Ok, so I’m a co-dependent

Buddha Belly and the Art of Questioning

Skip Shea

Ok, so I’m a co-dependent. But aren’t we all? At the end of a human service interviewing class I have taught, after all the students were stoked to go out and help others, we had to discuss the high risks that they were all co-dependents and capable of doing great harm to others. Cruel but necessary. Why we get in the game of trying to help another person has to be a big part of being sure we are in fact being helpful.

Such has been my relationship with the Catholic Church for the better part of my life. Despite all the evidence, pretty much throughout my life, that this relationship was just going to get worse – I hung in there. I knew things weren’t right when I was younger. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I found out years later that priests were putting fingers etc. all over some friends of mine. They have had to live the rests of their lives with these scars.

I have gone to Mass upon Mass at which the priest strongly emphasized the tragedy of abortion. I don’t like abortion. I wish it didn’t happen. I respect that many women will think that even my saying that makes it sound as if I would deprive them of all their rights. I support a women’s right to choose, on the simple and perhaps lame basis that I am not a woman. It just doesn’t seem right to me that women should have the LEAST say about something that routinely becomes the defining moment of their lives, and that they be also be viewed as criminals. But I do understand it to be a profoundly ethical and moral dilemna. I wish I could wish it away and I respect anyone’s right to argue against it.

But, given the sordid history of abuse allowed by and perhaps perpetrated by the Catholic Church, every sanctimonious sermon about abortion, birth control, masturbation etc. should be preceded by a 20 minute apology for child sexual abuse – EVERY time for the foreseeable future. The numbers of lives ruined by the Church’s tacit approval of child sexual abuse are just as staggering as those lost to abortion. The moral indignation of the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance can only be justified by true penance for its own sins. Sins, that by every estimation, go back centuries.

Recently the Bishop of the Worcester Diocese has vetoed Vicki Kennedy speaking at a Catholic College because he deemed her to NOT be Catholic enough. Ms. Kennedy holds many views similar to rank and file Catholics like being partly or mostly pro-choice, pro- birth control etc. That she has raised countless dollars for Catholic Charities and causes was of no consequence. The Bishop followed that up by refusing to sell the former House of Affirmation to two gay men that had wonderful plans for economically revitalizing the site. The fear was that gay marriages would be performed there. This is appalling because the House of Affirmation was a “treatment facility” for pedophile priests, run by a pedophile. Many such priests were stationed in the Blackstone Valley so they could make use of the services there. Many made use of Blackstone Valley children, and some of those events allegedly happened there. This is not the definition of hypocrisy. It cries out for a new word.

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