|Fr. Roger Lott
By C Michael Coode
National Survivor Advocates Coalition
May 29, 2011
While on a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain, I received an email from Fr. Joel Martin, OSB, informing me that Fr. Roger Lott, OSB died Thursday May 26 2011.
I always wondered how I would feel at the inevitable conclusion to this man's life. I know very well that there are many great priests who do great things and that there are many priests who do heinous things. Also I know that to the man good or bad, everyone of them have been a source of inspiration and consultation to many. At a class reunion many years ago, one of my coaches (and algebra teacher) Father Bruno, told of Father Roger and what a good man he was. He was Fr. Bruno's Confessor. That happened back in the 80′s before I let my abuse be known so I did not speak up. I know there are many people in Nashville who were fond of Fr. Roger, and he was a friend to many.
In my book which is soon to be published I wrote a poem which included the following lines:
I am filled with so much hurt yet to be secure
My past struggles with the present and takes away the cure….
And I also wrote that someone asked me "Would I ever be healed?" I spontaneously answered, "NO!" Fr. Roger's death brings closure to him but not to me. His death has made me so sad and depressed. In his final years Fr. Roger would not allow anyone to talk to him, which I so wanted to do. I wanted to ask about me and others he had abused including a friend of mine. I did not know about my friend's abuse until later when his brother told me. He also told me about the cover-up, for Fr. Roger and my friend had been caught by a Monsignor who apparently did nothing but keep my friend quiet by giving him money through the years.
Abuse victims have many ways of dealing with their abuser. Some escape their abuse through alcohol or drugs or suicide. Some seek physical vengeance. When my abuse became public, one friend came to me with a plan. He said that he had been trained as a Navy Seal, we could get some black fatigues and go to St Bernard and "take Fr. Roger out". I did not chose this option since St Bernard has had its share of violence through the years and I did not want to add to that. To this day I love St. Bernard and what it meant to me and the lessons it taught me. Believe me I know the violence of St Bernard from the classroom, to sex abuse to alleged murder, to suicides, and even to courts of law where Monks lied to continue the cover up and lied to protect the abusers.
In my book I wrote about a man from Mississippi who told me that he had been abused by a St. Bernard monk. We met and talked and did research for several years. One day he called and said he was in the Abbey cemetery, and that he had a bottle of urine to pour over the grave of his to mentor. I told him he should eliminate the middle man to get full satisfaction if that was what he was seeking. So he gleefully did that while I was on the phone and his wife was taking pictures.
I also wrote about suicide and my thoughts about it I had it all planned out but I decided it was not an option that I should choose. I felt that I should live in order to do everything in my power to help stop this horrible abuse of children and vulnerable adults. It makes me so sad that I was abused and children and vulnerable adults are being abused to this day! It makes me sad that the Catholic hierarchy is complicit in this horrible scourge. I am sad for Fr Roger, too. Obviously he was confused and surrendered to his twisted desires to seek satisfaction through abusing a vulnerable person.
Today I visited Montserrat Abbey, the oldest Benedictine monastery in existence. I went into the Church. I don't know God's plan for me, I don't know God's plan for Fr. Roger, but in my own simple way, I said –
And May God bless him.
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