not a paid position because our priest would not baptize her grandson because the child was born out of wedlock, and the mother was afraid to talk to the priest because of his expressed disdain for unwed mothers. ”

          What a moron (the priest, that is). Treating unwed mothers with disdain encourages the next pregnant, single woman in your parish to get an abortion.

          • Andy

            That has been our concern for several years now.

      • SteveP

        RCIA is a good place to ask that question: “Why should I listen to the Church?” I pray the answer you come to is founded on Christ: Christ is the Head of the Church; the Church is Christ’s Body. The Head and the Body are not separate. There is Grace in abundance for the asking.
        .
        While the allegations against the priest are of a heinous nature, imagine, for a moment, what the man’s actions may have been without the Grace conferred in his ordination or the other sacraments he both received and confected. Concupiscence leads to depravity; Grace leads to holiness. It is easy to say “Always choose Grace” but, seemingly, much harder to practice.
        .
        May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

        • CrustyNatsFan

          Thanks. The authority question is one we will be getting to in a few weeks. So I will indeed be engaged on that discussion. Who knows I might even go pick up Mark Shea’s book on authority, which I was not aware existed.

      • Joseph

        Yo Crusty… remember that you believe Jesus Christ is God… the All-Knowing God. He *chose* Judas with full knowledge of what was in his heart and that he would fall to temptation even to the point of betraying him with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver. The Apostles were chosen by God to receive the authority of the Church after the transfer from the Sanhedrin (who sat in the seat of Moses… divinely ordained) that would take place at the Crucifixion. Judas, future elected bishop of the Church was chosen by God Himself. This is what I harken back to when I think of scandals throughout Church history brought on by nasty bishops. It’s silly but a statistical way to look at it: Judas was one of twelve: 1/12. In my mind, it was almost an indicator that Christ God gave us to say that there will be a percentage of those bishops who received a *vocation* and call from God to later betray Him with a kiss.
        .
        Not to mention, if Christ God thought that His future divinely ordained Church leaders were going to be perfect, He wouldn’t have given them this stark warning, “”If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to
        stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung
        around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
        .
        A quick perusal of Church history will show that there has always been a percentage (big or small) of bad bishops, even bishops of Rome. However, the Truth as taught by the Church has never changed. Even St. Peter betrayed Christ three times. And, based on some historical records of St. Peter’s crucifixion, he even attempted to flee out of fear and save himself before he turned back to face his fate. The lesson: bishops aren’t *made* holier than us because they’ve had hands laid on them and have a vocation. They are *supposed* to lead by example and combat their own concupiscence. But they are as afflicted with temptation as well are.
        .
        So don’t let the bastards grind you down.

      • cmfe

        Word, Crusty. I’ve described myself as a hostage in the Church because they have the Eucharist and I want it. There have been times in life when the extent of my spiritual life was just going to the altar like a baby bird with my mouth open to be fed. Too much pain for words or prayers, just subsisting on Christ. I am deeply grieved and am careful of my children at Church because I’ve seen how little the hierarchy values them. I don’t feel it’s safe to have them in the kind of Catholic community I grew up in, but it’s hard to create Catholic culture at arms length. I don’t know the answers, and it’s very painful here, but still I stay. Best wishes to you.

      • linda daily

        As a life long Catholic with many priests and vowed religious as friends, I’ve come to believe that many ordained and consecrated have weak moral characters, and need the extra supports, perks and boundaries that religious life provides to grow into mature disciples. Often these character flaws don’t emerge until later in life, after the facade of perfection hidden under clerics or habits fade. Their brokenness is part of their vocation. Perhaps that is the essence of Christ’s call – His strength is made manifest in our weakness. We as laity tend to idolize priests and religious, rather than focusing on our own growth into mature discipleship, and the Church suffers from our immaturity and hero worship.

  • Anonymous

    Who am I to judge?

    • SteveP

      Gradualism: the priest is still working out his salvation and his sins are not yet recognized as fashionable.
      .
      Gradualism: the DHS will travel to another country and interview minors to obtain probable cause allegations against a citizen of the “Homeland.”

      • linda daily

        You do understand the difference between sex between consenting adults (no matter how much you disapprove) and child rape.

        • SteveP

          You do understand the segment of the population in North America considering sex tourism to be fashionable.

          • linda daily

            Is that your understanding of child rape?

            • SteveP

              I think you can do better with a short review; may I suggest a search on “Trolling for Dummies”? Good luck!

              • linda daily

                Thank you for a mature and charitable response, Steve.

                • SteveP

                  You’re very welcome. I’m confident your comments will soon be fully intelligible questions. Again, good luck to you!

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    My teenager was always profoundly disturbed after getting caught too. It’s easy to be disturbed when actual consequences might be in sight.

  • kenofken

    How long? It will persist at its current rate and scope until such time as bishops are routinely laicized and imprisoned for covering up and colluding in these crimes.

    • Joseph

      They may have been involved in the seminary circle jerks as well. Some of the priests they protected may have shared the same sexual deviancy and/or shared the same bed at one time or another. Loyalty comes into question as does potential blackmail. A bishop with nothing on his conscience would have certainly been more likely to act quickly. Just a thought… driven by complete disappointment.

  • Justin

    Right on…louder voices must prevail. They are DESTROYING the Church’s name.

  • Justin

    Apparently the spectre of hell is not much of a fear for a lot of people. Jesus didn’t seem to agree with them though. In fact he said it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and be thrown in a lake…that might be called tough-stance Jesus.

  • pavel chichikov

    test