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Come With Me Through The Gates Of Heaven

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Poster Boy Priest

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2006

 

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2006 

January 1, 2006

                I was reviewing my papers that I had in my research file. My reaction was “Oh!” to see the 2005 stacked with articles. I had to realize that I had to keep plowing foreyard and at least move like a turtle.

                I had a few people of late say to me: What is taking you so long? One party that asked me this question had me trying to explain the amount of article and journaling I had accumulated. I realized this person had no idea of what it involved for such a work. Writing is something that I find that I am very proficient at times and other times I experience no spirit to do any of it. It had me realize that I had to discipline myself and set a goal. But when I do this, there is another surge of activities in the diocese that adds to the article file.

                I had lunch with “Father Peacock” and was surprised how the conversation turned into Father Aquino topic. He said that this case really rocked the diocese. He continued to say: “It really shaken me! You’ve got to believe that!” I was not surprised because this guy had his excursions for “retreat” to Canada. Another factor in all of this of shaking the diocese was that many brother-priests were nervous of how Aquino may become a “whistling bird” on “The Boys-In-The-Band” in the diocese. He even told me how his Deacon who is delegate to the Diocesan Pastoral Council that Bishop McManus had learned a lot from this case which supposedly where the Bishop made this remark at the last meeting. Whatever anyone is to say, we must first begin that this had two criminal charges to begin with and then the spin artist entered. I believe that I was hearing “Father Peacock” using a deceiving technique to get the story off one issue onto another area. This had not been new in my experiences with the diocese nor “Father Peacock.” I had to remember that this priest and his deacon had the situation in their parish that the parish coordinator lost the petition sheet with his and the deacon’s name against same-sex marriage-the dog pooped on the homework excuse... No, I’m not talking about Bishop McManus and Msgr. Sullivan. This is a different story but yet over the same situation. I tell you, they are polished in their ways. But “ordinary” people had their number in the parish and town of “Father Peacock” and the Deacon. In the matter of the bishop and monsignor, I’m far away form the city to make such an observation.  

                “Father Peacock” even had to have me hear on this luck about Fr. Kazanowich’s letter for the Republic of South Korea. He said that Father Kazanowich’s letter was correct is saying that homosexuality was nothing like it is now during the period of the “Holy Family” time period. “Father Peacock” was using this approach to insinuate that he was against the “gay culture.” The whole conversation was as classic “deceiving” technique.

                Then “Father Peacock” tried changing the conversation of tormenting by saying to me that I never call him. Very simple, honest response of me saying: You are never in (rectory). It is the “Give me a break” time of a conversation. “Father Peacock” uses this style to change directions of a conversation form a hot button issue as Father Aquino and gays in the diocese with Bishop McManus time-line handling the overall case.

                What had me wondering was that Father Aquino was Diocesan Superintendent of Schools and Deacon Director and even “Father Peacock” was in chancery positions-Tribunal- with Bishop Harrington. These two guys, who were the same age bracket, were never appointed Monsignors by Harrington. Just wondering because Harrington made a substantial number of priests “Monsignors.” 

January 4, 2006

                “Lawmakers seek to end .limits on church liability: Abuse cases are targeted” by Frank Philips of the Globe Staff appeared this day in The Boston Globe.

                Phillips writes: “Support is growing on Beacon Hill for legislation to lift charitable immunity protections for the Catholic Church and other nonprofit organizations in sexual abuse cases involving minors.

                “More than 60 lawmakers have singed onto a bill that, in civil cases involving such abuse, would eliminate the current $20,000 limit on liability for churches and other nonprofit organizations. That charitable immunity limit supporters say has discouraged sexual abuse victims from coming forward and has sharply limited payments in other cases.

                “Two other bills would restructure the complicated laws governing the statue of limitations in criminal and civil cases involving sex crimes against juveniles. Current laws lay out various limitations bases on the number of years that elapse after a sexual crime is allegedly committed.

                “The House is also slated this month to take up a fourth bill, sponsored by Senate Marian Walsh, a West Roxbury Democrat that would force the Archdiocese of Boston and other religious organizations to file public financial disclosure reports with the attorney general’s office. In November, the Senate approved the measure, which is strongly opposed by several religious and nonprofit organizations. Governor Mitt Romney has expressed his support.

                “The bills highlight is responding willingness of the state’s politicians to take on the politically powerful Catholic Church as it attempts to settle dozens of abuse cases and improve its financial situation.

                “ ‘The Legislature is reporting to the public,’ Walsh said of the pending legislation. ‘They don’t see the institutions policing themselves, and we have the opportunity to set things right. Rank-and-file citizens are offering the leadership. They are the ones stepping forward.’

“Massachusetts is one of a handful of states that place limits on how much money nonprofits have to pay for harm causes by negligence. Last month, New Jersey’s General Assembly voted to repeal charitable immunity for churches and other nonprofits in sexual abuse cases.

                “The Bay State’s $20,000 limits for nonporous affects many kinds of negligence; the proposed change would involve only cases involving sexual abuse of a minor. The bill says, impart that the charitable limitations ‘shall not apply if the claim is for intentional or neglect conduct which caused or contributed too the sexual abuse of a minor….’ “! 

January 7, 2006

                The New York Times carried this day “Vatican Grants Church Trail to Prominent Monsignor in Abuse Scandals.” The story is reported by Any Newman and Michael Luo.

                They report: “After waging a public battle against the Archdiocese of New York, the most prominent Roman Catholic purest in the archdiocese to be accused in the sexual abuse scandals was granted a church trial yesterday by the Vatican to determine whether he should receive the ultimate punishment of removal from the priesthood.

                “The priest, Msgr. Charles M. Kavanaugh, former head fund-raiser for the archdiocese and an immensely influential figure in Catholic circles, as fight Cardinal Edward M. Egan sine 2002,when the cardinal suspended him and asked the Vatican to bar him from returning to the ministry.

                “Monsignor Kavanaugh is the first Catholic cleric in New York to be granted a trail since the sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002. Twelve others were denied trails by the Vatican and either defrocked or sentenced to a life of prayer and penance, archdiocese officials said.

                “Monsignor Kavanaugh, 68, was suspended after a former student at the high school he had run told the archdiocese that during a six-year friendship more than 20 years ago, the monsignor touched him in a sexual manner and twice law atop him and rubbed against him.

                “Monsignor Kavanaugh maintains that the relationship with the student was affectionate but not sexual. In 2004, he took the rare step of publicly attacking the cardinal, accusing him of threatening him to keep him form fighting his suspension and of denying him full access to his disciplinary file.

                “The trail will be conducted behind closed doors by a  tribunal of three to five canon law judges in Erie, Pa. no date has been set.

                “While Monsignor Kavanaugh called the Vatican’s decision a victory-‘All I want is a full and fair hearing,’ he said-several national experts said that such trials have been growing more common since the adoption of rules in 2002 requiring that cases involving accusations of sexual abuse be sent to Rome for examination.

                “The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a longtime champion of abuse victims, said the Vatican’s disciplinary wing, the Congregation odor the Doctrine of the Faith, had granted several dozen American priests trails since 2002. ‘What is happening is not unusual,’ he said, adding that he would not say it was ‘a victory for anybody…’”2

                This was an issue of my situation. I had people telling me to go public and even my civil lawyer suggesting that I had a case. I wanted to maintain my priesthood and personal dignity. Therefore, I remained silent and followed the bishop’s directives of going to see my doctor in Hartford and attending AA meetings.  

January 11, 2006

                The “Worcester Voice” had on their Web page this day “Explanation by Bishop McManus leaves many questions. Who is running the diocese?” Please realize that I include this as it reads on the Web page.

                It reads: “Another explanation of actions appears shadowy with little supporting fact. Mr. Raymond L Delisle, spokesman for the Worcester Diocese told the Worcester Telegram that Bishop Robert McManus sent ‘his’ petition in the mail because he didn’t know what precinct he way in. Ha, what you say?

                “First, a petition, and the gay marriage petition in question was designed to be singed by the masses, no voting precinct knowledge is required. No individual receives his own petition.

                The Bishop’s statement failed to acknowledge to whom Bishop McManus mailed his petition to? This explanation does not seem constants with realistic actions.

                “Secondly, again for Diocesan Canceller, Msgr. Thomas J. Sullivan, his explanation appears short in factual disclosure area as well. According to Mr. Delisle, Monsignor Sullivan remembered signing and handing his over to a parish coordinator at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Worcester.

                “Handling his over? Against, another individual petition? To an unidentified parish coordinator at St. Paul’s Cathedral. As signing a petition was an everyday event. Msgr. Sullivan certainly would know the parish coordinator of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

                “Neither of these explanations is frankly believable. The Lack of professional stature and knowledgeable actions by Bishop McManus, the leader of the dioceses continues to bewilders the Worcester faithful increasingly as each occasion.” 

January 12, 2006

                The Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed “Ohio bishop (Michigan) reveals he was abused as a teen by priest.” This was reported by an Associated Press reporter Carrie Spencer Ghose.

It reads: “Columbus, Ohio-Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit revealed in written remarks repaired for an appearance yesterday that he was abused by a priest 60 years ago. He is believed o be the first U.S. bishop to disclose that he was a victim of sexual abuse by clergy.

                “ ‘I speak out of my own experience of being exploited as a teenager through inappropriate touching by a priest,’ Gumbelton, 75 wrote.

                “He also wrote that there is ‘a strong likelihood’ some perpetrators have not yet been exposed, and the only way to ensure they will be is through the courts.

                “Gumbleton has endorsed proposals I several states to remove time limits that have prevented many victims of sex abuse fro suing the church. He told The Washington Post his own experience helps him understand why abuse victims often can’t bring themselves to sue within the statue of limitations, which in many states is two to five years after the alleged crime.

                “The written remarks were prepared for a news conference near the Ohio Statehouse in support of a bill pending in the Ohio Hose that would open a one-year window for sex abuse victims to sue the church for alleged abuse that occurred up to 35 years ago.

                “The Ohio Senate passed the bill unanimously, but the state’s bishops have vigorously lobbied against extending the window for lawsuits. No committee hearing was scheduled on the measure, so Gumbleton was to meet privately yesterday with House lawmakers who are on the fence, said Barbara Blaine, founder of the Chicago based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

                “‘He did not disclose to us (before) the bombshell that he is a survivor,’ Blaine said. ‘He did it because he wants to protect kids. It definitely breaks ranks with his brother bishops. We know that is extremely painful to him.”4 

January 14, 2006

                “Trial of Worcester-area priest scheduled for May” was printed in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and reported by Kathleen A. Shaw.

                Shaw writes: “The trial of the Rev. Thomas A. Teczar of Dudley, who is charged with indecently assaulting a teenage boy in Ranger, Texas, several years ago, is expected to go forward in mid-May in the 91st District Court in Eastland, Texas.

                “The trail was originally scheduled to begin yesterday, but the date was changed. A spokeswoman for the Eastland court said yesterday that jury selection will begin May 12 and testimony will begin May15 before Judge Steven Herod. Notices of the trail date were sent to all lawyers involved in this case.

                “Rev. Teczar, who is a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Worcester, was arraigned in 2003 in Texas and has been free on $30,000 bail.

                “He was arrested in Dudley in December 2002 on a warrant alleging he was fugitive from justice and was arrested against in March 2003 on a governor’s warrant. Rev. Teczar has denied he fled Texas to avoid prosecution and he returned on his own to Texas for the arraignment. He has also denied that he abuse the boy, who is denitrified as John Doe II.

                “The alleged victim settled a civil suit against the Fort Worth, Texas, and Worcester dioceses several months ago for $2.75 million, although Worcester did not contribute to the settlement. The entire amount came from the Fort Worth diocese.

                “Rev. Teczar, who was ordained as a priest of the Worcester Diocese in 1967, was barred from ministry in the 1980s by the late Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, but he has to been defrocked. He later took an assignment in the Fort Worth Diocese, which included the Ranger parish in which the alleged sexual abuse happened.”5 

January 15, 2006

                There was this story that I had to hear today from former parishioners in Westminster. The story was how Mrs. Nancy Cherry, wife of Deacon Cherry who was buddies with Deacon Bob Dio-resident in Westminster- said that “Father Kardas is an alcoholic and was wild in Leominster. He had a motorcycle.” I asked id they pray for me because I realize the pain of life and handled issue in a destructive nature instead of a constructive manner. Or did this Mrs. Cherry spread stories as gossip because I didn’t have Dio as a Deacon at St. Edward’s. There was a definite reason: I was instituting a molded parish with “Lay Presiders” and the R.C.I.A. approach to Sacraments and a “Faith Community.” It was a model with less clericalism and more of an adult laypeople being formed for leadership and being a faith community. I had to realize by certain actions of the diocese and clerics that it was a Castch-22 situation-no winning.

                I had to hear how Father Kilcoyne preached on “vocations” at St. Edward’s. He ended his talk with saying there job security and a good medical plan. But, he concluded that the last 5 year in the diocese, he had to agree with what had been done and happened to be good. This begs the question: Why only the last 5 years? The Gong Show started-up with Stanley Skamarych-retired postmaster- sprung-up from his seat and began applauding in a wild-man fashion. I guess this is the style of the day with at least a few “good” Catholic people.

                One thing of late I had to realize more than ever: Truths are open to interpretations. But, this day and age is not so. Issues are “black and white” even to questions that are not even asked.

                Another point of eye-opening knowledge is how the book One Million Pieces by is that the power in the narrative is rehabilitation and dialogue. A story like James Frye’s is top news as Michael Walker of Vanity Fair saying that this story will last until the next story gets into its way-except priest stories in the Worcester Diocese with the Telegram & Gazette which seems to report a priest story and then the next 400 words are about other priest in print. There are not these qualities of the present day society that exists outside my “cave.” Tom Wolfee had a quote that I recently read: “American life is mainly about ‘status.’”

                Seeing I was into phrases-that-pay of late: The measure you measure is given back to you. What goes around comes around.

                But getting back to One Million Pieces, I heard a counselor on TV say that the author-James Frye- lying is having him be in danger of drinking again because in recovery stresses that one must tell the truth. Frye was shown to be lying. Therefore, the counselor says he is in danger of drinking against because not telling the truth. Is this why Rueger and Company were sniffing my breath and having “private detectives following” (Harrington) me? I have 28 years of sobriety. This is why one of the phrases of AA for one’s “tool box” is AA is Awareness, Acceptance and Action.  

January 17, 2006

                Kathleen A. Shaw reports “Advocates seek sexual abuse law changes” in these days Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Shaw writes: “Worcester-Eunice White, a lifelong Catholic who said her religious faith means everything to her, believes she could have been an asset to the Roman Catholic Church but instead has been cast in the role of being a ‘thorn in the side of the church.’

                “As the mother of a man who alleges he was sexually abused by a priest of the Worcester diocese, she has begun to take center stage in the battle to reform laws in Massachusetts, reforms aimed at making it easier to prosecute those who sexually abuse minors.

                “Mrs. White and others in Central Massachusetts have joined a statewide coalition to support legislative measures to drop the statue of limitations on child sexual abuse so victims can bring criminal charges many years after the alleged incidents, to drop the $20,000 charitable immunity cap in cases of sexual abuse of children so victims can get bigger settlements in lawsuits and to make religious organizations responsible for filing public financial accounting with the state, as is required of other nonprofit groups.

                “She and others in Massachusetts working to change the laws on sexual abuse of minors got a boost last week when Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit told a legislative session in Ohio that he also was abused by a priest when he was 15 and that he favors changes I the laws of several states dealing with sexual abuse of minors.

                “He said he knows firsthand the difficulties in revealing abuse by clergy because he also kept his abuse secret for years and only was revealing it now at age 75. He is the first American bishop to disclose that he was abused by a priest. He also is concerned that the lingering scandal is undermining the effort of Catholics to carry out the social justice mission of the church…”6

                I received a phone call form Jack Keena to tell me that the Discovery Channel had a repeat program of the Molly Bish Story. I was reminded how the Grand Jury was to be completed this January. I would be interested to read the report in full to see how this system operates.

                Another part in the program showed the funeral Mass for Molly at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Worcester with Bishop Reilly-show boating-at the Mass. I was reminded that I had to recall, again, how there was my immediate family and diocesan family and I was in my “cave.” This is where the scares of life are brought back to view. Yet, everyone has scares in their life that are permanent. It is most important to realize that “growing pains” continue on even when one believes that is past. 

January 20, 2006

                I’m reading The Sociopath Next Door (2005) by Martha Stout. This has my interest. I’m into books lately after visiting a couple bookstores. Another book that has my interest is Clever as Serpents: Business Ethics and Office Politics. I wish I had this type of work or workshop or being newly ordained and having to sit in the rectory to answer the phone with pastors that wanted to preserve the “Fortress” mentality especially with authority and power in the name of religion. The term used in this work is “jungle warfare in business.” What I saw at this time that was in conjunction with the business model was an ad that had conference room table with a shark, turtle, owl, and barracuda. Here was my animal Farm” sequence being re-developed.  

January 22, 2006

                I have been thinking of what my next project will be after I get this basic text written of my book from my journal. I do realize that I will continue writing this work with my daily journal. However, I have to realize that I have to do footnotes and proof-reading which will be more of a project than I think of now. So, I will undertake writing a novel-my first. The title and area of interest will be: The Confessions of the Parish Secretary: Typing with two fingers. It will be dedicated to “George-None of this would have been possible.” Then, I’m follow-up with Rectory Living and then how you (Worcester Diocese) Helped Me... 

January 23, 2006

I was “just thinking” about the “Book of Daniel” on NBC Friday evenings. I was speaking with a priest in Hartford, who said to me that the program is too controversial and it will never air. Oh? It is too controversial because it tells the truth? Fr. Al was right. It was taken-off the air with no explanation. But, the printed media had stories that protest began in the South where some stations would not even show one program. The program was gone.

                “Father Peacock” was on a role in our phone conversation about Bishop Rueger and two other priest-Demonime and Bedard- who had a place in Situate which was in Rueger’s allegation case. He was even saying that it had to be someone like Dianne Williamson of the Telegram & Gazette to ask questions of location of “Situate.” What “Father Peacock” surprised me with was how he next said that he had a story to tell Dianne Williamson about the priest in the Worcester Diocese that would have enough material for her to write to the point that “she would be able to retire at the Telegram & Gazette.”

                I enjoyed watching the episode where two bishops (Episcopalian) had a relationship more than the spiritual nature. One of these bishops was “Fr. Dan’s paternal father.” The other bishop was a woman-who acted very well-in her role. I knew a number of Catholic priests that would be ballistic with a woman priest, never mind a bishop. But, end of story…for now.

                I came across this article in the TV Guide issue entitled “Oprah Defends Pal.” There had been so much publicity of the book A Million Little Pieces.

                Stephen Battalio writes: “Orpha Winfrey is standing up for James Frey, the beleaguered author of A Million Pieces. On January 8,the investigative Web side the Smoking Gun revealed that parts of Frey’s memoir about life as an addict were made up (the author described them as ‘embellishments’). But Winfrey, who featured the title on her book club last October and belied make it a bestseller, told CNN’s Larry King Live that Frey’s story ‘resonates with millions’ and she still recommends it. As for calling it a memoir, Winfrey says,’ I rely on the publishers to define the category a book falls in and the authenticity of the work.’ Random House is offering refunding to readers who directly purchases the book from the company.”

                I don’t think that my work would have a problem with being entitled a memoir

January 25, 2006

                The cartoon “Foxtrot” appeared in this day’s issue of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Hit showed Jason, seated at his computer, talking with his mother: “(Mother) Why the sudden urge to write a memoir? (Jason) I saw this best-selling writer on TV, And he was saying that basically it’s all right if a memoir isn’t entirely100 percent accurate. And I figured, heck, if that’s the case, I could make my life story really, really interesting! (Mother) You’re already ‘interesting,’ Jason. (Jason) The flight to the Death Star took a little longer than I expected….”8

                I wouldn’t have to supplement anything. It is my story here.  

January 30, 2006

                One thing that has become interesting was how I have been hearing in clerical circles and media saying gays are is used as scapegoats in this priest sexual abuse.

                The front page issue of America magazine which is a Catholic weekly on its front cover” Should Gay Men Be Ordained? No/Yes.”

                The Yes response was by (Bishop) Thomas J. Gumbleton who wrote “Yes, Gay Men Should Be Ordained.”

                Gumbleton stated” One mayor fallout of the current crisis of leadership in the Catholic Church is scapegoat of homosexual priests and seminarians. One bishop was quoted as saying that his ‘unscientific conclusion is that most sexual abuse by priests is against adolescent boys and therefore is rooted in societal acceptance of homosexuality.’ He went on to draw the bizarre conclusion that there are some fields that should not be open to certain people: ‘I don’t think drug addicts should be pharmacists, I don’t think alcoholics should be bartenders, I don’t think kleptomaniacs should be bank tellers and I don’t think homosexuals should be priest.’ Obviously he believes every homosexual person is a sex addict and, if we barred them form the priesthood, the sex scandal would be quietly ended.

                “Other bishops do not go so far as to consider all homosexual men to be sex addicts; nevertheless, they bar them from the seminary and the priesthood. Their policy reflects the judgment provided in a report prepared by the theologian Berman Grises: ‘Can men with homosexual orientation become god candidates for ordination? There are reasons to doubt it. Sexuality profoundly shapes the lives of human person, and a homosexuals orientation, less bizarre than the commonly recognized paraphilias, is a grave disorder. Homosexual men no doubt can be perfectly chastity and sublimation of sexual energy into priestly service for the kingdom’ sake.’

                “Some critics of the acceptance of homosexual men into the priesthood, like Charles Wilson, heads of the St. Joseph’s Foundation, a canon law organization in Texas, would lie to see the church make the ban on homosexual seminarians more explicit in canon law although he contents that if anon law is interpreted correctly it already prohibits homosexual seminarians.

                “In fact, one bishop has already publicly taken this position. He insists: ‘There is a difference between a heterosexual and homosexual candidate for the priesthood. A heterosexual candidate is taking on a god thing, becoming a priest, and giving up a good thing, the desire to have a family. A gay seminarian, even a chaste one, by his orientation is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood, even if he did not commit an act of (gay sex). He is giving up what the church considers an abomination.’

“Last March Joaquin Havarro-Valls, the official spokesperson for the Vatican, publicly linked pedophile priests with homosexuality and even went so far as to suggest that gay men could not be validly ordained. His statement in itself would not be of great concern, since Dr. Navroo-Valls is to in any sense part of the church’s magisterial. However, his remarks seem to take on an authoritative nature, because no bishop in the Vatican or elsewhere has publicly rejected those remarks. This can certainly leave the impression that he speaks with official support.

                “All of this focus on gay men in the priesthood and religious life, as a response to the recent sexual scandals, leaves many gay priests and brothers feeling very vulnerable and afraid. In a recent article one religious, Bro. Jack Talbot, a friar in the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, quoted a friend: ‘It’s such a difficult journey just to be out; coming out in religious life requires another level of courage and conversion. With the Vatican’s recent attack on homosexuals in religious life, I hear that some parishioner will turn my orientation into something ugly and vile, and the next thing you know I will be reading about in the local paper.’

                “All this must stop: the scapegoat of gay priests for the sex abuse crisis, the demand to reject homosexual person s for the priesthood and religious life, the unchallenged suggestion that the ordination of a gay man would be invalid. All these positions contribute to the sharp increase in the negative feelings that so many in the church and our society have toward homosexual persons…”9

                The “No” answer was written by (Rev.) Andrew R. Baker in this same issue of America.

                Baker writes: “Every bishop possesses the sacred duty of discerning the suitability of candidates for holy order. St. Paul’s advice to Timothy is fitting for all bishops, especially today: ‘Do not lay hands too readily on anyone (1 Tim. 5:22). The church’s life and the way it manifests itself as the sacrament of salvation for the entire world leans inextricably on the shoulders of her priests. The supernatural ‘health,’ one could say, of the church depends heavily on the fitness of candidates for ordination.

                “In the aftermath of the scandal of clerical sexual abuse of minors, the church and society have focused partly on the role of homosexuality. The question has arisen as to whether or not it is advisable for bishop to admit a man with predominantly homosexual tendencies, or what some call ‘same sex attraction’ (S.S.A.), to the seminary and/or present him for holy orders.

                “Thanks to a recent Circular Letter in 1997 form the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments concerning the suitability of candidates for holy orders, some guidance and assistance form the Holy See has already been given in order to tackle the thorny and difficult issue of suitability.

                “The letter says that a vocation is based on ‘a moral certitude that is founded upon positive reasons regarding the suitability of the candidate.’ Next, it mentions the fundamental reason not to admit a candidate to holy orders. The document says: ‘Admission may not take place if there exists a prudent doubt regarding the candidate’s suitability (Canon 1052 #3 with Canon 1030). By ‘prudent doubt’ is meant a doubt founded upon facts that are objective and duly verified.’ Later, the congregation advices that it would seem ‘more appropriate to dismiss a doubtful candidate’ than to lament thee sadness and scandal of a cleric abandoning the ministry.

                “In other words, the congregation seems to suggest that even if there is only a ‘prudent doubt,’ based on objective fact, about the suitability of any candidate, the best and safest curse of action is not to admit him to holy orders. The church does to ask for certitude that a man does to have a vocation but simply that a doubt has arisen through a prudent examination of evidence. Even though there may be a lack of certitude but a definite prudent doubt, a proper ecclesiastical authority should judge the candidate to be unsuitable.

                “What about a candidate with S.S.A? Does it introduce a prudent doubt suitability resulting in not admitting an applicant to a formation program or not issuing the call to holy orders?”

                “In order to determine the existence of a ‘prudent doubt,’ it would be helpful to clarify the meaning of the term ‘homosexuality.’ The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it as ‘an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons the same sex.’ Some may experience a wide range of intensity or different type of attractions to persons of the same sex, as some experts propose. Although, in the context of determining suitability for ordination, it would seem appropriate to limit the definition of the term ‘homosexuality’ to describe those with exclusive or predominant tendencies, because a ‘prudent doubt’ can be better verified objectively based on the clears presence of the disorder. With this clears information, a bishop can then make his decision concerning suitability.

                “Some have described S.S.A. as a sexual ‘orientation.’ At first glance, this description may seem to have some merit. The sexual attraction of someone with S.S.A. is ‘toward’ persons of the same sex, and this ‘tending toward’ could easily be described as an ‘orientation.’ However, to classify homosexuality as an ‘orientation’ may obfuscate the disorder that exists and the distortion that has been introduced into a biblically inspired Christian anthropology…”`0

                This may be something very “technique” to some people who want a “black-and-white” answer to everything. The Church does not work in those manner-inmost matters. 

February 5, 2006

                I have established this day from one year hence to have my “basic book” in text fashion (spell check, proof reading, footnotes, etc.). Here I stand “February 5, 2007” which is Ground Hog Day. I will have it finished. (Maybe before).

February 6, 2006

                I came across in my reading the expression “guilty until proven innocent.” This was in the book A Peoples’ History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom by David Williams (2005). This was found on page 147 which read…”was the prevailing view and the sentence could sometimes be death.”

                Bishop Harrington used this “your guilty until proven innocent” on me a number of times in 1993. 

February 9, 2006   

                I finished writing the text for 2004 this day at 3:00 p.m. Praise the Lord and Pass the notes for 2005. I’ve been writing this 2004 since November of 2004. I believe it took me 16 months to do 2004. My goal for writing 2005 and 2006 is Ground Hog Day 2007 (Maybe earlier). I have a system going of assorting the articles by dates, reading each article for context I was to include in my text, red-pen the footnote number, list the footnotes on separate sheet for later printing of footnotes, input the articles I will use, and then split my Word program with my journal and the other half of the screen with my text for that period of time. I am now cranking it out.

                What I notice that it was not until 2005 that I started writing my journal-diary in the Word program on my computer. I started this journal-diary in 1993. It was not until 2005 that I realized that I would save myself some serious time by writing directly on the Word program. It had been something I wish I had thought to do some time before. But, I was practically each day since ordination writing on yellow office paper pads my homilies, talks, meeting agendas, notes of various occasions and research, lesson plans and other matters of my ministry. Finally, I adapted the direct method of doing what I was writing on paper for so long a period of time on the computer program. Actually, I had a fear of doing this for whatever reason. Yet, one day I figured to save time of not having to take the paper journal-diary and redo on the computer, do it directly. Here I finally stand or say sit to save my overall writing. 

January 12, 2006

                I turned the radio on this morning to WEIM=AM, Fitchburg which was about 4:45 a.m. The program was the Joey Reynolds’s Talk Show. This particular segment had the issue of abuse within our society. The guest was a Hay me Taylor who had a PhD. They were speaking of abuse of neglect, sexual and physical. Taylor talked about a judge that visits with victims without his rob and not to look like Doc Vayda of Star Wars to scare the child with the predator and victim. The judge has the victim tell their painful abuse stories. The courts have had a change of heart was said by Taylor. Counselors do wholeness with a direction to reveal and heal approach with the victims feeling their pain and explaining it. Evaluations are brought together by the system for an update. Taylor said that people may call The United Way or go on the Internet at www.familyeternal.org for information. Reynolds’s came up with “Don’t tell me it’s all about money (issue)” Taylor said: It is. Reynolds responded: It always is as this government and what is going on in the country of how the government (system) is operating in this day and age-money. Very interesting to hear in comparison to the local diet on this abuse crisis.

                Whenever we talk about a system, the Church I have seen operates with double standards in taking the easy way out. What I have heard of late that Church leaders are saying: It is the civil lawyers telling them what to do in settling anything because the insurance companies pay the bill. But, the cleric is then history. There is no due process whatever anyone will say. It is the classic power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. One had to see what happens when a Church situation goes form a horizontal way of operating to one-up of the vertical direction. Many priests and the Worcester Chancery Kabala were to not sorry to see me gone. I made s statements with my ministry in general and the new model parish with the R.C.I.A. and other aspects of my parish ministry (Lay Presiders) What about a “Mission Statement’? You don’t even hear about anything as such in pastoral (parish) work. It is clericalism personified. 

February 13, 2006

                I was reflecting how I sang “The Church of the Dead and Dieing”, in the early 70s after ordination. It was my experience in the parish and especially the rectory and chancery material. It was not the thing to do because “they” never forget-authority and power. 

February 14, 2006

                My eyes were popping-out of my head when I read in the newspaper the names of “Father Henry Banche” who was described as retired. He was always “Monsignor Banche” and he had a personality of being the Polish aristocratic personality. Yet, reading that Banache was being allegated was a story that had more legs in it. But, we will not hear anymore with the Worcester Diocesan Kabala operating.

                This is the day and age where even The New Yorker had a cartoon in its February 13 issue: “Give a man a fish; he will eat for a day. Teach a man to use and he will eat for a lifetime.” Reading this cartoon, I was contemplating of sending a note with this cartoon to Bishop Rueger on his retirement: Thank you for all the teaching you have given to others. (I never did such a thing.) 

February 15, 2006

                “Sex abuse trial dates set: Allegations involve priests in acts against minors” appeared this day in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Kathleen A. Shaw wrote: “Worcester-Fall trial dates have been set in several civil lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors by some priests of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester.

                “The diocese previously removed form ministry those who were working in parishes who were named in the suits. Three of the priests are retired and three have died. A status meeting on the pending suits was held Jan. 26 before Judge Jeffrey Locke in Worcester Superior Court.

                “Boston lawyer Carmen L. Durso, who represents a majority of the victims whose case are stated for trial, said Judge Locke said he would rule soon on whether the diocese will be held to the state’s charitable immunity cap, which would limit payments to the alleged victims to $20,000 each.

                “Two lawsuits filed by men identified only as John Does against the diocese and the Rev. Raymond P. Messier are scheduled to being with jury trials Oct. 10 in Worcester Superiors court, unless the lawsuits are settled out of court before then. Rev. messier was pastor of parishes in Athol and Petersham at the time he was removed form ministry in 2002 after an allegation was made of sexual abuse of a minor. One suit filed by a John Doe against the Rev. Henry S. Banach, a retired priest and the diocese was settled out of court and dismissed last May but another involving a John Doe against Rev. Banach and the diocese is scheduled for jury trial Oct. 19. The Rev. Brendan O’Donoghue, now retired, is named in a suit involving another John Doe that has been scheduled for jury trial Oct. 25 unless settlement is reached. A jury trial has been scheduled for the 15 in the lawsuit involving a John Doe who alleges sexual abuse by the Rev. John J. Bagley. Rev. Bagley was removed form ministry in 2002 after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made to the diocese and has since retired. The late Rev. Leo O’Neil is named in a lawsuit along with the diocese filed by a John Doe and jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 29. The suit alleges that he sexually abused a boy in 1975 form the Stetson Home of Boys in Barre.

                “A lawsuit filled by Karen Pedersen against the diocese and the Rev. Robert E. Kelley, who is currently in prison after pleading guilty to raping two girls in another case, was recently settled out court. Jane Martin’s suit against the same priest which was filed in Hamden Superior Court was also settled out of curt in August. Three lawsuits by unnamed people using the name Doe alleging abuse by the late Monsignor Richard Carelli also were settled out of curt.

                “Lawsuits against the late Revs Bernard R. Reilly, who allegedly sexually abuse a girl I the early 1950s and the late Monsignor Michael L. Carney, who allegedly abused a 15-yer-old boy in Worcester into eh alter 1970s, are pending, according to Mr. Durso, who is representing the alleged victims, who are named only as Jane and John Doe in the suits.”11

                It is going to be an interesting fall season in the Worcester Diocese. Someone people are going to have a scorecard of priest and money accumulated. I know of a relative in West Warren that would be doing this with his riding companion- the priest, the priest, the priest. 

                The same issue of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette had a “digest” section: “Gay Episcopal bishop in alcohol rehab: Concord, N.H.-The Episcopal Church first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, says he is being treated for alcoholism, surprising many of his diocesan friends and colleagues.

                “ ‘I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment center where on Feb. 1, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol,’ Robinson wrote in an e-mail to clergy Monday.

                “Robinson’s assistant at the Diocese of New Hampshire, the Rev. Tim Rich, said yesterday that a growing awareness of his problem, rather than a crisis, led to Robinson’s decision.

                “In his letter, Robinson, 58, says he has been dealing with alcoholism for years and had considered it ‘as a failure of will or discipline on my part, rather than a disease over which my particular body simply has no control, except to stop drinking altogether.’ “12

                I was speaking with my cousin, Mickey Bish. He made the comment: “I (Mickey) shouldn’t bring this up, but today’s newspaper had an article on sex aubse of priest in the diocese. You know that I don’t know anyone that stopped going to Church because of this sex abuse crisis.” I didn’t make a response to him. I only listening for him to finish and go on. When he started this, I was seated at my desk and became emotionally weak wondering what he was going to say next, I wanted but did not ask him if my name was in the article he was reading. He did say that my name was not in the article. But he continued to say that Kathleen A. Shaw wrote this column he had and was the same person that wrote about me.  I had the weak reaction-anxiety-again. It was still there whenever I had to retrace the allegation path of my priesthood.

                It was an interesting comment especially from him in a small town where everyone knew everyone. I know that Mickey’s newspaper was the front page, sports page and the “priest page.”  

February 16, 2006

                I heard from “Father Peacock” that he was on a roll with the subject of talk shows on radio an TV should have a moratorium on the priest sex abuse crisis. Then he continued today that he is concerned that the next DA for Worcester-Conte retiring-may open-up the priest sex abuse with lobbying from special interest groups. I was listening and wondering how much he is running scared about issues in his own back yard.

                “Bishop’s alcoholism is a familiar problem” Pressure of scrutiny cited by other clergy” was in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported by Richard N. Ostling of The Associated Press.

Ostling writes: “Episcopal Bishop Chilton R. Knudsen of Maine can sympathize with her church’s first openly gay bishop, V. gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who announced Monday he is being treated for alcoholism. Knudsen herself needed alcohol treatment 21 years ago after becoming the first woman to lead an Episcopal congregation Illinois.

                “‘There is a particular kind of stress people are under when they are the first,’ she said. ‘Being a clergy person is a stressful job-and any disease process latent in our bodies is going to be exacerbated’ when an extra level of scrutiny is added on.

                “While Knudsen believes other high-pressure vocations-doctors, for instance- face similar problems, the Rev. Dale Worley of the Clergy Recovery Network says religious denominations that accept social drinking wind up with more alcoholism among clerics.

                “But where the church culture isn’t open to (drinking), the resistance to getting help is more profound,’ so seeking treatment and managing recovery is more difficult, he added.

                “Religious professionals after having high expectations of themselves and are viewed with high expectations by others, said Wolery, an independent Baptist minister based in Joplin, Mont. When they can’t live up to those ideals that can lead to alcohol abuse he said.

                “The core of the addictive process is shame,’ sad Wolery, who has aided between 200 and 300 clerics with alcohol problems.

                “Gail Gleason Milgram, education director at Rutgers University’s Center of Alcohol Studies, says that all executives, including bishops, have a special problem because ‘the higher up one becomes in an organization the more difficult to confront the behavior’ and tell the boss that help is needed.

                “Local clergy have another temptation. ‘They might come and get at their own schedules. They don’t punch a clock," she said. So it’s easier for them to cover up the problem, as avoiding appointments before 10 a.m. because they’re hung over, or after 4 p.m. so they can resume drinking.

                “The Rev. Nancy Platt of Augusta, Maine, and alcoholic who became sober before joining the Episcopal priesthood is active in the Recovering Alcoholic Clergy Association-An Episcopal group with 350 active members including one or two bishops.

                “Platt says the clergy have three special challenges: parishioners’ demands of them another families; low pay relative to other professionals with graduate training, and the requirement of dealing continually with peoples’ problems.

                “With bishops, ‘it’s harder, and it’s a lot harder than it used to be.’ For one thing, they need a certain reserve with clergy to avoid favoritism so they have few friends for support unless they have fellow bishops…. It really is the same with many CEOs, and yet you must be a pastor and mentor. That’s not an easy tension.’

                “Robinson’s sexual orientation has meant he’s dealt with the most intense sort of scrutiny: Becoming a sing of hope for some in the gay commuit13y and a flash point for debate in both the Episcopal Church and the international Anglican Communion.”13 

February 17, 2006

                The National Catholic Reporter­ reports “Abuse victims ask bishops to rein in one of their own” by Tom Carney of Des Moines, Iowa.

                Carney reports: “In an unprecedented session, representatives of victims of priests abuse met with the four Catholic bishops of Iowa in Des Mones Feb. 2 to ask them to take action against one of the their own, the retired bishop of Sioux City.

                “The victims’ advocates presented the bishops with five requests, all having to do with Lawrence Soens, retired bishop of Sioux City. Ten sexual abuse claims have been filed against Soens in the Davenport diocese, where he was a priest before becoming a bishop. He retired as Sioux City bishop in 1998.

                “‘He’s traveling throughout the state celebrating Mass with fellow bishops and being active in other Catholic events,’ said Ann Green, who represented a group from eastern Iowa at the meeting.

                “The victims’ group asked that the bishops write a letter to Soens, asking him to refrain from having unsupervised contact with minors, and telling him he is not welcome at church-sponsored events and liturgies in Iowa; that the four bishops issue a joint statement to all Iowa Catholics through church bulletins, diocesan newspapers and diocesan Web sites on allegations against Soens’ and that they send the same statement to the secular press.

                “They also requested that the bishops inform Iowa Catholics, through the same means, about the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests-SNAO as a resource where survivors can go for help and support; and that the bishops agree to a second meeting.

                “Greene said, the bishops were ‘very pleasant and receptive,’ and heard ‘some very graphic accounts’ from the victim’s groups. The bishops talked at great length about their limitations regarding Soens.

                “ ‘They said they have no direct control over him,’ shesaid….”14 

February 18, 2006

                I heard another story that had been tormenting. It was “Father Peacock” telling me the story of Fr. Leo O’Neil being put-out by the Chancery Kabala and was living in the Franklin Building in Worcester compared to Southgate, Shrewsbury. The Franklin Building in Worcester did not have good reparation. It had me thinking how the diocese will do this to me. I’m not that much better-off living in my present studio apartment. But, “Father Peacock” had to continue on with saying that by my age of 70 that the diocese was going to have to change and do something for me. He did say this Father Kilcoyne of Westminster was furious about O’Neil’s situation. One thing was that I had to quiet myself in hearing these stories. “Father Peacock” did have a way of playing mind-games. He replayed how he would love to meet with Dianne Williamson of the Telegram & Gazette and give her a story that would “blow the top of the Worcester Diocese.” He said Williamson would have a story to carry her through her whole life-priest insight on what was really going on. He continued with saying that he was going to speak with his lawyer about being sued because he did have ‘five young men do some raking at his Lake House.” The lawyer topic was issue with him because he wanted to update his will and was going to ask how to protect his assets if he was sued as so many priests are in this age and time. He wondered if he was able to do anything because of the seeing and waiting for the courts to resolve the $20,000 ceiling on suits. It was interesting to hear the anger and fear elements operating in him at this time. 

February 20, 2006

                I made an interesting error this day. I drove to Hartford for my “scheduled” meeting with Dr. Zeman. It was the wrong day.  It was re-scheduled to February 27th. What I wondered about when I transferred dates to my new 2006 date book was that I had February 27th but nothing written by it. I had February 20th date for Dr. Zeman and proceeded with that date. So, I realized it was a Monday that was George Washington Holiday. The traffic was light. I get there and I saw Dr. Zeman going out another door. I approached the receptionist desk and she took my name and I waited. After a while, I wondered. I returned to the receptionist desk and paged him. He called back and said that I was scheduled for next week. I said I had the card to say otherwise. In this next moment I realized that I had the February 27th date and didn’t realize it was the change in the appointment. When I returned to my place, I e-mailed him and apologized that it was my error

                When I did see him the following Monday, he said that he would not do anything to “push-my-button.” He did say if he did see me that he would have taken me for my appointment. I told him I appreciated it, but here I was with my past error-egg on my face. I am usually very accurate in such matters as appointments and my word. It was a good reminder to me that I was not perfect. 

February 21, 2006

I referred to what I recall studying of Cardinal Newman on the “power and authority” issue. He called it the “development of doctrine” with his memorable phrase: “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” Thus Catholic thinkers find themselves pressing forward all the time, pushing the Church to rethink some traditional positions on human sexuality, on non-Christian religions, on papal authority, and a host of other questions. This is not a presumption for relativism, such thinkers argue, but a more thoughtful fidelity. If there is a freezing of “Church teachings” at a given stage of development, one risks making an idiot out of oneself in  proposing a change in the history of the Church. Yet, it is one way of pushing a doctrine that many have not yet reached in Newman’s stage of perfection after much change. 

February 26, 2006

                There is a difficulty in writing because it is a discipline of each day. Jim Mitchner wrote 2 pages a day for his 1,000 page books. My next work will be fiction and I hope I would be able to write with an easier style. However, I heard the former press secretary for Nixon say on TV: Keep the journal going.

                I have been hearing about “recall memory” of late. I hear that people are realizing that some people take situations where years later everything they didn’t like comes on the screen for them. It is something that is a said for certain limits of our society. This brings me to think of a Ms. Jean’s story of Leominster. She had a campaign on one issue-her child in St. Leo’s School. She takes on a complete different issue with the priest clergy sex abuse issue. She had on the Internet Web page “Voice of Worcester.” In my reading of her page, I notice that someone besides Ms. Jean is providing the insights and information. The grammar and thought development in the writing on this Web page has much to be desired. Someone should at least use the “spell check.” I wonder and watch how many other “victims” with lawyer use the cause of “recall memory” on their march for an allegation. What I’m saying is that many suing the Church have an “agenda” on the “good Catholic Church.” I was reminded in all of this that I represent the institutional Church.

 February 27, 2006

                The appointment wit Dr. Zeman was only a half-hour appointment due to the closing of his present practice with the group he was with. Dr. Zeman mentioned Bishop Rueger and wanted me to talk about him as to my insights in our next scheduled appointment in August. Interesting. 

February 28, 2006

                On the Internet Web page Catholic News Service was this article: “Levada urges gay priests to remain in closed...”

                It stated: “Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal-designate William Levada has said that a priest who publicly announces he is homosexual makes it difficult for people to see the priest as representing Christ.

                “Catholic News Service reports that Levada explained that a public declaration of homosexuality places a priest ‘at odds with the spousal character of love as revealed by God and imaged in humanity.’

                “Cardinal-designate Levada made his remarks during a homily on Sunday as he presided over a Mass for the installation of the new rector of Rome’s Pontifical North American College.

                “In the presence of some 170 seminarians, Cardinal-designate Levada reflected on the challenges priest face today and on the Sunday Scripture reading, which described God’s love for his people as the love of a husband for a wife and described Jesus as the bridegroom of the church.

                “Referring first to ‘the tragic problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy,’ the cardinal-despite said, ‘thanks be to God, it now possible to say that the measures taken by the bishops on behalf of the church have put into place a comprehensive program of education, prevention and care for victims, as well as measures to ensure that abusive clergy are not returned to ministry.’

                “‘One of the more immediate challenges facing seminaries,’ he said, is the implementation of the Congregation for Catholic Education’s November instruction that mean with ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’ should not be admitted to the seminary or ordained to the priesthood.

                “The instruction, however, made clear that the church was to questioning the validity of the ordinations of gay men who already are priests.

                “The cardinal-designate said the instruction’ is not directly related to the sexual abuse crisis, but it is not without relevance for it,’ insofar as a study commissioned by the US bishops identified homosexual behavior as a component in many clerical sex abuse cases.

                “Beyond the issue of psychosexual maturity, Cardinal-designate Levada said, ‘the question also needs to be need from its theological perspective,’ particularly in light of the biblical images of God’s spousal relationship with his people and Gospel passages in which Jesus refers to himself as the bridegroom.

                “The doctrinal chief sad he wanted to look specifically at “the situation of the gay priest who announces his homosexuality publicly, a few examples of which we have recently hard reported’ in reaction to the Vatican document.

                “ ‘I think we must ask, ‘Does such priest recognize how this act places an obstacle to his ability to represent Christ the bridegroom to his bride, the people of God? Does he not see how his declaration places him at odds with the spousal character of love as revealed by God and imaged in humanity?’ he said.

                “‘Sadly, hits provide a good example of the wisdom of the new Vatican instruction,’ he said….”15 

March 3, 2006

                Gerald F.  Russell of the Telegram & Gazette Staff reported “Pastor Accused of misconduct arrested in domestic assault” this day.

                Russell wrote: “Dudley-The pastor of St. John’s Church in Worcester, who was placed on administrative leave in 2002, was arrested Tuesday and arraigned yesterday on charges that the assaulted his mother and sister at their Oxford home.

                “The Rev. Joseph A. Coonan, 58, is charged with domestic assault and battery, assault and battery on a person over 65 years of age, and one count of intimidating a witness. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in the arraignment before Judge Neil B. Snider in Dudley District Court. He was released on bail of $250 and a personal recognizance. The case was continued to April 4 for a pretrial conference.

                “Rev. Coonan was removed form ministry at St. John’s Church on Temple Street in August 2002 by Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, head of the Worcester Diocese at the time, after allegations of sexual misconduct form the 1970s surface. Before his removal, 15 men from Oxford told state police that Rev. Coonan did inappropriate things with them when he was a teacher and counselor in Oxford before he entered the seminary.

                “He was a teacher at Oxford High School for eight years.

                “In 2003, the diocese asked Rev. Coonan to resign as a pastor. At the time, a spokesman for Rev. Coonan said the priest had hired a canon lawyer and planned to fight his removal ‘on canonical grounds.’

                “According to an Oxford police report filed with the Dudley District Court clerk’s office, Rev. Coonan’s had been drinking at the time of the latest incident in an apartment he shared with his mother and sister at 3 Hope Ave.

                “Police received a 911 call form Rev. Coonan’s mother, Mabel G. Conan, 77, who told a dispatcher, ‘I’m having a problem with my son.’ The mother ended the call but police called the number back and another female answered the phone and said, ‘I can’t really talk right now.’

                “The woman then whispered into the police, but police could not understand what she was saying. The dispatcher instructed the woman to press a button on the telephone pad if she needed the police to come to the apartment. The caller pressed a key and police responded and also sent an ambulance as a precaution; however, it was not needed.

                “When police entered the home, Rev. Coonan was standing in the doorway of a bedroom.

                “Mrs. Coonan told police that her son ‘had engaged in an argument with her and her daughter, Patricia Loisell.’

                “The police report did not indicate what the argument was about. A police spokesman yesterday said he did not know the nature of the argument.

                “In the police report filed by Oxford Patrolman Christopher D. Hadis, Mrs. Coonan said ‘that Joseph assaulted her by placing his hand around her throat in a chocking motion.’

“Mrs. Coonan showed no visible signs of injury, police said.
“ ‘Mrs. Coonan stated that this has been an ongoing problem. She stated that (it) escalates when Joseph consumes alcohol,’ the report said.
“The report said Rev. Coonan had been drinking beer that night.
“Police spike to Rev. Coonan, and he told them that ‘this was just an ongoing family problem and that no physical violence had occurred.’ He told police that ‘a verbal argument had occurred.
“Patricia A. Loiselle told police the argument between mother and son started in the kitchen. She was in the living room recovering from recent surgery. She told police she did not see any physical violence between her brother and mother, but then her brother ‘involved her in the argument.’
“According to Ms. Loiselle’s statement to police, her brother ‘became so enraged that (he) grabbed hold of her hair and pulled.” She got a cordless telephone and threatened to call the police and Rev. Coonan ‘forcefully removed the phone from her hand.’ He then took the battery out of the phone so it would not work….”16
The New York Times had in their “Critic’s notebook” by Virginia Heffernan “Brokeback Spoofs: Tough Guys Unmasked.”
The article states: “Gay cowboys, it seems, are shaping up to be like ‘Who’s on first?’ or the ‘the aristocrats’” a joke that keeps on giving. While the ‘Who want to see that?’ humor columns as but “Brokeback Mountain’ have wanted, online parodies of the gay-cowboy move are still proliferating faster than the curatorial video sites -including yourtube.com, gorilliamask.net, and dailysixer.com (which has a section called “Brokeback Spoofs’)- ca keep up with them. Some of them are stupid. Some are droll and great. But as commentary on the forms and ceremonies of poor gay relationships, they’re surprisingly sharp, and worth taking seriously.
“All of the parodies assume the same form: they’re trailer for imagined smashups that combine elements of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ with other movies. The actual mockups, of course, don’t exist; only these trailers do. They’re made anonymously or by comedy troupes or design shops, like Chocolate Cake Cit and Robot Rumpus, both of which give their web address at the end of their parody videos, “Brokeback to the Future’ and ‘The Empire Breaks Back,.’ (The creators who stay anonymous might be trying to avoid nagging copyright issues.)
“If they were made, the parodies can presumably serve as a calling card for those who sign their work; some of them are viewed hundred of thousands of times. Generally, though, the “Brokeback’ spoofs are nothing but labors of love, or gay panic, or both.
“The parodies typically use Gustavo Santaolalla’s sexy, mournful theme form ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ together with the title cards from that novice’s trailer, to reframe clips from another movie. It works almost every time: a gay movie seems to emerge when scenes between male leads, or a male lead and a supporting actor, are slowed down, set to make-out music and humpered by portentous cards that say things like, ‘A truth they couldn’t deny.’ The editing, and the use of slow motion, does suggest that close-ups, especially viewed at length, are intrinsically erotic. All that these parodies need to do to set up the relationship is show one man’s face in protracted detail, and cut to the other man, who seems to watch with the same rapt attention that the viewer has been compelled to give by the slow-mo. A gay subtext suddenly seems plain as day….”17

March 5, 2006


Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI wrote in his Web page this day “Sweating Blood in the Garden.”
Rolheiser writes; “ ‘In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.’ “Luke gives us this picture f Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. What’s happening inside of Jesus here?”
“When we look at the accounts of Jesus’ passion and death we see that what the gospel writers highlight is not Jesus’ physical sufferings are almost underplayed ,In Mark’s account, for instance, the entire aspect of physical sufferings is written off in one line: ‘They led him away and crucified him.” What’s emphasized instead is that Jesus was alone, abandoned, betrayed, morally lonely, hung out to dry, unanimity-minus-one.
“Moreover, the fact that Gethsemane is a garden (rather than in a temple, a boat, or a mountain-top) tells us something too. Archetypally a garden is a place of love, a place of delight, a place to drink wine with friends, a place of intimacy. Conversely, that also makes it the place where love is lost, were one feels the deepest kind of loneliness, and where one suffers emotional crucifixion.
“Thus, it’s Jesus, the lover, who sweats blood in the garden. What he suffers there is the emotional agony that sometimes comes on us as the price of love. What Jesus seats there is a lover’s anguish. What is that…?”
“My dad used to say to me: ‘Unless you can seat blood sometimes, you will never keep a commitment, in marriage, in priesthood, or in anything else. That’s what it takes to be faithful!’
“In essence, at least in miniature, that was Jesus’ agony in the garden. The blood he was seating was the blood of emotional crucifixion, the prince of being faithful in love.
“To be faithful, to love beyond daydreams, requires that sometimes-in hotel rooms, inwardness, at parties, in our workplaces, in places where wine id drunk, and in every place where people gather and intimacies are exchanged-we have to enter a great loneliness of duty, the loneliness of renouncing an overpowering desire, the loneliness of losing life so that we might find it in a higher way.
“And that isn’t easy. Jesus didn’t find it easy and neither do we. What love and fidelity ask will sometimes drive us to our knees in anguish and, like Jesus in Gethsemane, we will find ourselves begging God’s for a means to

still have our own way in his, to have our cake and eat it too, to find some way around fidelity, now, proviso, and duty….”18

                It is that feeling that I experience. Then I recall such as this piece by Rolheiser. Loneliness was the course by Clark Moustakas that I had in my M.A. studies at Assumption College. How was I going to know that I had this in my “tool” box of life to open from time to time? 

March 8, 2006

                I did the 3 mile walk routine and picked-up the pace to a longer stride puffing. There was an elderly gentleman waking past me with a good stride who said he walks fast so he doesn’t have to be put into a wooden box.  I was puffing in the rest of the walk because it was of the longer strides with a steady strong pace. I felt a lot better after hearing him and developing his style. I walked previously with short steps that were actually too causal. I was feeling good that evening with body and mind. A new style was in place for me to adapt for my walking. I also said my rosary when I did this 3 mile walk.  

March 9, 2006

                I was educated to read everything possible on a subject to develop a conscience and being informed. I noticed in my journal writing that I had a somewhat limited source material mainly due to finances and Internet availability. A newsprint that I had to review periodically was The Priest magazine which I only see periodically. It is more of the right-wing of the Catholic priesthood, but a source that should be reviewed for me to get a balanced viewpoint of issues. I would have to travel to Assumption College library in Worcester to read this issue. 

March 10, 2006

                The Catholic Free Press printed on page 1 “Holy See acts on Msgr. Batista case” Other priest abuse cases sent to Vatican.”

                The article reads (no reporter): “An order of the Holy See, through the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Doctrine of Faith, permanently prohibits Msgr. Leo J. Battista, 82, from any type of priestly ministry. Also, he may not present himself as a priest and is to spend the rest of his days in prayer and penance, according to a press release form the diocese yesterday.

                “The diocese had referred Msgr. Batista’s case to the Vatican after charges of sexual improprieties were brought against him. The diocese sought laicization according to Raymond > Delisle, diocesan directory of communications. Laicization means reduction to the lay state. Msgr. Battista retired form ministry in 1995.

                “Msgr. F. Stephen Pedone, diocesan judicial vicar and vicar for canonical affairs, said one cases alleging sexual abuse against a diocesan priest is pending now in the Vatican. Information concerning sexual aubse allegations against five other diocesan priests is being prepared now to be sent to the Vatican. Information on the cases of three other priests will be sent later. He declined to name the priests.

                “All the cases occurred before 2002, he said, and the allegations against the priests were sent earlier. The Vatican has asked for supporting material, which is being prepared now, he said. Information on cases alleged to have occurred after 2002 will be sent to the Vatican later…”19

                Here I was reading this and had that “weak” feeling. Anxiety.

                The Worcester Telegram & Gazette had this same story about Monsignor Battista on its frond page “Vatican decides not to defrock retired Monsignor Battista.”

                Kathleen A. Shaw writes: “Worcester-The Vatican has decided against defrocking Monsignor Leo J. Battista, who surrendered his clinical social worker’s license in 1991 after admitting that he had sexual relations with a client when he was her therapist.

                “The Vatican recently told Bishop Robert J. McManus that Monsignor Battista is permanently barred form ministry and cannot present himself as a priest, Raymond L. Delisle, diocesan spokesman, said yesterday. Monsignor Battista, 83, is retired and listed in the official diocesan directory as living at Southgate in Shrewsbury, His last parish assignment was pastor of St. Anna parish, Leominster….”20

                I had a coffee with Jack Keena with Msgr. Batista’s article in the local paper in front of him. Keena related how he had the appointment with Bishop Rueger in 1993 concerning my case. I always wondered Keena’s purpose besides the obvious and how Rueger was so prompt to give him an appointment. Rueger told Keena in his office that the Diocese had received a letter that threatened the diocese with a suit if they didn’t remove me. Rueger said that he had to do in face the suit-which they did anyway. What the diocese had with this was a perfect scenario to use against me with this because everything else was neutralized especially Bishop Harrington’s car accident, Monsignor Manning, Father Paul Foley etc. I was history. Rueger, according to Keena repeated this time as before that there was “so clear a case’ that was nothing else but a classic “snow-job.” It was clear what the diocese had at their hands to do me in for my ministry. Rueger was known to the priest for having a “talking jag” when he had to slant an issue. He had the stage with Keena and anyone else that had any questions. But, people were going to be asking the wrong questions. Keena, I speculate, had been allowed an audience with Rueger for the purpose of finding information out about me and the parish. He was being used, period. 

                It is amazing where I read that Father So-and-So is listed as living at Southgate in Shrewsbury. This is plus living. I live in a “cave” with $400 for housing and no communications whatsoever. One should look up who is able to get to Southgate-certain priests seem to have priority-in the diocesan listing versus the Chancery Building.

                Another aspect that immediately occurred to my reading this story was the information concerning sexual abuse allegations against one priest at the Vatican and 5 other diocesan priests is being prepared now to be sent to the Vatican. Information on the cases of 3 other priests is being prepared now to be sent to the Vatican by the Worcester Diocese. I had to realize that I was “powerless” and not able to do anything. The Chancery was doing their thing. This was where I had to practice The Steps (AA) in another situation. It was basically he said and she said. Here we go against. Another Lenten challenge. I had my worry and anxiety buckets filling-up. What I had to re-learn is immediately in such situation develop “quietness.” What I had to realize was that the Worcester Diocese was facing 4 or 5 lawsuits this fall in the Worcester Superior Courts.

                As they say in The Godfather this is the life we have chosen. This is the issue of “Cost of Discipleship” of Bonhoffer's background. There is a price for being a disciple.  

March 11, 2006

                Priest for some people are a lifelong endeavor they can’t get over with. This past Friday with the Battista story that had another reminder: Don’t talk (quiet time) I should have followed such but reacted on one phone call which I had to hear about since then.  It is my issue” I should not have said anything of my gut feelings for Friday and the Catholic Free Press on Battista. I should have learned by now tomes quiet. But what I should have realized was that I am what I am. Obviously, I came from Mars. I need to realize that I have to step-up against to the Church and society with a message of positive energy. 

March 14, 2006

                “Priest victims’ father to speak: Child sex aubse reforms urged” capered this day in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

                Kathleen A. Shaw wrote: “Worcester-Retired Tewksbury Police Chief John Mackey, whose daughter was instrumental in getting further prosecution of the Rev. Robert E. Kelley, will be among speakers at today’s Statehouse hearing in Boston on changes in the state’s laws dealing with sexual abuse of children.

                “Mr. Mackey first called for reform of the state laws regarding child sexual aubse at the 2003 sentencing of Rev. Kelley in Worcester Superior Court. He said at the time that chances of getting those changes were ‘slim to one’ because of the strong lob the Catholic Church has in the Legislature. However, three years later the Coalition to Reform Sex Abuse Laws in Massachusetts has mounted heavy lobbing efforts to push for reform and said the bills need to get at of the committee…

                “Several of these advocates will then testy before the Massachusetts. Joint Judiciary Committee on the need to change the statue of limitations for child sexual abuse cases and to remove or alter the $20,000 cap on what the Catholic Church has had to pay to those who were sexually abused by clergy. Other dioceses in the state waived the cap to give larger awards to victims, but the Worcester diocese has stuck to the cap and has given survivors settlements of much lower amounts….”21 

March 17, 2006

                “Cheap grace’ exacts costly toll” appeared in Father Andrew Greeley weekly column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Greeley write: “Last week, after the Motion Picture Academy decided that ‘Crash’ was the best file of 2005, most American entertainment journalists decreed that in fact it was not the best film. Even the reported for the Irish times joined the chorus, which insisted that the prize way denied to “Brokeback Mountain’ because of homophobia. Others added to this explanation the argument that the distributor of the file had sent DVDs too many members of the Academy so they might actually see it-clearly unfair tactics. Still other charged that since the locale of the film was Los Angeles and environs, the largely Angelino-basked Academy was biased in favor of it. But it was the gay card that was being played.

“The underlying them of all the criticism was that  of all the criticism was that ‘Brokeback’ had the right to the prize because it was about a gay love affair; therefore, members of the Academy were duty-bound to award it top honors, and if they did not, they were guilty of homophobia.

“Thus, the moral blackmail of the canons of political correctness was mobilized to destroy the credibility and the integrity of the Academy. Such blackmail is a disgrace to contemporary American culture. The Academy needs no defense form me. But the ridiculous promotion of politically correct norms is not only patronizing and wrong. It is evil because it demeans the group being patronized. The politically correct have seized the moral high ground and enjoy the benefits that come with cheap grace.

“One does not give any performance a discount because of the race, the gender, the religion, the sexual orientation, or the previous condition of servitude of the performer or the work. I am disgusted by critics who so in the name of leveling the playing field. They are doing no one any favors. I am also disgusted with those who charge that a negative reaction to a work of someone who is in a favored minority group or about such a group is prime facie and definitive evidence of bias.

       “I thought ‘Brokeback’ was a sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of the tragic agonies of homosexual love and wished afterward, as I have said many tem, that my church would state bluntly the primary truth on the subject: God loves gay people as his beloved children as much s he loves straight people as his beloved children. I thought “Crash’ was a panoramic morality take about hate and forgiveness. I’m not a film critic and it is not my role to judge between the tow of them. I leave such decisions to my colleague Robert Ebert-and the Academy, whose job it is to make such decisions…”

This is the atmosphere of the culture we are living in. It is all over the place in the gay issue and judgment issue. 

March 18, 2006

                “8 clergymen are dismissed by the Vatican: Boston-area clerics accused of sexually abusing children” by Michael Levenson and Charles A. Radin of The Boston Globe Web page of boston.com.

                It reads: “The Vatican has dismissed eight Boston-area clerics accused of sexually abusing children, including a monsignor who for two decades was the third-most-powerful official in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in addition to six other priests and a deacon, church officials said yesterday.

                “Dismissal form the ministry, which takes effect immediately, means that the men will no long revenge financial support form the archdiocese or be allowed to perform most of the public functions of a Catholic priest.

                “The eight had served for decades across Greater Boston, I school, jails, hospitals, sand churches. Among them was the former vice chancellor of the archdiocese, Monsignor Frederick J. Ryan, who was accused in 2002 of having repeatedly taken tow students in the early 980s form Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury to the chancery and molesting them. He is the highest-ranking priest to be dismissed since the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

                “Organized in 1964 Ryan had a long career serving in churches in Holliston and Hyde Park and at the chancery from 1974 to 1995, where he served under Cardinal Bernard F. Law. In 2002, allegations surfaced form two victims who said that Ryan had abused them while they were students at Catholic Memorial. He resigned in April of that year form St. Joseph Parish in Kingston, where he was serving as pastor.

                “Under church law, all credible accusations of abuse are ruffed to the Vatican; even against poorest who voluntarily request to leave the ministry. The Vatican can then decide how to resolve the cases or can allow dioceses to do so….”23 

March 18, 2006

                I was speaking with “Father Peacock” and I mentioned that I was worried about me being one of the 5 or 6 cases going to Rome on priest sex abuse. He said in a very quiet voice that Msgr. Batista’s case was with two nuns. My case he said was not being sent to Rome. One thing when I heard this was this guy knows as much as I do about how the Worcester Chancery is operating this day age.

                But this had me thinking of my fear buckets filling-up and my last visit with Dr. Zeman. He asked me to address how I view Bishop Rueger. Then he said with a look that he has that I could call him any time before the August appointment.

                I had the crazy thinking of how to handle myself with people that knew me and even my landlords. We will see…again. Will this be where I need to save the long needle to make sure when he is laid out on his office desk to make sure he is dead? Don’t forget, I attended Bishop Harrington’s funeral. 

March 22, 2006

                Here is an eye-opener on the front page of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette with Father Branconier's picture and Kathleen A. Shaw writing the column “Bishop asked to state defrocking proceedings: Diocese settled lawsuit over Auburn abuse.”

.               Shaw writes: “Worcester-Paul A. Guries has formally asked Bishop Robert J. > McManus to begin proceedings to remove the Rev. Gerald L. Branconnier from Catholic priesthood.

                “The Diocese of Worcester settled a lawsuit with Mr. Guries in 1993 in which he alleged sexual abuse by Rev. Branconnier, and he received an out-of-court settlement of about $35,000. The alleged incident happened when Mr. Guries was 16 and a member of North American Martyrs Parish, Auburn.

                “Although Rev. Branconnier was removed form ministry and placed on leave in 1993 by then-Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, Mr. Guries told Bishop McManus that Rev. Branconnier continues to function as a Catholic priest.

                “He sad he had a recent ‘awkward’ situation when he attended a wake at an Auburn funeral home. He found Rev. Branconnier there dressed in clerical garb and signing the guest book as a priest. Mr. Guries listed other reason he believes Rev. Branconnier may still be functioning as a priest.

                “He sent a copy of his letter outlining his allegations to Archbishop Petro Sambi, The Vatican’s apostolic nuncio of the United States, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re at the Vatican Congregation for Bishops and Cardinal Ario Castrillon Hoyos at the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

                “Mr. Guries mailed and then hand-delivered a letter to Bishop McManus on Friday in which he stated Rev. Branconnier should be laicized-returned to the lay states essentially the same as defrocking.

                “‘If he is defying the mandate of administrative leave form ministry, those actions are in violation and will warrant more serous penalties,’ said Raymond L. Delisle, diocese spokesman. Mr. Delisle sad several priests were referred to the Vatican for laicization but he does not know if Rev. Branconnier was among them.

                “ ‘The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith treats each one individually, and it is impossible to say how long each one will take,’ Mr. Delisle said.

                “Mr. Delisle said Bishop McManus left Monday for Rome but he expects the bishop to answer Mr. Guries on his return. Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley and several other archbishops will be elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI….

                “Mr. Guries’ letter mentions a video that he turned over to the diocese in 1993 that shows Rev. Branconnier, dressed in clerical garb officiating at a 1989 Catholic rite weeding of two men, 15 years before such marriages became legal in this state.

                “Same-gender marriage has been legal here since 2004, but is not permissible in the Catholic Church. Mr. Delisle sad he believes the video would have been turned over when the initial allegations were made that let to Rev. Branconnier being placed on leave.

                “The video sows Rev. Branconnier conduction a Catholic marriage rite that included blessing the same-gender with sign of the cross, blessing the wedding rings, also with a singe of the cross and blessing those assembled at the outdoor wedding. …

                “He (Guries) was once a diocesan seminarian and was sent by Bishop Harrington to the North American College in Rome. He was dismissed form the seminary form the seminary by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, then the rectory, fur months short of being ordained a transitional deacon.

                “Mr. Guries said he is gay and he believes this might have been part of the reason he was dismissed, although he maintains he was celibate during his years in the seminary, but he said indications were they thought he stayed up too late, was active on the Rome social circuit and may have had a personality conflict with a monsignor at the college.

                “He has since left the Catholic Church and is now a member of the Episcopal Church….24

                I’m sure there is more that will be added in this type of article from the gossip-line. 

March 23, 2006

                Here I go again. It is the next day of when I read the article about Father Branconnier in the Telegram & Gazette. What I experience is the anxiety route because of reading the full part of the article of being on administrative leave. It seems that Mr. Raymond Delisle comments on Branconnier were made for the media.

                I had my fear buckets filling the more that I thought about what I read. I was putting myself to be one of those names going to the Vatican. So, I started thinking of how I had to start –over with explaining my case to people that knew me and even concerned of having to deal with my landlords if anything re-appears in the newspaper.

                I had my regular AA Step Meeting on this Thursday. We had a Spring Party with food and refreshments. I had some items to eat but had an upset stomach. We did Step #4 this meeting and had some interesting words appearing in the literature as fear, anxiety and quietness. It made me aware of what I was experiencing this day. Yet, I was allowing my mind do “crazy-thinking” of the worst case scenario in my situation. 

                On my return to my place, I had an upset stomach where I had to go to the bathroom. I had the weak feeling that I had recalled from my experiences in 1993 thru 1996. It was where I had to implement “quiet” time. I tried reading to no avail. I finally went to bed and did have a somewhat difficult time to fall asleep.  

March 24, 2006

                “Father Peacock” called me in the morning. He immediately stated: “he lied.” I asked who lied. He told me Branconnier had lied to him about his situation. Then he said to me that Guries was a professional trouble-maker of suing four or five priest. It was some phone conversation. I only listened.

                The Catholic News Service had the story that was in the Catholic Free Press which read “Vatican laicizes eight accused Boston clerics.”

                The story reads: “Boston (CNS)-Seven priests and one deacon f the Boston Archdiocese accused of sexually abusing minors have been laicized by the Vatican, the archdiocese announced.

                “Among the priests removed from the clerical state was Msgr.  Frederick Ryan, a former archdiocesan vice chancellor and regional vicar.

                “The Vatican decision means that all eight men will no linger revive financial support form the archdiocese and they may no longer perform pubic ministry, with the section that those who are priests may offer absolution to the dying, said the March 17 announcement.

                “In a short statement about the decision, Cardinal-designate Sean P. O’Malley of Boston reaffirmed the ‘ongoing commitment of the archdiocese’ to help victims of clergy sex abuse.

                “‘This moment provides an opportunity to express to the survivors of clergy sex abuse and to their families my deepest sorrow for the grievous harm done to them. The violations of childhood innocent, under the guise of priestly care, are a source of profound shame,; said Cardinal-designate O’Malley, who is scheduled to be inducted into the College of Cardinals at a March 24 Vatican ceremony.

                “‘I pray and hope that the emotional, physical and spiritual wounds carried by survivors will be healed and their trust renewed,’ he said.

                “Terrence C. Donahue, archdiocesan communications secretary, said that all eight men had been removed form active ministry prior to the Vatican decision…”25

                I finished writing my main text this evening. It was a “Good Friday” for me in the sense of accomplishing writing my text which I figured would take until the 2007 year. It felt great to at least having accomplished this much in this period of time. Now, I will continue writing my journal with added text. The issue of writing the footnotes from paper form to my Word program will be a tedious part because of the details. But, I only have to do some six years. I will approach this as my symbol of writing the text-as the turtle moves along. In doing these footnotes, it will not be the “mind game” of getting the text as accurate and objective as possible.

                It was a “Good Friday” for me this Friday. This was the day that I caught up with my journal and text.

                In addition this day I read the article “In defense of a cardinal who’s trying” by Fr. Andrew Greeley in the Chicago Sun-Times.

                Greeley writes “A careful reading of the two reports on sexual abuse that the (Chicago) archdiocese recently commissioned persuades me that the cardinal’s problem is not that he attempted a personal cover-up but hast he was unable to control his bureaucracy-a not uncommon problems in corporate organizations.

                “In fact the Defenbaucgh report says quite explicitly in an opening paragraph the cardinal did not know all he needed to know about the priest in question because he was not advised of the information available to his staff. Since the buck stop on his desk, it was proper for him to assume responsibility for the failure and to apologize for it.

                “I must relate some personal history as a credential for this position. In 1986, in the paperback edition of my book Confessions of a Parish Priest, I warned the church that the sexual abuse of young people by priests was a ticking time bomb. Since then I’ve written at least 20 columns for this paper on the subject, in one of which I outlined a reform proposal which was quite similar to the one Cardinal Bernardin implemented in the early 1990s. Two of my books on the subject, one fiction, one sociology, are currently in the bookstores. I am and always have been on the side of the victims, though not of the victims groups. My fellow priests in Chicago have never forgiven me because I wash dirty line in public.

                “I write in defense of the cardinal not because I like him (thought I do. Except when he disagrees with me) and not because he ahs anything I want, but because I am appalled by the subtle campaign to get rid of him. I apply to him, as I tell him; tow Irish compliments-‘He’s not the worst of them’ and ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.’

                “That he does not proactive cover-ups is evident from the case several years ago when a young man alleged sexual abuse by a litany of church and political figures, for example Speaker J. Dennis Haster, Cardinal Edward Egan and this columnist. Cardinal George, as he should have, passed on the accusations to the state’s attorney’s office. All were subsequently cleared. It was probably the only time in our live that me fellow Oak Parker (Cardinal Egan) and I ever appeared in the same paragraph. A man who will not cover up for a fellow cardinal will not cover up for a 37-year-old priest.

                “The Bernardin reforms have worker quite well for the last decade and half and have been imitated in many other dioceses. The problem is not with the reforms but with the clerical culture that permeates the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center and its affiliates. The Defenbaugh and Childers reports reveal almost unimaginable blindness in such agencies as the seminary system, the Office of Catholic Schools, the Office of Vicars for Priests and the monitoring systems that supervise men who have been removed from active ministry but not yet excluded form the clerical status.

                “One wonders in what world the people responsible for the behavior described in the reports live. Are they deaf, dumb and blind? Do they not know what hoard abusing priests have done to the church? Haven’t they read the letters and manuals form the cardinal?

                “Evidence that clerical culture is alive and well can be found in tow resolutions submitted by groups of priests, both concerned about the rights and privacy of priests and neither concerned about foul-ups in the pastoral Center bureaucracy. Priest (many of them anyway) are like the Bourbon kings-they never learn anything and the never forget anything.

                “In adopting the recommendations of the tow reports, the cardinal has clearly committed himself to the needed reforms. However, He will have to push many of his staff, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. Presumably he has learned by now that no executive can take for granted that his subordinates have learned the folly of self-defeating behavior. The struggle against the narrow self-pity, the passive-aggressive narcissism and the blind follow of clerical culture can be won only by vigilance and persistence and men around you who understand, as the French write pit it, ‘Clericalism. THAT is the enemy!’”26

                This is where I begin thinking about writing a novel: An Unbridled Addiction to Power

March 25, 2006

                I was speaking with my Spiritual Director about my latest “fear buckets” filling-up. The advice was with the diocese that I was powerless. Worry for what? Nothing as me doing so-worrying-will change what the diocese will do with my situation even if they make me their “Poster Boy.”

                I mention to the Spiritual Director about “Father Peacock” doing his latest act. I was reminded of “Father Peacock’s” power trip and his latest reaction of Father Branconnier front page story a few days back, may have something to do with things getting too close for him.

                I was reminded that in the ministry that I was letting people be the best that they were with their talents-getting them to do mystagogy.

                I, also, was reminded that in my whole situation since 1993 that I had no right and was not given any due process.  Take everything, I was reminded, day-by-day. Whatever happens, I was also told, I will handle as things happen.

                It was an interesting talk. 

March 27, 2006

                What I was hearing today on the telephone was the issue of “relationship” being the source for all that is happing in our society today. It was me hearing from the “Boston connection” that the issues of male and female efforts are related to “relationships.” It was a different slant for me to pick this up in the conversation. The “gay culture” is using this “relationship”; it seems to neutralize the heterosexual dimension of relationship with no mention of anything by the concept of “relationship.” It was interesting to pick this up that there is no difference in one’s secularity. There definitely is a difference in language.

                Then I was reading the latest issue of Ministry and Liturgy (April 2006) sections of “Worship Times” stating “Flawed but familiar, the current test is adequate in many Episcopal minds. Cardinal George of Chicago said, ‘There are those who have been quite critical of the present translation, but who are now saying that we don’t want to disturb the people, especially in the situation of weakened epos copal authority we have now.’”

                Is this the part of where we read in the secular press the direction of the American bishops “defrocking” priest that have been allegated? Is it a public relations issue on the bishop’s part?

                Or do we have an issue of how the Catholic Hierarchy dealing with the gay priest issue at present. One has to know what it means. But we know they punched in the face the issue and backed-off and issue is supposedly gone. The hierarchy says the priest or other person may be gay but not acting it out in the full sense.  It is different and difficult to understand of who is on first and what is on second-Abbot and Costello fame.  

March 29, 2006

                I noticed myself being in a “down spirit” (depression) during the day. I was thinking that I achieved my project of writing my book which I finished in catching-up to with back material. So, I decided to take my three-mile walk. I pushed the walk in my pace. It was exacerbating. It had back to dealing on my plain of operation of setting a goal and carrying it out as best as I was able to do.

                I realized after I finished my walk that what I was allowing to happen in my “stinken thinking” the issue of being “Harrington’s Poster Boy.” Then, I was reflecting about the possibility of being “defrocked” with that latest clergy announcement by Worcester Chancery of one priest case already in Rome and five more cases being prepared to be sent to Rome. I had to realize that I was powerless on this matter. But, it was still a concern in my thinking.

                What I read for the first time in any literature besides the National Catholic Reporter about the American Bishops: “Flawed but familiar, the current text (Mass) is adequate in many Episcopal minds. Cardinal George of Chicago said ‘There are those who have been quite critical of the present translation, but who are now saying that we don’t want to disturb the people, especially in the situation of weakened Episcopal authority we have now.”

                This quote appeared in Ministry & Liturgy issue of April 2006 on page 22. I mentioned this because I wondered about a couple of things: First, this most likely was Cardinal George’s own reflection but using the language of “we don’t want to disturb the people” issue. The other point is reading in the latest information from the Worcester Chancery of having one priest case in Rome and five more being prepared to be sent to Rome. It seems the local episcopacy may be operating on reaction to advocate groups for alleged victims  had have a few heads roll-defrocking or put in a life of prayer and penance. I know I may be over-reacting. But, I am the person that has a half-empty glass verses a half-full glass. 

March 31, 2006

                Now we start getting accumulation and analysis reports of the “dragnet going through the water.”

The boston.com (The Boston Globe) carried on the Internet “Abuse cost churches nearly $476 M in ’05: settlements spiked sharply” by Susan Milligan of this day.

Milligan writes: “Washington-the church sexual abuse crisis cost Catholic dioceses and religious institutes nearly $467 million last year I settlements to victims, legal expenses, therapy and training, a staggering amount in the aftermath of the aubse scandal that surfaced in 2002, according to an independent audit released yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“The data, collected by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, also showed that 783 new and credible allegations of sexual abuse by clergy were reported last year, down from 1,092 allegations reported in2004 and bring the total number of accusations to more than 12,000 nationwide since 1950.

“While the number of allegations is decreasing, the financial cost to the church increased over the last year due to some large settlements paid in 2005, said Teresa M. Kettlekamp, director of the USCCB’s Office of Child and Youth Protection. The church paid more than $399 million last year in settlements alone, and spent $67 million more on therapy for victims, legal fees, and counseling for offenders, according to the data.

“The audit’s result brings the total cost of the church sexual abuse crisis to nearly $1.2 billion, not including undisclosed payments the church made during 2003 and this year.

“’It is disheartening to us bishops, as it must be to all Catholics, to find that there are still some allegations of abuse by clerics against today’s children and young people,’ said Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the bishops’ conference. Skylstad is himself subject of a sex aubse allegation that he has vigorously denied, and his Spokane, Wash., diocese is in bankruptcy. But he said that ‘only a small minority of Catholic clergy’ had been accused or convicted of sexual abuse, which he described as a problem that extends well beyond the church.

“Faced with explosive evidence that priest had been abusing hundreds of children for decades without serious consequences, the church issued formal guidelines to its dioceses in 2002 meant to detect and prevent such abuse. The document, called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, urges facieses to immediately report and take action when sexual abuse allegations are made as well as ensure that church personnel are properly screened, and offer help to any aubse victims…

“The John Jay College analysis provided some insights into sexually abusive clergy, finding that on average such abusers had begun to offend after 11 years on the job. The largest portion of first-time offenders-22 percent-were between 30 and 34 years of age.

“Those who had the greatest numbers of allegations against them tended to abuse younger children and were more likely to victimize boys than girls according to the college researchers.’”27

                Statistics and facts become the dominate factor in drawing conclusions. People and circumstance become lost. People’s lives were destroyed as alleged victims and others. It was a time where Bishop Harrington’s remark to me in 1993: “You’re guilty till proven innocent.” But the American Catholic hierarchy ran this issue to do a lot more than what most people think. It developed to a lot of “back-door” issues that most people will never know. It was as a restoration of power into a pre-Vatican II model of “Ultramontanism.” (This term came into use in the seventeenth century and stressed the movement in the Church that promoted papal authority over the Episcopal jurisdictions.) It was coded word in the priesthood for “clericalism personified” as the Bourdin kings type of living.

The Catholic episcopacy became “middle mangers” and the parish priest was the errand boy.

                In addition, the weekly issue of the Catholic Free Press with a story and picture “Father Ciambelli, 68, former pastor.”

                The story reads: “Worcester-Retired Auxiliary Bishop Rueger was principle celebrant at a Mass of Christian burial yesterday in St. Margaret Mary Church for Father Blaise Ciambelli, 68, who died March 26 in the Millbury HealthCare Center.

                “A wake service was held Wednesday evening at St. Margaret Mary Church. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Milford…

                “He was incardinated as a priest of the Worcester diocese on Dec. 26, 1972. He was named associate pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish on June 15, 1973, and associate pastor of St. St. Christopher Parish on Oct. 1, 1978. He served as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish form Oct. 1, 1983 until his retirement June 18, 1993. He was a guidance counselor at Milford High School from 1974 to 1978 and chaplain at Westboro State Hospital from 1982 to 1996…..”28

                This story is one that gets interesting in trying to connect the dots. Fr. Blaise disappeared off the radar screen about the same time as me in q993 form the parish. I heard about this through the clergy “grape vine” (gossip network). Any time I asked any priest about Fr. Blaise, it was standard answer given: I (priest) don’t know anything... Well, here is the front page of the diocesan paper of Worcester. What read interestingly: “He served as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish form Oct. 1, 1983 until his retirement June 18, 1993. He was a guidance counselor at Milford High School form 1974 to 1978 and chaplain in Westboro State Hospital from 1982 to 1996.”

                So was he in or was he out in 1074 to 1978 and then what happened after 1996 with his ministry. Was he put on “leave of absence” or what?

                I did know him in the diocese until I attended an updating class on the liturgy that the diocese offered at the Cathedral. I befriended him in class where we shared a number of conversations of being new pastors at that time and experiences. It was my only contact with him but other diocesan cathedral ceremonies. Then when I was removed in 1992 and hearing that Fr. Blaise was out of his parish with no information even in the “gossip line.” This is where stories get more interesting for the know.

                There never were any official announcements concerning him or most priests even knowing anything about in the diocese.  It is one of those mysteries of priest disappearing. My situation of forced departure was never officially or otherwise printer in any media. I was a non-person. It is interesting and a mystery how the “system” real works at times. One thinks the Federal government operates in clandestine ways, have a lot to learn form how the Catholic Hierarchy operated.

                I have been told a number of times by priest that obviously, I had “pissed-off” some people in the chancery-early days by using the term “Mickey Mouse Club” and “Disneyland”, having a motorcycle, questioning the system of certain clergy of laziness by asking: what do they do.” “They” got me back and made me “The Poster Boy.” What comes to mind was when Jack Keena had an appointment with Bishop Rueger in the chancery with Rueger saying to him: “We have a clear case against Father Kardas.” “They” (Harrington, Rueger, etc.) wanted me out. I was reminded of this by a number of people that knew me. 

April 2, 2006

                Other aspects of the clergy sex abuse crisis were being g reported on the national level as “Church leaders fighting se abuse steps in several states: Longer statue of limitation bids draw clerical fire” by T. R. Reid of the Washington Post reported in The Boston Globe.

                Reid reports: “Denver-When Colorado legislators proposed making it easier for victims of sexual abuse by priests to use the Romans Catholic Church, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput fought back hard.

                “He said that effort to relax states of limitations reflected ‘a peculiar of anti-Catholicism’ and that the goal of some lawmakers is the ‘dismantling and pillaging of the Catholic community.’

“Church representatives have testified to legislative panels here that Children in public schools are just as open to sexual abuse as in a church setting, and have even given state lawmakers the names of public school teachers who allegedly abuses children.

                “Chaput said in an interview with a church newspaper that diocesan officials had gone to a Denver newspaper with concerns about abuse by public school teachers and others in an effort to get a story published.

                “Chaput’s aggressive push against the proposed legislation comes at a time when a number of states are considering easing statues of limitations for lawsuits by alleged victims of abuses.

                “Four years after clerical sexual abuse first publicized in Boston turned into a nationwide scandal for the church, some bishops are concerned that the proposals could cost diocese around the country millions of dollars….”29 

April 4, 2006

                Dianne Williamson gives us in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette column “Farewell, Father Coonan: Accused priest should resign his pastor ship.”

                The column reads: “The Rev. Joseph Coonan has learned that criminal law over much faster than canon law.

                “The once-popular pastor of St. John’s Church heads to court today. He faces charges that he assaulted his mother and sister Feb. 27, while still awaiting a decision from Rome about a priesthood thrown into disarray in 2002 by allegations that he assaulted young boys before being ordained.

                “Meanwhile, his loyal but shrinking band of supporters is busy holding raffles and drumming up support for the priest, who is represented in the secular world by the lawyer who will likely be our next district attorney, who is hoping that the current district attorney drops the criminal charges against his clerical client.

                “All of which begs the un-avoided question: Since he’ll never clean up the mess, isn’t it time for Father Coonan’s to throw in the towel? How can this priest ever expect to resume a ministry tainted by such repugnant allegations of abuse?

                “Three years after the local diocese removed Father Coonan from his ministry, his well-meaning but misguided supporters remain steadfast in their love fest and committed to restoring him to the pulpit. Many say they don’t believe the allegations, even thought at least 15 men have come forward to share strikingly similar stories, many involving the priest’s fondness for watching boys urinate, defecate or masturbate….

                “Thus the prayer vigils, the canon lawyer, the letter-writing campaign form the faithful, the division within the church of those who support Father Coonan’s and those who don’t, to say nothing of the continued grief of the alleged victims. How, I wonder does three years of time limit help a parish that the priest professes to love?

                “‘He’s waiting for a decision so he can move on with his life,’ Mr. Early said. ‘All he wants is a decision. He’s tried to do everything they’ve asked him to do but resign his pastorship.’

                “Too bad the one thing he won’t do is the honorable things.”30 

April 5, 2006

                The next day there was a short article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette concerning Father Coonan. It was entitled “Family says priest not abusive.”

                The article read: “Dudley-After the rev. Joseph A. Coonan appeared at Dudley District Court for a pretrial conference yesterday, his sister told reporters that she and her mother want to drop the domestic assault and battery charges against him ;because a whole lot was made out of nothing.’

                “Standing outside the court house with the help of crutches after reconstructive leg surgery, Patricia Loiselle said that reading about the incident in newspapers was like reading about someone else’s life.

                “The case against Rev. Coonan, 58, involves charges of domestic assault and battery, assault and battery on a person over 65 years of age, and one count of intimidating a witness. It was continued to May 16 for a status hearing, Rev. Coonan, represented in court by his lawyer, Joseph D. Eearly Jr., declined to comment.

                “Rev. Coonan, the pastor of St. John’s Church in Worcester placed on administrative leave in 2002, was arrested Feb. 28 after his mother, Mabel G. Coonan, 77, told police her son ‘had engaged in an argument’ with her and her daughter.”31

                Stores always get interesting as the plot thickens.

                In another matter this day, I was speaking with a former parishioner, who told me “They finally caught-up with Monsignor Carelli.” This turned my head in hearing this howling comment in that this person was a former Worcester resident and said to me that it was a know factor about then “Father Carelli” with boys. Carelli was now deceased and did have a story of alleged allegation made public on him after he died. This person told me how there was a relative that was on the Worcester Police Department who spoke how “The police would catch Monsignor Carelli on Main Street picking up boys. The police used to drive him back to his rectory.”

                Monsignor Carelli was part of Bishop Harrington’s inner circle and even in charge of diocesan finances. Then Carelli was given a plush pastorship, in clergy talk, of St. George’s parish, Worcester.  

April 7, 2006

                It was one of those days for me of the roller-coaster ride. I was giving an Easter gift to help me with my daily grocery expenses which was a total surprise. After I returned, I read the latest copy of the National Catholic Reporter which had a series of article on “state of limitations” issue with clergy. Here was I on the roller-coaster ride of having a high (gift) and a low (reading the articles). It still affected me with a “pit” feeling in my stomach. I had to sit back because I felt a weakness of an anxiety going through my body. It didn’t last long. I forced myself to get going to do some cleaning in my place to develop beyond this experience. 

April 9, 2006

                “‘Settled’ is a state of mind: Gagne hopes to leave court disputes he hind” was written in Dianne Williamson’s latest column in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

                The article reported: “For a private man who once aspired to the priesthood, Ed Gagne has endured more than his share of secular drama.

                “In the late 1980s, his life intersected with the notorious Austin r. MacLaughlin, a 300-pound poser who scammed friends and colleagues out of more than $450,000 before he was sent to prison. In 1994, a decade before it became acceptable to disclose claims of sexual aubse by Catholic priest, Mr. Gagne sued the Diocese of Worcester and was awarded $300,000.

                “Most recently, Mr. Gagne received $130,000 after settling a law suit against the city of Rochester that claimed his boss didn’t pay him fairly based partly in retaliation for the above-mentioned indents. The City settled the case after former employee at the Office of Employment and Training testified that Mr. Gagne’s Catholic boss, Stephen Willard, was angry that his subordinate sued the diocese and helped bow the whistle on Austin MacLaughlin.

                “Mr. Gagne is well aware that people may consider him litigious, or at least unlucky to have experienced so much personal turmoil. But the city’s forest Gump says his ordeals have only strengthened his resolve to speak out against injustice.

                “ ‘I  never wanted to make problems for the city or anyone,’ said the 40-year-old Spencer man, in his first interview since he sued the city. ‘I’m sad I had to walk this journey. I never expected or wanted any of it. But this is my life, and this is what’s happened to me.

                I first became acquainted with Mr. Gagne in 1996, when I wrote about his civil lawsuit against tow Catholic priests and allegations that were especially heinous. He told the diocese that he was sexually abused in a church rectory by the Rev. Brendan O'Donoghue when he was a 12-year-old altar boy. Years later, he said, he was assaulted by the priest he turned to for help and guidance, the Rev. Peter J. Inzerillo…

                “In 2003, Mr. Gagne claimed in a lawsuit against the city that he was wrongly denied a portion and was receiving a pay discrepancy by being listed as a ‘staff assistant’ when his co-workers were ‘coordinators.’ In a deposition for the lawsuit, Lawyer Elaine Batas, a former supervisor at the OET, claimed that Mr. Illand decimated against Mr. Gagne because he was gay, because he had sued the church and bemuses he helped expose Mr. MacLaughlin….

                “Ms. Baltas also testified that Mr. Willand ‘was visibly upset’ when a story about Mr. Gagne's lawsuit against the diocese was published in the newspaper and that ‘he had a very difficult time understanding why anyone could sue the church…Mr. Willand considered himself a very prominent member of St. George’s parish in Worcester (Where have we seen this parish before?) And the suit would affect him, it would affect is relationship with the parish men’s club, and was very bad image for both him and the city manger and the city of Worcester…

                “‘Sometimes I’ve (Gagne) wondered if it would ever end,’ he said with a simile. ‘Part of me worries what’s next. But I have a lot of respect for people who create change, and I don’t take back anything I’ve done.’”32

                When one connects dots and watches patters, stories have other stories that we most likely will never hear. 

April 11, 2006

                In the latest atmosphere of media and otherwise we had “Brokeback Mountain” with all type of Oscar nominations and now even “Sopranos.”

                This HBO program has introduced a “gay gangster” into the program. The Associated Press had a story by Douglas J. Rowe in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

                The article reported: “New York-Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhall and…Joseph R. Giannascoli?

                “In what Gannascoli cheerfully calls ‘the year of the queer,’ when “Brokeback Mountain’ became a phenomenon and Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar playing Truman Capote, Ganascoli’s character spoiler alert: read no further if you haven’t seen the episode yet) was ousted Sunday night on ‘The Sopranos.’

                “Dressed in appropriate leather bar attire Vito Spatafore-the heretofore closeted gay mobster-was sighted by a couple wise guys who cam by the sweaty S&M joint to collect their protection money.

                “ ‘It’s a joke,’ Vito weakly offers, then begs: ‘Don’t say nothing!’

                “By the end of the episode, he’s checked into a motel with a gun, thinking suicidal.

                “Fans of the HBO series were stunned last season when Meadow’s boyfriend, Finn saw a security guard sitting in the driver’s seat of truck-and then Vito’s head popped up…

                “Now that the gay story line is heating up, the 47-year-old Brooklyn-born actor is immensely pleased, in part because it was his idea to make Vito homosexual.

                “‘I saw him as, like, a cross between Mike Tyson and Liberace,’ Gannascoli said. ‘I wanted to make him sort of in self-denial, self-loathing a real gay hater.’

                “Gannascoli’s suggestion was inspired by the book ‘Murder Machine,’ about the Gambino family, which had an openly gay member also named Vito.

                “ ‘They didn’t bother him about it, because I guess he was good at what he did, which was chopping up bodies,’ Gannascoli said.

                “Gannascoli concedes that he has a self-serving motivation for making the suggestion: Breaking out of the pack….”33 

April 13, 2006

I was looking through book reviews of Models of the Church by Avery Dulles. Father Dulles a Catholic theologian whose work I recall reading in the early 70s. So, I went on line and found a review of this book by a blooger-TheoCenTriC (ravings of an am, amateur passport, hack theologian, and wanabe mystic).

What had me interested was the section of “Church as Institution.” It continues “This institutional view ‘defines the Church primarily in terms of its visible structures, especially the right and powers it its officers” (34) [2] Church government is not democratic or representative, but hierarchical. Power is concentrated in the ruling class-the church officers-whose jurisdiction is patterned after the secular state. As officers of God’s sacraments, the clergy open and shit the values of grace. Because the institutional model maintains that its leadership structure is parrot of the original deposit of faith handed down by Christ’s disciples, the authority of the ruling class is understood as God-given, and should be unquestionably accepted by the faithful.

“The strength of the model lies in its visible manifestation of unity. Unlike any of the following models, all tests of membership are clearly visible; however, the weaknesses of this model are manifold. In the final chapter of his book Dulles states that this is the institutional model is the only one that must not be paramount. ‘The institutional model by itself tends to become rigid, doctrinaire, and conformist’ (194). This does not imply (as many are quick to assume) that there is absolutely no value in institutions. [3] It simply proves that the institution must serve other ends besides its own preservation. [4]…Avery Dulles, provides a helpful resource in sorting through all the possible ecclesiastical options. In his book, Models of the Church, he gives an overview of the fine main models of church: Church as (1) institution, (2) mystical communion, (3) sacrament, (4) herald, and (5) servant. [1] He demonstrates the strengths and weakness of each model. He concludes by integrating each model’s positive contributions to form a more comprehensive model of church…”34 

April 14, 2006

                The National Review Board that “monitors church efforts to deal with clergy sexual abuse of minors has called for ‘strong fraternal correction’ of the bishops of the tow diocese that declined to participate in last year’s diocesan compliance audits…The spike in abuse cases between the 1970s and 1980s echoes an increase in drug use, sexual experimentation, crime, child abuse and other ‘deviant behavior’ seen during the same time period in the larger society….”35

                This is a packed statement by the experts. Therefore, the “dragnet going through the water” has been draw in and stored? 

This was giving me an overview review: Even if intolerance and mismanagement had prevailed had been horrific, he Church had to have leadership (hierarchy, clergy and laity) that would act as being able to be “People of God”  in having  confidence restore red in being these people called for in a renewal of our Baptismal promises.  The issue of “painting-by-the-numbers” with the statistics and other third-party “experts” did not live or understood the reality of living in a system of unbridled addiction of authority. The media played everyone as a ping-pong reporting.

I experienced the official leadership of my diocese as “Howdy Duddy and Buffalo Bill.” It was something in the Worcester Diocese how the inner-circle of leadership of the Chancery operated to insulate each other. It even became interesting how Rueger was proven to be “immaculate” and everyone else allegated was gone. Then later we watched how Rueger was allowed to “retire” but have a desk in the chancery. The question for this was what it for was: They needed a place to lay him out on it for his funeral wake service.

                So, how do we mend or regroup? Where do you go being a clergy allegated but never but never been charged and have been placed in “isolation.” How does someone as myself get his reputation and job back? The answer if so sudden by the Church hierarch-avoidance, avoidance and avoidance. Nothing will ever be done. One just becomes a statistic.  Yet, one may live in fear of being defrocked as being a priest. What is the issue of issues one reads of “statue of limitations” being debated in the state legislation? What is the real status of what was my “case” as such with obviously no venue to defend oneself? Due process was only a term in my case. Any Review board was none existent. But, on paper one read of certain individuals (Ex.: Sister Paula) whose names reappear some years later as being reappointed by the newer hierarchy leaders. God forbid that anything as an independent board being appointed to review anything besides being a statistic.

The “institutional” model of the Church was becoming and established as wax hardening of a snuffer out candle.  It sealed itself to be harder than ever to have any rights or hearings being restored to allegated priest. In my case many factual inaccuracies and misleading statements were made that rendered some of conclusions unreliable.  

April 22, 2006

                I had a semi-annual lunch with “the Counselor.”  The other lunch at “Friendly’s” is tradition of Christmas Eve. This Holy Saturday lunch had us just talking. “The Counselor” mentioned how the Aquino case most likely would not have gone anywhere if he told the police his true identity. Aquino gave a false name and identification. Then “The Counselor” mentioned how the Vatican intervened on “saying to the American Bishops: Hey! Wait a minute on your approach of laicizing any priest allegated.” Obviously, he had been talking to some priest to even pick-up this type of insight. I only made one remark: This is not the real story. (The Aquino story was only the top of the iceberg in the Worcester Dioceses.) I wanted to say to him but did not for him to get his head out of the sand as a “Catholic” ostrich member does. The conversation changed.

                Another article appearing in this days’ The Boston Globe was “Tip is break in nun’s dying: Cover-up questions hang over trail of Catholic priest.”

                P. J. Huffstutter of the Los Angeles Times writes: “Toledo, Ohio-Surrounded by shade tress at ate Convent at Our Laid of the Pines, the grace of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl is marked by a small granite tombstone inscribed with the simple message, ‘May She Rest in Peace.’

                “There is no indication of the turmoil and angst that have surrounded Pahl’s gruesome 1980 slaying. It lead to the 2004 arrest of the rev. Gerald Robinson, 67, a popular Roman Catholic priest who helped celebrate Pahl’s funeral Mass, on charges of strangling and stabbing her to death.

                “Jury selection begins tomorrow in Robinson’s murder trial.

                “The case has been pulled into the controversy surrounding the Catholic Church handling of sexual abuse allegations against its priest. Questions also have been raised about whether the Toledo Police Department helped the church cover up old crimes or looked the other way.

                “A 2005 investigation by The Blade newspaper in Toledo reported that for decades, The Police Department ‘aided and abetted the diocese in covering up sexual abuse by priests’ and that ‘at least once a decade and often and often more priest suspected of rape and molestation has been allowed by local authorities to escape the law.’

                “Citing information drawn from thousands of court and diocesan documents and interviews with dozens of investigators, judges, and prosecutors, the newspaper reported in five case ‘police officers refused to arrest or investigate priest suspended so sexually abusing children.’

                “‘One longtime Toledo police chief pressured subordinates not to arrest priest,’ the newspaper wrote.

                “Claudia Vercellotti, a leader of the local chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abuse by Priests said: ‘I think it’s really difficult for most people to wrap their brain around the idea that someone they trust as much as a priest cold also live a dark, secret life. If the church has covered up sexual abuse problems in the past, is it much of a situation of a stretch to think the same would happen here?’

                “Critics have alleged that such a culture of complicity is part of the reason why it too prosecutors more than two decades to charge Robinson with murder.

“Prosecutors and Robinson’s lawyers declined to comment on specifics of the case, citing a gag order issued by a judge in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

                “But police officials and the Toledo Diocese say that no such conspiracy existed and that the police have worked diligently to track down the killer of the 71-yeasr-old nun…

“Though police said there was no evidence of rape, the filler had positioned her body and arranged her clothing to make it appear that she had been sexually assaulted. She was then covered with a white altar cloth…

“It remained in the department’s cold case files until 2003, when a tip led police to reexamine the case: An unidentified woman said Robinson was part of a group of priests who sexually molested her and forced her to take part in disturbing rituals….”36

                Reading this story has issues boiling. The media and certain groups do carry on a “justice for all” perspective? It does remind me of Bishop Harrington’s famous remark to me: “You’re guilty till proven innocent.” Forget it, the priest is done with. But, I’m sure there will be national headlines on this story.

                This same publication of The Boston Globe had, what I thought, an interesting article of “A ‘kinder, gentle’ Benedict in first years as pope.” James M. Weiss is described as “associate professor of church history at Boston College is a specialist on the modern papacy and College of Cardinals… (He writes) Often Benedict rises about the fray, leaving tough actions to others (Don’t’ forget he was John Paul II’s hatchet man). For issues closer to home such as parish closings, clergy sexual abuse, and the bishops’ delinquency in handling it, the Vatican has let local authorities sweat at their own decisions. He may continue to give little guidance on those matters. If frustrating, a less centralized church may be one that many Catholics ling for….”37

I have been catching-up with my mail and out of nowhere come a surprise article by Fr. Richard P. McBrien “Gay adoption raise larger questions” in the National Catholic Reporter.

                McBrien writes in this weekly column about the gay adoption issue in the country but beginning with Boston where the full 42-member Catholic Charities board had previously voted unanimously to continue the practice-a practice that affected only 13 of 720 adoptions handled by the agency since 1987 when the state’s anti-discrimination rules went into effect. The archbishop of Boston announces the decision to discontinue the practice of gays adopting.

                McBrien states: “throughout this controversy, there have been constant-but unspecific-references to the Vatican’s condemnation of such adoption as ‘gravely immoral.’

                “The judgment appears in a document issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 31, 2003,…The pertinent section read as follow: ‘As experience has, the absence of sexual complementarily in these union creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons…Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such union would actually mean doing violence to these children,…. This is gravely immoral...’

                “Is there evidence that ‘violence’ is in fact, done to children placed in adoptive household of same –sex couples, as the congregation asserted” What of the 13 children place by Catholic Charities since 1987.

                “If a homosexual Catholic, including one or more of the many gay priests and bishops, were to read and ponder the entire document, could he or she continue to feel at home in the Catholic Church?

                “If such questions are not addressed, the adoption controversy can have not constructive outcome.”38

                As I began here that McBrien addresses questions. Most if not all of the people I know that are Catholic would do anything to avoid this issue of “many gay priests and bishops.” The usual response I have herded is as long as the priest remains celibate. But, what does one do about living in a culture (workplace) that is dominated by gay priests and bishops?

                When I read this, I thought how the Worcester Diocese had its out “less centralized church” which had agendas of its own on certain clergy. The term of a witch hunt may have been best to describe what happened during my time and how certain priest were protected by the “Boys in the Band” with  of Worcester being only a robot. 

April 23, 2006

                While doing some “research and reading” of late, I found a number of articles that had my eyes opened-as they are time and again- on the clergy issue.

                The first article here was “Ban on gays subject to seminary practice” by John L. Allen, Jr. from this past December issue of the National Catholic Reported. Allen wrote: “With publication of the Vatican’s long-awaited document on gay seminarians and the subsequent torrent of reaction, tow questions now seem to loom as paramount: What does the document mean? How will it be enforced?

                “While the document has already been a media sensation, how much long=term difference it actually makes in the say-to-day practice of seminaries and religious communities may largely turn on how-and whether-these questions are officially resolved for that could determine whether the ban o gays is absolute or applied on a case-by-case basis.

                “At the heart of the new document, officially released Nov. 29 but leaked to the Italian press agency Adista the previous week following distribution to the Italian bishops, is that men who are ‘active homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture’ cannot be ordained as priests.

                “Men who have experienced ‘transitory’ homosexual impulses, how ever, could be ordained, as long as these impulses have been overcome for three years prior to ordination as deacons.

                “The principal focus of debate so far has been the phrase ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies.’ Does it refer to the mere existence of a stable same-sex orientation, or could it mean a misappropriate fixation on one’s sexuality that not all homosexual candidates necessarily exhibit?...Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, gave an interview to Vatican Radio Nov. 29 I which he offered examples of ‘transitory’ homosexual tendencies.

                “Those could be some curiosity in adolescence that’s not resolved,’ he said. ‘Or there could be accidental circumstances, such as a person who was in prison for many years,’ Grocholewski said. ‘In these cases, the actual homosexual acts do into come from a profound tendency, but are determined by circumstances. Or, these acts could be performed in order to please somebody for obtaining advantage.’…While the document does not settle the question of what ‘deep-seated tendencies’ means quasi-official commentaries issued by Vatican officials seem to buttress a restrictive reading…”39

This same issue of the National Catholic Reporter carried “Experts on sex offenders have news for Vatican: Abusers’ behavior does not stem from orientation, studies show.” Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea writes: “Both the Jon Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the clergy sexual abuse crisis and the 2005 Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People stated thst Roman Catholic priests abused mostly males. The John Jay study for, for example, found that 64 percent of the accused priests abused only males; 22.6 percent abused only females, 3.6 percent abused both girls and boys and in 10 percent of the cases, the gender was unknown. Statistics were similar in the 2005 study.

“Not only were most reported victims male, they also were pubescent; 60 percent were first abused between the ages of 10-14. These are not, however biologically or psychosexually fully developed males and cannot be construed as homosexual partners for any adult. “Still the gender and age of so many victims created space for Vatican officlas such as Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medinal Estevez and Fr. Andrew Baker, Conservative journalist Deal Hudson and others to link the sexual abuse of young people to homosexual priests. Now it appeasers that the Vatican, holding back on a full ban on gays in the priesthood, wants to hold homosexual priests responsible for the sexual abuse crisis.

“The attack on gays by some Catholic spokesmen has drawn criticism form experts on sex offenders. Robert Geffner, psychologist and editor of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, stated that research indicates that homosexuals are no more likely then heterosexuals violate minors sexually. David Finkelhor, director of Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, view sexual attraction, an opinion also espoused by John Bancroft, physician and director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction…The Vatican’s proposed limitations on gay priests will, of course, have no impact on these groups, other than implicitly directing them to remain psychosexually immature, silent abut their sexual  orientation, and thus potentially dangerous to adult parishioners and minors. Instead, the Vatican’s policy will primarily persecute gay men who have accept their homosexuality enough to speak abut it.”40

The question that is not asked if the candidate is also orientated with a “Bourdon King” personality, what then? This question is from “Power and Authority” perspective.

Then my research found another interesting article toad to the mix of this work: “Abuse case puts Jesuit confidentiality on trial” by Dennis Coday in the January 6, 2006 issue of the National Catholic Reporter.  Cody writes: “Whether the Jesuit practice of manifestation of conscience, confidential communication between a Jesuit and his superior, carries the same privilege as the seal of confession would be tested in an Alaska court in the coming week.

“Jesuit Fr. Stephen Sundborg’s defense of that practice, which he considers a central tenet of Jesuit governance, won him stiff criticism last month.

“Sundborg, currently president of Jesuit run Seattle University, was provincial of the Oregon Province of the Jesuits form 1900 to 1996.

“In October, Sundborg was deposed in the case of Jesuit Fr. James Poole, who is being sued by a woman who says Pool molested her when she was a child.

As provincial, Sundborg met with Poole annually for ‘accounts conscience.’ It is a mandatory meeting when a Jesuit bares his soul to his superior talking about his hopes and dreams, his needs and frustrations, and his failings…”41

What is interesting reading here is that this was never an experience for a diocesan priest-as me-with a diocesan bishop. I never heard of such a format in my ministry. There is another interesting term used in this article- conscience. Since my schooling in the 6o’s and then the ministry of the 70s, conscience was not mentioned in written or spoken format. 

April 24, 2006

                “Examine the clergy culture” appeared in the National Catholic Reporter of this day. The “Editorial” reads: “The Catholic priest sex abuse scandal, much as it involved  the individual acts of errant priest was also a product of a culture., the hierarchical clergy culture, heavily  shrouded in secrecy and wrapped in layers of protection from accountability of any sort.

                “From the first news of this crisis in 1983, through the years of grudging admission by bishops that something was amiss through the expulsion of news in 2002 when the courts forced the release of secret documents in the Boston archdiocese, through  the anguish of the meeting in Dallas in June of that same year, the formation of a National Review Board and ongoing curt cases, the tenacity of the clergy culture’s grip on Catholic leadership has been the most evident characteristic of that group’s response.

                “That’s why this week’s story on the sex abuse cover-up in the Philadelphia archdiocese is significant. It provides a glimpse, brief as it is, into the world of that hierarchical culture and the way it approached the sex abuse crisis. It is a significant piece of history because we have maintained, in more than 20 years of reporting on this crisis in all of its phases, that the church would not get beyond the scandal until its leaders deal with the culture that allowed abusers to float among the community, preying on its youngest and most vulnerable.

                “By all accounts, Msgr. James Molly was a deeply dedicated priest, a thoughtful man, and unquestioning servant of the church and its leaders and, in his final years, a welcoming pastor loved by his people.

                “But he was also obviously troubled by what he saw in the files that were housed in a locked secret archives on the 12th floor of the Philadelphia archdiocese’s downtown office building. He wanted out of the job. Loyalty, he said would not allow him to ask for a transfer. But a deeper regard for the truth, perhaps, and an instinct for self-preservation inspired him to document everything he saw and heard, and it is that documentation-and his willingness to cooperate with prosecutors-that allowed the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to compile such a detailed and compelling report (NCR, Oct. 7).

                “Before he died last month, Molly told NCR that he believed it was the mild suggestion that a ‘forensic psychiatrist’ examined a priest who was one of the most prolific abusers named in the Sept. 21 grand jury report that finally got him removed form his duties dealing with victims and documentation of victims’ stories for the archdiocese.

“It is fascinating, of curse, to read of this man’s deep qualms of conscience of his declaration that at one point he came to believe he could not trust ‘my superiors to do the right thing,’ yet to realize that after all that he revealed abut what he had seen and heard, he remained a man torn between loyalty to his cardinal, at time Anthony Bevilacqua, and what he knew to his core was simply wrong…”42

                This was a penetrating article to read because of what I had experienced from a different perspective in that I was made “Worcester’s Poster Boy.” 

April 30, 2006

                The editor of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Robert Z. Nemeth wrote in his regular Sunday column. He writes “There was a time not too long ago when people were expected to take responsibility for their actions and face the consequences of their mistakes. That is no longer the case. Today, individuals who suffer harm because of bad judgment or negligence are considered ‘victims.’ Personal accountability is replaced by litigation. Outlandish damage settlements, driven by unscrupulous lawyers and plaint juries, produce more lawsuits.

                “One such case is targeting Clark University, it president and several administrators. The parents of a student from New York City are suing the school top officials and the student’s boyfriend after she was found dead in a dormitory of an apparent heroin overdose. The claim the university failed to provide their daughter with a safe environment, to address her drug habit properly and keep narcotics off campus.

                “It turns out school administrators had dealt with the student’s drug habit, but she allegedly told them she was no longer using drugs. The parents, too, were aware of the problem and could have stepped in, ultimately removing their daughter form the university. Far from being insensitive to the dangers of illegal narcotics, Clark has earned a national reputation for transforming a troubled neighborhood into a reasonably safe academic environment.

                “While colleges and universities are expected to protect their students against avoidable harm, there is a limit to what they can do ‘in loco parentis’-in place of parents. There is also a limit to what institutions can do to prevent irresponsible behavior. What happened to the young woman was profoundly tragic. But, she alone put herself in harm’s way.”43

                What is interesting in reading this is how the Worcester Telegram & Gazette carried the clergy sex abuse crisis and their many editorials.  Now, we read a different aspect with the term “victim” being used in a different light and attitude. Besides Clark University is not the Worcester Diocese part of the area that this newspaper covers in their stories. We have a different shade of reporting?  

May 1, 2006

                An ad appeared around this period of time in the New York Times by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights entitled “Scandal in the Church: Four Years Later.” The information is interesting in what we have is another perspective of what numbers are able to do.

                The Ad reads in part: “In June 2002, U.S. bishops assembled in Dallas for their biannual meeting. It was not a happy time: the sexual abuse scandal dominated the news about the Catholic Church. New week, the bishops will meet in Los Angeles, only this time few in the media are focusing on the scandal. It is too bad because this time the news is quite different.

                “In March, the third annual report on priestly sexual abuse of minors was released; a supplementary report was also issued by John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Here’s what was found:

·          The vast majority of sexual abuse cases occurred between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s

·          In 2005, 783 credible accusations against 532 priests were made, 87 percent of which involved aubse that occurred before the 1990s.

·          81 percent of the victims wee male, and most were not little kids-they were post pubescent (the identical figure was reported in cases fund between 1950 and 2002)

·          There were 21 allegations made for act that took place in 2005:five were found to be credible; tow were still under investigation; and insufficient information was found into instances

·          Adding the above figure yield a total of nine. Nine out of a total of 42,000 priests means that .02 percent of priests had a credible accusation made against him last year 

It is highly unlikely that there are many institutions or demographic groups with a better record than this (e.g., it is estimated that the rate of sexual abuse of public school students is more than 100 times the abuse by priests). Obviously, one victim is too many. But when 99.98 percent of priests today are not under suspicion-and indeed most are good men-it is outrageous that they continue to be subjected to vile depictions in the media, sneering remarks by educators and inequitable treatment by lawmakers.

Stereotypes do not die easily, but it is high time our cultural elite began to treat priest with the degree of respect they've earned. Sweeping condemnations of any group is rightly regarded as bigotry. This would be including Catholic priests. (Signed) William A. Donohue, President.”44

Interesting. 

May 5, 2006

                The National Catholic Reporter had a book review “Sex, lies, secrecy and abuse” of the book Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. This book is reviewed by Bill Frogameni who is a freelance writer living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                Frogameni writes: “Since exposure of clerical sex abuse reached critical mass in 2002, Catholic leaders have sometimes defended their mishandling of the problem by claiming insufficient knowledge. Publicly, some bishops said they didn’t understand that pedophilia is incurable; thus the attempts to ‘rehabilitate’ abusive clerics, then shift them from assignment to assignment

                “Fr. Thomas Doyle, A.W. Richard Sipe and Patrick Wall have coauthored a book, Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse, that asks, ‘What did [the Catholic hierarchy] know, and when did they know it/’ The answer the authors emphatically proclaim, is ‘in a nutshell… all about at and all along.’

                “The three authors approach the book as historians but also as advocates of church reform. Fr. Doyle, a canon lawyer, served at the Vatican’s U.S. embassy in the early ‘80s. Along with psychiatrist and priest Michael Peterson and church attorney Ray Mouton, he authored a report that predicted the scope of the abuse scandal and recommended methods to meet the challenge. Mr. Wall, a former Benedictine monk and canon lawyer, works for a California law firm that advocates on behalf of alleged victims. Richard Sipe, also a former Benedictine monk, is a practicing therapist who has studied the sexuality of Catholic clergy for many years…

                “If there’s a downside to Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes, it’s toward the end when the book’s journalist tone becomes a bit polemical. The authors are angry with the institutional church, but chances are good and anyone curious enough to pick up this book doesn’t need to be remained there’s cause for anger…”45

                I purchased this work and began perusing it for later reading. There obviously be more insights that may surprise me and maybe not. What I realize is that I have been shelved and am a priest only in name-put over on the side to pray as a penance. There were arrangements and things going on that I will never understand even with issues being explained as black and white by authorities.

                Yet, the more one learns, the less one knows. 

May 7, 2006

                This following article is going to get interesting. Maybe not. Many times, we read something in the news and never hear about it again. This may be one of those stories. “New flash: Jean quits campaign: Conte's nemesis finds a new target in Shea” by Dianne Williamson in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

                Williamson writes: “Mary T. Jean, the Leominster woman whose sweet-sounding name belies the fact that she runs what is perhaps the most libelous Web side in Worcester County, said she didn’t wish to discuss the details that led to her bitter parting with district attorney candidate Daniel J. Shea.

                ´’I quit because I couldn’t take it anymore,’ said Mrs. Jean, who had served as Mr. Shea’s campaign manager.

                “Mr. Shea, meanwhile, said he fired Mrs. Jean because of ‘disagreements’ over campaign strategy, an understatement if ever one existed, considering Mrs. Jean claims on her Web site that the pair argued so violently in a supermarket parking lot that she ‘had to use her car panic alarm for fear of her personal safety.’

                “She writes all the copy on her Web site but refers to herself in the third person and is fond of posting dramatic headlines in red, as when she claimed that Mr. She ‘Threatened to commit bodily injury and kill Mrs. Jean,’ a rather preposterous accusation to lodge against a lawyer who’s running for district attorney and who until recently represented her in a lawsuit.

                “I asked Mr. Shea last week whether, if he won’t representing Mrs. Jean, he’d be tempted to sue her. (He has since been given permission by a judge to withdraw as her lawyer.)

                “‘No,’ he said with a sigh. “I don’t think that’s appropriate. This whole thing is so far over the top.’ That it is…”46 

May 7, 2006

                The Catholic News Service reported “Pell says marriage no cure for pedophile priests.” The article reports: “Cardinal George Pell (Australia) has said that statistics show that marriage will not prevent pedophilia, with 90 percent of pedophile crimes committed by married, men.

                “In the first of a series of two commentaries on the virtues of celibacy, Cardinal Pell said there are ‘no statistics to demonstrate that most priests are homosexually orientated, much less that they are homosexually active.’

                “ ‘Some of those who claim otherwise are too much influenced by their own circle of acquaintances,’ he said.

                “The commentary, first published in this week’s Sunday Telegraph, appeared yesterday on Sydney’s Archdiocesan website.

                “He was referring to a 1990 campaign by former or inactive priests who wanted to allow priests to be married.

                “Cardinal Pell acknowledges that married pirest are common among other Catholic rites and other Christian denominations, but said that the ‘general rule’ for most Catholic priests, is that priests must ‘be celibate and refrain from sexual activity.’

                “‘No one is forced to become a priest,’ he added. ‘This commitment to life-long celibacy is a free choice after at least six years of trial and preparation and cannot be taken before the age of 23.’47

                Fine. But what about living in a different orientation from what is the so predominate. The prep students at the campus I studied at used to call the seminarians “fruits.” Living in a “fruit” culture is different. There was no preparation for that to live with 24 hours a day. 

May 8, 2006

                The Catholic News Service carried this story on this day: “Pope warms against clerical careerism.” The article reads” “The priesthood is a commitment to service fro humanity and not an opportunity to further one’s care or ‘to become a personality”, Benedict XVI said at the weekend.

                “Catholic News Service reports that the Pope made the comments shortly before ordaining 15 priests during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday.

                “The Mass highlighted the annual celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In his sermon, the Pope said the priest as ‘good shepherd’ must be ready to sacrifice himself, know his flock and serve unity.

                “He prefaced his remarks with a warning about ‘careerism, the temptation to reach ‘the top,’ to acquire for oneself a position through the church’ and to help oneself instead of helping others.

                “‘This is the image of someone who uses the priesthood to make himself important, to become a personality, the image of one who aims at self-acclaim and not the humble service of Jesus Christ,’ Pope Benedict said.

                “Instead, he said, a priest should have an attitude of total self-giving and realize that following a vocational call may be in contrast with one’s desire for self-realization and esteem.

                “Instead, he said, a priest should have an attitude of total self-giving and realize that following a vocation call may be in contrast with one’s desire for self-realization and esteem.

                “The pope said a pastor’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his faithful is not something that happens only in martyrdom, but day by day, in being there for others even at the cost of abandoning his own goals…”48

                What becomes interesting in reading this is why does the Pope come out with such a message in this day and age. Let’s not forget, whenever something as this comes from the People and Rome, there is something biting at someone’s heals in Rome. I have seen a Bourdin King model of the clergy since I was ordained and especially of late, a resurging clerical culture in the Church. The interesting story in this article is the “code” messages that Rome has a history of doing such unmaking.

                From the “frontlines” of the parish and diocese, this brings out the ego and elitism of local clergy. Many lay people don’t mind this because they keep the priest “over there” for when they use the Church for a sacrament as a drive-in gas station for a fill-up, pay and drive away- gas station religion instead a faith community. 

May 9, 2006

                The local newspaper, The Gardner News, reports this day “Latest church target in clergy sex abuse crisis: victims’ lawyers.” Rachel Zoll of AP Religion Writer reports “As the cost of clergy sex aubse surpasses $1.5 billion, some U.S. Roman Catholic leaders are taking an aggressive, public stand against attorneys who represent victims.

                “The new development in the long-running clergy abuse crisis was partly triggered by proposals in several statehouses this year that would create a brief period when molesting claims could be filed-even if the time limits for lawsuits had passed.

                “Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput portrayed the legislation introduced in Colorado as part of a conspiracy between advocacy groups and attorneys to enrich layers at the church’s expense.

                “‘Victims’ groups may act as stimulus to sympathetic news media and state lawmakers,’ Chaput wrote in the May edition of the journal First Things. ‘Plaintiffs’ attorneys may then offer help in drafting new legislation from which they themselves hope to benefit.’

                “Mark Chopko, general counsel to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has outraged plaintiffs’ lawyers and advocates by encouraging victims to seek settlements without an attorney. Victims would the avoid paying attorney fees which generally run between 25 percent and 40 percent of each payoff.

                “‘The group that stands to gain the most from this is the plaintiffs’ bar,’ Chopko said.

                “Lawyers for victims say Chaput’s comments are another attempt by the church to avoid responsibility for predatory clerics. And they content it’s irresponsible for Catholic officials to suggest that people deal directly with dioceses which for decades ignored or covered up abuse…”49 

May 12, 2006

                From the “Word from Rome” by John L. Allen, Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter, we have “The Holy See has given its recognition, or legal approval, to a revised set of ‘essential norms’ governing the canonical dimension of the church response to the sexual abuse crisis in the United States.

                “While ore canonical experts say the revisions do not substantively alter the norms in use since 2002, they do clarify points in three broad areas: 1) the coherence between these norms and the universal law of the church; 2) due processor accused priest under canon law, and 30 the relationship between local bishops and religious superiors in cases of priests belonging to religious order who are accused of sexual abuse.

                “According to Monsignor Frank Maniscalcoof the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the revisions were worked out by mixed commission of American bishops and Vatican officials, and the adapted largely intact by the U.S. bishops during the June 2005 meeting. The recognition issued by the Congregation for the Bishops, means the revised norms are binding for all dioceses and other jurisdictions in the United States.

                “The revisited norms were approved by the Congregation for Bishops donecaliter provideatur, meaning ‘until something else is provided.’ In effect, it means the norms have no built-in expiration date…Among the important points: The revised norms specify that during the preliminary investigation of a charge which a bishop is obligated to carry out to determine in the charge has credibility prior to forwarding it to Rome, the accused party enjoys the presumption of innocence…In reference to due process (Catholic Church definition), the revisited norms add the term ‘canonical.’ One Roman canonist said this was to make clear that it’s not American civil concepts of due process that apply…”50

                After the water is over the dam, what does anything mean as my situation having a bishop covering-up on his personal issues and harassing me with “You’re guilty till proven innocent?” 

May 12, 2006

                The Catholic Free Press published on its front page this story: “Norms on sex abuse are approved” by Jerry Filteay. The story reads: “Washington (CNS) – With Vatican approval, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the revised special norms adopted by the U.S. bishops to deal with clergy sexual abuse of minors.

                “Bishops William s. Shylstad of Spokane, Wash., USCCB president directed that the revised ‘Essential Norms’ will take effect May 15.

                The norms, which have the force of law in all U. S. dioceses, require each diocese to have written policies on clerical sexual abuse of minors, an assistance coordinator for victims and a review board that advised the bishop on individual cases and on policy.

                They also spell out detailed procedures for handling any allegation of abuse, for removing clerics who sexually abuse a minor form ministry and for applying other penalties, including laicization.

                “The revisions, adopted by the bishops at their June 2005 general meeting in Chicago, are few and limited in scope. Several simple reflected more precision illegal terminology, such as inserting ‘canonical’ before ‘due process’ or changing the term ‘dispensation’ from the church’s statue of limitations to the more canonically precise ‘derogation.’…”51

                What gets interesting at this point is the terminology being addressed and finalization is now fact. When I was first addressed by bishop in 1993, I had to face: “You are guilty till proven innocent.” 

May 14, 2006

                The media seems to use sensational titles to introduce a story of late about priest. The Sunday Telegram of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has on page A3 “A priest as a murderer was unthinkable in1980: Scandals changed public views.” John Seewer of The Associated Press reports: “Toledo, Ohio-Few people dared to say anything bad about priest in 1980 when Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found stabbed to death in a hospital chapel. Even when the hospital’s chaplain emerged as the only suspect, witnesses were reluctant to implicate the priest.

                “But the sex aubse scandal that has since swept through the Roman Catholic Church has changed the way people view clergy.

                “‘Times are very different in much way,’ Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates said after the Rev. Gerald Robinson was convicted last week of murdering the nun 26 years after her death.

                “Prosecutors reminded jurors of that in their in their final arguments, telling them it would have been difficult right after Pahl’s death to convince a jury that a priest was capable of murder.

                “‘All the scandals that have occurred have certainly changed the climate.’ Chris Anderson, an assistant prosecutor, said after thee verdict, ‘People still hold priest in high reverence, but this may change things.’

                “Robinson, 68, was sentenced Thursday to a mandatory term of 15 years to life in prison for murdering Pahl,71, a day before Easter in 1980…”52 

May 15, 2006

                I received my annual-only diocesan communication besides my monthly insult-card: On May 23, 2006, you will observe the thirty-sixth anniversary of your ordination to the priesthood…Most Reverend Robert J. McManus...”53

                Fine. Back to the daily routine. 

May 18, 2006

                This day we read in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Conn. Pastor resigns amid probe of missing finances” John Christoffersen of The Associated Press reports: “Stamford, Conn.-A Catholic priest resigned as pastor of a Darien church amid an investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing, church officials told The Associated Press yesterday.

                “Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori said he ‘requested and received’ the resignation of the Rev. Michael Jude Fay of St. John’s Catholic Church as a result of a preliminary internal review. He said the diocese has advised federal authorities of its investigation.

                “ ‘Moreover, a thorough and fair independent investigation of the financial stewardship of St. John Parish by an external auditor will be completed under the direction of outside counsel,’ Lori said in a statement.

                “The diocese has been examining Fay’s leadership of the parish ‘and his personal suitability for priestly ministry,’ the diocese said in the statement. Parishioners were told of the resignation yesterday.

                “Federal authorities also investigating the allegations said Tom Carson spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office. Darien police also said they were assisting federal authorities.

                “Telephone messages were left yesterdays with Fay seeking comment. Fay, 55, has been pastor since 1991, church officials said.

                “Lori’s announcement came the same day that a private investigator turned over results of his investigation of Fay and the church’s financiers to Darien police. Vito Colucci Jr., an investigator in Stanford said he documented at least $200,000 in church money used to pay Fay’s lavish lifestyle with another man, Colucci said money was spent on limousine rides, dinners at famous restaurants, cruises and gifts.”54

                What I notice that the Church hierarchy has learned to “paint-by-the-number” approach by releasing “statements” concerning “alleged priest.” The terminology used in this bishop’s statement had a very interesting slant of what we have been used too, which was usually nothing. The term “personal suitability for priestly ministry” would be a coded language in one way, but a phrase that may be used in so many different ways that one wonders where it would be applied to another priest. The game gets more interesting on the part of diocesan officials in Bridgeport as of late with “statement” on most likely a priest in a gay relationship.

                I guess Father Fay may forget about liturgical wars and hierarchical cover-ups and the heresy police taking notes in the back pew.

May 25, 2006

                Continuing the May 18th entry on Father Fay, we have in the local Fitchburg, Sentinel & Enterprise “Parishioners defend priest who hired investigator.” Associated Press reports: “Stanford, Conn. (AP)-Parishioners at a Darien church are defending a priest who hired a private investigator to look into the pastor, saying he courageously exposed a scandal and should not be punished.

                “The Rev. Michael Madden resigned Tuesday as acting administrator at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, just a week after he was appointed to replace the Rev. Michael Jude Fay.

                “Madden admitted he and the parish bookkeeper hired the investigator to look into Fay, who resigned last week over accusations he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in church funds to pay for luxuries related to his life with another man.

                “Local and federal authorities are investigating the accusations, but Fay has not been charged.

                “Bridgeport Bishop William Lori, who served on a national committee to respond to the sexual abuse crisis that rocked the Catholic Church, was grilled Tuesday night over his handling of the incident by parishioners who support Madden.

                “‘There was not a person there who was not defending Father Mike,’ said Ken Byron, a church member. ‘All we want is the guy not to be blamed for doing the right thing.’

                “Madden defend his hiring of the investigator at a Mass on Tuesday morning, saying he was ‘sorry and angry that the diocese failed to come to my rescue when there were red flags waving everywhere.’

                “Later in the day, the diocese issued a letter from Madden in which he wrote that he made ‘a large mistake’ in hiring an investigator, apologized and defended the diocese’s handling of the matter.

                “Some of Madden’s supporters said they suspected the letter was coerced.”55

                What I recall hearing of late was that in the era of revelation of the priest in the sex abuse crisis for 1992 to 1994 (my time bracket) nobody in the church chanceries seemed  to know how to handle the media because no organized church chancery was willing to deal with it besides what the bishop stated. Here I mention Bishop Harrington of the Worcester Diocese-not normal to say the least of power and authority issue.               

May 26, 2006

                “Clergy victims see parallels in handling of Haddad case: Caritas CEO ousted amid harassment complaints.” The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports by The Associated Press reporter Denise Lavoie: “Boston-For victims of clergy sexual abuse the Boston Archdiocese’s initial handling of sexual harassment allegations against it top health care executive had a familiar ring: multiple allegations , minimal consequence and secrecy.

                “‘There is extraordinary and painful parallels’ said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

                “Dr. Robert Haddad, president and CEO of the Caritas Christi Health Care System, resigned early yesterday amid allegations he harassed more than a dozen female employees but subjecting them to unwanted hugs and kisses.

                “His forced departure comes a week after a private reprimand form Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley. After learning of four allegations, the Caritas board supported the reprimand and ordered Haddad to take sexual harassment sensitivity training.

                “But after The Boston Globe made public the allegations and O’Malley’s reprimand Sunday, at least 10 more women made similar allegations against Haddad. O’Malley then called another meeting of the Caritas board of governors, which met into the early morning hours yesterday.

                “Haddad resigned after the board gave him the option of being fired or stepping down with salary plus benefits for 10 months.

                “Haddad, who is of Lebanese descent, has attributed the complaints to a cultural misunderstanding saying that in his culture, hugs and kisses are ‘warmly give and received.’

                “He also did he felt he did not do anything inappropriate, which angered O’Malley, according to an archdiocesan source who asked not to be identified.

                “The initial decision to reprimand rather than fire Haddad was criticized by some clergy sex abuse victims, who said they felt O’Malley sought to protect Haddad, just as church officials for decades protected priests who sexually abused children. O’Malley was installed as Boston’s archbishop in July 2003, seven months after Cardinal Bernard Law resigned amid intense criticism of his role in moving priests who had been accused of abuse from parish to parish instead of removing them.

                “‘The fact that this man was not immediately terminated makes me wonder…whether they’ve learned anything over the last four years,’ said Gary Bergeron who was molested by a priest in the 1970s in Lowell…”56

                This same day, I read in the National Catholic Reporter “Vatican restricts ministry of Legionaries priest founder” by John L. Allen, Jr. Allen writes: “Capping a decade-long on-again, off again investigation of accusations of sexual abuse, the Vatican has asked for Marcial Maicel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ to observe a series of restrictions on his ministry.

                “In effect, Vatican sources told NCR earlier this month, the action amounts to a finding that at least some of the accusations against the charismatic 86-year-old Mexican priest are well-founded.

                “Maciel has not been laicized, but the restrictions issued shortly before Easter by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith limit Maciel’s public activity, such as his capacity to celebrate public Masses, to give lectures or other public presentations, and to give interviews for print or broadcast.

                “The restrictions have been approved by Pope Benedict XVI, and the Vatican is expected to issue a brief statement shortly.

                “Vatican sources stressed that the action against Maciel should not be read as an indictment of the Legionaries of Christ or its lay branch, Regnum Christi.

                “A spokesman for the Legionaries asked to comment on the development replied in an email, ‘We have nothing to say. We don’t know anything about this.’             

“According to sources who spoke to NCR, the congregation’s investigation was closed sometime toward the end of 2005. In the early months of 2006, the cardinal members of the congregation in Rome were invited to review the documentation. The decision to impose restrictions was then reached some time before Easter.

“Source described the documentation collected by the congregation as involving the testimony of at least 20 accusers. The acts in question, according to these sources, reached into the 1980s…”57

This same story continues on with the National Catholic Reporter “Editorials” a whole back page entitle “the sad truth about Maciel.” Part of the story is the beginning “The decision by the Vatican in the case of Fr. Marciel Maciel Dagollado, fonder of the Legionaries of Christ, that he be restricted in his public ministry after found guilty of multiple acts of sex abuse spanning decades bring some resolution to a particularly disturbing chapter in recent church history.

“While there is much to be said abut the final disposition of this case, we start by expressing out sincere sorrow to members of the Legion. We know all too well how we have pressed for  judicial proceedings against Maciel on these pages, convinced that the truth would not be served unless the victims were given full and fair hearing at the highest levels of the church. We are aware that we have been highly critical at times of the Legion’s defense of its founder and of some of the tactics it has employed in establishing itself in new ministries in the United States…The Maciel case reveals much about who in the community is listened to; abut own blind officials have been to one of the most debilitation scandals to his the church in centuries…”58

The law part of this story was when I went to primary physician for my annual medical check-up. The good talker asked me “How are you doing with your ‘prayer and repentance’?” I was somewhat taken=back by his question because while waiting for this appointment in the lobby of the clinic. I was reading an issue of Time magazine. I did not get the date and page of this but it was “Milestones: Sanctioned. The Rev. Marcial Maciel, 86,powerful Mexican-born founder of the conservative Legionaries of Christ, one of the fastest-growing orders in the Roman Catholic Church; after an inquest into his alleged sexual abuse of seminary dating to the 1940s, which he denies; in the first major abuse to be handled by Pope Benedict XVI; in Vatican City. The Holy See declined to say if the allegation proved true, but called on Maciel to live a life of ‘prayer and repentance’ and restricted him from publicly celebrating the sacraments.”

Did the “Good Doctor” read this short clip and use the phrase “prayer and repentance” towards me? I did not hear this used since that time or afterward. It was very peculiar experience. I did respond to the “Good Doctor” that he is in my daily prayers because I expect him to be updated on the latest medical procedures in being my primary physician besides and knowing him due to his profession.

                I realize that I am sensitive to peoples’ comment but this is as I see it. 

May 27, 2006

                The Worcester Telegram & Gazette gives us this day “O’Malley prostrates on altar over abuse.” This article was written by Charles A. Radin of The Boston Globe. He reports “Boston-Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and 22 priests of the Archdiocese of Boston prostrated themselves on the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Thursday night and asked forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church after hearing a survivor of clergy sexual aubse speak of his suffering.

                “In the first of 10 Masses and prayer services planned by O’Malley in an attempt to heal his scandal-plagued archdiocese, Loan Horne told the priest’s and140 others in the cavernous cathedral: ‘I was not a weekend Catholic. The church was the centerpiece of our lives. When I came forward, there was shame, there was fear, and there was confusion.

“‘I spent a lot of time in the therapy,’ he said. ‘I try to make sense of it. It parallels what goes on in the church.’

                “O’Malley and the other clergy then lay face down for about eight minutes before a crucifix taken form Assumption Parish in Bellingham, a now closed church where a former associate pastor pleaded guilty last years to molesting the altar boys in his charge.

                “As the clergy lay prostrate, a cantor and choir sang a litany of repentance, composed for the occasion by a survivor, enumerating the sins of abusive priests and of higher-level churchmen who failed to stop them.

                “‘Forgive us for the sins of your bishops. Forgive us for the sins of your priests,’ the cantor sang ’Forgive us for burdening you people….Forgive us for the failure to act.’

                “After each line in the litany, victim’s relatives and others in the pews responded softly, ‘have mercy on us.’

                “In his homily, O’Malley declared, ‘it is only when we take our pain to God that it will be cured. It is only when we trust each other that there will be real healing….”59

                How much are people paying attention to this or anything in the Church besides “Hatched, Matched, Dispatched”. The prostrate issue, I wonder, was part of “show-time” that just fit in today’s culture. Something is better than nothing. But, the prostrate is foreign to the real world.  

May 31, 2006

                The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a short “insert” article entitled “Teacher on leave after accusations. The story reads: “Gardner-A teacher at a local day care center has been put on leave after accusations of abuse and neglect from the parent of a former student.

                “The teacher is from The Caring Place, a center operated by the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. The Worcester diocese received a complaint form the parent Friday, and that day contacted the Department of Social Services and put the teacher, Andrew Pineo, on leave, according to diocese spokesman, Mr. Delisle said.

                “‘Any kind of report is handled seriously,’ he said.

                “Mr. Delisle said he did not know the specifics of the complaint. The student in question was at The Caring Place during the late 1990s, he said.

                “DSS spokeswoman Denise Montiero said the complaint alleged abuse and neglect, although she did not have any more information abut it. She said investigators began work Friday and is busy interviewing people about the case yesterday.”60

                Since this story, nothing more has been reported.  

June 1, 2006

                On the Internet this day, Catholic World News carried “Pope says lay movements must accept authority.”

                The story reads “In a message to leaders of new lay movements, Benedict XVI has saluted the groups for their missionary commitment, formative efforts and promotion of priestly vocations, but warned that the new movements must obey the Church’s hierarchical authority.

                “Catholic World News reports that the Pope’s message was released by the Vatican press office yesterday, as 300 leaders of new lay movements gathered outside Rome for the 2nd World Meeting of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities.

                “In his lengthy message, written in Taliban, the Pontiff remarks that the Christian faith has always been ‘communicated and spread thanks to the novelty of the lives of individual and communities who were capable of providing an inclusive witness of love, unity and happiness.’

                “Today, he said, new movements can give the Church the same new vigor and enthusiast that will spread the Gospel.

                “‘Carry the light of Christ into all the social and cultural environments in which you live,’ he urged them. “Illuminate the darkness of a world confused by the contradictory messages of ideologies.’

                “In a world that faces ‘the advance of barbarism,’ the Pope asked the new ecclesial communities to build ‘a better world, according to the ordo amoris in which the beauty of human life is expressed.’

                “The Pope’s cautionary message to the new lay movements came as he stressed their place in ‘the living structure of the Church.’ He pointed out that Catholics are obligated to follow the leadership not only of the Pontiff, ‘but also of bishops in the various local churches who, together with the Pope, and the custodians of truth and charity in unity.’

                “‘I trust in your ready obedience,’ the Pope told the lay leaders. He closed with an appeal for the new group to maintain a spirit of profound communion’ with the Church and ‘adherence to legitimate pastors.’

                “Pope Benedict said that he looked forward to his own encounter with the members of lay movements on Saturday when 300,000 people are expected to join him in a prayer vigil on Pentecost eve….”61

                We still have the hierarchical control factor of centralization and resurging clericalism. I hear of late that we need a Vatican Council III to get the lay person of the Church on the radar screen. 

June 7, 2006

                 The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports in this day’s issue “Campaign 2006: Shea eager to debate early in bid to catch front-runner.” The story reads “Daniel J. She does not have much money in his campaign bank account ($500), so he’s looking to jump start his campaign for district attorney in other ways.

                “Yesterday, the newcomer to the race challenged fellow Democratic Joseph D. Early Jr.-who is and always has been the front-runner to succeed longtime District Attorney John J. Conte-to debate him.

                “‘I formally challenge Joe Early to debate the issues in this campaign at a time and place of his choosing,’ said the formerly Houston-based lawyer, who recently bought a condominium on Salisbury Street in Worcester.

                “Mr. Shea, who became known in Central Massachusetts as a defender of alleged victims of sexual abuse by priest and a critic of Mr. Conte’s handling of the cases, said he is making pedophilia a key issue in the campaign and would focus on prosecuting pedophiles as district attorney.

                “Mr. Shea jumped into the race in April after Mr. Early had already been a candidate for more than a year.

                “Don’t look of a DA debate anytime soon, though.

                “Frank Foley, a spokesman for Mr. Early, didn’t completely rule out head-to-head meeting between the candidates but said Mr. Early isn’t interest right now.

                “Joe’s been running for the office since 2004, not against anyone,’ Mr. Foley said…”62

                Here we have Kathleen A. Shaw-retired reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette-back on the public screen. 

June 8, 2006

                The next day’s issue of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Campaign 2006: Shea makes his Web site interactive, promises to answer questions.” The article reads: “The questions will be edited for libelous comments or remarks that are ‘seriously inappropriate,’ but Daniel J. Shea, a Democratic candidate for district attorney, promises to answer them all as he makes his Websit-www.shea2006.com-interactive.

                “ ‘As direct attorney I intent to be accessible to voters and victims of crime and will use e-mails, the Internet or plain old telephone calls, personal visits and letters to stay in touch with the people serve,’ he said in a statement.

                “A handful of questions have already been posted. The campaign will identify questioners only by their initials. A T. S. of Spencer asked,’ what makes you different they you opponent in the primary?’

                “The Shea response, ‘I have enjoyed a wider legal playing field than my opponent at multiple state and federal levels. In the last five years in Worcester I have concentrated heavily on representing the victims of violent crime and their families. I have also been prosecuting tow federal court cases that deal with government dysfunction. Both those cases are now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.

                “Kathleen A. Shaw, Shea’s campaign communications director, insists no topic will be off-limits unless, of course, the cross the lines of good taste or are defamation of character…

                “Mr. Shea, who represented several victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, is supporting legislation that would eliminate both criminal and civil statues of limitations and the charitable immunity defense in cases of minors who were sexually abused…

                “‘It’s a national scandal that the Worcester bishop has been trying to settle lawsuits with victims of their priests with amounts as law a $3,000, ‘Mr. Shea said. The diocese is not just holding steadfastly to the charitable immunity cap of $20,000 but is trying to low-ball even that amount, he said…

                “A former seminarian with a pontifical degree in sacred theology form Louvain in Belgium. Mr. Shea said he believes the church has not made the healing of sexual abuse victims a priority…”63 

June 15, 2006

                The New England section of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette of this day reported “Springfield clergy abuse victims can’t settle claim: Insurers won’t reimburse costs.” Adam Gorlick of The Associated Press writes: “Greenfield-Three dozen adults who say they abused by Roman Catholic priests decades ago are trying to settle their claims with the Springfield Diocese, two years after the church paid $7.5 million to other clergy sex aubse victims.

                “About half the pending claims were filed after the 2004 settlement with46 other people. The others predated the settlement, some going back as long as five years, a lawyer for the alleged victims said.

                “‘I’m very angry about how long this is taking,’ said Peter Herrick, 48, who says he was rapidly abused by several priests starting when he was 11. He filed his claim against the diocese three years ago.

                “Lawyers for the diocese say the church wants to settle the 36 pending cases.

                “The problem, they say, is coming form eight insurance companies that refuse to reimburse the diocese for the $7.5 million settlement and won’t cover the cost of any pending claims…”64

                Here we get the insurance companies on the radar screen. These companies were not mentioned very much with story after story in the media. But, we do get a story here. 

June 15, 2006

                “Sin without end in abuse scandal” was the only story on “Editorials” of the National Catholic Reporter of this day. The story printed: “The clergy sex abuse crisis-some would have us believe-is largely about priest taking advantage of being seduced by older teenage boys. In other words, it’s a gay thing.

                “That’s the view of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, as articulated by the group’s president William A. Donohue.

                “‘Too many sexually active gays have been in the priesthood, and it’s about time they were routed out,’ Donohue told FOX News at the height of the scandal. The clergy sex abuse crisis is ‘a homosexual scandal, not a pedophile scandal,’ he said on NBC’s “Today Show.’

                “The op-ed page of The New York Times is an important opinion=shaping venue. So when a Catholic organization like the League, a week prior to a national meeting of the nation’s bishops, takes out an advertisement to defend the church’s handling of the clergy sex abuse crisis, it’s worthy of some considerations.

                “Here’s the preamble to the Catholic to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights June 7 ‘op-ed’.

                “‘In June 2002, U.S. bishop assembled in Dallas for their annual meeting. It was not a happy time. The sexual abuse scandal dominated the news about the Catholic Church.

               

                “‘Next week the bishops will meet in Los Angeles, only this time few in the media are focusing on the scandal. That’s too bad because this time the news is quite different.

                ‘What’s ‘quite different’?

                “The advertisement, citing data from a recent report commissioned by the U.S. bishops, notes that ’81 percent of the victims were male and most were not little kids-they were post-puberty (the identical figure was reported in cases found between 1950-2002).

                “Here the problem with the Catholic League’s analysis: It’s simply not rare. Its spin, designed to add rather than light to the discussion over the greatest challenge to confront the U.S. church since its founding…”65

                Now, here we have had facts may be used by whatever side wants to make an issue. Commissioned reports can say many things and not say many things. Spin is done even by weasels and some have been very proficient at it.               

June 19, 2006

                The local section of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette printed this day reports “Priests win take over as pastor of 2nd church” by Jason Feifer of the papers staff. He writes “Gardner-Come July 1, the Rev. Thomas Tokarz will be busy man

                “Rev. Tokarz has been pastor of St. Joseph Parish for 12 years, but he will son be serving double duty by taking over as pastor of Holy Spirit Parish. Both are Catholic churches in Gardner.

                “He will be filling the role of Rev. Andre M. Gariepy, who is retiring from Holy Spirit after 16 years of service there.

                “In a letter given to parishioners yesterday, the Diocese forecaster explained that the move was partly in response to a shortage of available priests.

                “‘I cannot stress enough that this is the first step on a road we are committed to…in order to share our resources more creatively and more effectively to meeting the every increasing needs as a diocesan church, ‘the letter said quoting the Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester.

                “It is not uncommon to split another to split another pastor’s time rather than closing a church after the pastor retirees said Rev. Tokarz.

                “Rev. Tokarz said he is not yet sure how this time will be split or own it will affect the churches programs and schedules. He said juggling she tow churches will be a challenge, but he is looking forward to it.

                “‘I know a lot of people there, so it’s just a little transition,’ he said of Holy Spirit. ‘You move right in and hopefully they’re going to accept me as I accept them, and I’m sure everything will work out fine.”66

                The announcement of official list of transfers and parish “twining” appeared on page one of the Catholic Free Press of June 23, 2006. The title on this page read “Five parishes to lose resident pastor.” What gets interesting is where and who this involved. This was talked about for over twenty years in the Worcester Diocese. But, one has to watch how the Worcester Diocese now operates after Bishop Harrington’ attempt in the early 1990s of closing St. Joseph’s Parish (French) in Worcester. Besides the lack of priests, there is a population shift occurring in the Worcester Diocese. So, there is the term of “twining” used for band-aide approach. The priest will be saying Mass in two or three parishes on a weekend as the old days of the history of our country- riding the donkey from one parish to the next, saying Mass. This has, already, been happening in the West of our country for some time. Next.

One always has to watch how the mentality of “Worcester” is on being Worcester. The Worcester Chancery has everything in the world in their mind as being Worcester. In the city, itself one is able to look out from each church sacristy and be able to see a Catholic Church steeple. But, one does not hear about any “twining” with city parishes in a grand scale. Yet, the population is moving to what is called North County and South County (Worcester). There is a disease of unknown name that has certain priest cement their feet in concrete and this is the place to see it on a large scale.

An article I read in U.S. News & World Report issue of this day entitled “Bad News for Bullies: by David Gergen. He writes: “Have you ever worked for a tyrant? If not, count yourself lucky because most people have at one time or another-no less than 4 out of 5 employees, according to a study by Wayne State University. Survey also find that of all the complaints people have about their work, from low pay to long hours, the biggest single one is that of the bully boss. And if anything, there are sings that the practice of tormenting employees is rising in the ‘new economy,’ as companies face stiffer competition and CEOs turn over faster, developing few personal bonds with people around them.

“Yet there is a distinctly different form of leadership that has arisen in recent years, represented by Bill Thomas, the co-founder of Eden Alternative and the man portrayed in the accompanying pages of this issue as one of American’s emerging leaders, chosen by a national panel. Thomas is a living symbol of what is called the ‘servant leader.’

“In the burgeoning literature about how best to lead, Robert K. Greenleaf famously coined that phrase in an essay titled ‘The Servant as Leader.’ In the years since Greenleaf’s ideas have drawn a sizable following and their echoes have appeared in popular leadership books by Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Max DePree, and others.

“Greenleaf argues that too many leaders in the past have been driven by a need for power or authority. They have set up hierarchical systems and, for a long while could achieve results. Today, however, people no longer grant automatic deference to a leader and seek instead less coercive, more creative relationship. ‘A new oral principle is emerging,’ writes Greenleaf, in which followers will’ respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.’….”67 

June 20, 2006

                I found in my reading in the May 26TH issue of the National Catholic Reporter “Catholics not leaving Church over sex abuse scandals, survey finds.” The wire services report “The clergy sex abuse crisis has produced little change among Catholics in Mass attendance and monetary contributions to parishes said a study by the Center for Applied research in the Apostolate.

                “However, contributions to annual diocesan fundraising campaigns have sufferer significantly (Supposedly not Worcester Diocese), it said.

                “An overwhelming majority of Catholics said that the crisis has hurt the church’s credibility on political and social issues, the study said.

                CARA is the Catholic research organization based at Georgetown University in Washington.

                “The study was based on 10 telephone polls of self-identified Catholics starting in January 2001 and ending in October 2005. Seven of the pollsters were sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications. The 42-page study, released May 4, also used data from previous CARA surveys and from polls done by other organizations.

                “ ‘Although most Catholics have expressed dissatisfaction with some aspect of the church’s handling of the issue of sexual abuse, most are also  loyal in the faith in that they have not changed their patterns of Mass attendance or parish giving,’ the study said.

                “There is ‘little evidence that Catholics have exited the church in significant number as a result of the sexual abuse scandal,’ it said….”68

                Business as usual for the church hierarchy and the parishioner in the pew- hatched, matched and dispatched. 

July 4, 2006

                It has been some time-almost 5 years writing the text of my journaling- that I use this day to conclude this writing. Now, I want to develop fiction writing of my first novel “The Rectory.” This day gives me a new “independence” with courage to move forward. 

July 6, 2006

                In reference to what I wrote on July 4th, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette published a guest columnist Michael True who is emeritus professor, Assumption College. It is entitled: “As I see it-Four decades after Vatican KK church remain authoritarian.”

                This article is somewhat a summary of my ministry since 1970 and many points are very relevant to my insights. I include the full text do to this fact.

                “An archeological dig several centuries from now may solve the mystery of the decline of the Romans Catholic Church as an institution. Or is this merely one of its periodic authoritarian phases, similar to the one that haunted it during the late-19th century (Modernism), under Pius IX (‘Pio Nono’).

                “Anyone concerned about and appreciative of Catholic history, particularly if he or she was intimately involved in it, may regard the past 40 years as a tragic era. During the 1960s, the promise of John XXIII, the Second Vatican Council and liberation theology reflected the best in the tradition. Some said that we were naïve to think those events signaled a renaissance in the institution’s moral and religious leadership. Many of us thought otherwise, and in the spirit of Vatican II, tried to incorporate otherwise, and in the spirit of Vatican II, tried to incorporate the reforms and recommendations in our lives.

                “Once Paul VI condemned birth control, against the advice of his lay and clerical advisers in 1968, however, it’s been downhill ever since. Let me count the ways: a0 the appointment of theologically reactionary prelates by John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI; b0 repeated refusals to ordained women to the priesthood;  c0discrimination against gays and lesbians, most recently from the Vatican Congregation on the Family; d0 massive scandals among clerical pedophiles costing million of dollars in reparation; e) the papacy’s discipline of church’s major theologians; and f0 the undermining of academic freedom in Catholic colleges and universities . IN the meantime, vocations by women and men clerics have plummeted.

                “The hierarchy, appointed by two recent popes, wears a happy if not always confident face as theses disastrous developments unfold. Discouraged clerics and laity, meanwhile, find it hard to maintain any confidence in the instruction. Others, including scholars and spokespersons, tolerate cover-up or deny the consequences of an authoritarian structure that values obedience more than truth.

                “Why have the faithful been so reluctant, generally, to speak out? Otherwise sophisticated laity is reticent or fearful, and by their silence undermines possibilities for resolving conflicts or challenging inhuman polices. These same academics and commentators call public officials, as well as their colleagues to ask when they fail to live up to their task when they fail to live up to their responsibilities. What keep them from holding church officials to a similar standard? Meanwhile, the hierarchy blames others, rather than those within their own ranks, for the decline of morality and the church’s authority.

                “The achievement of Catholic culture is apparent in many socially responsible institutions and in the lives of men and women-saints by any standards-who feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the sick and wounded. In that regard, Eamon Duffy, a Catholic historian, speaking of the centuries old papacy, offered this judgment: ‘For all its sins and despite its recurring commitment to the repression of ‘error,’ the papacy does  seem tome to have been on balance a force for human freedom, and languages of spirit.’

                “Recent popes have indeed condemned the Iraq war, but their institutional voices appear to define moral behavior principally as opposing birth control, abortion, and gay marriage, and to regard sexuality, if not the today, as an occasion of sin.

                “How different in spirit was the Catholic scene in many is as of the world 30 years ago. Administrators and clerics in my own diocese, Worcester, for example took the Vatican Council to heart and into the wider community. Assumption College’s Ecumenical Institute was a sign of a new day dawning. An in 1969,the Worcester Catholic diocese, Jewish Federation, and Worcester County Ecumenical Council initiated the Interfaith Center for Draft Information, offering free counseling to young men making difficult decisions abut the draft and military service.

                “By contrast, Catholic college today are seldom visible or only minimally committed to inter-religious engagement, which the react Catholic theologian , Hans Kung, regards as a central issue in building a just social order.

                “Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement spoke abut the need to ‘release the dynamite’ inherent in Catholic social teaching. He, Dorothy Day, and the Catholic Worker movement show how that might be done by their faithful commitment to the poor and to nonviolent. Dorothy Day said that though the church is ‘a harlot,’ it is also ‘our mother.’ Fro millions of people around the world, the church are still a mother offering a personal and global vision.

                “IN recent decades the institutional seems committed to authoritarian rule and to a public stance that minimizes the best in its tradition. As the largest religious denomination in the world, that stance endangers not only the integrity of the institution, but also the wider world community.

                “Although these observations may be dismissed as those of ‘renegade’ Catholic, my 60 years of active membership give me some authority to speak to these issues. Respectful of and grateful for what I learned under the tutelage, I found it difficult to live out my life or to sustain a spiritual life for want of a better term, in the church’s embrace.

                “As my fellow communicants kept silent or remained apologetic, I felt alienated from my earlier affection for the institution. In spite of its virtues, it continues to preach doctrines and to legislate policies that betray its responsibility as a custodian of the Gospels It ignores or dampens the ‘dynamite’ inherent in the teaching of Jesus and the faithful witnesses of his followers.

                “Having survived 2,000 years, including Inquisitions and warring factions among its constituents, Catholicism stumbles along, willy-nilly. One can only hope that it might fare better, by recovering social teachings, lively arts, and theological insights that emerged in the 1960s.”69

                Here is a summary as I have been writing as “resurging clericalism,” hierarchical executives, “Gas Station Catholics” to only name a few of the phrases that I have in my vocabulary. 

July 7, 2006

                Lastly, at this part of my journaling of “Poster Boy Priest” is this story on page B2 (Local News) of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette “Alleged clergy sex abuse victim dies.”

                Bronislaus B. Kush of the Telegram & Gazette Staff writes: “Worcester-Sime M. Braio, the former Shrewsbury man who rocked the local Catholic church in2002 with charges that he had been sexually abused as a teenager by Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger, was found dead Monday in an eastside apartment.

                “Sgt. Gary J. Quitadamo said Mr. Braio’s body was discovered by police about 6 p.m. in an apartment at 90 East Central St., in the city’s Shrewsbury Street neighborhood. Mr. Braio was believed to be about 55.

                “Police, who were called to the scene by another resident of the building where Mr. Braio had been living over the past few months, do not suspect foul play.

                “Daniel J. Shea, a lawyer who had represented Mr. Braio in litigation against Bishop Rueger, said Mr. Braio had been ill for some time with a host of maladies, including cardiac problems.

                “Mr. Braio filed a civil suit in July 2002, alleging that the molestation by Bishop Rueger began when he was 13 and continued when he was older. According to the suit, the sexual abuse resulted in behavior that eventually landed Mr. Braio in the former Lyman School for Boys in Westboro.

                “The Worcester Diocese vigorously defended Bishop Rueger, and Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the papal nuncio to the United States, cleared him of any wrongdoing, just days after the suit were filed in Worcester Superior Court.

                “Mr. Braio dropped the suit in November 2003, as well as litigation against Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, the diocesan chancellor, Mr. Brio had filed an ancillary defamation suit against Monsignor Sullivan, charging that he had spread rumors that Mr. Braio had HIV,

                “‘We will pray fro the repose of his should and pray for God’ peace and comfort for this family and friends during their time of loss,’ said diocesan spokesman Raymond Delisle, when informed of Mr. Braio’s death.

                “Mr. Shea said he learned abut Mr. Braio’s death late yesterday morning, after being contacted by officials from the state medical examiner’s office, who were hoping the lawyer could help them find next of kin.

                “‘I had some differences with him but he was a very likeable person,’ said Mr. Shea, noting Mr. Braio often offered him meatball and sausage meals in gesture of hospitality. ‘I hope I served him well.’ “70

                This was the only case in the Worcester Diocese that found any priest “Not guilty.”

                Actually, Rueger was the only one even proclaimed “immaculate” by the Vatican’s papal nuncio to this country three days after a suite against him was made public. The procedure used by the Worcester Chancery was something to reflect upon for Rueger and yet all other diocesan priest was simply put on Administrative Leaves. Why there were not more questions asked about Rueger and Braio? I was just wondering.  

                Overall, there is a climate of fear in the Church and world in general. Courage is needed in whatever journey one undertakes today.

 
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