Please listen to the homily that begins at the 1:43 minute mark.
This homily was delivered a week prior to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report by the pastor of the parish where I would attend Mass if I were a “practicing” Catholic. I’m just an average Catholic.
I met Father Marks, who delivered this homily, at an event a year ago. Prior to his ordination, he worked in business and then as a lawyer. He’s the kind of priest who makes me miss Mass. Statistical likelihoods aside, I remind myself that any person I meet could be an awful human being. So, I don’t assume that every priest I encounter is a child predator or involved in a cover up. So when a friend shared this link, I listened.
His message of not letting evil get in the way made me think. I’ve separated my faith from the tragic abuse and cover up – the divine from the human. So why can’t I just plunk myself down in the pew and participate?
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Jesus didn’t intend for us to ignore our sins or the sins of others in the Church. As our moms taught us, saying sorry isn’t enough. We also need to act differently. There are hundreds of Cardinal McCarricks who remain in ministry – many even seemingly rewarded with positions – even at the Vatican.
The hierarchy hasn’t driven evil out. Instead, it enables cover ups to flourish. They only take action when public outcry reaches the highest decibel or the legal system demands it. Leadership hides behind arcane, politically-driven Vatican protocols that trickle down into a warped culture of clericalism. Many, including myself, feel participating in the institutional Church makes them complicit in the hypocrisy and deceit.
Father Marks is confident in Catholicism’s future based on its 2,000 years of existence. This offers him proof of God’s intent. My Dad has said the same. That’s a long time. But Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many other major religions also share that timeline.
Why can’t I just plunk myself down in the pew? I turn to the always helpful follow up question, “What would Jesus do?” “What would He do if abusers and those who cover it up refuse to leave the Church?”
Clean the temple out. Or one day, only the moneychangers will remain.
20 thoughts on “Who Will the Catholic Church Drive Out?”
Susan, an important question to those who walk away — “Would you walk away from Christ because of Judas?” Joe Joe Gable firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Joe, no I wouldn’t. My problem is with the institutional church. But I understand why you see this as a conflicting statement because of the Eucharist being central to the Catholic faith. Conflicted is my current state.
They are walking away from an evil, badly run organization, not the Church of Christ. Leave the Roman mafia whose only concern is money, and join the Orthodox, who have valid sacraments and priests with valid apostolic succession.
Yes, the Orthodox churches have valid sacraments and a validly ordained priesthood. They are the ONLY non-catholic institution with valid ordination and apostolic succession. They are in schism with the Roman Catholic church, but they are NOT heretics. A sad division which happened about 1100 years ago due mainly to political and cultural differences.
Joe that is a very good question. I think of Peter when he said “Lord to whom shall we go?” No one else has the Eucharist. I believe in the teachings of the catholic church even if the Pope and bishops don’t because I know Jesus exists.
Susan I think you are GREAT and the work you and your friend Kathy has done is just fabulous.
Now I encourage you to read Joseph Campbell who was considered an incredible scholar, mythologist and historian!! He was born Irish-Catholic and his grandfather, an immigrant from Ireland, was a gardener in Waltham, Mass. (and I was born in the next city, Newton!) Joseph actually went to parochial school as a child. Due to his studies and KNOWLEDGE however, he his family, eventually,left the fold!!
Please get a copy of the interviews of Joseph by Bill Moyers -Power of Myth and you will see Joseph’s take on organized religion’. (And Jackie Kennedy was very involved in having the book made in to a tv series! Another brilliant woman drowning in Irish-Catholic sick men including our dear president which we all loved!)
But for a great QUICK read-paperback-An Open Life- Joseph Campbell in conversations with Michael Toms.
The Catholic Church is the ultimate patriarchal institution that has totally denied women equal rights etc Now I know there were good people sacrificing their lives BUT the institution itself is corrupt.
Celibacy was instituted to save $$$$$$$$, (Wives and children are costly!) And now it has caught up with them as we have celibate priests, sick souls, using children to meet their sexual needs and then we have heterosexual men having affairs with women. And we have NO priests to continue the MYTH!!! (Certainly there had to be some faithful priests BUT they all covered up!)
Don’t listen to your father, as dear as he is! Listen to yourself and the study YOU have done that confirms the obvious!!!!!!
You are MY heroine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With deep gratitude for your courage and perseverance
Margaret Ann,(Matthews) Murphy Falmouth, Mass.
Oh I hope desperately that we might be related (even to you husbands’ people)
I will be 83 in December and I had 16 years of Catholic schools as did my late husband but thirty years ago, I started my journey to find the truth and I am sooooooooooo grateful to be still alive to witness this.
And my belief, from the beginning, is that this church is the cause of the high rates of alcoholism and mental illness of my people-the IRISH!!!
Margaret, Sounds like an interesting book. I would love to read it also. My dad taught Southeast Asian History at University of Penn and included in that teaching on the world religions. I lived in India for 6 months and visited and stay w families of pretty much every religion when I was a kid which was very interesting. What is the premise of the book?
Hi Margaret, Matthews is my maiden name. I have a cousin who lives in Falmouth now. Small world. I will read that book. Thank you for sharing it with me and thank you for your kind words.
Susan, a poignant commentary. I feel much the same way.
AG in NY is in beginning stages of initiating grand jury and a few other states seems to be following in response to the PA grand jury reports.
Maybe AG Barbara Underwood can work backward from the priests Cardinal Dolan is said to have shipped into the Philly Diocese under the care of the “prayer and penance” program at St. John Vianney in Downingtown (right across from Bishop Shanahan High School).
Susan, the domino effect is now occuring the “house of cards” is falling. All the AD’s are connected and I think alot of Cardinals and Bishops are going to be exposed as well as predator priests. Nebraska and DC seem like they will be following with grand jury reports. Vicky and other survivors have been telling us about the wide spread cover up since C4C started so none of it comes as a surprise.It is systemic. Its very sad but glad its getting out in the open were it can be dealt with. I heard reports of many wealthy people in DC and NYC cutting off donations as well as the people in the pews. The pressure is mounting for grand juries in every state and bishops to resign.
Words without actions have no merit. This was a concept I was introduced to many years ago in Catholic Elementary school. If you hurt someone, it is not enough to say you are sorry. You must make amends to the person you have hurt. i believe it is a basic principle in Christianity. I suppose the Bishop of Harrisburg believes that his Mass of forgiveness qualifies as action. For me saying a Mass to forgive yourself for what you and your Church has done to little children is not what the nuns who taught us in Catholic grade school had in mind.Perhaps these Bishops need a refresher course in Catholic principles.
Jim, So many times I had the same though. This is not what I was taught in catholic school….this is not what Sister Katherine and Sister Theresa both IHM nuns taught me. These nuns taught concern for others through their very actions. They modeled the behavior they espoused.Contrasted w these nuns the Cardinals and Bishops look like the Antichrist.
Susan, I agree with you wholeheartedly and also thank you and Kathy for your wonderful work. You have given us a place of solace when we can’t stand the filth any more. I was a faithful Catholic in the pew every Sunday until I was 64 years old. In 2011, I couldn’t stand what I was seeing and reading any more. My faith in the church has been destroyed but my faith in God is strong. In fact, I believe what I was taught in l2 years of catholic school, but just find it amazing and so disheartening that those who taught us these things couldn’t even obey what they were telling us had to be done. And to destroy children’s lives and souls as they did, is beyond forgiving. There is no sin worse in my world than to harm an innocent child especially for your own pleasure. I haven’t been to Mass in 7 years and I miss the eucharist, but can’t bear to sit in those seats and listen to a priest tell us all how to live our lives, when they just toss those truths and rules to the side. I may be putting all the priests in the same basket, but I feel they all lived together in a rectory wherever they were stationed, and had to know what their fellow priests were doing. Did no one speak up? Disgraceful and disgusting.
Wow churchmilitantv just reported Pope Francis is sending Abp Charles Scicluna to investigate the American Bishops and Cardinals like he did in Chile and Vacatican fears RiCO investigation by US. I am so happy this light is being shed on the darkness. Thankyou Mark Rozzi and everyone including our brave Surivors and their families. Thankyou Jesus too.