Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Here are my abbreviated thoughts on the resignation of the Archbishop of Boston

I am, in essence, glad he is gone. Glad for him, glad for me, glad for the victims of priestly abuse, and glad for the whole Church in Boston. I do not know what to think of him, and fortunately need not resolve that question at all, for it is clearly, explicitly not my place. I can (and do) hope and pray that he finds peace and that his sins will be forgiven. Equally, I hope and pray that Boston will receive a new Bishop who is capable of healing the terrible wounds here. It ought to go without saying (but won't, since there are so many Pharisees running around these days) that the victims and their abusers equally continue to require my own and your prayers.

Now, here is what I expect of my fellow Catholics, within the Archdiocese:
1) If you followed the immoral and reprehensible advice of people who should know better and withheld your contributions, undo that practice immediately. If, as seems probable, you simply stuck the money back in your pocket, rather than giving it to some charity, you need to make up for money not given to someone. There are tired, poor, hungry and needy people who have gone unserved while you basked in self-righteousness. Make it up to them: it was never their fault.
2) Stop giving interviews to any chuckleheaded reporter who sticks a microphone in your face on Boston Common. It was never their business what you thought about the Cardinal. The selection of his replacement is not a horserace, nor yet an election, and "man on the street" interview merely demonstrate that you are as ignorant as most non-Catholics of these simple facts.
3) Pray. Right now. Pray at your computer, pray in your car, and stop at Church sometime soon to pray. And take advantage of the expanded schedule of Reconciliation that many parishes are offering during Advent. There is one every night this week in Medford: call any of the parishes there to find out where tonight's is.

Now here is what I expect of my fellow Catholics, without the Archdiocese:
1) Shut up.
2) Pray.
3) Attend to the planks in your own eyes for a while, and please leave us the hell alone. We have enough problems here, without all your whiny, snivelly, self-righteous blather. Really.
4) Never, ever again, under any circumstances, speak to me about the "cesspool" you think my Archdiocese is. The Archdiocese of Boston is my family, not yours. I doubt your family would look very much better under the same sort of scrutiny.

I did warn you last week it wouldn't do either of us very much good to speak about this, didn't I?


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