While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops prepared to celebrate Mass last Friday at Cardinal Mahony's Our Lady Queen of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, California, a 48 hour vigil in honor of clergy sex abuse survivors, their families, supporters, persons of many religious faiths continued to assemble peacefully across the street from where the Bishops were staying, in Pershing Square.
God always works in ways we never expect and he did it again through responses to "What Happened to the Bishops?", via today's modern internet opportunities. My heart was so touched by caring people, supporters, sex abuse victims and families from all over the world. Suddenly I realized there are so many caring and good people in the world, than evil and just because there are religious, legal and government leaders continuing the "ostrich" approach to the clergy sex abuse crisis, doesn't mean we should give up hope.
So, with hope, faith and love, I decided to submit "What Happened to the Bishops - One Week Later?", with evidence showing the public support and concerns for the victims and families that experienced crimes of Soul Murder. Something very valuable entered my life this week -- people care, support, love and want to assist correcting the wrongs committed against victims of Soul Murder, but lack resources. It is the typical scenario dating back to the days of David and Goliath.
Thank you for all your responses and for touching many lives. The authors of e-mail responses below are confidential, for obvious reasons.
1. * Unfortunately, the answer is "NOTHING!" As a Deacon, I was raped. My perp was arrested 35 years later for raping another child and arrested a year later, for abusing a mentally retarded man. I do not know the date of this abuse, but I am lead to believe it was within the past year or so. I have addressed a group of VOTF and quoted a letter sent to then Bishop, on his new appointment. I told him then that every Bishop, Archbishop or Cardinal who was involved in the "cover up" should be removed from office, and even excommunicated. My comments received a LOUD applause -- my letter is still unanswered. What happened to the Bishops?
2. * Difficult time answering your own question? One of your problems is that you are still a Catholic. With four kids in Catholic schools, and I believe you are a practicing Catholic, why should Bishops pay any attention to YOU when they know that there are still millions of sheep like you in this country alone, for hundreds of years Bishops have sexually molested children, and the ones that did not, protected the ones that did, and priests of all ranks. This Church has been an open sewer for two centuries.
3. * Read your piece today through "Abuse Tracker" on the bishop's lack of response to victims in LA. Yes indeed, what has happened? I am a priest who has written a lot about this same subject and am often as baffled and let down as you. I can't imagine that Jesus would not cross the street to talk to victims and concerned Catholics. I have had several commentaries published. Like you I believe it is important to keep the spotlight shining on this issue. It is not over by a long shot. In my position it gets rather lonely often as well!
4. * Read your article and it didn't surprise me how these bishops acted. It's standard procedure for them. Debby, I want you to understand something very important. The same deceit and lies you're witnessing by your church leaders today, has been going on for centuries. Ten years ago, as a Roman Catholic, I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior. The last thing I wanted to find out, was that the claims of the Roman Church were not true. The Scriptures and history directed me to find a church that followed Christ and the Scriptures. Catholic means universal and the Roman Catholic church left the teachings of the apostolic universal church many, many centuries ago. As a Christian, who worships in another Church, the Holy Scriptures are the pillar of my faith. The Church, which is the pillar, holds up the truth. Christ said, Thy Word is Truth. Men and institutions will always fall short. Find a church that honors Christ alone and seeks The Truth, found in God's Word alone. God bless,
5. * Thank you for supporting the survivors of this horrific cover-up from the Catholic church. I am the sister of a survivor and I have watched my brother's life of pain and confusion. I pray to God that people like you and articles like this one, will inspire others to join in on the efforts in changing legislation and laws to protect children. May God bless you.
6. * I am not "friend" of "the bishops". I believe while there are many among them who are doing the best they can, as a group they are a bunch of "company men" who are so co-dependent with The Vatican they are unable or unwilling to have any kind of dialogue that might embarrass them. You realize, of course, that you were trying to embarrass the bishops. Why should they walk across the streets to have people ask them pointed and accusatory questions. Do you know of anyone who would go out of their way to face that? Why would they want to take the chance that they might have to look at the face of child abused by one of their priests? Being victimized is a truly terrible thing. I was molested as a child myself and it had a profound effect on my life. However, after several decades of "taking hits" off being a victim I finally accepted the grace to be healed and move on. I'm deeply afraid that the survivors of clergy sexual abuse are not being helped by folks who earn their living "working on their behalf". They say that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Even victims have choices.....especially years and decades after being victimized. There's more than one side to every story.
8. * There is a popular explanation by the Bishops that they though by sending the perps for treatment they would be cured. Let's suppose you were a Bishop in say 1965, and you sent a perp for treatment four times, but he kept abusing children and the perp would swear that he would not do it again, wouldn't a light come on in your head that treatments did not work?
9. * I certainly do not want to make you or anyone unhappy -- I believe you and others are good people. My emails are not angry ones -- others may think so, they are not. Emotion that I have for this Church is DISGUST . I stopped being a Catholic years ago and never regretted it for one second. Afterall, when did Jesus or God ever say that you had to be a Catholic?