Monday, May 14, 2012

Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. "Creative Theologians Are Attacked, Sisters Are Investigated, Catholic Publications Are Censored"

Monsignor William Lynn
.......the sexual abuse crisis has to be seen in the context of clerical culture in the church. I agree with those who say that celibacy did not cause the sexual abuse crisis, but when a group of men sit around a table discussing what to do with one of their colleagues who abused a child, it makes a big difference whether the men at the table have children. The first question in a parent’s mind is “How would I feel if my child was abused?”  
The inability of celibate men to ask that question blinded them to the consequences of their decisions. They focused on the priest, not the victim. A culture of fear and dependency also contributed to the crisis. I don’t know whether Monsignor Lynn broke the laws of Pennsylvania, but he was certainly no hero. Too few priests stood up to those in authority and said, “No, you can’t do that.” Speaking truth to power is not welcomed in the Catholic Church. 
Diocesan priests are totally dependent on the good will of their bishop for assignments and promotions. If a 60 year old bishop is appointed to your diocese, he is going to be your boss for the next 15 years. In practice, there is no appealing his decisions toward you nor can you escape by moving to another diocese. You are stuck. In this corporate culture, few are going to tell the bishop “no.” The one pastor in Philadelphia, who refused to accept an abusive priest, got reprimanded and punished for challenging the archbishop. This is what happens when you speak truth to power in the Catholic Church. The problem in the Catholic Church today is that the hierarchy has so focused on obedience and control that it has lost its ability to be a self-correcting institution. Creative theologians are attacked, sisters are investigated, Catholic publications are censored and loyalty is the most important virtue. These actions are defended by the hierarchy because of fears of “scandalizing the faithful,” when in fact it is the hierarchy who have scandalized the faithful.
Link (here) to the full article by Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. at America Magazine
Link (here) to the full list of forty some Jesuits that cost the Society of Jesus over 100 million dollars in legal settlements.


Maria said...



"In this full presentation of Christianity, it is proper to emphasize those essential aspects which the "theologies of liberation" especially tend to misunderstand or to eliminate, namely: God and true man; the sovereignty of grace; and the true nature of the means of salvation, especially of the Church and the sacraments. One should also keep in mind the true meaning of ethics in which the distinction between good and evil is not relativized, the real meaning of sin, the necessity for conversion, and the universality of the law of fraternal love. One needs to be on guard against the politicization of existence which, misunderstanding the entire meaning of the Kingdom of God and the transcendence of the person, begins to SACRRALIZE POLITICS AND BETRAY THE RELIGION OF THE PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF THE PROJECTS OF REVOLUTION.

The defenders of orthodoxy are sometimes accused of passivity, indulgence, or culpable complicity regarding the intolerable situations of injustice and the political regimes which prolong them. SPIRITUAL CONVERSION, THE INTENSITY OF THE LOVE OF GOD AND NEIGHBOR, ZEAL FOR JUSTICE AND AN PEACE, THE GOSPEL MEANING OF THE POOR AND OF POVERTY, ARE REQUIRED OF EVERYONE, AND ESPECIALLY, OF PASTORS AND THOSE IN POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY."


Anonymous said...

The Church is our "House."

Clean up Rome--no $$ to the bishops!

Anonymous said...

As a survivor of Jesuit sexual abuse, let me ask Fr. Reese exactly how much work he has done to hold the Society of Jesus accountable for its wrongdoings?

Last month, Former Chicago Provincial and U.S. Jesuit Conference President Bradley Schaeffer was finally forced to resign as trustee of multiple boards of directors for failing to take action against notorious abuser Don McGuire. That happened because the Boston Globe wrote several articles about Fr. Schaeffer's leadership failures.

Fr. Reese could also comment about the case of Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell, former president of St. Louis University, who sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in 1983. In 2003, the Jesuits' Missouri province pledged that Fr. O'Connell would be “restricted from participating in public priestly ministry,” but he has lectured at several Jesuit universities.

How many articles did Fr. Reese write about Fr. Schaeffer, Fr. O'Connell or any other Jesuit abuser? How much time has he dedicated to bringing Jesuit crimes & misdoings to light? It is easy to cast stones at "the bishops", but far harder to turn attention toward one's self.

Abuse survivors like me have been ignored, stonewalled and ostracized by the Jesuits. If Fr. Reese truly cared, he would investigate the Society of Jesus' own crimes and hold his superiors accountable.

Physician, heal thyself. Until then, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

The Jesuits have worn their tattered and rotting intellectualism as a suit of armor for far too long. And we should be grateful that they can still argue both sides of a position, otherwise there would be nothing positive to say at all about them. One can almost hear the self-congratulatory clapping echoing in the halls of Ignatius as Fr. Reese enters.

The Jesuits have indeed learned well over this last decade. Now the Society of Jesus can teach the Catholic Church how to blend the despising sympathy of Dr. Phil watching victims cry with the revisionist history and diseased reasoning of Glenn Beck. The Jesuits can safely reclaim their title as true educators for the 21st century with such superficial appeasement and panem et circenses.