This morning in the Modesto Bee I was treated to the OpEd piece written by Karen Tumulty entitled Why am I still Catholic? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/08/19/why-am-i-still-a-catholic/?utm_term=.cbc413f21222). Ms. Tumulty captured my thoughts and feelings so well that I got teary-eyed. As a 'Cradle Catholic' who left the Faith for many years and returned during the height of the 1990's sex abuse revelations, I have felt a big shell-shocked over the past two weeks. I have, rightly, anticipated the hateful emails and FaceBook posts, the attempts at explanations by the hierarchy, the declarations of Faith and the sorrow expressed by those who now leave the Church Jesus founded for parts unknown, unable to accept that the Bishops and Cardinals we trust with handing on The Faith have behaved like men and sinned.
What struck me most about her piece was the words she quoted from the homily given by the young priest at her Parish. Only ordained three years ago, Father directed his flock to the day's Gospel reading. Ms. Tumulty then writes:
I have beloved family members who are practicing homosexuals. I love them. I see the good they do in the world. I know that they would no more assault a child than poke themselves in the eye with a fork.
That being said, it would be a huge lie to pretend that the type of behavior many of our men in seminaries experienced from homosexual priests was limited to those who have a problem being predators. Cardinal McCarrick behaved like a lot of the men I knew when I was a Fag Hag back in the 1970's. What is shocking about his behavior is that he broke his vow of marriage - marriage to Holy Mother Church - and he did so with an attitude of smugness because he was allowed to do so by the Bishops around him. No one stood up to this man and said, "STOP THIS RIGHT NOW". Those who brought his behavior to other Bishops were told to shut up, were ignored or were told they were liars.
McCarrick and others who broke their vows were facilitated in their sin. They were allowed to continue their behavior. That is wrong. There is no nuance, there is no explanation that can suffice.
I am ashamed of the behavior of these men and I, as a member of the Body of Christ, have begun to do penance for those sins. I offer something each day in reparation for the mess I helped to create by not demanding strong priests, not praying for those who are holy and good and not standing up to wishy washy Bishops and tell them to knock it OFF when an orthodox priest goes against what is politically correct in their eyes. I should have stood up faster and told my bishop that I expect him to lead his flock as JESUS would have and that means BEING A CATHOLIC even if it is inconvenient.
I stay Catholic. I stay Catholic because Her teachings are Truth. I stay an American because the ideals of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are true, strong and good. I stay a member of my family because, despite our idiotic behavior, we are good people.
I do not abandon, I participate. I look evil in the eye and I let it know it will not defeat me.
In the words of my late father, I may go down, but I go down with all weapons firing - and my weapon is Love.