I have decided not to partake of the Eucharist anymore.
My reasoning is simple. There is something immoral and depravedabout partaking in the body of Christ under the terms of areligious entity that defines piety under a political criterionallegedly in order to protect unborn children yet, at the sametime, protects and rewards those directly responsible for shieldingthe pedophiles that abused and violated hundreds of children.
Last week Pope John Paul II named Cardinal Bernard Law to thepost of archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, a ceremonial andhighly visible post in Rome.
During the same week we saw a troubling nationwide trend,Catholic churches began to deny Holy Communion to those who supportgay marriages and abortion rights.
This is a shameful duplicity.
Bernard Law is the same fellow that resigned his post asarchbishop of Boston after it became clear that he had persistentlyshielded the worst abusers, those that preyed on dozens ofchildren.
I will not be part of their decadence any longer. What for?Surely I will not do this for the sake of Law and John Geoghan. Irefuse to acknowledge fellowship with a church that protectspredators of the vulnerable and the young.
Maybe the words of Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, whorepresented more than 550 alleged victims of sexual abuse bypriests in Boston, will explain why I find the latest papal mandateunacceptable and especially blameworthy: “the Vatican eitherdoesn’t understand the problem of clergy sexual abuse, or itdoesn’t care.”
Does this all make sense to you? It doesn’t to me.
We should not have to work hard to explain the intrinsicevilness of a pedophile. Children must be protected for they arevulnerable, trusting, unable to defend themselves and unexpectingof sexual abuse from anyone -let alone a priest, an allegedrepresentative of Christ on earth.
And still the most offensive part of this whole sad affair isthe realization that Garabedian is probably wrong on bothcounts.
The hierarchy of the Holy Roman Church has always understoodeverything about sexual abuse; they have always understood thedynamics of power and trust that their robes provide them. Theyunderstand it because they take advantage of it in order to violatethose who trust them. And they do care, but only to the extent thattheir coffers allow them. Law’s legacy was expedientlysettled by a reported total of $85 million for the 550 victims ofpedophile priests.
Lord have mercy on all of them, and forgive my refusal tosanctify their hypocrisy. I can’t commune anymore with acadre of manipulators. Their duplicity offends me and the arrogancedisturbs me. They imagine to own the body of Christ to the pointthat they alone are the ones that determine who is worthy ofreceiving . And that, oh Lord, is an indecent proposition.
P.S.: It has been my pleasure and honor to have had the opportunityto address you all in this manner for the past two years.
During this time I have met some very good people, received somepositive feedback by friends and strangers alike and was calledmany nasty things after a column or two by those who were unhappywith the manner in which I masticated the issues at hand.There aresome that are worthy of open praise and they will get it, whetheror not it is proper “Associated Press style.”
I want to thank my mother for her sempiternal love, my wife forher support of my eccentricities and because she is indeed mybetter half, Mayin for her immesurable help, Scott for the freedomto run this section as I wanted, Kayleen for believing in me longbefore I did, Dave May for his help with graduate schoolapplications, my McNair cohorts for constant intellectualstimulation and the staff for their invaluable assistance, Gerdafor the flexible work hours, Dru for the humor, Jeff and Larry forour discussions, Terry for the fatherly advise, my colleagues atPEC for their patience to my struggles with the alarm clock, mycolleagues at The Easterner for making feel youthful, Troy for hisunique perspectives, Amanda for inspiration, the writers thatsubmitted their thought for publication, Ms. Peaker for herconstant capacity to humble my imagined gramatical prowess,Angeleana for her complexity, Curtis and Jordan for promising tocontinue the battle, George Bush for constant source of writingmaterial and , most importantly, all of you that took the time toread my ramblings… I appreciate your time.