modern-day martyrdom (with a light chablis, please)

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 13, 2005

Remember the "Church of Silence"-- the countless thousands of Christians who suffered deprivation, exile, torture, and death in the concentration camps of the Soviet empire?

When he was elected to the papacy, John Paul II announced that there would no longer be a "Church of Silence," because he-- the successor to St. Peter-- would be their voice. And a decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed.

But now get ready for a nasty surprise:

John Paul II created a new 'church of silence": the bishops, theologians, and Catholics he discredited for disagreeing with his views. They sought dialogue before more dogma, discussion before decision. He silenced them vigorously.

This courageous statement was made by one of those outcast priests. Forcibly silenced, he wrote this testimony on sheets of toilet paper, and had it smuggled by confederates out of the dungeon where he is being held…

Oh, wait; that's not quite right. The author, Father James Weiss, is director of the Senior Capstone Seminar Program at Boston College: an institution so lavishly funded that it recently bought the chancery grounds from the financially strapped Archdiocese of Boston. His essay appeared not in samizdat format, but in one of America's most influential secular newspapers, the Boston Globe.

Alongside the op-ed column by Father Weiss, the Globe published another, by Father James Keenan, his colleague on the faculty of Jesuit-run Boston College. A contrasting opinion? Nope! Keenan said pretty much exactly the same thing.

Don't you find yourself wishing, sometimes, that this new "church of silence" would shut up?

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Apr. 15, 2005 12:04 AM ET USA

    Good work, Diogenes. And thanks for helping us to know the identity of such traitors as Fathers Weiss and Keenan...

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2005 1:23 PM ET USA

    unpathedhaunt: Yes, D. is obviously has a gift for eloquence and thank goodness he uses it to benefit the church and keep us well informed. We should be thanking the Lord that there are people with enough guts to defend the Truth. Unlike this Father Weiss who is obviously way off base. Furthermore, if Diogenes were a coward he wouldn't be granting you the opportunity to rant and call him names like an adolescent.

  • Posted by: sparch - Apr. 14, 2005 10:34 AM ET USA

    If what these detractors really wanted was open discussion onthe issues that mattered to them, they would (and have), received it. What they really want is a church based on their own thought and dogma. I have no problem with that. They can find it in through the door when they leave. They can remember that when they have no following, The door to our church is not barred. We welcome them back.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 14, 2005 9:31 AM ET USA

    Unpathedhaunt: you may object to the polemical nature of Diogenes' language, but you should accept that he has a valid point. Far too many people who complain about the Church being oppressive do so from comfortable chairs with no real risk of discipline, let alone danger. If the energy spent attacking the Church's positions on the 'hot-button' issues were spent to defend against REAL oppression, or (dare we say) evangelism, the Church would indeed have the Pentacost of which John XXIII spoke.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2005 8:18 PM ET USA

    Now when I see S. J. after the author's name; i skip the whole article!

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Apr. 13, 2005 7:22 PM ET USA

    Aaaack, urrrk, uuurrrgh . . . . . . wow, the courage. It's overwhelming.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2005 7:13 PM ET USA

    Thank God, Diogenes, we have your nasty revilement. Who in the church needs more than to follow the emptiness of denigrating diatribe? Thanks, your excellency, for such a fine example. We all think that you are so intelligent. Doesn't that make you the happiest?? YOU ARE A COWARD.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2005 6:03 PM ET USA

    What's that I hear? The world's smallest violin playing for Fr. Weiss and people like him. BoooHooo he's so mistreated, isn't he? LOL

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2005 10:06 AM ET USA

    His comments are so deeply superficial. On the other hand, one cannot just ignore the blabborations of this silenced martyr.