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strange pathways of grace

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 13, 2005

Here's an article on the Philadelphia Archdiocesan horror story with the usual nauseating details but with a surprising twist: an Assistant DA who took part in the investigation into clergy abuse found he could look at the blackest crimes of Catholic priests and bishops ... and distinguish the Faith from the felons:

Spade grew up in a devotedly religious Lutheran household. There was weekly mass, Sunday school and the altar boy guild. The investigation had a surprising effect on Spade's faith.

"It reaffirmed that general idea that power corrupts," he says, "but in talking to so many Catholic priests and theologians and having to read Canon Law, I actually became drawn to Catholicism."

He began attending Catholic mass.

"My wife was raised Catholic," he says, "and I would tell her about how I really liked the faith and she would say "Are you out of your mind? You're seeing what this institution has done to these kids and you're saying you like it?' And I'd say, "No I don't like the institution but I like the faith, I like the intellectual and spiritual part of it."

Warning: Ecclesiastical subject matter. Episcopal discretion advised.

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  • Posted by: Fr. Walter - Oct. 13, 2005 7:38 PM ET USA

    As someone who grew up in Philly, I can say that the overwhelming majority of priests were and are good, but they labor under a bureaucracy, from Krol up to the present, that treats the priests with absolute contempt, unless they are part of an "inner circle". Certainly Cardinal Rigali has made superficial expressions of concern for priests, due to the growing shortage. The curial apparatchicks still care little for what the priests or people endure, think, want, need, or care about.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Oct. 13, 2005 7:35 PM ET USA

    Here is the link to the grand jury report. http://www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/pages/1/index.htm Two things are required: 1) patience, as the pdf files are rather big and will take a while to download and 2) parental discretion, that is, don't let the kids see it. The details are indeed shocking and revolting and tragic. However, we really do need at times to see the entire truth with no "window dressing". Then let's work and pray.

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