|False Hope = Lost Focus
It's about me.
August 31, 2009
I blinked. I knew better. But I did it anyway. I let a thought cross my mind. I forgot where I was & who I was dealing with. For a split second I dropped my guard. And I caught one. It was just a quick jab but it got my attention.
I sent my letter (click here) to the new archbishop "Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson" hoping that I would see something different from him than I did from archbishop Burke. And I did! I actually got a response back in a timely manor. His letter was short and sweet. At first seemed pretty good, but I wanted to wait and see, let it soak in before I blogged about it. Here is my letter:
I know this is a picky little thing, but you know how you always hear about how great catholic schools are academically. Then why are my letters from the church, and particularly from the archbishops, always full of spelling and grammar errors? Note that he spelled Fr. Christian's name as Normal H. Christian and not Norman H. Christian, maybe a Freudian spelling slip? Anyway after about a week I responded. Here is a copy of the text of my letter:
know this is a picky little thing, but you know how you always hear about how great catholic schools are academically. Then why are my letters from the church, and particularly from the archbishops, always full of spelling and grammar errors? Note that he spelled Fr. Christian's name as Normal H. Christian and not Norman H. Christian, maybe a Freudian spelling slip? Anyway after about a week I responded. Here is a copy of the text of my letter:
Dear Archbishop Robert Carlson,
Thank you for extending the common courtesy of getting back to me in a timely fashion.
In your letter of August 12, 2009 you quickly distanced yourself from my problem when you reminded me in your first sentence that Father Norman H. Christian was buried before you came to St. Louis. A point we both agree on, and a point I made in my first letter to you.
It is no concern of mine who was or was not responsible for such a travesty. The fact is, here we are. And I believe you have the power to put an asterisk next to Father Norman H. Christian's name and identify him as a priest in despicable standing with the Church. Or take some sort of similar corrective actions toward a man who murdered the souls of hundreds of children, mostly boys, cost the Church hundreds of thousands of dollars, and brought scandal on the Church.
It also occurs to me that you are the Archbishop of the St. Louis archdiocese, and since the church is not a democracy, I believe is it within your power to set policy. So when you say in your letter "I will also see what our policy is concerning priests who have been accused of sexual abuse." I am curious to whom the Archbishop must consult with to determine policy within his archdiocese?
Finally, I too hope we can prevent this type of situation in the future.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The very day I sent the above letter to the archbishop I received from Christa Brown the letter below from the archbishop. Christa had written the archbishop on my behalf as a show of solidarity amongst survivors. Wherein she too asked the new archbishop to right this wrong and remove the status of "buried as a priest in good standing" here is the archbishop's reply to Christa:
I am mad at myself for blinking, that quick moment of looking for acceptance from the church leadership. It's very easy to fall back into looking for your abuser to tell you they are truly sorry. It's so sad but they don't think they have done anything to be sorry over. Read my letter again and notice he never says he is sorry, but only that he regrets how upsetting it must be for me. How sad.
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