If I still considered myself Catholic I would have been crossing myself and pulling the rosary from the bedpost as I lay in bed this morning reading the Los Angeles Times article about Cardinal Mahoney being stripped of his duties. From there I went to http://www.bishop-accountability.org/ where I began to read through the list on my iPad. Reaching the bottom of the page, I though, hmmm--not nearly so many as abuser priests as I thought. But that was just the A's. I read the B's next and then my morning reading time began slipping away. The discoveries were chilling. Priests from the city I was born in. Priests from the St. John's University where I went to Mass nearly every afternoon during my college years. Priests from towns where I visited and attended church.
Mahoney was a big name in my household some years back. The Someone and I had both our daughters baptized in the Catholic Church--a gross oversimplification, but you probably wouldn't believe it if I told you one of them was actually baptized in a hotel sink by the Someone himself. I went to Catholic school for 16 years. I lived in a town where, to my knowledge, my father was the only non-Catholic. There were no public schools in that town. My entire world was Catholic. I still maintain connections to that world through family and my college, College of St. Benedict, which I am quite fond of. I am a member of no church these days, and I am proud, happy, and very comfortable with that choice, but the magnitude of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church still shames and horrifies me. If I prayed, I'd pray for a special hell.