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immortal souls

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 03, 2003

"I despise the Worcester Diocese for their lack of compassion, sensitivity, loyalty, honesty, concern, and their total indifference to victims," said John Mackey outside the courtroom where Kelley was sentenced for raping his daughter, Heather Mackey. The father, a police chief in Tewksbury, said he and his wife, Barbara, met with the late Bishop Timothy Harrington, then leader of the diocese, when the couple's daughter was in eighth grade, nearly a decade after the abuse. ...

[Mackey's daughter] said she is no longer a Catholic. She rescinded her baptism in an act of apostasy last summer.

John Mackey said Wednesday he was "committed to exposing the Worcester Diocese and the Catholic Church for what it is." "They don't care," Mackey said. "The Catholic Church mentality has allowed this horrendous behavior by priests to exist. That's why I am no longer a Catholic."

I just don't understand it.

Perversion, sloth, cowardice, careerism -- all comprehensible. You can find them in any sizable organization if you look hard enough. But I just can't grasp the attitude of contemporary ecclesiastics toward laymen who have lost their faith -- not as direct result of their abuse at the hands of clergy -- but as a result of the insouciance of responsible churchmen toward their abuse.

No one can "rescind his baptism" -- but the language itself should horrify any Catholic. If it's too much to ask our pastors to study the Catechism, perhaps they might re-read Fr. Arnall's sermon in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist:

A holy saint (one of our own fathers I believe it was) was once vouchsafed a vision of hell. It seemed to him that he stood in the midst of a great hall, dark and silent save for the ticking of a great clock. The ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless repetition of the words: ever, never; ever, never. Ever to be in hell, never to be in heaven; ever to be shut off from the presence of God, never to enjoy the beatific vision ... ever to have the conscience upbraid one, the memory enrage, the mind filled with darkness and despair, never to escape; ever to curse and revile the foul demons who gloat fiendishly over the misery of their dupes, never to behold the shining raiment of the blessed spirits; ever to cry out of the abyss of fire to God for an instant, a single instant, of respite from such awful agony, never to receive, even for an instant, God's pardon; ever to suffer, never to enjoy; ever to be damned, never to be saved; ever, never; ever, never.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 10:46 PM ET USA

    Whenever I am tempted with universalist ideas and warm fuzzies about everyone going to heaven because God is just too nice for there to be a hell, I think about these bishops and priests. I think of the damage they do simply to keep themselves in power and privilege. I think of those they run over. And then I ask is it likely they'll repent? No, it's not likely. There's no percentage in repenting short of the death bed. Then I wonder if heaven would be heaven with them around. No, it wouldn't be

  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 2:52 PM ET USA

    Augustine trembled at the prospect of becoming a Bishop and being held accountable for the souls won or lost. These guys? Nada. If you review CS Lewis' Four Loves, he will mention that the opposite of Love is not Hate but Apathy. I don't know, and I don't care is the approach of many of our Ecclesiastical Delinquents.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 2:01 PM ET USA

    I am a little slow today. What is Diogenes trying to say?