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such a loss!

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 08, 2005

The LA Times beats the priests for married drums.

Though he never doubted the theology that drew him to the priesthood, [Air Force Chaplain Father Terry] McDonough began questioning the rules he had lived by. One of his most alarming realizations, he said, was that "everyone called me Father, but I was never going to be one."

They kept it from you, did they? Not fair.

McDonough was back in Boston with the Air Force in 1980 when he met Susan Connolly at an Irish pub.

Let me guess. He was midway through vespers when he got an emergency call to come and anoint the bartender's uncle, who'd collapsed on the floor. Susan was the paramedic nurse, and their eyes met ...

They became such comfortable pals ...

I'm not making this up. A verbatim quote.

They became such comfortable pals that when Susan's fiance had to work at night, she said he would suggest, "Why don't you go out with Father McDonough?"

"Why don't you go out with Father McDonough?" Most of us, methinks, can surmise what kind of work kept Susan's fiance away nights. Pretty clearly, he chose the better part.

A year or so after meeting McDonough, Susan broke off her engagement. When the Air Force wanted to transfer McDonough, she asked him: "What about us?"

"Hey, I thought we were just comfortable pals!"

Until then, McDonough had not considered the possibility of an "us."

He's a sharp one, that Terry. This is his second alarming realization since taking Holy Orders.

But Susan's question forced the issue. He left active ministry in 1983, not because of some great schism or epiphany, but because he wanted a different life.

A beautiful story. My keyboard is awash in tears. How heartless must the Church be, to prevent an ace operator like Terry from serving God's people in full-time ministry and, e.g., resolving thorny cases of conscience in the confessional. I wonder if he and Susan have made it as far as the "til death do us part" clause yet.

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Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Novus744 - Jul. 11, 2005 3:04 PM ET USA

    I need a little clarification. Gil, when referring to "these", you are speaking of the so-called "women priests"? Or are you talking about guys like the one mentioned in the article? I assumed you were speaking of the women until I read Diamantina's remarks. I sincerely hope that no one is so lost as to believe that a woman could possibly change bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. This isn't an attack on gender, so don't make me pull out my Code of Canon Law.

  • Posted by: BostonBlackey - Jul. 10, 2005 11:38 AM ET USA

    I agree with Diamantina. Some of these young priests do not understand fully the demands of the celibate life. I believe it was St. Augustine that called celibacy a "living martyrdom". The Eastern Church has the right idea and probably a lot fewer homosexuals prelates.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jul. 09, 2005 12:55 PM ET USA

    TXC: Diogenes is defending Christ's bride from the infidelity of her priest's who are supposed to have betrothed themselves to her. If the Bishops had mustered half the courage of the great Saints of old (even just one), there would be no Uncle D to irrirtate you.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2005 12:38 PM ET USA

    Pat & TXCatholic disagree with Diogenes; so be it. I can't find any fault with his logic, however. If all his critics can say is "take a vacation" and "it must be rough being so perfect", it looks as if they are dodging the issue. What am I missing? Bill

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2005 8:26 AM ET USA

    It must be difficult being so perfect, Diogenes. Such a responsibility to cast judgment on everyone.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2005 3:19 AM ET USA

    Hi May Queen Gil :-) Oh, they're priests all right. They're bad priests, but still priests. They probably had reservations about celibacy in the first place, but kept silent because they wanted to be ordained. I like the Eastern way: prospective priests can marry before ordination, but married priests cannot advance further in the hierarchy (unless they are widowed, I think). Marrying after ordination is a bad idea, but hard to condemn when celibacy is the only option for Western priests.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jul. 09, 2005 1:31 AM ET USA

    McDonough says it all about his self-centered, selfish ways when he states that the "celibacy thing" got in the way of what he wanted to do... and Susan will eventally get in his self-centered way... and McDonough will get in Susan's self-centerd way... because it's all about themselves... and, unless it suits their self-centered agenda, McDonough & company will continue to ignore the Teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church. Pray for their conversion to the fullness of the Faith.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 08, 2005 10:20 PM ET USA

    Take a vacation Diogenes

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 08, 2005 9:00 PM ET USA

    You have a stronger stomach than I do, Diogenes. I saw this story on the LA Times Website earlier and got about halfway through the third of four parts before I had to go take an anti-emetic. It is of a piece with the stories of last month about what the typists called ordinations of women priests in Europe. SURE these are Catholic priests. And I'm the Queen of the May.

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