Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Three Jesuits

There's been a lot in the news about the pope's commission on sex abuse - O'Malley, abuse survivor named members of new Vatican clergy abuse commission

Speaking of O'Malley, in a meeting between him and some Catholic press, Mollie Wilson O'Reilly asked him about the pope making bishops/cardinals who had covered up sex abuse accountable, but he ignored that question and didn't respond.

This refusal to even address the question of whether bishops/cardinals like Law, Finn, Mahony, Brady, et al, will ever be reprimanded for what they've done makes me so angry. I saw that Law and Brady recently got together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day ... Cardinal Law guest at lunch in Irish College in Rome ... how can we trust a Vatican that treats these people as members in good standing to do the right thing with this new sex abuse commission?

But not everyone has ignored what they've done - I was reminded of a letter that was sent by clergy to Bernard Law when he was still in place in Boston, asking him to step down ...

Letter from priests to Cardinal Law

The following is the text of the letter signed by 58 Boston-area priests and sent to Cardinal Bernard F. Law on December 9, 2002:

Dear Cardinal Law:

It is with a heavy heart that we write to request your resignation as Archbishop of Boston. We have valued the good work you have done here in Boston, including, but not limited to: your advocacy for the homeless, your outreach to the Jewish community, your opposition to capital punishment, and your leadership in welcoming immigrant peoples. However, the events of recent months and, in particular, of these last few days, make it clear to us that your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston.

As leaders of many parishes that make up this Archdiocese, we hear from the people their call for a change in leadership. The revelations that have come to light a few days ago challenge the credibility of your public statements. The people of this Archdiocese are angry, hurt, and in need of authentic spiritual leadership. We believe that despite your good work in the past you are no longer able to provide that leadership.

While this is obviously a difficult request, we believe in our hearts that this is a necessary step that must be taken if healing is to come to the Archdiocese. The priests and people of Boston have lost confidence in you as their spiritual leader.

I recognized three of the signatories to that letter ... Roger D. Haight SJ, David Hollenbach SJ, and James F. Keenan SJ.

David Hollenbach, who teaches at Georgetown University, got a mention in my blog: he was one of the signatories to a statement by US Christian Leaders against the anti-gay legislation in Uganda.

James Keenan SJ, who teaches theology at Boston College, has also been mentioned in a couple of my past posts ... he supported Bishop in South Africa Kevin Dowling and his stance on condoms, and he wrote an article on suffering that dwells on the work of Elaine Scarry.

Roger Haight SJ, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary, is perhaps the most well known of the three because he had the distinction of having been censored by the CDF for his writing. Francis Clooney SJ wrote about this at America Magazine ... The Silencing of Roger Haight, SJ ... and I mentioned him in some blog posts: Roger Haight on Schillebeeckx and Haight and Neuhaus


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