Crazy Talk from Pope Francis

While this blog focuses on clergy child sex abuse, we think it’s important to take a break to acknowledge the Pope’s interview. His leadership style will have an impact on clericalism – a leading cause of the coverups.

by Susan Matthews

As a parent, I realize how impossible it would be to raise and guide my children if they weren’t in my house – under my roof. Many Catholics have left home. With his landmark interview, Pope Francis, the Father of our Church, is acting like any good Dad. He is opening the doors to his home. That gesture is also allowing light into an institution darkened by clericalism.

Some are misinterpreting his message as an accommodation. Yet, Pope Francis mentions no change in doctrine – just a different approach to teaching. The same approach that Jesus took.

Crazy. A Pope that acts like Jesus. He is reaching out to the marginalized and embracing the troubled with empathy and love. What a revolutionary idea. I’ve read comments that call Pope Francis a heretic. That’s what they called Christ.

But do his words change anything for Philadelphia Catholics? We are reeling in the aftermath of greed, mismanagement and scandal. At the same time, our physical identity is being dismantled due to shifting demographics and financial limitations. Archbishop Chaput has the unenviable task of closing parishes, schools and nursing homes. I don’t question his morals, but I do question his ability to raise morale. He was assigned to us by a very different Pope who sought a smaller, more orthodox Church. That hasn’t been a winning strategy.

Right now, we can’t depend on our local institutional Church to create and maintain a strong positive presence across all of our neighborhoods. But there are 1.3 million of us. With those numbers, we can still feed the hungry, protect our youth, shelter the homeless, provide health care and educate children across the archdiocese.

If you liked what the Pope had to say, live it. Give both your time and money to organizations and charities run by the humble, loving and inclusive. Maybe this crazy talk will catch on.

64 thoughts on “Crazy Talk from Pope Francis

  1. This Pope is a Jesuit, ’nuff said. He’s walking the straight and narrow that Jesus called for – “Forive them, for they know not what they do, in as much as ye do it unto the least of these ye do it unto me; Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight; Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Gandhi said: I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”


    Judgement is mine, sayeth the Lord.

    1. First of all the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has lost all credibility and moral authority because of their failure to act responsibly in regard to the reality of the sexual abuse of children, young women, men and vulnerable adults about which they were aware.

      Secondly, many of them covered up for known sexual predators by transferring them around the diocese, around the country and around the world. By doing that they enabled, facilitated, call it what you will, the sexual abuse of additional hundreds if not thousands of victims.

      Thirdly, look around at what’s happening here at home and abroad. John Myers refuses to resign in New Jersey and Finn, criminally convicted, is still in place while things go from bad to worse on a daily basis in Australia.

      In Pennsylvania and New York, bishops and their state Catholic Conferences do everything possible to see that the laws covering the sexual abuse of children are not improved. And God forbid that any statutes are passed giving any adult victim/survivors of childhood sexual abuse any right to pursue justice in civil court.

      No, unless the hierarchy really comes clean about their failures and criminal actions (even if they cannot be criminally charged and prosecuted now) in regard to the continuing sex abuse scandal, talking about anything else is just that, talking, and there have been enough words and enough beautiful speeches from both Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

      Pope Francis has gotten off to a good start. Hopefully something more concrete will come out of his October meeting.

      The People of God are waiting and hoping.

      But words without actions are simply “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.”

      No, I am not going to Rome for John Paul’s canonization.

      Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
      Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
      New Castle, Delaware

      1. You’re right Sister, and so is the Pope when he says that the Church is a “A House of Cards.”. He’s going to have to be a masterful magician to remove the bad “Cards” and not bring down the whole place down, may God be with him.

      2. Well said, and to your point, I could not believe the PA Superior President Justice Bender on the Lynn appeal (Philly cover up conviction) said this week that he did not see where Avery’s offense(a convicted repeat offender) was a big deal: “The thing that strikes me is the activities of Avery — at least according to what Lynn knew — is not as bad as the other bad acts. They’re not even close,” Bender said ( ). He seems to forget we hold a higher standard for priests (and judges) in these matters. He must not have read how Avery went on the attack at St. Jerome’s.

        Excellent commentary by young Mrs. Matthews!

  2. i like what the pope has to say,the only thing i dont like is that women still cannot participate in all the not trying to make them priests as i dont think i will see that in my lifetime but there is no reason that deacons have to be all do you justify excluding 50 percent of the members!!i think a women could handle the deacon position.the only reason i could see for not having women as deacons is that they might be too close to the inner circle and see and hear too much.just my opinion.

    1. Again–let some women in!!! I firmly believe that if there were some mother figures around this whole disgusting situation of child abuse, which is our chief concern here, that maybe some of this sickness would go away.

  3. The Pope also mentioned that the Catholic church might fall “like a house of cards”. That’s because he probably has inside info about the scandal of the Vatican priests and bishops that were paying for sex with young boys in the “rent boy” scandal, as reported by the a Catholic TV group here

    When those details become public, and others related to the organized child rape in the Catholic church becomes more public, the Pope doesn’t want the “house of cards” to fall on his watch.

    Of course, it didn’t help that a Catholic priest got caught live, raping a child just this week. Where? Penn State.

    Good luck defending these, Catholics.

    1. Patrick, I am exhausted. A few Catholics stopped me and we had a discussion on the Pope and his comments and I mentioned the sex abuse crises. Immediately the crisis at Old Forge was mentioned and discussed. That WNEP newscast has legs. He was what most people called ” a good priest” who lured the 15 year old using the internet. Fire Chief, police chief and now the priest all caught in sexual abuse. As I mentioned under Martin’s post was observed by a few police officers + safety officers – different than the incident I referenced in the last thread when only one person observed the religious sexually abusing the camper.

    2. I know – off topic again.

      “Prosecutors accuse both men of sexually abusing a young woman several years ago when she was just 15.

      A former Old Forge firefighter Walter Chiavacci pleaded guilty in connection with the case last year.”

      Three public officials – same girl – several priests – same victim
      Both men were the police and fire chief. The girl was interested in law enforcement – how many clergy victims wanted to be nuns or priests?

  4. In Brazil this summer, Pope Francis told the young people to go home and “make a mess”. The Pope has just done this himself and it is truly music and joy to our ears and to our minds as we read on and on. Dogma and Doctrine are not the real issues here. The Pope calls his “clergy persons” to be sensitive and caring to the people. That means less legalism and more loving care. We are no longer in a position of “separating ‘believers from ‘non-believers’ and trying to make and find enemies. At this great moment in time, we have a true Pope (Papa) or as Jesus would say “Abba” which means “daddy”. Francis comes to us a loving and caring father who does not just act out of anger or out of “I am correct and you are wrong”.
    He starts with ” I am a sinner and I understand’.
    He is telling all of us to stop being judgmental and live the life that Jesus called us to be.
    Jesus never put out a list of “errors”. He never condemned people who were sincere. Jesus “hated” hypocrisy” and that was the chief sin he condemned.
    As a Christian people, we do not want to hate anyone, especially priests or bishops, but we expect them to live up to the Gospel of Jesus and Pope Francis’ Interview is a meditation for all of us to live with.
    The Time of prayer 2 weeks ago in St. Peter’s square, called for by Francis, for peace in the world had some effect on leadership. USA has not bombed Syria and the President of Iran has reached out to President Obama and is hoping to come to meet with him to reduce tensions.
    Francis is making a significant impression on our world.

    1. One reason, a very important one, that Israel didn’t recognize and believe Jesus was their expected Messiah is that they were confused by the scriptures speaking of both a “suffering Servant” i.e., Jesus dying and rising to expiate sins, and the King who was to rule over Israel from David’s throne. Christ had both purposes to fulfill during His lifetime on earth prior to returning to heaven.The monumental error that the so-called Christian Church has made, is to try and emulate what Jesus did as the “minister of the circumcision” (Romans 15:8)
      Romans 15:8″ Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” That ministry had NOTHING TO DO WITH US GENTILES! Jesus said over and over: “GO NOT IN THE WAY OF THE GENTILES.” His ministry was all about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, Him as King over Israel,and Israel ruling over all the Gentiles.

      That is why all the sermons and devotions of the church are so ineffective and false— they are based on SOMEONE ELSES MAIL.
      Our relationship with Christ is not that of Israel, we are separate–
      we are a HEAVENLY people, seated with Christ in the heavenlys.
      Because of the CROSS we whom believe are now saved for eternity with Christ and the letters of Paul are Christ’s words to us.

  5. Sorry, an addition, I just read Patrick’s link to the sexual abuse case in Scranton with a parish priest on the campus of Scranton U. Really tragic and insane with all the information out on this issue and how this priest seems to have just forgot what a moral compass is or just refused to get help for his own sexual addiction. Tragic.

    1. ” this priest seems to have just forgot what a moral compass is or just refused to get help for his own sexual addiction. Tragic.”
      Nor will any Catholic get “help” against sin from a false gospel, no matter how many centuries the RCC has been around.

  6. I think it would be beneficial, productive and desirable for the full context of Pope Francis’ speech to be read to the parishioners at all Sunday Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As a matter of fact, it would be an extreme disservice to the laity if these important values, principles and philosophies of their spiritual leader were NOT shared with them directly by the Philadelphia Archdiocesan leadership.

    Archbishop Chaput, what do you think of the idea to share the entire context of the Pope’s message with the Philadelphia faithful at Sunday Masses? If not the entire article, an abridged essay would suffice so that the Philadelphia faithful can learn from their spiritual leader.

  7. Pope Francis comes across like a loving father. What he’s doing is not unusual. He is trying to follow Jesus’s simple life and instructing people they should do the same.
    He’s no different than the other popes in our lifetime. This Pontiff is using a seducing different approach.
    I see him as a clever man who wants to keep the money rolling in.
    Another thing, the Vatican is taking TOO long to defrock criminal priests and other criminal clergy members.
    Finally, as for women’s/female issues I am really not surprise but I still hope to be surprise one day.

    1. Until he makes reparation in Argentina, he’s no better than the rest of us in this world of mortal toil.
      With a library full of bookks, long before I ever heard of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the goings on during his timeline leaves a lot to be desired.
      John Paull II already had him earmarked as pope material.
      And in passing, it was interesting to read the relationship between JP and Oscar Romero, the disobedient son, who was eventually assassinated, already being white washed.

    Recently, Martin J. Leahy wrote here asking for support in an initiative for reform of the Catholic Church, and before many minutes had passed, the discussion was overtaken with numerous reasons why such an approach would likely fail, and that the RCC is irreformable,especially by such a radical group as the ACC. Next, Susan Matthews writes a hopeful column based on the almost universal acceptance and favorable press the new pope has gained, and pins her hopes on everyone, clergy and lay, having pope Francis as their guide in re-establishing the Roman Church as mother and protector of its members.
    All of this is TRAGEDY. You know, like the great philosophers, poets and writers of antiquity gave us. In fact, I would suggest that at some future date, many will look back and with horror and astonishment wonder how so many were so completely baffled and confused that they
    didn’t realize the enormous lie they had been living, by believing what they were told, rather than believing what God clearly revealed in His Word.
    The implications of the lies told long ago are so great that I can hardly mention all here; so I will reduce it all to but one example: The powers that took the name “Christian Church” centuries ago had to institute a great LIE in order to gain power — this lie is that the Jew
    has been abandoned forever by God, and that in the Jew’s place, the Gentiles [or non-Jews]
    now are the recipients of God’s favor. Study of the bible refutes this lie clearly. God has sworn
    by His own name that He will never abandon His chosen people Israel. When the truth of this is seen by a seeker of the truth, the imposter ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is seen as a usurper
    of the place Israel occupies in the plans of God. This is why in sermon after sermon, Sunday after Sunday, Roman clergy emphasize, not the portions of the bible God means of us, but rather the portions meant for Israel— the Old Testament, the 4 gospels, the Jewish letters by
    John, Peter and James. Little attention is given to OUR message from Christ through Paul [THE APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES] because these letters do not FIT in the apostate and false gospel taught by Rome.
    This is the tragedy— so many wanting to have the right relation to God, but having it stolen away from them by the false teachers that arose even while God’s apostles still lived, and are with us now.
    The only way out of this tragic state of affairs is a return to the truth of God’s Word “rightly divided.” See II Tim. 2:15-2 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    1. is a Catholic blog..many have left, many remain, many are on the fence but the common thread is a tie to the Faith. I give you credit for still going strong almost 2 years later, but no one is here to be preached to or to convert to another religion or those type of things.

      1. Kathy,
        I would put forth the gospel anywhere. There is no place God’s Word should be silenced!

  9. Name a cleric in the U.S. who knows what to do with Francis’ words or how to proceed with them? It’s one thing theoretically envisioning Francis’ refocused, new world, it’s another thing concretely implementing and doing it. How can the bishops undo their obsession with gays, contraception, and abortion, and become like Christ? They will need to be instructed, given the words, presented with examples, and TOLD what to do. The present bishop-crop is used to following papal orders, dictates, and mandates, they are not creative, nor are they independent thinkers, visionaries, or risk-takers… nor have many exhibited that they even know Christ. Indeed, I suspect that few trust themselves to interpret and do Francis’ words. Fear of being demoted or axed in the face of creative and independent thought will supersede their incredible opportunity to think, be, and act like Christ. Francis must clarify, define, and tell clerics what to do with his words, he must ensure them that their careers will remain in tack throughout the refocusing process, and he must lift the vow of obedience. Across the land are parish priests wondering… wondering what it all means, wondering what they are to do, wondering where they are to go with all of it. Clerics, who are not free in mind and conscience, are not creative and cannot be like Christ.

    Kate FitzGerald

    1. micklega,
      I agree that fear and paralysis is behind much of the inaction in the church. But one thing I noticed is that Pope Francis does not like to live in isolation he prefers and even stated he needs people and community. I see this as a strength and a possibility for change. Sexual abuse thrives in secrecy, shame and isolation and people in isolation tend to avoid connecting the dots because its too painful, uncomfortable and or scary. When the catholic church starts acting like a community instead of a bunch of isolated individuals change will be dramatic. I have witnessed something similar in my exs case when I reached out to people and started to put the pieces together people started to lose some of their fear and isolation and it lead to my exs offender being arrested and all it took was on person to get the ball rolling and then it could not be stopped. I believe in the power of one brave person to make changes happen. As for abuse contraception, abortion, gay marriage etc. I actually see it all very connected to sexual abuse of children. I will not get into a long drawn out discussion but I have noticed a lot of things being married to a survivor of sexual abuse. When someone is sexually it affects every aspect of their being and most dramatically their views and attitudes towards sex. In many cases survivors seem to be one extreme or the other. Many have sexual identity issues, many have issues when having their own children. I don’t think I mentioned this before but my ex wanted and tried to pressure me to have an abortion at one point. I mention this not for pity but so people realize sexual abuse impacts survivors sexuality in so many unexpected ways. I had a high risk pregnancy with my first child and my child and I almost died. This event triggered the emotions in my husband that he had kept secret for years that he was all alone and their was no one who reached out to help him as a child. His feelings of helpless at my sons birth reminded and connected to the feelings of helplessness he had as a child of trying to escape the abuse. Pretty much every preganancy after he acted out had affairs etc trying to run away from the fear, helplessness, shame, hurt…………He loves all his children today he just at the time didn’t make the connection. I have heard similar stories from other survivors and their families. I think in many ways sexual abuse contributes and is connected not just to abortions but all of the above issues you mentioned.

    2. Hi Kathy,
      I didn’t reply back then. I have to “chuckle a bit” now because I would still put forth the Truth of God’s Word no matter what the venue, including here.There is no place where the gospel should be restricted. 8)

  10. Susan, through experience, I’m inclined to go the accomodation path, forgive my cynicalism.
    There’s so much riding on his being supported due to the Geneva based inquiry in process, where the timeline is January next year, where the Holy See has to give account of it’s self, on a worldwide basis, on the handling of abuse, paedophillia, also the treatment of illigitimate children, [where recently and only recently, he has admonished clergy in his country for refusing them baptism], all according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    They have even threatened to remove themselves as signatory altogether due to “undue pressure”.
    God forbid, we had one bishop where I hail from, relaying to a mother who had given birth to a diocesan priest priest, ,it was wished both she and her child disappear off the face of the earth.
    Another who was tossed out of the prespyterywho had been his housekeeper and fathered her children because it was becoming public.
    And that’s just two instances, here in Australia, imagine on a worldwide basis.
    As I said, forgive my cynicism…..

  11. This morning before I left for work ,I had the pleasure ? of hearing Cardinal Timothy Dolan being interviewed on the Today show by Ms. Guthrie. Dolan was his normal smiling happy, gay self. He is Pope Francis biggest supporter now., just as he was Benedicts biggest supporter.He reminded me of a cheerleader. Of course Ms. Guthrie asked him no difficult questions. She wouldn’t want to get the Cardinal upset, and ruin that smile. When I got to my car and started it, the first song that came on the radio was: “Smiling Faces Sometimes Tell Lies”.This song was sung by the Temptations, but originally sung by the “Undisputed Truth”. One line in particular struck me this morning: “Smiling Faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within.”As far as Pope Francis is concerned, I for one remain skeptical, no make that cynical. Words are easy to say. I will remain unconvinced until I see the actions that go with the words. I ask again, Has this Pope issued even words on the sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic Priesthood. Unless and until, He takes up this issue, He is more of the same.

  12. Action is the only mechanism for change, for people to wait around in hopes that things will change plays into the scheme as they will die off and things will remain the same, so what will it be ?

    1. You are so right. I wish I knew what is really going on in this blog. The. Condemnation given to those who speak Scripturally is UN Christian but very. Catholic. What are they all proud of? Catholicism or the fact that JESUS The CHRIST is the only son of GOD OUR FATHER, WHO HAS called us to HIMSELF? Someone explain this to one who was brainwashed for over 60 yrs. Out of the institution 12 yrs and sees,with eyes wide open. I still have the Faith that CHRIST called me to @ 12yrs old. What is important to you ? Spread the. GOSPEL (that you Don’ t even. know) as Christ told us to do.? Or fight. For an institution NOT lead by CHIRST? Very frustrating to many. Christians throughout the world. Who is your LORD?????

      1. Gloria, We share the same Christ but are clearly on different paths to Him. While I don’t mind differing perspectives, I will not tolerate “Catholic” bashing as this is a Catholic site. You can bash child abusers, those who cover it up and those who turn a blind eye to it. But you may not bash Catholics. I am Catholic and I’m very proud of my faith in Jesus. I’m not proud of my institutional Church right now but that is the human aspect, flawed by sin. In recent times, no other religion has done more to educate or care for people across the globe. Sure we have some greedy, ego-driven Cardinals but we also have our Mother Theresa types – people who live to serve Jesus through each other. I’m here fighting for my religion – not against it. Perhaps there’s another site for you – because this doesn’t seem like a good fit for you.

  13. Kathy …you are doing it again! Nichols speaks. scripturally. He is not doing anything wrong. You speak so like a Catholic , when Jesus Christ is Lord , not the Catholic church !!. !

  14. Do I wish you people would get back to the” BASICS”.. Where it. All started…? Yes that’s my prayer! Read and do your homework! Name one place in the. BIBLE that states what the rcc tells you to do & not to do. Study and let the HOLY SPIRIT guide you through the New & OT. It makes. Majestic sense…

  15. Gloria I am politely asking you to stop. It is does not take much to realize that this blog is called catholics4 change..okay Catholic is in the title. People who continually want to post about the RCC and how much they hate it,how people should leave,how people are stupid,and on and on..will be asked to stop. I have asked you this before and you continue. You freak out if a comment is not posted immediately,you are fighting with yourself Gloria not me. Take a break. You want the RCC to disappear..good luck with that. While it is here I am trying to make sure children are safe and I don’t think posting hate filled comments is helping children. Am I as angry as you about the church..probably..I just don’t subject people to my every thought.

  16. I once got a job working in a supermarket at night. I found out after I started that ten out of the twelve people who worked on this night crew were born again Christians from the same evangelical Baptist Church.Most of them made some attempt to convert me to their religion. For most it was an invitation to some function at their Church which I politely declined. There were two people there who would not take no for an answer. One was an ex-Catholic. These two continued to badger me about their bible and their beliefs until I went to the store manager and complained. These two like a few who post on this blog felt that they had found the answers to mans quest.They had this severe need to convert others.It didn’t matter to them that I wasn’t interested. Within six months ,I found another job. If one has truly found the way, there is no need to shove it down another persons throat.

    1. Jim, I love your last sentence and I love so many of the thoughts you share. There is always such a ‘humanity’ to your comments..not sure i am using the right word to convey what I mean. It is your mixture of wisdom ,pain, life experience, humor and respect that you graciously share with us.

  17. My own crazy talk?
    I support clergy abuse victims. I’m not proud of the way the Roman Catholic Church deals with these victims. It is a real living nightmare for so many of these survivors.
    I was not abuse sexually by priests but was emotionally, spiritual abused in ways that is better left at that. The good news is I stood up for myself even though I was threatened by a lawsuit.

    Coming here I realize I’m a guest and it’s a privileged not a right.
    My Catholic upbringing left a deep and lasting imprint in my life.
    I’m saying thank you for all those religious teachings I had throughout my life but now I’m solo with Jesus. I’m following my conscience.

    I was in such a state of confusion and sadness for such a long time. So much inner anger that even affected my health big time. I needed somewhat a trial separation from the Roman Catholic Church.
    There is no more excuses of pretending to be part of the Catholic Church.
    The main reason I’m not in full communion with the Catholic Church now is because of irreconcilable differences.

    I’m 60yrs. old and I left the Catholic Church over a year ago.
    I know I’m still consider one of their members because I was baptized a Roman Catholic. In late August 2010, the Holy See confirmed that it was no longer possible to defect formally from the Catholic Church.
    Goes to should you how figures/numbers can be manipulated.
    Anyway…I would never ask anyone to leave the Catholic Church.
    After many, many hours of meditation, I’m at peace with my decision.
    Furthermore, what is important is that I still believe and love Jesus.
    Thank you.

    1. Estelle, Thank You i felt every word that you wrote as so many of us can relate. There are 3 groups that come here in their concern for children and vicitms..those who have left the Church, those on the fence,and those who remain. I can honestly understand and relate to each group . Thank you for sharing your own personal journey.

      1. Kathy, I really have to “call you out” at this point because the things you are writing are blatantly contradictory. You replied to Estelle: ” can honestly understand and relate to each group . Thank you for sharing your own personal journey.” Yet I read here that you do not relate to all of us at all— some of us are considered — like Jim’s co-workers— nuisances and no consideration given that at least some might have the eternal destiny of souls at heart, while doing exactly what Christ has called
        every true believer to do— preach the gospel, tell the good news.
        In fact— look at the ad hominem nature of Jim’s remarks. I don’t recall that the posts condemned here contained such personal denunciations. Very unfair, and it is not the first time it has appeared here.

        1. Nichols, Kathy is not be contradictory. She is differentiating between the written execution of two very different agendas. You wrote…”ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is seen as a usurper.” You seek the conversion of others away from Catholicism while Estelle only seeks to share her personal experience without expressing the need for others to follow.

        2. nichols I am sorry if I offended you but in some ways your comment is pointing out exactly why I have asked you to stop over the past few years. We now have hurt feelings being discussed , and this is a blog to protect kids not a blog for people to convert others or feel that the destiny of others is their responsibility. Estelle shared her experience for the first time and I am glad that she did as many can relate. What I can’t relate to is someone still doing what they have been politely asked not to do over and over. I can’t speak for Jim but I believe he has politely asked you in the past to stop with the preaching because as a victim it is troublesome being preached to and having religion feeling forced on him.

          The internet gives all a voice, people they choose to use their voice is up to them but I really think you might be spinning your wheels here because most are interested in children/victims and also there own feelings of anger about what has happened within the church but I think most people have a Bible and know where to find the scripture that you post.

    2. I loved your post Estelle.
      Francis says much in this interview, but tells us very little. In his humble way, he hints at wonderful, new-sounding ideals and yearnings for his church but his language is intentionally kept too vague to guarantee real, useful change. What good is this? He seems to have been carefully elected at this time in the church because of his wonderful ability to communicate in this way. He keeps us listening and hoping, but he gives us nothing real that we don’t have already.

  18. My only interest these days in the RCC is whether or not their children are safe. The impact of such an influencial figure, such as the Pope’s interview, still leaves children at risk.

    New words…but the same pattern of inaction. I don’t see anything differently.

    1. Regardless of how anyone feels about the Pope, we all must be vigilant in the fight to protect children from clergy abuse. There are far too many layers of clericalism between them and Pope Francis. Sadly, I’m not sure many clergy or faithful know what to do with his words yet.

    2. sw, You are right that’s why we do what we can with what we have where we are at……..that’s why I support all the people working to change the laws in PA to make kids safer…… the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse……The other day I had to get a copy of my marriage license for something and I had to pass the court room where my husbands offended was sentenced and handcuff and sent to jail for a few weeks before he got house arrest and life parole because he was “not violent”. Needless to say I was almost in tears leaving the court house………..his offender wasn’t in jail long enough for all the destruction he has created in the lives of so many…..

  19. Susan and Kathy,
    I know and understand quite well how you react to challenges to Roman tenets because I have close family that attend mass regularly and are active in parish activities. I respond with
    bible doctrine because of the subjects and questions constantly brought up by many of the contributors here.

    Certain posters use invective against Rome that is often ugly and coarse and they are almost never taken to task for it , but I am resisted by some because my information cannot be refuted except by some “professional Catholic Apologists” who have trained themselves to repeat generally the same arguments again and again, which gets nowhere.

    I have to say there unfortunately is some partiality being applied here in the matter of who “gets a pass” and who doesn’t.

    I don’t have a religion or a church to “convert” anyone to.

    Among Christians, shouldn’t it be natural to discuss what the bible says and what it means?

    This is a problem I find — an angry resistance to calm, friendly discussion by many Catholics when it should be natural to love the Word of God and learn from it. I know the purpose here is CSA discussion, however it is apparent that some topics are wider and invite readers to contribute what they have to offer. I only ask that a more “even–handed consideration” be exercised toward all of us who come here basically to fight CSA.

    1. Nichols, I think you might be confusing two different things as Susan stated above. There are often angry and rather sad comments that are posted by people who feel that they can no longer practice their Faith because of the abuse,corruption of the institutional Church and what man has done /allowed to happen. That is very different from saying that the basics tenets of the religion are false . Very few times people go there and when they do it is often a comment or two… a questioning of everything ..which is a normal reaction when one takes a step back.

  20. Nichols: There are many very religiou.s people who post on this blog. I have problems with none of them. When Beth posts here, I may not agree with all of what she says. But I can feel in everything that she posts concern most of all for victims. When you post here the only concern I feel is for yourself. You are a religious egotist who feels that you are morally superior to all others. That comes across loud and clear. You occasionally throw in some concern for victims, but as a victim it does not appear to be genuine. I have asked you several times before what is your purpose for blogging here. You have never answered. Because to do so would show you have no regard for victims of sex abuse. Your only purpose in blogging here is to put forth your interpretation of the bible.You offer nothing else. Kathy is very right when she surmises that I do not want to be preached to by you or anyone else. I have heard more than enough preaching. Whether that comes from Catholic priests or the Catholic Hierarchy or persons like yourself who feel morally superior, it makes no difference. You have been asked many times to cease and desist with your preaching,but it continues. Do you not have the mental capacity to think for yourself or Is spouting forth bible quotes the extent of your intellectual capabilities.

    1. Jim Tucker,

      You should just try skipping over Nichols comments. That’s what I do. Is there even a point in reading his comments? They almost always have nothing to do with the topic of the forum.

      I have been on this site since the very first day it was started. It took me a couple of months before I finally posted a comment. I have seen Nichols write on more than one occasion that he was leaving this site for good, yet he continues to come back. He needs attention and he likes to stir the pot or maybe it’s just because he can’t get enough of your words and mine.

      My grandfather was a great man and he used to say “Silence is the hardest argument to refute.” I do not read Nichols boring, off-topic, senseless comments, and I stopped replying to him and his bible thumping quotes. I much prefer those commenters who write their own words born from their own hearts and minds. Those people are the ones who matter most and they will surely make a difference, though they have already.

      Anybody can quote the bible or use other people’s words instead of their own. You and I, Jim, write what is inside us and it comes directly from the heart and nothing is more powerful than our truth. You are one of the commenters I look forward to reading, Jim. You are also my friend! 🙂

      PS – Send me a message at I’ve been wanting to write to you for some time now but I don’t have your email.

      Peace out, brotha!


  21. Smoke and mirrors. This pope is very smart, but he can take his belated statements and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine, because I am not buying into his bullshit.

    It makes sense that in the last week, while the pope has been offering inclusion to people who have long been despised by the Catholic Church, nobody is talking about sexual abuse by clergy in the same church. Piers Morgan said, “This pope is a breath of fresh air.” I think this pope is full of sh!t. His recent statements regarding homosexuality is nothing more than a rouse, with the intention of deflecting media attention away from investigations and legal proceedings all over the world in regards to clergy who have, and continue to, abuse children. Suddenly, Bill Donohue, Catholic priests and parishioners, who preached hatred and bigotry yesterday, tied young gay men to fences and beat them to death a decade ago, while gay youth have committed suicide in staggering numbers over the past few years, and “yours truly” beaten, insulted, degraded, and threatened by classmates in his childhood and by strangers as an adult, just last month, have decided, because the pope says so, that we fags aren’t so bad after all?! As if being raped everyday by God’s “politicians” on Earth wasn’t bad enough, I had the good Catholic bullies to look forward to when the school day was over. This pope, just as the last, and every priest within the Catholic Church and the parishioners who pray there will never get it. It is senseless that I, along with millions of other fags on this earth are judged because of the people we love, as consensual, committed, and loving adults, but the child rapists are free to roam within their own walls and commit acts that most people, gay, straight or otherwise, wouldn’t ever consider doing to a defenseless and innocent child. This pope isn’t fooling me, because I’m on to them and their devious ways.

    When will this “open minded pope” expel the child rapists living and operating right under his nose in the church? I don’t care who’s gay and who isn’t. I care that priests who are secretly gay stand on a pulpit and preach hatred that breeds violence which ultimately leads to the murders of innocent people and the suicides of bullied youth. There is no place in society for such intolerable hatred for men and women who simply love. An institution that has such a long history of preaching against people like me, who have fallen deeply in love for another person of the same gender, needs to examine themselves before they point fingers. “God Hates Fags,” but He just loves child rapists? Those are the silent sermons I’ve grown accustomed to.

    For the first time in my life I am without shame. Something struck a chord a few months back and I realized that what men did to me from as early as 6-years-old until I was nearly 15, was never my fault. It took me until I was nearly 37-years-old to finally figure it out. I did everything I could at the time to prevent what started and continued happening to me. I was just a little kid, and after holding up a pair of little boy’s jeans and a t-shirt in a department store one day, I realized that I wasn’t always 7’1” tall and tough. Something just clicked and I suddenly felt that little boy inside me and I felt his weakness and I could hear his desperate pleas for help. Over 30 years of dealing with the abuse and the turmoil that followed when the abuse ended and finally I can say without a shred of doubt in my mind, and more importantly I can feel it through and through that “none of it was my fault.”

    It took over 30 years of my life just to figure out that I am not, nor was I ever responsible for the men who groomed me, molested me, tortured me, and raped me. When will this pope stop protecting the evil that destroyed my life? When will this pope expel the corrupters? When will this pope throw out the garbage? “Breath of fresh air,” you say? This pope and the scumbags beneath him don’t deserve to breathe the same fresh air as the rest of us!

    I’d rather see a sermon
    than hear one any day;
    I’d rather one should walk with me
    than merely tell the way.
    The eye’s a better pupil
    and more willing than the ear,
    Fine counsel is confusing,
    but example’s always clear;
    And the best of all preachers
    are the men who live their creeds,
    For to see good put in action
    is what everybody needs.
    I soon can learn to do it
    if you’ll let me see it done;
    I can watch your hands in action,
    but your tongue too fast may run.
    And the lecture you deliver
    may be very wise and true,
    But I’d rather get my lessons
    by observing what you do;
    For I might misunderstand you
    and the high advice you give,
    But there’s no misunderstanding
    how you act and how you live.

    – Edgar A. Guest

    I’m still waiting to SEE such a sermon.

    1. Rich,
      I’m so happy that day finally came and you are able to live without shame. In fact, you should always feel the opposite. Be proud. Not only are you surviving, but you’re helping others. At great expense to your own well being, you’ve stuck with this site and shared your perspective. I can’t thank you enough. And, you are absolutely right. We need to see these words in action. I love that poem.

  22. Please DO NOT donate any money to SNAP. The organization uses none of those donations to assist victims of sexual abuse, even though they claim to. Their tax returns can be found online. Nearly every dime that is donated to SNAP is used to pay salaries to SNAP’s three officers; Barbara Blaine, David Clohessy, and Barbara Dorris. What money isn’t used to compensate these three people is used to pay first class airfare, luxury suites in 5 star hotels, and fine dining all around the world. No donations are used to assist victims of sexual abuse or to help prevent future innocents from becoming victims.

    Several years ago, David Clohessy tried covering up for his brother, Kevin, a Catholic priest, before he was charged and convicted of abusing children. Last year, a SNAP meeting I used to attend in Mendham, NJ every month, fell apart, when during a support meeting, a few members revealed this story to other members in the meeting. The SNAP facilitator of the meeting immediately attempted to change the subject and eventually asked certain members to leave the meeting if they kept talking about it. Mostly all members, including myself, left and have not returned. David Clohessy was interviewed by the NY Times and the story can be found here:

    After that meeting, a few of us found out that SNAP’s Barbara Blaine and author Jason Berry wrote a letter to the Louisiana State Medical Board pleading with board members to reinstate Dr. Steven Taylor, who’s medical license had been suspended when the board discovered he was arrested for possession of child porn. In the letter, Blaine wrote “We ask that you refrain from taking any action on this case until Dr. Taylor’s guilt or innocence is determined in a court of law. By long standing tradition Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty. We ask that you grant Dr. Taylor the same presumption.” This is the same woman who demands that priests who have been “alleged” to have abused children be removed immediately from their positions and handed over to law enforcement.

    In this same letter Blaine also wrote, “Dr. Taylor helped to organize many events to draw attention to the devastating effects of abuse. For example in 2003 he helped organize a vigil to remember those victims who had taken their own lives. Close to 100 people stood with photos of these victims while a list of over 50 names was read.” This has always been a great concern of mine. I’ve had such a difficult time speaking in meetings because of my trust issues, and I’m disgusted to wonder if maybe Dr. Taylor didn’t give a damn about the victims during these events, but rather got his jollies off listening to what happened to them while being abused. You can read the letter here:

    Later, when the sh!t hit the fan and members became aware of this letter, Blaine sent an “excuse” letter to all SNAP regional directors around the country explaining why she wrote a letter in favor of Dr. Steven Taylor. You can find that letter here: (As you can also see at the beginning of the letter, Blaine demands that the letter be read and sent back immediately. I guess she didn’t know that emails are saved onto computers whether you delete them or not, and also there would be a good Samaritan refusing to buy into her load of garbage and expose what she wrote and what she did.)

    Read the letters and ask yourself, “Is this really an organization I want to donate my hard-earned money to?” SNAP is guilty of doing exactly what they protest the church for doing. It’s sick, immoral, deceiving, and shameful.

    Who can the victim trust?

    I love this website and most of the people who contribute their thoughts to it. I only hope that nothing is transpiring in the background that would make me ashamed of myself for giving away my trust again, only to have it exploited and stomped on. I truly believe that if a difference is going to come, it will come because of many people on this site. I only hope that you won’t make a fool of me and my friends.

    Now I have to dedicate myself not only to what I have always done to protect children from sexual abuse, but now I have to protect the already damaged and fragile victim from being victimized all over again by an organization they think is trustworthy and helpful.

    There is so much betrayal in the world and it always seems to emerge from the places I least expect it. You could take everything away from me or offer me all the gold in Fort Knox and I would NEVER betray my friends and those who look to me for support and guidance. There are some people here on this site that I personally do not know very well, but have read your words and I feel like I know you in ways other people cannot, maybe even your best friends or spouses, and I would NEVER betray those of you either.

    1. Rich, I can assure you nothing is transpiring in the background. Kathy and I decided at the outset not to partner with other organizations. Mostly, because we aren’t an organization. We want to offer a forum for communication instead. In communicating, we sometimes share information about advocacy groups. This should not be considered an endorsement.

      We sometimes get grief for not doing more. But this is what we are – a community of sorts. I would never ask for your trust. I know how little you were left with. To your point earlier, we’ll just show you.

      1. Many victims and supporters do well in organizations such as SNAP and many others do not. Some are better helped on one to one while others rather small groups and so on.
        No matter what route you choose or not. The important thing is to keep the issues of clergy abuse on the front burner. In other words we need to keep moving ahead for justice for the victims.

  23. Rich: I will send you my email address. There are some things that I would feel more comfortable communicating privately. As far as Nichols is concerned, let me explain to you why I got upset. Like you, I have been just skipping over his comments. Something Kathy Kane said in one of her posts got me thinking. She surmised that as a victim , I was getting tired of Nichols preaching. And she was absolutely correct. I remembered when I happened to stumble on this site. There were posts from you, Vicky, Survivors wife, Beth, Kate, Crystal,Kathy, Susan and many others. What I found on this site were people who spoke the same language that I did.They understood the hurt and suffering that I had endured as a Catholic kid who was abused as a child by a Catholic Priest. If I had come to this site and the only comments were line after line of Bible quotes, I would have left immediately and never returned.Suppose like me, a victim were to stumble on this site and find Nichols Bible quotes in post after post today, What would that victim do? If he were like me, he would leave post haste. Is that the image, that we want to convey. I certainly hope not.

  24. This is why I donate when our church asks money for the food pantry, but don’t give a dime to the collection which has a percentage taxed for the instruction and goes to the bishops coffers.
    Glad to see Rich’s comments. Love my 3 family members who are finally and blessedly out.

  25. Correction. Taxed for the institution
    Will support the school and social justice programs the church runs in our community. I loved the idea of giving the good priests a gift card!

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