Losing my religion: Reaction to sainthood for Pope John Paul II

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  • blondie

    David McGrath: Losing my religion: Reaction to sainthood for Pope John Paul II

    41 minutes ago • DAVID McGRATH | local guest columnist

    I had trouble with my Catholic upbringing ever since I was a kid.

    For it was no secret that I was the worst behaved child in our household, the undisputed champion of fighting, disobeying, talking back. As early as age 9, I felt like a hypocrite while devoutly folding my hands at Mass, the same hands that had earlier stolen the loose change from my mother's purse (sorry, Mom).

    My naughtiness led me to ramp up my religious commitment, sending me to the seminary at age 14. After all, a sinner might save his soul, if he could just get a job on the inside.

    But the same “high spiritedness” I had back home got me booted from priest school. I personally didn't think that keeping a transistor radio inside the cutout pages of my Bible, so I could listen to the MLB after lights out, meant that I was incorrigible. But they had their own rules.

    During that time period, however, I discovered that the priests who were our teachers were a lot like me. Not worse. Just human.

    The ceremonies, the robes, the pomp — it was all mostly for show, like how I used to fold my hands.

    Father Blaine was as vain as I was. Father McArdle an even bigger hypocrite. Father Floyd was cruel, the king of sarcasm.

    Later, when priests from the same generation in our suburban white church chose to remain silent during the civil rights battles, I was surprised even less. For I knew they were ordinary men running the church, the same ones running GE or the NAACP or the NRA. The church was just another business, doing whatever was necessary for money, power and their own interests.

    Don't get me wrong. I do not denigrate the genuine Christian message of compassion and love for all mankind. I reference only the clergy who hijacked Jesus' church and never practiced the preaching.

    Which is why today, upon reading about the canonization of Pope John Paul II, I am as unsurprised as when a CEO of one of the banks that brought the U.S. to its knees is rewarded with a bonus.

    That's because conferring sainthood upon a man who showed no compassion to the innocent victims of heinous sex crimes, perpetrated by his own soldiers, is more of a public relations stunt. Or sham. Or a political attempt at a distraction, at best.

    John Paul merits sainthood, say church officials, because of two separate miracles in which individuals experienced recoveries from terrible diseases, after they prayed to the departed John Paul.

    Whereas, when he was alive, he failed a bigger test, by having never apologized for the church's horde of sex criminals.

    When reports of priests molesting multiple children in America started rolling in around 1985, Pope John Paul II remained mostly silent.

    Here is Notre Dame theologian Richard McBrien's assessment of John Paul: “Indeed, he had a terrible record, full of denial and foot-dragging, on the greatest crisis to confront the Catholic Church since the Reformation of the 16th century" (Nation, 5/6/2011).

    He refused requests to meet with victims, blaming the media's "sensationalism" of the scandal. Even worse, he allowed that the zero tolerance policy be altered, to grant easier, due process to accused priests.

    Admirers of Pope John Paul point out that he spoke 13 languages, traveled the world, opposed communism, and advocated for human rights.

    He reached out to Jews, and he actually forgave the man who shot him in St. Peter's Square.

    But when the most debilitating scandal in church history occurred, his love was never extended to child victims of predatory priests.

    Seriously, wouldn't the heart of a true saint have gone out to those who were so egregiously harmed?

    Shouldn't a “Saint” John Paul have said, "I'm sorry"?

    Hayward's David McGrath is emeritus English professor, College of DuPage, and author of"The Territory." [email protected]://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/david-mcgrath-losing-my-religion-reaction-to-sainthood-for-pope/article_88ae6cda-fbe4-5190-bd98-1b554c15548f.html

  • designs

    All will be well with Francis I, he's the best Pope in 500 years

  • blondie

    But one man does not an organization make.




    July 27, 2013
    Did Catholic watchdog miss child porn? Priest to plead guilty in federal case

    There was supposed to be someone from the Archdiocese of Detroit watching Timothy Murray of Novi, a Catholic priest banned from working in the Catholic Church because of sexual misconduct.

    But the archdiocese did not know what Murray was doing inside his home. And last year, federal agents investigated him for possession and distribution of child pornography.

    Read more . . .

    Media Events

    MO- Victims leaflet outside parish on Sunday July 20, 2013

    MO- Explosive new clergy abuse & cover up suit filed July 17, 2013
    MO- Prayer event for arrested priest is cancelled, SNAP Responds July 16, 2013
    Groups urge Pope to open abuse files July 15, 2013
    MO- Archbishop is subpoenaed in child sex case July 12, 2013
    Media Statements

    Another NJ predator priest is arrested; SNAP responds July 25, 2013

    For immediate release: Thursday, July 26

    Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected] )

    A Paterson diocese Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl.

    This is a tragic reminder that every day, clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Catholic church continue to happen, largely because the church hierarchy refuses to make real reforms. It’s also a painful reminder that - despite bishops’ claims that most victims are boys – girls are also hurt by Catholic predators.

    Read more . . .

  • designs

    If the Church was not so big and powerful it would be banned.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Don't forget Cardinal Mahoney in LA had to retire? I saw him speak about immigration reform and I was very impressed. Well, he kept bringing up Jesus quotes to my arguments. Jesus does me in all the time. If they would accept an American pope, he would be pope material.

    I live on the opposite coast. One day recently I opened my newspaper and the front page screaming headline was about the all the abuse he covered up for decades. One of the worst cases now exposed. He was still technically a cardinal and ran off to vote for the new pope. International press hounded him in Rome. The other cardinals did not wan to see him. He "voluntarily" agreed to attend but not cast a vote.

    He was a Catholic Weiner. No shame.

  • designs

    Band- Local law enforcement was not able to bring any charges against Cardinal Mahoney, he had to many friends in political office and called in his chits.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    He will always have intense shame with the mere mention of his name. The documents and witnesses are present. All I can say is that I can't ever imagine the Cardinal of New York going to prison. Mahoney was a good voice. He did all those national news shows.

    He was visible nationally. Now he became the focus of international scrutiny after the publication or leak of the documents.

    My eyeballs were popping out as I read the news article. The press loved him and then they despised him.

    I believe many, many people in LA knew this before it was released. The editorail board loved him, then thought he was a lower life form.

    If I recall, there are so many details where he went far beyond the usual RC coverup. He was not a hapless administrator. The new bishop of LA cut off his luxuries in retirement.

    When I saw him speak, the splendor of his clothes distracted me. There was many priests in threadbare poverty in the audience. His shoes alone had to be worth several thousand. The local priests were ga ga over him.

  • designs

    Cardinal Mahoney was/is very bright and well educated and was a gifted speaker. He had a vast cadre of the wealthy to draw on, his 'private helicopter' was just one of many donations.

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