What Doesn’t Protect the Church

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I’ve been writing about the allegations of sexual molestation against Cardinal McCarrick over at Patheos: Soldiers for Christ Hiding Under the Bed is about the connection between covering up for sexual predators and the inability of the Church to be an effective witness to wider society.  Not a surprising connection, but one that needs to … Continue reading What Doesn’t Protect the Church

Please visit Riparians at the Gate + Jennifer Fitz to read the full post.
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What will you be doing on your death bed? In my February 2014 Death Bed Test Run, my answer amused me: I’d be writing about the Catholic faith. It’s what I do. In addition to my blogging habit . . . I’m the author of Classroom Management for Catechists. You can find me lurking around the Catholic Writers Guild. I homeschool my four kids. I have an MBA (accounting / finance), and my undergrad degree was in International Studies with a splash of economics thrown in. Studied for a year of that at the Institut d’Etudes Politique in Paris, so oui, j’aime all that French stuff. My latest educational frenzy? I’m training to be a presenter for Family Honor. I have an agreement with God that He gets to lay me flat whenever He wants, and I get to whap on the floor when He does it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. http://truthandcharityforum.org/about/ Miss Fits, your comments on “What Doesn’t Protect the Church” is spot on. Most Catholics today are well aware of our bishops efforts to cover for clergy who abuse. Continuing the silence and cover ups has done and continues to do irreparable harm to our church. I am totally perplexed to think these men do not realize they are not in any way winning over the faithful.

    Then again, is it possible they clearly know this isn’t working but are so afraid of the truth as it will expose SO MUCH abuse, deception, lies, immorality, that they simply can no longer speak the truth of these matters?

    Better a financially bankrupt church (and that won’t happen) than a morally bankrupt church. Where on this earth is the Bishop or Cardinal who will “travel the road less traveled” and take a new path. One that tells the whole truth about clergy abuse and puts our children first instead of the institution and offenders they believe they have some obligation to protect. Sixteen years after the explosive Boston revelations and countless empty promises, we Catholics are still waiting as the pews on Sunday continue to empty.

    I personally am a survivor of clergy abuse, I first notified an auxiliary bishop of Newark of my abuse in 1983. At this point this priest was never removed from my parish where he continued to pursue me and ny younger brother. Several years later he was in fact promoted to serve as Archbishop McCarrick’s personal secretary, A very prominent role in any diocese.

    After realizing my initial concerns were ignored I demanded a meeting with Archbishop McCarrick directly. He finally agreed to meet with me (at this time it was 1997) as I told him about the man HE PROMOTED. The very same man he made his personal secretary, long after they knew of my abuse. They didn’t report my abuser to law enforcement as required by state law. When I met with Archbishop to again express my grave concerns, he was yet again returned to ministry, even after the Archbishop promised me he would have no access to children. I also told him how offended I was by the church’s legal response instead of a pastoral one.

    A few years later my abuser was pictured (in the Archdiocesan Newspaper) with then Archbishop McCarrick, surrounded by children at Christmas time. I was sick to my stomach. Archbishop McCarrick made several promises to me that day, none of which were ever kept and after our meeting the Archdiocese again requested confidentiality, a point I made clear to him during our discussion of how hurt and offended I was by their repeated requests for secrecy.

    Silence and secrecy is the glue that keeps sexual abuse firmly in place. The actions by leadership who have kept the Cardinals actions quite all these years is a perfect example of the monumental damage it causes…to generations. I implore our bishops and Cardinals to “Be Silent No More!”. Stop protecting known predators in our midst. This certainly wont be easy and it will have real consequences but the day will come when we have a better church because of it. Like a rose bush with many thorns, if you fail to prune it, it will grow weak and not bear beautiful blooms. It’s time for a major pruning in our church.

  2. Mark,
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It takes a lot of courage and maturity to be able to discuss something so painful. People need to hear the stories of what is happening, and why it is so important that we shed light on this situation.

    God bless you!

    Jennifer.

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