A few years ago, when I was still a Catholic, I was at mass in a parish of the Baton Rouge diocese on the first Sunday after the diocese issued a statement saying that a previous bishop, now deceased, had molested a teenager for four years. That parish had a substitute priest for the mass I attended. He read a statement from the then-bishop, as instructed. Then that priest ordered everyone in the parish not to think about this or to talk about it.Reminds me of the Minneapolis parish I attended for a year, which helped fund an area parochial school -- that is, until the principal embezzled enough funds to force its closure. When the pastor announced this to the congregation, he strongly cautioned us against any ANGER, JUDGEMENT, BITTERNESS (or any other natural human reaction that might possibly delay our immediate descent into a warm bath of compassion).
I remember very well exactly where I was sitting when I heard that disgusting instruction from the pulpit. I was so furious I nearly stood up and walked out. I thought for a split-second, “I need to say something! This is outrageous!” But of course I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to stand out. Nor did I say anything after Mass, when I ought to have confronted that priest. I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to cause a scene. I’m still ashamed of myself. I could have changed exactly nothing, but I’m ashamed that I didn’t at least say, and say out loud, "You’re wrong, Father. Shame on you.”
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Instant forgiveness, instant potatoes -- it's all one big mash
The journalist Rod Dreher writes: