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The Larger Picture

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 21, 2003

A bishop suggests that if we knew of the Church's contribution to social services we wouldn't be so bent out of shape about the occasional violated altar boy:

"The focus has distorted the public image of the church, whatever the reasons are," Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan of Brooklyn said at a midday press conference. "Nobody knows the real story of what this church has done" for housing, the mentally ill, and the homeless, he said.

A sample letter:

Dear Bishop ________,

I am not making my usual donation to the Diocesan Appeal this year. I am not withholding my contribution, but rather am targeting it to one part of the Church that manages to accomplish the Church's mission and stay out of jail in so doing.

Mother Teresa's sisters, the Missionaries of Charity, have been working with the poorest of the poor in our diocese for almost thirty years and have enormous impact for good. In that time, none has been photographed in a leotard or a clown outfit. None has written an op-ed calling for women priests or gay marriage. None has been arrested in an Internet porn sting. None makes a spectacle of herself during the home games of our city's NFL team. None has a time-share condo in Aruba to which she repairs with a special friend two or three times a year. None denies the Resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, or the Petrine primacy. None has been arrested for deviant sexual assault. I could leave my young children in their care without the slightest worry that their bodies or souls would be harmed, and indeed would have excellent reason to believe that they would grow closer to God by the encounter.

May I suggest that you find out what it is that makes these girls tick, and get some of it for yourselves. When that is done and begins to show the same results, I shall be delighted to resume my support.

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  • Posted by: Jim E - Jun. 21, 2003 10:44 PM ET USA

    It is a shame that many bishops really believe that the main issure within the church is related to sexual problems of some of the clergy. They believe that correctly applied processess and procedures will solve everthing. In truth, the problem is within the bishops and their lack of sprituality and holiness. Being concerned with social issues has its place, but not as a replacement for true spirtuality and holiness. The bishops do not get it even now.

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