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Posted on September 10 at 12:39 a.m.
As a Catholic for 52 years, I think its time to re-think sexuality and the priesthood. Rome is putting its head in the sand. The Holy Spirit is talking (actually, shouting) but the hierarchy is definitely not listening. You'd think Rome would listen when the Spirit sends out the Word with a massive financial bill attached, payouts which are of course justly being given to the victims of the Church's priests!!!
It is high time that the Catholic Church throws open the rectory doors and destroys once and for all the insular world of the all-male priesthood that allowed Fr. Kelly to find a secretive haven for his sexual damage where children's lives were destroyed and never, or barely, retrieved.
It took awhile, but when the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe got wind of his sick pedophilia, the parishoners complained. Which got Fr. Kelly----MOVED! The favored M.O. of the local diocese, of course.
And though, for purposes of this lawsuit, we hear of no more complaints from the various parishes he "served" until his death, it is telling that the archbishop was relieved he wouldn't have to preside over the body of this pedophile, er, "problem priest" ("problem pedophile") at his funeral.
I contend that if there was a system in place where parishes called their priests as they do in most protestant churches, there would be many fewer problems than we have now. If women priests, married priests and/or priests in committed partnerships were allowed, it would just about eliminate these problems if this were implemented in conjunction with calling pastors and pastoral assistants.
Why? If the congregation calls the pastoral staff, no bishop can force a damaged priest upon them, nor can he hide the priest's past from them. The previous congregations are the main sources of information in calling the pastor. If the priest is married or partnered (woman or man), then its particularly difficult for the kind of secretive activities that Fr. Kelly engaged in to occur. If there are people who are allowed healthy sexual relationships in the priesthood and among all deacons, the priesthood would be less of a haven for those who have issues with sexuality than is apparently the case given all that has come to light.
Things aren't going to change until we, the Body of Christ, really stand for these changes for the sake of the Church and for our children and grandchildren. And don't tell me....gee, just because there are a few bad apples, forget about it. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Those named in the lawsuits are the priests who were caught at it. Many priests are going to be exposed in the future. Many will never be caught, as their victims will never come forward.
It is naive for us as Catholics to believe that we should just pay the bill and move on, putting OUR heads in the sand along with Rome and....then what? Wait for the next generation of victims to emerge? Our grandchildren, perhaps? God forbid.
On Father Kelly's Curse