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
“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”
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
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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
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)
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
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
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
Bishop Harrington used this
“your guilty until proven innocent” on me a number of times in
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
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
“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
“ ‘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
“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
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
“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’
“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
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
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
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
“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
“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
“‘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,
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
“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
‘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
“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
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
. 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
“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
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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
(The Boston Globe) carried on the Internet “Abuse cost churches
nearly $476 M in ’05: settlements spiked sharply” by Susan Milligan
of this day.
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
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
“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
“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
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
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
“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
“ ‘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.
“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
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
“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
“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)  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.  It simply proves that
the institution must serve other ends besides its own preservation.
…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.  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
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.
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.
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
“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.
Robinson’s lawyers declined to comment on specifics of the case,
citing a gag order issued by a judge in Lucas County Common Pleas
“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
“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
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
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
“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”
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.
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.
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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,
“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
“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
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
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,
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
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 &
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.
´’I quit because I couldn’t
take it anymore,’ said Mrs. Jean, who had served as Mr. Shea’s
“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
“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
“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
“‘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
“ ‘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
“‘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
“‘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
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
“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
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
“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
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
“‘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
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
“‘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
“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
“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
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
“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
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.
“‘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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
“‘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
“‘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
‘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
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
“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
“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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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.