January 1, 2005
I had this piece of paper in my
breviary that began my day and New Year with this quote from “The
Word from Rome” from the National Catholic Reporter by John
L. Allen, Jr. of January 16, 2004: “A related concern has to do with
due process rights. One hears horror stories in the Vatican about
priests who have been suspended as a result of an accusation, and
then ‘cut off’ by their bishops, with no further communication and
hence no chance for their day in court.”
I still have this piece of
paper in my breviary which I recite daily and look at this quote at
different times. I guess I carry this for the simple fact that the
hierarchical system must be on the same page as the Worcester
Diocese had done with me- no day in court or anything else.
I, also, thought how the Bishop
Harrington hierarchy operated with his “words” of wisdom when he
showed more of his overall personality that Hartford-IOL would have
experienced for an “evaluation.” One of those “hot house kitchen”
interrogations of Harrington, Rueger and Tinsley going at me with
Harrington once saying: “We thought there was going to be 1,500
people outside this Bishop’s residence protesting for your return.”
It was Harrington at his classic style of being in your
face-sarcastic remarks. When I was going through this, I looked at
Harrington and recalled how his code-name by priest in the diocese
was “bulldog.” Then I recall one elderly priest tell me that at time
Bishop Harrington “was sometimes irrational.” These experiences at
the Bishop’s Residence were an experience that I would not wish on
January 3, 2005
We read in the U. S. News &
World Report reports “Struggling to Keep the Faith:
Reverberations from a sex scandal still roil the Catholic Church.”
The article reads: “Nearly
three years after a series of staggering revelations of sexual abuse
but its clergy, the Romans Catholic Church is still working its way
through the fallout, with equal amounts of pain and hope. In Boston,
where the story first broke, the archdiocese faces financial ruin.
More than 80 churches are slated to be closed as church authorities
fight a $10 million annual deficit, brought only dying parishes and
a 50 percent decline in donations since 2002. Yet for all their
anger, area Catholics seem to be clinging eve more tenaciously to
their faith, with many parishioners fighting to have the closings
reversed. That would include people like Ian Driscoll of St. Anselm
I Sudbury, one of eight parishes staging 24-hour protest vigils. Ian
is 12. After school, he goes home to eat, do his homework, and
practice the trumpet. Then he goes to the church, where he sleeps
every night, usually accompanied by his mother. He made plans to
skip a Boy Scout trip last weekend so he could spend the night at
the church as part of a celebration marking the vigil’s 100th
day. ‘When you have something, you don’t care about it as much,’ he
says. ‘But once you’re going to lose it, you like it more.’
“A lot of American Catholics
are reacting like Ina. In Boston, an $85 million settlement with
more than 500 victims exacerbated and existing crisis for an
overextended archdiocese in need of an overhaul.”1
One observation at
this time in that so many things and circumstances have changed with
the Catholic population and overall aspects of faith as the general
society has changed.
An article in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette by Kathleen A. Shaw on the front
page reports “Church healing sought: Area Catholics want openness.”
“Worcester-Worcester Diocese Voice of the Faithful plans to pursue
an aggressive agenda during 2005, in hopes of bringing healing and
restoring trust in the church and its leaders, and to begin
involving lay people in more decision-making for the diocese.
“A planning meeting
has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Hogan Conference Center
at the College of the Holy Cross. David J. O’Brien, a processor at
Holy Cross active in the organization, said in a letter to members
and prospective members that the group plans to elect interim
officers, set a meeting schedule and decide on short-term and
“Voice of the Faithful
was founded in 2002 in the Boston area during the burgeoning sexual
abuse scandal in the Catholic Church; a chapter opened here that
year. It is now a national organization…’There is a tremendous
amount of healing that needs to be done.’ (Daniel Dick-Voice of the
Faithful Victim Support Coordinator)
January 4, 2005
I noticed that I was going
through the “old-poor-me” against when I was not getting phone calls
at my place form the regular people that would have called to see
what I was doing. I thought how this was the American way of life
where situation happen and we immediately “move-on” after a week or
so. There is very little time spent on an issue because we are known
to be people moving in a very fast track. Actually, it was somewhat
better for me to have some private time. I made use of my time to do
some research with materials I had accumulated and “professional”
reading from my library.
January 7, 2005
I would look at my daily
calendar which was Life’s Little Instruction Calendar Vol. X:
Remain optimistic-all hope depends on it.
Besides recalling such phrases,
I had the daily experience of the scriptures especially the Gospel
and the Daily Divine Office for quotes that would inspire me in my
I keep this in my memory bank
especially when I would get the “poor-me” time.
A picture is printed in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette entitled “Giving power to victims
of sexual abuse.”
The story with this picture:
“Andover-Diane Williams Galebach, right, her husband, Stephen
Galebach, and tow of the their children, Adele, 20, left and Time
21, pose yesterday in their home with computer screen displaying
their newly launched Web site, VictimPower.org, which enables sexual
abuse victims to report crimes with anonymity. According to the
site’s mission statement, the creators of VictimPower.rog are
‘united by a desire to help victims by connecting them to law
enforcement and other authorities in way that protects victims and
witnesses, while holding accounting those in positions of
“The Word from Rome” in the
National Catholic Reporter this day has John L. Allen, Jr.
reporting: “In the last column before my hiatus, I noted that Pope
John Paul II had recently praised Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado and
the order he founder, the Legionaries of Christ. With respect to the
accusations of sexual abuse logged against Maciel, I wrote: ‘I think
the only honest answer is that the pipe and his senior aides
obviously do not believe the charges.’
“That comment brought a
response from Jason Berry, who along with fellow journalist Gerald
Renner co-authored the book Vows of Silence: the Abuse of Poser
in the Papacy of John Paul II, which is in part about the Maciel
“Berry writes: I’m sorry,
but there are more honest answers than that. It is just as likely
that John Paul II and Cardinal Angelo Solano don’t care if the
charges are true. The view the Legion as an asset to protect. The
pope has a long record of refusing to punish powerful churchmen who
abuse the young, which you fail to mention. John Paul’s support of
Maciel is consistent with the response to other men of flawed morals
or compromised judgment.
“’Cardinal Bernard Law
resigned after a catalytic role in an epic scandal. John Paul
rewarded him with a basilica in Rome. In 1995, he let Vienna’s
Cardinal Grover ease into a position at a shrine when he resigned in
disgrace as a prederast. As the scandal escalated John Paul would
not discuss it in public. When American bishops Symons Ziemann,
Sanchez, O’Connell, and Ryan resigned under similar clouds Hon Paul
did not remove any from the priesthood. Each is a bishop, albeit as
diocese to diocese, today…”4
Is this how Worcester Diocese
treated Rueger’s case of allegations?
January 8, 2005
“Stanley’s last accuser
decried: Lawyer says alleged victims’ memory came after
consultation” by Theo Emery of The Associated Press appeared this
He wrote: “Cambridge-Paul
Stanley’s layer said yesterday that the defrocked priest’s last
remaining accuser remembered being molested only after he consulted
with the Boston law firms that represented hundreds of alleged
victims of clergy sexual abuse.
“Lawyer Frank Mondano said
court documents show the accuser contacted the law firm of Greenberg
Traurig before the claims to have remembered bring molested by
Shanley a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal. The man says
he recalled being abused by Shanley after the scandal broke in the
Boston Archdiocese in early 2002.
“‘I submit that the reason it
looks like a textbook case (of recovered memory) is because it came
right out of a textbook,’ Mondano said during a pretrial hearing.
‘People are trying real hard to obfuscate the fact that the cart
came before the horse.’
“Shanley’ lawyer has asked
Judge Stephen Noel to let him question the accuser before the
beginning of the criminal trail, now scheduled for Jan. 18 in
Middlesex Superior Court. The judge did not immediately rule on the
Here is “recovered memory”
issue which is very infrequently mentioned in print or dealing with
anything of the sex abuse cases that has flooded-out into the last
decade. It is an issue that is such a negative factor to even
attempt to have included in the legal and hierarchical church in
regards to allegations of sex abuse. Is “recalled memory” may be
such used, why is it not addressed in physical or emotional abuse?
An article in the Worcester
Telegram & Gazette by Kathleen A. Shaw “Diocese cuts its fiscal
losses: Deficit reduced by more than half from last year.”
She writes: “Worcester-The
Diocese of Worcester ended the 2004 fiscal year with a loss of
“Although the diocese finished
in the red, the losses were significantly less than the previous
year, when the diocese had a loss of nearly $800,000…The diocese
continued to pay for services related to the clergy sexual abuse
scandal. A number of the pending civil lawsuits related sot alleged
incidents of sexual abuse were settled in the past year. Several are
still pending, and six new suits were recently filed. The diocese
said it paid out $131,875 for all legal series it incurred during
2004. The Office of Healing and Prevention received a total of
Figures are always interested
to read and study. Here is another story.
I was watching “Saturday Night
Live” with Debbie Downer. It immediately came to mind that this
character was “Father Peacock” in my journey. It had opened my eyes
of who I was facing.
January 11, 2005
“Group want names listed on
Internet: Organization targeting known, alleged molesters” appeared
in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette this day.
Beverly Wang of The Associated
Press wrote: “Manchester, N.H. - A national support group for
victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is demanding that church
leaders post the names of known and suspected molesters on the
“The Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests, or SNAP, also want bishops to encourage victims
to come forward by visiting communities where abusive priests
“Yesterday, the group presented
its demands-including that bishops also lobby to eliminate the
statue of limitations on reporting abuse-to the Rev. Edward
Arsenault, a Diocese of Manchester spokesman.
“The group is focused on New Hampshire Bishop
John McCormack and four other formerly deputies of Boston Cardinal
Bernard F. Law, who resigned two years ago…”7
I’m not sure what the point is
about publishing names on the Internet. They are all over the
internet. I’m not sure that some of these people don’t realize that
there are laws on the books that they most likely don’t want to know
about. Is this the pick-and-chose mentality getting the media
coverage? Questions should be asked in many ways than they are now
with this area of news.
January 13, 2005
What I have learned of late is
to watch “time line” of an issue and realize that there are six
reasons for anything that happens. My writing is to get my story
out. It is like a bottle bobbing in the ocean, where someone will
pick it up and read it.
I have been reading a couple of
works of Carrie Fisher as Postcards from the Edge and The
Awful: A Novel. She writes about her addiction battle. I read
with a response to some of her issues in her journey.
Another issue I’ve notice since
Bishop McManus has been Ordinary of the diocese: No weekly schedule
is printed in the Catholic Free Press of himself or Rueger. This
used to be a regular feature of the paper with Bishop Reilly and
Rueger’s schedule of “official” activities. Interesting? Another
feature is in the: ”official” clergy announcements are the term
“Medical Leave of Absence.” Nothing else is printed about the
persons leave. The person becomes history. But, it does getting
interesting watching this because the Chancery signals with their
“flag” that there is another story here on that individual. It gets
the clergy “hot-line” buzzing.
January 14, 2005
“The Word from Rome” this week
had this segment by John L. Allen, Jr. in the National Catholic
“Rocco Buttinglione, the
Italian politician whose nomination as the Justice minister of the
European Union was derailed because of his Catholic views on
abortion, homosexuality and the family, has become a cause celbre
for those who feel that a ‘new inquisition’ is afoot in Europe…In
American, Buttinglione said, the stet accepts that it needs values
that by itself it cannot procure. In Europe, he said, under the
influence of Rosseau and others, the tendency is towards treating
the state itself as a civic religion. Further, he sad, American is
‘more modern’ than Europe, in that is that has reached the peak of
secularization and the sexual revolution, and has cycled back to
more traditional values. He predicted the same thing will happen in
Europe in ten years. .. On the American Catholic church,
Buttinglione sad that he felt it has been divided between a wing
that was corrupted by secularization, like the mainstream Protestant
denominations, and a wing that resisted, like the evangelicals, ‘and
said that this wing of the church ‘has acquired a greater capacity
to give more orientation to the American people.’
“The sex abuse scandals,
Battalion said, ‘are a last consequence of the invasion of the
ideology so sexual permissiveness in the 1960s and 1970s.’ He said
he hopes ‘they will soon be over, and will leave the church
January 16, 2005
Reading a Ziggy cartoon this
day with Ziggy saying: If life’s a game, was having a really long
I guess I might say the same
with Bishop Harrington telling me: “We’ll get hold of you.”
January 17, 2005
I met a former parishioner from
St. Edward’s at the Gardner Wal-Marts. Stephanie was involved at the
parish. He comment: “There is another side of the story about you.
We all knew that most priests are alcoholics. Fr. Andy is gay. But,
not you. We just didn’t believe the story about you.”
I listened and only said to her
that she should pray for the priest and send my best to her husband,
What I missed the opportunity
in this encounter was to ask her about the lawsuit of the
Westminster/Princeton Fire Department. Both Stephanie and Roland
were firefighters in Westminster and they were not anymore. This
would have the one to find-out about the lawsuit issue in town. It
would have been interesting to hear the politics of this situation.
I realize that I have a
peculiar mix of confidence and fear operating to keep me on edge. I
had to realize that this was the priest-clericalism life style that
I experienced since I entered the college-seminary in 1962. I was
thinking about this in that I thought and acted as a counterweight
of priest power especially to depressed clerics that I had to
encounter. I wondered and search for vices that showed mind changes.
It was a search that I even continue to this day to learn from their
experiences and insights.
“‘Street priests’ facing
criminal trial this week: Shanley accused of child rape 30 years
ago” by Denise Lavoie of The Associated Press appeared on the second
page of this days Worcester Telegram & Gazette/
Lavoie writes: “Cambridge-He’s
73 now, and unrecognizable as the hip ‘street priest’ known more
than 20 years ago for wearing long hair and blue eyes and reaching
out to Boston’s troubled youth.
“Paul Shanley is a senior
citizen now, frail-looking with thinning white hair and deep lines
in his face. His has become perhaps the most recognizable face of
the clergy sexual abuse crisis that has shaken the Catholic Church
for the past three years.
“This week, Shanley goes on
trail on child rape changes in one of a handful of criminal cases in
which prosecutors have been able to bring against priest accused of
sexually abusing children decades ago…”9
This was the guy that I used to
read about in the 70s and his ministry. I recall a story in a Boston
paper and pictorial that I had in my file for years before cleaning
some of those article and making room in my files. I wondered what
ever happened to him. Well, here is “Father Shanley.”
January 20, 2005
There are those little details
that come to mind in writing my daily journal. This time was the
issue that I was not changing my pajama tops during the night due to
preparation. I realized it was all due to nerves and living on the
“edge.” It seemed to be better for me to get some quality rest and
I was reading on the crawl of
MSNBC how comedian Bill Cosby denied allegations of a woman in
Florida of sexual abusing her. Crosby’s lawyer and spokesperson said
that they were “categorically false.” Similar story was used to
accuse him in March of 2002. Allegations and suits were a part of
the radar screen for many people in this day and age.
But, it was something that from
a civic point of views that Westminster-Princeton, Massachusetts
Fire Departments had a joint-issue that they kept of the media and
lawsuits screen. It never made any news. But, it was something that
I mentioned with I spoke with Stephanie at Wal-Marts a previous few
days. When something as such happens in a small town, it gets one
thinking of a cover-up that would rate as “first-class.” Lewis
Black, comedian, would appropriately use one of his trade mark
statements: “I’m mad as hell!!!”
January 21, 2005
I read in the National
Catholic Reporter this interesting article on authority
“Leadership and the three-legged stool.
Paige Byre Shortal writes: “In
our kitchen we have tow tall stools where we sit and eat our
breakfast. The other day we had to fix one of the stools-one legs
was shorter than the other and as a consequence the other tow legs
were become weak. One can manage on s stool with uneven legs for a
while, even just two legs for a very short time; but for the long
haul, three even sturdy legs are best.
“Leadership is like a stool,
dependent on three legs-three sources of authority for the leader to
be effective .Like the stool, its best if all three legs are even
“The first leg or source of
authority is from within. It is manifested in desire, gifts,
talents, passion, imagination, drive, interest, a vision that won’t
go away, an idea that keeps surfacing. I think this is what
Christians think of as the call from God and is the first sign of a
“The second source of authority
comes from above. It is the authorization form the
institution, the laying on of hands, the go-ahead from the company,
the manger, the employer, the pastor, the bishop, the president, the
political party. Very often this source is manifested in a title,
office, salary and recognition.
“The third source comes from
below. Those who are under the authority of the leader must be
willing to be lead, to cooperate, to not allow their disagreements
with the leader to undermine the leader’s authority. For this to
happen the people must sacrifice some of their own self-interest and
the leader must inspire trust and confidence.
“I’m no familiar with the world
of my church and it’s not difficult to think of church leaders who
have two out of the three…In the short run, what we do we do in our
parishes with all these unsteady stools? This may be when my
metaphor breaks are down-or at least my knowledge of carpentry-but
it seems to me that it would be theoretically possible to join
several unsteady stools to form one sturdy platform, suitable for
resting or reaching higher. Collaboration is the obvious way.”10
I even had a “Mission
Statement” at St. Edward’s that had “collaboration” in word and
philosophy. But, here I sit in my “cave.”
January 22, 2005
I had picket-up on Bloggers (Blog)
of late. I realized how they combined firsthand report, opinions and
links to articles about a news topic or related topics as mayoral
races to neighborhood meetings. What I have learned is that bloggers
first began writing on one’s web about whatever popped into ones
head: What kind of day the person was having, the craziness of
things like the weather etc. Sometimes, a blogger would comment on a
new story that caught ones attention and provided readers with a
link to the story.
What had my attention was that
I was doing as such with my daily journaling in a much smaller
scale. One thing that I have changed in my journaling is that I
immediately type on the Word Program. Previously, I was writing
daily on pen and paper and then input it on the Word Program. I
guess I was finally getting smart in my old age.
January 25, 2005
I was reminded today by a
former priest classmate of the term “red rash.” It was a label in
the seminary and priesthood that a student had the goal of becoming
a bishop or strive to become a Monsignor. I heard from one priest of
late tell me: You have to give the people what they want. This guy
was always on his ego trip in the priesthood. Suddenly, he is using
such language. We, priest, used to watch how this guy wanted certain
positions-voluntary to be in the chancery with the bishop at
meetings. He had the “red rash” to become a Monsignor. One had to
watch these characters because they usually did very little pastoral
work but meetings in the chancery. Parish duties by these guys were
usually delegated to parish staff with practically no new
We used to have a manta phrase
in the deanery I was in with St. Edward’s parish of guys striving in
the “red rash” way: Gamache, Genette and Gariepy.
January 26, 2005
“Vatican accepts retirement of
Auxiliary Bishop Rueger” appeared on the front page of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Kathleen A. Shaw writes:
“Worcester-The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope John Paul II
has accepted the retirement of Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger.
“Bishop Rueger, who turned 75
on Sept 3, is retiring because he reached the mandatory retirement
age for bishops. He said he intends to stay in the area and will
continue to assist at the chancery and participate in Confirmation
ceremonies throughout the diocese.
“The Vatican did not say
whether a new auxiliary bishop will be appointed.
“The dioceses ahs had two
auxiliary bishops: Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, who served with
Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan, and Bishop Rueger, who served with three
“In 2002, Bishop Rueger was named in a civil
suit by a Shrewsbury man, Sime M. Braio, alleging sexual misconduct.
The case was dismissed at Mr. Braio’s request in 2003, after no
evidence surface indication that Bishop Rueger had done anything
improper or had been where the alleged incidents occurred.
“He is named in a Texas lawsuit
in which tow men, named only as John Doe and John Doe II, allege
sexual abuse by the Rev. Thomas Teczar, a priest of the Worcester
Diocese. The allegation is that Bishop Rueger helped get Rev. Teczar
moved to the Fort Worth, Texas, diocese after Rev. Teczar was
accused of sexual misconduct with minors in the Worcester area.
“Correspondence shows that the
late James G. Reardon, diocesan layer at the time, wanted Rev.
Teczar moved out of the state and quickly incardinated into another
diocese to remove liability for the alleged misconduct from the
Worcester dioceses. That suit is ongoing.
January 28, 2005
Then we get from the Catholic
Free Press-front page headlines “At 75, Bishop Rueger steps down:
Served as Diocese’s auxiliary for 18 years, under three bishops.”
The story reads: “After 47
years of service to the Diocese of Worcester, 18 of them as its
auxiliary bishop, Bishop Rueger has resigned.
“But he still will be coming to
“‘I’ll be around,’ he said
Wednesday. ‘As time goes on there will be some adjustment of the
“The bishop submitted his
resignation to the Vatican after he reached the mandatory age of
retirement 75, on Sept. 3, 2004. This week the papal nuncio for the
United States Archbishop Gabriel Montalyo announced that Pope Paul
II accepted the resignation.
“Upon learning of the Vatican’s
acceptance, Bishop Rueger noted, ‘I am most grateful to God for the
many years He permitted me to minister both as a priest and bishop.
Today, I thank Bishop McManus and Bishop Reilly for their kindness,
all of my brother priests and our religious for their support and
the wonderful laity in our diocese. I will continue to assist at the
Chancery and participate in the Confirmation and ceremonies in the
“‘Today, the Diocese of
Worcester has reached another important point in its history,’
Bishop McManus said in a written statement.
“ ‘After nearly 18 years of
faithful and dedicated ministry as auxiliary bishop, our Holy
Father, Pope John Paul II, ahs accepted the resignation of His
Excellency, Most Reverend George E. Rueger, D.D., turned 75 years
old, the mandatory age of retirement age for bishops.
“‘Since my installation as the fifth bishop of
Worcester, Bishop Rueger has been exemplary in helping me to become
acquainted with the Diocese of Worcester. As a native some,
respected priest, and zealous auxiliary bishop, Bishop Rueger has
provided the People of God in the Diocese of Worcester years of
devoted pastoral ministry…”12
The rest of this article was
the regular run-down of Rueger’s assignments, titles-chairperson and
awards-Bishop Rueger Fund for the Poor. Nothing was mentioned of the
law suits as the T & G had in their article on Rueger. I was not
surprised with any of that seeing The Free Press was the bishop’s
This same paper had a small
section-article “Four priests in Boston Archdiocese are laicized.”
It reads: “Boston (CNS)-The
Vatican has laicized four Boston priests who were accused of
sexually abusing minors, the Boston Archdiocese said Feb 11. It said
Rev. Robert D. Fay, Kelvin E. Iguabita, Bernard J. Lane and Robert
A. Ward Jr. may not ‘function in any capacity as a priest with the
exception of offering absolution to the dying,’ and they ‘cease to
receive any financial support form the diocese.’ Laicization is
removal from the clerical state. Iguabita, 36, has been imprisoned
since 2003, when he was sentenced for he rape of a teenage girl,
Lane, 70, was removed form parish ministry in 1993 as a result of
alleged abuse of minors I the 1970s but returned to limited ministry
in a retired priests’ home until his own retirement, Fay, 68, had
been on sick leave since 1988 in wake of accusations from the 1970s
and ‘80s. Ward, 58, was suspended in 2002. He reportedly had a
single allegation of abuse of a minor against him, but according to
The Boston Globe church records also indicated drug abuse and use of
child pornography from the Internet.”13
Then the National Catholic
Reporter “Word from Rome” by John L. Allen, Jr. wrote: “Most
Americans probably regard the sexual abuse norms adopted by the U.S.
bishop’s in2002, the heart of which is the ‘one strike’ policy, as
by now more or less written in stone, a permanent part of the
church’s response to the crisis. In fact, however, those norms ere
approved by the Vatican only for two years and that trail period are
up in March. What happens next is unclear. (Besides the bodies
already floating in the Tiber)
“A ‘mixed commission’ of
Vatican officials and American bishops to discuss the norms will
meet in Rome in the offices of the Congregation for Clergy, Jan.
“Concerns linger about the
norms-about the fairness of the ‘one strike’ policy, the definition
of the ‘sexual abuse,’ the routine lifting of the statue of
limitations and various due process issues-though opinion is divided
both in Rome and in America. Some canonists and Vatican officials,
and most American Bishops, believe the norms are working and should
be continued largely as they stand. Other Vatican officials,
however, and many overseas bishops, remain opposed.
“Sources told NCR I late
January that the meeting of the mixed commission is not necessarily
expected to produce a decision, but to air experiences and concerns
on both sides.
“‘It’s a follow-up and
evaluation,’ a senior Vatican official told NCR Dec. 28. This
official said that this meeting mayor may not produce a document,
depending on how serious the revisions decided upon by the group
turn at to be.
“One open question is what
happens to the existing norms if March comes and goes without
Vatican reauthorization. Some canonists say the new American rules
would thereby expire, ‘and we would returnee to the status quo
ante, though a lot older and wiser,’ as one put it. Under the
previous standard, you were not uniform national legislation, and no
guarantee of a ‘one-strike- approach. (No kidding: Guilty till
proven innocent. We’ll call you.-Bishop Harrington)
“Others, however, believe the
norms would stay in force until revised or formally withdrawn…”14
published in their January issue “A Gay Priests Speaks Out: the
Vatican, homosexuals & holy orders” by Rev. Gerald Thomas.
Thomas writes: “Sometimes in
the next few months, the Vatican will issue much-anticipated
documents addressing the issue of whether gay men can be ordained
priests. The policy is being written by the Congregation for
Catholic Education in preparation fro the upcoming Vatican
‘apostolic visitation’ of seminaries in the United States, the
in-dept review that is part of the Vatican’s response to the
“Exactly what Rome will say is
unclear. Some observers predict an outright ban on admitting
homosexuals to seminaries and religious orders; others foresee less
drastic restrictions. No one, however, expects the Vatican to issue
a warm welcome to gay men who feel called to the priesthood. But
while banning or severely restricting gay men in orders would surely
delight those U.S. Catholics who blame gay priests for the
sexual-abuse crisis or have been railing against the ‘gay
subculture’ in the clergy, to a gay priest like myself, the imminent
release of this document looms like terrible, if not entirely
unexpected, news from the doctor.
“It is also represents a
serious moral error.
“Few doubt that the impetus
behind the Vatican’s proposed statement is the sexual-abuse crisis
that has convulsed the Catholic Church in America for the past three
years. And if American Catholics took note that the crime
overwhelmingly concerned priests proving on young boys and
adolescent males, those in Rome drew unwarranted dedications form
those facts, prompting some Vatican officials to take aim at all
homosexuals in the priesthood. As Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls
said in March 2002, ‘People with these inclinations just cannot be
“Yet many men with such
‘inclinations’ are already ordained. To be sure, no reliable data
exist about the number of gay priests in the United States, and
estimates very widely. Many bishops and religious superiors who are
either embarrassed by the presence of gay priests under their
jurisdiction or who deny their existence, and understandably
skittish about conducting research that would confirm the presence
of homosexual priests in the church. (My completely anecdotal
impression is that probably 25 percent of priests are homosexual.)
Still, even if research were conducted, it is unlikely that gay
priests would feel comfortable participating. Fran answers might
jeopardize their ministry, especially since some bishops seem to
equate homosexuality with pedophilia. ‘We feel a person who is
homosexual-orientated is not a suitable candidate for the
priesthood, even if he had never committed any homosexual act,’ said
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacoqua, archbishop of Philadelphia, in April
“In addition to the lack of
data, a strict code of silence concerning homosexual priests has
been imposed. Bishops and religious superiors have forbidden many
priests from speaking, writing, or preaching about their
homosexuality. (This is the reason I am using a pseudonym for this
article: I have been instructed not to speak publicly about my
sexual identity.) Thus gay priests like me are caught in a double
bind. If we speak the truth and discuss freely our existence in the
church, and, more important our experience of leading fulfilling
lives as celibate men, we will be censured or removed from ministry.
If we remain silent, thought, we guarantee that the positive example
of the celibate gay priest will remain hidden. Voiceless, the gay
priest cannot defend himself with the church. Stereotyped, he cannot
escape the suspicions of society at large.
“Yet on this subject, as in so
many other areas, the church needs to embrace more transparency, not
more silence. Fro celibate gay priests, priests, like all of God’s
people, have an important story to tell…”15
One observation has to be
inserted here by me: I was a heterosexual priest that had to
struggle with a “culture” that was not normal living in a rectory
with my ministry-start story (gossip or otherwise) about an
individual that branded or crippled one’s priesthood. One never had
an inner peace living in those conditions.
January 30, 2005
I came across this in my
reading this day: We could have 70 days without food, nearly 10 days
without water, 6 minutes without air, but not all without hope.
My idealistic priesthood was a
reality check as losing “hope” of some nature. My attitude in
writing this work was finally having an ignition of revised hope in
January 31, 2005
I have done a substantial
amount of recreation reading on Modernism period in the Catholic
Church (1907- ) of Fr. George Tyrell, S.J. and Edmond Bishop
(layman) writings and biographies. It was opening insights that I
sue to hear about in my studies that were realities in my present
days. The promises and perils of present-day activities were
predicted by these people and a number of others in the Modernism
I spoke with a guy this day
that was telling me information that he spoke to me about the
previous day. I listened and realized that he did recall telling me
the same information-exactly- the day before at dinner in his home.
It was, on his part, informing me of a situation for a first time. I
was in a “blackout” yesterday and this day.
I was looking and listening to
him and thinking: Oh! My God. This was me many years back. I was in
blackouts and functioning professionally and personally. It scared
February 3, 2005
I noticed that I was writing
with more clarity in my reflections and insights. It was something I
noticed in my overall thinking of my experiences. I was disciplining
myself to write in between 2 to 2 ½ hours at a time. My shoulders
and back were sore. I needed to do something else away from the
computer to do some stretching or walk. I needed to clear my mind.
But there were times that I struggled to do any writing. Other
times, I would be in what I called a “roll” with a good attitude to
accomplish some quality time. I was disciplining myself to develop a
method and overall style. It affected my personhood to exemplify
honesty, quality and steadfast purpose.
There are times that I wonder
about the whole church things with this sex abuse crisis and my
experience. It is a situation, I believe, is like a fart in a
February 4, 2005
We get this day in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Super Bowl ad pulled by Ford.
David Bauder of The Associated Press writes “New
York-Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday abruptly yanked a planned Super
Bowl advertisement that depicted a clergyman tempted by a new pickup
truck after some clergy sex abuse victims complained the ad made
light of their trauma.
“The company wants to keep the
focus on its new tuck model rather than controversy, said Sara
Tatchio, spokeswoman for Ford’s Lincoln division.
“The ad shows a set of car keys
placed on a collection plate; the clergyman then finds a new Lincoln
Mark LT truck in the parking lot. When the car’s owner shows up, his
little girl smiling and poking her head from behind, the implication
is that the child had dropped the keys in the plate.
“The clergyman hands over the
keys, ad is then shown adding the letters L-T to a message board
advertising an upcoming sermon-on lust.
“The Chicago-based Survivors
Networks of those Abused by Priests believed the little girl’s
presence in the ad with the clergyman and the worked ‘lust’ had
sexual overtones, and that Lincoln was playing off news of religious
sex scandals to sell cars. The survivors group urged Ford to pull
the ad and within hours of their complaint the company obliged.
“‘It shows their compassion and
I think will spare lots of people a great deal of pain,’ said
Barbara Balne, Snap’s president…”16
The National Catholic
Reporter today carried the story Vatican prosecutor weighs in on
sex abuse: Article calls for end to statue of limitations in abuse
John L. Allen, Jr. writes:
“While many of the church’s judicial proceedings occur in secret,
the Vatican’s chief prosecutor, in a rare public commentary, ahs
called for the elimination any statue of limitations on sex abuse
offenses, and had classified the possession of child pornography as
a form of ‘sexual abuse.’
“He also suggests that sexual
contact with a post-pubescent adolescent, albeit a minor under 18,
may call for a different legal and pastoral response than the sexual
abuse of a young child.
“The comments from Msgr.
Charles Scicluna, promoter of justice for the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, and hence the Vatican official with primary
responsibility for handling sex abuse cases, came in an article
published in the September 2004 issue of the newsletter of the Canon
Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland..
“In the article, Scicuna, a
Maltese priest, outlines his office’s procedure for handling ‘grave
delicits,’ meaning serious offense under the Code of Canon Law,
which as of a 2002 motu prorio, meaning a documents under the
pope’s own authority, includes the sexual abuse f a minor. Scicuna
also offered interpretation of various points.
“Church law has never clearly
defined ‘sexual abuse,’ but Scicluna explains the practice of his
office in evaluating cases.
“An offense ‘does not mean only
physical contact or direct abuse, but includes indirect abuse also
(for example: showing pornography to minors; lewd indecent exposure
in front of minor),’ Scicuna writes…”17
Then another article in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Shanley jury begins deliberations:
Accuser’s recovered memories of sex abuse debated by lawyers.”
Denise Lavoie of The Associated
Press writes: “Cambridge-A jury briefly deliberated the fate of
defrocked priest Paul R. Shanley yesterday after hearing lawyers in
the case clash over the validity of the repressed memories his
accuser sad came to him decades after the sexual abuse allegedly
“The jury deliberated for all
of 30 minutes when the judge sent members home from the day. They
were to return to Middlesex Superior Court today to resume
“Earlier yesterday, Shanley’s
lawyer in closing arguments contented the accuser’s allegations were
orchestrated by personal injury lawyers, while a prosecutor argued
the man’s memories of the alleged rape and molestation were too
agonizing to be lies.
“Shanley’s lawyer said the
alleged victim’s 20-yeasr-old memories of being raped by Shanley as
a young boy were planted by a friend, who also had accused Shanley
of abuse, and then exploited by lawyers who filed a lawsuit for him.
“‘The core facts in this case
are just not true,’ said lawyer Frank Mondano.
“The man, now a 27-year-old
firefighter in a Boston suburb, testified Shanley began raping him
while he was in the second grade, taking him out of
religious-education classes for discipline and raping him in the
“But Mondano po9nted to the
testimony of two of the man’s Catholic religion instructors, who
said they didn’t recall Shanley ever pulling students from class and
that students didn’t go to confession until fourth grade.
“Monano said the man contacted
personal jury lawyers soon after he recovered his memories in
February 2002. The lawyers filed a lawsuit ion his behalf three
months later. The man received $500,000 in a settlement with the
Boston Archdiocese last May…”18
February 7, 2005
I visited my relatives in
Maspeth-N.Y. City. It was the regular “What happened in your case?”
conversation at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee. My
cousin’s husband, David, was pressing the topic. I mentioned the
“blackout” experience. David immediately said: “Than, you did it
(allegations).” He took his coffee and left the table. I was not
able to explain anything more nor did I try. The next two days were
testy in my visit with him. It was a learning experience of what to
talk about with those allegations and the bigger picture. People had
there minds made-up. Oh! These relatives, I had not heard from nor
seen for over 30 years until that visit.
February 11, 2005
I was listening to the radio
with news from Worcester about an interview with Bishop McManus. The
point I was somewhat taken-back with was that the bishop said priest
on Administrative Leave are not able to wear their Roman Collars in
public. It was something that I had the “pit” feeling in my stomach.
What is ironic was that I didn’t wear the collar unless I was doing
priestly ministry as saying Mass, visiting the sick in the hospital.
It did affect me. I was somewhat surprised with this “pit” feeling.
Against, nothing is ever
addressed about the “priest victim” in being treated by the
hierarchy and the medial
The National Catholic
Reporter carried a book review entitle “The intractable Catholic
church” of Faith That Dares to Speak by Donald Cozzens.
This book was reviewed by
Dennis M. Doyle who wrote: “Fr. Donald Cozzens, a well-respected
figure in contemporary Catholic circles, reflects deeply on the
state of church in the wake of the sex abuse crisis. He contemplates
first the internal fears and external structures that keep people
from speaking out and making needed changes. He then turns to
consider broad-scale changes already set in motion.
“Fr. Cozzens’ powerful writing
displays his mastery of skills in spiritual direction, pastoral
counseling and conflict resolution. He spent time fostering and
maintaining in his reading a meditative state of consciousness. He
wants to encourage people to listen humbly and attentively and to
speak courageously and frankly.
“As bad as or worse than the
actual sex abuse committed by priests has been the response of
secrecy and transfer and cover-up by some bishops and those who
assisted them. Fr. Cozzens links these behaviors with a culture of
clericalism rooted in the continuance of feudal structures. The
practices needed to maintain this culture include paternalism, blind
loyalty, authoritarianism and insensitive disregard of those not in
the club. Pope Pius X articulated the underlying vision when he
described the church, in essence, as a society of unequal.
“Fr. Cozzens sees the vision of
Vatican II as one of a community of co-equals disciples. (I was
educated and believed this concept. Totally false in reality.) All
the baptized are member of the people of God. Any distinctions in
roles are made within this basic framework and should take nothing
away from this sense of mutuality. In Fr. Cozzens’ judgment,
however, powerful forces within the church have been retreating from
the councilor vision. The road ahead lies in empowering the laity
through changes of heart and structure. The church of secrecy and
cover-up and abuse of power needs to be overtaken by the church of
openness, dialogue and respect…Fr. Cozzens tends to dichotomize
between humble people who want needed changed and arrogant people
who fearfully reject change…”19
Kathleen A. Shaw wrote this day
in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Bishop Gay’s abuse by
clergy was ‘great injustice’ to victims.”
She stated: “Worcester-Bishop
Robert J. McManus of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester yesterday
acknowledged that a ‘great injustice’ was done to victims of clergy
sexual abuse in this diocese, and he pledged to continue working for
healing and restoration of trust.
“His remakes came as he
announced that a recent audit done at the behest of the National
Review Board of the United States Catholic Bishops has found that
the diocese is in full compliance with the Charter for the
Protection of Children and Young People.
“The Gravin group of Boston,
which audited every diocese in the United Stated for the past tow
years, gave no recommendations for improvement. The group conducted
the audit here Dec. 6 through 10. The first audit was done June 23
through 27, 2003.
“‘At the conclusion of this
compliance audit, the diocese was found to be compliant with all
articles of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young
People,’ the audit states.
“ ‘I am pleased to see that
this audit has once against confirmed the commitment our diocese has
made to healing for those who seek the church’s assistance and
restoring trust to the faithful community as a whole,’ the bishop
“‘A great injustice was done to
those victims of sexual abuse by members of sexual abuse by members
of the church. While there is no simple answer on how to foster
healing in their lives, we join with the rest of the church in
expressing our sorrow for the pain which was inflicted upon them and
their families,’ Bishop McManus said…”20
In the Worcester Telegram &
Gazette section “People’s Forum” printed a letter from Daniel E.
Dick of Worcester: “Many Catholics press for self-determination: I
hope the Catholics were paying attention to the president’s State of
the Union speech, in which he talked so forcefully about the
aspiration of people for self-determination, about a direct role in
choosing the form of government, and a real voice in writing and
ratifying the constitution on which that government is based.
“As growing number of Catholics
are pressing for such a government in their church. The days of
arbitrary and capricious decision-making by a self-chosen select few
are drawing to a close.
“The bigger obstacle in the way
has been the current pope and the members of the hierarch who gave
him blind obedience.
“In the early days of office,
the pope came at strongly in support of the worker movement in his
native Poland to overthrow the dictatorship in place and replace it
with a democratic form of government. Since then, however, he has
turned about-face by trying to stifle similar movements for freedom
in the Americas, has stubbornly opposed the needed reforms in the
church and has persisted in denying women their rights given in
“The good he has done will
unfortunately be tarnished by this record of suppression.
“Catholics how live in the
modern world will not wait for a papacy to wake up. As Lee Iacocca
said, ‘If you can’t lead, follow, and if you can follow, get the
heck out of the way.”21
On had to watch just this day
of the NCR and the “letter” that one needs something as they
had in World War II-Pacific Theater- the Navaho Indian Code makers
to carry on a campaign of renewal.
February 13, 2005
I was reading on the Internet
Ron Rolheiser, OMI this timely column of his: ”Gethsemane-a Place to
learn a lesson.”
Rolheiser writes: “…there’s
nothing wrong with wanting health, success, beauty, power, glamour,
money or fame. Of themselves, there are good and can, if used
properly help God’s glory shine through in ordinary life. But they
can also be dangerous and can just as easily corrupt, inflate, and
weaken rather than strengthen character. We want these things, but
they aren’t always good for us.
“Ironically, the reverse is
also true. We don’t want failure, humiliation, sickness,
powerlessness, poverty, or inferiority of any kind. Yet these, more
than success and glamour, are what produce character and dept inside
us. We see this, for instance, in a family who has a handicapped
member. It’s this person who gives the family character and dept.
The son or daughter who’s the professional athlete or the
wonderfully beautiful fashion-model bring glory into eh family, but
not necessarily character. Character comes from something else.
“If we examine ourselves with
courage and honesty, we will see that almost all the things that
have made us deep and given us character are the very things we’re
often ashamed of: a plain body that won’t let us stand out in a
crowd; a quirky family whose habits can only be understood from the
inside; a frustrating job where our real talents can never merge
because we don’t have the right education or the right
opportunities; a troubled history within which there have been too
many instances where we were the dumb one, the weak one, the sick
one, the excluded one, the fat one, the slow one, the one chosen
last when sides were drawn up, the one who without a date on a
Friday night, and the one who got beaten up on the playground.
Beyond that, we’ve also been forever the frustrated one, the one who
despite the burning ache for the greatness, has never and will never
create the masterpiece, write the symphony, or dance on a world
“But character and dept aren’t
given for scoring goals in the World Cup, for winning Oscars in
Hollywood, or for being so successful or beautiful that you become
an icon for an adoring public. Character and kept are given for
coping with powerlessness, inferiority, and humiliation that are
for. For finding that deeper place inside of you where you can make
a happy peace with the fact that your mother is too fat, that your
father never blessed you, that you were abused, that the school
bully humiliated you in front of your friends, that you were always
the outsider, and that even today you live a life of quiet
desperation wherein sickness, addictions, dark family history,
loneliness, and inadequacies of every kind are barely kept at bay.
There’s an innate connecti0on between attaining a certain level of
dept and having experienced a certain level of humiliation. That’s
one of the lessons of Gethsemane…22
This does fit into my journey
of late. I needed to read such an article.
February 18, 2005
“Listening to victims is key,
speaker says” appeared on the front page of the Catholic Free Press.
Tanya Connor reported:
“Worcester- Listen to the victim survivors.
“Whether you’re a bishop, a
mediator or a member of a parish.
“That’s what a former judge who
gets victims and offenders together advocated last week in a talk at
the College of the Holy Cross.
“Janine P. Greske, a law
professor and director of the Restorative Justice Initiative at
Marquette University Law School, spoke Feb. 9 about ‘Restoration
Justice: A Model for Response to Clergy Abuse.’
“The former Wisconsin Supreme
Court judge’s talk followed one about the laity by Judge Anne Burke.
Judge Burke is the former interim chair of the United States
Bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and
Young People. The Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy
Cross sponsored both talks, which were part of the series ‘Beyond
Brokenness: Healing, Renewal and the Church.’
“Judge Greske set the stage for
her comments about the clergy sexual abuse crisis by talking more
generally about how she uses a restorative justice process to get
victims and offenders together. The idea is to help victims and
offenders together. The idea is to help victims heal and to help
offenders understand the harm they have caused and do something
“When a crime occurs, harm is
caused and thee is a breach of relationship, she said. The victim,
community and offender, and people connected with them are all
affected. Restoration justice works toward restoration by getting
the three parties involved with each other as much as possible, she
“She used the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission in South Africa as an example, and said
New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and most states in the United States
have sort of restorative justice program…”23
Why is it when I read this that
I think it is all about money, money and money and/or an agenda
against the Catholic Church. It is very noble cause in another
place. Check the circumstances here in Worcester Diocese with
authority and power in a classic fashion of a feudal system with
paternalism personified using a Poster Boy model.
February 19, 2005
I was visiting my tax-man,
Joseph Simoncini in Shrewsbury office. He made an eye-opening
comment to me where he said the priest sex abuse scandal in the
Worcester Diocese was: “It’s all political.” Why I was surprised to
hear him was the fact that I know he plays golf with a number of
I was reflecting on my
attitude: Keeping strong and “hope” going where I am 61 but thinking
young. Love is in my thoughts as being very important of loving
life. Trying to get a more appropriate aspect of self-esteem with
some hard exercise. I realized my deep sense of belonging. I’m
finding this in my weekly AA meetings-Tuesday and Thursday- and
friends that I visit or call. Assuming the best is yet to come.
I had a very interesting phone
call from Mrs. Lola Leger of Westminster. She was talking that she
was talking today with a person that is a parishioner of St.
Edward’s that “likes you.” I always realized that being a pastor
there was the 10 percent rule: 10 percent liked you, 10 percent
disliked you and 80 percent say “Who?”
So, Mrs. Leger tells me that
this person told her: “If you’re not gay, they, the diocese won’t do
anything for you.” Now, I’m not sure why this was told me or what
the contents that this individual was relating this to Mrs. Leger.
The issue was that I had my parish removed from me. It was a death:
Shock, disbelief, denial, denial, emptiness, anxiety, guilt, anger
and pre-occupied with memories of my years as pastor of St. Edwards
was daily my roller-coaster.
So, I listened but made sure
not to say anything that would be used against me. It was a time
where even if one is careful in such a story of mine that people
pass on stories that were not of my making but that individuals
perception and own talking.
I was working my research and
writing of not assuming things but listen, read and ask questions on
issues of this crazy time of “The Priest.”
February 22, 2005
Kathleen A. Shaw gives us this
day “Dicoese faces conspiracy suit in abuse case: Healing is
Thursday in Texas in case involving Rev. Teczar.”
She writes: “Two Texas men have
accused the Catholic Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Fort
Worth, Texas, of conspiring to help the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar slip
in and out of tow states to avoid arrest on criminal charges of
sexually abusing underage boys.
“The pair filed suit in Tarrant
County District Court in Fort Worth alleging the Rev. Teczar, who
was a priest in the Worcester diocese, sexually abused them while he
was serving parishes in Ranger, Texas.
“The dioceses of Worcester and
Fort Worth have submitted a motion for summary judgment to dismiss
the suit. They argue that the suits were filed after the statue of
limitations had expired. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for 9
a.m. Thursday in the Fort Worth court.
“Rev. Teczar, who now lives in
Dudley, denied the allegations and said he does not know the man
identified in court documents as John Doe II.
“‘I never met him. I never even
talked to him. I never touched him,’ he said in a telephone
interview yesterday. Rev. Teczar, who previously refused to publicly
discuss accusations against him, is representing himself in the
“He sad he has read the
material submitted in the case and that when taken line by line, the
lawsuit is pathetic.’
“‘He said he knows the man
identified as John Doe I ‘only from the gas station’ in Ranger, a
small town in northern Texas where the sexual abuse is alleged to
“Rev. Teczar, who remains a
priest but is prohibited by the church from performing any priestly
duties, reminded a questioner that the American legal system is
based on the premise that an accused man is innocent until proven
guilty. The two men have submitted no evidence suppurating thief
claims that they were abused, he maintained.
“The suit names both dioceses,
Bishop Joseph P. Delaney of Forth Worth, individually and as bishop,
Rev. Teczar, and Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger of Worcester as
an individual, accusing him of intervening to help get Rev. Teczar
moved to Fort Worth diocese. The auxiliary bishop, who is due to
retiree from that position in September, has denied the
What had my eyes open wide was
that Teczar was representing himself in court and he was giving such
statements to the press? I’m sure we will get more stories on this
February 25, 2005
“The Word from Rome” in the
National Catholic Reporter by John L. Allen, Jr. reported”
Beyond my own talks, the Congress gives me a chance to hears
presentations by a wide array of Catholic luminaries, many, many of
them friends and colleagues.
“This year, for example, I sat
in on part of Suspicion Fr. Gerald Coleman’s session on the sexual
abuse crisis. Coleman brings an informed perspective, having served
for 16 years as President/Rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary and
University in Menlo Park, Calif. And is currently on sabbatical at
the Carmelite Monastery in Carmel, Calif. Coleman has written a
number of books on moral and pastoral theology as well as medical
“Coleman offered a detailed
overview of the American crisis, making a number of interesting
observations along the way. Fro example, he noted that virtually
none of the accusations lodged so far concerned behavior while a
candidate for the priesthood was in the seminary. The abuse happened
once the abuser was out in the field, under much less supervision
and often with little ‘support system.’ Obviously, a seminarian is
not quite the authority figure an ordained priest is, and perhaps
has less capacity to act on the impulse to abuse, Granted, too, the
formation offered in seminarians’ point is that by and large the
seminary system managed to ‘keep things under control,’ suggesting
that the isolation and lack of supervision of priestly life is one
of the factors that fueled the crisis.
“At the end of his talk,
Coleman suggested that what’s needed is a balance between the
presumption of innocence and protecting the good names of accused
priests, alongside an aggressive commitment to ensuring that
children are not abused. He argued that permanent removal from
ministry, under the terms of the American procedural norms, is not
so much a matter of ‘punishment’ as it is about protecting the
church, and especially children, from the risk of recidivism.
“At the same time, Coleman
introduced a neologism into the debate- ‘charter creep,’ referring
to the tendency to treat any accusation of sexual misconduct against
a priest as if it were sexual abuse of a minor, ever when it’s
matter of acts between consenting adults. Obviously, Coleman was to
calling for laxity regarding violations of the knows of celibacy,
but he insisted that legally and morally, the abuse of a child, and
a sexual act with a consenting adult, are different situations
calling for different remedies…”25
To cut to the chase, as soon as
any priest was allegated they were gone. There were a very, very few
exceptions overall. It was a death-sentence for a priest to be
allegated by anyone’s word.
February 26, 2005
Kathleen A. Shaw gives us this
day “Teczar awaits ruling on psychologist” in the Worcester
Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw writes: “A judge in Fort
Worth, Texas, yesterday took under advisement testimony taken during
the last tow day on whether to accept as expert’s two clinical
psychologists being called in a civil lawsuit against the Catholic
dioceses of Worcester and Fort Wroth and tow bishops.
“Two Texas men, Listed as John
Doe I and John Doe II, allege they were sexually abused by the Rev.
Thomas H. Teczar, a priest of the Worcester diocese in 1988 and took
an assignment in the Fort Worth diocese. Khan Merritt, the lawyer
for John Doe II, alleged in the lawsuit that the Worcester and Fort
Worth diocese conspired to get Rev. Teczar in and out of both
dioceses after misconduct allegations were made.
“Ms. Merritt of Dallas, the
lead lawyer in the suit, wants to call John Daignault of Braintree
and Rycke Marshall of Dallas, both forensic clinical psychologists,
to testify on behalf of the men bringing the suit. They believe it
is possible for a victim of sexual abuse to repress memories of
March 1, 2005
I was trying to streamline my
writing technique. I approached the researched articles that I saved
in my file to sue if they were more direct to the subject matter of
the Worcester Diocese and area. I included an article of world-wide
viewpoint to put light on an incident in the diocese. I used more
“letters-to-the-editor” after reading all of them before I would
start writing the text format.
I have been using the
split-screen of the Word Program in writing the text. It has been
most helpful in cross-referencing and forcing me to pick-up the temp
of my writing.
Since, I adapted this
streamlining; I have long-hand written my footnotes to input in a
future time. This will be the tedious part of this writing.
March 3, 2005
I was “just thinking” how the
present society is living in being geared for “results” and not
“process.” It is the political atmosphere of the right having
dominance of saying one thing but, in reality, doing something else.
I sense that we can forget any process of personhood developing
through the atmosphere of the day. I have made an effort to read
Fog of Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin by Larry
Beinhart. It helps me with my theory: Where is the string that goes
around the corner attached too.
March 4, 2005
This we get from the
National Catholic Reporter “Editorials: ‘Full compliant’ doesn’t
It states: “Catholics should be
grateful for the release of the 2004 Annual Report on implementation
of the Charter fro the Protection of Children and Young People
Combined with last year’s report, the 2004 John Jay College of
Criminal Justice study on the ‘scope of the crisis,’ and the
so-called Bennett Report on its causes, the survey of diocesan
child-protection programs released Feb. 18 sheds additional light on
diocesan efforts to combat sex abuse.
“It is a good thing it does,
given that more than 1,000 allegations of se abuse by priest and
deacons were made last year, according to data gathered by Center
for Applied Research in the Apostolate that was included in the204
“It takes nothing away from the
survey of diocesan child-protection programs, however, to note that
such documents have been repeatedly misused by those who want to say
or imply that the ‘crisis is over.’ The danger, as it has been with
each of these reports, studies and surveys, is that the findings
will be oversold. Which is exactly what is happening?
“Throughout the country
diocesan public relations professionals went into full spin mode.
Headlines in church papers trumpeted the findings: ‘Archdiocese
Found in Full Compliance with U.S. Bishops’ Charter (St.
Paul-Minneapolis The Catholic Spirit), ‘Full Compliance and
Commendation Result From Gavin Group Audit of Archdiocese’ (The
Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Atlanta Archdiocese), ‘L.A.
Urged to be in Full Compliance with Bishops’ Charter (The Tidings).
And so on and so on and so on.
“Much of this is hooey.
“First ‘full compliant’ is
simply oversell. It is like being ‘fully pregnant.’ You either or
you are not. The advert is added for public relations purposes,
designed to reassure a skeptical public.
“Next, the work of the Gavin
Group and Boston based firms hired by the bishops to review diocesan
programs, is neither ‘independent’ nor an ‘audit,’ at least to the
extent that the words are combined. These precise terms of art in
the according world have been adopted to create an impression of
objectivity and competence... A certified public accounting firm
claiming ‘independence’ of an ‘audit’ faces sanctions based on
well-established industry standards based on well-established
industry standards if it fails to live up to the claim. Not so with
the Gavin Group, which is not an accounting firm and is not required
to abide by any external independent audit guidelines?
“In fact, the bishops Office of
Child and Youth Protection recruited the Gavin Group because its
principal, William A. Gavin, combined a reputation for excellence
with a good price. ….IN the church community, after all, the body f
the church doesn’t get the opportunity to vote out an offending
bishop or fire a lousy CEO.”27
This editorial is blistering
with “accountability.” But the issue of “power and authority” is the
issue that I have been addressing in this work. One had to live in
it to see another view that many would not think may exist in this
day and age-mainly a feudal system.
I also think about one family
in Westminster-the Robuccio’s- who told me one day that they go to
church, but then go home and do what they want to do. This was one
of the most honest comments I heard in my time at St. Edward’s.
March 5, 2005
I have noticed of late that I
do not bear the fear and unpleasantness of going to area flea
markets or stores of late. I have always been a sensitive person. It
has been some time since 1993. I have struggled in wondering what I
would say is I met someone I knew. I developed a few phrases-about
time- to respond to any questions that would come my way. Ex:
Question-What have you been doing? General answer- I’ve been busy
with a number of projects. Question-Where do you live? I’m listed in
the telephone book. Question-Are you still a priest? Yes. Period.
No other comment.) Question-Is the Worcester Diocese paying you? I’m
living off my investments.
What I have come to realize
that those feelings-isolate- of ’93 and ’94 will be part of my life
journey. I have to deal with them and move on. I realized that I was
blinded with rose-colored glasses that I donned at ordination with
the Second Vatican Council in an effort to renew the Catholic Church
with a challenge to all branches and baptized. There was a hope that
I recall Fr. Greeley saying certain writers of the Church do not
remember that hope. So writers of this generation procure works that
they view as objective but not understand what some of the present
figures of the Church in Rome and the United States have tried so
hard to destroy that hope.
I noticed this day in my
research and writing that my back was very sore. The sore back was a
pain that I noticed I experienced when my body would experience
stress. It was mainly mental. But, it was occurring more often of
late. I was thinking of late about my moving from my present studio
apartment to the second floor. I only heard about this the previous
day but that is where I noticed that an issue has, what I call, the
24 hour reaction time on me. I experience something and then 24
hours I feel it with the stress element of a sore-lower back
reaction. I believe it is all in the mind working with major concern
and my back gets tight.
March 6, 2005
My fear bucket started to
fill-up watch the local evening TV news with Father Shanley’s
picture being shown and Attorney General Reilly saying he is going
to review abuse cases after talking to “victims” in Shanley’s case
and getting rid of the “statue of limitation.” I recall hearing that
Reilly was talking of this issue but that it would not be
retro-active. Reilly’s story was not being told by all the medial in
the same fashion. Some sources said that Reilly was going to “look
into changing the law.” What I realized was that this was another
political move by Reilly because the “statue of limitation” affects
not only priest sex abuse. It covers a wider range of law in
We are living in a society that
proclaims: There’s gold in then, there hill. Allegate a priest.
March 7, 2005
In a letter of the “People’s
Forum” of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette by David J.
O’Brien, Professor, Holy Cross College, Worcester: “VOTF was invited
to Holy Cross-The Voice of the Faithful is dedicated to assisting
victims of sexual abuse by priests, supporting the vast majority of
priests who serve their church with fidelity and dedication, and
reforming the church to allow all its members, including lay people,
to share responsibility for its common life.
“In particular, VOTF advocates
for he full implementation and appropriate reform of existing
structures of shared responsibility, especially parish and diocesan
councils and finance committees. Daniel Dick, cited by Richard R.
Blanchard’s letter to the editor (Telegram & Gazette, Feb 21), has
rendered generous service to logical victims, of whom there are
many, and he has strong views on church reform. But VOTF, as an
organization, was badly misrepresented by Mr. Blanchard. As for his
question about Holy Cross, VOTF members have met occasionally at the
college, at my invitation, for which I gladly accept
Blanchard was a letter writer
to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Catholic Free Press
in the 70s and 80s. He was constantly giving especially Bishop
Harrington a run for it. I recall that his name was never mentioned
in public or at the dinner table in the rectory. The priest silence
was most interesting. There is a whole separate book on that guy and
the Worcester Diocese.
March 11, 2005
John L. Allen, Jr. writes in
the National Catholic Reporter “Vatican asks Rice for help in
sex abuse lawsuit.”
The article states: “Alongside
predictable exchanges on Iraq, the Middle East and religious
liberty, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in her Feb 8 visit
to the Vatican received an unexpected request-to intervene in a U.S.
lawsuit naming the Holy See as the defendant in a sex abuse case.
“Church sources told NCR
that Rice asked by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s secretary
of state, whether the U>S. government could stop a class action
lawsuit currently before a U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky.,
that, seeks to hold the Vatican financially responsible for the
sexual abuse of minors.
“Sources told NCR that
Rice explained that under American law; foreign states are required
to assert claims of sovereign immunity themselves before U.S.
“Vatican spokesperson Joanquin
Mavarro-Valls, asked by NCR for comment, responded March 2:
‘It’s obvious and reasonable that the Holy See would present its
positions as a sovereign entity to the American State Department,
and recall the immunity for its acts that international law
“It’s not the first time,
according to observers; that the Vatican has asked the State
Department for help on a legal matter.
“Most experts say that lawsuits
against the Vatican in American courts, such as the Kentucky case
that prompted Sodano’s request, are a long shot. At least two dozen
previous attempts have gone nowhere, not only because the Vatican is
a sovereign state, but also because American courts are generally
reluctant to deal with religious matters on First Amendment grounds.
“Yet Sodano’s decision to raise
the matter with Rice suggests concern in Rome that sooner or later
its immunity may give way, exposing the Vatican to potentially
It is big money where one has
to try to figure out where the string is tied to around the corner.
March 10, 2005
The Catholic Free Press had a
supplement document published by the Diocesan Review Committee of
the Roman Catholic Diocese “Policies & Procedures for the Protection
of Minors.”30 It was revised and reissued this day-March 10, 2005.
What I found interesting was
that this committee consisted of 20 members. My first thought was
that it is a mob with such a number. A priest called me and said
count the number of priest-5. The issue this priest was caring a
message of resurging clericalism.
March 12, 2005
Kathleen A. Shaw followed the
release of this document of March 10th with “Diocese
policy on handling sex abuse allegations updated.”
She wrote in her column:
“Worcester-the Diocese Review Committee of the Catholic Diocese of
Worcester has made changes in how it will deal with allegations of
sexual abuse by clergy or diocesan workers and has set procedures
for reporting past abuse.
“Bishop Robert J. McManus also
announced this week that the Rev. George J. Ridick, now pastor of
St. Catherine of Sweden Parish, has been appointed liaison of
priests on leave. Rev. Ridick holds advanced degrees in theology and
“Eight priest have been placed
on administrative leave since 2002 when allegations of sexual
misconduct surfaced and others are on leave after allegations wee
made in previous years. The policy states that in accordance with
canon law priests on leave will continue to receive support from the
“According to the new policy,
anyone alleging they were abused years ago as minors, but are now
adults, should call the Office of Healing and Prevention at (508)
929-4363 to begin the reporting process.
“In addition, anonymous
complaints will not be viewed as showing ‘reasonable cause to
believe abuse has occurred,’ according to the new policy…”31
Reality has developed since
even Bishop Harrington telling me that I was “guilty till proven
innocent” statement and the language of the hierarchal church and
media- no one has a chance to be restored from an allegation.
However, what has proven a fact that a hierarchy is the only ones
I had another insight about
these 20 members-The Worcester Diocese Mob- of the review board
wouldn’t live that long if they didn’t say a bishop was “immaculate”
(innocent) on any sex abuse allegations. If this “The Mob” didn’t do
this, they would have been zapped-end of story by the local bishop.
March 13, 2005
“Just Thinking” time with the
newly appointed Fr. George Ridick as the bishop’s representative to
priest on “Administrative Leave.” What are his actually duties.
What are the limits of this position? Is this the new housekeeper,
the one that bangs the pots and pans, knows what you are wearing,
what phone calls you are receiving?
How cans one love after what
the diocese has given me? What would one come to “visit”? Would I
say: Come back when you know you have something to share and care? I
would expect to be treated equality where I have seen that each of
us have been separated in different room. I would ask: How is Father
Bagley doing? This liaison person is actually the new “probation
officer.” Does the diocese want to issue electric ankle bracelet?
There is written in the revised
policy that the Bishop’s liaison for us guys on administrative leave
is to stay informed of the priest’s living arrangements, including
contact information, living conditions, health, finances, and other
No one has ever contacted me
about anything as such at any time. I guess such a policy is only
for print purposes and public relations.
March 14, 2005
I have been thinking of writing
a number of novels; the latest title that I would enjoy to write:
The Great Flood of Elm Street (Chancery Building): Even Greater than
the Boston’s Great Molasses Explosion.
This type of novel would
definitely cause a stir inside the “castle.” What we have seen of
late is that bishops have been seen as above reproach. I wondered
was it I did not receive “due process” because the diocese with
Harrington and Rueger would have not been able to handle
inconsistency in my case.
March 18, 2005
I was asked by a former
parishioner about priest vacations: You’ll never going to figure it
out or be told how this operates. You will get a smile which will
screen retreats, study weeks, professional time, days-off etc. etc.
etc.-the local area has it at 9 to 10 weeks a year.
Jason Berry reporting from Los
Angeles reports in the National Catholic Reporter “Mahoney,
illegal battle, insists church has right to secrecy.”
He writes: “Since June 2002,
when the scandal-plaque Catholic bishops met in Dallas to adopt a
youth protection charter, Cardinal Roger Mahoney have cast him as a
reformer, an image that is jarring to many people immersed in the
legal sage here in whom the archdiocese has waged a fierce battle to
keep sensitive documents secret.
“‘If priests are indicted and
some end up in prison or what ever, that’s going to be very sad for
them, for the church,’ Mahoney told the Los Angeles Times in
the weeks following that 2002 meeting.’ But fit hast is required to
move beyond, that’s what we’re going to have to go thought’
“Two and a half years later,
amid the slow grind of curt proceedings, Mahoney spoke of his own
‘terrible journey’ in a Feb 12 telephone interview with NCR.
‘It’s easy to look back through lenses of today to 15,20, 30 years
agony just wish you had known then what I know now about the way
sexual offenders behave.
“‘I’ve met a very large number
of victims,’ he continued. ‘I’ve also looked at the taped interviews
[of victims] the plaintiff attorneys here have developed. Dozens of
interviews on DVD. I’ve listened to every single one of them. They
just cause you to cry. You simply are in disbelief at what has
happened to the lives of these people. It has been a very humbling
experience. Spiritually, I was absolutely at the bottom, which means
total vulnerability to god’s grace. And I began to realize that this
is the ministry Jesus Christ is asking of me and others at this
time, to repair the damage, to make sure it won’t happen again.’
Mahoney has taken several
important steps to address the crisis. The archdiocese formed a
Clergy Misconduct Oversight Bard with 13 members mostly lay people.
Three former FBI agents are on call to investigate when charges
arise against a priest or church worker. Some 18,000 archdiocesan
employees have undergone a training program called Safeguard the
Children. Priests and bishops have had a training program as well.
“If his reforms and rhetoric
suggest a healing hand held out to people hungry for justice, the
cardinal’ s other hand grips a shield. Mahoney’s lawyers are waging
the most expensive legal battle in American church history to thwart
the Los Angeles district attorney’s subpoena for files of priests
accused of sexual offenses, and to fight off possible charges of
archdiocesan complicity in alleged crimes. The archdiocese is also
fighting plaintiffs on releasing personnel files of priests in civil
cases. The church’s 2004 legal bill was about $4 million.
“In lengthily motions and
arguments, Mahoney’s attorneys have insisted that private
communications between a bishop and priests are protected by the
First Amendment guarantee of church-state separation…”32
Another article in this same
issue entitled “‘One-strike’ policy to be retained, says cardinal.”
John L. Allen, Jr. writes in
this article: “Despite opposition both in the United States and in
the Vatican, the ‘one strike’ policy at the heart of the American
norms on sexual abuse of minors by priests will be retained when
Rome re-approves those norms within this month, according to
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.
“George, who sits on a mixed
commission of American bishops and Vatican officials to review the
norms, spoke in an exclusive March 10 interview with NCR in
“Under the terms of the
‘one-strike’ policy, a priest guilty of even on actor of sexual
abuse of a minor is either to be removed from the priesthood or
permanently removed from priestly ministry.
“The policy, and other elements
of the norms such as lifting the state of limitations in church law
for sexual abuse allegations, ahs been criticized by canon lawyers
and others in Rome and America as unfair to accused priests, and out
of step with the universal law of the Catholic church. The American
norms were approved by the Vatican for a two-year period in 2003,
and expire this month. Some observers had expected Vatican officials
to press for significant changes before re-approval would be
“In the end, however, George
said there were only ‘four or five’ revisions, all of which he
described as ‘minor,’ including a tightened definition of sexual
abuse and new provisions for handling accusations against priests
who are members of religious orders, which he said was a matter of
inserting new footnotes. All the revisions, George said, war
proposed by the American bishops.
“George said that there is no
need for the bishops to take action on the norms at their June
meeting, since they had already voted to request an extension.
‘‘I have every reason to
believe that confirmation of the norms will come soon, probably by
the end of this month,’ George said.
“While George said that the
norms themselves do not alter the ‘one-strike’ policy, he said that
the jurisprudence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
in the intervening two years has ‘nuanced’ its application.
“Under rules approved by People
Hon Paul II in 2002, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
has the exclusive competence to adjudicate accusations of sexual
abuse against priests, though in many instances the congregation
will delegate local tribunal to hear the cases.
“‘If a priest is guilty of
sexual abuse, he can either be removed from the priesthood or
removed from ministry,’ George said. ‘In that second case, the
question is, what do you do/ in some instance, the congregation has
approved allowing the priest to perform secretarial work behind the
scenes, that sort of things.’
“George described this as a
matter of ‘filling in the blanks.’
“‘Nothing has changed in terms
of the ‘one-strike’ policy, but in practice questions come up that
the congregation has responded to, in a helpful way,’ he said.
“George said he expected the
extension of approval fro the norms would be granted for an
indefinite period and would come with the consent of the pope.”33
I have constantly written about
the “guilty” priest. What about if your bishop was covering-up his
situation with the law and pulled you with “guilty till proven
innocent.” The hierarchy has its own cover-up technique called
“authority and power.”
I read in John L. Allen, Jr.
book Opus Dei who wrote: “On the other hand, Opus Dei member
do not win every showdown. Take the case of Monsignor Joaquin Lobell,
a Spanish Opus Dei priest and professor f canonical procedure at the
University of Santa Croce in Rome. He’s a widely respected canon
lawyer who sits on the Apostolic Singnatura, the Vatican’s supreme
curt, as well as the Court of Appeal for the Vatican City-State. He
once served as a judge ad causal for penal cases
handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including
accusations of sexual abuse against priests, in some instances from
the United States. Lobell also was a member of the commission that
prepared a set of norms for handling ‘grace delicts,’ including
sexual abuse, called Sacramentorum snactituatis tutela,
issued on April 30, 2001.
“While Llobell is a loyal son
of the Church, his is also a stickler for due process of law and he
felt that the rules under which the Church was processing sex abuse
charges were flawed. In March 2004 he gave a public lecture in which
he argued that canon law seeks rehabilitation of the offender, and
proportionality between crimes and punishment-meaning that ‘one size
fits all’ penalties are foreign to canonical tradition. Both points
cut against the ‘one strike’ policy called for by the American
bishops and approved by the Vatican. He also criticized revisions to
the sex abuse norms approved by John Paul II in February 2003, which
removed the statue of limitations, allowed the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith to defrock a priest using no judicial means,
and prevented appeal of the congregation, the tribunals handling sex
abuse cases are run by that office’s ‘promoter of justice,’ in
effect the lead prosecutor. No system of justice can be fair; he
said where the prosecutor selects and supervises the judges. It’s
not that Lobell is ‘soft’ on clerical sexual abuse; in the late
1980, he voiced the opinion within the Roman Curia that the American
bishops should bring penal cases against abuser priests under the
Code of Canon Law. His position, however, is that the Church should
not remedy one injustice with another, and he believes the current
norms are, from a procedural point of view, unjust.
“These views did not sit well
with some, including the promoter of justice in the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, a Maltese
priest whose job it has been to coordinate the Vatican’s canonical
response to the American crisis. Maybe these norms aren’t perfect
law, Scicuna has told colleagues, but the Church found itself in a
crisis and needed to react. Moreover, on Scicluna’s watch decisions
have been reached in a relatively quick amount of time. Of more than
700 cases that reached the Vatican in the wake of the American
crisis by spring 2004 some 550 have been processed and returned, a
remarkable result given the tendency of the Vatican to ‘think in
“Llobell and Scicluna are
friends and colleagues, so there is no suggestion of personal
antagonism, and Llobell had already stopped working for the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before Scicluna arrived.
Yet the two men nevertheless represent different canonical
approaches, and Scicluna’s is the one that has prevailed. Since his
work on the 2001 norms, Llobell has never been asked back to assist
the congregation, despite the tidal wave of penal cases that washed
through its offices in the wake of the American crisis. The story is
all the more illuminating given that the highest-ranking Opus Dei
member in the Curia is Herranz, whose area of competence is
precisely canon law. His views on due process and the legitimacy of
the sex aubse norms are much closer to Llobell’s than Scicluna’s. If
there really were an unstoppable Opus Dei juggernaut in the Vatican
one would have expected this policy dispute to go the other way…”34
The key term here was “due
process.” There was nothing as such with my situation with
Harrington or Reilly. In actuality, how could either of these
bishops give me “due process” of canon law where they would indite
themselves with abuse of “authority and power?”
Also, in this same issue of the
National Catholic Reporter the “Editorials: Sealing the
answers won’t quiet the questions.”
It states: “The ongoing legal
wrangling between law enforcement authorities and the Los Angeles
archdiocese over whether the church can be forced to have over files
believed relevant to sex aubse causes is an ugly but fitting next
act in the drama that has been playing out for more than 20 years.
“The drama has reached what
some might see as an intractable tug of war between competing
perception and rights: the right of the church to the free of
interference from the state and the state’s right to investigate
crime; the right of victims to have all the relevant evidence in
making their case against accused abusers versus the right of
privacy one can expect with a spiritual adviser and confessor.
questions-of fairness and reasonable application of law-abound. Is
it fear fro states across the country to consider alterations to
existing laws to allow accusers to file charges, impossible under
current statues, against alleged abusers?
“Those questions become
irrelevant, however, if one were to take seriously the view of
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who served a number of years with the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before becoming
archbishop of Genoa, Italy; ‘If a priest cannot confide in his
bishop because he is afraid of being denounced, it would mean there
is, no more freedom of conscience.’ Civil society, he said, must
‘respect the ‘professional secrecy’ of priests.’ What, precisely
does he mean by that? And how much does that attitude prevail in the
church today? How much was that view responsible for the
demoralizing and costly sex abuse scandal?”35
March 19, 2005
I heard this morning on the
radio, news that Archbishop O’Malley received permission form Rome
to wash the feet of women in addition to me in Boston on Holy
Thursday. The broadcast said he had to get “permission” is telling
one a lot more than realized-this is the milled management issue in
One has to realize that we were
washing feet of parishioners-women and men-since 1985. But
Archbishop O’Malley needs permission because he refuses to do this
last years which was his first year as Boston. So, he asked Rome,
which the rubrics never said that women were to be excluded. This
was something that was very important when reading Church documents:
What they don’t say is more important than what they do say.
So, the good Archbishop had to
ask Rome for permission. Hopefully, one realizes if anything that
this is a hierarchal game. We used to say in the seminary days:
People are dying in Bangladesh and we worry with such an issue.
O’Malley wants to be the “obedient servant” to get to be that
I was doing my daily 3 mile
walk and what resonated: Attorney Carey saying to me: “You can open
your case anytime you want.” What was really behind that statement
will be something I guess I will have to take to the grave with
myself if I want to maintain my priesthood. But, there was something
from a legal perspective. I even tried to get what this may have
meant from another lawyer friend. He would not touch it. He was
Irish Catholic from the right wing element of pre-Vatican II.
I, also, was reflecting how in
my packing of 12 books to carry upstairs to my new place (studio
apartment) of what the books I had and their meaning. Books I have
always considered as my friends. I would say to people: Come and see
my best friends-my personal library. What was interesting this time
in packing and my thinking of when will I ever use this book-one at
a time-against? It was an all day project doing it in this manner.
My mind would reflect on certain meanings each book had for me and
where I may have referred to such a text in a presentation or sermon
(homily) or project. I always believe in bettering myself by
researching and reading as much as possible on a subject. Books that
I owned had value with “knowledge” that no one was able to take from
me. I was thinking at this time in that I had quit a financial
impertinent in my personal library. I guess this would have been the
value of having my own place-cottage as such. But, I never regretted
this direction that I had undertaken. I realized that these books
took me places that I know I would never have had an opportunity to
visit or talk with these authors and learn their thoughts. Books
have been worth their weight in gold. I will experience this against
in another move-up one flight of stairs.
Another interesting news report
I heard today was Gove John Rowland of Connecticut who was being
sentenced for a jail term on corruption. He made the statement to
the judge: He had lost sight of his ethical judgment and developed a
sense of entitlement and even arrogance. He let his pride get in his
Something in these words to
recall and reflect on in any walk of life. I would use this for an
evening of reflection for an examination of conscience.
March 20, 2005
This Sunday morning after I
offered Mass, I turned on Sunday Morning-CBS. It had a segment of
how court trails are covered by the media. One report was on the
“circus nature” of trails. It was reported that in England which has
a different stands whenever someone is accused of a crime. Here is a
complete media lockout until there is a resolution. It was said that
this would never happen in the United States because of the First
Then it was explained that the
Michael Jackson and Robert Blake (Beretta) court proceedings have
the effect of their names in public. It was mentioned that once
something is made public, a person’s reputation is gone. This has
happened to me. Now, I have to live with it. I have to live day by
day to survive with the basics of living conditions, daily food and
life in general.
This is where I implement a
basic teaching from AA: 1. Keep one’s memory green 2. Stay teachable
3. Continuous work of one’s program on a daily basis.
I was thinking about me using
the phrase-the games go on. This is from Games people Play by
Eric Berne, M.D. (1964). One thing I have learned in life” Someone
already said what you are saying.
I read this work by Father Ron
Rolheiser, OMI entitled “Tasting the Darkness of Good Friday.”
He writes: “A year ago, partly
in response to the popularity and controversy surrounding Mel
Gibson’s movie, The Passion of Christ, TIME magazine ran a cover
story on the question of why Jesus died. The piece was well
researched and included the opinion of a variety of scholars, but it
also delved into the feelings of ordinary people around this
“One person who expressed her
feelings was a young woman who, as a child had witnessed her mother
being murdered by a jealous boyfriend. Looking back on her mother’s
death, she senses, without being above to put it into works, that
somehow her mother’s book is connected to the blood that Jesus shed
on Good Friday and that his death, also unfair, somehow gives
dignity to her mother’s death.
“Her hunch is right. There is a
connection, even if we lack the works to explain it, between what
Jesus tasted on Good Friday and what any person who is unfairly
victimized tastes. We have our own Good Fridays and they are to
unconnected to what happened on Calvary tow thousand years ago.
Indeed, what Jesus underwent on Good Friday is, as this woman says,
what gives us dignity when we taste the blood of humiliation,
loneliness, helplessness, and death. What did Jesus undergo on Good
“Interestingly, the gospels do
not fours on his physical suffering (which must have been horrific).
What they highlight instead is his emotional suffering and his
humiliation. He is presented as lonely, betrayed, alone, helpless to
explain himself, a victim of jealousy, morally isolated, mocked,
misunderstood, stripped naked so as to have to feel embarrassment
and shame, and yet, inside of all this, as clinging to warmth,
goodness, and forgiveness. Good Friday, in Luke’s words, is when
darkness has it hurl. What does that taste like?
“Whenever we find ourselves
outside the circle of health and vibrancy, on a sick bed alone, with
the sure knowledge that, despite the love and support of family and
friends, in the end it is us, by ourselves, who face disability and
disfigurement, who have to lose a breast or an organ to surgery, who
face chemotherapy and maybe death, when we are alone inside of that,
alone inside of fear, we are feeling what Jesus felt on Good
I have been there-my good
Fridays- many, many times. I imagine I will have more of them. But,
it is my Faith that I have had the grace to endure.
March 22, 2005
Another Holy Week and I are
alone. I have the roller coaster feeling of being not included in
this ride. I had to go inside my self and go to the “tool box of
faith” with one had unwavering faith that God “draws straight with
crocked lines. When things become difficult in my being away from
the faith community, I can dig down deep and find the source of
strength-Jesus in God.
A friend told me on the phone:
“The stone that is rejected will become the cornerstone.” I have
this to remember especially when I reflect on some of my readings
especially from Sacred Scripture and spiritual reading.
March 23, 2005
I was wondering this Holy Week
is the Worcester Diocese considered me retired or not? I had to
reflect upon: What do I want from them? I am basically going through
a journey of “silent salvation.” I am doing my calling (vocation) in
silent suffering. I even had to be contorted by others by being
challenged for accountability. The system that I belong too is one
of power and authority that seems to have no indication that I
I noticed that I am not reading
many Catholic periodicals or newspapers of late. I used to go to
Assumption College Library periodically to do this. This I have not
On the Internet boston.com (The
Boston Globe) reported “Priest suspended “ Boston-A Revere
priest cleared of accusations he molested a teenage boy in the early
1980s was returned to active ministry after a church review board
examined the case of the Rev. Edward Keohan, officials at the Roman
Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said.
“‘After careful review of the
information available regarding the complaint, the (archdiocese)
review board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated,’
the archdiocese said in a statement Tuesday.
“Philip does. Moran, a Salem
lawyer who represented Keohan, said the 72-year-old priest passed a
lie detector test, and that members of the accuser’s family
ultimately disputed the story that the man, who now is 37, had been
“Neither Ann Carter, a
spokeswoman for the archdiocese, or Moran knew whether the former
administrator of Ur Lady of Lourdes in Revere would continue to
serve as a priest.
“‘Father Keohan and I are
delighted,’ Moran said of the church’s decision. ‘He has devoted 45
years of his life to God as priest, and we gel he was wrongly
accused. There was no basis for the accusation.’
“However Mitchell Garabedian,
the Boston lawyer who represented the accuser, said his client
received a six-figure settlement from the archdiocese in the case.
“‘If nothing happened, then why
did the church pay my client a substantial amount of money in
settlement of his claim?’37 (Pay for legal expenses?)
What gets interesting in such
reports that we don’t hear anything more of this priest or any other
priest for that matter?
March 24, 2005
“Judge declines to dismiss case
on Rev. Teczar: Psychosis’s allowed to testify about memories of
alleged abuse” appeared on page A2 of the Worcester Telegram &
Kathleen A. Shaw wrote: “A
Texas judge yesterday denied a request from the Catholic Dioceses of
Worcester and Fort Worth, Texas, to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two
men who allege they were sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas H.
Teczar when they were teenagers.
“Judge Len Wade also denied the
dioceses’ request to exclude tow forensic psychologists who will
testify on behalf who will testify on behalf of John Doe I and John
Doe II, the names assigned to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The
psychologists, John Daignaeult of Braintree, and Rycke Marshall of
Dallas will be allowed to testify.
“The judge issued a short
ruling yesterday in Tarrant County District Court in Fort Worth.
“Tahira Khan Merritt, lawyer
for John Doe II, said yesterday that a mediation session is
scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow with a curt-appointed media for at Los
Colinas, which is near Irving, Texas. Worcester Bishop Robert J.
McManus and retired Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger will
participate in the meeting via telephone. James Gavin Reardon Jr.,
lawyer for the Worcester Diocese, said he will be at the mediation
“Unless a settlement is
reached, the case is scheduled for a jury trail in Texas July 25, Ms
Khan Merritt said. Ms. Han Merritt is the lead lawyer in the case.
John Doe is represented by Daniel J. Shea of Houston, who also will
be at the mediation session…”38
Here is the “recall memory”
March 26, 2005
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
with Kathleen A. Shaw reports “Dioceses settle case for $1.4M:
Alleged abuse victim of Teczar lives in Tex.”
Shaw writes: “The Catholic
Dioceses of Worcester and Froth Worth, Texas, late Thursday night
settled one of the pending lawsuits against the dioceses, two
bishops and the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar for $1.4 million, according to
the lawyers representing the alleged victims.
“The settlement came in the
case of a man from Ranger, Texas, identified only as John Doe I. He
is represented by Daniel J. Shea of Houston. (We’ve read about him
in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.)
“No settlement was reached in
the case of John Doe II, who is represented by Tahira Khan Merritt
and Sylvia Demarest of Dallas. Ms Khan Merritt said yesterday that
unless some settlement is reached in the case, it will go to trail
“‘I’m very happy for Dan that
he was able to bring in that settlement for his client,’ Ms. Khan
Merritt said. ‘In my case, I want this to go to a jury because there
is a lot of information about the conspiracy between the two
dioceses that needs to come out. I want the truth to come out.’
“Ms. Khan Merritt said the case
of John Doe II involves repressed memories of the alleged abuse,
while John Doe I had never suppressed or repressed his memories of
the alleged abuse.
“Mr. Shea, who represented
several people in the Worcester area in their cases against the
Worcester Diocese, said he was able to get a larger settlement in
Texas because that state does not have a charitable immunity cap of
$20,000 as Massachusetts does. The Worcester Diocese has been
settling its recent clergy sexual abuse sits for less than the cap.
“Mr. Shea and Ms. Khan Merritt
said that none of the $1.4 million is coming from the Worcester
Diocese. They were surprised to learn late Thursday night that the
Worcester Diocese had a previously unknown indemnification agreement
with Fort Worth that absolved Worcester from paying any money if
Rev. Teczar was accused of sexually abusing minors in Texas…”39
March 29, 2005
Another day and another article
by Kathleen A. Shaw appeared on page A2 of these days Worcester
Telegram & Gazette “Diocese says deal was never made on Teczar
move: Accused priest went to Texas.”
Shaw writes: “Worcester-In a
letter sent to the priests of Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Bishop
Robert J. McManus emphatically denies any agreement was made with
the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, to allow the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar
to take a position as priest in Texas.
“Two men from Ranger, Texas,
brought a civil suit in Fort Worth, Texas, alleging that the tow
dioceses conspired to move the priest from the Worcester Diocese to
Fort Worth after allegations of sexual abuse arose in the local
“In his letter to priests,
which was sent Saturday and was publicly posted at
www.worcester-dicoese.org, Bishop McManus said both dioceses
partially settled the lawsuit involving one of the alleged victims,
but added that the Worcester Diocese will not pay any of the $1.4
million settlement because it had no responsibility for Rev. Teczar
when he left the Worcester (Diocese).
“The bishop said the lawyers
for the two alleged victims have maintained a ‘conspiracy’ existed
between the two dioceses. However, Bishop McManus said, such a
conspiracy was impossible because the Worcester Diocese never agreed
to Rev. Teczar’s ministry in Texas.
“” ‘The plaintiffs’ theory is
bases among other things, on a Church-wide conspiracy among United
States dioceses,’ he said. ‘The plaintiffs’ attorney is determined
to weave the facts of this particular matter into that theory
whether the facts fit or not.’
“Bishop McManus said that even
though the Worcester Diocese revoked Rev. Teczar’s permission to
function as a priest and never restored it, Bishop Joseph P. Delaney
of Fort Worth authorized the priest to take an assignment in his
diocese in 1988. According to Bishop McManus, former Worcester
Bishop Timothy J. Harrington made it clear to Bishop Delaney that he
did not give permission for Rev. Teczar to serve in Texas.
“The identifications of the two
plaintiffs in the case have been sealed. The case of John Doe I, who
was represented by Daniel J. Shea of Houston, was settled late
Thursday night. Mr. Shea said he was told after the settlement was
reached that indemnification existed between the two dioceses and
the issue came up in the context of why Worcester was not going to
pay any part of the settlement…”40
There was a phrase used but
never in writing that certain priest in the Worcester Diocese were
told that they should find a “benevolent” bishop but world not able
to serve anymore in this diocese. So, pick your words from there in
where Father Teczar was in Texas.
March 30, 2005
I was carrying my belongings up
one flight this morning. I noticed in this moving how I was looking
at things differently in that I question if I will ever use this or
that. If I think not or even hesitate, it’s gone. I, actually, don’t
have the space. I had packed about 25% of my books that I
transported to the N. H. bookstore to get a few dollars for them.
It was a different feeling
having this experience because with books I am a “pack-rat.” I
believe those days are over for me. I was doing a lot of thinking of
the meaning of possessions and material items. This is something I
wonder about before I look to buy anything-first the cost and
secondly-Do I really need it?
March 31, 2005
Listening to Don Imus on the
radio this morning, he made this statement: A reporter takes the
facts and then adjust them to their agenda. It helped me to confront
anything I would read or hear as I continue in life’s journey.
This day, we read in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Sex-abuse lawsuit names former
bishop” reported by Kathleen A. Shaw.
Shaw writes: “William E.
Burnett of Texas, who curt documents identify as a nephew of the
late Monsignor Raymond J. Page, filed suit yesterday in Hampden
Superior Court in Springfield alleging he was sexually abused during
the 1950s by his uncle, as well as by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington
and the Rev. Oscar Gatineau, all of whom were assigned to the
Catholic Diocese of Worcester at the time, and by four clergymen
assigned to the Springfield Diocese. (In that period of time
Worcester County-Worcester Diocese- was part of the Springfield
“No public allegations of
sexual misconduct have previously been mage against the three. Mr.
Burnett, 64, is serving a 60-yer prison term in Tennessee Colony,
Texas, on a murder charge.
“The suit also names Bishop
Christopher Weldon of Springfield and the Revs. Bernard L. Doheny,
George Berthiaume and James Walsh, priest of the Springfield
Diocese. All seven clergymen named in the suit are deceased.
“Bishop Robert J. McManus said
yesterday that the diocese learned of and investigated the
allegations several years ago finding o substance to them. ‘It is
profoundly troubling that this suit is attempting to malign the
reputations’ of the three Worcester clergymen ‘who had dedicated
themselves to serve the people of the Worcester Diocese and now
deceased, cannot defend themselves.
“Mr. Burnett is represented by
Boston lawyer Carmen L. Durso, who said his client became eligible
for parole in November. According to the suit, the abuse of Mr.
Burnett stated when he was 10 and continued until 1959. Mr. Durso
said Mr. Burnett did not make the connection between the alleged
sexual abuse and the harm that it caused him until 2002.
“The lawsuit maintains that Mr.
Burnett was sexually abused by Monsignor Page from age 10 to 16
after he told his uncle that Rev. Doheny had sexually abused him.
The alleged incident occurred at a cabin owned by Monsignor Page in
Holland and at the rectory of St. Anne’s Shrine, Fiskdale, according
to the suit. The alleged abuse was witnessed by Rev. Gatineau,
according to the suit. Mr. Burnett claims that he was sexually
abused by Rev. Gatineau from age 12 to 13 in the Holland cabin and
at the St. Anne rectory.
“Mr. Burnett alleges he was
sexually abused three times between age 11 and 15 by Bishop
Harrington at the Holland cabin and at the St. Anne’s rectory.
“Mr. Burnett alleges he was
sexually abused three times between age 11 and 15 by Bishop
Harrington at the Holland cabin and at the St. Anne rectory, and
that Monsignor Page witnessed the alleged incidents. Bishop
Harrington became head of the Worcester Diocese in 1968. (This date
is not correct.)
“Bishop McManus said the
diocese interviewed Mr. Burnett’s family and conducted ‘a thorough
examination of diocesan records’ when the allegations first
surfaced. The diocese reported the allegations to District Attorney
John J. Conte’s office and notified Mr. Burnett of this, bishop
“The lawsuit, according to the
bishop, ‘has left the Page family her broken as they bear one more
injustice by this nephew of Monsignor Page, as Mr. Burnett is
serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Texas. We fear that it is
also an injustice to the victims who seek to have their credible
stories of abuse heard in order to find healing in their lives,’
Bishop McManus said.
“‘We stand by the charter for
the Protection of Children and Young People, which states
explicitly, ‘When the accusation has proved to be unfounded, every
step possible will be taken to restore the good name of the priest
or deacon,’ the bishop said.”41
This is where it gets
interesting. The Worcester Diocese has with this on Bishop
Harrington, two bishops that have been found “immaculate.” The other
was Bishop Rueger. We have not had one (ordinary) priest given such
a format-due process- and given any public platform.
When one reads the cases
against the two bishops we get definite locations mentions as Rueger
with Situate and Harrington with Holland, Massachusetts. Are these
coincidences that two victims with two bishops were able to give
specific locations of private domiciles? Just wondering.
April 1, 2005
Now we get another side of the
story about Bishop Harrington’s allegation in the Catholic Free
The article entitled “Review
found claim of abuse not credible: Lawsuit filed against bishops,
priests” on page 1 of this day’s issue.
It reads: “Springfield- A
lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Hampden county Superior Court
charging seven priests, including the late Bishop Harrington, the
late Msgr. Raymond J. Page and the late Bishop of Springfield
Christopher Weldon, with sexual abuse of a Springfield boy in the
“Bishop McManus, in a statement
issued Wednesday, said the diocese learned several years ago of the
claims now alleged in the civil lawsuit and found they have ‘no
basis of credibility.’ He also decried what he said was the attempt
by the lawsuit to malign the reputations of those accused.
“According to Atty. Carmen L.
Durso, his client, William E. Burner, charges that he was sexually
abused by the priests at various times from 1950 to 1959.
“Mr. Durso said Mr. Burnett is
serving a 60-year sentence for murder in the Texas State Prison in
Tennessee Colony, Texas. He sad Msgr. Page was Mr. Burnett’s uncle.
“The Roman Catholic Bishops of
Worcester and Springfield as corporations sole also are named in the
suit. It states that the bishops controlled and directed the hiring,
training, supervision and retention of the clergy in their dioceses.
“Mr. Durso said both dioceses
are named because the Worcester Diocese was split away from the
Springfield Diocese in 1950, when the abuse is alleged to have
“Other priests named in the
suit are Fathers Bernard L. Doheny, George Berthiaume, Oscar
Gatineau and James Walsh. Mr. Durso said he believed they were all
“Bishop McManus said the
diocese has investigated the claims with members of Mr. Burnett’s
family ‘and by a thorough examination of diocesan records. The
diocese also referred the allegations to the district attorney’s
office at that time and notified Mr. Burnett that the allegations
had been sent to the district attorney.’
“ ‘It is profoundly troubling
that this suit is attempting to malign the reputations of Bishop
Timothy J. Harrington, Msgr. Raymond Page, and Father Oscar Gatieau
who had dedicated themselves to serve the people of the Worcester
Diocese and, now deceased, cannot defend themselves, along with
another bishop and priests of the Springfield Diocese. It has left
the Page family heartbroken as they bear one more injustice by this
nephew of Msgr. Page, as Mr. Burnett is serving a 60 year sentence
for murder in Texas. We fear that it is also an injustice to the
victims who seek to have their credible stories of abuse heard I
order to find healing in their lives,’ Bishop McManus said.
“‘We stand by the Charter for
the Protection of Children and Young People which states explicitly
‘When the accusation has proved to be unfounded, every step possible
will be taken to restore the good name of the priest or deacon.’
“The suit states that Mr.
Burnett was born in 1941 in Springfield, was an altar boy at St.
Michael’s Cathedral, took care of the altar during the summer months
graduated from Cathedral grammar and high schools in Springfield and
the alleged abuses started when he was 9 and continued until he was
“The suit alleges that the
abuses took place at Msgr. Page’s cabin in Holland, at St. Anne
Parish in the Fiskdale section of Sturbridge and at various places
in Springfield, including St. Michael Cathedral and Mercy Hospital.
“The suit also names Michael
Moe numbers one through 10 ‘individuals who took part in the
conspiracy to hide the instances of abuse alleged, whose names are
presently unknown to the plaintiff.’
“Mr. Burnett alleges that
because of the sexual assaults and the negligence of the bishops and
others, he ‘has been seriously and permanently injured and continues
to suffer at present from psychological disease, which impairs and
affect all aspects of his life,’ according to the suit.42
What get interesting in reading
and watching how the hierarchy roll-out their “big guns” for a
bishop (Rueger etc.) with “statements” and anyone else has nothing
mentioned about themselves.
Another statement is where
Bishop McManus quotes the “Charter” of “every step possible will be
taken to restore the good name of the priest or deacon.” This tack
record pertain only to bishops and business as usual for them not
the “guilty till proven innocent” syndrome.
What is most interesting in the
two articles of Bishop Harrington being alleged is how the diocese
said it id a through investigation. You cant’ do a very thorough
investigation when the alleged is dead. S., how can such a remark be
seven insinuated. But. One must not forget that when a bishop in
Worcester gets allegated that the diocese does a “thorough
investigation.” What makes Harrington’ allegation is that it was
with a boy and “group sex.” But, the diocese refutes everything
because of the victim’s background. How about checking the
backgrounds of the supposed other “victims” with “plain Joes priest”
in the diocese.
I notice in my conversation
that I use certain expressions: The games go on. Keep things in
context. Put things in perspective. Even I was thinking that I may
include a chapter in my book “Keep things in context.” I refer a
number of times to Games People Play by Eric Bernie, M.D.
I was talking with someone who
was taking a journal writing course. She was told to have a pad by
her bed to write down her dreams that she had during the night.
Obviously, Freudian interpretation was inserted.
April 2, 2005
Pope John Paul II died this day
in Rome at the age of 87. He was Pope for 26 years. Eternal Rest,
Grant Unto him O’Lord. This man was a Cardinal when I met him. I was
the Deacon at his Mass at SS Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Orchard
Lake, Michigan in 1969.
April 4, 2005
I have notice of late that I
have included the entire columns of references that I am using of
late mainly due to the information that is being given.
I also noticed that when I was
writing with hope that I would get a phone call or something in the
mail or a visitor. Nothing happened all day long. It was a long day.
this day gives us “Tending Wayward Shepherds: A new group seeks due
process of accused priests.”
reports: “Joes Maher never knows what to expect when he picks up the
phone. Sometimes there’s a trembling pause before a priest, choking
back hears tells him a disturbing familiar tale: an accusation of
sexual abuse, exile from his community. Other times, there’s,
there’s a caller screaming obscenities, furious that Maher would
ever speak to these ‘sinners.’ A mild-mannered devout Roman
catholic, Maher is the founder of Opus Ono Sacerdotii-Latin for
‘Word for the Good of the Priesthood’-the only lay advocacy group
for priests accused of sexual misconduct. Some of the priests
seeking help are like innocent, others are not. But Maher believes
in supporting them all. ‘Priests are out there destitute, abandoned
and desperate,’ he says.’ And they need help.’
the sexual-abuse scandal exploded in 2002, the Catholic Church
adopted a zero-tolerance policy, instructing bishops to quietly
suspend accused priests from their duties until the church had fully
investigated. (The statute of limitations has already passed for
state action inmost of the cases. Maher hears about.) During the
investigations, accused priests are supposed to continue stipends,
room and board. But that isn’t always the case: some bishops,
anxious to assuage the congregations, have gone public with the
accusations, cutting the priests’ stipends and forcing them off
church property. That’s where Opus Dei steps in. Tucked away in a
factory building on the outskirts of Detroit, Maher and a half dozen
priests field calls and e-mails form the accused. Part therapist,
part social worker, Maher calms down the men and determines what
they need: legal advice, money to cover the rent and lawyer’s fees,
or just a sympathetic ear.
“A 44-year-old former
financial consultant, Maher didn’t set out to become a champion of
this cause. But in 2002, when a priest in his parish who was
visiting from Africa was accused of rape, Maher felt pity for the
man. He paid the priest’s $5,000 bail and hired him lawyer. When the
priest was acquitted, Maher’s efforts caught the attention of the
media, and the calls came pouring in from other men of the cloth. So
Maher quite his job advising CFOs and set up Opus Bono with
donations from Catholics who shared his sympathies. Since then,
Maher says he’s been contacted by more than 1,000 priests. And each
week four of five more find their way to him. He makes no personal
judgment as to their guilt or innocence; he’s knelt to receive a
blessing from a priest behind bars and he addresses ever defrocked
priests with a reverent ‘Father.’ Those actions have made him a
lightning rod for victims’ advocates. ‘There’s almost a blind
loyalty to the institutional church,’ says Barbara Blaine, head of
the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, who believe that
public support for priests prevents victims form coming forward.
More-militant opponents have even phone in death threats and thrown
human feces at Maher’s car.
the priests are deeply grateful. ‘Joe has given me hope,’ one says.
Besides loosing their reputations and the right to perform the
sacraments, suspended priests often find themselves without job or a
home for the firs time in their ordained lives. Maher says that many
are shocked to learn that landlords typically require firs and last
month’s rent, plus a security deposit, even landing a menial job can
be difficult. One priest, who asked not to be identified, says he
was hired on a Friday a fired that Monday, once his employer learned
of the accusations against him. The church insists that it provides
adequate support for accused priests, but that in the face of a
seemingly credible accusation, a bishop must protect his flock. ‘In
the society that we live in, somebody has to address the pastoral
needs of the people,’ says Mark Chopko, general counsel for the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Maher doesn’t want to
drive a wedge between the accused priest and the church. In fact, he
won’t pay legal fees for priests who want to sue the church for
defamation, a route that a small but growing number are now
choosing. (Already, accused priests have filed defamation suits in
at least six states, including Illinois and Louisiana.) ‘It just
adds more salt to the wound,’ Maher says. For him, Working for the
Good of the Priesthood means healing those wounds.”43
April 6, 2005
Steven H. Foskett Jr. of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette wrote this day “Former pastor
admits to facts in assault case.”
He stated in his article:
"Worcester-the Rev. Jean-Paul Gagnon, former pastor of St. Augustine
parish in Millville, admitted to sufficient facts for a guilty
finding in court yesterday on assault charges.
“In Worcester District Court
yesterday, Judge Sarkis Teshoian continued the case without a
finding for 18 months and ordered Rev. Gagnon to undergo drug,
alcohol and mental health evaluations with treatment and counseling
as recommended by the Probation Department, according to curt
“Rev. Gagnon, 49, was initially
charged with indecent assault and battery and assault and battery
after an adult male who was active at St. Augustine parish alleged
he was assaulted by the priest in Sutton in 2002.the alleged victims
has not been named.
“Judge Teshoian yesterday
amended the charge from indecent assault and battery on a person
over 14 to assault and battery, according to court records.
“Rev. Gagnon’s lawyer,
Fitchburg-based Edward P. Ryan Jr., said yesterday that Rev. Gagnon
has maintained his innocence on the assault charges, and noted that
there was no guilty plea involved in the decision.
“Rev. Gagnon was placed on
administrative leave by the Diocese of Worcester after he was
charged, and he cannot serve as a priest.
“A brief statement released by
the Diocese of Worcester stated that ‘we hope and pray that this
resolution to the charges which were brought against him will begin
to bring a sense of healing for the victims.’
“Rev. Gagnon took personal
leave in October 2002 after Timothy P. Staney of Worcester, and his
parents, Corrine and Joseph Staney of Spencer, filed a civil suit
“That suit, which was settled,
last year, alleged that Rev. Gagnon sexually abused Timothy Staney
while he was serving at Holy Name of Jesus parish in Worcester. Rev.
Gagnon denied the allegations.”44
What is amazing is that Father
Name is “dirt” because of such allegations in this day and age. The
legal terminology as such gives another overall directions. It
sounds more of a legal-technique term as such. I, also, think: How
much did this coast Father Gagnon for legal fees?
April 8, 2005
I watched the Pope’s funeral
Mass on TV which lasted 2 ½ hours.
I noticed my attending meetings
of late that AA for me meat: Anger and Anxiety.
I was wishing the phone would
ring for me for a “hello.” I had been working on “go write and
finish your book” technique.
April 9, 2005
I watched a taped segment of
this weeks “Survivor” program on CBS. This segment was from Pella.
Stephanie is the only one left from her tribe. One of the male
contestants says to her: “Good luck. Win this one.” Stephanie says
at the end of this segment: “It’s down to me.” This Survivor show of
this week ends with the most important thing to do-build a fire.
What I had to realize was that
the most important thing to do is what was in front of me-one day at
a time. Here is where “the program” was playing itself out.
A media report of a priest
counselor on the staff of the North American College in Rome said
that he tells new priests: You better have yourself together when
you get ordained and leave here. The coded language is: No
questioning of anything in the present structural church. This is
the right wing swing of “soldiers of the Pope” with this group
coming out of the North American College in Rome.
It was a time where I was
pushed away and isolated. The Papacy was closed minded, well
righteous, not need any power because they knew they were it. Some
shoved it down your throat with kindness. They proclaimed a message
of please don’t live a real life. Besides all this, this country was
being run with a similar fashion.
Mark Pratt of The Associated
Press writes “Settlement made in alleged abuse by Rev. Teczar” in
this day’s issue of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
He writes: “Boston-A Texas man
who claims he was sexually abused by a priest from Massachusetts has
reached a settlement with the dioceses of Fort Worth, Texas and
Worcester that includes a $2.75 million payout from the Fort Worth
Diocese, the parties said yesterday.
“The settlement will be paid
for by the Fort Worth Diocese and its insurances, the Texas diocese
said in a statement. The diocese settled on the advice of its
lawyers to avoid the ‘uncertainty of litigation and the related
costs,’ the statement said.
“The Worcester Diocese bears no
financial responsibility in the settlement, according to a statement
from Bishop Robert J. McManus.
“The alleged victim, now 27
years old and identified only a John Doe II in court documents,
claims the Rev. Thomas Teczar sexually abused him during his time as
pastor of St. Rita’s Church in Ranger, Texas, in the late 1980s and
early 1990s. Ranger, a town of about 2,500 people, is 100 miles west
of Fort Worth.
“ ‘No amount of money can
adequately compensate my client for the loss of his childhood
innocence, and the demons he will contend with for the rest of his
life,’ said Tehira Khan Merritt, John Doe II’s lawyer.
‘Nevertheless, the settlement does assign accountability and assess
“Teczar, 64, who now lives in
Dudley, and who served as a priest in the Worcester Dicoese until
the mid-1980s, has denied the allegations. He did not immediately
return a telephone call seeking comment yesterday…”45
I took a ride to go see Bob
O’Brien in West Boylston at Bob’s Hot Dog Truck. We were sitting and
talking inside his place of business-the truck. He told me that he
was talking with a diocesan priest he knew very well who told him:
“Teddy got screwed.” O’Brien said that I was the only priest in the
diocese that was allegated by girls (Father Robert Kelley was
legated by girls.). O’Brien then said everyone else in the diocese
were allegated by boys. I recall saying that I was the “Poster Boy”
model by the Worcester diocese. I did remind Bob that his truck was
where it all began-my journey up Calvary- in January of ’93 with Mr.
Palmer sitting in the trucks drivers seat asking me if I was a
priest in the Worcester Diocese and what did I think of Bishop
Harrington. Then I was told by Palmer the whole story of Bishop
Harrington’s drunken driving accident in hitting his daughter. I
also reminded O’Brien the when these two girls that allegated me
were 12 years old, I was in Michigan.
April 11, 2005
So we may get a viewpoint of
“signs of the times” in our country, Newsweek published
“Touching America: He was both a critic and inspiration. How John
Paul II divided our nation with his bold stances.”
Melinda Henneberger wrote: “For
all of his grandfatherly warmth, Pope John Paul II was a dependably
harsh critic of American culture. He disapproved of our consumerism.
He opposed our wars. And thought fiercely anti-communist, he argued
for the kind of structural economic change his staunchest friends in
the United States would have called socialism. On the first of his
four papal trips here, in the fall of 1979, John Paul bluntly
compared American to the rich man in the Bible story who is damned
for all eternity after a life spent feasting-contentedly oblivious
to Lazarus, the beggar who longer for the scraps from the table. ‘It
is not right,’ the pope reached in English at a mass in Yankee
Stadium, ‘which the standards of living of the rich countries should
seek to maintain it by draining off a great part of the reserves of
energy and raw materials that are meant for the whole of humanity.’
“The Rev. Thomas Reese, a
Jesuit and editor of the Roman Catholic magazine America, says he
will never forget that moment. ‘He looks out and says,’ you are the
rich man and Lazarus is at your gate and it’s the Third World.’
That's scary. But we applauded, went home and went back to life as
usual.’ It was the pope’s pronouncements on sexual issues-from birth
control to homosexuality-that got all the media attention, of
course. Yet John Paul never stopped decrying our ‘excesses of
capitalism.’ Last summer, after the pope lectured American bishop’s
that their people were ‘hypnotized by materialism, teetering before
a soulless vision of the world,’ the Catholic writer Eugene Kennedy
responded: ‘Pope John Paul II might as well be French for the
studied distaste he expresses abouts America.’
“Most of us took no offense. As
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington put it, the reactions of
many American Catholics has bee, ‘I’m not sure I agree with him.
But, oh, I love the Holy Father.’ And though his word was far from
universally heeded, John Paul had a significant spiritual and
intellectual influence on his American flock…”46
April 17, 2005
I had Sunday lunch with “Father
Peacock.” He was talking in his “hinting” manner about priest that
is even dead are being allegated. He made the remark that any priest
may be allegated by an “anonymous” call-in.
Now, I didn’t at this time been
able to read the Sunday local newspaper. So, when I did, I realized
in reading Dianne Williamson column “Conte isn’t interested in help:
Victims’ rights group troubled by kiss-off.”
Williamson writes: “Kiss-offs
come in many forms by they’re still kiss-offs, even if they’re
unstintingly polite and bear the seal of the Worcester district.
“A well-meaning nonprofit group
recently revived a royal kiss-off as it tried to open channels of
communication between victims of abuse and law enforcement
authorities. And if we require another reminder that District
Attorney John J. Conte has been dragged kicking and screaming into
the 21st century, we need look no further than his cool
reception to Victim Power.
“VictimPower.org is a novel
approach to aiding victims of sexual abuse. Aware that victims are
often hesitant or fearful to come forward, at least initially, the
Web site offers them a safe place to make an anonymous report, while
at the same time providing police or district attorneys with
information that could aid them in investigations. Unlike anonymous
phone tips, it also enable victims to communicate back and forth
with law enforcement while remaining anonymous as long as they
wish-or until they become comfortable enough to identify
This was when I read this in
the evening that I wondered why “Father Peacock” was so concerned
and nervous about this issue. I even wondered even more.
I noticed that “Father Peacock”
was not looking good. He told me that he was drained by diet of
fruit. He had an ash completion.
Robert Nemeth column of this
day wrote in the same paper “Election of new pope to defuse abuse
He states: “Let there be no
misunderstanding: Sexual aubse of children is an ugly crime that
must be punished severely. It is especially disturbing when the
abuser is a priest because men of the cloth are in position of
trust. Any attempt by church leaders to cover up wrongdoing or
shield the abusers-either because of misplaced compassion or fear of
“But it s not unreasonable to
ask: How long should the recrimination go on?
“What started out as a
legitimate effort torridness the sins of an errant few appears to
have grown into a venomous and relentless attack on the church
itself, uniting Catholic-haters, religious-bashers,
attention-seekers and fortune hunters. It is entirely overlooked
that less than 1 percent of all priests has ever been implicated in
sexual abuse, and no new incidents have been reported in years. Yet
bishops and cardinals are treated with the kind of contempt usually
reserved fro criminals and priests are viewed with suspicion.
“Until the 1960s and 1970s,
when women’s groups and child advocates began to call attention to
sexual abuse, society was pretty much in denial about such crimes.
The realization of the problem trigged reaction with a vengeance.
“Suddenly, there was
‘aggressive counseling,’ ‘hypnotic repression’ and ‘recovered
memory,’ along with survivors’ networks, victim advocates and
inevitably, false accusations. In the 1980s, the nation was shocked
by reports of horrible child abuse at day care centers across the
country. Most of the ensuing convictions were thrown out in
“Today, sexual abuse
litigation is a lucrative industry, spawning law firms that
specialize in compensation and analysts digging into forgotten
memories. It’s worth noting that large chunks of the settlement
award end up in the pockets of wealthy lawyers who often orchestrate
media events to drum up more business.
“People alleging aubse that
occurred in the past began to come forward. Perhaps they still felt
the pain and wanted their tormentors to be punished. Some may have
tired to justify personal failures and seek vindication. Perhaps
others were motivated by the prospect of financial rewards.
“While true victims of sexual
abuse deserve support, I find it difficult to feel sympathy for
able-bodied adults in their 30s and 40s parading in front of the
cameras, demanding ‘justice’ for abuses that are supposed to have
occurred decades ago. Some had collected six-figure settlements in
exchange for confidentiality only in return later to get more.
“The church has been an easy
target. Rather than letting the courts deal with each accusation,
church leaders opted to pay huge settlement-a questionable strategy
at best. Settling out of court tends to imply guilty or, at times,
protect the guilty. We will never know how many of the hundreds of
abuse claims settled by the Boston Archdiocese were justified and
how many were bogus. But we do know the financial strain caused by
paying out more than $85 million in awards led to the closing of
diocesan of churches…As long as the church continues to shell out
huge sums, the claims are likely to continue. It would have been
better to apply the presumed-innocent-until-found-guilty principle
to all clerical sexual buses cases…”48
I believe that Robert Nemeth is
not a Catholic. One has to realize that it is someone as this person
that knows the situation a lot more than many people and makes
observations that I imagine some people do not care to read or
April 18, 2005
“Child sex abuse cases up 33
percent in 4 years” by The Associated Press writes in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette: “Framingham-The number of child
sex aubse cases prefer to prosecutors by the state Department of
Social Series has increased by more than 33 percent in the last four
years, but officials say that does not necessarily mean more
children are being abused.
“The increase, from 1,219 in
2001 to 1,713 last year, according to state statistics, could just
mean that more cases are being reported. Laws have been enacted
increasing the number of ‘mandatory reporters’ who must inform
police of suspected abuse.
“The list now includes doctors
and other health care workers, teachers, day care workers, foster
parents, and clergy.
“At the same time the list has
grown, the public has become more aware of the warning signs of
abuse, and that may have led to an increased in reporting.
Department of Social Services spokesman Michael MacCormack said…
Back than, officials reached out to educators, school nurses and
guidance counselors, to train them to spot signs of abuse, and that
effort is paying off today.
“ ‘I don’t think thee are
anymore cases out there; I think people are more vigilant,’ he said.
“ ‘Certainly, the media has
helped let people know this is a problem that won’t go away, and
keeping it a secret is a no-no. Keeping it a secret is a crime,
because that’s what drives the child being victimized,’ he said.
“The goal now is to reduce the
number of reports of child sexual abuse.
“Law enforcement today is armed
with a better understanding of the long-term effects of abuse on
both abusers and victims, and own to deal with it, Middlesex
District Attorney Martha Coakley said.”49
April 19, 2005
I had jury duty in the
Worcester District Superior Court. I sat in the jury pool for 5
hours and was never called.
On the Internet for this day
was this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel entitled
“Dolan backs off on policy to search priests’ homes: Overwhelming
negative reaction prompt reversal.”
Mary Zhan writes: “Archbishop
Timothy Dolan has temporarily backed off of a policy that would
require priests to consent to unannounced searches of their homes
and other retractions if church officials suspect or know they have
been involved inappropriate behavior.
“On Tuesday, Dolan said he
decided to put the policy on hold after an ‘overwhelming negative
reaction by priests,’ some of whom read about the changes in a
Journal Sentinel story that was published Friday.
“He said he should have
consulted with the priests before approving the policy in December.
“‘They are very angry with me,’
Dolan said. ‘That anger is legitimate, and I am very angry with
“”The Council of Priests, an
advisory group to the archbishop, will review the policy on April
28, according to Father Curt Frederick, the archduchess’s vicar for
“The policy could be amended or
refined ‘if the priests think it is wise,’ Dolan said. He added that
he had received very few positive comments about the policy from
parishioners or priests.
“Priests were notified of
Dolan’s decision in an e-mail Monday from Frederick.
“‘Given the current firestorm I
have suggested to the Archbishop that the documents be held in
abeyance for the time being and he has agreed with that suggestion,’
Frederick wrote. ‘I am terribly sorry for any and all of the upset
and consternation that the untimely release of these materials
caused. It is a mess, and it reopens wounds that all of us want
healed. I admit it. It wasn’t intended to be so.
“The new policy was sent out in
a routine annual mailing about other unrelated matters in early
April. Some priests had tossed the mailing aside, assuming it was
not important, until a reporter called asking for comment.
“One document dealt
specifically with priests who sexually abused minors and the second
with other categories of possible or known misconduct, including
sexual behavior with adults or drug or alcohol aubse. Both contained
the same potential restriction and covered more than 400 priest and
“Under both policies, if the
archdiocese deemed it necessary clerics would have had to sign a
form agreeing to the searches and other restrictions.
“Restrictions would be tailored
to fit the circumstances of each person and not all of them would
apply to everyone, a spokesman for the archdioceses said last week,
failure to comply with the restrictions could have caused a
reduction in salary or benefits, according to the policy…The intent
of the initiative, Frederick said, was ‘to try to help guys lead
holy and chaste lives.’…”50
Questions? Does this also
include the Archbishop? Does one have to give up the rights of being
an American citizen? How do they define “inappropriate behavior”?
How about someone in the diocese have an agenda against your from
some 20 years ago?
When I read something as such,
I recall the early days after ordination and the rectory housekeeper
routine of making the priest bed. Talk about the “pastor’s spy” was
the code know by parish priest. There never was any privacy. Yet,
with such a direction in Milwaukee, it was something else to read of
a “police state” with a priest possibly being penalized with “Big
Daddy” watching. We are here talking about the 21st
Century. The button line of even penalizing priest on issues of
salary or benefits is another whole issue. Yet, the Vicar for Clergy
backs the issue of having this to “to try helping the guy’s lead
only and chaste lives.” Is this 1984 by George Orwell
This is another part of the
curtain slowly opening on Act I.
April 21, 2005
Kathleen A. Shaw gives us
“Mass. Abuse victims told to stop protest At Vatican” in this day’s
Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw writes: “The second day of
the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI did not go well for Phil
Saviano, a former East Douglas resident.
“Vatican security guards
confiscated his sign that identified him as a clergy abuse victim
from Boston yesterday and asked him not to display it inside St.
Peter’s Square, he said.
“Mr. Saviano, a founder of the
New England chapter of Survivors Net work of those Abused by
Priests, is in Rome this week speaking on behalf of clergy sexual
abuse victims. He was conducting media interviews on Vatican
property when the problems began, he said.
“‘They were polite. In fact,
they said ‘Please don’t show that sign here,’ Mr. Saviano said. He
came away from the experience feeling that ‘the Vatican remains very
dark and repressive place, at least on this issue.’
“Mr. Saviano, who plans to
return to Massachusetts tomorrow night, said he left his motel for
St. Peter’s Square about 12:30 p.m. Rome time yesterday to see if he
could speak to European news media about the clergy sexual abuse
“He wore around his neck a
5-inch-by7-inch Grammar school photo of himself at the age he said
he was sexually abuse by the Rev. David A. Holley at St. Denis
parish, East Douglas. Rev. Holley, still a priest of Worcester
diocese, is serving a 275-year prison term in New Mexico after
pleading guilty to sexual abusing several boys in that state…”51
April 22, 2005
The Catholic Free Press reports
“Bishop requests prayers for assault victims.”
The article reports: “Bishop
McManus has asked for prayers for those involved in the case in
which Father Jean-Paul Gagnon has admitted to sufficient facts for a
finding of guilt on two counts of assault and battery.
“Father Gagnon was charged with
indecent assault and battery on two adult males, one in August 2001,
and one in October 2002, according to Worcester District Attorney
“He admitted to sufficient
facts to the finding of built in that part of the cases charging
assault and battery. The case was presented in a six-man jury
session of Worcester District Court.
“He is subject to probationary
conditions, including submitting to alcoholic evaluation and to
treatment if it is deemed necessary by the portion department, the
district attorney said Tuesday.
“Father Gagnon, pastor of St.
Augustine Parish in Millville, was placed on administrative leave in
July 2003, by Bishop Reilly…”52
This is the end of Jean-Paul.
One of the editorials of the
National Catholic Reporter this day is “Law’s power a symbol of
I include here certain
sections” “What will not fade, however, is the power of symbol to
evoke deeper truths and to raise unsettling questions. Law’s
presence in the limelight once more-not before the media answering
long standing questions about the diocese he left in disarray, but
as a representative of the church in a high-profile setting, a place
of honor-was an unbelievably inept and insensitive move…Someone who
has caused such great damage to a major diocese through
mismanagement and ultimately the cover-up of child sex abuse should
not be allowed near the levers of power in the church.
“Vatican defends of Law suggest
that he has already paid for what he did in Boston by losing that
see, and they say his appointment in 2004 as arch-priest of St. Mary
Major in Rome merely acknowledged a lifetime of service to the
church, that it was a sign that the church believes in forgiveness
and redemption for everyone.
“If the sex abuse scandal and
resulting crises of authority and creditability in the church could
be so easily collapsed into such notions of forgiveness and
redemption, the matter would have been over long ago. It isn’t that
easy. The community can forgive but still wait for an accounting
“Well leave it to God and to
those affected by Law’s conduct in the scandal to deal personally
with such deeply individual matters. That is not to suggest that the
community cannot forgive and acknowledge an individual’s redemption
within it. But it is intolerable, both to the community and to those
individuals whose lives have been so seriously affected by Law’s
actions, to suggest that continued pursuit of accountability is
equivalent to a lack of forgiveness.
“What the Vatican’s explanation
seems to imply is that we should not only forgive but also become
reconciled to Law in a way that would mean discontinuing any
discussion of what happened in Boston and to stop connecting it to
what is happening now.
“But reconciliation cannot be
forced; it depends as much as acknowledgment of what went wrong as
it does the will of both parties to reconcile. Reconciliation had
within it expectations of justice, of a certain equanimity between
parties, of a meeting of minds. Such cannot happen at a distance or
by wish or imposition.
It bears repeating that the
sexual abuse crisis is no longer mostly about sexual abuse, It is
more enduringly a crisis of authority and accountability….”53
April 23, 2005
“Justice for some” appeared on
the Internet in boston.com Globe Editorial of this day.
It stated: “Massachusetts has
storage of lawyers who represent poor clients, from criminal
defendants to children who need legal representation in custody
cases. Fortunately, a new report form a state commission offers ways
to protect the poor and control cost.
“The shortage has been
corrosive. Last year in Hampden County, defendants sat in jail
because lawyers refused to accept the state’s low hourly rates: a
range of $30 to $50 depending on the case. Lawsuits were filed
seeking relief for defendants. And three prisoners were released
because the state couldn’t find lawyer for them.
“Some critics unfairly blame
the lawyers. The problem is a resource-poor system. There are 140
lawyers on staff at the state’s Committee for Public Counsel
Services, but they handle only 5 percent of the cases. The rest are
assigned to 2,500 private; lawyers.
“Last August the Legislature
raised their pay by $7.50 an hour-a sportive step but not a
long-term solution. The commission’s report wisely calls for more:
raises phased in over three years to a range of $55 to $110 an hour
and a plan to keep salaries current. An independent lawyer handling
similar cases could change five times more.
Missing is specific
recommendation to raise the salaries of entry-level lawyers who work
full-time for CPCS. The earn $35,000 a year, $8,400 less than
lawyers who work for other state agencies.
“The House budget proposal for
the coming fiscal year does not raise salaries, leaving time for
legislators to review the report. But further review would be
redundant. The House should act on a budget amendment filed by Brian
Knuttila of Gardner that would spend $24 million for first round of
What is one point of reference
here is that Knuttila is my representative. It does not mean much to
me at this time. But the fees issue is something because my civil
attorney was $250 an hour-he even gave me a discount. Help!
April 28, 2005
I had my scheduled appointment
with Dr. Zeman in Hartford. I had lunch with a priest from Hartford.
He was talking how that is all he hears about is that the most
pressing issue in the American Church is the priest sex abuse
crisis. This priest mentioned that Fr. Richard McBride’s made this
comment in Time magazine. He was bumbling along with this and
saying “Enough” and “How much more?” It was a very interesting lunch
to say the least. Actually, it was downer type of lunch.
April 29, 2005
I began moving my furniture
this day up the stairs. Actually, I had been packing for two weeks.
I would now occupy my new place.
April 30, 2005
boston.com of The Boston Globe reports “Vatican to evaluate
Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer reports: “A Vatican evaluation of
American seminaries planned three years ago in response to the
clergy sex abuse crisis is expected to move forward under new Pope
Benedict XVI and will likely tacked the polarizing issue of whether
gays should become priests.
“The appraisal will focus on
conditions in the seminaries, including how instructors present
church teaching on sexuality and celibacy, to look for anything that
contributed to the scandal.
“Church officals conducting the
review will inevitably take up complaints that gays are enrolling in
large numbers in the seminaries and their sexual activity is too
tolerated at the schools, experts on Catholicism said. Some
Catholics content an atmosphere of sexual permissiveness-for
straight and gay seminarians-was a factor in the crisis, which has
led to more than 11,000 abuse claims in the last five decades.
“Dean Hoge, a Catholic
University sociologist who has spent 30 years studying the
priesthood, said seminary rectors are anxious about the
review-called an ‘apostolic visitation.’
“‘Having the boss show up makes
anyone nervous,’ Hogan said.
“Vatican officials announced
the evaluation in April 2002, after Pope John Paul II convened an
emergency summit with U.S. cardinals ate the height of the scandal.
The visits had been set to begin this fall. Church officials expect
that schedule to stay about the same, even with the transition to a
new papacy. Benedict has been in office less than two weeks.
“Several church experts said
they expected few changes in how the review will be conducted, since
planning has been under way for so long and shifting direction now
would be difficult. More than 200 schools will be evaluated in a
process that could take years.
“The Vatican agency overseeing
the project-the Congregation for Catholic Education-has already been
given a list of recommended bishops and priests to visit the
seminaries. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of the U.S. Military
Archdiocese has been appointed to coordinate the review.
“The Vatican education office
has also been drafting new guidelines for accepting candidates for
the priesthood that could address the question of whether gays
should be admitted. The church considers gay relationships
May 3, 2005
I read in the Christian
Century “Cardinal Law’s role in Rome recalls church’s scars.”
It stated: After a grand
funeral attracting world leaders to the Vatican and crowds urging a
speedy sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II, the assigning of a
former U.S. cardinal to celebrate one of the masses in St. Peter’s
Basilica during the mourning period reminded Americans of the scars
still present in the U.S. church.
“Cardinal Bernard Law, the
former archbishop of Boston who resigned fro mishandling the clergy
sex-abuse scandal, presided over the mass April 11 while news media
covered a small protest from victim advocates who said that Law
didn’t deserve the honor.
“Two leaders of the Survivors
Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) flew to Rome to complain
that allowing Law such a prominent pulpit poured ‘salt into an
already open wound.’ Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based
SNAP was escorted by Italian police from St. Peter’s Square and kept
behind traffic barriers when she attempted to distribute fliers to
pilgrims and tourists in the square.
“Law presided at one of the
daily memorial masses during the nine-day mourning period for John
Paul, who died April 2. Last year, John Paul named Law to the
largely ceremonial post of archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary
Major in Rome.
“Blaine said Law never should
have been asked, or at least should have rescued himself out of
concern for victims. She did not, however, contest his right to vote
in the conclave to elect a new pope…”56
May 6, 2005
I received a phone call from
Donald Sarin who was trying to contact me. I knew him in my days as
deacon in Michigan. He now is living in Lenox, Massachusetts. He
told me he called the Archdiocese of Boston who told him no such
priest was part of the archdiocese. But, they believe he may be in
Fitchburg who was the Worcester Diocese. So he called
508-791-7171-Worcester Chancery Office. The woman who answered said
that she did not think that he (Fr. Kardas) was a priest anymore.
Oh? I guess that must be the Rueger and company message concerning
me for public consumption.
I haven’t spoken with Don for
some 35 years. I imagine we have some interesting stories to share
with each other.
In a follow-up to the Internet
article of April 19th on Archbishop Dolan, the
National Catholic Reporter published “Dolan back off priest
Joe Federhered reports:
“Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan is not shy about admitting
“‘It was ass backward!’ Dolan
told Milwaukee priest in an April 15 e-mail, referring to
implementation of two programs designed to monitor the behavior of
“‘Like the rest of you,’ Dolan
told priest, ‘I woke up this morning to the headlines and article in
the newspaper, and found myself upset. I’m perhaps even more upset
than you all because I caused it!’
“Dolan was referring to the
archdiocese’s clergy advocacy and monitoring program (CAMP)-an
effort to supervise priests and deacons found to have abused
minors-and its ‘Clerical Support Initiative,’ which would have
subjected clergy with other serious problems, such as addiction or
alcoholism, to intrusive inspections and oversight.
“Following an outcry from
priests and others in the archdiocese, Dolan suspended
implementation of the programs.
“Among the techniques that
would have been allowed under the programs were unscheduled
inspections of clergy residences. ‘These visits may be made at any
time of the day or night, seven days per week,’ according to program
“In addition to seeking
treatment for their troubles, priests under the programs could have
faced restrictions on their ministry, including identifying
themselves as a priest or deacon. Other possible restrictions
included limits on computer use, monitoring of travel and relocation
of their homes. A priest ‘may…be required to move his residence to a
residence that is approved by the archbishop,’ according to the
“Further, the guidelines
stipulated that priests and deacons in one of the programs ‘must
abide by any other directives established due to special
circumstances as deemed necessary and appropriate by the program
managers…Nevertheless, Dolan acknowledged, ‘the perception
…is that we have declared martial law on priest, are continuing to
trample upon their rights, and do not trust them at all.’ In the
April 15 e-mail, Dolan blamed that ‘perception’ on press reports is
that id dot make ‘distinctions’ about the programs…”57
It is interesting how the
hierarchy is creeping along with the clerical state issue and
overall monitoring mentality. Would this not be called “harassment”?
One does have responsibilities wherever one is in a state of life
and have behaved and act accordingly.
The Milwaukee program using
CAMP is significant because this is a term on the streets that has
another significant meaning. Anyone in a job position has a certain
protocol of leaving information on travel or otherwise needed to be
reached. I wonder is this Milwaukee document is the reinventing of
the Gestapo. I wonder if this policy, as I said, in previous entry
about this, would include the as well the Archbishop.
I recall hearing this type of
stories before in my ministry. I had to remind myself to keep moving
and have a life.
May 7, 2005
Finally I am getting back to
writing my text contents of my journal since my move into my new
place. I had to sit a few moments to orientate myself with the
computer and mindset of the period of time I was writing about.
May 8, 2005
I received a phone call from
“Father Peacock”. He wanted to go to lunch. It had been about three
weeks since we last went for a coffee or lunch. He lost 44 pounds
and will have his two stints removed on June 6th. He
still would not tell me what the issue is with him.
He shared with me that the
Catholic Free Press story about Father John-Paul Gagnon is a
different story than what was reported in the Worcester Telegram
& Gazette. He said that this guy was sent for a psychological
evaluation where the Free Press said there was alcohol treatment
mentioned. He mentioned that this priest and another on
Administrative Leave do Mass in their apartments with people
attending. This is something that I am very careful about. I do
daily Mass privately. He said: You are behaving yourself and they
treat you the way they do. I believe that he was trying to bet me to
say something more about my situation. I said nothing more.
He then let go with a angry
blast of words how about 10 years ago, alcohol was a “psychotic
drug” and now with “Medallions” are given to members as being heroes
from an AA meeting. This is a false observation on his part.
What I was not sensitive too
before was that “Father Peacock” really had difficulty accepting
with his PhD in Theology and attitude. About AA and the use of
“Higher Power of one understands.” He became continuing with his
angry in his discussion with this issue but he was actually red
He then shifted in his
discussion of his spending habits. He said over the years that he
was very careful in his spending. But now whatever he want he get
the best and doesn’t hold back for anything he wants.
He finished his tirade in
telling me that a Bishop Dolan is going to institute “martial law”
on the priesthood. I asked him where he received such information.
He told me that it was in the newspaper. Here we go again, because
this guy would not share any sources that he reads with me. He does
the one-upper sequence with such news items. I would listen and say
nothing, knowing that I would search for his source of information
and read it myself.
This lunch with “Father
Peacock” was some experience. He was in a very angry mood with
negative energy... There is another story here is that I imagine
will blossom in the near future.
May 10, 2005
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette published in this days issue “Gay, straight men smell
sex differently: Response to testosterone in sexual area of brains
studied” by Randolph E. Schmitt of The Associated Press.
“Washington-Scientists trying to sniff out biological differences
between gay and straight men have found new evidence-in scent.
“It turns out that sniffing a
chemical form testosterone, the male sex hormone, causes a response
in the sexual area of gay men’s grains, just as it does in the
brains of straight we, but not in the brains of straight men.
“ ‘It is one more piece of
evidence…that is showing that sexual orientation is not all
learned,’ said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brains anatomy and
sexual orientation is not all learned,’ said Sandra Witelson, an
expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G.
Detroiter School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario,
“Witelson, who was to part of
the research team that conducted the study, said the findings show a
biological involvement in sexual orientation.
“The study published in today’s
issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was done
by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
heterosexual men and women and homosexual men to chemicals derived
from male and female sex hormones. These chemicals are thought to be
pheromones-molecules known to trigger responses such as defense and
sex in many animals.
“Whether human respond
to pheromones has been debated, although in 2000 American
researchers reported finding a gene that they believe directs a
human pheromone receptor in the nose.
The brains of
different groups responded similarly to ordinary odors such as
lavender, but differed in their response to the chemicals thought to
be pheromones, lead researchers Ivanka Savic said…When confronted by
a chemical from testosterone, the male hormone, portions of the
brains active in sexual activity were activated in straight women
and in gay men, but not in straight men, the researchers found…”58
coupe observations that the local newspaper would carry such an
article. Secondly, the theory of homosexuality being a person is
“born” as such and not a learned factor of being human.
May 12, 2005
I realized of late sleeping now
in my new place that I have not changed my pajama tops for some
time. Now that I am on the second floor and there is not the
dampness I experienced on the ground floor. This may be helping me
with my sinuses. Yesterday, it in the 80s outside and I had all my
windows open with the porch door open to have a breeze. It was so
bright and relaxing this afternoon that I enjoyed working at my
computer. I figured that I had to invest in a comfortable chair for
my computer typing.
May 14, 2005
I thought for a period this
day: I used to being called immature and they became more
supplicated. In doing research, writing and revision, I am more
stared today because of the spied and amplification of a 24-hur news
cycle, suitable television and the Internet are part of our today’s
May 17, 2005
I received a card from Bishop
McManus for my Ordination Anniversary. It was the regular form card
with “machine signature” of the bishop. I read the card and realized
that this is the only contact I have all year long with the official
I read Decline and Fall of
the Catholic Church in America by David Carlin (2003) in the
last few weeks. This work expresses that one has to avoid cheap hope
and bleak despair in the overall picture of the Church situation of
the day. The author expresses that the problem with the present
Catholic Church is not in scandals read in daily headlines but
rather the shift in American culture to embrace secularism,
libertarianism (Theory where empowered Catholic laity are outside
the area of the official Church-Harvey Cox) and anti-authorities
values. He writes that people adapt by downplaying their faith-issue
of tolerance in the present culture. Another issue this author
referees to is relativism- form of democracy where one follows one’s
ego and desires. Carlin is a sociology professor in a community
college in Rhode Island if that makes any difference in what he
relates in this work. He does give some insights that I don’t read
about very much in the American Catholic scene. I find very
interesting insights in Carlin’s work
But, what I hear now as a
parish as St. Edward’s in Westminster is that there seems to be a
place where there are answers to questions not even asked. I wonder
if the issue may be that no questions dare to be asked. It obviously
is a different church community than of the 80s and 90s. The present
atmosphere of cut-off any debate before the discussion is able to
begin is in Westminster and many other locations.
I mentioned this book by Carlin
and my observation to a former priest classmate. He reacted: The
Church (Hierarchy) got rid of people they wanted to get rid of. Oh?
He also mentioned how they operate where Rueger is retired and some
say he doesn’t mean anything now. The classmate said: He pushes the
button-one- and 50 lights go on.
May 18, 2005
This day Kathleen A. Shaw
writes “Details sought in priest removal: Check parishes says Maine
activist” in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw writes: “Worcester-A Maine
activist yesterday called on Bishop Richard Malone to explain why
the Rev. Michael J. Sheridan was dismissed from the Portland Diocese
and sent back to Worcester this weekend after the priest was
allegedly involved in an inappropriate incident with a female in me
at a northern Maine jail.
“The Portland Diocese declined
to discuss details other than to say it was a personal matter.
Michael Povich, district attorney for Washington and Hancock
counties, also declined to discuss specifics on Monday, but
indicated it was an interaction between the priest and a woman, part
of which was caught on videotape by jail staff. He said no criminal
conduct had occurred. Bishop Maloney of Portland said the priest was
involved in prison ministry…Rev. Sheridan, 56, left Worcester for
northern Maine about 10 years ago. He never became a priest of the
Maine diocese, although he ministered thee with permission of the
Main bishop. Ordained in Worcester in1975, he remained a priest of
the Worcester Dicoese. The diocesan directory lists 16 priests of
the Worcester Dicoese who are ministering elsewhere in locations
ranging from Peru to the Vatican, and a number of places within the
United States and the armed services…The bishop (Maine) during the
weekend sent members of the diocesan crisis team into the parishes
to meet with parishioners and answer questions.”59
May 21, 2005
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette published “Boston archdiocese gets $8.5 M.”
The story reported: “Boston—The
Boston Archdiocese has agreed to an $8.5 million settlement with an
insurance carrier that disputed the archdiocese’s claims related to
payments to clergy sex abuse victims, the archdiocese announced
“The carrier, St. Paul
Travelers, also agreed to waive certain premiums the archdiocese
would have owned.
“The archdiocese said some of
the contested claims with St. Paul were part of the $85 million
settlement with 541 abuse victims in September 2003. Negotiations
with St. Paul began shortly after the settlement, the archdiocese
May 22, 2005
The People’s Forum of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette we have a letter by Rev. Robert D.
Bruso, St. Anthony Parish, Fitchburg entitled “Everyone is wanted by
The letter states: “As a pastor
of a Catholic parish, I tend to look fro the bright side of
everything, including conflict. A letter to the editor by Paul J.
Rock of Worcester and an ‘As I See It” by Daniel E. Dick (Telegram &
Gazette, May 17) show how passionate Catholics can be about their
faith. Clearly, if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t write as they
did, but both would benefit form dialogue, correct information and
“Who authorized Mr. Rock to
state, ‘Why stay where you’re not wanted?’ Everyone is wanted by
Christ and the church, for all are precious in the sight of the
Lord. Indeed, Catholic means universal, all-inclusive.
“And where did Mr. Dick get his
information? I doubt he’s ever read a blood by Pope Benedict
(Cardinal Ratzinger). As the National Catholic Reporter reviewer for
his latest book in English translation, ‘Truth and Tolerance,’ wrote
days before his election, it’s time for us to get past the
stereotype of the stern German taskmaster and read his theology,
filled with thoughtful, sensitive and compassionate reflection.”61
When I read this, it is
definitely the “party line” of the ideal of the Church. But, once
you get to the next step in the Church, you are officially reminded
of issues as such. Try certain “hot button” issues and you will get
the “power and authority” answers. God forbid if “conscience” is
ever discussed in decision matters.
This type of letter shows me
that the Vatican is replacing a whole new generation of
May 23, 2005
This is my 35th
Anniversary of ordination. Besides the standard card from the
bishop, I received only one other card of remembrance of my
ordination anniversary. Actually, I was not surprised because with
time people move on with their lives.
People take situations as
tragedies that makes a bi hoe in one’s soul of a lived one. But,
after morning and reflection, you are a healing and moving on with
positive strength in certain qualities. But, one question never
asked is: What happens when a person disappears? We are living in a
time where information of privacy has a witch hunt and gate damaging
taking place by certain groups. So, where does one move forward with
one’s life? I realize, especially now, to just do it. Things get
better. This type of insight has come to me mainly through attending
the AA program.
May 24, 2005
I was thinking of late to write
a number of fiction stories. Areas that I would be able to write
would be with titles: The Priest Poster Boy, The Great
Flood of Elm Street-Worcester Chancery Building, and another
The Worcester Bishop on the Stand. These would definitely be
May 31, 2005
I noticed that since last year,
I have a somewhat a change in thinking that I was talking about
issues with a slant of humor. It did not carry-over into my journal
writing as such. But, it has been in my conversations as such. This
I noticed in speaking with “Father Peacock.” I used humor to answer
his questions or discussions. I know he uses a brainstorming
approach at times to get information. Another factor I realized with
him is that he would have the spotlight-topic on something else so I
would not direct the conversation. Even when he would talk, I
noticed his slanting technique in his talking. I have had to
polish-up a discerning technique to the highest level. You never get
too comfortable talking with this guy. He has agendas in his
personality and overall character.
This is one reason that I have
shifted my conversations to a humor direction. Humor may be adapted
to make certain points. I noticed it takes a polishing of my
thinking but I feel that I address more than I had been in a “poor
me” approach. I was moving myself form “The Church of dead and the
Church of the dying.”
I even had a phone call where
from a former parishioner and staff member who asked: What are you
doing daily? It is where I respond that one may read all about it in
my book. It sounds to me as a sarcastic answer. But, it does
neutralize the situation in my mind and get the conversation on what
is happening in the day as such. What I have to realize is that is a
question many people are wondering about me and my life and not sure
what else to say. But, the old Ted senses: Nosey phone call.
June 1, 2005
I was told a zinger today. A
guy that knew that I was a priest and a former Catholic said: Your
president is going to get it. I asked him what he was talking
about. He said: “Michael Jackson-the trial in California is coming
to an end.” I didn’t pursue this remark from him nor where was he
going with this remark. I believe that was slam on the priesthood in
general and what had been happening concerning priest. The games go
on being a priest.
I was even thinking back that
January date in 1993 at Bob’s Hot Dog Truck in West Boylston was the
“Catholic Deep Throat” with Mr. Powers telling me about Bishop
Harrington. What gets interesting is how one may associate certain
events with significant events of history.
I also notice myself acting
with uncertainty and feeling jumpy. Another factor was that at AA
meeting when it was my turn to speak that I spoke looking at the
floor when I spoke and not the people sitting in the circle.
This may have been where I was
thinking about the Church system in the diocese operated in a
deceptive manner because of certain “closet” groups. The hierarchy
and certain brother priest wanted me out so they used the Doctor
(evaluation), financial tactics and even Pedone saying: “We’ve got
more on you!” with him pushing his finger into my chest. In
addition, with this entire Rueger saying: “You’re going to do this
again.” Thinking about this last comment from Rueger now, I should
have had my civil lawyer sitting next to me.
What I didn’t respond to him
with: Going to do what again? But, I realized having to be near such
a person is: People will think what they want to about you.
I mentioned this experience to
a friend (plant manager/salesman) in confidence. His remark: “So why
didn’t you leave (priesthood)?” I answered: It’s a vocation! This I
sensed was very difficult for this guy to understand because
everything he did was a job. This was more than a job for me-the
vocation. I should have responded in a similar way for him to leave
his wife whenever they had difficulty.
What I noticed of late that
given the prominence of attacks in the media, the erosion of
privacy, the reduction of issue to sound bits in society on certain
“hot button” issues, there was no objective discussion or insights.
So, I had to conduct myself with dignity in life’s politics. I
wondered that God’s secret weapon in such a life called for mischief
actions to make others wonder outside their boxes.
June 2, 2005
The atmosphere of the priest
life is opened to criticism that one did not hear in public as such.
The People’s Forum of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette of
this day has a letter from a Susan Stranieri Mears of Oro Valley,
She wrote: “Mourners find
comfort in eulogies- I’m a former resident of Worcester who ahs
since moved to Arizona. I received my First Communion and
confirmation at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I also graduated from
Venerini Academy, where the Rev. Michael P. Bafaro served as our
“My mother and grandmother
passed away suddenly and both funeral Masses were at Mount Carmel.
My hurt was exacerbated by the rude, in caring and selfish treatment
our family received from Rev. Bafaro. He seems to forget that the
church is not his house; it’s the Lord’s house. It’s only right to
let families honor their loved ones during a funeral Mass. Anyone
who attends a funeral Mass knows the deceased and is comforted by
the eulogy-not anxiously awaiting the end of the Mass. The only
person who is anxious is Rev. Bafaro. He doesn’t want to spend any
more time than is absolutely necessary. The look on his face while a
family member is giving a eulogy is one of impatience and anger. He
has ruled by intimidation for far too long. I admire the Oliver
family and Dianne Williamson for speaking out for all of us.
“I’ve known Rev. Bafaro for
more than 40 years and he’s not changed a bit. His demeanor when I
attended Venerini Academy was curt, hardly understanding and gruff.
The church is experiencing many struggles and Rev. Bafaro only adds
to that poor image. Is this what a spiritual leader looks like? From
as far away as Arizona, I say a resounding “no.”62
This is the climate of the
present situation that priest and the Church are facing. I wonder
how many “victims” of the present priest sex abuse crisis have
agendas as this Susan Stranieri Mears carries carried as she wrote
in this letter. But neither the priest nor the Church has been able
to cross-examine any statements or allegations on their behalf. One
reason that has to be realized is that there are lawyers on both
sides of the issue.
June 3, 2005
From the National Catholic
Reporter, we read in a letter from (Fr.) Jim Dougherty,
Trenton, Ill.: Milwaukee priests- I rejoice with the priests of
Milwaukee’s archdiocese over the removal of ‘Ecclesial Patriot Act’
of Archbishop Timothy Dolan, which tried to force unannounced search
and secure tactics upon his priests and their homes (NCR ,May
6). It is particularly disturbing that the archbishop, in his own
statement, blamed the press for ‘the perception…that we have
declared martial law on priests.’ Thank God for people like reported
Mary Zhan and papers like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that
exposed this trampling upon the rights of Milwaukee’s priests. With
the Vatican firing of Fr. Thomas reset as editor of the Jesuit
magazine America, thank God also for NCR and others
free lay-run Catholic press efforts.63
This is something to watch
develop in the country with other archdioceses and dioceses.
June 5, 2005
I found this article on the
Interest “Searching for a new maturity” by (Fr.) Ron Rolheiser, OMI.
He writes a weekly column those
papers on his web page. I read it periodically because I find his
insights worth reflecting upon at different times.
This topic of “maturity” is
something I would read because it is a hot-button in my personhood
because of what certain people have addressed me with such in a
negative nature. I have carried that point of view because I always
realized that maturity is one side of the coin with the other being
a different perspective.
Rolheiser writes: “‘Be in the
world, but not of the world!’ Breath advise, but not easy to follow.
“We struggle with this tension.
On the one side, the temptation is to keep ourselves pure and
unstrained by the world, but at the cost of excessively separating
ourselves from it, not loving it, not leaving ourselves vulnerable
as Jesus did to feel its pains, and not modeling how someone can
live inside the world and still have a vibrant faith and church
life. The other temptation is the opposite: To enter the world and
love and bless its energy, but to do so in a way that ultimately
offers nothing in the way being salt and light for the world.
“We will never be free of this
tension. Such is the price of paradox. However in order to live
within it more healthily, we need a certain theology and
spirituality to guide us and we need a greater personal maturity to
“What kind of theology and
spirituality can help us? What kind of personal and collective
maturity is being asked of us?
“In terms of a theology and
spirituality, what we need is a vision that holds in proper tension
our love for the world and our love for God. One may not be
sacrificed for the other; they must be brought into proper relation.
“We need to be able to love the
world in such way that we bless and honor its goodness, its energy,
its color, its zest, and its moral strengths, ever as we stand where
the cross of Jesus is forever being erected and speak prophetic
words of challenge in the face of the world’s moral deficiencies,
injustices, self-preoccupation, proclivity to greed, and
less-than-full vision. But prophecy is predicated on love. Unless we
first honor and bless what is good in the world we don’t have the
moral right to criticize it.
“We need to be in solidarity
with the world in everything but sin, blessing it with one hand,
even as we hold the cross of Christ with the other.
“But that’s not easy. We don’t
just lack the vision, we also lack the moral and emotional strength
needed to imitate Jesus. He could walk with sinners, east with them,
embrace them, forgive their sins, feel the pain and chaos of sin,
yet not sin himself. He could challenge the world, even as he
blessed and enjoyed its energies…”64
Maturity vs. a different
perspective is the challenge for me for some time and I imagine my
life will always be a factor. When one searches or challenges a
different perspective, it is a cross to be bared for me in the issue
of authority and power...
Another factor that I have had
to realize: People will see what they want in you.
“Father Peacock” let me read
the Presbyter (Priest) minutes which he highlighted in yellow the
issues of status of priest on leave of absence. I mentioned to him
that I would want to read the whole report so I would be able to
keep in context what he had highlighted. He said that he needed them
back as such. This was his style with me with any printed matter as
But, he did tell me that he
spoke with Fr. Chet Devlin, who was place on administrative leave,
in that Bishop Reilly allowed him “full retirement package” on his
resignation as pastor. This is at least “$700” a month more than I
received. The going number is $800 a month difference due to
benefits included. I realized that such information from “Father
Peacock” was not sharing information but putting it to me as a point
of degrading me overall. It didn’t take me long to realize that he
used such facts to signal me that I was not part of the “Boys in the
In addition, “Father Peacock”
said that Fr. Branconia is in the same position as I was-under
Bishop Harrington’s regime. Branconia, I was told, was living with
someone. He proceeded to tell me that I should move in with someone.
I notice that he related this with a somber facial expression
looking at me for a reaction to say if I would move in with
someone-gay approach in living conditions or otherwise.
I was thinking to raise the
issue here with “Father Peacock” in his information sharing the
issue: How can one are only removed on an “accusation”? Don’t we
live in an American system where one is innocent till prove guilty.
Yet, with the Catholic Church and society in general such an
accusation is the same as a conviction with a business settlement
June 6, 2005
Here is a priest case that I
will include in full to show how the system works for some. This
article appeared in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on page
A2 from The Associated Press entitle “Accused priest will be
reinstated: Sex abuse claims unsubstantiated.”
It reads: “Boston-A priest
accused of sexually abusing a child has been cleared to return to
active ministry now that a church review panel has failed to
substance the allegations, a spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese
“The Rev. Edward Sherry was
placed on administrative leave in 2003 after a lawsuit was filed
accusing him of sexually abusing a child about 30 years earlier.
“But a review board appointed
by the archdiocese was ‘unable to substantiate this claim after a
careful review of the information available,’ archdiocese spokesman
Terry Donilon said.
“Sherry is allowed to
immediately return to his old job as pastor at the Church of the
Nativity in Merrimac, Donilon said. He’s expected to celebrate Mass
“The Rev. William Kremmell, who
took over for Sherry at the Merrimac church two years ago, announced
Sherry’s reinstatement during celebration of Mss over the weekend,
according to Donilon.
“Sherry was one of fur priests
placed on leave in August 2003 in response to allegations of sexual
misconduct with minors. Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley had met with the
four priests individually and asked them to step aside until the
allegations could be investigated.
“Michael Garabedian, a Boston
lawyer who represented several of Sherry’s accusers, said his
clients already have settled their claims with the archdiocese. They
refused to participate in the review panel’s investigation,
“‘My clients simply didn’t
trust the process,’ he said. ‘They weren’t interested in
participating in an investigation that was conducted by the
Archdiocese of Boston, because it wasn’t an independent
What is interesting in this
article was that the Archdiocese of Boston and alleged victims
already settled the civil lawsuit. What was that all about? Here is
an issue that begs more questions as did the lawyers get paid-off?
How was all this all done since everything is so public in this day
June 9, 2005
I was thinking of writing the
bishop which I never did saying: Until Bishop Harrington’s
allegations are completely resolved; I won’t eat, sleep or do
anything. What gets interesting is: Whatever happened after
allegations were filed. We hear or read nothing.
I wonder why? By this time in
my journey, it is already figured out how the Church system
June 10, 2005
In these weeks Catholic Free
Press issue was a “Supplement” in congratulating Bishop Rueger on
his retirement. It seemed interesting how they wrote about Bishop
Rueger’s life as a priest. However, nothing was included about his
being allegated of sexual abuse in this supplement. This would be a
gold star where one had to attend Al-Alon program being associated
with a system describing Bishop Rueger that the Catholic Free Press
did in this printing.
“Abuse settlement surpass $1B
threshold” by Rachel Zoll of The Associated Press appeared on the
front page of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Zoll wrote: “The cost to the
U.S. roman Catholic Church of sexual predators in the priesthood has
climbed above $1billon according to tallies by American bishops and
the Associated Press review of known settlements.
“And the figure is guaranteed
to rise, probably by tens of missions of dollars, because hundred of
more claims are pending.
“Diocese around the country has
spent at least $1.06 billon settlements with victims, verdicts,
legal fees, counseling and other expenses since 1950, the AP found.
$120 million compensation was announced last week by the Diocese of
Covington, Ky., pushed the figure about the billon-dollar mark.
“A large share of the cost-at
least $378 million-has been incurred in the past three years, when
the crisis erupted in the Boston Archdiocese and spread nationwide.
“The Rev. Thomas Doyle, who
left a promising career with the church to help represent victims,
had warned the bishops in 1985 that abuse cost could eventually
exceed $1 billon.
“‘Nobody believed us,’ said
Doyle, a canon lawyer. ‘I remember one archbishop telling me ‘my
feeling about this, Tom, is no one’s ever going to sue the Catholic
Asked about the figure, a
spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Monsignor
Francis Maniscalco, said church leaders believe the payout ‘should
be just to all sides…”66
It is just amazing of the
numbers. Doesn’t anyone see that there is something wrong with this
June 11, 2005
When I am getting-up at my 5:00
a.m., I usually listened to Joey Reynolds on the radio. He had a
radio program from 1:00 to 6:00 a.m. that I listened to from 1520 AM
on your dial in Buffalo; He hosted a talk show in this night time
bracket on a national circuit from WROR AM in New York City. He had
some very interesting guest with his own commentaries that made it
interesting hearing on my part. This particular morning, he had his
commentary: Everyone has a book in them. I listened and knew that I
had to work with more intensity to get my journal into this book
form. Then, listening more to his segment, why not write fiction.
Joey Reynolds commentaries were
worth listening too: Thee American ruling class, Crazy cowboy in the
White House who took us into a war and acts like a little god.
Politics, military and money groups run this country (Ex. Private
Groups and individuals pay not taxes to the government.) Joey
Reynolds does present another viewpoint than the regular “locked”
What I noticed of a new pattern
for St. Edward’s parish in Westminster for the annual Partners in
Charity (Bishop’s Fund) wherein now in the last two years-since
Bishop McManus- has reached their goal. St. Edward’s with Bishop
Reilly did not make their goal for those 6 years that Reilly was the
Ordinary. Wouldn’t one wonder and have some curious questions?
“Patriotism is the last refuse of a scoundrel.” (Dr. Samuel Johnson)
I was slacking in my writing. I
had to get myself into writing at 2 ½ hours, twice a day sequence of
the text format for my book. I notice that I had to do more research
for different aspects of my daily journal that I continued writing
with more insights.
I noticed that I would
experience periods of loneliness of being alone in my journey. I
realized that I was listening to ads forefather’s Day which I
allowed me to have a “downer” period of time. It was again that I
did not have the faith community experience in my daily routine.
Re-reading and wiring my text
format had me realize a number of facts of my situation in that it
was me alone. But, I had to realize that this is the society overall
picture that exists in this day and age.
June 13, 2005
I found this article in
Newsweek where I wondered if someone would write about the
priest sex abuse issue in a similar format.
The article “If Watergate
Happened Now” by Jonathan Alter of the Newsweek staff is most
Alter wrote: “From a distance,
Watergate seems like a partisan affair. But that’s because we tend
to look at it nowadays through red-and blue-tinted glasses. In
truth, President Nixon was forced to resign in 1974 by Republicans
in Congress like Barry Goldwater, who realized form the so-called
smoking-gun tape that he was a crook. This was after the Supreme
Court-led by a Nixon appointee-unanimously ruled against him the
“But imagine if Nixon was
president in this ear. After he completed his successful secondary,
I’ shave to write a retrospective column like this:
“President Nixon left office in
2005 having proved me and the other ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’
wrong. We thought that his administration was sleazy but we were
never able to nail him. Those of us who hoped it would end
differently knew we were in trouble when former Nixon media adviser
Roger Ailes banned the word ‘Watergate’ from Fox News’s coverage and
went with the log ‘Assault on the Presence’ instead. By that time,
the American people figured both sides were just spinning, and a tie
always goes to the incumbent.
“The big reason Nixon didn’t
have to resign: the rise of Conservative Media, which features Fox,
talk radio and a bunch of noisy partisans on the Internet and
best-sellers list who almost never admit their side does anything
wrong. (Liberals, by contrast, are always elating their own.) This
solidarity came in handy when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The
Washington Post began shopping around after the break-in at the
headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Once they scored
a few scoops with the help of anonymous sources, Sean Sanity et al.
went on a rampage. When the young reporters printed an article about
grand jury testimony that turned out to be wrong, Drudge and the
loggers had a field die, even though none of them had lifted a
finger to try to advance the story. After that, the Silent Majority
wouldn’t shut up.
“Some argue the Watergate story
died right there, but Nixon’s attorney general wasn’t taking any
chances. Just as in the Valerie Plane case, the Justice Department
subpoenaed Woodward and Bernstein to testify before the grand jury
about their sources. When the declined, they were jailed for 18
months on contempt charges. Talkingpointsmemo.com and a few other
liberal bloggers complained that it was hypocritical-top White House
aides were suspected of shredding documents, suborning perjury and
paying hush money to burglars-but to no avail. Public support for
the media had hit rock bottom.
“Whistle –blowers didn’t fare
June 15, 2005
Now we read a totally different
approach of priest being assigned to parishes even with explanations
given. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed “Worcester
diocese reassigns priest” with no reporter’s name.
The article stated “Romans
Catholics at some area churches will see a bunch of new faces
preaching to them form pulpits this summer.
“Bishop Robert McManus recently
announce several assignments for diocesan pastors and priests
including the four clergymen ordained June 4 at St. Paul’s Cathedral
“Bishop McManus has made a
posting of or two now and then but the assignments announced last
week represent the first major reshuffling of priestly staff since
he became the Dioceses of Worcester’s fifth shepherd in May 2004.
“The changes affect 18 priests.
“Fifteen of the assignment is
effective June 25 while three other become official Aug. 1.
“Years ago, such a reshuffling
wouldn’t draw much notice, given the number of diocesan priests.
“At the time, church leaders
believed turnover was good for both the priests involved and the
parishes affected. Officials reasoned the changes brought new
“That all changed, however, as
fewer and fewer men for a variety of reasons, chose the priesthood
as a vocation.
“Diocesan spokesman Raymond
Delisle said the unusually high number of re-assignments resulted
form a number of death, illnesses and retirements within the local
“After serving for six years in
the same parish, priests, seeking a change of scenery, may also ask
“‘If the priest is happy
working in a particular parish and the bishop sees no problems,
there is usually is no reassignment,’ explained Mr. Delisle.
“He said, however, that he
believed a couple of the priests getting new posts may have been
close to serving two six-yes stints in the same church, prompting
changes in some parishes…”68
Here always is more to such
stories of priest getting transferred. The Worcester Chancery has
developed the gift to make positive media announcements. We have
between priests the talk: God doesn’t even know how re-assignments
June 18, 2005
The boston.com on the Internet
from The Boston Globe carried “Catholic bishops retain’ zero
tolerance’ policy: Will set aside $1m for sex abuse study.”
Michael Paulson, Globe Staff
write: “Chicago-Three years after the sexual abuse crisis erupted in
Boston, the Catholic bishops the United Stated noted overwhelmingly
yesterday to retain their ‘zero tolerance’ policy of dismissing from
the ministry all abusive priests.
“The bishops, promising to
maintain their efforts to protect children in the face of an
enormous scandal over their past failure to most abusers, also
agreed to set aside $1 million to partially finance a broad study of
causes of abuse within the nation’s largest religious denomination.
“In an interview, Archbishop
Sean P. O’Malley of Boston pointed out that the bishops supported
the revised abuse policies by overwhelming margins: The closest vote
was 223 to 4.
“‘I was very pleased with the
vote,’ he said. ‘I think that it indicates that there’s still a
strong resolution to move foreyard and there’s no backpedaling.’
“Referring to the bishops’
response to the crisis over the past three years, he added, ‘I’m not
saying we did everything perfectly, but at least there was a very
decisive response and none that was an attempt to face the issues,
try and quantify it, and now to try and contextualize it and to see
if we can identify causes to be able to make sure that hits said
history won’t repeats itself.’
The steps were derided by
critics, including a leading victim advocacy organization, who said
a variety of wording changes approved by the bishops effectively
weakened the abuse policies, first adopted in 2002. But the bishops
insisted that the wording changes ere not substantive, and one
leading bishop, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, dismissed
critics as ‘enemies of the church’…”69
The Boys in the Catholic
Hierarchy have also learned to use the media to get something out to
cover for themselves.
June 19, 2005
I heard a lawyer character say
on a TV program: Lawsuits are out there floating around waiting to
be plucked from the air.
I usually don’t life to mention
something as such unless there is a definite source of reference.
But, this one about the “lawyer character” is worth the print.
I refer to a line from the
Daily Divine Office (Breviary): “Go into your cell and it will teach
you everything.” (Desert Fathers)
What I have to realize at times
in that all I have left is my integrity: You are a professional. Do
not forget that!
June 21, 2005
The People’s Forum of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed this letter for Denise
Boucher Garofoli of Worcester: “St. John’s pastor should be
reinstated-It can be done. As seen in Boston recently, a priest was
reinstated after almost two years of exile because of false
“The Rev. Joseph A. Coonan has
been out longer, being removed because of allegations made 20 years
ago and 10 years prior to his ordination to the priesthood. We, his
parishioners, friends sand supporters are hopeful that he also will
be reinstated as pastor to St. John’s Church, where because of his
gift form God, he delivered the gospel message as a servant, one of
God’s chosen, to many who were lost and came back to church and
received the sacraments.
“He only did what God called
him to do: to be his priest and minister to his people.”70
June 23, 2005
“New panelist believes church
on right track” appeared this day and written by Kathleen A. Shaw of
the staff of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw writes: “Paxton-A new
appointee to a key panel advising the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops on the clergy abuse scandal maintains that the most pressing
needs confronting the church are restoring trust and devising means
of better monitoring priests who have been credibly accused of
“William D. McGarry, president
of Anna Maria College, said in an interview that he believes the
Catholic Church in America and its bishops are on the right track in
dealing with the crisis but acknowledged that considerable work
“Mr. McGarry, one of fur people
recently named to the conference’s National Review Board, returned
this week from the panel’s first meeting in Chicago. There, he
learned that the bishops will pay for a new study of the causes of
sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and that the review board
will oversee the investigation.
“Mr. McGarry, president of Anna
Maria College since 1999, is hopeful that the board can help restore
American confidence in their church. The church’s credibility
suffered after the extent of the clergy sexual abuse scandal became
evident in 2002.Even now, he said, regaining trust is ‘a slow
“The scandal remains the
primary problem confronting the church in America, according to Mr.
McGarry. It continues to be widely discussed among parishioners and
will be ‘the topic of discussion for many years,’ he said…”71
When I read this last part, it
seems that McGarry is using the same technique that President Bush
is doing with the terrorist treat in our country and to justify
actions by the existing power and authority.
June 24, 2005
The Boston Globe carried
“The return of ‘1984’” by H.S. Greenway. It was another picture of
the atmosphere of the day.
Greenway wrote: “If you take
something to read at the beach this summer make sure it is not one
of George Orwell’s books. The comparison with current events will
ruin your day.
“In what was then the
futuristic, nightmare world of ‘1984,’ written in 1949, Orwell
introduced the concepts of ‘newspeak,’ ‘doublethink,’ and the
‘mutability of the past,’ all concepts that seems to be alive and
well in 2005, half a century after Orwell’s death. In the
eve-changing rationale of why we went to war in Iraq, we can imagine
ourselves working in Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth,’ in which ‘reality
control’ issued to ensure that ‘the lie passed into history and
became the truth.’ And what about the Bush administration’s
insistence that all is going well in Iraq? In the Ministry of Truth,
statistics are adjustable to suit politics-‘merely the substitution
of one piece of nonsense for anther,’ Orwell wrote. ‘Most of the
material that you were dealing with had no connection to anything in
the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in
a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their
original version as in the rectified version.’ Welcome to the Iraq
war, Mr. Orwell.
“What of Donald Rumsfeld's
newspeak, or was it doublethink, saying that ‘no detention facility
in the history of warfare has been more transparent’ than Guantanamo”
we have the FBI’s word for it that prisoners were chained hand and
foot in a fetal position to the floor, left for 18 to 24 hours with
no food and no water, left to defecate and urinate on themselves.
“The deaths by torture in Abu
Ghraib and Afghanistan sounds very much like what happens in
Orwell’s fictional torture chamber: Room 101.
“He might as well have been
writing about the Bush administration’s redefinition of torture when
he wrote about using ‘logic against logic, to repudiate morality
while laying claim to it.’
“In Orwell’s profoundly
pessimistic view: ‘Political language…is designed to make lies sound
truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of
solidity to pure wind.’
“There is something profoundly
Orwellian, too, about the administration’s attempts to impose
thought control on public broadcasting. The sometimes secret
machinations to place imposition on editorial freedom, the efforts
to see which people interviewed by Bill Moyer’s might be considered
anti-Bush or anti-Defense Department or insufficiently conservative,
were just the kind of efforts to squash intellectual opposition to
state power that Orwell wrote about.
“I was amused to see even a
conservative Republican senator, Church Hagel of Nebraska, was
branded as ‘liberal’ because he dared criticize the Pentagon-a
‘thought criminal’ in Orwell’s parlance/
“The drum beat by some
conservatives to bring down an independent judiciary is another case
Another case of point here is
what the Catholic Hierarchy was operating in a total isolation to
preserve them at all cost. Truth became a lost factor when the
bishops operated behind their “canon law” which was their concept of
“absolute” authority and secrecy.
June 25, 2005
I went on a day trip to Ellis
Island the Statue of Liberty. I really did enjoy myself. I was back
in my old form of making acquaintances, talking and laughing. It was
just fun. It was different form what I way traveling with in the
last 10 years-“Father Peacock” style. I was able to be more of
myself. Besides, it was education of visiting these two sites which
were elaborating those and visit. It was a classy as the glass used
in Ellis Island structures which has been opened since 1990.
I was last at the statue of
liberty in 1969 which was only the Statue of Liberty trip. Ellis
Island was not open back then. The bus that I traveled on with the
travel group had movies and video tapes. It was an enjoyable
experience over all. It was a long day, however. The whole trip was
19 hours from departure to return. It was a great time where I
called the Leominster Rec. Department and asked them to include me
on upcoming trips.
June 28, 2005
This next story is interesting
to track with the Diocese of Worcester and Anna Maria College.
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette published the story “Bish Center director named: Engdalh
heads Anna Maria unit.”
Kathleen A. Shaw reported:
“Worcester-Patricia O’Leary Engdahl, who has directed the Office of
Healing and Presentation of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester since
its inception in 2002, is leaving that position to become director
of the Molly Bish Center for the Protections of Children and Elderly
at Anna Maria College.
“Raymond L. Delisle, spokesman
for the diocese, said yesterday Ms. Engdahl is leaving the job with
the diocese but he had o information on who will replace her. Her
appointment at Anna Maria, a Catholic college in Paxton, takes
effect July 18.
“Ms Engdahl, a lawyer and
former assistant district attorney in the office of John J. Conte
was hired by the diocese when the office was created in June 2002,
about the time the American bishops adopted the Charter for the
Protection of Children and Young People…”73
What became interesting was
that Anna Maria College was attempting to expand its Criminal
Justice degree program. So they tie together with John Bish to use
the name of Molly Bish in their selling of the degree program.
Engdahl had to be moved for whatever reason- financial or otherwise-
laterally. One possible reason was that the begging of the Diocesan
PR approach of having a lay woman. Next came where the diocese was
back to re-establishing the clericalism. So the diocese gets Anna
Maria College to hire Engdahl. She was “administering the Worcester
Diocese program in assisting to victims claiming clergy sexual abuse
and in administering the program aimed at rooting out clergy, church
workers and volunteers who might pose a threat to young people.”
This job discretion of Engdahl was the latest version of the return
of 1984 by George Orwell. It was the program- code name for
the diocese of everyone we didn’t like of what ever reason- age,
attitude etc. Everyone was happy. As they say in The Godfather:
This is the life we have chosen.
The word was around that the
degree program at Anna Maria was not as financially successful as
June 30, 2005
I received my month statement
form the diocese. This time, with no explanation what so ever, I
noticed in that as usual they just do it, with not even a footnote
or asterisk. They deducted $40 for medical. Now my living check was
$990 month. My reaction was the typical knotted stomach. I recall
how the other group with Bishop Reilly was getting $800 plus a month
with adjustments compared to me. But, one must remember that
“certain select priest” have been compensational very well.
July 1, 2005
I had another interesting
experience with “Father Peacock.” This time we were riding to the
Spencer Monastery to get some supplies and he does it: “I don’t give
you Mass Stipends (money). You have to realize that. You would take
the money and go out and drink.” Thank you, Father. This guy has the
dominating character of the worst type being a priest-thinks he is
better with a more elite nature of dominance. What he would never
admit or hear is that a person as me takes the situation and makes
the best of it. I actually have more than this guy would ever
I have realized that “Father
Peacock” treats me as cat: The cat is good as long as it well
behaved as sitting on one lap, sleeping in its place and keeping
one’s distance. If anything else, then it is problems-unpredictable.
What this guy doesn’t realize
is that I have addressed and continue to do so of my addiction. I
put my alcoholism in the realm of “sin.” It is an on going issue
that needs to be examined on a daily bases-evening examination of
But, “Father Peacock” has a
personality that he would not “sin” because he is above everything
as such. He does portray and obsessive-compulsive nature in his
domination that is explosive in many ways. He is like the stoic old
priest of the 17th century nobility characterization.
What I noticed of late in the
media is I think at times: Why is there such an exclusive fiction on
the Catholic Church of late-five years. What about other churches or
even those unregistered camps in N.H. that the media foes near in
investigating and then you hear nothing? The media I notice of late
is similar to certain public relations pogroms that show people
slowly moving around a stage, who keep moving and they are off the
Another observation of late is
that I noticed the intensity of living in my country in a fear
mode-semi-police state; as was shown in the alien invasion of The
War of the Worlds movie and television programs, never mind the
present movies An example is the TV program advertisement with John
Walsh-on predators- saying: “We got to make sure they are lick-up.”.
Further insight is when I am
asked what I am doing: I say “Writing.” What I don’t say but am
thinking: I am pretty independent, living in a daily positive
process and I don’t have to be “kissy, kissy.”
So, I have directed my self to
watching C-Span on weekends with Book TV segment. This helps me to
be open to intellectual challenges and enlightenment. I now try to
find one theologian and another secular author and read their
particular works to get new insights with my more dept.
July 3, 2005
I went on the Internet to read
Father Greeley column. I had not been on line to visit his site and
weekly column for about sex months. He writes a weekly column for
the Chicago Sun Times. He is always interesting to check and see
where he had written of late. This time there didn’t seem to be any
really “hot button” issues with the American Catholic Hierarchy.
July 8, 2005
“The Word from Rome” by John L.
Allen, Jr. on the Internet reported: “Some indicate that
long-awaited Vatican document on the admission of homosexuals to
seminarians is now in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI. The document
which has been condensed from earlier versions, reasserts the
response given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments in 2002, in response to a dubium
submitted by a bishop on whether a homosexual could be ordained. ‘A
homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency, is not fit to
receive the sacrament of Holy Order.’
“That reply was published in
the November-December 2002 issue of Notitiae, the official
publication of the congregation.
“It is up to Benedict XVI to
decide whether to issue the new document as it stands, to send it
back for revision, or to shelve it on the basis that for now such a
document is ‘inopportune.’
“Several American bishops were
in Rome last week for the June 29 pallium ceremony, and I
spoke to some of them about the document.
“Privately, some hope Benedict
will decide to put the document in a desk drawer for the time being,
on the grounds that it will generate controversy and negative press
without changing anything in terms of existing discipline.
“As one bishop put it to me,
the policy against ordaining homosexuals is already clear-the only
interesting question is what do you mean by a ‘homosexual’? At one
end of the continuum, it could refer to anyone who once had a
fleeting same-sex attraction; at another, it could be restricted to
someone, who is sexually active and openly part of a ‘gay pride’
movement. Most people would exclude those extremes, but where is the
line drawn in between/
“Vatican sources have made
clear the document may make candidates less likely to be honest with
formation directors about their psycho-sexual development, even
though some degree of experimentation and ambivalence about
orientation is not unusual, and bytes should not disqualify
“‘The risk is that we drive the
conversation underground,’ he said.
“Others, however, hold that the
document is need for two reasons.
“One, it will come with a
higher level of authority than a response to a dubium
published in the bulletin of a curial agency. This document will
come with the clear authorization of the pope, perhaps in forma
specific, meaning that it draws on his personal authority. In
that sense, the bishop said, it’s like the relationship of John
Paul’s 1004 document Ordinatio sacerdotalis, on women priest,
to the 1976 document Insigniroes from the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith on the same subject. The teaching didn’t
change, but the level of authority and clarify did.
“Two, the documents will reject
a solution that some seminaries, religious communities and bishops
have tended to adopt in recent years-that it doesn’t matter if a
candidate is gay, as long as he’s capable of remaining celibate.
“‘I suspect some people, in
good will, have gravitated to this idea,’ one bishop said. ‘But
that’s not what the church is saying and this document will make
“To date, there’s been no
indication of what the pope intends to do.”74
What is peculiar in that you
don’t hear about having to live in a predominately “gay culture” for
a heterosexual priest and minister in a daily lifestyle. I make this
particular observation of the Worcester Diocese and the immediate
area as such.
July 10, 2005
“Father Peacock” mentioned the
book The Decline & Fall of the Catholic Church in America to
me. I didn’t say anything that I had the book. But, he continued to
tell me some of his insights and immediately saying that he did not
have the book anymore. I usually always followed his comments with:
Let me borrow it.
I would cross-reference
anything he told me because he had such a slanted viewpoint-most
people do-that there was a distortion of the author or something
taken out of context.
He used his technique because I
realized that he had the source but not want you to cross-reference
The Sunday comics printed
“Classic Peanuts featuring ‘Good old’ Charlie Brown” by Schulz. This
sequence had Snoopy on the cover of “World Famous Novels: Collectors
Edition, Vol. I No. 2” with Snoopy on the front cover. The comic
continues with Snoopy sitting on his doghouse at the typewriter. The
sequence continues with him spying ‘It was,’ a number of sequences
with Snoopy contemplating. Then he is back at the computer typing
‘It as a dark.’ Snoopy walks away from the typewriter and comes back
‘It was dark and stormy night with the final sequence having Snoopy
thinking ‘Good Writers is hard work!’76
There is a lot of truth in this
comic strip. To write, the moons have to be lined-up and many other
factors come into play to do such an undertaking. There are the good
days and not the good days to write. Sometimes, I get a lot
accomplished, other times not so.
July 11, 2005
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette printed “Tougher laws wanted for abusive priests.”
The article reported:
“Indianapolis-The Catholic lay reform group Voice of the Faithful
approved draft resolutions yesterdays calling for tougher laws
against abusive priests and the bishops who have protected them.
“In the conclusion to the
grassroots movement’s first national meeting in three years, nearly
600 local organizers also approved a draft resolution that calls for
greater financial transparency in the church.
“Bishops, who hold ultimate
decision-making power in their dioceses and the church, are likely
to reject most of the proposals the group approved.
“However, some of the proposals
are outside their control, such as the resolution to ‘promote
legislation that protects children and holds bishops accountable for
their failure to protect their children.’
“‘The message was we’ve got to
be a stinger vice on the statutes of limitations,’ said Jim. Post,
president of the Newton, Mass. based group.
“Other resolutions that won
approval called for the election of bishops by representatives of
dioceses’ laity and clergy, greater collaboration between clergy and
laity and an increased lay voice in diocesan and U.S. church
July 12, 2005
I reflected this day on my 3
mile walk the last meeting I had with Bishop Reilly. He said to me
in Reilly language: “The lawyers were in your case when I go here.”
What was he trying to do?
Impress me with compassion or something else. He was a
public-relations person in everything he did. Why was he giving me
this where possibly he wanted me express that he had no control of
my case and it was out of his hands? He was the bishop that
“requested” my resignation.
I realized the life in the
priesthood in my time has guy leaving to get married, had other
calling and just left, disappeared-told to get lost, stayed with
“Vocation” or had taken part in the hardening of candle was-gay
July 14, 2005
I found out-by the grapevine-
that “Father Peacock” was in the hospital here in Gardner.
What I summarized that he made
no contact with me for the reason that he did not want me visit him
in the hospital because some cleric from the Chancery or area priest
would visit and see me sitting, visiting him. I sure he would not
want to try to explain to anyone where I had come from or his
contact with me. It does put me in a very peculiar place because it
is alright to take a ride to NH or work at his “lake house” but not
here. This would not work well for him to become that “Monsignor”
which is always a calculated characteristic that he bears with the
bishop and Worcester Chancery.
I sent him a “Get Well” card. I
wrote in the card: “Daily prayers and thoughts to you. Sto Lat,
Lolita C. Balder of The
Associated Press submitted “Irate Kennedy demands an apology” in
this days Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Baldor wrote: “Washington-In a
rare personal attack on the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Edward M.
Kennedy called Pennsylvania Republican Rich Santorum self-righteous
and insensitive for his remarks linking Boston’s liberal reputation
to the clergy sex abuse scandal.
“In recent days, Santorum has
refused to back down from comments he gamed in a 2002 column, in
which he sad promoting alternative lifestyle spawns aberrant
behavior, such as priests molesting children. He went on to say that
it was to surprising that liberal Boston was at the center of the
“‘The people of Boston are to
blame for the clergy sexual abuse? That is an irresponsible,
insensitive and inexcusable thing to say,’ said Kennedy, D-Mass., in
a speech from the Senate chamber.
“Kennedy called for Santorum to
apologize to the people of Boston and across the nation, noting that
the clergy abuse happened all across the country, in ‘red states and
blue states, in the North and in the South, in big cities and
“Yesterday, Santorum spokesman
Robert Traynham said the Pennsylvania conservative recognizes that
the church abuse scandal was not just in Boston.
“He said Santorum ‘was speaking
to a boarder cultural argument about themed for everyone to take
these issues very, very seriously.’
observations were in a July 2002 column for Catholic Online, and
came back to public light last month and earlier this week in
“‘Priests, like all of us, are
affected by culture,’ Santorum wrote in the Catholic Online column.
‘When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected.
While it is no excuse for the scandal, it is no surprise that
Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in
America, lies at the center of the storm.’
“Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney, a Republican who-like Santorum-has been mentioned as a
possible presidential candidate in 2008, called the remarks
unfortunate, but did not ask for an apology, according to his
spokesman Eric Fedrnstrom…”77
July 15, 2005
“Father Lewandowski retires
after medical leave” appeared on the front page of the Catholic Free
Press this day.
I went to school with “Lev” in
Worcester and Michigan. The story written about him here: Bishop
McManus has announced the retirement of Father Ricard P. Lewandowski
former pastor of St. Camillus de Lellis Parish and chaplain of the
Newman Center at Fitchburg State College, effective immediately.
“Father Lewandowski was on a
medial leave of absence.
“He was born April 16, 1948 in
Worcester, the son of Chester S. and Anna V. (Kotomski) Lewandowski.
He attended St. Mary High School and St. Mary College, Orchard Lake,
“He studied for the priesthood
at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake and was ordained
a priest on May 25, 1974 by Bishop Flanagan at Our Lady of
Czestochowa Church, Worcester, where he had also served his deacon
“In addition to a master of
divinity degree from SS. Cyril Methodius Seminary, Father
Lewandowski also hold a master’ degree in religious studies and
social ethics form the University of Detroit, and master’s degree in
counseling and psychology from Assumption College…Father Lewandowski
is the author of several children’s books, including ‘The First
Easter Bunny,’ ‘Babci’s Angel,’ ‘Shooting Star dust’ and ‘It’s
Christmas Again,’ co authored with Michael P. Riccards, former
president of Fitchburg State College.”78
It was not a long article where
it only listed his assignments. What always is interesting in
reading such “retirements” in the Catholic Free Press is that
in what is not mentioned gets to be more interesting than what is
printed. What is here: What is the real story?
The same issue of the Catholic
Free Press had another story on the front page “Patricia Engdahl
keeping children safe in new setting.”
Tanya Connor from the Free
Press wrote: “The woman who directed the diocese’s response to the
clergy sexual abuse crisis has changed hob-nut not her ministry. And
it is a ministry in which she wants to continue offering healing
“Patricia O’Leary Engdahl
finished her job as director of the diocesan Office for Healing and
Prevention July 1. Monday she is to begin work as director of Anna
Maria College’s Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and
the Elderly. The diocese has not announced a successor for her
“I guess I see this as a
natural progression of what I was doing,’ Mrs. Engdahl said. Working
for the diocese in dealing with child abuse, she saw a tremendous
need for education and advocacy measures to protect children
concretely, she said.
“‘I think the center will help
me focus on the mission to keep children safe,’ she said. ‘The only
way to keep children safe is through education, not just of their
parents, but of other caregivers, educators and law enforcement.’
She said she thinks she is also being called to protect elders, who
are often alone and trusting and therefore vulnerable to those
seeking to take advantage of them.
“The Molly Bish Center’s
primary thrust is education and training to protect children and
elders, sad William D. McGarry, president of Anna Maria College, who
established the center about who established the center about a year
“‘Regrettably the agenda is
limitless,’ he said. ‘It’s horrible that there’s so much out there’
requiring such education and training
“President McGarry said he
brought the idea for the center to John Bish Sr. and Magdalene Bish
about a year and a half ago, and they helped start and continue it.
It is named for their daughter Molly, who disappeared in Warren in
2000 and whose remain were found in 2003. The couple has been
working to protect other children and support the families of
missing children through the Molly Bish Foundation they stated.
“Mr. Bish said they realized
they needed to involve an institute of higher learning to offer
seminars he and his wife were not equipped to offer through the
“‘We were interested in a
Catholic college,’ he said adding that they are especially happy to
connect with a local one. ‘Our faith has been central to our
“He said he wanted to see about
offering programs through the Mortell Institute at Anna Maria that
does public safety training but President McGarry suggested
establishing a separate center and naming it after Molly. The
foundation’s programs about protecting the elderly will now be
merged into the center, which will bring them to ‘a grander scale,’
Mr. Bish said.
“The center, which is separate
from the foundation, is part of the college and is closely tied to
its mission, President McGarry said. He said two of the college’s
mayor thrust are public safety and helping professions, given its
poor grams in criminal justice, fire science, occupational health
and safety, and emergency planning and response as well as social
work, counseling psychology, nursing and art and music therapy…”79
July 18, 2005
The priest talk was that the
Worcester Diocese supposedly told some priest to break-up their
“relationships.” Again, this I call “street talk” but hearing this
as such had it that something was being talked about.
July 21, 2005
When I was working at my desk,
it suddenly came to mind that I was not one of them, in that I was
not gay. It was a strange sensation going through me. Whenever I had
to attend a clergy meeting or other meetings in the diocese I was
uncomfortable for activity to be over with. It was a gut feeling
that I always had in me that there was something that made me
uncomfortable. I realized that it was not a homophobia. But, it did
make me uncomfortable in that I knew I was not gay in a gay
priesthood. . My eyes opened-up with such a realization that it was
something that finally, after all these years made sense with my
July 22, 2005
The Catholic News Service has a
short article in the Catholic Free Press: “Irish archbishop says to
have mature faith, change structures.”
It reports: “Dublin, Ireland
(CNS)—Ireland will still be a Christian society in 25 years, but
Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the church must change its
pastoral structures if there is to be a mature Christian faith. ‘The
pastoral structures of the church must be structured in such a way
that the believer, young and old, knows that he or she belongs to a
community which desires that they be free, responsible and fully
human,’ Archbishop Martin told an audience at the MacGill Summer
School in Glenties, Ireland, July 18. The archbishop spoke on the
subject, ‘Will Ireland Be Christian in 2030?’ While Ireland has one
of the highest levels of religious practice in Europe, surveys snow
that Sunday Mass attendance and religious vocations have been
declining since the 1960s. Archbishop Martin acknowledged that
Ireland was becoming more secular, but he said the medial often put
a spin on the results of surveys about religious practice. The
archbishop said that to achieve a greater level of ‘mature Christian
faith in today’s world, we have to revolutionize our structures of
faith formation as a lifelong task.’ “80
This is already in place with
the R.C.I.A. ritual and process that the Church has in place since
July 23, 2005
The People’s Forum of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed the letter of Charles A.
Abdella Jr. of Boylston entitled “Parish knows priest is not a
The letter stated: “This is in
response to a July 9, letter regarding the possibility f reinstating
Rev. Joseph Coonan to St. John’s Church in Worcester.
“While the letter writer
comforts herself that she alone s the bulwark against alleged
depravity, she ride roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and
centuries of Western jurisprudence in her attempt to ‘protect the
good people of St. John’s Parish. In the United States, Rev. Coonan
and all citizens are presumed innocent until proved guilty.
“Those who are convicted of
wrong-doing must be punished-that is justice. But to deny a man due
process is a perversion of all those principles we believe are
embodied in our national heritage.
“The writer may have already
made up her mind about Rev. Coonan. However, I have heard countless
people speak passionately about how they had given up on God until
they encountered the special ministry of Rev. Coonan.
“Perhaps if the writer had this
opportunity, she would begin to understand why St. John’s Parish has
continued to petition the bishop for Rev. Coonan’ return. If he were
a danger, then why would his parish, the very people who would be in
close contact with him, fight so fervently for his return?
“Perhaps it is that we
understand who Joe Coonan is better than those who are so quick to
condemn him. And perhaps their attempts at protecting us from our
own pastor are at best misguided and at worst patently absurd.”81
July 29, 2005
I was writing my text form my
daily journal the last few days. I was getting moody and angry a
number of times with certain re-readings of my journal. I had
written how Deacon Cashes in St. Edward’s, Westminster was sending
certain parishioners e-mails of articles on pedophile. I was also
thing how Fr. Picclomini calling me so time aback and telling that
my name was being sent to the DA. He continued to say the hurt being
felt by all because we are a family. It was pushing certain buttons
in me even though the Deacon could do whatever he wanted to do and
Picclomini using words as “family” and others to be what the
situation was with certain people.
I notice that the latest
booklet of diocesan listing of clergy did not have me listed. It was
not to be found in any cross-reference or anything as such. The
latest booklet had Father Bagley as “retired” category.
I reacted with a feeling of
despair because of the “money” situation and the way that I have had
to live. It just hurts my personhood of being violated. I was
eliminated. I felt this more than the diocesan listing but no
contact or communication whatsoever.
July 29, 2005
The front page of the Catholic
Free Press reported “Sister Kelleher named to Healing Office” with
The article reports: “Bishop
McManus has announced that Sister Paula Kelleher, SSJ, will join the
diocesan Office of Healing and Prevention.
“She will assume the
responsibly for training and educating involving safe environments
and other topics for employees and volunteers who act as mandated
reporters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She will join
Frances Nugent, victim’s services coordinator, as co-director of the
“She fills a vacancy left when
former director Patricia O’Leary Engdahl resigned July 1 to become
director of the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and
the Elderly at Anna Maria College in Paxton.
Sister Paula is a Sister of St.
Joseph of Springfield. She has been the Vicars for Religious in the
Diocese of Worcester for more than a decade. She has extensive
experience in education administration within parochial schools as
well as experience in pastoral ministry in parishes. She is also a
spiritual director. She will continue to serve as Vicar for
Religious including oversight of the Annual Retirement Fund for
“Bishop Robert McManus said ‘I
am grateful to Sister Paula for accepting this important
responsibility for our diocese and thereby assisting in the healing
ministry we offer through this office. I am confident that her
experience will give us the necessary direction to continue to
expand our already extensive education efforts as we week to protect
all children and youth in our programs, our schools and in our
This Sister Keller was involved
in my case in 1993 with her name on one of the documents with her
The National Catholic
Reporter “Editorials-Santorum preposterous and wrong” states:
Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the third-ranking Republican in
that august body, has made some preposterous pronouncements during
his political career. That’s OK, we have wonderful laws protecting
speech, even preposterous speech, even when it comes form a senator.
“The regret we have is that he
often makes much of his Catholicism, is as often touted in some
Catholic circles as a model legislator and understandably, he are
repeatedly identified in news stories as Catholic. All of that gives
the impression, at times, that his words are weighted with some sort
of official Catholic authority.
In fact, most of his more
controversial thundering form on high about moral matters has
nothing to do with Catholicism, or any expression of Christianity,
for that matter.
“In the past he’s equated
homosexuality with sex abuse of children and ‘man on dog’ sex. And
earlier this year he compared Democrats opposing Bush judicial
nominees to Adolph Hitler. He eventually apologized for that one.
More recently, Santorum found
himself on the hot sea for comments written in a 2002 column for a
conservative Web site, Catholics Online, which surfaced in a
Boston Globe column July 11.
“In the original column,
Santorum wrote, ‘Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture.
When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected.
While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that
Boston, a seats of academic, political and cultural liberalism in
American, lies at the center of the storm.’
“He was partly correct. There
was a cultural influence at work in the sex aubse crisis-still
is-but it had little to do with Massachusetts liberalism.
“What’s wrong with his analysis
is a apparent ignorance of the fact that the sex abuse crisis was
going on for 18 years-and was being reported on throughout the
country-before it exploded anew in Boston…”83
July 30, 2005
I notice of late that my
concentration was on getting my next mail during this past week.
What I noticed was that I was thinking of how, where and what to do
next to have a meal. It was in a survival model that I haven’t
realized that I was to making life an enjoyable factor.
I even experienced a friend who
said to me after going out for breakfast: I can’t afford you. This
person I wondered about in that as long as information was being
related of my circumstances, besides experiencing back pay on their
part, and not getting the stage at the parish in running certain
events that this person would only do in a “Lone Ranger” fashion.
But, it had me worrying of
where my next meal issue had me wake-up and realizes that I had to
take more direction in my life. What was also peculiar was that I
have a relative who is a bachelor and he is constantly plotting to
do anything with having a meal in his activity. I used to cringe
watching him operate. I wondered how much was I doing of that now
with my circumstances.
August 1, 2005
“Father Peacock” visited my new
place which I call: The Crows Nest. When I was on the first floor, I
called my place: The Cave. Well, he sat down in my lazy-boy chair
and saw the Scriptures (Bible) with its stand on my table. He
commented: Is that the Qumran? He always has to have that attitude
of sarcasm. He then looks up on the wall shelf where I had my
Titanic model which he always wanted. He didn’t say anything but did
stare at it.
August 3, 2005
I was thinking how Bishop
Rueger had the Vatican clear him of everything in that Rome
proclaimed him “immaculate” and now it is “holy, holy, holy” picture
to the people of the diocese. Some people told me that he would have
had to clear-out his desk in the Worcester Chancery Building. His
office should have been in the storage building of this building. I
recall how, according to Attorney Dan Shea, the Mass. State Police
in Auburn even visited his client-Brio- to question him about
allegations against Rueger. Shea said that they did this without
having him present. Here come more questions and most important: Was
this on Rueger’s behalf? Shea even questioned the collaboration of
DA Conte and the Diocese of Worcester. The answer to the riddles of
the Worcester Diocese is possibly found in Canada.
I was reflecting on a timeline
of my situation with the diocese of the last 5 years: Nothing
happened in that I have not heard from anyone officially on my
situation. I always knew that the Church-dioceses-had something
going on. It operated in a different time frame then anything else
one knows in society. So, the issue is: How do you know something
was to going on because something was going on. Don’t forget, we are
living in a “ying and yang” of the Bush Administration in Washington
at this time.
August 9, 2005
The overall atmosphere of the
day with me at times is that I am walking through collateral damage,
isolated, silence prevailing in an identity of no-name approach.
Yet, business as usual was being conducted and nothing else. I have
notice in this how judgmental and serious people are. Society is
more violent in the local inhabitants of late.
August 11, 2005
I was sent by relatives of mine
in New York City (Maspet) this days issue of the New York Post
that had the frond page with “St. Pat’s Scandal: Rector’s Love
Nest.” It had the story: Lovely Laura DeFlippo kept her stay in a
Long Island shack with St. Patrick’s Cathedral rector Eugene Clark
so hush-hush that the didn’t use their real names in the Hamptons
hotel guest registry, sources told The Post-and DeFlippo’s hubby
claims the tryst was yet another example of adultery by his wife and
the priest, who is her boss…St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s top priest and
his longtime leggy assistant turned a quaint Hampton hideaway hotel
into their personal love nest-keeping their tryst so hush-hush, they
didn’t even use their own names in the registry, sources told The
“An employee of the White Sand
Resort Hotel, a secluded oceanfront stay nestled in the dunes, said
neither Monsignor Eugene Clark, 79, nor his married gal pal Laura
DeFlippo was listed as a guest on July 21.
“That’s when the two were
secretly videotaped entering the hotel to rent a room in the early
“They left about 5 ½ hours
later with their heads bowed, wearing different clothes-she in sexy
“The videotape was shot on the
behest of her private-eye husband Philip, who was collecting
evidence for a bitter divorce battle hat charges his wife had a
long-term affair what the respected monsignor.
“A clerk at the upscale,
20-room hotel said it’s no wonder a couple would choose to canoodle
there. Its seclusion and don’t see-and-tell policy make it very
popular with celebrities.
“The hotel is situated on Shore
Road in Napeague, the narrow and relatively unpopulated stretch of
land between the Atlantic Ocean and Napeague Harbor.
“The hotel also happens to be
just a 10-minute drive from the crowded Amagansett neighborhood
where Claris has maintained a house for 46 years.
“The motel’s rooms-set between
the ocean and beautifully landscaped gardens-are rented by the day
or the week, with daily rates ranging from $150 for a bedroom to
$300 for a deluxe efficiency…”84
I figured that we will see more
of this in the media about the good monsignor.
August 12, 2005
I noticed even my personal
development that I have been using more tact. I reserve my words to
be more knowledgeable of what I am talking about. I am taking more
time to reflect before stating a response. I know that I don’t have
to be right. But with a vision for myself, I have been given courage
and had to redefine “success.”
I turned the computer on and
went to the Internet to check the news and bang- “He’s (Monsignor
Clark) gone, sex debate lingers” in the New York Daily News.
The story relates: “As news of
a scandalous resignation circulated about St. Patrick’s’ Cathedral
yesterday, Msgr. Eugene Clark’s presence still loomed large.
“Visitors entering the famed
cathedral saw that Clark’s name still grace the welcome boards in
the foyer-a visceral reminded of the latest scandal to roil the
“” ‘Before you cast stones you
better be dam sure you’re doing the right thing,’ parishioner
Dorothy Clune, 50, of the Bronx, said of the silver-haired Clark who
has railed against the immorality of ‘liberal American.’
“But visitors to the landmark
church suggested the litany of libido-driven scandals to the
Catholic Church would end if priests were given the green light to
have sex and marry.
“ ‘I think something’s going to
change and until that time I think this nonsense is going to keep
happening,’ said Clune.
“Investment banker Dominique
Bodevin, 65, of Manhattan, stopped by St. Pat’s to pray and
contemplated the wisdom of priestly celibacy.
“ ‘They’re human beings. They
have needs like everybody else,’ Bodevin sasidn. ‘I don’t agree with
what he (Clark) did, if he did it, but in my mind they should change
all of those policies involving priests.’
What most members of St.
Patrick’s flock believed Clark, 79, did the honorable thing by
stepping down, others were stunned and saddened…Sorting it all out:
The Archdiocese of New Your accepted Msgr. Eugene Clark’s
resignation yesterday. But there are still questions left unanswered
for both sides. Here are a dozen: Six questions for Msgr. Clark-
You’ve stripped of your priestly duties and have been suspended form
the Eternal Word Television Network now? Why would you stay at an
Amagansett motel when you have a $2 million house nearby? Wee there
any other women who have helped you with your ‘paperwork?’ You’ve
railed against homosexuality in sermons. Where do you rank
infidelity among sins? How can a priest afford a pad in the Hamptons
and trip to St Bart’s? What would you say to Philip DeFilippo and
his children? Six questions for the Archdiocese of New York: Who
from the archdiocese interviewed Msgr. Clark? Was the monsignor
evasive or forthcoming? How will the investigation proceed now? In
quickly accepting Clark resignation, isn’t the church signaling its
dissatisfaction with him? Did the archdiocese ask for his
resignation? What is the church policy on cleric spending time alone
There are more questions that
needed to be asked of the system itself- religion and media.
August 14, 2005
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette printed in their Focus section as a whole page with
picture of Francis McGillicuddy who left the priesthood in 1972
entitled “Former priest breaks code of silence: Ordained after
graduating from Holy Cross, McGillicuddy reveals experiences of the
Gregory D. Kesich of The
Associated Press wrote: “Portland, Maine-In the summer of 1963,
Francis McGillicuddy, a young priest and director of a church run
girls camp on Poland’s Worthley Pond, notice something odd about one
of the camp’s guest, the Monsignor Henry Boltz.
“Boltz, a leading figure in
Maine’s Roman Catholic Church, had befriended a teenage boy,
McGillicuddy observed, accompanied the elderly prelate on shopping
trips and to the movies and made long visits inside Boltz’s private
cabin on the grounds of Camp Pesquasawasis.
“McGillicuddy felt something
was wrong. He couldn’t say what it was, but he wanted to stop it.
“‘I called the staff together
and said the monsignor’s cabin was out of bounds,’ he recalls. ‘No
one was to go down there for any reason.’
“Within day, Boltz left. For
years McGillicuddy never really knew why.
“‘You would never even breathe
that a priest would commit sexual abuse,’ he said. ‘It would never
be verbalized. It was unthinkable.’
“Last month, the church said
what McGillicuddy could not.
“A court-ordered release of the
name of 23 deceased priests, one monk and a nun accused of sexual
abuse of children included the name of Henry Boltz, who died in
1970. Later, in letters distributed inside church leaflets, the
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced that the charges
against Boltz were credible.
“If Boltz were alive today, he
likely would be removed form active ministry and investigated. His
case could have been referred to the Vatican for trail.
“McGillicuddy, who was ordained
after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester,
left the priesthood in 1972 to marry. He is one of the few clergy
members from that period willing to talk about his experience in the
priesthood. He describes a closed culture in which the priests were
kept apart from the people they served and the authority of church
leaders was unquestioned.
“Sex was almost never
discussed, he said, but he realizes now that it was part of life for
many of ibis colleagues. A priest’s loyalty to his brothers was
expected, and it was something enforced by church hierarchy. Secrets
were kept. Sometimes people even kept secrets from themselves…
his experience to church authorities and now receives counseling
paid for by the diocese.
“Priests, even former priests,
are rarely willing to talk about their experiences, said David
Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused
by Priests. Their vows of loyalty to their bishop and the bond they
share with their colleagues create pressure to protect wrongdoers.
(What if you didn’t care for the authority-power structure since
“‘It’s not unusual to hear
these stories, but it is unusual for them to be told publicly,’
Clohessy said. ‘The priesthood is a small, shrinking, closely knit
band of lonely men who depend on each other for support. The
temperature to be quiet must be very great.’…
“Today, McGillicuddy is a
retired social worker, living with his wife, Elaine, a former nun.
They have been active members of Pax Christi, the Roman Catholic
peace group, and Corpus, a church reform organization that favors
allowing priests to marry and the ordination of women.
“In 1958 McGillicuddy
was ordained and assigned to a Portland parish. He was one of three
assistant pastors who lived in the rectory with the pastor.
“It was not an exalted
“In the pecking order in the
rectories, there was the pastor, the housekeeper, the cat and the
associate pastor,’ he said. ‘You had no sense of ownership I the
parish. You were there for a time and then you moved on to somewhere
“The young priests were taught
to keep their friendships with the clergy, and all his friends were
priests. This created a ‘great gulf’ between the priests and the
people in their parishes, McGillicuddy said...
ordination to the priesthood, the two men (former parish priest and
were staying at a Boston hotel and drinking. The older man made a
sexual advance. McGillicuddy refused.
“‘The next day, he told me he
was just testing me to see if I was gay.’ McGillicuddy said.
“McGillicuddy said he tried to
bury the incident. While he never completely repressed the memory,
he succeeded in not thinking about it. He never told anyone, not
even his wife.
“Remarkably, he didn’t even
think about it when he saw Boltz, another older priest; take
advantage of another vulnerable young man. He never reported either
incident and was sure that no one would have wanted him to.
“It was a culture that
encouraged secrets, he said.
“‘There was loyalty (his words)
to the church, a kind of primary responsibility to protect the
church and the reputation of the church,’ he (McGillicuddy) said. ‘A
priest being the front-line person, they would have the
responsibility to do that, to close ranks, not rock the boat.’…
“‘It is not unusual to hear
these stories, but it is unusual for them to be told publicly. The
priesthood is a small, shrinking. Closely knit band of lonely men
who depend on each other for support. The temptation to be quiet
must be very great.’ (David Clohessy: National Director of the
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) 86
It is very peculiar that more
is not being written about priest by men that have left the active
ministry. One observation I have not herd of late is that this issue
of “silence” is also part of many family situations. In this day and
age, everything is put on the table for evaluation and other aspects
as we have been seeing through the different sciences.
August 17, 2005
I noticed in writing my journal
and doing research that I recall reading: “Writing about one moment
in history, I seem to have stumbled into another.” (Julie O. Ksuka)
Oh! How true. One area of discovery in being a priest is that the
Church wants one to follow policies which the Worcester Chancery
does not follow. I’m sure that is not such a great new “moment in
history” because the history of the Diocese of Worcester is so
extensive and eye-opening even if it is only 50 plus years old.
August 19, 2005
I noticed in my writing of the
text-format of my journal that in 2002 journaling and article file
that I had enough to write half a book in that one year.
August 22, 2005
Lazarus has risen. “Father
Peacock” called me form the Broadway Rest Home in Winchendon and
said that I was allowed a visit. I didn’t know where he was of being
at his rectory or his “lake house.” Obviously he needed something
where I had the danger sign in front of me saying” Be Aware. He was
going to allowed me an audience. There had to be a reason because I
was the “prodigal son” with my fellow brother priest. He never
called while he was in Gardner Hospital recuperating. This hospital
was walking distance for me from my place. I am sure that I
“radioactive” for his overall image at that time.
August 24, 2005
I have notice in my writing the
issue of depression. It was colored by irritation, frustration,
jealousy, anger, pettiness, bitterness and a sense that it was to
fair what was done with me. I knew that depression was the disease
of the mind that was an open, chronic joylessness with toll little
delight in one’s life.
I realized this and made sure
to redirect this at different times in my personhood.
August 25, 2005
I was reflecting on how I was
looking forward to watch that program “Monk” which was on cable-USA
network. It was the programs third season. Monks manner of
investigation and analysis had me watch with envy in that I wish I
had that talent dealing with Bishop Harrington and Chancery Kabala
in 1993 and thereafter. I learned in watching this TV program and in
Monk’s style. One example he used to explain a case was when he was
on a threshold event in his first step that he explained by using
his fingers in a V-shape manner saying” The answer is somewhere in
between those fingers. Just thinking, how appropriate dealing with
the people in Worcester that I had in my situation.
August 26, 2005
I’ve been waiting for this
story to come from the National Catholic Reporter printing
the story of Msgr. Clark. But this is reported “By News Wires.” I
haven’t seen this type of source in my research.
The printed story is entitled
“Cathedral rector resigns, denying allegation affair.” It reads”
“Msgr. Eugene V. Clark has resigned as rector of St. Patrick’s
Cathedral in New York while denying allegations that he had a
long-term sexual relationship with his secretary, a married woman.
“In a brief statement Aug. 11,
New York archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said New York
Cardinal Edward M. Egan had accepted the resignation and is
investigating the allegations.
“Clark ‘will not be celebrating
Mass or the sacraments publicly until this matter has been
resolved,’ Zwilling added. ‘Although Msgr. Clark continues to deny
the allegations against him, he offered his resignation for the good
of St. Patrick’s and the archdiocese,’ he said.
“A series of television
programs tilted ‘Relationships’ that Clark had hosted since 1999 for
the Eternal Word Television Network, an Alabama-based inter-national
Catholic cable channel, has been put on hold, the cable network
announced Aug. 11.
“Clark, long a prominent priest
in the New York archdiocese, has been rector of the cathedral since
2001. He was private secretary to Cardinal Francis Spellman in the
1960s and served as an official spokesman for his successor,
Cardinal Terence Cooke. He is also well-known as a fund raise for
Catholic causes and a strong proponent of traditional morality.
“A story about the affairs in
The New York Times said, ‘In the pulpit, Monsignor Clark has
sometimes been outspoken.’ In a homily at the cathedral in 2002, he
blamed the church’s sex-abuse scandal on ‘the campaign of liberal
America against celibacy’ and to the willingness of seminaries to
admit homosexuals into the ministry.
“He offended gay groups by
condemning gay relationships as ‘truly sinful’ and often preached
against a ‘sex-saturated culture.’
“Accusations that the priest
was having an affair with his 46-year-old secretary, Laura
DeFilippo, were brought to the media Aug. 8 by her husband, Philip
DeFilippo, who is seeking a divorce…
“Clark, in a statement released
through his lawyer, Laura Brevetti said that ‘events and
circumstances have been portrayed in such a false and sensational
manner that I will no longer be able to effectively serve the
archdiocese.’ Brevetti said that ‘innocent events have been
distorted and sensationalized.’ “87
August 28, 2005
“Vatican papers spark debate:
Clergy aubse protocol noted” by Kathleen A. Shaw had front page
The story reads “Worcester-The
1962 Vatican document called crime Solicitations that first surfaced
in Worcester two years ago has made its way around thaw world
causing controversy and sparking debate on whether the Romans
Catholic hierarchy intended this document as a plant to hush up
sexual abuse of children.
“The name is taken from the
first words of the original Latin version, which mean ‘crime of
solicitation.’ It outlines procedures to be followed when a priest
is accused of sexual abuse. Houston lawyer Daniel J. Shea said the
document is relevant because it shows that the church hierarchy has
conspired to keep quiet child abuse.
“Reading through the Crimen
protocol for handling abuse cases, Mr. Shea said, it is evident that
the intent is to absolve the offending priest and send him on what
the document calls a ‘pious pilgrimage’ but what he called a
‘vacation,’ and to shut up the complaint.
“He and other civil lawyers in
this country are also introducing the document into lawsuits in an
attempt to show that an international conspiracy is involved in
covering up abuse by priests.
“He went to the gates of the
Vatican two weeks ago to press his argument that Pope Benedict XVI
has actively conspired to keep cases of clergy sexual abuse under
wraps. He bases his claim on the Crimen document and a letter that
the pope wrote in 2001, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
instructing church officials on how to handle these cases. Crimen
was footnoted in the 2001 document.
“Crime Solicitations has also
up in Louisville, Ky., when the Vatican has been named in a lawsuit
filed by men alleging clergy sexual abuse.
“Mr. Shea, who also practices
in Massachusetts, settled several sexual abuse cases in Worcester
Superior Court but has named the pope in a lawsuit he is handling
for three men in the Houston area who said they were sexually abused
by a priest there who later fled back to his native Latin America.
“Crimen was introduced into a
court suit in Springfield brought by Jane Martin, who said she was
sexually abused as a child by the Rev. Robert E. Kelley, a priest of
the Worcester Diocese. The judge did not allow introduction of the
document because it had not been authenticated and was not seen as
“Mr. Shea’s campaign has
attracted public notice. Article about his quest has appeared in
newspapers in Britain, Ireland, Italy and the United States…”88
August 30, 2005
I was in the bookstore and I
had a gift certificate to purchases Faith That Dares to Speak
by Father Donald Cozzens (2004). Couple of sections I read at this
time: “The Church as an unequal society/ Remnants of a Feudal Past.”
A number of statements by Cozzen had me reflecting of what I was
sensing for some many years and even projecting of future events.
Such as: “And the church itself, even after promising transparency
and accountability as the American bishops did in the wake of the
clergy sexual abuse scandal, will continue to practice denial,
dissimulation, and deception. These characteristics simply flow,
quite naturally, from an understanding of the church as a society
make up of unequal. ..Feudal systems, historians point out, work
when the economy is bases on land and the lower class, the serfs,
remain uneducated and dependent on the protection their vassal.
Feudal systems began to break down with the growth of towns, which
allowed numerous serfs, often with considerable difficulty, to flee
to the towns anew become merchants or skilled in the craft. With the
move from a landed economy to a monies economy, medieval feudalism
was zoomed. Its link, however, with current church structures is
obvious. The pope-the sovereign or king in our parallel
structure-grants benefits (i.e., dioceses) to his bishops. The
bishops in turn promise obedience, homage, and loyalty to their
sovereign, the bishop of Rome. While the church’s theology now
understands the world’s bishops as members of a college of bishops
in communion with each other and with the bishop of Rome, the full
implications of the collegial nature of the episcopacy remains to be
developed. The bishops, in turn, grant benefices (i.e., parishes) to
their priests, who promise obedience, homage, and loyalty to the
chief shepherd of their diocese. At least from the middle of the
nineteenth century I the U.S., parishes were run life fiefdoms. And
it is not unusual, even in our post-Vatican church, to find pastors
who still perceived their parish as a benefice or fiefdoms. Even
more sobering, some pastors continue to look upon parishioners as
more or less uneducated sheep. (I know a number of such pastors.)”
This work by Father Cozzens
should be studied by people hoping to grown in a mature faith. This
work actually shows the “Super Shell Gas Station Model” which I used
in my pastorship meaning: The Church is not a gas station but a
faith community. We have presently in the Worcester Diocese area a
“hardening of the wax” with the clerical element and parishioners
using the “Super Shell Gas Station” model.
September 3, 2005
I was going through the thought
process of not having any advocacy and second guessing what may be
doing concerning my situation. The first thought is they are doing
nothing. Another was the issue of not having due process. I recall
the other day watching a TV where a permanent Deacon spoke that he
had worked in prisons for his carrier and observed the prisoners
that he had worked with had more due process that priest have in
their allegation crisis. My immediate reaction was “No kidding.”
I was having coffee with some
friends where I mentioned somehow that I had a list f items that
were stolen from place in 1993 in the rectory and Bishop Reilly
actually “buried” the list after I handed it to him. This particular
confederation had one of the parties say: Drop it, Ted. I was that
move-on syndrome with life. It was another lesson to learn: Don’t
bring up anything with people of my situation. If they ask
particular questions: It’s all in my book.
September 4, 2005
When I returned to my room, I
automatically look at my answering machine to see if the message
light was blinking. I have had this reaction at times wheel I was
hoping I had a call to go for a pizza or coffee. It was that
“nothingness” feeling. This is was something that I found troubling.
But, the experience was somewhat less in that I found of late that I
was enjoying my time alone.
September 5, 2005
I read one of Bishop Thomas
Gumbalton speeches where he said the crisis on priest was that the
guys wee “underdeveloped.” This is another word for “immature.” What
I have experienced is that I immediately think in the direction that
we have another perspective to deal with. But, what becomes
interesting is that certain people do not want to hear anything as
such. Possibly there are other issues that need to be addressed or
questioned in the system of life because of actions or comments of
This is where I noticed of late
that the media of Church and media are going at the issue of
homosexuality and celibacy. I immediately come back to the issue is
the system with power and authority. In the church with the
priesthood is the classic authoritative personality.
September 8, 2005
I have noticed that with the
devastating of the hurricane Katrina this September does show us as
a country are separated by zip codes (mail). There is the class of
the rich and poor.
September 9, 2005
The section of “Editorials” had
“Bankruptcy: the gamble that backfired” was in this weeks
National Catholic Reporter.
It read: “Words matter. More
for a church than for other institutions because religion purports
to be about truth. These truths, especially in the Catholic Church,
are largely conveyed through words-scripture, pastoral letters,
encyclicals, books, homilies, even newspapers.
“And, of late in court
“In the two-plus decades we
have reported and commented on the clergy sex abuse scandal, we have
witnessed church leaders torture the language to avoid
“‘Mistakes were made,’ say some
bishops, wary of attaching a personal pronoun to the criminal
behavior of church officials who transferred child molesters from on
e kid-rich environment to another.
“‘We treated the problem as a
sin, not a crime,’ say other church leaders, as if the two are
“‘We relied too heavily on the
therapeutic community,’ say some bishops, which may be true but is
“Most famously, perhaps, was
then-Bridgeport, Conn., Archbishop Edward Egan’s 1997 testimony that
the priests of the diocese were not employed by the church, and
therefore answered to him, but were instead ‘independent
contractors.’ Egan subsequently became the cardinal archbishop of
“On the other side of the
country, the language is as tortured in the bankruptcy proceedings
of the dioceses of Spokane, Wash., and Portland, Ore. There, the
church’s high-priced legal teams designed a too-cleaver-by half,
two-pronged strategy: First, forestall civil litigation against the
church 9and define its parameters) by voluntarily seeking the
protection of federal bankruptcy courts and the next, limit
potential payments to creditors by shrinking the size of the pot
established to pay claimants.
“The first aspect of the plan
worked. Those who had a potential claim on diocesan funds stepped
forward and been counter…”90
September 10, 2005
I was speaking over a cup of
coffee with “Father Peacock” this day and he made a number of
statement that I was able to see is “absolute authority “streak
showing on his part: He tells me that 20 guys (priest) in diocese on
administrative leave and each is on a different pay scale. He
mentions what happened to the Gospel of Mt. 25 for care of the
priest. Then he said that the Clergy Benefit of the Diocese of
Worcester is costing $7,000 per priest. He wanted to know by his
question-Where to get the money by the diocese? (Priest on
Administrative Leave is not in the Clergy Benefit program.) He tells
me that the Vatican Ambassador in the United States was saying: No
gays in the priesthood. So, “Father Peacock” says therefore then
there is no priest. He continued to tell met that there will be
only blue eyed bonds (Nazi Germany style). He then how his
co-chancellor in the Deanery X priest, Father Giennette “froze” a
meeting but got his way and wondered what “pension” he was getting.
Watching these two priests operate at meetings was a classic act of
sibling rivalry (Jealousy personified).
Then” Father Peacock” switches
gears today the FEMA was all too big of a problem to ever try to
resolve the New Orleans tragedy with hurricane Katrina.
Then I had to hear that the
pastor in Southbridge (no name) was disgusted with Bishop McManus
handling the priest on Administrative Leave. This priest was a
social worker with the Assumptions religious order. He had been
incarnated in Worcester and had known the real street world.
Then “Father Peacock” was in
his ego trip which he does at times by saying the he studied in
Europe vs. those of us who studied in the seminary in the States.
Then he rolled with that he will have an $11,000 priest mahogany
casket in comparison to “your $7,000 (actually $6,000) casket. Who
cares? Who has the best casket?
All of this coffee discussion
was “Father Peacock” blowing smoke. But, his last bit of information
was that he was taking his parishioner who was a deacon candidate
for a retreat to Canada in October at a location near his old
retreat center which is now closed. Oh?
September 11, 2005
It has been four years since
the World Trade Towers and other planes was hijacked and crashed.
These people were remembering in my Mass. I also prayed for peace in
the world because the atmosphere has exploded to be near a police
state in this country. If anything fear was the prevailing
atmosphere by our government and society in general.
September 15, 2005
I went on the Internet to the
Worcester Voice web page. It seemed that Mrs. Jean was writing and
complaining that the bishop has not met with her group and answered
her questions. Also, she was writing that the House of Affirmation
directed by Father Kane (Director) was responsible for the abuse
situation in area. This was what I summarized with her comments on
her web page of late. It is interesting reading of her web page. I
wonder who is giving her information of the clerical world-little
tidbits-in Worcester. This is not coming out of Leominster which is
where she resides. The Worcester Telegram is one of her key sources
for her writing but there is another “worm” contributing information
for her keyboard.
September 16, 2005
I noticed that I had been
writing for the past two months and that I was gain weight. I was
snacking and actually eating larger portions that I should have
been. I gained about 10 pounds. This text writing was not easy in
that I had to re-visit the experiences which at times was nerve
raking in taking the story over against and pit it into details.
Jack Keena-plant manager again said to me: “What taking you so long?
He, previously, made this comment a number of times. He had no idea
what this experience was like, I had my good time in wiring and
other times I was not able to sit this material.
The Catholic Free Press printed
in their “Letters to the Editor” section as letter from Most Rev.
George E. Rueger-Auxiliary Bishop of Worcester (Retired)
It stated: To the Editor: Allow
me to express my healthful thanks for the supplement The Catholic
Free Press produced and distributed upon my retirement as Auxiliary
Bishop and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Worcester.
“First and foremost I express
my appreciation to all who contributed to its production, including
writers, photographers, story contributors, artist and editors. I am
truly humbled by the great effort you all gave to its successful
Secondly, my thanks and prayers
go out to all who supported the supplement’s production through
advertising. Knowing that you are always backing the good work of
the Church through your financial support, I am grateful for your
“Finally, I extend my prayers
and best wishes to all the readers and subscribers of The Catholic
Free Press who received this supplement. Your interest in supporting
Catholic media is important to us as a community of faith. As a
bishop I am grateful as well as humbled by the hunger to learn more
about how we respond to each other’s needs as members of the body of
I will continue to offer thanks
to God for all you are and all that you do. Sincerely yours in
The National Catholic
Reporter carried in one of its “Editorials” in this week’s issue
“Of seminaries, gays and essential questions.”
It stated: “The
Vatican-inspired inspection of U.S. seminaries as a response to the
sex abuse crisis is predictable and even on some levels, logical. It
is also, like so many of the church’s responses to the sex abuse
crisis largely beside the point.
“While it was essential for the
bishops, in the face of overwhelming public reaction, to finally
enact national standards and strict rules about conduct and
treatment of priest, they persistently skirt the central question:
What about the clergy culture and the culture of the hierarchy, in
particular, allowed the abuse o f children, of power and of the
community to go on for two decades?
“Looking at the seminarians
fits the pattern of hierarchical dealing with the problem more a
deflection from the central point than essential research. The
misguided nature of the effort was compounded at the start when
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, who heads the inspection, said that
seminaries should reject homosexuals, even those who have been
celibate for a decade of more.
“The archbishop must know that
if the rule were applied in retrospect across the ordained
priesthood, the clergy ranks would thin dramatically at all levee,
and one suspect’s that it would certainly cut into the already slim
numbers entering seminary. There are another ways to deal with what
is widely perceived to be a homosexual culture that prevails at some
seminaries. But dealing with the culture and why it is permitted to
exist is far different form a sober consideration of homosexuals’
fitness for a celibate life of service.
“What is the essential
difference between a heterosexual celibate and a homosexual
celibate? Should the fact that a percentage of priests over the
history of celibacy enter sometimes long sexual relationships with
women and father children disqualify heterosexuals from the Catholic
“None of this makes sense, and
O’Brien’s assertion skates too close to the contention that
homosexuality were the cause of the sex abuse crisis.
“The crisis log ago became one
not of sex but of abuse of power and authority, of leaders entrusted
with the care of the community deeply betraying that trust.
“If Rome really wants to
contribute to understanding, then after this current exercise of
examining seminaries, church leaders should appoint an independent
commission and invest considerable time and resources in a thorough
and deep investigation of sentential questions…”92
Here is that “power and
authority” issue. This keeps repeating itself into many different
This same day, boston.com-
The Boston Globe on line reported “Vatican bid to find gays in
seminary stirs concern.”
Michael Paulson of the Globe
staff wrote” “An effort by the Vatican to look fro evidence of
homosexuality n Catholic seminaries is alarming gay right advocates
but is pleasing conservatives, who are hoping that Pope Benedict XVI
will son issue a ban on gay men as future priests.
“The planned search
for homosexuality is part of a Vatican review prompted by the clergy
sexual abuse crisis of 229 American seminaries, theology schools,
and other institutions that train priests. It is set to begin this
“The chairman of the
Boston College theology department, the Rev. Kenneth Himes, sharply
criticized the review yesterday, saying that if the bishops really
want to understand what caused the sexual abuse crisis, they should
investigate their own offices.
“‘What really created
the sexual abuse crisis was not poor formation (of priests) in the
seminaries, but poor personal management in the chanceries,’ Himes
said. ‘Now we are having an investigation of the seminaries, but I
wonder when the Vatican and the America bishop will investigate
their own chanceries (My stating and empathizing The Worcester
.’…The last review of
seminaries was conducted in 1983.
“The investigators are
supposed to examine 55 topics outlines in a set of guidelines and
instructions developed by the Vatican and firs reported yesterday by
The New York Times. In addition to looking fro ‘evidence of
homosexuality,’ the documents also asked the investigators to
consider how church doctrine is taught at seminaries, whether there
is ‘a clear process for removing from the seminary faculty members
who dissent form the authoritative teaching of the church,’ whether
‘seminarians know to use alcohol, the Internet, television, etc.,
with prudence and moderation,’ ands whether the seminary encourages
recitation of the rosary, among other cancers…”93
Father Himes has some
interesting insights and yet to publicly state them is courageous on
September 18, 2005
Dianne Williamson wrote in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette this column “Gay priests
becoming scapegoats: Vatican seeks to purge many dutiful servants.”
Williamson states: “He left the
priesthood despite a successful ministry because he felt
‘emasculated’ and ‘like a kid living in my parent’s house,’ he said.
Now, he wonders how gay priests-his friends and former
colleagues-will manage to survive in a church that may be poised to
purge their ranks ad blame their for the sins of others.
“‘How do you give your life to
an organization that’s bashing you?’ wondered this former local
priests, now living as an openly gay man. ‘It’s almost evil at work.
They’re using gay men as scapegoats, and I find it sinful.’
“It should come as no surprise,
really, because gay get blamed for everything-terrorist attacks,
hurricanes, even the re-election of George W. Bush. So why shouldn’t
gay priests take the heat for the child sex abuse scandal in the
Catholic Church? Do we really expect an institution as intractable
as the Vatican to engage in a painful and honest review of the
policies that contributed to such corrosive atmosphere?
“Instead, according to a
document obtained by The New York Times, investigators appointed by
the Vatican have been instructed to review more than 220 Roman
Catholic seminaries in the United States for ‘evidence of
homosexuality’ and for faculty dissent form church teachings. The
document surfaces as the Vatican prepares to rule on whether gay men
should be barred from the priesthood. The reviews were ordered by
Rome in April 2002, at the height of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
“One can’t help but wonder what
sort of ‘evidence’ these investigators will search for. A cacophony
of show tune blaring from seminary dorm rooms? Old ticket stubs to
Cher concerts” Eye-catching interior design in the common rooms”
Television tuned to LOGO channel?
“The irony, of curse, is that
an instruction that claims to promote equality and denounce bigotry
is now judging men not on what they do, but solely on who they are.
Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who is spearheading the seminary review,
recently said that ‘anyone who has strong homosexual inclinations’
should not be admitted to a seminary. And he also told The National
Catholic Register that the restrictions should apply even to those
who have been celibate for more than a decade…”94
It would have been interesting
in reading Archbishop O’Brien’s comments on this issue. What I
noticed that his comments were given to The National Catholic
Register. This is a paper that I should have tried to read to get
another perspective. I realize that there is no one that I know that
receives it or where to go to read it. It is know to be the
counter-balance of the National Catholic Reporter. I went on
the Internet and search engine through Google which gave me: The
National Catholic Register-Weekly Catholic newspaper covering U.S.
issues from distinctly Catholic perspective. This is a very
interesting plug line. They have been known to be more Catholic than
Another observation with this
document supposedly saying that there will be a check of faculty and
their teachings with an underhanded aspect of what some faculty
members have published. I recall the 1983 Vatican visitation where
my friend and mentor in the seminary, Father Anthony Kosnik, were
removed from the faculty of my seminary. I don’t believe we will
much of this time around because any theologians of depth were
already removed and teaching in secular universities and
September 20, 2005
I was on a ride with Jack Keena
and one stopped at the used bookstore in Marlboro, NH. He came over
to me in the store and handed me The Abnormal Personality. He
made the comment to me that he found it in the pile of old books
saying: “Thee are a lot of these people that you know-meaning from
the AA groups you attend. I challenged him by saying “who do you
mean>’ He resounded: “Those that you meet with on Tuesday and
Thursday.” Actually, he was showing me his arrogance and more about
himself than those that I knew from my meetings. I always said that
those I met at an AA meeting knew they had an issue. He was very
good at trying to use “transferal” in his issue on others. I only
looked at his this time, saying nothing.
It did bring to mind how when I
began my degree works in Psychology and Counseling at Assumption
College with Doctor Rudy Everest on “Abnormal Psychology.” Dr.
Everest posed the question: Define ‘normal.” It was a three hurl
session. The class was not able to agree on a definition.
September 24, 2005
Another meeting with “Father
Peacock” this noon time was in my schedule. This time I get how one
priest on Administrative Leave is working in a 7-11 Store in Webster
another priest is doing “professional work” but keeping it quiet. He
said that they had been warned that they are not able to make a
fully salary because they will loves the diocesan benefits. Tinsley
supposedly was telling others that these priests “are provided for
in receiving an appropriate means” from the diocese.
“Father Peacock” then mentioned
that it is interesting how Father Bagley did not fight back on his
allegations with all his contacts in the area and Rome.
This I had to bring to mind how
certain individuals ask me why I don’t get a job. The latest that I
have been answering: “You are to in my shoes.” I don’t say it but
the concern for my medial (diocesan benefits) and the little stipend
that I am getting is not to be tested against this Worcester
Out of no where, “Father
Peacock” then said that he had no problem accepting men in the
priesthood that are either gay or to gay. Here is the chameleon in
the church system approach with the priest issue-now we accept all.
Well, he is talking smoking mirrors because the last time we spoke
he was talking to me an anti-gay direction. Then, I had to hear from
him that depression is considered a disability to be on welfare in
the State of Massachusetts.
Who needs bloggers (Internet)
when you have the priest communication underground network? One has
to realize that priest are the most scrutinized profession with
neighbors having binoculars and hearing devices on the rectory. One
thing with today’s bloggers is that we have she pro’s and con’s on
issues. Not always so with the priesthood.
When you have to listen to an
individual as “Father Peacock,” one becomes as sharp as a bowling
September 22, 2005
The New Your Times published
this day “New Vatican Rule said to Bar Gays as New Priests.”
Jan Fisher and Laurie Goodstein
reported: “Rome, Sept 21-Homosecuals, even those who are celibate,
will be barred form becoming Roman Catholic priest, a church
official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on
one of the most sensitive issues facing the church.
“The official, said the
question was not ‘if it will published, but when,’ referring to the
new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that
has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official,
who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the
condition of anonymity because of the church’s policy of not
commenting on unpublished reports.
“He said that while Pope
Benedict XVI had to yet sign the document, it would probably be
released in the next six weeks.
“In addition to the new
document, which will apply to the church worldwide, Vatican
investigators have been instructed to visit each of the 229
seminaries in the United States.
“Although work on the document
began years ago under Pope John Paul II, who died in April, its
release will be a defining act into eh young papacy of Benedict, a
conservative who said last spring that here was a need to ‘purify’
the church after the deeply damaging sew scandals of the last
“The church official said the
ban would pertain only to candidates for the priesthood, not to
those already ordained. He also said the document did not represent
any theological shift for the church, whose catechism considers
homosexuality ‘objectively disordered.’
“Although the document has not
been released, hints of what it will say are already drawing praise
form some Catholics, who contend that such a move is necessary to
restore the church’s creativity, and who note that church teaching
bars homosexuals, active or not, from the priesthood.
“Othe Catholics say, though,
that the test should be celibacy, not innate sexuality, and they
predict resignations form the priesthood that can worsen the
church’s deep shortage of clergy…”95
September 23, 2005
The Associated Press reporter,
Rachel Zoll wrote “Expected Vatican ban on gay seminarians roils
church” in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Zoll wrote: “Word that a
soon-to-be-released Vatican document will signal homosexuals are
unwelcome in Roman Catholic seminaries, even if they are celibate,
has devastated gay clergy-and raised doubts among conservatives
about whether an outright ban can be enforced.
“A Vatican official, no spoke
on condition of anonymity-notice how this repeats to
reporters-because the document has not been released, said yesterday
that the upcoming ‘instruction’ form the Vatican’s Congregation for
Catholic Education will reaffirm the church’s belief that
homosexuals should not be ordained.
“In recent decades, Vatican
officials have stated several times that gays should not become
priests because their sexual orientation is ‘intrinsically
disordered’ and makes them unsuitable for ministry.
“The latest document is
scheduled to be distributed within weeks just as an evaluation of
all 229 American seminaries gets under way under the direction of
the same Vatican agency developing the seminary statement. The
review, called an Apostolic Visitation, was ordered by Pope John
Paul II in response to the U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis which
erupted in 2002. Among the questions the evaluators will ask is
whether ‘there is evidence of homosexuality in the seminary,’
according to the agency’s guide for the inspections.
“The Rev. Thomas Krenik, who
taught for 10 years at St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota’s and wrote
the guidebook ‘Formation for Priestly Celibacy,’ worries that a
blanket band on gay priest-candidates will re-create the very
conditions the Vatican wants to eradicate.
“‘For some men who happened to
be homosexually oriented, the wood go further in the closed,’ Krenik
said. “That would be my fear, that this could become an even worse
“A gay American priest, who
spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears reprisals form
church leaders, said he and other gay clergy and seminarians felt
‘absolute horror’ when they heard about the anticipated ban.
“‘Vie spoken to gay priests who
feel demoralized. I’ve herd straight priests say that they’re
embarrassed by it. I’ve heard priests both straight and gay
seriously considering leaving,’ he said. ‘They couldn’t believe that
after centuries of either explicit or implicitly welcoming of
celibate gay clergy, that the church would turn its back on them.’
“James Hitchcock, a church
historian at St. Louis University and conservative commentator on
contemporary Catholicism, Said he thinks the ban is necessary
considering a study of U.S. bishops commissioned from the John Jay
College of Criminal Justice found most of the alleged abuse victims
since 1950 were adolescent boys. But he conceded the policy will be
difficult to enforce, since candidates for the priesthood can hide
tier sexual orientation. He’s also concerned that gays truly
dedicated to remaining celibate will be unfairly excluded…”96
God Almighty, reading the name
of James Hitchcock kicks-up the gears of the 60s and 70s.I wondered
where he went. Now, I know.
September 27, 2005
John L. Allen, Jr. gives us “At
the Vatican, Exceptions Make the Rule” in The New York Times.
Allen writes: “The forthcoming
Vatican document on gays in seminaries will unleash a wrenching
debate about Catholicism and homosexuality, but one thing it is
certain not to mean is that in the future there will be no gays in
the priesthood. The continued presence of gays in the priesthood
will be the product not just of difficulties in enforcement, or the
dishonesty of potential candidates, but also of design.
“Although this is a difficult
point for many Anglo-Saxons to grasp, when the Vatican makes
statements like ‘no gays in the priesthood,’ it doesn’t actually
mean ‘no gays in the priesthood.’ It means, ‘As a general rule, this
is not a good idea, but we all know there will be exceptions.’
“Understanding this distinction
requires an appreciation of Italian concepts of law, which hold sway
throughout the thought world of the Vatican. The law, according to
such thinking, expresses an ideal. It describes a perfect state of
affairs from which many people will inevitably fall short. This view
is far removed form the typical Anglo-Saxon approach, which expects
the law to dictate what people actually do.
“While Italians grumble about
lawlessness, fundamentally they believe in subjectivity. Anyone
who’s tired to negotiate the traffic in Italian cities will
appreciate the point. No law, most Italians believe, can capture the
infinite complexity of human situations, and it’s more important for
the law to describe a vision of the ideal community than for it to
be rigidly obeyed. Italians have though laws, but tier enforcement
is enormously forgiving. Not for nothing was their equivalent of the
attorney general’s office once known as the Ministry of Justice and
“The British historian
Christopher Dawson has described this as the ‘erotic’ spirit of
cultures shaped by Roman Catholicism. Catholic cultures are bases on
the passionate quest for spiritual perfection, Dawson writes, unlike
the ‘bourgeois’ culture of the United States, which, shaped by
Protectionism and bases on practical reason, gives priority to
economic concerns. As one senior Vatican official put it tome some
time ago, ‘Law describes the way things would work fife men were
“This value system means that
while Vatican officials often project a stern moral image on the
public stage, in imitate settings they can be strikingly patient and
understanding. Policymakers in the Vatican tend not to but as worked
up many Americans by the large number of Catholics I the developed
world who flouts church regulations on birth control, for example.
It’s not that Vatican officials don’t believe in the regulations.
Rather, they believe the very nature of an ideal is that many people
will fail to realize it…”97
Boy, this type f message to
people I know would not work, mainly it is these people or
individual person way or the highway for anything that doesn’t fit
into their desires. Many people I know operate on choosing what they
want and find everything else condemned. It is the prevailing
attitude: Every man/woman for them. What I mean total subjectivity.
September 28, 2005
“Ex-teacher labels case witch
hunt: Profit spurred mother to teen, Jennings says” appeared in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette by Shaun Sutner.
“Worcester-former high school teacher Amber S. Jennings yesterday
called the16-year-old male student with whom she had an affair a
‘so-called victim,’ and alleged that his family is motivated by
“‘He’s to a victim, and he
knows he’s not a victim, ‘she said. ‘It was a witch hunt.’
“The 32-yesr-old former English
teacher at Shepard Hill Regional High School in Dudley broke her
silence yesterday, a day after pleading guilty toe-mailing the
teenager nude pictures of her-and learning she will not have to
register as a sex offender.
“Ms. Jennings also dismissed as
‘ridiculous whining’ the comments of the teen’s mother after the
woman told a Superior Court judge in court Monday that Ms. Henning
is a sexual predator who ruined the lives of her son and her family.
“She claimed that the mother
has eyed a civil suit she first reported the 1 ½ -year relationship
to the Dudley police last summer.
“‘It is just unfortunate that
she would go so far as to ruin her son’s life in order to profit,’
Ms Jennings said. ‘She’s a lunatic.’
“The mother declined to comment
“Late Monday, Superior Court
Judge Kenneth J. Fishman approved a motion filed by Ms. Jennings’
lawyer, Peter M. Ettenberg to relieve her of the obligation of
filing with the state’s Sexual Offender Registry Board.
“‘I’m pleased, obviously,’ Ms.
Jennings said of the judge’s decision. ‘He saw the case for what it
“In e-mails and a telephone
interview yesterday, Ms. Jennings spoke publicly about the case for
the first time.
“Under a plea agreement with
prosecutors, she was sentenced to two years of supervised probation
for the single count of inseminating harmful material to a minor.
Two other charges-posing a minor in a state of nudity and depicting
a minor in sexual conduct were dropped…”98
Another article in this same
issue was by Kenneth J. Moynihan entitled “Church should expect
fallout from expected gay-priests ban.”
Moynihan wrote: “Pope Benedict XVI is expected to issue instructions
sometime soon for a survey of American Catholic seminaries. The
documents are widely expected to include instructions to keep
homosexually men form being ordained to the priesthood.
“The church has, of course,
every right to decide what qualifications its clerical
representatives should have but this had become a matter of growing
poultice interest because, like other stances take by the church,
this one is in conflict with the many-sided campaign for equality
for homosexuals in modern Western societies.
“The Catholic Church has been
in the forefront of the resistance- principally to defend its
teachings, one of which is that all members of the clergy must be
male. However, so many homosexuals have been ordained that ‘the
priesthood is ore is becoming a gay profession’ according to the
Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former American seminary rector in his book,
‘The Changing Face of the Priesthood,’ published in 2000.
“Some sources say the exclusion
of gay men form the priesthood is not a new policy at all, just a
restatement of a 1961 Vatican document. If that’s so, the policy has
certainly been applied with flexibility. Both liberal and
conservative Catholics agree that the fresh effort to exercise
closer supervision of the American seminaries stems from the
clerical sexual abuse crisis that seized the church in the United
States. Some liberal accuse the Vatican of scapegoat gay priests to
deflect blame form the cove-ups carried out by the bishops, while
conservatives and others welcome a frond evaluation of education and
personal formation in the seminaries…An institution in obvious need
of personnel will apparently be expelling men whole behavior has
been above reproach, coasting them at not for what the did but for
who they are…The decision to exclude homosexual candidates form the
seminaries-will reverberate in the wide society as a message that
gay men are unsuited for the Catholic priesthood and unwelcome
within it. What this will do to hundreds, perhaps thousands of good
seminarians and priests may well be a human tragedy. What it will do
to the movement for gay rights we will soon be finding out. The same
is true of what it will do to the Catholic Church in the United
September 29, 2005
Dianne Williamson writes in the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Sometime swallowing is real
hard: Some comments are just better left unsaid.”
Williamson writes: “Maybe I’m
cranky due to a cold, but here are a few things I’m must not buying
“Amber Jennings extended her 15
minutes of fame in a given way this week by blasting the mother of
her 16-year-old paramour.
“The former Shepherd Hill
Regional High School teacher broke her silence Tuesday by labeling
the mother of the student she seduced a ‘lunatic’ and by dubbing
mom’s victims impact statement as ‘ridiculous whining.’ She then
claimed that the mother is motivated by money while at the same time
revealing that she (Amber, not the mom) has written a book about the
“Amber, Amber. Say what you
really think. But have you thought about hiring a publicist?
“The 32-yer-old teacher
temptress made the remakes a day after pleading guilty to e-mailing
the teen nude pictures of her. In court on Monday, the mother of the
teen claimed that Amber is sexual predator who ruined her son’s
life. After court, Amber scoffed at the idea that the youth is a
victim and said his mom wants to cash in by filing a civil suit.
“Regardless of the truth of
Amber’s remarks, trashing the mom comes off as tacky and shrill. And
criticizing the mom for wanting to make a buck while at the same
time penning sure-to-lurid memories smacks of hypocrisy.
“One wonders why Amber would
write such book if not for the dough-is she hoping to top high
school summer reading lists?”100
September 30, 2005
Father Andrew Greeley wrote
“Church’s message lost on masses” in his weekly column this day.
He writes: “Two prominent
American archbishops in a recent interview said that the hierarch,
now composed of many men not raised in the Vatican Council
experience, would turn away from concern over social issues to
concern about religious one. Does that mean war; the death penalty
is how the rest of us will know the difference. It is not so much
that most of the laity and lower clergy don’t listen to the bishops.
Rather they simply do not hear them. A pronouncement of the national
or local hierarchy gets sort notice if any at all in the secular
media unless it is about sex. Even what they say on that subject
tends to get garbled.
“Their words are lost in
transmission, life the distress signals form the Titanic. The static
of daily life and previous ecclesiastical mistakes has drowned what
a church leader says. Moreover, the signals are static in what is
often a foreign language, ‘church talk’-a combination of canon law,
out-of-date theology, superficial piety and morals, clichés wrapped
up in truisms.
“Worst still, there is little
in the way of joy, hip, encouragement, respect, confidence-little of
the light shinning on the mountain top, the light of the world. And
usually only the barest hind that the bishop has anything important
to learn, even from his clergy, to say nothing of the laity.
“The American bishops am told,
are currently engaged in a major efforts to gain just treatment for
immigrants- surely a critical religious issue in our society. How
many priests have herd of it? How many lay people are aware of it?
How many sermons have been preached on immigration? How many
articles appear in parish bulletins” my friends in Arizona raise
monuments to those who die every year of hunger, thirst, exposure
and murder into Sonora desert. But the rest of the church in this
“The public relations skills of
the American hierarchy are minimal. (In this and all subsequent
generalization, I wish to note that there is exception.) Just as
they often choose second-raster lawyers won will dutifully tell them
what they want to hear, so they choose the same kind of PR advisers.
The bishops themselves rarely halved the presence and the
transparency (real or feigned) to be credible spokesmen. They are
easily rattled by questions and I respond with arrogance or
pomposity or sometimes both in a given situation. Often they are not
exactly the swiftest of humans intellectually. In these respects, of
course, they are no different form the heads of major American
“The difference is that bishops
are supposed to be teachers who can communicate with their people.
That, alas, is not one of the qualifications for the office this
day. Moreover, many of them have little pastoral experience with
ordinary people or no sense of what goes on in their alive. Nor are
there any reliable channels of upward communication save for usually
a highly selected pastoral council or hate mail…”101
Greeley does have those
insights that I hear other priests throw lightning bolts at. Always
interesting what he states with his insights even if one does not
This next story is going to get
more interesting as we find out-if we do-what the outcome is.
This story in the Worcester
Telegram & Gazette by Kevin Keenan of the staff “Bishop makes
surprise visit” Gay marriage remark issue.”
“Westboro-Parishioners of St. Luke’s Catholic Church were surprised
last weekend when Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus substituted for
their regular priests at two Masses-but they knew exactly why he
made an unannounced visit.
“In a parish bulletin issued
Sept. 11, St. Luke’s two priests, the Rev. George O. Lange and the
Rev. Steven M. LaBaire, announced that Massachusetts bishops are
supporting an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage
as between a man and a woman, and were seeking parishioners help
with a petition drive to obtain signatures to support the movement.
“The announcement, however,
contained an editorial comment saying the parish priests do not
support the constitutional amendment, which prompted the unannounced
visit last weekend from Bishop McManus.
“‘I was shocked to see him, but
I knew it was in response to people having called him about the
statement in the bulletin,’ said Joan Payolas, a parishioner.
“Bishop McManus said the 5 p.m.
Saturday Mass and the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass last weekend to ‘make
clear’ the church’s position on marriage and support for the
constitutional amendment, said Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan
“St. Luke’s priests are not
facing sanction or discipline for their bulletin statement, Mr.
Delisle said. Neither priest returned a phone call yesterday seeking
“‘Nothing is going on with the
priests. Bishop McManus said two of the Masses to make the church’s
position clear on the issue of marriage,’ Mr. Delisle said. ‘There
was no discipline or rebuke.”102
One thing one should have to
realize is that this was “show-time” for Bishop McManus to make a
statement in the diocese and begin somewhat new-he was in charge. We
all know that.
The Fitchburg Sentinel &
Enterprise had this story on page A13 with “Priests pulled after
refusing to support anti-gay marriage push.”
The article wrote:
“Westborough, Mass. (AP)-The pastor of a Roam Catholic church was
temporarily pulled form the pulpit after he refused to support gay
marriage by the state’s bishops.
“The Rev. George Lange of St.
Luke the Evangelist church in Westborough was replaced last weekend
by Worcester Bishop Robert McManus, who led the Saturday evening Mss
and the Sunday morning Mass.
“The move came after Lange and
his associate pastor, the Rev. Stephen Labaire, posted an item in
the Sept 11 church bulletin stating their opposition to a proposed
Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The state’s for
Catholic bishops are leading a signature drive to get the amendment
on a ballot in the 2008 election.
“The bulletin item
read” ‘The priests of this parish do not feel that they can support
this amendment. They do not see any value to it and they see it an
attack upon certain people in our parish, namely those who are gay.’
spokesman Raymond Delisle said Lange and Labaire would keep their
jobs at St. Luke’s and no further disciplinary action was planned
against the two priests.
“‘It was only one
weekend,’ he said. ‘Everything should be back to the normal
“Delisle said the
bishop’s intention was not to rebuke the priests, both to explain
the church position on gay marriage.
“But parishioner Cindy
Hodgdon said her church leaders’ hands were slapped very publicly.’
(No kidding. My experience with Bishop Rueger in 1993.)
“Bishop McManus told
us that Father George ‘made a mistake’ and ‘should not have done
that,’ he said.
stunned,’ said parishioner Rob Wilson. ‘It was a rather stunning
homily. ‘ Messages left at the church for Lange and Lebaire were not
“Delisle said Lange is
on a previously scheduled vacation and would not be present at this
weekend’s masses, when petitions are scheduled to be
Continuing news items
for this day The New York Times carried the story “Americans Plan
Rome Trip Over Ban on Gay Priests” written by Laurie Goodstein.
“Responding to reports that the Vatican may be close to releasing a
directive to exclude most gay candidates form entering the
priesthood, leaders of Roman Catholic men’s religious order into eh
United States are planning travel to Rome to voice their objections
“This trip is one of
the steps by leaders of Catholic religious orders to try to reassure
priests and seminarians who have been rattled by news of a possible
Vatican ban on the ordination of gay men.
“Word of this trip,
which has not been scheduled, was in an internal letter sent on
Monday to leaders of religious orders from the Conference of Major
Superiors of Men, the key American coordination body for more than
250 leaders of Catholic religious orders, like the Franciscans, the
Dominicans and the Jesuits. The letter was provided to The New York
Times by a member of a religious order who said he was pleased by
the superiors’ actions.
“In addition, at least
two leaders of Jesuit provinces have written to their priest and
seminarians reassuring them that their sexual orientation is not an
issue as log as they remain celibate and chaste.
“‘We’re not going to
push anybody overboard,’ said the Rev. John Whitney, head of the
Oregon province of Jesuits, which includes 254 men in five
“The Vatican has not
even released a document on the issue, which has been under
discussion for more than 10 years. Several news outlets, including
The Times, reported last week that Vatican officials had said it
would most likely be released soon, but not Vatican directive is
certain until it is formally promulgated.
religious superiors said on Thursday that even the anticipation that
the church could exclude men form the priesthood because of their
sexual orientation had prompted an outpouring of fear and concern
among poi rests-gays and heterosexuals alike. The superiors said
their goal was to communicate to their men that they understood the
impact that such a directive could have, and to convey to the
Vatican in hopes they could have an impact on the document’s
October 1, 2005
My book will not have a “Table
of Contents.” If one is looking for their name, they would have to
read the book besides that last chapter.
October 3, 2005
The petition signing in the
diocesan churches raise two issues: The gay brother –priest must be
nervous because their friends might go public if the pastor is
supporting this petition drive. We wouldn’t hear anything most
likely but after a certain period of time priest would disappear off
the radar screen. The other issue will have certain groups putting
the petition signers on the Internet for all to see. This may get
some interesting kick-backs on certain clerical people and reactions
by certain people. The clerical collar may be getting tight.
October 5, 2005
Telegram & Gazette printed on the front page “Signature trickery
hearing set: Anti-gay-marriage petition driven fraud” by Bronislaus
B. Kush and Kathleen A. Shaw.
“Boston-The State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Election Laws
will hold a hearing later this month to investigate charges that
contractors hired to gather signatures for a 206 ballot, initiated
that seeks to make it easier to purchase wine at supermarkets used
bid-and-switch tactics and other trickery to get voters to sing a
petition that would ban same-sex marriages in the Bay State.
the second time in four years, out-of-state groups have hijacked the
initiative petition process by paying signature gatherers by the
signature and using blatantly deceptive tactics to mislead voters,’
said stet Sen. Edward M. Augustus Jr. of Worcester, the Senate
co-chairman of the panel. ‘This is a perversion of our democratic
process and its must be stopped.
hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct 18 at the Statehouse.
decision to hold the hearing came after the state attorney general’s
office, the Telegram & Gazette and others began receiving complaints
from residents complaining they were duped into signing petitions
aimed at reversing the 2003 ruling by the Massachusetts supreme
Judicial Court allowing same-sex marriages.
to flow yesterday into the newspaper and to local and state election
officials from irate individuals who believe they were tricked into
signing the anti-gay wedding initiatives…”105
October 6, 2005
I noticed that I have been
falling asleep at the computer when read my document (journal). In
addition, the same is true at meeting and different times of the
day. Bit, I noticed I start-up at 10:00 p.m. and I am ready to go. I
need to change my daily procedure to get good nights sleep.
October 7, 2005
This day, my birthday, had
Eugenia’s last Horoscope for this day-birthday baby: You thrive on
adventure and pushing the envelope. You think big and are willing to
take things one step further than anyone else. You are genuine,
fun-loving and free-spirited.
Mrs. Joan Keena said that this
fit me: “It is you!”
The “Editorial” section of the
National Catholic Reporter this day printed ‘Bishops, where
do we go from here?”
It stated? “The deeply
disturbing grand jury report on sexual abuse of children by priests
in the Philadelphia archdiocese delves into a prolonged and shocking
crisis. It reveals the flaws of the system established to protect
children and the related extend of the corruption that has seeped
into the church’s hierarchical structure.
“The Philadelphia report, in an
unprecedented way, details the level of deception and minuses of law
employed to protect known repeat abusers, including rapists, within
the Catholic clergy. The district attorney’s office in Philadelphia,
with the benefit of more than 45,000 pages of subpoenaed documents
and testimony from more than who witnesses gathered over a
three-year investigation, fashioned a narrative showing a clergy and
hierarchical culture so intent on protecting itself that it placed
hundreds of children at risk of cruel exploitation.
“If this watershed moment in
this awful chapter of modern church history passes without dramatic
action on the part of church authorities, then we have to wonder how
we can continue to call ourselves Christian, or a church…We urge
youth read the reort…It is a formable takes, at it us also a rare
opportunity to understand, in excruciating detail, to what degree
cardinals and others abandoned basic human decency to protect
themselves. The report makes clear the depraved distortions of logic
that hold sway when the privileged and insular world of the
hierarchy and clergy’s threatened. In that world, preservation of
the status quo and protection of the clergy culture is the primary
good. They have poisoned the Catholic life they are supposed to
“The abuse, the cover-up and
the scandal have all persisted for more than 20 years. Perhaps there
is one among the bishops these years who can find the wherewithal to
stand in that meeting room and bellow at the top of his lungs:
Enough! It is time to tell the truth, all of it, and to beg the
“And forgive the community
will. But it must first know the full truth.”106
This same day, the National
Catholic Reporter posted on their web page “No ban on gays
expected in Vatican document; will advise ‘prudential judgment’” by
John L. Allen, Jr.-Rome.
Allen reported” “A forthcoming
Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries will not demand an
absolute ban senior Vatican official told NCR Oct. 7, but
will insist the seminary officials exercise ‘prudential judgment’
that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases.
“Those three cases are: If
candidates have haven’t demonstrated a capacity to live celibate
lives for at least three years: If they are part of a ‘gay culture,’
for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point, the office said,
which applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
If their homosexual orientation is sufficiently ‘strong, permanent
and univocal’ as to make all-male environment a risk.
“In any case, the Vatican
official said, whether our not these criteria exclude a particular
candidate I; judgment that must be made in the context of individual
spiritual direction, rather than by applying; rigid litmus test.
“This language is in contrast
with earlier news reports that had suggested a much more sweeping b;
gays in the seminary.
“The senior Vatican official
spoke with NCR on background, after an Oct. 7 report in the
Italian newspaper Corrieredella Sera listed the first two,
but not the third, of the conditions notes above exclusion of gay
“The Vatican official sad that
given the ambiguity of the concept of ‘homosexuality,’ meaning the
difficulty of providing a precise definition of the term, an
‘absolute policy’ is impossible…”107
In addition, this day Father
Andrew Greeley wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times “Where’s proof
of church’s gay ban?”
Greeley wrote: “Has anyone seen
the document which alleges that gay men cannot be priests.”
“No one apparently has seen it,
read it, or is able to quote it. Yet, based on one story in the New
York Times, an epidemic of commentary on it has swept the country.
How the heck, I wonder, can anyone comment on a document they
“Editorial writers, columnists,
cartoonists, conservative Catholics, liberal Catholics, letter
writers, priests, gay and straight, Vatican II and John Paul II
priests have all expressed firm and forthright and inclusive
opinions. A delegation priests who are superiors in the men’s
religious order (Jesuit, Dominican, etc.) are rushing to Rome to
protest-as if the Vatican gives a hoot about what American Jesuits
“Only Richard John Neuhaus in
his ultra-conservative journal, First Things, and National Catholic
Reporter Rome Bureau Chief John Allen In another piece in the New
York Times) have suggested that there might be some exaggeration in
the reactions to the document that no one has seen.
“Thus the religion writer for
the Times-who is a to best tone deaf on Catholic subjects-has
launched a wave of anti-Catholic sentiment across the country on the
basis of a document that his almost certainly has not seen. Might I
suggest this outpouring of anger is evidence, among other things, of
how eager many people are to believe the worst about the Catholic
Church? This may well be the fault of the image the Catholic
leadership has crested.
“In the history of the church,
there have been many men whose orientation was not
heterosexual-priests, bishops, scholars, cardinals, popes, saints.
The gay men I have met in the priesthood are usually fine priests.
My research (Priests: A Calling in Crisis-University of
Chicago Press) indicates that about a sixth of American priest are
gay and three-fifths of them are celibate, ass are four-fifths of
straight priests. However, statistics are of little avail when many
conservative Catholics-and some Roman Curialists- believe gay men
cannot be validly ordained, and those who are in the priesthood
should be thrown out. It would be interesting those how many of the
curial congregations would decline sharply if such draconian
measures were imposed.
“The argument in favor of
banishing gays from ordination is the sex abuse crisis. The argument
reasons that because most abusers are gay, then all gays are
abusers, a fallacy whose false reasoning escapees the dunderheads
who make it.
“There are already two Vatican
documents-one from the Congregation for Divine Worship and another
from the Congregation for Religious-that ban the ordination gay’s No
attempt has been made to enforce them. Whether the new document form
the Congregation for Education will have any more impact remains to
be seen. One will have to read the fine print of the document to see
what it means and especially, as John Allen says, whether there is a
mechanism of enforcement. Until then, one should suspend judgment.
However when the document itself appears, it will be stretched to
fit the paradigm created by the Times…”108
October 8, 2005
I attended Jack and Joan’s 50th
Anniversary party. It was fun keeping them in a surprise which there
son and daughter were planning for some time to have their party
with relatives and friends from N.J. and the area. First item that I
have been to a public function for some time with many people that I
knew in my public ministry. I had an excellent time.
I spoke with my cousin, Mickey
Bish where I called him to thank him for my birthday cared. He said
that he was not sure what to write on the address envelope with
“Rev.” or not. I said that I am a priest and that would be proper.
He then said how he collects the mail daily for the Molly Bish
Foundation. John Bish told him he wants the mail checked daily to
see if any ‘Crazy people” are writing. There is a certain guy from
Southbridge that have to have that mail pulled-out. He then spoke
about how dangerous it is with the terrorist situation. What struck
me was his mentality of “fear” prevailing. He told me that he
travels with John Bish to do the picture routine and places that
they speak. I mentioned that I noticed the Molly Bish Foundation
does a Mount Community College program in Gardner. I told him that I
live 3 minutes form the school. I asked him to give me a call next
time he is in the area. There was a dead silence on his part. But,
the fact of the “fear” mentality was obvious in me picking-up his
attitude with this. It was interesting talking with him those few
moments. I was talking with the ‘shock jock” mentality that lives in
a small town of Massachusetts and plays-up the relative sequence of
being a Molly Bish relative. I really don’t miss certain things.
October 9, 2005
I had lunch with Donald Sarin
who I knew in Michigan. He and his friend also had me show them the
church renovations that I did at St. Edwards. It was a proud
mini-tour of my accomplishments. They told me they were very
impressed when I explained the details of what was done.
Don mentioned to me that he
knew a guy in the book industry that is now retired. But, Don said
he may be able to help me get a book published. It was interesting
to even have such a contact.
October 10, 2005
Father Richard P. McBrien who
writes a weekly column entitled “Essays in Theology” with this topic
“Homosexuality and Priesthood.”
McBrien writes: “Homosexuality
in seminaries and in the priesthood is a tired-rail issue in the
Catholic Church. Those who dare touch it almost inevitably
experience a sharp jolt of criticism form one side or the other.
“As of this writing, there have
been reports that Pope Benedict XVI may have already approve a
document barring even sexually chaste gays from seminaries and from
the priesthood. Needless to say, this report, in conjunction with
the apostolic visitation of W.S. seminaries and houses of formation,
has created much anxiety and ill-will within the gay community.
“The coordinator of the
visitation some 229 seminaries, theologies, and other institutions
that prepare men for the priesthood is Archbishop Edwin O’Brien,
former rector of the North American College in Rome and currently
heads of the Military Series Archdiocese, which places him in charge
of all U.S. Catholic military chaplains.
“Comments made last month by
Archbishop O’Brien have lent credence to the report that the pope
himself was about to approve a document banning gays, whether chaste
or not, from admission to seminaries and ordination to the
“‘I think anyone who has
engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual
inclination, would be best not to apply to a seminary and to be
accepted into a seminary,’ the archbishop told the conservative
National Catholic Register. He is also reported to have said that
even homosexuals who have been chaste for ten years or more should
not be admitted to seminaries.
“Andrew Sullivan, a prolific
writer and an openly gay Catholic layman, mounted one of the most
severe criticisms on his Web site (andrewsullivan.com, 9/20/05):
“Notice that what is being discriminated against here is not
someone’s actions or behavior, but their very identity. Notice that
the church is implying complete lack of self-control to all gay
priests, regardless of their record or potential.’
“Sullivan pointed out that in
1986 then –Cardinal Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith repudiated such thinking, calling it an ‘unfounded and
“But if Archbishop O’Brien’s
remarks are a reliable indicator of the direction the apostolic
visitation will take if the pope does, in fact, approve a new policy
prohibiting gays form entering seminaries and been ordained to the
priesthood, Sullivan charges that all gay seminarians and priests
would thereby ‘be reduced and judged solely on their sexual
“‘They can not marry or form
stable relationships; they cannot remain celibate; and they are
potential molesters of children. What other logical inferences are
possible form this new policy?’…
“One of several problems with
these latent initiatives is that they miss one of the major targets.
As Father Kenneth Himes, chair of theology at Boston College, put
it: ‘What really created the sexual abuse crisis were to poor
formation in the seminaries, but poor personnel management inn the
chanceries.’ And in bishops’ offices.”109
October 13, 2005
I was talking with a classmate
about my situation. I made this observation: Isn’t it interesting
that victims of priest never get cross-examined... Another point was
the presumption of guilt culture overwhelms the facts.
October 14, 2005
Father Greeley wrote “Factions
put spin on gays in Vatican” in his column of the Chicago
He wrote: “the mystery
of the Vatican Document o the ordination of homosexuals gets, if one
might quote Mrs. Alice in Wonderland, ‘Curiouser and curiouser.’
Last week it was reported that someone in the Vatican had briefed
American reporters with the information that the document would say
that not even 10 years of celibacy would justify the ordination of a
man with homosexual orientation.
“Now this week word appears in
an Associated Press dispatch and in the weekly copyrighted column of
John Allen (of the National Catholic Reporter) that another Vatican
briefing revealed to him that three years of celibacy is sufficient
grounds for keeping a homosexual in the seminary-so long as he is
not part of a gay subculture and would not be a threat in an
all-male environment. Allen also reports that these conditions were
published in the Italian newspaper Carriere della Sera. He adds that
he was told ‘whether or not these criteria exclude a particular
candidate is a judgment that must be made into eh context of
individual spiritual direction rather than by applying a rigid
“I would be inclined to believe
that Allen’s reports are more reliable because he is the most able
English-speaking bureau chief who covers the Vatican.
“However, the question arises
as to what in the world is going n in the Vatican.
“Moreover, Archbishop O’Brien,
had of the commission that is ‘visiting’ American seminaries, has
asserted (in a Catholic Press Association story) that, when he spoke
about a 10-year period of celibacy not being enough, he was
expressing his own opinion and not that of the pope. It odes to
follow, however, that the archbishop was the source of the first
“If I had to guess about what’s
going omit that the various factions in Rome are putting their own
‘spin’ on the document, just as political parities in the United
States put ‘spin’ on events like hurricanes and wars and Supreme
Court appointments, each hoping to convince journalists and readers
immediately before an event or immediately after an event what it
In these weeks National
Catholic Reporter “Editorials” addressed “A gay priest speaks on
impending Vatican document” by Jeff Severns Guntzel.
It reads: “The ‘anonymous gay
priest’ is getting a lot of attention lately. He is turning up in
newspapers, on the radio, and he is getting calls from TV producers
(complete with promise of fake mustache and altered voice). They are
from both coasts and police in-between. Their take on recent news
from the Vatican causes in them a variety of responses with some
uniformity: They are hurt and they are scared.
NCR spoke with a gay
priest who is active in an ethnically diverse urban parish on the
East Coast. He was eager to speak out but just as eager to protect
his identity and his vocation. In the interview that follows, this
priest reflects on the possible release of a document barring-gay
men form entering the seminary, news of a Vatican plan to send teams
of investigators to each f the more than 200 American Catholic
seminaries to gather ‘evidence of homosexuality,’ and the internal
struggle of a gay prêt trying to stay true to his vocation in a
church that is, at best, conflicted about homosexuality and, at
worst, acting out a deep prejudice.
“NCR: what was your initial
reaction to word of a looming Vatican document barring-or at least
discouraging homosexuals from entering the seminary?”
“Priest: I was horrified. And
like many other celibate gay priests I know. I was also angry and
discouraged and sad.
“Where you surprised:
“It’s something that a lot of
gay priests have been expecting. Ever since this crisis began thee
have been a number of bishops and even people in the Vatican who
have been blaming gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis.
“Certainly the majority of the
case was people preying on adolescent males and hung boys. The
logical fallacy, though, is those that every gay priest is therefore
a pedophile, which’s crazy-our to assume that gay priests are to
celibate, which is also crazy. Every gay priest I know is celibate.
Now, I may travel invert faithful circles, but that is my
October 17, 2005
Time magazine carried
the story “Screening the Priests: How do the churches shrinks decide
who’s gay and who isn’t? The first thing they do is ask.” David Van
Biema and Sean Scully/Philadelphia wrote the column.
They wrote: “Thomas Plante asks
the question roughly 20 times a year, and if it doesn’t work, he’s
ready with the follow-up.’ You say,’ well, tell me what your dating
history is like,’ explains the Santa Clara University psychology
professor. ‘And usually they ‘all hand it to you on a silver
platter. If they don’t, you say,’ well, do you find yourself more
interested in involvement with women or with men?’ If they say,
‘I’ve never dated, you say, ‘Well when you walk down the street who
catches your eye/’ And so, gently but relentlessly, Plante, one of
several dozen U.S. therapists who screen candidates for Roman
Catholic seminaries, attempts to ensure that the church knows the
sexual orientation of one more would-be priest.
“For the past month, screeners
like Plante have braced for a new directive from the Vatican. In the
wake of the sexual-abuse scandal among U.S. clergy-in which some 80%
of the victims were boys the church seemed poised to carry out a
blanket ban on admitting homosexuals, even celibate gays to its
seminaries. Italians newspapers, however, are now reporting that
Pope Benedict XVI had singed a somewhat less extreme ‘instruction.’
But while awaiting that edict, the psychologists like Plante, who
(among other things) help determine whether prospective seminaries
are gay have been drawn into a debate about that particular aspect
of their job. Predominantly Catholic, but not necessarily ordained,
most fathers’ psychologists are quite comfortable with the notion of
celibate gay priest. And most are quick to point, as Plante does,
that ‘being homosexual doesn’t put you at higher risk for committing
sexual offenses against kids.’
“Fifty years ago, Plante’
sideline-he done roughly 175 seminary evaluations since 1988, at
about $450 apiece-did not exist. While seminaries have always
screened candidates through interviews, personal preferences and
often written spiritual autobiographies, the process has become
increasingly complex and now takes one to three years. Testing by
professional psychologists, introduced in the ‘50s, has obliterated
in the past tow decades as the American church ahs redefined
spirituality form a narrow focus on piety and discipline to one
‘involving things like the psychological and social maturity on
which spirituality builds,’ explains Charles Bouchard, president of
the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Mo. Supporters of
the added vetting believe that it may eventually be see to have
played a role in reducing priestly sexual abuse, which appears to
have crested in the ‘80s. Says Bourchard: ‘Unknowingly, we actually
screened in some people who, we now realize, have markers for
sexual abuse. Compliance, docility and solitariness fit the earlier
definition of holiness, but we now recognize (those traits) as
possible indicators for an abusive personality…”112
October 18, 2005
In a letter printed in the
“People’s Forum” of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from
Joseph Federici of Westboro entitled “Bishop berated two parish
He wrote: “On Sept 24, Bishop
Robert McManus visited St. Like’s parish in Westboro. It was a
surprise visit. Father Steve and Father George were not aware that
he was coming. Bishop McManus resided over the 5:30 p.m. Mass on
Saturday and against at the 10:30 ammo. Mass on Sunday. Many of the
parishioners were surprised to see him at these Masses.
“In his homilies at both
Masses, the bishop took offense to an article into eh Sept. 11
parish bulleting regarding gay marriage in the Catholic Church. He
harshly criticized Father Steve and Father George on their stance on
gay people. Several people waked out of both Masses and were
appalled at the bishop’s remarks. His tone of voice showed anger
with the two poi rests.
“Bishop McManus needs to take a
curse in management skills, namely Management 101. A good manager
never berates his subordinates in public without first talking
privately with them.
“In my opinion, bishop McManus
should apologize publicly to the two priests and the parishioners of
St. Like’s and enroll in a course on how to deal with people. He
needs to have more compassion and respect for his subordinates.”113
October 19, 2005
I had to hear “Father Peacock”
go again at the issue of ‘Statue of limitations’ being addressed in
the state of Massachusetts. This guy circles this topic around on me
periodically. He enjoys watching my facial expression. So, I go me
to what I call the “poker mode” and watch him trying to upset me or
hoping to get a reaction from me. It is the continuation of what I
call the “rectory living board game.” It is where living in a
Catholic rectory one guy tried to get something or even anything on
the other guy’s character. These are maybe tidbits of gossip or
anything as such. It doesn’t eve have to be relevant. But, watch out
it will circle around on you. It was part of the atmosphere in
Catholic rectories in living with uncertainty. It was not healthy to
live in this type of atmosphere.
I was asked by my Confessor:
“Why do you need him? (Father Peacock) He is your contact with evil
as a person. Would you rather be lonely or miserable?” I responded
with “lonely.” My Confessor said that Father Peacock enjoys
“tormenting” you. It was an insight I knew about for some time and
now had a word to identity the experience.
October 23, 2005
What a ride with “Father
Peacock” this Sunday afternoon. I had to hear how he went to his
doctor for a six-month check-up with his doctor-Dr. Charpientier. He
never told me who is doctor was before. This time he says that the
doctor said that whenever he wants a “letter” to retire that the
doctor would write it for him.
What came to mind was that the new pastor in
St. Edward’s told me: They will only get “Father Peacock” out of his
parish in a coffin and even then the would have to pry him out.
Then I had to hear-three times
about what we talked about before of the bumper sticker he wants on
his car: The one who dies with the most (toys)-WINS. I obviously got
the message the first time. He had a way to work some conversations
to degrade me being on administrative leave. This told of the bumper
sticker was translated about me living below the “poverty level.”
“Father Peacock” continued
saying “I’m not fishing.” What he really meant was that he was
“constantly” fishing to get gossip or information. One thing with
this guy was I did not relax very much in I didn’t know what was
going to come back at me. I know this sounds paranoiac. Yet, someone
would ask: Why did you go for lunch or coffee with him? Answer: He
was my only contact with the priesthood. I was the ‘leper’ to my
He, next, told me about $73,000
anonymous donation was given to the parish. It came out that the
donor’s sister who had her sister “incapacitated” came to the
rectory to request the money back to the family. He asked me what I
would do. I said would contact the Finance Office in the Chancery
for suggestions with the recommendation of returning the money to
the family estate. Well, he told me how he spoke to the Deacon and
the Religious Sister at the parish-no finance committee as such but
one only in name-and he returned the money. I felt he did it again
in that I was thinking he was looking for input on my part. He
already did what he was going to do. I felt any one of silent
degradations which he would do to me. There was no way to win with
this guy. I know that I thank God many times that I never had to
serve or live in the same rectory with this guy. This is some
statement on my part because I had some “classic” assignments with
He continued in how I was on
the DEF committee of the chancery. He came back at me with how he
gave seven years and “It did no good.” What the coded language was
in that he was the area priest Dean and was never made a
“Monsignor.” I was glad to get to my place after this ride. I never
saw him so angry.
I was reading in Newsweek
about the Mormons (DLS). It said how everyone is empowered in some
way to do good for others and to have good done to them (Covenant of
caring). The nurturing of a bond between them is in a spirit of
charity. Everyone is a minister of some kind. This had me thinking
of how the R.C.I.A. in the Catholic Church is exactly teaching this
type of model in our “Mystagogy.”
October 25, 2005
“Rev. Aquino delivers apology:
Vegas sexual actions denied” was on the front page picture and story
in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Mark Melady wrote:
“Worcester-The Rev. James Aquino, pastor of Our Lady of Loreto
Parish and former superintendent of Catholic schools, stood on the
church altar last night and told parishioners he had made a ‘very
stupid mistake’ by entering a sex store in Las Vegas but denied
having sex with anyone despite being charged with lewd conduct.
“‘I want you to know,’ he told
several hundred parishioners gathered at the Massasoit Road Church,
‘that I never, never, never engaged in any sexual activity of any
kind. I was never arrested, I was ever handcuffed and I was never
taken to the police station.’
“Rev. Aquino was given a
standing ovation from he parishioners and was later praised as a
compassionate, energetic priest, ‘the best pastor we’ve eve had,’ in
the words of one-woman.
“He acknowledged receiving a
citation for lewd conduct, obstructing and providing false
information on Oct. 21, 2004, while vacationing in Las Vegas with
Monsignor Louis P. Permarini (Telegram and Gazette famous story with
playing bingo), calling the charges ‘false accusations.’
“After a nearly 11-month
continuance, the charges were dismissed Sept. 6 in the Justice Court
of Las Vegas during which Rev. Aquino met several conditions
including counseling and to hours of community service.
“‘It’s done, it’s finished,
everything’s behind me. It’s over,’ Rev. Aquino said.
“He said he was order to keep
quiet about ht incident by Bishop Robert J. McManus and his lawyer
but took to the altar last night because ‘I wanted to speak to my
people personally, I wanted to clear my name.
“Anthony A. Froio, Rev.
Aquino’s lawyer, called the citation ‘like a traffic ticket.’ …”114
Interesting how the Worcester
Chancery is now reacting to clergy situations-Letters that are FAX
to the priest from the Bishop. I guess they have learned to paint by
the numbers after all of the last 20 years.
Bishop McManus writes:
“One year ago, in
Nevada, an allegation of sexual impropriety was made regarding
Father James Aquino. (He was arrested.) I learned of this allegation
this past March from the District Attorney of Clark County, NV. A
legal process began five months before I was informed. Subsequently,
that legal process led me to believe that a charge had been cited as
misdemeanor and it was a misdemeanor and it was dismissed. From the
point at which I became aware of the matter I have worked closely
with Father Aquino, and I have expressed my concern for his
spiritual and physical well-being. I have been addressing this
matter pastorally and confidentially. (He is part of the Chancery
Staff-Permanent Deacon Director)
“In recent days I was
made aware that the matter had come to the attention of others
through various websites and the steps had been taken to publicize
the matter more widely. This, no longer able to pursue the matter
confidentially as I had done previously, I found it prudent to
express my concerns to the parishioners of Our Lady of Loreto
Parish. I asked Monsignor Thomas Sullivan to represent me in
explaining the matter at the entire parish Masses this past weekend.
In addition to has explanation he met with parishioners following
“As you may have seen
reported in today Telegram & Gazette, Father Aquino spoke to
his parishioners about the matter last evening. Today’s news article
reported that I had ordered Father Aquino not to do so. This is
clearly mistaken. Father Aquino spoke with his parishioners only
after I had given him permission to do so.
“An allegation of
sexual impropriety is a serious matter and I have treated it in his
fashion. Nevertheless, I have not asked Father Aquino to resign the
parish r his diocesan responsibilities.
“I assure you that I
will continue to investigate the matter, and continue to provide
pastoral support for Father Aquino as well as the people of Our Lady
of Loreto Parish.
the spirit of the Gospel this past weekend, our faith compels us to
deepen our love for God and neighbor. The Lord’s word challenges us
to seek love, reconciliation and forgiveness. Please be assured that
all our priests are imp y thoughts and prayers, as are the
parishioners of Our Lady of Loreto, and the diocesan deacons,
deaconate candidates and their families, all served by Father
Aquino. Sincerely yours in Christ…”115
What we see operating is that
there always have been two standards for this diocese: One standard
for bishops and chancery staff and the other for priest. I had the
recall where Aquino said that it was not with a child or minor. It
was another issue. Well what about the sixth commandment in what
Msgr. Pedone reported in March 2003 of ‘improper sexual conduct” and
the “code of conduct?”
The story even became more
interesting where “Father Peacock” told me how a permanent Deacon
candidate from Milford said that when Aquino was headmaster at St.
Mary’s Catholic Central High School in Milford and took a “leave”
because according to the story was that Aquino had a “girlfriend.”
Here was the technique of putting the spotlight of the gay
priesthood on another location. Here it was “girlfriend” to mean the
opposite in the priest telling me this gossip. What I had to realize
with this that the priest telling me the story was expressing
“jealousy” of Aquino. This was another of those issues in the “gay
culture.” It was distractive character assassination with coded
What had me surprised, again,
was that “Father Peacock” told me that he was angry at Aquino, where
he was not at Bagley. What did he mean by that”? I will never know
and am wasting my psychic energy even investing any time to try to
figure this last statement. But, this was another thing of rectory
and “gay culture” atmosphere: You didn’t know “who” was on first or
“what” was on second. Message was always being thrown about in code
and otherwise. It was living in a mind blogging culture of authority
There is one issue that no one
had mentioned in any way: How was it that Father Aquino celebrated
his 40th Anniversary of Ordination with Bishop Rueger
concelebrating at Our Day of Loreto parish in May with Msgr.
Permanini. Yet, Bishop McManus knew about the previous October
incident in Las Vegas in February which was known to be a “criminal”
issue? Just wondering how Father Aquino was do the “dance” and
Bishop McManus taking part? Do Chancery priest get special
treatment? Would anything have happened if Aquino’s Las Vegas police
report didn’t appear on the Internet? Just wondering.
October 26, 2005
Well, the next morning Kathleen
A. Shaw writes in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Bishop
taking case seriously: Priest’s account is disputed.”
Shaw writes: “Worcester-Bishop
Robert J. McManus, despite initially having been told that that the
Rev. James J. Aquino was the victim of false accusations, is taking
seriously the priest’s admission that he as initially charge with
lewd conduct in an adult store in Las Vegas last years.
“‘There’s no question he’s
taking this very seriously,’ said Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan
spokesman. The bishop has not changed his decision to leave Rev.
Aquino in his position as pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Church and
director of the diocesan deaconate program, Mr. Delisle said.
“According to Las Vegas police,
undercover police officers issued a criminal citation to the priest
after seeking him masturbating another man for 30 minutes in the
Adult Super Store.
“Rev. Aquino told several
hundred of his parishioners at his church Monday night that he had
made a ‘very stupid mistake’ by entering the store, but that he
maneuver engaged in any sexual activity of any kind.’ He sad he
spend only 5 to 10 minutes in the sore before he was approached by
two men who identified themselves as police and told him to follow
them to the parking lot. There he was detained, but never arrested
or taken to the police station, he said.
“Bishop McManus last week said
he learned of the Las Vegas incident earlier this year but was
advised by Rev. Aquino’s lawyer that the allegations were false and
were later dismissed by the Justice Court.
“However, court records,
verified yesterday by a court spokeswoman in Las Vegas, show the
case was dismissed after Rev. Aquino pleaded guilty to disorderly
conduct, did community service, sought counseling and stayed out of
trouble. He was initially charged with led conduct and giving false
information to a police office.
“The bishop said last week that
in light of information provided by Rev. Aquino’s lawyer; Rev.
Aquino would continue in ministry and continue to head the deaconate
program. Mr. Delisle said yesterday he could not say more about the
bishop’s response to the latest revelation contra ding the priest’s
explanation, except that the bishop was taking the situation
“Stephen G. Brady, president of
a group called the Roman Catholic Faithful, notified Patricia
O’Leary Engdahl, who formerly headed the diocesan Office for Healing
and Prevention, of the charges against Rev. Aquino in an e-mail sent
on March 10.
“He said Ms. Engdahl replied
that she had sent his e-mail to Rev. Aquino and that she also told
Bishop McManus about it. ‘He has spoke with the civil authorities in
Las Vegas. The bishop is appropriately addressing the matter,’ she
said. Mr. Brady said he never heard back from the bishop or Ms.
“Daniel E. Dick of Worcester,
victim support coordinator for Worcester Voice of the Faithful,
brought the information about Rev. Aquino to the bishop’s attention
and in an Oct 17 letter, the bishop told him he could not discuss
with him issues of a confidential nature ‘which affect innocent,
The bishop sad, however that he
was aware of the alleged incident ‘and have investigated he facts
and circumstances associated with it’ He told Mr. Dick that the
charges made against Rev. Aquino were false and subsequently
dismissed’ by the court.
“Mr. Dick said he cannot
understand how a bishop could accept a lawyer’s assessment when the
arrest report said that both men were issued criminal citations. He
also questioned how the bishop can dismiss the allegations as false
when Rev. Aquino entered a guilty plea and had to do community
service and go to counseling.
“Mary T. Jean of Leominster,
who operates the Web side of Worcester Voice, was critical of Rev.
Aquino for telling parishioner’s that the Catholic organizations
that worked to get information out to the public were
‘priest-hating.’ A lifelong Catholic, Ms Jean said she does to hate
priests. She sad her issue is safety of children and acting against
“The court documents were
www.worcestervoice.com. Established in 2002, the site deals only
with allegations of clergy misconduct in the Worcester diocese.”116
October 27, 2005
Now we get a dose of Dianne
Williamson in her column of this day on page B1. I wonder, after
reading it why she was so kind to him overall in comparison of here
previous writings on clergy?
She wrote “Priests behaving
badly: Church hierarchy guilty of hypocrisies” which reads:
“Unfortunately for the Rev. James H. Aquino, what happens in Vegas
doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
“But what did happened
in Vegas, and why should we care” We... for starters, priests
shouldn’t hide behind bishops and lawyers bishops shouldn’t condone
in private the same conduct they condemn in public, and the Catholic
Church really should get its story straight when it comes to bad
“If you believe Rev. Aquino’s
extraordinary performance form the pulpit Monday night-remarkably
most of his parishioners see seem to –he was an innocent victim of
rogue Las Vegas cops who targeted him because he was a priest.
“‘When they saw my license and
saw I was a priest, they asked me if I way Catholic and I said,
‘Yes, I was,’ and that’s when the nightmare began,’ he told hundred
of transfixed parishioners at Our Lady of Loreto Church.
“If you believe Las Vegas vice
squad detectives-unremarkably, the Nevada court seemed to-he was
seen masturbating another man for approximately two minutes in a
pornographic move theater last October.
“‘He essentially got caught up
in a raid,’ said Las Vegas Police Sgt. Chris Jones. ‘For a person in
his position to be caught doing what he did is very embarrassing s,
so he’s displacing blame. For him to suggest he was targeted is
ridiculous. He was caught red-handed in Vegas for business when it
comes to this stuff.’
“Rev. Aquino asked his flock
for forgiveness Monday night but spent most of his hastily arranged
mea culpa blaming others, offering bizarre excuses and professing
his innocence to adoring parishioners who accepted his account
without question, perhaps because they’re wary of scandal or
secretly relieved that no children were involved.
“I suppose you can’t blame
them, but it’s downright weird the way some Catholics continue to
during the Kol-Aid and swallow the hypocrisy of the church
hierarchy. Why a standing ovation for a priest accused of providing
a hand job in a public place, a priest who, despite supporters’
praise for his ‘courage’ in speaking out, only came forward when the
story was all over the Internet and about to break in the local
“Rev. Aquino was vacationing in
Vegas last fall with his friend, Monsignor Louis P. Permarini, when
he told parishioner’s that he ‘wasn’t peculiarly feeling well one
day’ and went for a ‘very long’ walk. As it happened, he ended up
miles away in a ‘Super Store’ with triple Ks in the window and porn
inside. Minutes later, according to Rev. Aquino, he was confronted
by two undercover vice squad detectives who, much to his surprise,
said he was being detained…”117
This gets better: Father Aquino
is a Chancery Staff member, time-line is more interesting to follow
and a criminal charge-not an allegation is posed. He was on the job
(ministry) all this time? Father “Sherlock Homes” needs to be
resurrected and live, again, in the Worcester Chancery Building.
October 28, 2005
The next day, after
Williamson’s article, the Catholic Free Press report by Margaret M.
Russell on page 3 “Bishop McManus continues to evaluate Father
“Worcester-Parishioners at Our Day of Loreto Parish learned about an
allegation of sexual impropriety against their pastor, Father James
J. Aquino, Sunday during a visit form Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan,
“Msgr. Sullivan said he
celebrated all three weekend Masses. He told parishioners that ‘one
year ago an allegation of sexual impropriety was made regarding
Father Aquino-in another state.’ He further told parishioners that
it was several months before a district attorney in Nevada informed
Bishop McManus of the charges and that at that time legal
proceedings were already under way in that state.
“Msgr. Sullivan said in a
prepared statement that he would not share the particulars about the
allegation but that it ‘does not involve a child or a minor.’
“Bishop McManus said he gave
Father Aquino permission to take to his parish council Monday night
about the case (A coupe hundred parishioners is a parish council? I
didn’t know one existed at Aquino’s parish.)
“The bishop said he and Father
Aquino had been dealing with the issue confidentially since March
when he first learned that Father Aquino had received a citation
while vacationing in Las Vegas last year.
“” ‘I had no intention to make
this a cover-up,’ Bishop McManus said in an interview Tuesday. He
called the incident ‘a serious personnel issue’ that he will
continue to evaluate.
“To a church full of people
Monday night, Father Aquino called the charges ‘false allegations.’
He also denied any wrongdoing to the bishop.
“‘A legal process began five
months before I was informed,’ Bishop McManus said in a letter faxed
to diocese priests Tuesday. He said he learned of the allegation in
March form the district attorney of Clark County, Nevada.
“According to court documents
posted on various Web sites, a criminal citation was issued to
Father Aquino Oct. 21, 2004 charging one count of lewd conduct ‘in a
place open to the public’ and a second count of obstructing and
providing false information to police ‘in an attempt to hide is
But the time the bishop was
informed of the charges, the lewd conduct count had been amended to
disorderly conduct and Father Aquino had been order to do 50 hours
of community service and attend counseling to secure dismissal of
the charges, according to the court document.
“‘The judge expected him to let
me know, ‘Bishop McManus said.
“” ‘Subsequently, that legato
process led me to believe (Not guilty till proven innocent?) That a
charge had been cited as a misdemeanor and that it was dismissed.
From the point at which I became aware of the matter have worked
closely with Father Aquino, and I have expressed my concern for his
spiritual and physical well-being. I have been addressing this
matter pastorally and confidentially,’ he wrote.
“Question about what allegedly
happened in Las Vegas had surface on various Web sites sparking
media inquires to the diocese said Raymond L. Delisle, director of
communications for the diocese… (Bishop McManus) ‘An allegation of
sexual impropriety is a serious matter and has treated it in this
fashion. Nevertheless, I have not asked Father Aquino to resign the
parish or his diocesan responsibilities,’ the letter-sent to priest-
October 30, 2005
The Worcester Chancery faxed
another letter to the priest of the diocese to keep in rhythm with
Russell’s column in the Catholic Free Press of October 28th.
The faxed letter, dated October
30-Sunday-had the Worcester Chancery cranking it out even on Lord’s
Day. The fax machine must have been chugging-away like crazy.
The letter from Bishop McManus
stated: “Dear Father,
“Today, I celebrated the Masses
at Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Worcester and I met with
parishioners following each Mass. I did so to express my pastoral
concern to all the parishioners of Our Lady of Loreto Parish, and to
convey some important new information. This is preciously one of
those times when it is important for the bishop to be with and
among his people in what is a time of crisis for the people of the a
parish, for me personally, for the diocese, and for Father James
“I am aware that over the past
nine days many have had to deal with the painful revelations
regarding Father Aquino. I hope you also know that these painful
burdens have weighed n me as well, especially since I have tried my
very best to discern the truth.
“You are aware from my previous
letter of some of the concerns I’ve had since the District Attorney
of Clark County, NV, called me last winder. From early February
until a few days ago I believed I was in possession of the truth. A
few days ago I realized with deep regret and disappointment that I
did not possess the whole truth. The concerns raises in the past two
weeks, particularly since last weekend, have been a source of grave
scandal for the Church. I cannot tell you or even begin to estimate
how many good lay people, priests and deacon have been hurt by these
“I want to tell you that I have
now placed Father Aquino on an administrative leave of absence so a
canonical investigation to this matter can be conducted. During this
canonical process Father Aquino will no longer provide pastoral
leadership to the parish, nor is he able to function publicly as a
priest. This action is my own decision, made in good faith, and
based on additional information that have received. It was not a
decision based on pressure from individuals, civil authorities, the
parish community or the public.
“I have asked Father Rocco M.
Piccolomini to serve as the temporary administrator of the parish. I
will be vigilant to seeking information as to how the parishioners
are doing and have promised to return to visit them.
“I ask that you pray for me. As
you pray for me, please be assured that I will be praying for you.
In charity I also ask that you pray for Father Aquino. He needs and
deserves our prayers so that he can come through this difficult time
in his own life and find peace. Sincerely yours in Christ…October
October 31, 2005
Father Richard P. McBrien in
his weekly column “Essay in Theology” writes “The Vatican and Gays.”
McBride states: “It is always a
risk for a once-a-week columnist, writing two or three weeks in
advance of publication to comment on a still-developing story. In
this case, the story concerns the apostolic visitation U.S.
seminaries, which is already underway.
“Grace Concerns were being
expressed a dew weeks ago about the goals of this visitation, and
specifically whether there would be a papal mandate and expel gay
seminarians and to profit their admission to seminaries, whether
sexually active or not.
“In a column prepared for
publication three weeks ago, I cited an interview published in the
National Catholic Register in which Archbishop Edwin O’Brien,
coordinator of the apostolic visitation, seemed to imply that gays
are not welcome in seminaries, even those who have been chaste for
ten years or more.
“Andrew Sullivan, a columnist
for Time magazine and openly gay Catholic laymen, mounted one of the
sharpest criticisms of this initiative, point at that gays would not
be excluded form seminaries and the priesthood because of their
behavior but because of their very identity as homosexuals.
“Sullivan cited a 1986 ruling
by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed at the
time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI,
repudiating such thinking as ‘unfounded and deeming.’
“If the pope were to approve a
policy prohibiting gay’s form entering seminaries and being ordained
to the priesthood, regardless of their moral behavior, it would be,
Sullivan argued, the worst form of discrimination.
“I also warned in my earlier
column that any full-scale campaign against gays in seminaries and
the priesthood could very well provoke a backlash among gay clergy,
leading to the ‘outing’ of closeted gay priests and bishops who were
perceived as aiding and abetting the anti-gay campaign. The
resulting embarrassment to the Church, its priesthood, and the
hierarch itself would be incalculable.
It may have been this fear that
has brought about a standing-down of this campaign. Early last
month, John Allen, Rome corresponded for the National Catholic
Reporter, disclosed, on the basis of assurances from a high-ranking
curial official, that the Vatican document on homosexuals would not,
in fact require an absolute ban. It will insist only that seminary
officials exercise ‘prudential judgment’ in the matter.
“According to this source, the
Vatican is concerned about three categories of candidates for
admission to seminaries. First, Gays who have not demonstrated a
capacity to live chaste lives for at least three years. (Archbishop
O’Brien reported standard of 10 years or more was far stricter.)
“Second, homosexual candidates
who are part of a ‘gay culture.’ By way of example, this would
include attendance at gay pride rallies.
“Third, candidates whose
homosexual orientation is sufficiently ‘strong, permanent and
univocal’ as to make the all-male environment of a seminary too much
of a risk.
“But even with these three
negative criteria, it would not necessarily follow that gay
candidates would be denied admission to seminaries or be expelled
once the are in. Seminary officials would still have the right and
the responsibility to exercise their own ‘prudential judge met.’
There would be no rigid litmus test…”120
What gets interesting in doing
research at times is how there is such a limited source of
information able to be obtained with the Catholic Church issue of
Rome and the local diocese. The know how to be “tight-as-a-clam.”
November 1, 2005
“Rev. Aquino put on leave:
Bishop McManus says alleged act ‘grave scandal’” appeared on the
front page of this day’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Kathleen A. Shaw wrote:
“Worcester-The Rev. James J. Aquino, who was arrested by Las Vegas
vice squad officers a year ago while allegedly performing a lewd act
in an adult store, has been removed from his positions pastor of Our
Lady of Loreto parish and as director of the Office of the
“Bishop Robert J. McManus said
information brought to his attention in the past week about the
alleged lewd conduct by Rev. Aquino led to his action, which incites
barring the reverend fro publicly functioning as a priest.
“‘From early February until a
few days ago, I believed I was in possession of the truth. A few
days ago, I realized with deep regret and disappointment that I did
to possess the whole truth,’ the bishop said in a prepared statement
announcing that the priest has been place on administrative leave.
He added that the situation has caused ‘great scandal’ for the
“Eight other priests in the
Diocese of Worcester have been relieved of their duties after
allegations of sexual misconduct since 2002. His actions involving
Rev. Aquino mark the first time Bishop McManus who assumed the
bishop’s post I 2004, has had to deal with such an issue.
“‘I cannot tell you how many
good lay people; priests and deacons have been hurt by these events.
That’s the nature of scandal in the church. From the calls and
communication I have received this week, I know that many are
disappointed. They’ve been taught to expect better,’ the bishop
“The recent string of events
has shocked parishioners and those who know Rev. Aquino…
“The case was dismissed in the
Justice Court in Las Vegas on Sept. 6, after Rev. Aquino pleaded
guilty to disorderly conduct at the adult store, did 50 hours of
community service, underwent counseling and agreed to stay out of
trouble for a year.
“He initially was issued a
criminal citation for lewd conduct and giving false information to
police. According to the arrest report, Rev. Aquino said he did not
have an ID on him and gave a Social Security number that proved to
be incorrect. Under further questioning by police, he pulled out a
Massachusetts driver’s license form his shoe. The photograph showed
him wearing clerical garb. He told p9lice that he did to give
correct information because he is a priest.
“Police offers said they saw
Rev. Aquino in the Adult Super Store in full public view
masturbating another man for about 30 minutes, police said. That man
was also detained and cited…”121
The media addresses priest by
this title "Rev." where the Church uses ‘Father’ for when addressing
their priest. This is even done by the media when an official
statement or document is released by Catholic Church.
November 2, 2005
I had to get a dose of “Father
Peacock” this day telling me that there was an ‘undeclared civil
war” in the Church that will destroy itself. He said to me that the
only failure in all of this was that I was able to have the chance
of Bishop Harrington’s testimony in court and especially
cross-examination concerning my case. Where was he going with his
sudden outburst and switching of character.
“Father Peacock” even switched
his perspective of Bishop McManus in a positive light. It was all
about his setting-up for his “40th.” He spoke last years
how he wasn’t going to have one. But, now there was this shifting. I
should recall that last year he was in a “sickness’ mode but now he
was “healed.” Then he was turning into his “If I was bishop…” He
then said that what I and Bagley “did” was not as making him angry
as with Aquino in Las Vegas. What was being realized that the Aquino
story had kicked the front door in of the Worcester Chancery
Building. It was the “double talk” and two standards of regular
priest and the chancery priest (Rueger and Aquino).
What came to min how “Father
Peacock” told me in January that Bishop McManus said the he was
going to defend his priest at the local deanery. The way “Father
Peacock” was relating this to me as though he had concern about
being allegated himself.
I noticed in my working on my
book that by this time it was getting so thick that I would get a
hernia lifting is off the floor. I noticed that in my writing of
late that I was visiting the past and analyzing it upfront about
Kathleen A. Shaw had another
follow-up article “McManus knew earlier of charges against priest”
Nevada DA sent bishop police on Aquino” in these days Worcester
Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw wrote: “David Roger,
district attorney of Clark County, Nev., said yesterday that he
notified Bishop Robert J. McManus in February of the scope of the
criminal charges lodged against the Rev. James J. Aquino of
Worcester, and provided the bishop with copies of the citation and
“Mr. Roger’s account of when
the bishop was made aware of details that led to charges against
Rev. Aquino appears to differ from recent statements by the bishop
concerning the situation. Attempts to reach Bishop McManus and
Raymond L. Delisle, spokesman of the bishop and the Catholic Diocese
of Worcester, for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.
“On Monday, the bishop said his
decision to remove Rev. Aquino form his pastorate at Our Lady of
Loreto Parish last weekend was based on new information he received
in the past week.
“‘From early February until a
few days ago I believed I was in possession of the truth. A few days
ago, I realized with deep regret and disappointment that I did not
possess the whole truth,’ he said.
“Issues surrounding the
diocese’s handling of allegations against Rev. Aquino came to light
when copies of the citation, police report and court records were
posted Oct. 21 on an Internet Web site. Four days later, Rev. Aquino
addressed parishioners at Our Lady of Loreto and denied that he had
been involved in sexual misconduct.
“The bishop indicated in
previous statements to the Telegram I Gazette and to Daniel E. Dice,
victim support coordinator for Worcester Voice of the Faithful, an
independent lay Catholic organization, that he saw no reason to
remove Rev. Aquino form the ministry because the priest’ lawyer had
assured him the allegations were false and would be dismissed.
(Different treatment for different priest?)
“The lawyer later told the
bishop that the case had been dismissed. The original case was
dismissed, but court records show that Rev. Aquino entered a guilty
plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and was required to
fulfill certain obligations.
“According to the materials
faxed to Bishop McManus by the Ls Vegas district attorney, Rev.
Aquino was issued a criminal citation on Oct. 21, 2004, by vice
squad police officers after he was seen masturbating another man
inside the Adult Supper Store in that city. He was initially charge
with lewd contact and giving false information, because he gave
police officers an incorrect Social Security number, the report
said. It also said that he indicated under questioning by police and
after pulling his Massachusetts driver’s license from his shoe that
he gave wrong information because he was a priest.
“Las Vegas court records show
that Rev. Aquino was arraigned on Dec. 16 but was not required to be
present. No bail was set and the case was continued first to Feb.
10, then to March 10.
“At the March session, a
written guilty plea was entered in open court for Rev. Aquino, who
was not present, to the disorderly conduct charge. He agreed to do
50 hours of community service, obtain counseling service and stay
out of further trouble. After those conditions were met, the case
was dismissed on Sept. 6.
“Bishop McManus said he first
learned of the incident involving Rev. Aquino in February from the
district attorney and church officials. He said he was under the
impression charges would be reduced or possibly dismissed.
“Mr. Roger said when the case
came to his office, he contacted Bishop Joseph A. Peep of Las Vegas
and spoke with a diocesan lawyer. ‘We have a good working
relationship with the diocese here,’ he said.
“The information was then
relayed by the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas to the Worcester
Diocese. ‘I told them what happened,’ the district attorney said of
his call to the Las Vegas Diocese. The district attorney said he
couldn’t recall if he called the Worcester bishop or if the
Worcester bishop called him, but said that they did talk in early
“‘He asked me for the citation
and records and I sad yes,’ Mr. Roger said. The records were faxed
to the bishop, he said…”122
November 3, 2005
Dianne Williamson comes on
board with here column of this day “The more things change: Bishop
still put image ahead of ‘whole truth.’ “ in the Worcester
Telegram & Gazette.
Williamson writes: “Nine days
ago, the lawyer for the Rev. James J. Aquino took to the pulpit at
Our Lady of Loreto Church-in itself, a rather extraordinary
scenario-and told hundreds of parishioners that their bishop was
satisfied with the disposition of his client’s criminal case…
“ ‘But that has now changed,’
he said. Suddenly, the bishop believes that the Aquino case is ‘a
source of grave scandal’ for the church.
“Help me out here. I understand
that Bishop McManus is no Bob Woodward, but the case against Rev.
Aquino was as straightforward as it comes. According to Las Vegas
police, the longtime priest was seen masturbating another man in an
adult orientated store in October 2004. He was cited for lewd
conduct. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was ordered to
perform community service. One Sept. 6, the case was dismissed.
“The only thing ‘that has now
changed’ is that the story broke and the diocese could no longer
cover up the incident-which only shows that nothing has changed in a
church that has once again failed to honestly face its demons…
“Still, the bishop indicated to
parishioners Sunday that he relied on Rev. Aquino’ lawyer for
information, even though he apparently had easy access to Las Vegas
authorities. I know the media did; a spokesman for the Las Vegas
police told me last week that the priest ‘essentially got caught up
in a raid’ after he paid $8 to enter an adult store and was spotted
by two squad detectives masturbating another man…
“Has he? How? What new facts
have come to his (Bishop McManus) attention? What is his perceptive
of events so drastically altered? If he didn’t have an adequate
grasp of the case, why didn’t he” If he did, why the failure to act
“Efforts to put these questions
to Bishop McManus have been unsuccessful, despite requests for
interviews through his spokesman, Raymond Delisle, and his
secretary, the Rev. Rocco Piccolomini, who yesterday said the bishop
‘has commitments out of state’ and could not be reached…
“ ‘From the calls and
communications I have received this week I know that many are
disappointed,’ Bishop McManus said on Sunday. ‘They’ve been taught
to expect better.’
“Really? So far in the Aquino
case, diocesan officials have lied, denied, mishandled, covered-up,
blamed clergy haters, issued shallow apologies, offered lame
excuses, and finally realized the gravity of the scandal only after
they could no longer contain it.
“Sadly, I’d say this is
exactly what people have been taught to expect form the Catholic
Did Father Aquino have some
pertinent scandalous information-dirt- on certain priests of the
Worcester Diocese that was going to be revealed? Just wondering.
The Worcester Voice (Mrs. Jean)
on the Internet Web page posted this day: “Worcester Telegram
columnist challenges Bishop McManus to admit the dioceses failure in
the Fr. James Aquino Case- Worcester Voice:
Columnist Diane (spelling) Williamson, for the
second Thursday in a row, has written the unholy truth. In her
column today, her presentation reflects what many Catholic’s have
been speaking of in the background.
“Ms. Williamson recalls, So
far in the Aquino case, diocesan officials have lied, denied,
mishandled, covered up, blamed clergy haters, issued shallow
apologies, offered lame excuses, and finally realized the gravity of
the scandal only after they could no long contain it.
“So where is Bishop Robert
McManus? Last week during this crisis, he was not available many
days. Bishop McManus did however have time for two interviews with
Worcester Channel TV 3, one Friday October 28, 2005 and then against
Monday October 31, 2005, after he had removed Fr. Aquino. Worcester
Channel TV 3 has a very limited news area. Bishop McManus did grant
one other interview, to The Catholic Free Press editor in chief,
Margaret M. Russell according to her article.
“For all others who fail to
over look the ‘spin’, Worcester Diocese's spokesman, Raymond
Delisle, repeatedly has stonewalled and given very little
information. As in last week when Fr. Aquino, and his lawyer stood
on the alter (spelling), only later to be shown to be untruthful.
The only comment from the Worcester diocese was ‘the bishop is
taking this matter seriously’. (Grammar?)
“The ‘Voice’ had delivered a
letter to the Chancellery (Spelling) for Bishop McManus on Friday,
October 28, 2005. No reply as of yet. A phone call was place to
Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan, diocesan chancellor on Friday October
21, 2005, no return call. E-mails were sent to on Friday October 21,
2005, to Mr. Raymond Delisle, still no rely.
“The real question for Bishop
McManus is, you received the criminal citation, and the arrest
report form the Las Vegas District Attorney in February, you were
contacted by Bishop Joseph A. Pepe of Las Vegas diocese as will. Yet
on Sunday you stated new information came to light last week that
caused you to remove Fr Aquino”
It is difficult reading this
November 9, 2005
I noticed that I was going to
change my language of the Diocese of Worcester ‘gay group” by using
the phrase “the element.” There was the element of what was known in
literature of “gay culture.” It is something that seems to be all
over the printed media of late. But, parishioners that I speak with
do not mention a syllable or anything.
I recall how a classmate living
in Boston told me when he was called into the Chancery for
re-assignment how Bishop Harrington told him that if he ever told
the truth about how things really were, we wouldn’t have a new
vocation (priest) in the diocese. There were times that one has to
separate the Church from one’s faith.
November 11, 2005
I recall reading “There are no
facts, only interpretations.” (Frederick Nietzsche, 1844-1900) When
one reads and hears the latest on Church related issues and
otherwise, there is more to the story. The bloggers are a new area
of media information. They are going neck-and-neck with talk-radio
I was thinking of writing a
“novel” which would put a style of fiction in comparison of writing
this work. The novel would be an opportunity to express some
injustices in a climate of resurging clericalism in a hierarchical
power surge. The first novel should be “Rectory Life.” This would be
about the life style of the priest living in an atmosphere of
resurging clericalism maintained in the lifestyle of the ‘80s.
Another book would follow: “The Country Parish.” It would be about
the laity where issue are all black and white, answers to questions
not even asked in an atmosphere of the Super Shell Gas Station. The
culture of individualization (me-me) that personifies egotistical
endeavors with personalities of “P18s.”
November 12, 2005
Bishop McManus released a
“Statement of Bishop McManus” which read in part: “Since the past
October 22nd, I have been publicly addressing the
disturbing reports f sexual misconduct by Father James Aquino, the
pastor of Our Lady of Loreto Parish I Worcester, which took place at
an adult entertainment store in Las Vegas, Nevada year ago. I have
done so truthful. For some people, however the issues surrounding
the matter, as well as my public response, have been unclear.
“Father Aquino was charged with
lewd conduct in Las Vegas on October 21, 2004, while he was on
vacation, not engaged in conduct as a priest. I was not informed of
this charge until February of 2005. At that time I was given a copy
of a ‘redacted’ police report of the incident by the District
Attorney in Las Vegas. Due to privacy constraints, this report did
not contain the name of the other individual allegedly involved in
the incident. (What did that matter?) When I inquired of Father
Aquino and his attorney about the incident they insisted that the
police report was inaccurate and the incident was overblown. I was
also told that the charges would be reduced and the case dismissed…
“Shortly before I spoke at the
parish I received an unpredicted copy of the initial police report,
which included the name of the individual alleged to have been
involved in sexual activity with Father Aquino. The police report I
had been given in February did to include that full name. (What
different did the name mean?)
“Second, I learned of the
admission of sexual activity by the other consenting adult, when it
was reported on NECN_TV.
Third, I learned that an
additional Las Vegas law enforcement official publicly supported the
finds of the initial police report.
“Finally, I was troubled by the
manner, as reported in the press, by which Father Aquino denied the
allegations at the public meeting he called. I was also disturbed by
inappropriate statements made against the investigating police
officials in Las Vegas, and strongly expressed my appreciation for
law enforcement officials in my homely to the parishioners.
Following the meeting I reconsidered the fact of the case and the
previous explanations given to me since last February…
“In this entire matter there
was no attempt to impede justice. No documents were concealed. At no
time did I ask the District Attorney to intervene to the benefits of
Father Aquino. The counseling and community requirements were a
matter of record in a public curt. The case was adjudicated
publicly. The civil authorities made the decision not to seek a
criminal conviction in the case…
“Some have asked if I made a
mistake when I left Father Aquino in ministry until recently. In
recent weeks, I have asked myself this same question. My decision
was largely based on Father Aquino’s explanation to me, as well as
those of his attorney. While I may have been misled by their
explanations, I also had to recognize that every priest has civil
and canonical rights; rights granted to each citizen and/or member
of the Church. These rights must be observed.
“In recent weeks, and prior to
the news article in the print media, I told the people of Our Lady
of Loreto Parish that I had dealt with the matter confidentially, to
protect a person’s reputation while investigating an allegation
against that individual. I also told them that I had been
ministering to Father Aquino in a manner which was personal,
compassionate, and pastoral. I believe there are times when a
bishop, or any clergyman for that matter, may in good conscience
treat a serious matter confidentially. In this case, however, when
it became clear that the local media was about to release the story
to the general public I realized that I must address the matter in a
pastoral way to the people. I realized I could no longer treat the
matter in confidence. I have pledged my concern for the welfare of
the parishioners to the members of the parish, and I have remised to
visit them again. I would do so.”125
I had to find the meaning of
the word in his statement “‘redacted’ police report.” Redact is
defined in the dictionary as: To write out or to draw up (a
proclamation, edict, etc.) frame. So, it gets even more interesting
with each additional statement or explanation.
Why is it when read or hear
such things about the Church is that I wonder where the string is
attached too around the corner. Besides, I was realizing that the
“inner element” of the diocese had polished their act as it did show
itself with Aquino’s case. We should not forget that they had a lot
November 12, 2005
I was watching “Survivor” on
CBS that had this segment in Guatemala. The key to everything you
see one is told is “the game.” In this particular program, we hear
Stephanie-second time on the program- saying she’ll do whatever
she’s got to do to win. Another part you hear that liars are going
to be your jury. I had that thought of hearing how at the end of a
council vote, the one voted out bring his/her torch pole up to the
host who says which would be me with the tribe-Worcester Diocese:
“Thaddeus, the tribe has spoken.”
Whenever I watched this
program, I realized how much I had as a core of my being
empathically with others more than I realized.
November 15, 2005
“Bishop denies sex cover-up:
McManus’ answers in print,” by Kathleen A. Shaw appeared this day in
the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Shaw writes: “Worcester-Bishop
Robert J. McManus maintains he never attempted to cover up an
incident of lewd conduct involving the Rev. James J. Aquino in Las
Vegas, but was led to believe the charges brought by police were
inaccurate and the case would be dismissed.
“That belief changed in late
October, he said, when news of the incident became public, police
and court documents from Las Vegas were posted on a Web site, and
Rev. Aquino stood on the altar of Our Lady of Loreto parish to
relate his account, saying the bishop had asked him to remain quiet
about the incident.
“The bishop’s response was in a
column he writes for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The
Catholic Free Press, on Nov 11. He had not responded to e-mails,
faxes and phone requests for clarification placed over the past 10
days on what new information he had received late last month that
prompted him to reverse his earlier position and remove Rev. Aquino
from active ministry…
“Bishop McManus said that
although Rev. Aquino originally was charged more than a year ago, he
did not learn of the incident until February….Apparently the only
redacted portion of the police report forwarded to the bishop was
the name of the other man involved in the incident.
“Rev. Aquino had said that he
wasn’t involved in sexual activity when he was detained by Las Vegas
vice squad officers the pervious year I the Adult Superstar, but did
acknowledge some wrongdoing. Bishop McManus said he ‘learned of the
admission of sexual activity by the other consenting adult’ when it
was reported in the news medial
“IN addition, he said, ‘I
learned that an additional Las Vegas law enforcement official
publicly supported the finding of the initial police report,’ he
“Bishop McManus said he was
‘very disheartened’ by the incident I Las Vegas. ‘Notwithstanding
the immoral character of the incident and his wrongful presence in
an adult entertainment store, I am mindful that this case is
different form that of a priest abusing his office when another
person know that he is a priest, particularly since this incident
involved a consenting adult,’ he said.”126 This is an interesting
slant to where the present hierarchy is heading with such a case as
Aquino in matters of distinction.
Dianne Williamson wrote in her
column of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Bishop refines
his case: Skepticism remains on Rev. Aquino story.”
Williamson wrote” “Bishop
Robert J. McManus had decided to bypass the secular skeptics and
preach to the converted.
“After more than two weeks of
silence to lingering questions about the Rev. James Aquino case, he
opted to respond to the 17,000 subscribers of The Catholic Free
Press, the diocesan newspaper in which he writes an occasional
column under his trademark motto, 'Christ, The Splendor of Truth.’
“In doing so, the bishop
relieved himself of the burden of answering questions about
inconsistencies which is surely his prerogative and no great
surprise, as the church hierarchy rarely considers itself answerable
to the populace.
“Specifically, reporters have
been calling Bishop McManus repeatedly in an effort to understand
why he initially supported the Rev. Aquino after the priest was
charged with lewd conduct last year. In Las Vegas, then suddenly
relieved him of his duties him of his duties last month after the
issue broke in the press.
“OK, so damage control is
hardly rocket science, and it seemed apparent that the bishop
responded to the scandal after he could no longer contain it. Except
that’s not what the bishop said when he removed Rev. Aquino Oct. 30.
Then, Bishop McManus claimed that ‘I did not possess the whole
truth’ about the incident until recently, even though he learned
about Rev. Aquino’s conduct in February…
“Pesky repo9rters-as well as
many in the public-were confused. What had changed? What new facts
had come to the bishop’s attention?
“Finally, we know. Well, we
sort of know. Actually, we’re still not quite sure, but let’s
hear what the bishop has to say. In fairness to him, I won’t
paraphrase his main points and instead quote him directly: ‘Shortly
before I spoke at the parish I received an unpredicted copy of the
initial police report, which included the name of the individual in
sexual activity with Father Aquino,’ the bishop wrote in the Free
“It’s not clear why the name of
the man alleged to have engaged in sex with the priest was pertinent
to the bishop’s understanding. As for the ‘additional Las Vegas law
enforcement official,’ I believe he was referring to a Las Vegas
police sergeant I interviewed by picking up the phone and calling
him. This cop simply explained that Rev. Aquino had been caught in a
raid, and he scoffed at his protestations of innocence…
“So be it. I don’t mean to pile
on, but I figure that the bishop’s explanation deserved a bigger
audience than the one provided by the diocesan newspapers. And I’ll
simply note here that if the Free Press clams ‘the truth shall set
you free,’ it can also tie you up in knots.”127
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette had a copy of “Ziggy” by Tom Wilson that had Ziggy
sitting at a table with a coffee and writing in a booklet saying
“…anyone who doesn’t believe that history repeats itself…has never
read my diary!”128
This is where I write my
book-journal and even develop fiction works in the future as “The
Confessions of a Parish Secretary: She types with two fingers.”
November 18, 2005
The Catholic Free Press printed
in their “Letters to the Editor” section entitled “Teaching by
example” from Joseph A. Ledoux of Spencer.
Ledoux wrote: “To the Editor:
One has only to attend an ordination to understand that the
priesthood is precious, and a priest, being a man of God, must
always give a good example. He is being watched closely by the
public and is expected to radiant goodness in his quest to save
“Priests who are seen in bars,
gambling at casinos, attending me and R rated movies or plays,
trying to be one of the boys by telling off-color jokes and being
lenient on sin give horrible example to parishioners and especially
to our youth. Thank God such priests are a small minority.
“Las Vegas, with a reputation
as ‘Sin City’ and other gambling emporiums are certainly not where
God’s graces are to be found and should not be frequented by
spiritual people especially priests.
“Catholic parishes advertising
Las Vegas Night and gambling in a general to raise money remind me
of Jesus’ anger when he overturned the money brokers table in the
“We are most fortunate to
having Bishop McManus as our shepherd. He is leading his flock of
priests, deacons, religious, and laity to live a more spiritual life
in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”129
November 27, 2005
The “People’s Forum” of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette had letters entitled “Scandal
involving Catholic priest spurs reader’s reactions” this day. The
letter I mention here is from David Clohessy, National Director
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, St. Louis, Mo.
Closhessy writes: “For years,
when finally confronted with evidence of sexually abusive priests,
Catholic bishops lamely responded, ‘We just didn’t know.’ Now when
forced by concerned parishioners and conscientious journalist,
Bishop Robert J. McManus falls back on the same disingenuous
journalist, Bishop Robert J. McManus falls back on the same
disingenuous claim, this time about Rev. James J. Aquino’s crimes in
Las Vegas. The bishop asserts he didn’t know the ‘full truth’ about
Rev. Aquino’s activities in an adult bookstore.
“The trouble is Bishop McManus’
claim is contradicted by an impeccable source-the Nevada prosecutor
who directly informed the bishop about Rev. Aquino crime months and
“Worcester Catholic should ask
themselves whom they trust. A public servant with no ax to grind, no
agenda to serve and no reason to shade the truth-or Bishop McManus,
with every incentive to deceive and try to minimize his
irresponsible and reckless misbehavior, who hide a criminal charge
against Rev. Aquino and kept him in parish ministry for nearly a
November 23, 2005
I was “just thinking” which is
not always good” Where do I go to get my reputation back? Once it is
said, it is a fact-true or not true.
Now we get a dose of Mrs. Jean
on the Web page “WorcestervVoice.com” which begins with “Worcester
Faithful saddened with reality actions by Bishop McManus.”
It continues- I type as is
written: “The continued backlash from the Fr James Aquino scenario
continues to grow. Catholics who are and have been faithful to
Worcester Bishops have now no room for accommodations. The sad
reality that protection of the clergy, and reputation of the
Worcester Diocese comes before what is known to be wrong and
inexcusable actions have deluded any chance for reunification of the
“Some faithful have
questioned the ability of Bishop Robert McManus to run the
dioceses of Worcester, while others have sought his removal.
“The sad reality of Worcester
dioceses remains as such. The Worcester diocese has paid the lowest
clergy abuse settlements in the nation. Clergy abuse victims who the
Worcester diocese publicly states were treated with dignity and
respect, report being terrorized by Attorney Joanne Goulka of the
law office of Griffin and Goulka who represents Traveler
“Ten time as much money was
paid in legal fees by the Worcester dioceses since the 2002 clergy
abuse crisis, to Attorney James G. Reardon of Reardon and
Reardon law firm than paid out to clergy abuse victims. The average
amount of settlements was between $3,000 and 5,000 dollars. As those
who have followed these cases realize, this amounts hardly pays for
the legal fees associated with tiling a lawsuit.
“District Attorney John Conte
and his so called ‘Grand Jury’ subpoena resulted in not one
prosecution of Worcester dioceses clergy for sexual abuse of a
“In the case of Fr Raymond
Messier, the Department of Social Service found creditable evidence
of sexual abuse of a young male Athol resident only to have a
Worcester grand jury under direction of John Conte return a no
bill and no charge Fr Messier with sexual assault. As the
district attorney is charged with producing the evidence to gain an
indictment, the prosecution failure against illustrates collusion
between the dioceses and the DA.
“The Worcester Voice bevies
that at no time did nay real investigation occur into the Worcester
dioceses as on numerous occasions the ‘Voice’ was able to illustrate
the collusion between the dioceses and the DA…
“Most notable, in 2002 when
clergy abuse victim Tim Staney was confronted like a criminal in his
own home by two Auburn C-Pac state troopers, who claimed the
Worcester diocese, released a document to investigators stating Mr.
Staney at the age of ten had tried to extort money out of the
Worcester diocese while reporting sexual abuse.
“DA Conte later in 2004 brought
charges against Rev. Jean-Paul Gagnon involving three different male
victims who claimed to be sexual abuse. In the end Attorney Edward
Ryan was able to plea bargain criminal charges down, so that the
sexual abuse charges were reduced to simple assault, allowing
Fr Gagnon to avoid having to register as a sex offender.
“The reality in Worcester is
currently, no child is sage and perhaps in more peril than ever as
we can see the Worcester diocese has fine tuned it protection
tactics which continue to allow sexual actions to remain
As I began this November 23
section, the grammar that spelling are typed as written on the web
page. One may figure their own on the thought contents.
This days Worcester Telegram
& Gazette reported “Vatican gay guidelines for seminaries” by
Nicole Winfield of The Associated Press reports: “Vatican City-the
Vatican is toughening its stands against gay candidates for the
priesthood, specifying in a new document that ever men with
‘transitory’ homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at
least three years before entering the clergy.
due to be released next week, was posted yesterday on the Internet
by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who
has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his
name not be used because the piece has not been published by the
“Conservative Roman Catholics
who have decried the’ gay subculture’ in seminaries will likely
applaud the policy because it clarifies what the Vatican expects of
seminarians and their administrators.
“Critics of the policy warned
that, if enforced, it will likely result in seminarians lying about
their orientation and will decrease the already dwindling number of
priests in the United States.
“Estimate of the percentage of
gays in W.S. seminaries and the priesthood range form 25 percent to
50 percent, according to a research review by the Rev. Donald
Cozzens, an author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.’
“‘The document form the
Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education says the church deeply
respects homosexuals. But it also says it’ cannot admit to the
seminary and the sacred order those who practice homosexuality,
present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay
November 18, 2005
The National Catholic
Reporter reported in this week’s issue “Suspended priest sues
accuser.” The story reads: “Miami-A Catholic priest suspended by the
Miami archdiocese because of sexual abuse allegations filed a
defamation lawsuit against one of his accusers, The Miami Herald
reported Nov. 4 .Fr. Avlanro Guichard said the accuser, a Cuban who
came to Miami during the 1980 Mariel boatlift, made ‘defamatory
lies’ at a news conference tow years ago in his lawyer’s office.
“In the lawsuit filed in 2003,
the Cuban alleged that while he was a teen living temporarily at a
church shelter, Guichard promised him a car and a job in exchange
“In the last two years, the
Miami archdiocese has settled 31 law shits alleging sexual abuse by
priests. According to media reports, five of the cases involved
Guichard, who has been on administration leave since 2003.”133
November 24, 2005
“Vatican decree gets mixed
reactions: Some see rise in priest ovation, others see it prompting
a decline” by Richard N. Ostling of The Associated Press reports in
the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Ostling writes: “A new Vatican
decree against gays in the priesthood has brought mixed reactions
from U.S. Roman Catholic observers, with some seeing notable
benefits and others predicting morale problems and a worsening
“Some observers said it will be
difficult to define what is meant by ‘deeply rooted’ or ‘transitory’
“‘Our seminaries are likely to
be depopulated to a significant extent,’ said the Rev. Donald
Cozzens of John Carroll University. He cited estimates that put gay
priests at 25 percent to 50 percent; Lauer guessed that 10 percent
is closer to the mark.
“Cozzens also warned that ‘the
hunters might turn out to be the hunted,’ meaning that there are gay
priests among Vatican officials, bishops and other church leaders.
“But Brian Saint-_ail of Crisis
magazine predicted little effect on the number of priests because
seminaries and younger priests have become much more conservative
the past two decades and moral liberalism is declining. ‘The next
generation is passing.’
“The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus,
of First Things magazine, said there is reason to believe that the
decree will lead to a significant increases in candidates, because
many would-be priests have been turned off by ‘the presence, and
sometimes dominance , of a gay culture’ in seminaries.
“He said the Vatican is
basically reaffirming centuries of church teaching Jason Berry, a
journalist who has covered sexual abuse scandals involving priests
since 1984, said the Vatican action was clearly prompted by the
crisis and by the fact that most U.S. cases have involved priests
and teenage boys.
“ ‘The priesthood is a huge
closet. We all know that form the research that ‘been done.’ He said
that the Vatican is avoiding the central question: ‘Why can’t the
priesthood attract stable heterosexuals? The answer, he said is the
ban on married men as priests.”134
November 25, 2005
“Poll: Bishops’ image
improving” appeared in these weeks National Catholic Reporter.
It read: “Washington-Anew Zogby
International poll shows support for American Catholic bishops is
rebounding. Sixty-four percent of American Catholics polled agreed
that the bishops are doing a good job. The approval rate was at its
highest, at 83 percent, in fall 2001, just before the clergy sex
aubse scandal emerged. Approval for bishops dropped to its lowest-57
percent-in fall 2004.
“The sex abuse scandal was just
a big shock to people,’ said Mary MacDonald, a religious studies
processor working on the Contemporary Catholic Trends survey at Le
Moyne College, a Catholic school in Syracuse, H.Y.’ that
commissioned the survey. ‘Now people perhaps feel some corrective
actions have been taken and things are a little better.’
“Other findings: Eighty-nine
percent of American Catholics think their local pastor is doing a
good job, and 75 percent think Benedict XVI is doing a good job.
“The college and the polling
organization have worked together on the project since fall
One thing I do know: Polls
mean nothing. The present climate in the Vatican and the Bush
Administration in Washington are not affected by polls or surveys.
The “People’s Forum” had
“Church stand on sexual matters antiquated” from Edward Harley of
Worcester in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette this day.
Halfrey wrote: “I can’t
understand the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuals. I was a good
Catholic and believed the church had all the answers, and then the
diocese scandal happened and you find out that the people you
trusted were full of duplicity and lies. It almost seems in
retaliation to this scandal that the church, which was responsible
for this atrocity, is launching an all-out intolerance campaign
against the very people they were once protecting form prosecuting
to draw the hest away from their wrongdoings.
“The church’s stand on
homosexuals, birth control and other related subjects are so
antiquated that they boarder on the line of a modern-day witch hunt.
Is the Vatican going to launch another inquisition, or will it just
threaten all who oppose their ideals with excommunication’
“There was something told to me
by someone-I can no longer remember his or her name-‘Those that
remain static and refuse to grow and learn stagnate and idle.’ I am
among a growing throng of disillusioned parishioners who cannot seem
to understand the church’s petty and hateful point of view. I
thought God was love, not I hate homosexuals.’
“I wish the church would just
stop trying to persecute this group of people who are even among
their own flocks.
“Live and love is good words to
live by, something the church needs to remember.”136
November 27, 2005
I received a letter from a
former parishioner-Margaret- who wrote: “Fear Fr. Kardas, It was
nice to visit you on Friday. I really admire you for your ability to
hold it together during the years you were asked to leave St.
Edward’s. You must pray constantly…!”137
Yes, I do believe that prayer
is a constant way of life and wonder time-in-time-out: What type of
behavior would Jesus do? “Who will condemn” Christ Jesus it is who
died-or, rather, was raised- who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.” (Romans 8: 33-34)
November 28, 2005
I took a ride with “Father
Peacock” this morning to the Trappist Monastery in Spencer because
he needed to get some vestments.
When I got into his car he told
me that I have to read the latest article-this day- in the Telegram
& gazette on priests that are alleged. He said” You have to be aware
of this article. I asked him what he meant. He said there that it
was more about what has been going on for some time. My reaction
was: “I’m waiting for something like this to happen. This is what I
need to get my story out-my version as Aquino did.” Aquino’s case
was criminal with another criminal charge of false information to
the police versus my case of allegation. So, I would welcome a
hearing on my situation.
Then I had to hear from
him-after a typical “jolt” on his part that when you were on “active
duty” term. This was his way to put me in my place. He told me that
he never heard anything about Father Shauris with boys. (Lie) I
responded that even the village idiot knew about Shauris’
particulars in the diocese. He asked what? The (Choir and Band)
Coral. He reacted with that Shauris had “The Coral” in his parish to
do performances and didn’t see any high school boys. (Lie) He was
seeing what I would say next because he knew that I knew when
Sharers allegations became public it was with boys in his room at
the rectory where “Father Peacock” was Pastor. So, “Father Peacock
knows nothing and sees nothing. He goes at me again: “since you were
off-duty’ in a sarcastic remark and continues talking about the
“Father Peacock” plays his game
to see what I would say next for an other information I only stared
at him with “the look” that I was not going to play his “intrigue”
game. It’s where the analogy is where you say in the evening you
sail into a safe harbor. But, the next morning, you don’t know where
the minefields are because the enemy has moved them again during the
night. You don’t even know the name of the game clerics play or the
state of a situation until you encounter the moment. But, stories
are so old that they are turning into stone.
When I was leaving the car,
“Father Peacock” tell me: “Don’t be against the bishop, Ted.” What
was that all about? It is as the situation in the diocese and the
present Administration in Washington with “W” where one doesn’t know
where truth ends and fantasies begin. I had to remember that “Father
Peacock” kept reminding me of the previous January Deanery meeting
where Bishop McManus said that he was going to defend his priest. It
seems that Bishop McManus was a bishop that makes him comfortable.
Birds of a feather, fly together? It seemed that Bishop Reilly and
Harrington did not make him comfortable. Nor, did he ever say to
me: “Be careful what you say about the bishop, Ted” when Harrington
and Reilly were the Ordinaries. There is the issue where “Father
Peacock” was hoping to become that “Monsignor” with this new bishop.
He, most likely, was positioning himself, again, for such an honor.
I had to hear from “Father
Peacock” that one other priest on Administrative Leave met with
Bishop McManus of help in his “rent” allotment. He received nothing
and said that McManus is cheaper than Reilly. So, I had to hear
from “Father Peacock”: “You get the little cash, so be grateful.” He
does know how to torment.
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette prints Kathleen A. Shaw’s article “Priests’ alleged
victim seeks wide audience.”
Shaw writes: “Uxbridge- George
‘Skip’ Shea will be taking his one-man multimedia show-‘Catholic
(Surviving Abuse and Other Dead End Roads)’-to New York City this
“Mr. Shea, who settled a suit
against the Catholic Diocese of Worcester n which he alleged that he
was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar and the Rev. Robert
Shauris during the 1970s at St. Mary’s Parish in Uxbridge, will
debut his production at the Bowery Poetry Club at 9 p.m. Saturday.
“His intent is to reach out to
a general audience to ‘change the way we look at the clergy abuse
scandal that has rocked the country and the world.’ He recently
presented the performance at the center of peaceful living in
Uxbridge. The local production was a profound personal experience
because for the first time, he told his story to people in his own
town. It is our time to move to a wider audience, he said.
“Mr. Shea wants to take what he
calls ‘an unprecedented look’ into the mind and soul of a survivor.
He will include his original artwork poetry and a rant about what it
was like growing up Irish and Catholic in a small mill town while
keeping the dark secret of his sexual abuse by priests. He, no
longer, is a member of the Catholic Church.
“His artwork has been exhibited
in a number of places, including the center for peaceful living
gallery in Uxbridge, the Culture of Peace touring exhibit with a
group of national and international artists and poets; and in
‘Miraculous: Contemporary Exvotos Paintings,’ exhibited at ChezTGN
in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“He has used his poetry to cope
with the abuse he has experienced…”138
November 29, 2005
David O'Brien is a professor at
the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester who wrote this days
“Commentary: As I See It” of “Catholic hierarchy must find a better
way to run the church.”
O’Brien writes: “Catholicism in
Worcester is alive and well. Masses are said daily, churches are
crowded on Sunday’s, babies are baptized, weddings are celebrated,
people are buried, and trained ministers and lay volunteers assist
in liturgical planning, weeding and baptismal preparation and
bereavement support. Smart committed Catholics can be found on three
Catholic college campuses and in dozens of elementary and high
schools. Good Catholics are everywhere: in government, social
series, business, the professions and the unions. The church of
Worcester continues to serve the poor in parishes and
church-sponsored social agencies. Catholics help out in the city’s
shelters and soup kitchens, they welcome immigrants and refugees,
and a new home for women with troubled pregnancies joins an
impressive network of faith-inspired initiative to meet human needs.
The church matters I Worcester.
“But we all know the Catholic
Church is in trouble. Its problems are to the result of lukewarm
faith, as if today’s Catholics are less devout than their parents.
Nor is the cause by ‘secularism,’ a self-serving argument always
used by religious leaders. No, the church’s problems are cause in
large part by really had organization. Unfortunately, recent church
policy has resorted to the idea that when the chips are down, the
church is really the people, who appoint the bishop, who then is the
Diocese of Worcester…
“Bishop Flanagan and his
generation were implementing an important Vatican II idea. Bishops
are primarily pastors of their local church, not delegates of the
Vatican. They share pastoral leadership with their priests. The pope
acts with and not apart forms the bishop, the bishop’s act with and
not apart from their priest. The old system bred careerism and
competition; the new system, anchored in ancient practices was
supposed to bring collaboration and shared responsibility. For a
moment it did.
“It is fair to say that this
entire reform project is in shambles. Pressured by the Vatican, the
United States bishops have deliberately abandoned the building of a
storm national conference with disastrous consequences evident in
the sex abuse crisis, multiplying bankruptcies and the embarrassing
politics of the 2004 election cycle. Diocesan reform has also been
largely dismantled by a combination of Vatican interventions,
appointment of Roman-orientated bishops, and pressure form
well-organized networks of Catholic conservatives convinced that
team ministry, dialogue about controversial questions and lay
advisory bodies are destroying the American church. Their new
banners instead proclaim fidelity, even on the most questionable
ecclesiastical decisions, and they replace pastoral care with
proclamation of ‘non-negotiable’ moral judgments. They are convinced
that they are salvaging the church’s integrity, but failure to
enlist priests and people in the work of the church brings one
disaster after another…
“But we Catholics can renew and
reform our church if we choose. One thing at least is certain:
Waiting won’t work.”139
I had Professor O’Brien speak
at St. Edward’s parish in the late 80s. He made his presentation and
answered questions of the parishioners and guest for over three
hours. Nothing like that has happened at St. Edward’s at this
writing. David O’Brien is a member of Voice of the Faithful which is
a laymen and laywomen organization seeking renewal in the Catholic
I believe that O’Brien realizes
the resurging clericalism in this day and age of the Church. The
clerics are retreating to the castle and pulling up the draw bridge.
But the Church is trying to off-set the clergy demise with pushing
the Deacon Program and ordinations to preserve clericalism. Some
Deacons are being portrayed by the priest as “little priest.” The
“gay culture” is using the deaconate to preserve the male club
house. This is where one has to watch the “Harding of the wax” on a
candle that is snuffed-out.
November 30, 2005
I had a phone call from a
classmate that was a priest in Boston at 7:15 a.m. about the Vatican
document on homosexuality and the priesthood. He said: “You haven’t
said anything for two weeks about this. Where are you on this issue?
He was angry and was at me this early in the morning. First, I said
this would not affect him now. Secondly the previous church
documents in the 70s and 80s. So, there was really nothing new.
There were as many different opinions as there were sources.
On the Internet on the Web page
boston.com (The Boston Globe) was an article by Tracy Wilkinson,
Lost Angeles Time entitled “Vatican issues rules banning active gay
me from clergy.”
Wilkinson wrote: “Rome-The
Vatican yesterday formally released instructions that block active
gay men form the priesthood, a long-anticipated document that has
opened a divisive debate over how it will be applied and whether it
will have a healing or detrimental elect on the Roman Catholic
“Church conservatives applauded
the document for taking a strong stance against what many sees as an
immoral ‘gay subculture’ within seminaries and church life, and for
establishing clearer restrictions on who is suitable to become a
“Liberals said they feared the
rules would be used to keep qualified men out of a depleted
priesthood because of their sexual identity, even when celibate.
“This is the first major
instruction to be issued by Pope Benedict XVI, and the fact that it
focused on homosexuality reflected the German pontiff concern over
moral he sees eroded by Western secular culture.
“Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski
(John Paul II’s appointment), author of the eight-page document as
prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said yesterday
it was crucial for the church to speak out now…:140
This same day on the Internet
was a report, which I was to surprise to read from an Australian
Jesuit priest, entitled “Reports: Homosexuality and Catholic
Priesthood: A Eureka Street comment.” The reason I said that I was
not surprised because this document was debated for such a period of
time and especially a religious order would have had someone in
place for such a report.
It reads in parts: “The Vatican
Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a document on
admitting homosexual men to Catholic priesthood.
“A Eureka Street comment
describes the background to the document, and commends its emphasis
on maturity as the criterion of admission to priesthood. More:
“The recent Vatican document on
admitting homosexual men to ordination reflects broader issues that
trouble most churches in the West. But the question has also
distinctively Catholic aspects.
“The larger issue concerns the
moral status of sexual relations between homosexual partnered.
Should these be judged by the same criteria fidelity, permanence and
lifelong commitment by which we would judge heterosexual
relationship? Or are the morally unacceptable precisely because they
are between people of the same sex” Christians who address this
question must also make complex and far-reaching judgments about the
authority of Scripture and of its received interpretation.
“The ordination of people in
public homosexual relations kops focuses this issue. Because
ministers in their public lives are expected to embody the teaching
of Christ ordination of people known to be in a homosexual
relationship naturally calls into question any judgment that
homosexuality is contrary to Christ’s teaching.
“The coming together so
sexuality and authority in the question of ordaining practicing
homosexuals arouses powerful emotions that have threatened to divide
the Anglican Communion. This precise issue does to directly affect
the Catholic Church, most of whose clergy are required to live
“The Instruction itself builds
on previous Vatican documents. It presents the ideal of mature
priest as a criterion for admission to priesthood. The mature priest
can live happily and faithfully a celibate life, presumably without
sexual repression, suppresses depression or expression…
“The core of the document has
to do with ‘homosexual tendencies.’ It distinguishes between a
transitory and a more deeply rooted condition. A transitory
condition indicated a lack of emotional maturity, and the document
prescribes a delay of three years be entry into a seminary,
presumably to encourage the development of a secure sexual identity.
“The Instruction also excludes
those with ‘a more deep-seated tendency.’ This phrase also found in
previous documents, but it is nowhere closely defined. Its meaning
is significant, for if it implied no more than that people recognize
their homosexuality as abiding, it would reflect negatively on the
ministry of many priests and bishops in the Catholic Church. But in
previous documents, tendency appears to denote not only
sexual identity, but an inclination to act out sexual desires. A
deep-rooted tendency would indicate a strong need to do so.
“If this is so, men with such
strong needs would be unlikely to be able to live a celibate life
happily and faithfully. Nor, again, would hero sexual men with the
same degree live this need.
“Finally the document excluded
those who ‘support the so-called gay culture.’ This presumably means
living in such a way that one would be publicly identified as
homosexual, and would reasonably taken to support homosexual
practice. Such a way of living would stand in conflict with Catholic
teaching about homosexuality. Although the reference to gay culture
is vague, it suggests also a sense of identity in this way might
also be inconsistent with the emotional maturity required to live
celibacy happily. But so surely would support for a macho culture…
“The major challenge to the
churches also remains: to develop a pastoral practice that accepts s
homosexual people and everything that is distinctive in their
reception of the Gospel neither as a threat nor affront, but as a
A religious order would be the
first to directly address these issues with a question perspective.
The days of old (70s) would have heard much dialogue. This time in
the Church, there only are answers to at times answers to questions
that have not been even asked.
Well, in another article on the
Internet from the Web page of boston.com (The Boston Globe) we read
“A church confused over sexual issues.” Bernadette J. Brooten
(Professor of Christian studies at Brandeis University and the
director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project) writes: “If the
Vatican aims to prevent clergy sexual abuse by bring gay men form
the priesthood, it is profoundly misguided. Most strikingly, the
latest Vatican statement doesn’t even name clergy sexual abuse as a
problem. Instead, the Vatican refers ever so obliquely to the
‘contemporary world,’ which must mean ‘a world in which even priests
have sex with boy.’
“The Vatican needs to address
head-on the dual problem of priests abusing their power and their
bishops protecting them. Otherwise, Catholics and non-Catholics will
live with shaken confidence in the Romans Catholic Church, an
important social institution by any measures. This document diverts
attention away from Catholic bishops who have worked mightily to
avid just settlements with sexual abuse survivors, to open their
financial records, or to include clergy as mandated reporters of
child sexual abuse.
“By deigning homosexuality as
the problem, the Vatican also masks the fact that numerous priests
have had, and are having sexual relations with adult women. Unlike
therapists or physicals, priest is not usually legally prohibited
form having sexual relations with the women whom they counsel. Women
whose trust priests have betrayed have rarely been able to sue for
damages; ad the media has therefore seldom reported their stories.
“Instead of facing up to these
urgent problems in the church, the statement bars all men ‘who
practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual
tendencies, or support us-called gay culture’ from the seminary and
the priesthood. As theological justification the Vatican explains
that a priest must ‘represent Christ, head, shepherd, and bridegroom
of the church.’ Christ’s maleness is the same reason the Vatican
excludes women form the priesthood, although in church history,
canon lawyers more candidly explained that women are simply
“Now we see that being a man
alone isn’t enough. The priest also has to be a real man. He has to
be heterosexual in order to function as a head of the congregation
and as a bridegroom of the church. Yes, heterosexual and male, but
also celibate, while giving with other male priests-a tall order. In
a new theological twist, Jesus was not only celibate but also
“Even as the Vatican is
puzzling out the fine details of theological symbolism, US Catholics
face new disappointments each year…”142
This same article appeared in
the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. I wonder how many clerics
have read this and even had nay discussion on the contents of what
December 2, 2005
“Parish says goodbye to Father
Rich” in the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise with a front
page picture of Julia Casey bending down to kiss Father Lewandowski
on the head (cue bald) at his retirement celebration, Thursday
Marisa Donelan of the Sentinel
wrote: “Fitchburg-One glance around the room was all it took to
pinpoint the man of the hour.
“There was a steady line of
people following the Rev. Richard Lewandowski around the ballroom at
the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Fitchburg Thursday night. They
were all looking for the chance to wish him well in retirement.
‘Father Rich,’ had been the pastor of St. Camillus Catholic Church
until last year. He greeted friends and parishioners with smiles and
“Norman J. Bourdraeu,
who was on the committee that organized the party, said he expected
about 300 people to attend the celebration.
“Father Rich did so
much for our community,’ Bourdreau said. ‘He touched a lot of
“Lewandowski came to
Fitchburg in the early 1980s as the chaplain for the Newman Center
at Fitchburg State College. He then moved to St. Camillus, but
continued his work at FSC.
“He gave his last
sermon Thanksgiving f 2004, and then took a medical leave of
absence. At the end of his leave, he announced his retirement from
the pastorship; bout would not elaborate on the specific reason.
“‘It’s a medical
retirement,’ Lewandowski,’ Lewandowski said before the event.
“FSC President Robert
Antonucci said despite his retirement, Lewandowski has continued his
presence on campus and in the parish.
“‘He’s a really good
guy, he was always active in the college community, and he was
always thee for anyone who needed help,’ Antonucci said…
“Ashby resident Steve
LeBlance said Lewandowski inspirited everyone he met.
“‘Father Rich has just
been a gift to the city of Fitchburg,’ LeBlance said. ‘He worked
with the elderly, he worked with the poor, and he worked with the
addicted. His energy has just been boundless....’ “143
“Lewvy” was his name
in the seminary and the clergy. He was a classmate of John
Bish-Molly’s father-in college in St. Mary’s, Orchard Lake,
Michigan. This is priest’s story that was interesting to track with
his “sick leave” and then is “retirement.” We priest watched because
“Lewv” spoke out for gay rights in a Massachusetts State House C
committee. He was someone that we watched to see what would happen
next. He was gone-sent out to pasture with a “retirement.”
Well, finally the
official document on gays in the priesthood was released by the
Vatican the diocesan Catholic Free Press had front page stories with
headlines “Vatican says no ordaining homosexuals or men who support
The article was
written by John Thavis of the Catholic News Service from Vatican
City. Thavis wrote: “Vatican City (CNS)-A long-awaited Vatican
document said the church cannot allow priestly ordination of men who
are active homosexuals, who have ‘deep-seated’ homosexual tendencies
or who support the ‘gay culture.’
“Such people have
serious problems relating properly to en and women and present a
risk of ‘negative consequences’ that should not be underestimated,
the document said.
“The Vatican published
the nine-page instruction form the Congregation for Catholic
Education Tuesday after more than eight years of internal discussion
“The document did not
define what it meant by ‘deep-seated’ homosexual tendencies, but
contrasted them with the ‘transitory’ problems of adolescence.
tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before
ordination as a deacon, it said. It did not explain what was meant
by ‘overcome’ or how that could be determined.
“The document was
leaked to the Italian press earlier in November…”144
The same page of this
diocesan paper printed “Document raises questions for seminaries”
written, again, by John Thavis as an "Analysis.”.
“Vatican City (CNS)-A long-awaited Vatican document drew s sharp
line against priestly ordination of homosexuals, but in the process
raised a series of delicate questions for church leaders and
instruction, prepared the Congregation for Catholic Education, said
the church cannot ordain men who are active homosexuals, who have
‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies or who support ‘gay culture,’
those who have overcome ‘transitory’ homosexual tendencies, however,
could be ordained.
button line was that homosexual men should not be accepted into
seminaries or ordained to the priesthood.
“In recent weeks, some
reports have suggested that the document would allow homosexual men
to be ordained, as long as hey had remained celibate for at least
three years during seminary formation.
“But the document does
not say that; there is o discussion of ‘celibacy’ of homosexual
candidates. What it does say is that fleeting homosexual tendencies
experienced in youth should not represent a bar to ordination-as
long as those tendencies are clearly overcome.
“In other words, a
candidate would have to mature out of a homosexual inclination well
“ ‘This part of the
text refers to someone who may have had an experience tied to the
process of maturing during adolescence. It does not referee to
someone who is homosexual and who has refrained from (sexual) acts
in a three period,’ said an official of the education congregation,
who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“‘It is talking about
a phase in which someone has uncertainty about his sexual
orientation, and it says this uncertainty must be definitively
overcome,’ the official said.
“The wording of the
text is significant. It presumes that homosexuality is not a
permanent identity but a set of ‘tendencies’ or an inclination that
can, in fact be overcome.
“But the instruction
makes no attempt to define the difference between ‘deep-seated’ or
‘transitory’ tendencies. Nor does it say what criteria would be used
to determine whether a candidate had overcome such tendencies.
“Further, the text
does not spell out who should determine whether a candidate for the
priesthood has homosexual tendencies. It odes not discuss
psychological testing of seminary applicants, another key and
controversial issue at the Vatican…”145
Now let’s read what
Father Greeley has to say. He wrote in his weekly column of
Chicago Sun-Times with “ ‘No sex’ ruling no surprise.”
Greeley writes: A headline
about the new instruction form the Vatican read, ‘Vatican bans
active gays from priesthood.’ One might add that it bans active
straights from the priesthood, too. Perhaps the celibacy rule will
change. However, as long as it applies, those who are in sexual
relationships of wither sort will not be ordained. That is not new,
and indeed it is not news.
“In fact the new instruction
says merely that under some circumstances gays can become priests,
and under other circumstances they cannot be ordained and it leaves
to the local officials, bishops and seminary rectors, to decide in
“The document is in fact a
stinging defeat for those Catholic conservatives in Rome and in this
country who have been blaming gays for the sexual abuse crisis and
wanted to ban them completely form the priesthood. The issue comes
down to whether a homosexual orientation is something people choose
or is something they cannot change. The convictions of Americans on
this question are undergoing modification just as is the
understanding of he church. Thirty-three percent of the conservative
Christians (evangelicals) believe that it is something that they
cannot change, as do 61 percent of mainline Protestants and 68
percent of Catholics. (Data form the General Social Survey.)
Moreover my own reanalysis of the data collected by the Los Angeles
Time (in my book Priests a Calling in Crisis) shows
that about a sixth of Catholic priests are gay and that two out of
three of them are celibate, not greatly different from the three out
of fur among the straight priests. (Check out the Worcester Diocese
to these percentages.)
“The Instruction is in some
sense anticlimactic. After all the preliminary publicity it confirms
the practice that sensible and prudent bishops have been following.
Indeed, the document goes further than any other Vatican document of
which I am aware in defending homosexuals. ‘They must be accepted
with respect and sensitivity; every sign of unjust discrimination in
their regard should be avoided. Those persons are called to fulfill
God’s will in their lives.’
“I suspect that many of the
reactionary Catholics hoping for a complete ban will be angry at
such words. The Instruction repeats the unfortunate phrase that
they’re ‘objectively disordered,’ which is deeply offensive to gays
and seems unnecessary. It might have more wisely added that
homosexuals are God’s children whom God loves as much as he loves
anyone else. That sentence will of course stir up hate mail from gay
“I've already received
anonymous hate mail from the other side. ‘Now it’s in print. The
Vatican has now decided that gays are to be punished. The new pope
was once a member of a German youth movement. Nazis once decided
that gays and Jews were responsible for all the problems of Germany.
Now the pope has decided that gays are responsible for all the
problems of the Catholic Church. Religion just can’t help itself. It
has to have someone to blame, someone to punish, Jews, blacks,
“Obviously the person who wrote
that had not read the document. The leaks about it the last couple
of months made it unnecessary for the person to read it. S/he knew
what would be in it. This is a judgment both on the church’s
capacity for dealing with the world media and the responsibility of
the media to get to a story right…”146
December 3, 2005
Reuter’s reports on their Web
page “Homosexuality destabilizes society: Vatican paper.”
It reads: “Vatican City
(Reuters) – the Vatican newspaper said on Tuesday that homosexuality
risked ‘destabilizing people and society’ had no social or moral
value and could never match the importance of the relationship
between a man and woman.
“The remarks were contained in
a long commentary published to accompany the official release of a
long-awaited document that restricted the access of homosexual men
to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
“The article by Monsignor Tony
Anatrella, a French Jesuit and psychologist, said homosexuality
could to be considered an acceptable moral alternative to
“ ‘During these past ears,
homosexuality has become a phenomenon that is always increasingly
worrying and in many countries is considered a quality that is
normal,’ the article in L’Osservatorre Romano said.
“The article was specifically
approved by the Vatican’s secretariat of state.
“‘If (homosexuality) does not
represent a social value and even less so a moral virtue that could
add to the civilization of sexuality,’ Anatrella said. ‘It could
even be seen as a destabilizing reality for people and for society.’
“The Catholic Church, the
article sad, had a duty to reaffirm its position that homosexuality
is ‘against conjugal life, the life of the family, and priestly
“ ‘In no case is this form of
sexuality s a sexual alternative, or even less , a reality that is
equivalent to that which is shared by a man and a woman engaged in
matrimonial life,’ the Italian-language article said.
“ ‘It (homosexuality) cannot be
encouraged or even less so, supported with pastoral initiatives,’ it
sad in an apparent reference to Catholics priests who administer to
homosexuals without remaining them of the Church's position against
“It said homosexuality was ‘a
sexual tendency and to an identity’ and repeated the Church’s stand
against allowing gays to marry or to adopt children. It also called
homosexuality ‘an incomplete and immature part of human sexuality.’
“It repeated some themes in the
Vatican document, and added a list of ways seminary directors could
determine if a candidate for the priesthood had overcome homosexual
tendencies or risked not being able to respect the Church rule of
December 4, 2005
Here was interesting encounter:
“Father Peacock” and I were having lunch at the King Philip’s
Restaurant in E. Templeton. It was one of the better restaurants in
the area. So, when we talk in, we meet Fr. Francis Roberge (1993
vintage from St. Edward’s). Roberge was having lunch with some woman
and we walked by where Roberge said hello to “Father Peacock” and
nothing to me. Next, when we sat to order, “Father Peacock” said to
me: “Will given you $100 if you go over and ask Roberge, where is
your furniture?” It got better because Roberge came over to say
hello to “Father Peacock.” He had to recognize me in a very
interesting manner. I predicted that this would be the last time
that “Father Peacock” would want to have anything to eat with me at
this restaurant. Roberge is in the same “cluster” as “Father
Peacock.” This would not be, I am sure, politically-clergy correct.
IN addition, I had to hear from
“Father Peacock” that due to his illness and if he didn’t go his
way, his M.D doctor would write him a letter to retire.
December 5, 2005
Newsweek published in
this weeks issue a cartoon showing tow priest with one holding a
newspaper that reads “Vatican Bans Homosexuals from Priesthood” and
the other priest dressed in a white surplice (pregnancy dress) and
cassock saying “Does this make me look gay?”148
society may view issues and express them through cartoons.
December 10, 2005
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
had in their “People’s Forum” (Letters-to-the-Editor) section a
letter from Joseph A. Ledoux of Spencer. It is entitled “Aquino
column circumvented the truth.” He is a prolific letter writer as
seen in the Catholic Free Press.
This letter states: “‘You shall
know the truth and truth shall make you free,’ is the slogan of the
Catholic Free Press. Finding the truth in our secular society is
“A perfect example is the Rev.
James J. Aquino and his attorney’s explanation that the Las Vegas
incident was minor misdemeanor and he was singled out because he was
“When the truth was revealed to
the bishop by the Las Vegas Police Department, Rev. Aquino was
suspended immediately, and I stress immediately, from functioning as
a priest. The bishop has no bitterness toward the police and
concurred that he was not related unjustly because he was a priest.
I do not wish to condone Rev. Aquino’s shameful behavior in Las
Vegas; however, I must quote form the catechism of the Catholic
Church: ‘If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth
is not in us.’
“Dianne Williamson, in her
eagerness to attack the Catholic Church (Telegram & Gazette, Nov.
15), intentionally naively circumvented the truth about this
“One of my favorite quotations
is from Rev. Billy Graham: ‘You will never find the perfect church
and if you do it and join it, it will be imperfect.’ 149
December 11, 2005
I had an interesting
conversation with “Father Peacock” about his Deacon attending a
Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting at the Chancery. The story I heard
now was second person (“Father Peacock”) communicated. He begins by
telling me that he told his Deacon and the other newly ordained
Deacon, the reason that he does not have a Pastoral (Parish) Council
because of the experience that Bishop McManus had to face in
Worcester. The previous bishop-Reilly-reinstituted this advisory
group after the Voce of the Faithful were questioning the arm of
advisors in the Worcester Diocese. His Deacon told him that Bishop
McManus had to face a question by a member about the Aquino case and
the time line issue. Supposedly, Bishop McManus became red faced
after this member was not satisfied with what the bishop answered.
There was Msgr. Permanini on this council as an ex-officio member
came out to supposedly to say that it was the Vicar of Clergy that
made the “problem” with the Aquino case. Permarini was challenged:
Isn’t Fr. Rocco Picclomini who is the Vicar for Clergy? Permarini
said: “It was you who said it.”
Here is the issue of the day,
the “certain element” in the diocese going at each other in the
diocesan clerical system. What I noticed in this encounter, how
“Father Peacock” was shifting the “lamp light” around to cover the
issue of gays and certain personalities going at each other. Another
element I noticed in him was his “homophobia” by his anger being so
charged. The “certain element” of the Worcester Diocese is so
entangled; one would keep the distance that I always maintained.
At the end of ties day, I felt
insecure, unstableness, being isolated from my brother clergy and
seemed to be in a “black hole.” I realized that I had to get back to
get it together-again’ for my own benefit and clean-out this day and
move on ward.
Yet, Hollywood releases
“Brokeback Mountain” movie. This is a story about two gay cowboys
(sheepherders). It keeps on coming. I was called and asked by my
classmate in Boston if I was going to see it. I said that I am not
sure. I rather see more historical movies. Nothing more was said on
December 12, 2005
In an essay in Time,
Andrew Sullivan-who also had a blog page-submitted “The Vatican’s
New Stereotype: Why it’s new rules barring gay priests turn Jesus’
teaching n its head.”
Sullivan states: “The one
consolation that gay Catholics have is that the church hates only
sin, not sinners. Yes, many of us are far from perfect, and like
most married heterosexual Catholics, we have been known to have sex
without making a baby. But we wee , as the Vatican assured us in
official documents in 1975 and ’86,’made in the image and likeness
of God.’ The condition of homosexuality was, for many, ‘innate’ and
not in itself a sin. Gay people were ‘often generous and giving of
themselves,’ said the Vatican, and the notion that gays could not
lead celibate lives was an 'unfounded and demeaning assumption.’ The
bar on any gay sexual intimacy was still firm-but it was the same
bar that prohibited heterosexual couples from using contraception,
or single people form masturbating, or any other nonprocreative
sexual act. It was a coherent, if difficult, doctrine-and not
“In this confined and often
suffocating place, it was still possible, though never easy, to
breathe the love of God as a gay Catholic. Our love of the church
helped us overlook its institutional rejection of the relationships
we built and the families who embraced us as equals. For many of us,
the presence of gay priests also gave immense comfort. Of my three
confessor in adult life, all turned out to be gay, although I had no
idea in advance. I have known many gay priests, and I’m in awe of
their service-to the poor and needy, to the lonely and uneducated,
to prisoners and parishioners who have all found grace through their
ministry and sacrifice. Often, their outsider experience helped them
relate better to the marginalized or the lonely or those taken for
“Recall the image of Michel
Judge, the chaplain for new York City’s firefighters, carried away
from the World Trade Center in the arms of the brave men he
ministered to. Judge, a proudly gay man, gave his life for those he
served. Under new rules form Pope Benedict XVI issued last week,
Father Judge would never have been ordained. Nor would thousands of
other gay priests and bishops and monks and numbs who have served
God’s people throughout the ages.
“In the past, all that mattered
for a priest, as far as sexual orientation was concerned, was
celibacy. If a priest kept his vows, if it didn’t really matter f he
were refusing to have sex with a man or with a woman. All that
mattered was that he kept his vows and had sex with no one.
“But that has just changed.
Even if a gay priest remains completely celibate, his sexual
orientation is now regarded, according to a Vatican expert, as a
threat to ‘priestly life.’ A gay celibate priest, according to the
new rules, is incapable of ‘sexual maturity coherent with his
masculine sexual identity.’ He has ‘a problem in the psychic
organization’ of his sexuality barring him form priestly
December 16, 2005
The National Catholic
Reporter had a picture of a group of women placards with a story
“When survivors of sex abuse challenge Rome, O’Malley reported by
Church Colbert in Boston.
Colbert wrote: “Not convinced
the Vatican’s new criteria banning gay seminarians address root
causes of clerical abuse, women who were abused by priests
demonstrated Dec. 1 outside chancery offices of the Boston
“While taking aim at a new
Vatican document released Nov. we, which says men ‘who practice
homosexuality present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support
the so-called ‘gay culture’’ are not suitable for priestly
ordination, the female survivors also took issue with Archbishop
Sean P. O’Malley’s recent letter on homosexuality, which local media
widely characterized as an outreach effort.
“ ‘Perhaps the public…would
like to continue to think that priests abused altar boys and somehow
their daughters are safe,’ sad Ann Hagan Webb, New England
coordinator for Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or
SNAP. ‘We are here to dispel that myth. We were not safe. And
homosexual orientation in our abusers had nothing to do with it.’
“Hagan Webb, a psychologist,
who alleges she was abused by a monsignor from kindergarten through
seventh grade, took issue specifically with church officials and
reports that suggest 80 to 90 percent of sex abuse victims were
“ ‘How does that account for
the fact that half of the 6,000 plus members of SNAP are female?’
she asked. (This is an interesting statistic besides the obvious.)
‘This culture has a long history of blaming female victims, whatever
their age, for the sexual abuse perpetrated on them. Is it any
wonder that we are lest apt to come forward publicly, or face legal
actions that might put us on the witness stand defending our virtue
(Where was this?)…?”151
I wonder whenever I read
anything as such if there is an agenda against the male dominated
Catholic Church as such-Pope, priest, deacons and power structure-
to carry another torch of repression resurrected. It’s the priest,
the priest, the priest world to direct everything and anything.
December 20, 2005
I had a conversation with
“Father Peacock” where he is running his annual “money talk.” It
seems that the diocese wants parishes to do a stewardship drive. The
diocese does this moving of presets ("Curates") every 2 or 3 years.
Well, he is going with blocking anything as such in his parish. He
constantly complains about the collections. But, when Stewardship is
proposed, he goes into a cloud of refusing to take part. He develops
his mini-parish drive. He than says nothing for a few months. Then
it is complaining as usual.
But this time, he opens-up that
there are 88 other parishes in the diocese that are in the “red.” He
says that he has kept the parish out of debt. Same route on his part
was the pattern of behaviors. I have heard this for the past 20
years. But what he doesn’t talk about the major projects that need
to be addressed at his parish. He plays the game with his gift of
words and smoke. Oh! He told me a story how a parishioner donated
$73,000 to his parish. But, the family was going to challenge it
because of the mental state of the donor. He tells me that he is
going to return the money to the family because he does not want
Dianne Williamson from the Telegram & Gazette writing about him. In
addition, he tells me that the family of this donor will not get
anything because the state will eat it up.
The “People’s Forum” of the
Worcester Telegram & Gazette had a letter form Herbert J.
Andrews of Douglas entitled “Rev. Coonan matter needs a fair
It states: “As in the Rev.
Joseph J. Coonan case, I have experienced abandonment and betrayal.
In the log run you find out that the institution is more important
than individual rights.
“By now, more than 3 ½ years
later one of our bishops should have established a tribunal to
determine if Rev. Coonan can be returned to the priesthood. If our
secular court system does not want to prosecute the allocations
against Rev. Coonan (and I feel there should be no statue of
limitations on the sexual abuse of a minor), that our church must
investigate this case and allow both sides to testify.
In America, we are supposed to
be proved guilty until proved innocent. As a Catholic, I believe in
forgiveness, but I also believe in my pastor’s accountability while
at the same time his right to a fair judgment.”152
December 24, 2005
I had lunch with a former
parishioner who is a lawyer. We do this once a year. He asked me at
the car after we finished lunch if I was ever going to come to come
back to ministry? I answered him directly: “No.” I then said that if
anyone had said I was crazy, that I had a legal document saying that
I was “normal.” The lawyer comes back-who is quick witted-saying
that that does not prove the present moment. I responded with that a
person can not be given only one full evaluation that I had to
experience in 1993. I sad he did not even have such a document. The
good lawyer was silent. He had to rush at this time and go home. It
was an interesting experience. I don’t know if there will be a net
year December 24th lunch?
“Bishop didn’t sign list on gay
marriage” by Kathleen A. Shaw in this days Worcester Telegram &
Shaw writes: “Worcester-As
expected, a group that favors same-sex marriage this week posted on
its Web site names and addresses of more than 120,000 Massachusetts
voters who signed petitions against same sex marriage.
“A check f the name in Central
Massachusetts shows the most notable elected official to sign the
petition to be District Attorney John J. Conte. He did not return a
telephone call yesterday seeking comment on why he supports a
constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man
and one woman.
“No area state legislators
signed including State Rep. Emile J. Goguen, D-Fitchburg, who has
championed the cause of ending same-sex marriage in this state.
“Gov. Mitt Romney, who is expected to make a
presidential bid, singed the petition. Former U.S. Rep. Peter I.
Blute, R-Shrewsbury also signed.
“Bishop Robert J. McManus who
endorsed the petition drive and allowed signature gathering into the
churches of the Diocese of Worcester, did not sign the petition. The
names of several area priests are there, along with people involved
in other local Christian churches including the Rev. Johnnie
Yelverton of the Belmont Street A.M.E. Zion Church. Bishop McManus
was not immediately available for comment yesterday because the
diocesan office had closed until Tuesday for the Christmas holiday.
“Boston Archbishop Sean P.
O’Malley of Boston also did not sign, but the names of the other
Massachusetts bishops, Bishop George V Coleman of Fall River and
Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell of Springfield, appear on the list.
KnowThyNeighbor.org, the group
that backs same-sex marriage, said it posted the names and,
addresses of all who signed so that the public will know who had
signed. It also allows those who believe their names were
fraudulently collected to make a complaint…”153
December 25, 2005
“Bishop says he signed gay
petition: No explanation why name not on list,” by Richard Nangle of
Telegram & Gazette Staff wrote: “Worcester-Despite the fact that his
name did not appear on an official sit, Bishop Robert J. McManus
says he signed a petition backing a constitutional ban on gay
“A story in yesterday’s
editions of the Telegram & Gazette noted the absence of Bishop
McManus’s signature, along with the of Boston Archbishop Sean P.
O’Malley room the petition. Both have been oval in their support for
the effort to overturn the state’s gay marriage law.
“Diocesan spokesman Raymond
Delisle said in a statement that the bishop ‘recalls signing the
petition and is frustrated that his signature is not on the
list….The only thing that can be accurately reported is that Bishop
McManus signature is missing form the list. There is not factual
basis to claiming that ‘he did not sign it.’ Logic dictates that he
would have singed it given his consistent public position of support
for the amendment….’”154
Well what gets interesting is
how “Father Peacock” played out that he signed the petition but the
sheet was lost. He told me that the woman in charge of the petitions
told him she had the list then she did not have the list. So his
name never appeared on the Web page. He stated that the list was
lost. So why didn’t e sing another petition paper. It way one excuse
that possibly should have someone check the priests names of the
Worcester Diocese of not singing the petition. There might be a more
interesting story with this than one may imagine. Unbelievable story
of me hearing how the sheet from “Father Peacock’s” parish had it
and then the woman in charge does not know how it was not there
anymore. You don’t need a “Dick Tracey” to figure this one out.
December 28, 2005
“New TV series depicts priest
caught up unjust inhuman” appeared in the Worcester Telegram &
Gazette issue written by the Associated Press reporter Frazier
Moore writes: “New York-“I
think it’s a pretty down-the-middle, wholesome show,’ says Aidan
Quinn referring to his new NBC series ‘Book of Daniel.’
“ ‘I honestly don’t think it’s
going to be nearly as controversial as some people may now be afraid
of,’ he declares. ‘It just has the courage to deal with some of the
real issues that go in n people’s lives.’
“Like, for instance? Quinn
laughs as he recites a litany.
“ ‘Well, I'm an Episcopalian
priest how struggles with a little self-medication problem, and I
have a 23-year-old son who’s gay, and a 16-year-old daughter who’s
caught dealing pot, and another son who’s jumping on every high
school girl he sees, and a wife who’s very loving but also likes her
“ ‘I can’t tell you how many
people have said tome, ‘Hey that sounds like my family.’
“Don’t forget the Rev. Daniel
Webster’s recent cruel loss of another son to leukemia. Or the
kookie extended family that among other things, is about to put
Daniel’s priesthood (and parish) in jeopardy by forcing him into
business with the mob.
Or the fact that he has regular
visions of, and frequent conversations with, a flesh-and-blood Jesus
“Is this like your family?
Viewers can soon find out. On Jan. 6, ‘Book of Daniel’ premieres
with back-to-back airings of two episodes from 9 to 11 p.m., before
claiming its regular 10 p.m. slot the following week…”155
I viewed 4 programs and enjoyed
watching it due to be what I believe and know as the “real world” at
least from the Catholic priest perspective. The sequence of the
housekeeper had me laughing because I knew three such characters in
my rectory living. I looked forward to this evening’s program. But,
it was gone. There was a protest from the southern states that NBC
affiliates in some areas refused to show even one program. NBC
replaced it with “Law & Order” in that time sloth. I basically show
it as a real life situation with the different plots occurring in
this show. I guess there are people that don’t think the
controversial topics should be televised. But the Iraqi War does
play daily with a very slanted presentation by the present
administration in Washington and the money rollers of our form of
Jeffersonian democracy being expanded.
December 30, 2005
The Catholic Free Press had
this “Letter to the Editor” form Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan
(Diocesan Canceller) entitled “Distortion of truth.”
Sullivan wrote to the Editor:
“When will the Telegram & Gazette cease its insidious attacks n
Bishop Robert J. McManus? Its repeated distortion of the truth,
orchestrated to discredit our chief shepherd and ultimately intended
to drive a wedge between the Catholic community and himself, is
“The latest example of
untruthful reporting is the Christmas Eve (!) issue, in an article
written by Kathleen Shaw, and given the headline, ‘Bishop didn’t
sign list on gay marriage.’ Shaw asserted that the bishop, after
having encouraged Catholics in the diocese to sign the petition
granting citizens the right to vote on a definition of marriage, did
not himself sign it. Her obvious intention was to show that the
bishop is not true to his word, and thus creates another divide
within the Catholic community of Worcester County.
“Well, Bishop McManus did
sign the petition. I also signed it. Neither of our names, however,
appears on the Web site of KnowThyNeighbor.org which Shaw use as
her only source. Others have found the Web site flawed.
“The disclaimer on the Web site
reads “Know They Neighbor.org its creators , its volunteer, its Web
site designers, and its server company aren’t responsible or liable
for the correctness of the list’s content including correct
spelling, correct or current corresponding addresses , or
authenticity.’ How can Shaw write an article with any certitude
claiming the bishop did not sign this petition? And, how can the
Telegram & Gazette permit such a headline?
Moreover, Shaw claimed to have
called the diocesan offices for comment. The bishop was present in
the officers for more than half the day and revived no such call. I
worked in eh Bishop’s office all day and received no such call.
“By signing the petition,
Bishop McManus joined a record-breaking number of citizens of
Massachusetts, representing scores of religious group and others. It
is time for the Telegram & gazette to start telling the truth!”156
This is one aspect, but it is
not able to beat the one I heard about the petition sheet just
disappearing form the parish facilitator.
December 31, 2005
The Worcester Telegram &
Gazette in their “People Forum” had a letter entitled “The Holy
Family is a model for us all” by Anthony S. Kazarnowicz, republic of
This caught my eye in that not
having “Rev.” by Father Tony’s name. He had been a prolific
letter-to-the-editor writer. He went into the Catholic chaplaincy
and wrote letters from Arizona. Now he appears with a Republic of
Father Tony writes: “The birth
of Christ dignified life I the womb and the traditional family. From
his conception I Mary’s womb, Jesus is referred to as ‘him,’ ‘his,’
‘child’ and ‘Lord,’ he is never called ‘it’ or ‘product of
conception.’ From his conception, Mary guarded his life with the
“Joseph and Mary did not engage
in per-martial sex or live together in sin before they were married.
God willed for his son to be born and raised according to the design
of marriage he established in the beginning, a martial union between
one man and one woman, not a homosexual union.
“Joseph lovingly accepted Jesus
though Jesus was not his own son. Jesus learned a trade and how to
be a man form Joseph. He saw how male and female sexes complement
each other in marriage. They taught Jesus how to pray and they
worshipped together in the temple. Mary and Joseph never divorced.
They were faithful to God and to each other unto death. They were
once refuges in Egypt.
“Jesus had male and female
friends and his friendships were without sin. He respected and
obeyed authority. He loved children and the poor. He loved his
enemies. All the things he preached and lived in public, he first
learned in the home. It was there that he was prepared for the
cross. This is why they are called ‘The Holy Family,’ a model for us
It has been some year. Every
year I notice has been some year. God is good.