The Church: Judge and Jailer

The Church: Judge and Jailer June 23, 2019

You were presented in the beginning

As pristine, unblemished, pure one

We were instructed so by your disciples

And yet we missed the view of your cunning


Your cruelty and shackles

Which you placed upon my darling

Dear ones. Their only desire was a bosom

And a home. We missed your hackles

that revealed your true nature

Your hunger for blood and sacrifice

That was unjustified in the noonday sun

When these poor ones searched for water


This barren desert was our promised

recompense for sullen sullage

The catch was that our parents

Were the promise makers and we only wished


For some cold water to bathe our feet

Is that too much to ask from the slavemaster?

The hoarder of the life-giving water?

If only we had strayed from the heat


That radiated from your shining gold

And silver towers. Your mockery of God’s beauty

And promise of heaven. We have no hope

Of heaven without you, we were told

Beggars’ tears had no effect on you

Or your petty disciples. When suffering

And poverty are destined to sanctify

Why shouldn’t we revel in the gloom


The pain and the misery was a blessing

A grace and a blessing, you chanted at our funerals

Where is the hope that we seek in life?

There is none without passing


Through fire and water and blood

Sacramented in horror and honor

Glory blazing through us

While we drudged up more mire and mud


To the few who fought against these bonds

You dealt out fury and damnation

Death by excommunication they

Screeched and hissed while the dawn


Hastened to shatter their bloody dreams

The power of the press has freed us

But no

We are still alone the children keened


They shield our breathless hope

Behind fences of penance

To keep the world out and the church

Crying for our pope



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About Veronica Roltgen
A budding writer in the Minnesotan north woods, Veronica Roltgen creates stories and poems when she isn’t chasing after her toddler. She enjoys passionate discussions of feminism, Catholic theology, Tolkien nerdom, Spanish mysticism, Star Wars, and cheese. You can read more about the author here.

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