Tuesday, August 08, 2006


This is not a poem, but a meditation and an indictment.

I have a friend who is dying. She is a lifelong Roman Catholic, and a long-time member of the same parish. She does not want to see her priest. She does not want to talk to any member of the Catholic clergy or religious orders.

Be ashamed, oh Church! You are rejected entirely by a faith-filled member in her hour of greatest need.

Why? I believe it is the result of church teachings about the "sanctity of life" -- meaning against euthanasia. It is also the result of the recent scandals in the Roman Catholic church (especially here in Boston archdiocese) of child abuse. The hierarchy tolerated child abuse by priests and helped to cover it up and perpetuate the abuse. I suppose the rationale was that it was OK because the priest pedophiles were not sinning with women.

I have wondered many times that the words of the gospels did not burn in the mouth of the reader priest when they got to the parts where Jesus chastises the pharisees for their hypocrisy and laying on layity rules and obligations they do not keep themselves. O bitterness.

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