By John P. McNamee
"But my lament is not about the Quakers or WASPs. It's for the local Catholic Church in the face of new and terrible revelations of pedophilia, denial, and concealment. A monsignor hangs out to dry, but the fault is more extensive and pervasive. "
"Let's look at Boston Catholics' response to the pedophilia crisis in that archdiocese. ..Members of a vociferous lay Catholic caucus called Voice of the Faithful argue that canon law gives them "the right and even at times the duty" to make their opinions known. They demanded a voice in the Boston crisis, and they were so insistent on their basic rights of free assembly and speech that churches simply had to allow their gatherings and hear them out. "
"The Philadelphia Catholic hierarchy, by contrast, has discouraged and even forbidden local Voice of the Faithful members from gaining access to church buildings. Given that the scandals are now causing massive disaffection here, shouldn't local church officials stop impeding the participation of any of the faithful?..."
"And then there's Chicago. Always more outspoken than other Catholic communities, Chicago's has its own theological journal and an independent priests' council. Years ago, a new Chicago archbishop was publicly rebuking local pastors for minor infractions during his pastoral visits, until 300 of the city's priests wrote an open letter complaining about his micromanagement. Three hundred. "
"In Philadelphia, not three of us priests would lodge such a complaint. And our In recent weeks, though, we've seen uprisings of ordinary people in countries ruled with a hard line and a heavy hand. Perhaps that should give me hope."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
Oppression of the people by the monarchy- whether it be dictators or bishops or the Vatican -will no longer be tolerated by an enlightened, empowered people who know that they are images of God . The oppression of God's people and injustice toward the marginalized and poor will not prevail- whether dressed in secular or religious garb. The Bible is clearly on the side of the oppressed, the poor, the little ones.
Young people all over the world have given their lives for the freedom and human rights of their people. Their witness reminds us that God is calling us now
not to greed,over-consumption, andconsumerism, but to loving and serving our sisters and brothers who are marginalized and poor.
The young are the face of God in our midst.
We give thanks for their prophetic witness! May we offer
a church that is worthy of them!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP