Saturday, June 1
"They better wear their asbestos cassocks," said the Rev. Gary Hayes, a Catholic priest in Kentucky who says he was abused by two priests as a youth and is now president of the Linkup, an advocacy group for people sexually abused by clergy. "I think they're going to hear stuff that would be pretty challenging, pretty emotional and intense."
When the bishops meet from June 13 through 15, sexual abuse will be the only issue on the agenda, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops had planned to consider a pastoral plan for Hispanics, but that has been postponed until the bishops' fall meeting, she said.
Several leaders in Catholic organizations and the church said the bishops had already invited an unusually large number of laypeople to speak at their meeting in Dallas. The leaders said those speakers include Margaret Steinfels, editor of Commonweal, a liberal Catholic magazine based in New York; R. Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame; and Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York and co-author of a book about treating adult survivors of sexual abuse.
As I've said before, I don't think that victims should be allowed only to speak. I think a large group of them should be present for the entire meeting, gavel-to-gavel, sitting in witness to what fear, faithlessness and corruption has wrought.
As by the Word of God, Jesus our Savior was made Flesh and had both Flesh and Blood for our salvation, so also the food which has been blessed by the word of prayer instituted by Him is both the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Incarnate.
Katie is currently upstairs, crashed from her friend's birthday sleepover party at the Hilton, of all places, last night. Five little girls and one mom. Brave woman. Part of me can't see why she'd do it, but part of me can - there's an indoor pool at the Hilton, and she can let the maids clean up most of the mess in the room.
Katie has not one, but two dance recitals today - it's the same recital, given twice, which is a royal pain, since the auditorium is a good twenty minutes away. Yesterday before the rehearsal, she was all but decided to forgo dance next year, but she had SO MUCH FUN at the rehearsal that she's ready to re-enlist, and not just for one, but for two classes. I don't know how that's going to work, considering that she's planning to play volleyball, do Girl Scouts, choir and piano next school year as well. We'll see.
The only comments I have are: First, I think an apology for his treatment of sexual abuse victims is still in order. Secondly, I know it is such a modern thing and it's hard to get people to stop, but applause is so absolutely out of line in a moment like this. In the early church, public penance was the norm. Do you think folks applauded the penitents with their sackcloth and ashes as they walked by? Do we applaud folks as they come out of the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Do we applaud ourselves after the penitential rite? Consider for just a moment the difference if, instead of applause, the members of the congregation had simply bowed their heads in prayer, perhaps in contemplation of their own faults and the mercy of God. Here's the difference: instead of energy being directed at another person, energy and attention would be directed to God. Big difference.
I have to read that dreadful book Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine, you know - the book about kids and sex. Blech. I've been putting it off for as long as possible, but the article's due June 5 and I guess I should get busy. It's not a long article, and it's to be more of an exploration of the issue, but still, I just know it's simply going to make me mad, but maybe that's good. I always write best when I'm mad. Any links to appropriate articles you've run across would be appreciated. Send 'em on!
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