The following blog entry was written by a Catholic woman who grew up in Communist Cuba. Please read her unique perspective on Cardinal Bevilacqua’s testimony. Let me know what you think. Here’s the link: “‘Extraordinary and unprecedented’ — Release of Cardinal Bevilacqua’s testimony reveals the mind of an impostor,” by Marielena Montesino de Stuart for Renew America, August 2, 2011
11 thoughts on “Martrys and the Immoral – Unique Perspective on Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Testimony”
Once again this posting site has revealed the depth of the problems in Philadelphia and throughout the Catholic community universally. Keep up the great work.
After sitting down and thinking about how many victims I know in Philadelphia I came to the conclusion that I know right around 50. Some are older than I am and a few younger. Usually anyone who comes forward is older than my age (35), because it usually is, for whatever reason, something that takes people a long time to talk about. In my own case, it was a live or die situation. I’m not sure I really had it in me to take my own life, but I was tired of milling around in something that I don’t think anyone would consider a life. The abuse just started to get the upper hand on me, and while I was having tremendous difficulty sleeping at night because of nightmares or just the fear of being asleep and not in control, I was experiencing heavy panic attacks during the day. If you’ve never had a panic attack, trust me when I say “You don’t want to experience one!” My panic attacks pop up at any time during the day or night, and it doesn’t matter if I’m inside my house all by myself, or I’m at work. Without warning, I get blindsided, and the memories of so long ago don’t seem like that long ago. Instead, I feel like the abuse is imminent and my abuser is right in front of me. I only see his hands and I can hear his heavy breathing, and I do actually feel a sensation on my body. All 7-feet of my body usually crimps to the floor and I’m holding on for dear life. The nightmares are usually filled with the same type of horror and sometimes I will awake with a “night terror.” I don’t often remember the night terrors I experience, but in the past I have been known to punch holes in walls and doors, wreck everything around me, and most of the time, when I lived alone, I’d wake up on the floor, almost always in a corner of the room.
I know enough people who have experienced these “episodes” to know I’m not crazy. Well… maybe I’m a little crazy, but who isn’t? When I’m in Philly for any reason, I usually feel closer to the abuse than ever. I feel a sense of being home, but yet so far away. I won’t go anywhere near the area where I grew up and went to school. I haven’t been back there since I left at age 17. There’s just too many bad memories I have when I’m far away. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see my old house, or the outside of the school where I was abused. Because of the time I had to be in school and the way the buses ran, I would have to get to school about 35-minutes before classes started. I would often sit on the steps of the ball field across the street and stare at the classroom where most of the abuse was occurring. I would count the minutes down on my watch and they’d run faster than at any other point of the day, especially when the abuse was taking place. Forty-eight minutes of sexual abuse felt like 48-hours. Time just froze. I don’t know how I ever made it through a day at Father Judge High School. Twenty years later, and I seem to have more difficulty making it through these days and my abuser can’t get to me anymore.
I would find out just a couple of years ago that Father McDevitt (my abuser) was being supervised because of past allegations of abuse lodged against. I wonder where that supervisor was and how come he didn’t help me? I wonder if the principal of the school knew of Father McDevitt’s passed behaviors and why he didn’t keep a closer eye on him? How could Father Judge High School allow this man, with prior knowledge of his abusing young boys to teach Religion and Sex Education? I wonder if the Cardinal knew that abusive priests were in his Archdiocese and teaching vulnerable children? I often wonder if my uncle, Cardinal John J. O’Connor, knew that abusive priests were teaching in schools where all of his nieces and nephews were attending and if cared that we were in potential danger? I guess no one cared, because it wasn’t about me or my cousins or my brothers or any other kids. It was always about the Church and how the Church could look good and continue to be respected.
I wonder all the time why my own government won’t protect me, the child I was, and the children of today? Isn’t this the Land of the Free? Do I not also have the right to pursue happiness? What happened to my Bill of Rights? I understand that Pennsylvania and other states around the country have important tasks to deal with, but doesn’t crime breed crime? I guess somewhere alone the line I figured out how to do the right thing, despite all the wrong I’ve seen in my life. I wonder if Pennsylvania and the Catholic Church will ever figure out a way to do the right thing. It’s never too late.
Marieelana writes beautifully about a courageous Catholic upbringing in Cuba -one that was absent of the hierarchy that we in the U.S are accustomed . The most touching part for me was when she writes: “Under Communism, my living example of greatness and loyalty within the Church was the priest who risked his life to make sure that I received my First Holy Communion, while armed Communist military thugs threatened us — as they lined the walls of my hometown’s beautiful church, which dates back to the 17th Century”
Growing up I was fascinated reading stories of saints,martyrs and clergy who risked their lives for others.I felt I was part of something noble,true and brave. I thought….. .
I thought so too as a child, but now I am all grown up, and recognize the horrors throughout the world aided by the Roman Catholic Church.
I don’t understnd her logic in criticizing ‘progressives.’ Does she consider Bevilaqua a ‘progressive?’
i wonder how many of the Bishops and Cardinals in the Phiadelphia Archdiocese would have the bravery to risk his life to make sure a fellow Catholic received Communion. Of these pampered, spoiled men, I dare say not one.
The comment that jumped out at me was “Our formation had to be strong in order to fight the evil that surrounds us”. I think this rang true for her and rings true for us now. We need people in the catholic church with a strong relationship with Christ, strong faith in a just and compassionate God and to trust the Holy Spirit to give us disterning spirits to know the truth and recognize evil and act accordingly.
I think her last statement say’s it all for me: “Read Bevilacqua’s testimony….and weep.”
I’m thinking about turning up the heat on Pennsylvania. In the past, I have only protested churches, cathedrals, and archdiocese headquarters. Now I’m thinking about protesting on the steps of City Hall, or in Harrisburg, and I’ll hold a sign in my hand that reads “PA Protects Pedophiles. Children, Run For Your Lives!” I think it’s a good idea. Why does the Catholic Church even care if we protest their buildings and priests anyway? They know what scum they are. They are everything they preach against… evil.
Maybe we can start bothering legislators and we can call them out on their inability to protect children. Our Senators are as much responsible for the widespread childhood sexual abuse as any of the Church’s hierarchy. I assure you, when the laws change you will witness a decline in child abuse cases. Who wants to join me? We could rent a Greyhound bus and take the trip to confront our lawmakers. I’ve never been in a Greyhound bus before so I’d definitely be looking forward to the trip.
Both are a good idea.
Here’s an early invitation to join me at a protest on September 11, on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. I’m kicking off a series of protests that I’m calling The Last Call. I read a book titled The Shack, it’s a chance to give those who participated in clergy sex abuse, covered up clergy sex abuse, profited from clergy sex abuse, etc., within the confines of the Pittsburgh Diocese to finally do the right thing.
Watch for my press release.