Bone heads


On a zoom call yesterday I was able to witness first hand how at least one catholic diocese does not get the issue of abuse. (All abuse.) My volume had been disabled, good thing, and the moderator of the meeting did not have her phone with her. Obviously God was with us because I called her and I was angry! One of the participants whom I could hear but could not see…I don’t even know how to say it…said something akin to, the beatings won’t stop until morale improves.

Here is a little background; An organization called, Gather My Lost Sheep, founded for the sole purpose of making abuse survivors or those with mental illness feel that they have a place in the Church. That they indeed are loved by Jesus and the Church is a welcoming and safe place for them. I am on the board.

The bishop of the diocese of the founder tapped her to help implement this for anyone with mental illness. Of course she ran into trouble right away. A permanent deacon downloaded three videos she made and distributed them without compensating her. Now this is a non-profit not a free service. She put a ton of work into this project and deserves compensation.

One of the gentlemen at this meeting kept saying to her that she should be happy that she has been instrumental in helping others. Of course that doesn’t address compensation, put food on her table or a roof over her head. That is a perfect example of a person not getting the abuse thing. I was very angry.

And of course it brought to mind all the people in my life who really do not understand including my current bishop. The scariest thing is that these people think they actually do understand.

This is what victims are up against, people who do not get it but think they do and saying things like compensation for work doesn’t matter. (That priest only molested five boys in his first parish before we moved him. or The Boy Scouts of America had a worse problem with sexual malfeasance among their ranks.)

However this meeting was not about the clergy sex scandal it was about understanding people who have been traumatized and/or people dealing with mental illness. How can a safe space be created when you have people saying bone headed things.

I told ‘C’ to get out of that diocese and away from those toxic people. That takes money and she doesn’t have any. She keeps tapping into her retirement savings to make ends meet…but she should be happy.

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I thought, Good God I have Become Unbelieving Like the Bishops


Recent developments in the Church are the same old same old. There was nothing new or even changed in the new pronouncements issued from Rome in the ongoing disgrace of priest sexual abuse or homosexual behavior. There are priests who actually teach and preach the gospel who are being persecuted by their bishops. And now this…

I know this is on a local level but, using the word of the moment, it is systemic. I was at dinner the other night with four other priests when one of them decided to excoriate victims of clergy sexual abuse. This priest said that he has had four different people come to confession to him and admit that they made up allegations of abuse by dead priests because they needed the money. What? Where is my money?

Of course I did not believe him. Then I wondered why he was telling us something that was said in confession. This priest is not assigned to a parish because he is on sick leave so these people either sought him out or just happened to be in parishes where he was being paid to hear confessions. If true it cannot and should not be used to dismiss allegations of priest/clergy sexual abuse but that is what it was used for.

UG! On reflection on this conversation I thought, Good God I have become unbelieving like the bishops. Whether this confessional revelation happened or not is not the point. The point is the dismissal of all allegations based on four people, (if they even exist), and their revelation that they lied. And really the implication is that I have lied. Why would anyone put themselves through the hell of coming forward with sexual abuse allegations? That is one of the reasons I do not believe this priest. A payout of one million dollars would not be enough. Money can never replace what has been taken away from me or compensate for what I have been through.

To cheapen and/or dismiss allegations against priests sexual proclivities seems to me that, like Abel’s blood crying out from the earth to God, a steep penalty will be incurred in eternity. Also anyone bringing false allegation against someone, even if confessed, will incur a steep penalty even if it is not hell.

I advise everyone to pray for clergy sexual abusers, the clergy sexually abused, anyone making false allegations and anyone spreading lies about the heinousness of clergy sexual abuse with the intent to minimalize it or dismiss it.

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Grave sin


Look at the state of the Roman Catholic Church, Sacrilegious Holy Communion, blessing sin in sinful sexual relationships, sexual abuse by priests, priests who actually teach and preach the true gospel of the one true God being persecuted by their own bishops, bishops acting as CEO’s and not as shepherds seemingly not caring about the salvation of souls forgetting that being a great shepherd will inevitably lead to great success in their dioceses.

Going back to the whole sexual abuse by priests issue. Looking at the dire state of the Roman Catholic Church world wide, is it a wonder when some bishops and some priests aren’t following the real and true teaching of Jesus Christ?

Here is the reality, or what should be the reality, today’s priests should be preaching the same gospel that was preached by Saint Paul over 2000 years ago. And we need to remember the words of Saint Paul in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings…”

So many people have embraced diverse and strange teachings including some priests and bishops, not only embracing them but spreading them to the detriment of souls. I understand that the baptized are effected by the residual effects of original sin. ALL OF US ARE SINNERS. Wallowing in our sin is anathema to God. (We ALL need to repent of our sins.) You cannot repent of your sin when you embrace your sin.

Clearly sexual predator’s have embraced their sin. They can freely choose not to sin, (a struggle, sometimes called a cross, but still possible), just as serial killers and serial rapists really can choose not to kill or rape. We always have the choice. Once we make the incorrect choice, choosing sin, one time it makes choosing sin much easier the next time.

As a result we have a Church in the state that it is in.

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Sexual Abuse and Me, Excuses don’t Wash With God


While ministering to a man who is getting ready for his trip into eternity I said something to him that was not only exceedingly brilliant, (so obviously it was God and not me), it took my breath away. This man is having a lot of anger issues with his ex-wife, his current wife, his daughters, his current wife’s daughter, his granddaughter and a myriad of other people. I told him that it did not matter what they did or didn’t do because at his judgement he will be alone with God and excuses don’t wash. Lightbulb!!!! So I cannot wallow in the sexual abuse I experienced, (not that I do), at the hands, and other parts, of a priest.

Of course that hasn’t taken away bad reactions to triggers or anger caused by do nothing, lying, victim blaming bishops, priests and laity. But it did offer me a new perspective in my struggle into eternity. Excuses don’t wash with God.

The healing that I seek can only be brought about by God and my cooperation with his grace. Programs like Grief to Grace are a great jumping off point but even as I was going through it, (and it helped immensely), I knew that wasn’t the end. As I get further away from that immense help that Grief to Grace provided me I have come to realize, even though I knew it all the time, That not only was I not abandoned by God but only God can make me whole again. I will always be damaged but that’s not an excuse.

Now let me relate a little story from many years ago. I was celebrating the Lord’s Supper. In the congregation I saw a man who looked sort of, kind of, like the priest who molested me. I knew it wasn’t him. My intellect was quite clear on that point. But, and it’s a big but, seeing this man still triggered a panic attack in me. I didn’t suffer paralysis and I finished mass but it was a quite uncomfortable and a somewhat scary moment.

Ultimately it will be God who heals me. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak up when members of the Church are being bone heads in regards to the issue of abuse. Their eternal salvation might depend on it, and so might mine, so they need to be called out and corrected.

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I’ll continue to flatter myself and fantasize that I am above all this corruption in the Church…and I’ll continue to hope and pray for all of us.


Pondering my own abuse in the Church and pondering so many other’s abuse, and the fact that we are still seeing that nothing is really, truly, being done to address the pain and loss of faith that has overwhelmed so many people. I asked myself, what would I have done if I were a bishop? I like to flatter myself and say that I would have made sure that it would never have reached critical mass. I also like to flatter myself and think I would have listened with empathy and compassion to victims and their families who are also victims.

I am pretty sure I would not have been hateful, arrogant and aloof. Maybe a kneejerk reaction, at least with the first report, would have been horror and disbelief. The horror would NEVER go away. Any disbelief would move from victims to a disbelief that a priest could ever engage in this activity and yet has.

Again, I like to think that I would do the right thing and not be hateful to victims and their families. The operating of some in the Church out of hate belies their own distance from God, not a made up god of their creation, but the one true God. For the moment I’m not angry I’m sad. It is a sadness for everyone who is involved. It is a sadness that dwells in the very depth of me. And, of course I wait for the next time that betrayal comes to me from within the Church, (it has on numerous occasions, even as a priest), and I have to wonder will the anger come gushing back. I sincerely hope not. Dealing on a daily basis with the arrogance of some bishops, priests, deacons and lay-people is difficult. Right now it makes me sad but it’s better than overwhelming anger.

I’ll continue to flatter myself and fantasize that I am above all this corruption in the Church…and I’ll continue to hope and pray for all of us.

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We love God by doing what he says. That makes us a part of the flock that the Good Shepherd talks about


We have had many gospels lately, as well as other readings and commentaries in the life of the Church, on the Good Shepherd. This is what I get out of it based on my life experience and more in depth reading. The Good Shepherd, Jesus, out of LOVE has laid down His life for us, his sheep. Who are his sheep? The answer is NOT everyone but only those that love him, Jesus the Good Shepherd. How does one prove their love??? By doing what God says to do. So if you are bucking against God and his teachings/commandments by the definition of the love of God you are not part of the flock…you are not one of he sheep. (One has to love the true God and his teachings not a god of our own making.)

Okay, so far so good. Of course we are all sinners and all have the residual effects of original sin after baptism. That is why we sin. But we are still supposed to strive to love God and follow ALL of what he has left us. As Roman Catholics this is both scripture and tradition. (No matter what non-believers say tradition NEVER contradicts scripture.) We prove that we are one of God’s flock by loving God. We love God by doing what he says. Remember the transfiguration when God says that this is my son do what he says. We are commanded to do what he says…not make it up as some do.

Okay, we love God by doing what he says. We are a part of the flock that the Good Shepherd talks about. We pay attention to scripture and tradition and realize when we sin we need to get back with God. ( We have turned away from God when we sin but turn back to him when we repent.) The flock is world wide.

That leads us to the saints and most specifically the martyrs. The martyrs perfectly imitated the Good Shepherd. Remember, the flock is universal so even if a martyr dies alone, (Maria Goretti), or in a group, (Isaac Jogues & companions, [the North American Martyrs]), They died as part of the flock so they died for us also. Ergo, if we are a part of the flock and we die for Jesus Christ we have also died for the flock. The martyrs are our friends even if we never knew them in this life, even if they have died long ago. They laid down their lives for their friends, the flock, imitating the Good Shepheard.

How does this tie in with clergy sexual abuse? Abusers were never in the flock. They are the wolves talked about in scripture. Their abuse has more times than not scattered the sheep. Abusers are stealing from the flock. And yet the Church has done very little. They protect wolves and neglect the sheep. Again by definition if you protect wolves and neglect the sheep you are really not a part of the flock. Sad. We love God by doing what he says. That makes us a part of the flock that the Good Shepherd talks about.

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Money loving bishops are not the truth. Jesus is truth.


Let me start by saying that I have mulled this since the death of my sister. When that happened, of course, my brother-in-law was distraught. As families often do when we were gathered together planning the funeral we talked. My brother-in-law said something that I knew was important but since I too was morning I just filed it away in my mind. My brother-in-law said that whenever he was having a really bad day and would come home when he was hugged by my sister all the bad stuff, the bad day, just melted away.

That should be what happens in our relationship with God. So why hasn’t that happened to me surrounding my molestation and other trauma that has been inflicted on me, some of it by the Church herself? Pondering this and praying about this I have come to the conclusion that the issue is to great to be melted away…not the bad stuff mind you because God can do anything…but the issue itself. The issue of priest abuse needs to be confronted still.

Here is a little story, a true story, about non-sexual priest abuse, well bishop abuse. Once upon a time I was celebrant at a funeral mass. So far so good. I was told by a man who actually came into the sacristy that “they” were ready. The deacon witnessed this also. So we started. It turns out that person was from the family not the funeral home. Mass for the deceased still got said and all spiritually was well. Then, on the street in front of the deceased’s family and the deacon the funeral director yelled at me about starting. The fact we were in public apparently did not matter. Nor did the fact that I was directed to start. This particular funeral director is a blowhard and a bully. I sent him a very strongly worded letter saying as much.

Now remember my background of sexual abuse and all the baggage that goes with that. Needless to say I was set off. My letter to him was strongly worded and did point out that his behavior was inexcusable. (After the fact I wondered what happened to him to help shape his blowhard, abusive personality.) The letter did not threaten him, his family, his business or anything. I even passed it trough my therapist who agreed it was strongly worded but a good letter none-the-less.

What happened? Bishop Francis Malooly got ahold of it and sided with the funeral director and not me, one of his priests who got yelled at on the street. SPINELESS. I found out later That the funeral director was a large donor to the diocese. AHHHH, it now made sense. It turned out money was more important than the truth.

That is just like the sexual scandal, money is more important than the truth. I look around at the bishops and archbishops and what I see mostly is men that will let evil slide if money is involved. That makes them cooperators with evil. I am very aware that these feelings are colored by the sexual abuse I suffered but they are also colored by what I have experienced in the Church. Is it a wonder that laypeople are leaving in droves? The truth means nothing to the institution or the men who run it. Truth can be relativized when money is involved. But they, and we, need to remind ourselves that Jesus is truth.

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Mental illness does not disqualify you from sainthood


St. Augustine, St. Flora of Beaulieu, St. Ignatius of Loyola,  St. Jane Frances de Chantal,  St. Noel Chabanel, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), these are just some of the canonized saints who suffered depression, a common mental illness that can be persistent or intermittent. It is what they did with their particular difficulties brought on by their depression that has made them canonized saints in the Catholic Church. Yes they can be seen as mentally ill but they can also be looked on as inspirations to all of us as examples of what we can accomplish with God and in spite of mental illness. Sanctity is in the struggle. We are all called to be saints and we all have our own struggles. Why do I bring that up? If you are the victim of priest sexual abuse somewhere down the line you probably have had depression. Self medication with drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping/spending money or whatever you choose as your coping mechanism does not and will not help. Suicide also will not help nor will homicide. The saints did not choose either of these because they choose perseverance and to struggle against their natural, (or unnatural), inclinations. Sanctity is in the struggle.

How many people who were abused by priests chose suicide? How many chose homicide? How many chose to deaden their pain with drugs and alcohol? It is telling that the Church then turned around and pointed out that the individual coping mechanisms victims use to survive the trauma makes the Church discount the validity of the abuse. They seem to discount their own culpability. See that person is a drug addict or alcoholic so the problem is with them. See that person committed suicide so obviously they are crazy and we can dismiss what they have to say. I could go on… In our society today we here the term cancel culture a lot. Sadly the Church did that early on to victims of abuse. I guess the thought from the Church is if you can silence victims or cancel them then there isn’t really a problem. You can’t be believed if you are not heard. The trouble with that is once the problem reaches critical mass it explodes into the consciousness of the world. What was done in the darkness is brought into the light.

That is my theory as to why this scandal is still going on in the Catholic world. Pray!!!

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Naked in the locker room


I’ve done this once and poof it went away. So I’ll try again.

One of the things I do, not only as a Catholic Christian but more importantly as a priest, is pray. Sometimes God gives me an insight into present behavior based on my past. Recently that has happened. Some years ago I was at the gym and camped out in the locker room was a teenager. It disturbed my peace. I figured he was gay and scoping out naked men. Digging deeper as to why I was effected the way I was I came up with this; he was objectifying me. I had become an object. Certainly I did not want to be one of his masturbatory fantasies. I don’t even know if that is what it was about. All I do know is that his presence made me uncomfortable.

Fastbackward, as a teen I was once again naked in a locker room, (sometimes you encounter naked people in locker rooms), and I once again became an object. I did not know that I became an object. A naked object for a priest.

But of course this effected me in another way too. I was powerless. My molester had the power in the relationship. Subsequently I do not take well to people who have power especially if it is over me. There are trust issues too. And if you are deceitful or manipulative I trust you even less.

Since having this wonderful revelation about objectifying others even when I did not like it myself I am Patiently waiting for it to go from my intellect into my heart so I stop doing it also.

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Pope Francis, Vatican bureaucracy, McCarrick, and the Wales clergy sexual abuse report


How long has Pope Francis been in office? Pope Francis pledges to end sexual abuse after McCarrick report, so screamed one headline. Am I dreaming or have we heard about the pope’s concern before. I vaguely recollect him putting together a commission for this issue. Wasn’t it dissolved because it couldn’t get its changes implemented because Vatican bureaucracy blocked them. Am I remembering that correctly?

Nothing has been done for how long? It is very interesting to me that a report on clergy sexual abuse in Wales came out on the same day as the McCarrick report excoriating the Church, (and rightfully so), and naming the pope as an enabler by blocking investigations, stonewalling, and not doing anything of substance to punish perpetrators. It is also telling that the McCarrick report, put together by Pope Francis’s personal lawyer, exonerates Pope Francis from all wrong doing. (Of course it does.) It all smacks of that do nothing policy, Bishops policing themselves…bishop and personal attorney are interchangeable here

So it seems that nothing will ever get done amidst the lies, cover-up’s and whitewashing that the men in power hoist onto a cynical public.

How long has Pope Francis been in office? Pope Francis pledges to end sexual abuse after McCarrick report, so screamed one headline. Am I dreaming or have we heard about the pope’s concern before. I vaguely recollect him putting together a commission for this issue. Wasn’t it dissolved because it couldn’t get its changes implemented because Vatican bureaucracy blocked them. Am I remembering that correctly?

Nothing has been done for how long? It is very interesting to me that a report on clergy sexual abuse in Wales came out on the same day as the McCarrick report excoriating the Church, (and rightfully so), and naming the pope as an enabler by blocking investigations, stonewalling, and not doing anything of substance to punish perpetrators. It is also telling that the McCarrick report, put together by Pope Francis’s personal lawyer, exonerates Pope Francis from all wrong doing. (Of course it does.) It all smacks of that do nothing policy, Bishops policing themselves…bishop and personal attorney are interchangeable here

So it seems that nothing will ever get done amidst the lies, cover-up’s and whitewashing that the men in power hoist onto a cynical public.

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