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Communication is About Action - Not Petty Gossip!

By       Message Debby Bodkin     Permalink
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As an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims, their families, mandated reporters and the faithful in the pews still seeking truth, it is hard to imagine that another Easter is here, and four years since one of my first writings, Hidden Blessings, was published. Thank you to those who have touched the lives of my family and me, and for reaching out to others with courage to communicate with hope that others willl be safe from harm ( .

In writing Communication is About Action--Not Petty Gossip, as a cradle Catholic, there is no doubt the Holy Spirit is alive and working overtime on behalf of the thousands of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and the faithful in the pews -- thanks to communication and good faith action, throughout the world. Communication is all about action, however, the rules of communication do require good faith. So, when victims and families communicate their personal stories of heinous clergy sex abuse crimes, why are their communications labeled "petty gossip" by Pope Benedict?

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Four years ago, in the midst of Holy Week, I wrote about George Neumayr's Cardinal Sin, that explained how Cardinal Mahony wrote a letter to President Clinton, on behalf of Carlos Vignali, asking for clemency for the cocaine dealer. Obviously, someone communicated to Cardinal Mahony that Vignali needed assistance, and in response to that communication, Cardinal Mahony acted by writing a letter for clemency for the cocaine dealer. In my opinion, Cardinal Mahony acted in response to Vignali's communication request for help; however, how many clergy abuse victims and family members also communicated the need for assistance from Cardinal Mahony, but were ignored and labeled anti-Catholicism?

In the midst of this year's Holy Week, the Vatican and Pope Benedict have communicated a message that the sex abuse scandal isn't really about the tens of thousands of precious children who were raped by members of the clergy, but the real concern is the strength and resolve of the faithful in the pews (click here). How can the Vatican and Pope Benedict label communication cries for help and charge it as"petty gossip"? In my opinion, someone is breaking the rules of communication and good faith -- and, it is not the clergy sex abuse victims.

More this Holy Week, the Vatican communicated a request for assistance from Cardinal Mahony. In response, Cardinal Mahony responded to the Vatican's communication via the Catholic News Agency. The article shares that without the proactive and helpful assistance of Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict), the Archdiocese of Los Angeles would never have been able to move forward aggressively to remove priests from ministry who were proved to be guilty of the sexual abuse of minors. It is admirable that Cardinal Mahony is supporting the Vatican; however, it is my understanding that Mahony and his attorneys are still fighting the release of documents required to ensure children in the future are safe from repeat sex offenders, once employed by Cardinal Mahony. (

Last this Holy Week, Bill Donohue from the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights has communicated to the world by placing an advertisement in the New York Times, entitled Going For the Vatican Jugular. Donohue is a representative of the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights, yet, after reading Donohue's rants and writings, I would recommend Donohue seek future employment with the tabloids and/or Hollywood "petty gossip" magazines (

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In closing, it is sad that nothing has really changed since the clergy sex abuse crisis erupted publicly in 2002. A time for self-reflection and renewal usually occurs in all religions and/or personal beliefs. However, as a cradle Catholic, I have not witnessed good faith actions from Church leaders in response to the horrific sex abuse crisis. Obviously, the rules of communication and good faith are only for the faithful in the pews and the victims of abuse.

Without justice, there will never be peace. Without peace, faith and our country's laws are empty.

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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)

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