Cover Up In Archdiocese of Chicago Unfolds

Editor’s note: Is there a diocese that hasn’t participated in a clergy sex abuse cover up? If our government were committing crimes like this, people would speak up before moving to another country. Citizens would do this because we are our government. Well, Catholics are the Church even if the Vatican doesn’t recognize it. Will Catholics speak up before walking away from their institutional Church?

Click here to read: “Paper trail of tears: Church role in abuse cases aired,” by John Bacon, USA Today, Jan. 21, 2014

67 thoughts on “Cover Up In Archdiocese of Chicago Unfolds

  1. “Will Catholics speak up before walking away from their institutional Church?”

    I spoke up, and made some minor changes in a religious order 15 years ago. While still physically present in the RCC, my heart and soul left long ago.

    1. I walked away 7 years ago but, since then, a day has not passed that I have not spoken up.

      1. There are all kinds of speakers. What kind you are does not matter. What matters is that you speak.

      2. Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the purpose of this site. The description on the home page indicates that it is “a forum for Catholics.” Yet it seems to be populated by the usual SNAP/BA/Whistleblowers bigots proudly – and foolishly – declaring how many years ago they and their 17 brothers and sisters “walked away” or “left it behind”. As if abandoning the Church founded by Jesus Christ – the only Church that offers true salvation and the fullness of truth – were some kind of badge of honor. Of course, we all know that they were likely never “in” the Church to begin with. I have been a Catholic all my life, and have seen many friends come into the Church – including 4 at the Easter Vigil last year. Wonderful occasion. I’m glad to see the Church completing the process of weeding out the Judas priests, which is why there are so few current cases of abuse in the Church. Remember, there were 12 apostles. 11 were good men. 1 not so. The 1 was replaced. And the Church grew and grew. And keeps growing.

        1. Bob believe it or not we have something in common. I also have brought people into the husband ..and then I was also an RCIA sponsor for the candidates at my former parish. I have priest friends and lightning does not strike when I enter a Church.
          So if you don’t understand the site then don’t bother. I usually don’t spend my time with people who bother me..maybe you are lonely?

        2. The purpose of my site is clearly stated but welcomes a diversity of perspectives – including yours. I am a practicing Catholic with children in Catholic school. I worked for the Archdiocese for 6 years. I count priests and nuns among my friends and family. Again, Bob, I ask what you think my agenda is? I think Dennis summed it up very well – the Church left him. If you think the Church is growing here in the US you are very, very misinformed. If you think the Church is growing in Europe, you are again very, very misinformed. The Church is certainly weeding out people. It is weeding out those who will not stand for its hypocrisy. To what do you attribute parish closings and empty pews? While the Church grows in places such as Africa and South America, it’s hardly replacing at the rate it’s losing. I take no pleasure in these facts. It causes me great concern.

          1. I am glad to hear that, Susan. The decline in Catholic education – both qualitatively and quantitatively – is reflected in the moral decline of this country and Western Europe.
            Sorry, but you don’t bail out of the justice system because of a bunch of corrupt lowlifes like those on show in Philadelphia’s courts. Or renounce law and order because a % of cops are malevolent.
            Big question, and no space or time for a fitting answer. But you could start with militant secularism, agenda-driven media, liberal “progressive”/socialist governments and UN corruption and unethical practices. As a control you can cross-compare declines in Protestant church attendance. They are greater.
            Then there are the financial hits to archdioceses from the travesties of justice and ill-advised rush to settle of the last decade, besides, to a lesser extent, the genuine cases.
            I assure you, the global figure is increasing. Which, given what I just itemized, is remarkable.
            With all those forces aligned against it, the barque of Peter sails on. It has emerged the stronger for it. And that is what I see in my fellow Catholics. More determination. More faith. More zeal.

          2. Bob, I partly attribute the decline in Catholic education to these coverups and hypocrisy. I’m grateful for the private Catholic school alternative, but the majority can’t afford the option. So Europe and the US are throwaways? Are you saying Catholics should put up or shut up when it comes to the institutional management? Again, I’m not worried about declines in other religions. The comparison is irrelevant. I care about Catholicism. You might want to spritz some glass cleaner on those glasses that have you seeing the barque of Peter smoothly sailing on. I see rocky waters. I pray Pope Francis can make your “vision” a reality.

        3. Bob, somewhere between earning a PhD in theology and an MA in philosophy at Jesuit institutions, teaching seminarians for several years, acting as a Eucharistic minister and lectern in my parish church, and then moving on to being a college professor, I learned that Jesus Christ offers true salvation and the fullness of truth, NOT the Church. NOT the dwindling Church.

          1. Well said Katherine – or, as I say, I learned a long time ago to distinguish my Catholic faith from the Catholic church.

          2. Forgive me for not being impressed. But to go through all that and not understand about the Church Jesus Christ established, together with the priesthood and the Sacraments, as the only road to salvation…..
            You only get that with the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
            2,000 years strong, and bigger than ever. Rejoice, Katherine, rejoice!

        4. Bob the Bully: Many of us have been bullied by your friends at the Catholic League.We no longer are afraid of you or your kind. The Catholic Church is disintegrating as you post your hateful diatribes. Churches and schools are closing here and across the country. The money is drying up. Vocations have become sparse. I asked you on a previous post what your last name was. Are you afraid to identify yourself? What is your story? Why would you defend pedophiles ? Are you one yourself? Is the guilt too much to bare?

        5. Bob,

          You stated, “Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the purpose of this site.”

          I don’t believe you do. When I read your posts I can’t help thinking of Fox News (LOL).

          Why are you wasting your time here? Are you trying to convert heretics?

    2. Those changes you prompted changed someone’s life for the better. Most likely many someone’s lives. While many speak up here, I wish every Catholic would. There are one million Catholics in Philadelphia. If just 100,000 spoke up…

      1. If the 400+ priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia would speak up, not a single Catholic in the Archdiocese would remain silent.

      2. There are over 2.3 Million Catholics in Chicago. We likely have a Million Ex Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago territory including sadly some on both sides of my family. There are just under 6 Million people in Cook and Lake counties We will likely have a new Archbishop soon with Cardinal George at 78. We need our voices to be heard by him nobody what we are in terms of church Traditional, Conservative or Reform. I go to Latin Mass weekly yet I’m just as angry with our leadership as anybody.

        1. Brandon I think it is important for the people in the pews to speak up and glad to hear you are feeling the same way.

      1. Bob why are you saying that are supposed to spreading that all over the work have to do . It will make you feel important in this game you play. Victims and children are all just a game to you..go play it.

        1. Bob,

          Here are a couple of items on the Catholic Church and castration. You seem interested in that subject, so you tell me, true or untrue?

          “According to journalist Joep Dohmen, there are at least 10 cases of forced castration of minors who told police they had been abused by Catholic clergy.”

          “One case is that of 20-year-old Henk Heithuis, who was living in a Catholic-run home. He told police that two clergymen had sexually abused him. After the police were notified, the two men were arrested, but Heithuis was sent away to a psychiatric hospital run by the Catholic Church.”

          “There, he was allegedly castrated against his will and without parental notification.”

          “In 1599, Pope Clement VIII gave the ok for castrated young boy’s to sing in the Church. This went on for the next 280 years or so until Pope Leo in 1878 finally stopped it. Two hundred and eighty years of castrating young boy’s with the Pope and the Church giving approval for this barbaric procedure so the Church could have high pitched singers because women were not allowed to sing in the Church. The boy’s were called the castrati and the Church sanctioned it.”

  2. If all the dioceses of this country were challenged by courts to produce documents as in Chicago, the Catholic community would be overwhelmed by shame. The courts in Minneapolis have been ‘PULLING TEETH” to get the records of that diocese. The courts in Las Angeles struggled for years to get Cardinal Mahoney to release his records which placed him in disgrace as the new Archbishop restricted his ministry in the Diocese. It took years for the Grand Jury here in Philadelphia to get the reports found in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 2005. ( I still have the copy of that paper with pictures and names).
    If “whistleblowers” are considered to be “hate mongers” against the institutional church, so what!!. Thank God for people who seek the truth to protect children from abuse and refuse to be intimidated or bullied by bureaucratic hierarchs or their sympathizers and supporters.
    We have not heard the last of the chargers against abusers nor heard the last of those who continue to cover up abuse and who should take personal responsibility for their failure to protect victims of abuse. Chicago will not be the last shoe dropped in this country.

    1. “The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.”

      “We would be naive and dishonest were we to say this is a Roman Catholic problem and has nothing to do with us because we have married and female priests in our church. Sin and abusive behavior know no ecclesial or other boundaries.” Rt. Rev. William Persell, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Good Friday Sermon, 2002.

      “Billy Graham’s grandson: evangelicals ‘worse’ than Catholics on sex abuse”

      Whoops! Sorry to destroy the narrative. There are a gazillion other examples.
      Watch out for the hypocrites, people.
      And remember, truth will set you free.

      1. Bob do you know how problematic the abuse is in some Hassidic Jewish communities. The New york papers have covered it extensively and I met a rabbi from that community who attended an event to protect children. A wonderful man.

        1. And the sports world need to include that in your being abused by coaches. The Sandusky case has brought out many people who were abused in the sports world as kids. It’s epidemic.. and Susan and I have met many people working in their little corner of the world to make it better. Doesn’t it make you angry Bob?..thinking of a child being sexually violated..a Jewish athlete..a Catholic kid..a Baptist kid..doesn’t it just want to make you roll up your sleeves and get involved?

          I started to gather articles for you about recent abuse cases involving priests but then thought why are only interested in the old cases. But here is just a glance…the priest who got a kid drunk and chased him out of the rectory in his underwear..the priests charged with child pornography possession.That is a whole category unto itself but you probably don”t think watching 2 years old being raped is abuse. Then of course the drunk driving naked priest..can’t forget about that one.

      2. So let me get this straight – because it happens elsewhere it’s OK that it happens in the Catholic Church? It’s OK that our hierarchy covered it up? I shouldn’t hold my Church to higher standard? Answer please.

        1. The abuse of children anywhere, and by anyone, is despicable. Those guilty are criminals and should be treated as such. In the US the mainstream media depicts this as a Catholic Church issue (part of a broader agenda for them). Not so in the UK, for instance, where there is more balanced and objective reporting, and a quality press that puts manifesto rags like the NYT to shame.

          There are reports that show the column inches and air time devoted to RCC abuse cases and those in society at large. The disconnect between RCC case coverage (which is preponderant) and that concerning society at large is grotesque. It gives the impression that well over 75% of current abuse occurs within the RCC. The reality is that it is infinitesimally small relatively speaking.

          How has the Church responded to the historical problem?
          At the time (70s/80s) the RCC got the same advice from psychologists and counselors that all other institutions got. From a 2014 perspective that may not seem to have been the best advice. But it was prevailing best practice.

          Coming up to the present, in the US the Church :
          -has trained over 6 million children in providing them skills to protect them from abuse (through specially designed programs created by prominent child safety experts)
          -has trained over 2 million adults, including over 99 percent of all priests, in recognizing signs of abuse
          -has conducted over 2 million background checks, including those in the intensified screening process for aspiring seminarians and priests
          -has installed review boards in nearly all dioceses, with the purpose of the boards being to thoroughly review all credible allegations of abuse
          -has installed “Victim Assistance Coordinators” in every diocese.

          How have public schools responded? And Protestant churches? What about the Scouts? Government programs now in place?
          Answer please.

          1. Bob here is your answer. Call the Archdiocese tomorrow and ask them what happens to clergy/pastors who do not follow the safety guidelines in place. I am not referring to a priest committing a boundary violation. I am referring to pastors not implementing the safety and ask.
            Then call and ask why patients from a clergy treatment center, including those being treated for child porn, are allowed to go out into a community and take their cell phones and no one checks the cell phones upon their return.
            Then call and ask the National Review Board in Washington why there are no penalties included in the Charter for the Protection of Children for Bishops who do not follow the Charter.
            Maybe track down Frank Keating and Ann Burke who were former members of that Board and have voiced their concerns.
            Then track down Anna Catanzaro and ask her about the article she wrote about being a member of the Philly AD Review Board and the cases of priests that never were
            brought to their attention.

            These are just a few tasks..I can give you a few a day if you would like. There have been improvement but there is such a long way to go.

      3. Why do you and the Catholic League attempt to “defend” the Catholic Church’s history of ignoring and covering up abuse by its priests by bringing up other religions. Its the equivalent of being caught cheating on a test and telling your parents – “well everyone else was too.” And then getting a swift kick in the behind.

        What is wrong for holding the Catholic Church and its leaders to a higher standard? Don’t they expect that from its followers – don’t have premarital sex, don’t use birth control, don’t have abortions. There should be no double standards.

  3. I too have left, I call myself a self-excommunicated Catholic, but even after leaving and being baptized into another faith I still care. I have questioned myself numerous times why I still involve myself when I can say “that’s there problem” I survived. But I want to be known if anything is not only as a survivor but a good Christian even if in my words sometimes do not come across that way. I still have much respect for the Catholic faith, but I hold no respect for the Catholic church if you can understand that.

    I believe I’m still here to serve a purpose, even if it is only to share my experiences so no one ever thinks they are alone.

    1. Dennis; I have not stepped inside a Catholic Church since my mother died. Prior to that it was my fathers funeral Mass. Since all of my six siblings except one have left the Church, I don’t plan on making visits anytime soon. I was thinking about Bob the Bully and the charges he leveled at those of us who post here. My mother was a devout Catholic who spent much of her retirement visiting Catholic shrines around the world. My aunt was an IHM nun who devoted her life to the Church. I know that Rich had an uncle who was one of the most powerful cardinals in the United States .Father John is a retired priest and Sister Maureen is a kind hearted fearless nun. I know that Susan and I believe Kathy also once worked at the Standard and Times.I no longer consider myself to be a Catholic. But that is not because of any bigotry or hatred of the Church. I did not leave the Church. The church left me. It started when this skinny freckled face eighty pound boy was molested by a two hundred pound Catholic Priest in the Sacristy of the Church in which he had just served Mass.There is nothing to draw me back to the Church. The more knowledge that I acquire, the more convinced I am that the Catholic Church is purely evil.I just reads that the Catholic Monsignor in Italy accused of money laundering has been charged with more crimes .Is Pope Francis the answer. Or will he too be found dead under mysterious circumstances.

      1. Dennis, What you wrote is very, very powerful. ” I did not leave the Church. The Church left me.”

        Just as an aside, Kathy and I didn’t meet until she stumbled across this blog. The site brought us together – as it has so many others. Prior to that, she was working for better safety in her own parish. Her graduate degree in social work from Penn has been an invaluable asset. I wish we had worked together at The Standard. Can you imagine the coverage? hah

    2. Dennis, that makes perfect sense. How could a reasonable person, have respect for an institution that has allowed this? Your words here make you more Catholic than many so-called Catholics.

  4. Just reading the breaking news in the Chicago Tribune, should anyone be surprised to hear that Cardinal George and his brother cardinals were complicit in deceiving the public on sex-abuse? And is it any wonder the Holy See refused to give the UN panel full details related to same…..and to sure up their bets on pedophilia, homosexualityand sex-abuse they’ve invested an eighty five year old Spanish ecclesiastic to a prince of the church, and yes taking up residence at the Vatican where he, as his counterpart Law will have diplomatic immunity.
    They must think we’re stupid, and they say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?
    Cathnews USA runs with the story, the content an interesting observation.

  5. These cover ups….It all boils down to that vow of obedience they are all forced to take. Somehow it is twisted into covering up each others’ crimes and they’ve justified it as “protecting the Church.” When the monsignor, or bishop or Cardinal tells them to keep quiet, they better do so or they are breaking their vows of obedience. So twisted…who’s the Church they are protecting? In their eyes, it’s them. Well, not in our eyes. Their obedience should be to God and his teachings, not to men who are committing crimes.

    1. One has a moral obligation to break the vow of obedience if the order is immoral, but the courage to do so is often the virtue.that is lacking.

    2. And not just cardinals, monsignors or bishops either, minister provincials of some religious orders [well the Australian Franciscans least that I’m certain of] play the hand of God, even unto death and believing beyond, if unlucky enough to come across a cretin.

  6. Chicago…added to the list of criminals the victims have always known about.

    I believe the victims.

    Dennis…your words about the church ring true…as I sifted through past posting of mine. I tried to stay in the church…I tried to create a space for healing for myself, my children, and other families I knew were grappling with the crimes, deception, and betrayal of their hierarchy. There wasn’t space. To some degree I expected the men of the cloth to close ranks and protect their image. What I couldn’t understand was where were all of those good Catholics I was raised with sitting next to me in the pews my whole life? Stuck in denial is where they were. I knew if there was going to be any healing, we would have to leave.

    I haven’t forgotten about the children left in the Catholic Church though. They are why I continue my work. They are at risk as long as there are “Bobs” breathing the same air.

    Our work is far from over,

  7. I’m not suggesting Bob should be ignored…because he has his opinion and free speech and all…but, let’s consider what we pay attention to when discussing the RCC, clergy sex abuse, clerical abuses of power, and the focus of this blog.

    There will always be Bobs. What we give our time and attention to is what increases. I choose to give my time and attention to the work of protecting children, advocating for victims, and sharing my experiences here in the hopes that it may help others. If we spend our time battling nay-sayers, we lose out on the opportunity to help victims heal.

    We can choose to be distracted by the negativity, or we can step over it.

    1. Survivor’s wife. I agree. I also think that “Bobs” are the minority. I think most in the pews are just uninformed or sheeple. That gives me hope. You’re right. The focus should remain on protecting, healing and educating. That is exactly what Jesus would do.

      1. Actually, the Catholics that I sit shoulder to shoulder with every Sunday are infinitely more informed, aware and discerning than the hate-filled bigots on your pseudo-site. These are the ones who have been brainwashed by the lamestream media.

        Meanwhile, Catholics lead the fight on behalf of those who are beginning to wake up and realize that, absent the Church, the West is becoming a moral cesspit. Take a look at popular demonstrations these days in France and Spain against the “sexual rights” and “women’s health” despots. Heck, even the docile old US is waking up. The corner has been turned. Look for a huge increase in Catholic numbers globally in the next decade.

        To the feckless, yes, please get baptized in one of the 35,000 fruit bat churches. You’ll be very welcome there. You can make up the rules as you go along. That’s what your founder did. Remember – if you are anything other than Catholic you belong to a church founded by a human being.
        To those with a mind to use and a soul to save, come home to the one holy, apostolic Church.
        It’s what Jesus would do.

        1. Well bob are you a spokesman for ‘Jesus” ? Regarding a ‘moral cesspit’ what can be more disturbing than the hierarchy of the rcc protecting and enabling child abusers then hiding behind outdated SOL laws to protect themselves and the abusers ! So is this what ‘Jesus’ intended when as you put it “the one holy, apostolic church’ ? Those that continue to support this evil institution will ‘NOT BE SAVED ” !

        2. bob : when you stand before “God” you may be asked : What did you do when you became aware of the fact that Chidren were being abused in My Name ? Did you speak against those using My Name or did you speak against the VICTIMS ? I know my answer will you be comfortable with yours ?

          1. Why do some people think that the aspects of their own lives are the universal norm?

            A certain combination of incompetence and indifference can cause almost as much suffering as the most acute malevolence.

        3. A Sermon

          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

          When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
          When a weaker brother stumbles, and a strong man stands behind
          Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
          To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
          And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
          Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

          One good man teaches many; men believe what they behold;
          One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
          Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
          For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
          Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
          I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.

          Rich Green (Agnostic)

    2. survivors wife I agree about people having their rights to opinions..what gets me is that these “policies” are not even worth the paper they are written on and people buy it as solutions. The Penn State President was fired before his trial..Bishop Finn remains even after a conviction..and people think this is progress. You know how you have to go through the system to really understand it..You did..I did ..and now I get it.

  8. I came across this article that we had posted a few years ago,written by Ana Catanzaro a former member of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Review Board..what is amazing is how relevant some of her recommendations are today almost 3 years later and how they obviously have not been implemented.

    1. It’s astonishing how applicable past articles are even today. Doesn’t matter when they were written either…20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5, 3, a year. Change is slow…these men don’t like to be told what to do…even when it’s in their best interest.

      After warching the coverage last night, it looks like the same PR people are working Chicago that worked Philly. The spokesperson for the AD in Chicago was not equipped. They can’t even fake “we know what we’re doing now.”

      I thought of Tom Doyle the other day…I wonder what he experiences as he listens to one more report of opening files, one more charge? He had The Manual and a legitimate road map out of this mess…all of it has to be a horrible “I told you so!”

  9. I’m a Chicago native on my paternal Grandmother’s side of the family we have had people in this Archdiocese since 1867 13 years before Pope Leo XIII made Chicago an Archdiocese and this believe it or not is very shocking to many of us. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was a beloved figure here. He actually removed more than two dozen priests before he passed away from cancer in 1996 long before the crisis erupted in Boston in 2002. Cardinal Bernardin helped the Church here heel from the John Cardinal Cody years 1965-1982. Cody was a very divisive and unpopular figure in Chicago who along the suburban flight to led a very real decline in the church here. Cardinal Cody was actually under FBI for his use of tax exempt funds.

  10. It seems to me that Bob went through a mental and moral castration a long time ago in his life. “In as much as ye do it onto the least of these my brethren, ye do it unto me.” Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Bob, those are the words of Jesus. There is a difference between Him and his so-called representaties in The Church. Reid

  11. I am sorry but I want to make an intervention here. Bob is like a “robo” call meant to harass and irritate. It is hard to hang up on each call but sometimes it is necessary. His lack of information and his refusal to understand the real purpose of this site is clear. He has one focus and that is to be an “attack dog” and he is succeeding in that attention is drawn away from the “evil” that has embraced this institutional church. Victims know what has happened. Thank God that none of Bob’s family has ever been abused either by clergy or family members. Most sexual abuse occurs in families.
    Please Bob, just read the Gospels. Jesus challenged religious authority for its hypocrisy and its greed and for harming the poor and the children. Jesus had no idea nor desire to begin a new religious community. If he had succeeded in his prophetical mission, we would all be Jewish and we would be guided by the Torah and Hebrew or Aramaic would b e our liturgical language.
    The Church evolved only after the early followers of Jesus were thrown out of the synagogue and the Temple had been destroyed. With no where to go, the early community settled for house churches and slowly these small communities celebrating the life of Jesus became more focused. Later in time, to replace the Temple, the varied communities themselves became like the Temple structure with priesthood and leadership like Jerusalem of old.
    This is historic evolution. Jesus would never have wanted this to happen.

  12. The Invitation
    By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
    I want to know what you ache for,
    And if you dare to dream of meeting
    Your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
    I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
    For love, for your dream,
    For the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
    I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
    If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
    Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

    I want to know if you can sit with pain,
    Mine or your own,
    Without moving
    To hide it or fade it or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy,
    Mine or your own,
    If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
    Without cautioning us to be careful, realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
    I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
    If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
    I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see beauty
    Even when it is not pretty every day,
    And if you can source your own life
    From its presence.

    I want to know if you can live with failure,
    Yours and mine,
    And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,

    It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
    Weary and bruised to the bone,
    And do what needs to be done for the children.

    It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    In the center of the fire with me
    And not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
    I want to know what sustains you
    From the inside
    When all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone
    With yourself,
    And if you truly like the company you keep
    In the empty moments.

  13. Always can count on the AOP for a double standard – Msgr. Lynn – welcome home! Let us pay your bail. Need to live in the city – here’s a cozy rectory to live in. Young man – you made a mistake, need to wear a monitoring bracelet, just like our buddy Msgr. Lynn, sorry – not allowed to go to school here!

    Oh – and read this line – Kenneth Gavin, an Archdiocese spokesman, also declined to discuss specifics of Chad’s case, but said in a prepared statement:

    “In terms of policy, an Archdiocesan school reserves the right to prohibit a student from attending classes in a school building if their presence may pose a risk to the safety or security of themselves or other students in the school’s care.

    “If a student is barred from a building, other arrangements to continue with schoolwork may be made at the discretion of school administrators. The safety and security of all students, faculty and staff is the Office of Catholic Education’s first priority.” — YES, 1st PRIORITY – which is why you kept Fr. Paul in a parish with a school for almost a year while he was under investigation. 1st PRIORITY – why you stationed Msgr. Lynn at a parish without a parochial school but a charter school on the grounds. UN-F-BELIEVABLE!


  14. My continuing to try to attend a Catholic church is like a friend who tries to go home for the holidays and has a mother who gave birth to them, says she loves them, but went on rages beat the #%^* out of them when they were young. You try to love your parent as they are your family, but when you walk up the front steps you get a knot in your belly. You are forced to pick and choose what you will hear them say. You need to find mentors and nurturing from other parental figures who are not blood but share their lessons of wisdom and compassion, My friend loves his mother but hasn’t spoken to her in 6 years as it is too painful and Impacts his health. I keep trying to keep the connection with my mother the church, but wonder if the pains from the triggers being there are healthy in the long run. I feel she is like the mother that looks the other way when when her spouse commits incest with her child. But she is still my mother.

    1. I hear your every word, suzpt.

      Then, one day…you realize that not all women who gave birth were meant to be mothers…and you create your own family from the loving people God has placed in your path. You realize you no longer need affirmation from a place that isn’t equipped to give it…

  15. Each week I feel like I’m drifting further from the church as an institution. On the other hand I feel more like a lost child searching for their mother than ever before. Perhaps this is what realizing you are a child of God is all about.

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