Jason Berry On Keeping the Faith


“Despite investigating Catholic scandals, author Jason Berry keeps the faith,” by Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post, September 20, 2011

“We didn’t give up on democracy because of Watergate,” he says, “and I won’t give up on the church because of corrupt bishops.” – Jason Berry, author of “Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Church”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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55 Responses to “Jason Berry On Keeping the Faith”

  1. I haven’t read the entire article…

    but I find the analogy to be a horrible one. I don’t think we can hold up Watergate as the example of how “corrupt” our politicians WERE. Look at our politicians today…they have spiraled down the ol’ pooper…Watergate just happened to be the Boston Globe moment. And, look at us…who trusts their politicians today? I can’t name one! We haven’t given up on our politicians? Really? Since when? Do you trust them? Why not? Do you work to reform your political parties? Do you hold your politicians accountable now since Watergate? Now that you know they lie…what steps do you take to make sure they are doing things on the up and up? And what has been their response?

    Terrible analogy. I hope after I read the article I understand why he used it.

    • I don’t think the analogy is that bad if you accept the following – when he says “church”, I think he means “religion”. When I say “church”, I mean the bishops running the church, and they don’t practice the religion.

      Watergate made me stop trusting politicians, as you said, and I don’t to this day, and they keep proving they can’t be trusted.

      I stopped trusting priests and bishops in the Catholic church when I read about this scandal, and don’t trust any of them to this day.

      I can believe in democracy and God even though I don’t believe in the specific people that implement each of them. The shame is that I can’t vote the bishops out of office. The shame is that I don’t live in Philadelphia, or I would protest every Sunday and try to shame the bishops out of office.

    • Please read the article. The analogy is between democracy and Watergate. Not politicians. Huge difference. I may not trust my politicians, but I do trust in democracy.

  2. This is about “Faith in God” vs “Faith in bishops”, and Catholics don’t understand the difference.

    If your bishops are deliberately disobeying God’s laws, and doing it consistently world-wide, it is your duty to throw them out. God doesn’t want to do it Himself. God couldn’t make it clearer, simpler or easier.

    God made it clear that they committed thousands of child rapes, and hid it, and lied about it, and they did it blatantly in Philadelphia right up until this year. They fight of ignore the victims. They don’t speak for God anymore. These are the “false idols” God talked about.

    They don’t have their own money – it’s all yours.
    They don’t have an army.
    They don’t follow God’s laws.

    You don’t do anything about it.

    • I’m not a fan of blanket statements about any group of people. Not every politician is corrupt because they participate in the government. My husband, who is quite wonderful, ran for Congress. Not every Bishop or priest is bad because they participate in the Church. Not every victim is lying because one or two have. Getting rid of blanket statements gets us a lot closer to the truth and real solutions.

      • When I make a blanket statement like “You (Catholics) don’t do anything about it”, I could change it to “over 99.9% of you (Catholics) don’t do anything about it”, but it ruins the writing. By the way, there are 1.3 million Catholics in Philadelphia, and until you can show me more than 1300 that are doing something, I’ll be nice and say over 99.9%

        All bishops are disobeying God’s laws, unless you can name one out of 5,000 worldwide who said deliberately concealing the truth about the scandal, and fighting the victims is ok. I can name bishops who admitted they had sex with their own 5 year old nephew (Vangheluwe), but I can’t name one that said anything bad about their policy.

        Don’t give me any BS about canon law. Canon law is where bishops decided its OK to override the commandments and lie if they were going to get in trouble. A 4 year old lies to avoid trouble.

        Show me any priest (out of 200,000+ worldwide?) that encourages the victims to come forward and promises therapy, and I’ll show you a good priest. I know 10, by name, that did, and they were all kicked out.

        I can also trust who I want and distrust who I want, and I have irrefutable evidence that I shouldn’t trust any Catholic priest.

        I don’t use blanket statements because they are warm and comfortable. Show me where my statements are inaccurate by more than a fraction of a percent.

        That’s how I write, and its not wrong.

      • Patrick, I wouldn’t want to change your colorful way of writing. I just wanted to point out that there are individuals (albeit statistically few) who are doing the right thing. And that all those who aren’t doing the right thing don’t negate the Catholic faith. It’s our faith as much as it is theirs. Democracy and/or Catholicism can not be tainted – only an individual’s practice of it can be tainted.

    • Patrick,
      Until and unless you come from a scriptural basis in your claims, I don’t believe you should continuously tell us what God thinks or says.
      Best wishes.

  3. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Chat available until 9pm tonight on http://www.Victims4Justice.org (Click on Chat Room tab at top of page). You can sign-in using Facebook, WordPress, Chatroll Account, or Guest account. (For Guest accounts, just erase the “Guest” nickname and use whatever floats your boat.) 🙂

  4. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Okay, thanks Susan.

  5. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Susan? I can’t post anything on your wall. There’s no comment box.

  6. Facebook changes probably. I’ll fix.

  7. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 21, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Okie dokie artichokie.

  8. This article did not make me want to return to catholicism, however, just because of Watergate or other crimes committed by politicians, it does not make democracy a bad thing. I know that the ultimate purpose of the c4c group is to make catholics who want changes in their church to be able to work together toward that goal. Nitpicking and backbiting with each other certainly will not get this goal accomplished. Although we each have out own individual thoughts about the RCC, that’s why it is so great that “Watergate did not destroy democracy” We are entitled to our own thoughts and ideas, etc. etc. etc. But I can honestly say that in my heart and soul, I know this site, c4c, is what keeps me wanting to fight for what’s right. I know that it was started with the purpose of protecting children, all children, catholic and otherwise, and for that I thank god, or whoever or whatever else makes us do the “right” thing.

  9. On the face, the opening sentence[we didnt give up on democracy etc. etc.] is idiotic. I can think of very few things more remote from my eternal destiny than “watergate” and few more important to that destiny than what I believe about Christ Jesus the Lord.

    “He reminds the small audience about the tradition of parish priests skimming a bit from the Sunday collection plate: “A little walking-around money for Father,” he says.” Is this really funny?
    Don’t priests get payed,and paid well at that?
    ““When a prayer is answered,” he says at lunch in Georgetown, “it is kind of hard to storm out of the cathedral.”

    Does prayer have to be made “in a cathedral” to get God’s attention? I don’t get it that so many tie the existence of God to the church like that. I don’t.

  10. When Patrick writes “If your bishops are deliberately disobeying God’s laws, and doing it consistently world-wide, it is your duty to throw them out. God doesn’t want to do it Himself. God couldn’t make it clearer, simpler or easier” how, exactly, are we, folks in the pews, supposed to “throw them out”? What tools do we have other than withholding our donations or not going to Mass – both of which are useless to the goal of “throwing them out”.

    • Stopping donations gets their attention. Its probably the only thing that does, since, unlike democracy, you can’t vote them out. However, you have absolute, complete control over their finances, and you don’t EVER have to pay for anything they do, so with enough persuasion, you can force them, kicking and screaming, to follow God’s laws.

      And it doesn’t cost you anything.

      I’m pausing to enjoy those last 2 paragraphs.

      Next, follow the recommendations that Susan gives, since they are less radical than mine.

      Then, if you want to do more:

      Start a protest outside. Demand the truth. Tell them to stop legislation that will prevent victims from coming forward. Ask them to sell churches to pay unlimited therapy for victims. Tell them you’ll never donate until every priest takes a lie detector test indicating whether they ever had sex with a child. Tell the church to create a special dungeon for pedophile priests. Comment on blogs that you are an embarrassed Catholic and you want them to clean up the church.

      Then, if you want to do more, I have radical ideas.

      • Patrick, you have consistently suggested lie detector tests for all priests. That is not a realistic avenue…and I wouldn’t trust the results of them anyway. Not to mention the legalities of that…

      • And don’t forget about the dungeons for pedophile priests – because that makes so much sense too. Patrick,obviously you have hit a nerve. I am not devoting so much time on this issue to come up with ideas that will never work. I am following in the footsteps of people like Sr Maureen ,who have had success in changing laws and holding people accountable. I want people in jail, perpetrators “outed’ in civil suits,victims to have justice and children protected. I want the control of this issue to be taken away from the Church.This was done in Delaware,part of the settlements removed various issues from control of the Diocese. I imagine for a victim to see a judge tell the Diocese what they had to do rather than what they wanted to do,is a very satisfying moment.

      • Victims4Justice.org Reply September 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

        We could always make them go on the Steve Wilkos Show! 🙂

      • Rich I am glad you still have your sense of humor. You made me laugh.

  11. Patrick, No one is stopping you from implementing your ideas. Get started in Ma. ,let us know how you do and maybe we can replicate in Philadelphia. Instead of telling people what to do -as Nike says “just do it”. There is still a lot to be done in Boston – names the Cardinal is still not releasing.There is a lot to do everywhere as a matter of fact.

  12. Let’s just say today has been a strange twist of events for me…and I just now had the chance to read the full article.

    I liked his story. And I take back my ill-informed, off the cuff, out of context opinion about Watergate/politicians/scandal/hierarchy.

    It must give a small measure of hope for catholics who are still hanging in there. I can imagine for you (Susan and Kathy) it means it’s possible to “fight” the ills of the church and still remain. Sounds like he’s had quite a journey.

    I also think there’s merit in someone who has remained calling out their own. On some level, the hierarchy and media can discount those of us on the “outside” as people with an ax to grind…but here, it’s a practicing catholic waggin his finger at the ugly of the church. Good for him. Ok, who’s next?

  13. Jason Berry interviewed me about the San Francisco scandals a while back. He is honest, courageous, quick, and still stays in the worshiping Church.. If you don’t like his analogy about Watergate and the Church why not leave for Bangladesh or someplace else and that may show/prove how disgusted you are with our system here. .However, I’m staying with the USA and the Faith. .

  14. Here’s a good one from James Schall, SJ:

    “The child-abuse cases themselves have shown how to undermine the financial stability of the Church. In addition to properly investigating malefactors, legal procedures have permitted lawyers to make enormous wealth from Church funds. Ironically, since most of these abuses were rooted in homosexuality, not pedophilia, the corporate Church on the one side is required to pay for the abuses and on the other is forbidden to say that anything is wrong with this form of life.”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the bishop’s focus is on gay marriage; not child abuse.

    Full article:
    http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2011/legal-persectution.html

  15. As a gay man, I will ask, does the Catholic Church think sex between a 40 year-old man and an 11 year-old girl is heterosexual sex?

  16. Actually, I don’t think they think about it at all! I think the idea here is: Stay On Message. And the message is going to be about Abortion and Homosexuality.

    Dolan up in NYC just wrote a long-winded letter to Obama on behalf of his “brother bishops” calling on the admin to “reset” their policy on DOMA. Chaput gave that ridiculous homily on the “arranged marriage” (and THIS from a man who is lauded for his preaching????) George, Chicago, turned a recent interview away from abuse and instead focused his answer on the threat to the institution of marriage. Be Evangelical and Stay on Message. (Notice the silence of the bishops on yesterday’s execution in Georgia. Not part of the Message).

    Here’s what makes me angry: Everybody knows someone who is gay – someone whom they may respect, love, or admire. And these same people hear the Church say over and over again that gay people are predators, outcasts, sinners. And these people take in those hateful words and continue to support the Church with both their presence and money. Why? Why don’t they say “Hey, you can’t talk about my family, friends, teachers, colleagues like that” and get up and leave. Why doesn’t MY FAMILY get up and leave? Why do the people who love me remain mute in the presence of The Message.

    And now, today, in this day-and-age everybody knows someone who has been sexually abused by the Church. Or they have read the accounts in the paper or on the internet. Everyone now knows the excruciating details, the horrors, of what we mean when we say “sexual abuse”. Yet, they stay in the pews. Why? Where is the outrage?

    Where indeed is the outrage. Over at WhispersintheLoggia you’d think everything in the “Stateside Church” is rosy. Rocco calls Dolan “Tim” and Chaput “buddy”. And people lap it up. (Interesting how Rocco does not take comments on his baroque postings). The Youth gathering in Madrid was attended by THOUSANDS. WTF? Next Sunday Chaput starts a weekly Sunday Youth Mass at 6:30pm at the Basilica and the response, so far, reportedly, is said to be overwhelming. WTF?

    I was not sexually abused by the Church. But I grew up at Sacred Heart in Monroe, NY and our pastor abused 50 teenagers and went to prison for eight years. He is now an auto mechanic in Mount Vernon, NY. And after the abuse came to light, and the trial was held, and the perp who transformed wine into blood, and bread into body every Sunday went to prison – No One Left. Attendance did not decline. Collections remained constant. O’Conner sent Ahern to console us and the people, impressed by the red piping on his sleeve, lapped it up.

    So what do we do now? How do we get every Catholic in the Diocese to read the transcripts of the torture; The transcripts of Bevilaqua’s either callousness or stupidity (either way criminal)? How do we get people to give a damn?

    • Victims4Justice.org Reply September 23, 2011 at 2:58 am

      O’Connor? LOL Cardinal John O’Connor? That’s my uncle, dude. LOL No shit! I have uncovered documents of my uncle accepting child abusing clergy into St. Pat’s, or transferring them to another location.

      By the way, he hated that my cousin and I were gay. Screw ’em!

    • I think it’s slow changing and painful to watch…because while we know what’s going on…so many of the “faithful” like the comforts of their routines and have absolutely no desire to know otherwise.

      Blindly following is their mode of operandi.

      Beyond frustrating and sickening.

  17. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The Catholic Church knew in 1993 about clergy abusing kids. This isn’t just some outbreak of publicity since 2002. If you dig deep enough, you find find evidence dating back 1500 years of clergy abuse.

    • I would like to meet Ed Morris and find out who his abuser at archbishop ryan is.

    • what’s with these priests being sex ed teachers? I was just listening to Blaine.

    • Thanks for posting that. Not much seems to have changed but then again I think alot is about to change with all these lawsuits and maybe law changes.

      • Beth – You’re right it seems that very little has changed, and that was almost 20 years ago!

        But, over those years I have changed, from a very loyal and obedient seminarian, to a person with nothing but disdain for the hierarchy of the Church. I no longer have a need to go to them to for God. I now understand that God is like air; they are both everywhere, and they’re both free. I no longer have to “kiss the ring” to receive the Grace of Jesus Christ.

        The RCC’s patent on God has expired. He has now gone generic. In reality the RCC never did have a trademark on God, but I thought they did.

        Little has changed within the Church, however I have changed a lot. Christ has set me free. I am no longer a slave to the hierarchy, and I did change the Church a little by helping to put one of the bishops’ minions in prison.

      • That’s a good point. It seems alot of people have changed. Blaine for instance is now sueing the Vactican. We are not as naive or trusting they will “do the right thing “anymore and I think “them” not making the necessary changes caused many to reflect inward and question and examine, our religion our faith , conscience and many others things. “They” have not changed but “we” have. It’s sad but at the same time understanding what we truly believe in and coming to the truth in a way empowers you.Thanks for putting another bad guy in prison it’s not easy to do…..there is always a price we pay when we do so.

  18. Victims4Justice.org Reply September 24, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Beth, the priest who abused me was my Religion/Sexual Studies teacher. After I came forward and went public with my story, I found out from my attorneys that this priest had many, many allegations of sexual abuse on young boys going back 25 years before I came in contact with him. I could never understand why an animal like him would be teaching, of all possible subjects, sexual studies. It seems almost as if the Church knew exactly what he was and they were willing to accommodate his sick desires by putting him around young boys. Even at the time he was abusing me, records show that he was “being supervised” because of the past complaints. Where was this supervisor? When was he being supervised? Why wasn’t I protected?

    Before the physical sexual contact took place, he would often tell me about another boy, a much shorter boy than myself, about his body. He would say things like, “Well just because he is shorter than you doesn’t mean his penis is smaller.” I guess that was right around the time when he told me to “prove it to him” and show him my penis. When I didn’t want to, it became more of a demand than anything. He would also tell me how to masturbate, and using his own penis he would show me how to do it properly, and he told me to ejaculate so that I wouldn’t be horny anymore. I wanted to throw up. He would constantly rub the top of my knees and toward the inside of my thighs, my chest and my shoulders, and he would also say things like “this is to turn you on so you can get an erection and I can make you feel good.” He would tell me that “God gave us all this special gift of feeling good and when we masturbate we make him happy.” I don’t think I ever really knew what he was talking about.

    The first man who abused me when I was much younger just kind of did his thing. I don’t remember him really saying all that much to me. The priest used to whisper the freakiest things into my ear, and he always tried to convince me that what he was doing was something God had intended to be done to me. I just remember confusion. Not only did the actual sexual abuse make it confusing, but also having to replay the words in my head constantly trying to make some sense of it all.

    I didn’t realize back then just how screwed up my life would become because of all this. No matter how much these men said they loved me and they wanted me to enjoy it, it always made me feel sad inside. Kids don’t enjoy sex. It’s a burden for us to have to deal with it and then spend an eternity holding it inside. I always felt so sad after it happened.

    • Rich. I am so sorry. I did not go thru what you did but I can understand deep sorrow. I have experienced that under different circumstances. That is such a burden for a young boy. Like Kathy was saying by posting that earlier song say what you need to say to get some of that sadness out………it’s not good to keep it inside. This might not seem to be related but I have read all kinds of things on sex abuse and I read “Theology of the Body” and I can’t believe the same church that wrote it allowed this sexaul abuse to occur.” Theology of the Body “talks as your body as the temple of the holy spirit and we are more than just bodies and how our sexuality is a gift and it is not all about pleasure. If they really lived what they preached abuse would never happen.

  19. More than two “thumbs up!”

  20. Comment was for drwho13 9-24-11 10:41 a.m.

  21. drwho13,

    I am interested in the fact that you were a former seminarian. Presumably, you acquired some insights into the clerical culture.

    Can you explore the mind and psychological makeup of seminarians? What attracts them to a culture based on blind loyalty and obedience? Why are they willing to exist within a culture of fear? What are their psychological and emotional needs, and how does the culture meet them?

    Thank you.

    • gessh………with those kind of questions he could probably write a very interesting book……………I would be willing to buy it:)

    • haditCatholic – The psychological makeup of seminarians as you would expect varies greatly. I entered seminary after my completing my first career, in my early 40’s. Within my group of second career men, we had a pilot from a major airline, two physicians (psychiatrist and surgeon), a lawyer, and a professor. I was a military officer. Some were married and divorced, others single, and other were widowers. The professor and I left during seminary, and the psychiatrist left after graduation (never ordained.) The rest of them are functioning as priests, and as far as I known they are serving the people well. I knew them to be fine individuals, and trusted all of them. It is VERY IMPORTANT to remember that although we where classmates, we were all connected with different dioceses and religious order, so our experiences (outside of class) were vastly different. All I can say is that I was connected with an infamous group within the Church.

      Of this group of men I believe that each of us were pursuing priesthood in order to serve God and his people, and to do something productive with the second half of our lives.

      “What attracts them to a culture based on blind loyalty and obedience?”

      On this one I will speak only for myself. When I entered it was to serve; and to serve unselfishly, a reasonable degree of loyalty and obedience is necessary. It was never carried out blindly. I also believed that my superiors were there for the same reason that I was, to serve. Many of them were not. Generally, it seemed that the higher their rank in the Church the more corrupt they were. The ones I knew stepped on a lot of good priests to get to where they were. This corruption is not apparent when one first enters the life. You learn about the organization as they move you along, not unlike the initiation process for a motorcycle club, or a gang. As I learned more about their inter workings I was appalled. Morally I couldn’t take it any longer, so I “snitched” on a pedophile (now in prison) and I got out.

      After I “snitched” and left, they sued me for libel, slander, and defamation. They lost the case, and they knew they would before they filed the suit. The reason they sued knowing that they would lose was to retaliate against me. They had millions of dollars in Church funds; and they figured that they would bankrupt me as I would have to pay for my own defense, this type of case tends to get very expensive. What they did not know was that I had a defense fund, and I ended up paying nothing. In fact, the money spent for my defense turn out to be very small. This was due to the fact that in libel, slander, and defamation cases “the truth” is an absolute defense. While with this group I was covertly collecting and documenting information on them for over a year. They had no idea that I knew as much as I did. Once they sued their “goose was cooked.”

      “Why are they willing to exist within a culture of fear?”

      Many of the men continue to exist within the culture of fear because that culture is their “bread and butter.” Say the wrong thing and you could end up on the street, homeless. As a retired military man I didn’t need them. Also, when one first enters the organization it is not perceived to be a culture of fear. By the time that one get to the point that they are living with the fear, the organization has ensnared them, much like a cult would.

      “What are their psychological and emotional needs, and how does the culture meet them?

      With young seminarian I believe that their psychological and emotional needs are met by finding acceptance. I believe that about 50% of priests and seminarians are gay and they will easily find kindred spirits in the RCC. There is without question a widespread gay culture in the Church, and celibacy (more correctly chastity) is not a vow that is rigidly followed or enforced. This gay men’s club meets the psychological and emotional needs of many; they have acceptance not found in the outside world. When straight seminarians become aware of this culture they frequently leave for other careers, and marriage.

      • Thank you for your remarks, drwho13.

        Some questions if you wish to comment on them…

        1. Are there priests who forego moving up the ladder because they are aware of its distasteful nature?
        2. There are a number of ways that the clergy and the system “retaliate” against men who leave the priesthood. They are neither kind nor gentle. They are punitive, cruel and inhumane. Isn’t the intent to preserve the appearance of the priesthood, at the cost of human beings?
        3. Do you think that women continue to be forbidden from the priesthood because, were they included, they would “dilute,” if not bring to an end, the predominately gay men’s club culture?
        4. If the practice of chastity is sketchy, why don’t we hear more about incidences of it?
        5. Who supported your defense fund? Friends, relatives, and/or…?
        6. You posted once that you attend church in order to please your wife. What prevents your wife from pleasing you by accepting and respecting that Church is not “right” for you at this time?
        7. One thing particularly distasteful to me is when priests desire to leave the priesthood yet remain because it’s their “bread and butter.” People in the secular world deal, everyday, with the desire to change their “bread and butter” careers. They do it with determination and courage. People in the secular world deal, everyday, with their “bread and butter” careers pulled out from under them. They do it with determination and courage. Why don’t priests do it with determination and courage?

        Thank you, drwho13.

      • haditCatholic – 1. Are there priests who fore go moving up the ladder because they are aware of its distasteful nature?

        1.a Oh yes. There are many priests who simply want to serve the people and dispense the sacraments (I personally would have found a great deal of fulfillment in that role.) They have no desire to kiss-up to the bishop, and step on their fellow priests to get to the top.

        2. There are a number of ways that the clergy and the system “retaliate” against men who leave the priesthood. They are neither kind nor gentle. They are punitive, cruel and inhumane. Isn’t the intent to preserve the appearance of the priesthood, at the cost of human beings?

        2.a Absolutely, image is everything in the Church. That image must be preserved in every diocese, all the way up to The Diocese of Rome (the pope.) I especially fault the popes, i.e., Ben 16, JPII, Paul VI, and I don’t know what others were involved, but remember this behavior has been going on for centuries.

        3. Do you think that women continue to be forbidden from the priesthood because, were they included, they would “dilute,” if not bring to an end, the predominately gay men’s club culture?

        3.a The Church would contend that women could not possibly become priests based upon Scripture and Tradition; all Christ’s disciples were men (I personally don’t buy it.) In the case of married priests we are dealing with a man made Church law, that the pope could change with a stroke of the pen today. He wouldn’t have to consult anyone. He decrees and it’s law!

        Either or both of these changes would result in the demise of the gay men’s club, at least in the diocese. I don’t know how the changes would effect Religious orders, i.e., Jesuits, Benedictines, etc. Married priests would have a support system, their families. They could not be ostracized and mistreated as they are now.

        To “snitch” on another priest is a lot like a prisoner “snitching” on another prisoner. In fact in seminary, we were told that our entire priesthood would be made miserable forever if we ever “ratted out” a brother priest, regardless of what he has done. This was not done with a “wink and a nod;” it was done openly during class. The Church’s image is above everything, including God.

        4. If the practice of chastity is sketchy, why don’t we hear more about incidences of it?

        4. a This one’s easy. It’s the “Men’s Club;” it’s the “in” Crowd”

        As the old song goes:
        “I’m in with the “in” crowd

        I go where the “in” crowd goes.
        I’m in with the “in” crowd
        AND I KNOW WHAT THE “IN” CROWD KNOWS.
        Any time of the year
        don’t you hear?
        Dressin’ fine
        makin’ time

        We breeze up and down the street.
        We get respect from the people we meet

        They make way day or night.
        They know the “in” crowd is out of sight.

        I’m in with the “in” crowd.” Remember, members never snitch!

        5. Who supported your defense fund? Friends, relatives, and/or…?

        5.a A small donor ($2,000), and a philanthropist (Catholic billionaire, no kidding.) He told me that as long as I was willing to fight to the end, he would cover all costs.

        6. You posted once that you attend church in order to please your wife. What prevents your wife from pleasing you by accepting and respecting that Church is not “right” for you at this time?

        6.a As with many people, she can understand my story intellectually, but she can’t understand my heart regarding this matter. A parallel example would involve me intellectually understanding a victim’s story, but never being able to reach the depth of pain that person feels in their heart. Also, she has a fear of the truth regarding the RCC. She can not fully accept the Church as it is. She wants it to remain as she believed it was in her youth: smells and bells, saints, stained glass, kind holy priests. She emotionally can not deal with the dark side. I’m OK with mass on Sunday, because only my body is present. My heart and soul left the Church long ago. I can’t imagine me every being able to change. I have eaten the fruit from the tree of knowledge; I have tasted the apple, and my innocence has been lost.

        7. One thing particularly distasteful to me is when priests desire to leave the priesthood yet remain because it’s their “bread and butter.” People in the secular world deal, everyday, with the desire to change their “bread and butter” careers. They do it with determination and courage. People in the secular world deal, everyday, with their “bread and butter” careers pulled out from under them. They do it with determination and courage. Why don’t priests do it with determination and courage?

        7.a I believe it has to do with immaturity. If they went into seminary at an early age they never developed the skills that people in the outside world have developed. They were sheltered, and don’t know how to survive out here. For them to leave would be similar to an average Joe suddenly becoming homeless. He wouldn’t have the “street smarts’ to cope with homelessness, and he would not choose to voluntary give up what he has to become homeless.

        On the other hand, second career men leave because they have the skills and the confidence that they can live out in the world, because they have done it before, and I know that to be the case for men who do not have pensions.

  22. drwho13,

    In repeatedly referring to yourself as a “snitch,” it dawned on me that you, too, are a victim. While you were not a victim of abuse, you were a victim of a clerical system expecting utter loyalty to it regardless of its crimes and sins. In failing to be loyal, it labeled you a “snitch,” and it retaliated against you. YOU sinned, YOU committed the crime, it didn’t! Do you consider yourself to have been a victim? If so, has it entailed a personal recovery?

    I agree that there is an issue of immaturity that inflicts the clergy. The vow of obedience is one factor that impedes maturity. In obeying, one gets to live in a protective cocoon. In obeying, there are few if any significant mistakes to learn from. In obeying, there are few if any difficult choices to make or obstacles to overcome. Were the clergy to possess the “street smarts” and outside-world skills that you speak of, their pastoral competency would soar!

    It is difficult when the intellect and the heart collide. It is similar to when faith and reason collide. In both instances, I’ve been trained to think that one is to inform the other. However, in reality, ultimately, I tend to rely on intellect and reason. I attribute this to having received a theological education in a liberal arts environment, as opposed to in a seminary or religious environment.

    Your insights are invaluable to me, drwho13. Thank you.

  23. Hadit said, “Of this group of men I believe that each of us were pursuing priesthood in order to serve God and his people, and to do something productive with the second half of our lives.”

    Interestingly, this is similar to what young, straight out of high school, seminarians say as well…except the second half of our lives part.

    The fact that you’ve lived a life, had some experiences in the real world helped you understand exactly what you (and the others) were getting into.

    For the younger seminarians, it’s a different story. Would we recoomend anyone making a life long commitment to something when they are 18? Not wise.

  24. Hadit said, “When straight seminarians become aware of this culture they frequently leave for other careers, and marriage.”

    My husband attests to the same.

    He said the seminarians come from the same naive, blindly following, Catholic traditions…mix that with a skewed reverence for the priests and voila!…a dysfunctional extension of the family system…except this time the new mom and dad in the picture are bishops.

    Translation: A lot of kids who need to work through some serious issues from their childhoods land in seminaries.

    • survivor’s wife,

      Actually, drwho13 is responsible for the quotes you refer to in both of your posts, not me.

      Thanks for allowing me to set the record straight.

      To drwho13… I love the way your defense fund came together!

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