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I was there to discuss a novel I had written, but the questions from the audience at my talk — and at the book signing after, and on the sidewalk as I walked to my car — were mostly, if passionately, rhetorical: What do we do now? Where do we go from here? Do you think the church understands our pain?

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How much corruption should we tolerate? At the time, I could offer only small commiseration — as well as my regret that these Catholics had been so betrayed by their spiritual leaders that they were left to seek solace from the likes of me, a reluctant and often contrarian Catholic, a novelist, a woman. For myself, and for many of the Catholics I know especially women , the question of how much corruption we can tolerate is now weighed against the tremendous loss we would feel, if we left this church.

And yet small commiserations can no longer placate our outrage. A sea change is required. James Carroll does not have to stir up contempt against priests, it already exists and you and your bosses have only ourselves to blame. You could always go out and try and get a real job. The RCC is like the NYPD, both decry being painted with a broad brush and claim "a few bad apples" while completely ignoring their complicity in covering and protecting the"few bad apples". Like the RCC, bad cops are suspended never fired and never prosecuted even after wrongfully killing someone, Eric Gardner's murderer is still on the force.

This is made possible because the system that enables and protects bad behavior is in place. The priests that Fr, Martin claims are "good" really are not if they have participated in covering up the misdeeds of their colleagues. Beyond the sex abuse scandal the very nature of priesthood is misogynist. I would love to meet a priest that isn't sexist , an attitude that is communicated in various ways.

Most are condescending and smug and I can count on one hand the number I have met who are indeed "holy men". Most are peevish narcissists with scarce life experience. What is corrupt is the church itself and the priests are footsoliders of that system, which embodies structural misogyny. I don't think James Carrol's article fosters hatred of priest, or that he is trying to make a buck. But I do think Fr. Martin whose articles for the most part I admire is trying to make us think he is. By doing this, clericalism is front and center. He mentions the widow, the widower, the single sibling, the unmarried aunt as though they have taken the vow of chastity like himself, why would he think this, it seems to say When you have an intellect like Fr, Martin accepting some misguided dogma that women cannot be ordained, you know the CC has big problems!

The church is so mired in dogma and doctrine and fiats from Rome, it has lost the message of Jesus. If I were to subscribe to all of this I would be mired in bigotry, hubris with all the smugness that goes with it. I am not the Catholic the Vatican wants but I am trying to be the Catholic Jesus wants, but the Church is my biggest impediment. That is the sad truth indeed. It is hard clinging to the RCC that has real power in Christ and the part you know God wants us to stand up for and protect - namely, the sacraments when they are used to heal and not harm are worth fighting for and are worth protecting but the patriarchy and the unjust biases it supports at all costs, even at the cost of our children, are hard to deal with.

Thank you for staying with me to fight what is evil in our church until those things are gone. This was a pretty whiny response to Carroll's article. The bottomline is that a priest and the church lack sufficient distance to address their shadow side. A friend worked for the Jesuits for years and her job was to file away the many unread complaints from parishioners. No one responded because they wouldn't bother to read what their parishioners' concerns were.

RCC is still not listening. Sex abuse is the extreme behavior that is produced by patriarchy, there is also narcissism and arrogance and racism. It is worth noting that the worst engineers of our current govt disastrous policies are white Catholic men, one of which a sexual predator himself, now sits on the Supreme Court.

I agree. Unless and until the Catholic Clergy, including nuns, realize how close they are to losing All credibility, the future for Catholicism does not look bright. The most radical anti cleric I met was a son of a Nazi war criminal. He the son lived under a cloud of dark depression. He let me know all priest should be killed. Another Hitler lover let me know all priests were pedophiles. These people wallow in their own ignorance as pig wallows in its own vomit. Neither thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Incredibly materialistic they swindled and cheated. So we eliminate all priests? Who is next as we purify the earth? The 20th century is loaded we corpses caused by the new Puritans, Lenin compared himself to John Calvin, The Nazis killed nearly every priest in Poland. The communist sent priests to the Gulag. To amuse themselves, the new Puritans dripped water on the priests heads.

The priests gradually froze. The priest-less Calvinists in the south had millions of slaves. Luther was a common adulterer. Name the priest less societies today. Would any sane person want to be a part of them? God judges nations. A priest less Russia was punished unmercifully. Nazi Germany which wanted to destroy the Church was reduced to ashes.

What The Atlantic doesn’t understand about the priesthood | Catholic Herald

Um, Eddy: are you seriously comparing people who criticize the Catholic Church over the clergy abuse crisis, even to the point of writing about abolishing the Priesthood, to Hitler-lovers? To Nazi war criminals? No, I said have not said that.


I said two hitlerites spoke to me directly. I did not say all people who criticize the abuse crisis are hitlerites. And it wasn't about clerical abuse. So stop judging me when I report facts. As far as your prognostications are concerned , I doubt it The church isn't falling apart. I go to church in Dallas. Most are packed. We have hundreds in our RCIA program. I deal with numbers , not opinions. As far as the police raid , yeah we will get a rehash of what we already know. And that which has already been reported. And you want another Reformation?

I suggest you google Erasmus on wiki. The reformers committed the same sins as everyone else did. As far as child abuse it is a crime and must be reported. Teachers in the Dallas Independent school district have an number. In conclusion just deal with facts and stop your cheap slanders against posters. You need to stop talking down to people. James Carroll was interviewed this evening on NPR. In fact, he told the interviewer he no longer considers himself a Catholic, so it seemed to me there was nothing he could say that would persuade me he has the good of his former church at heart.

I listened politely, hearing him repeat the formulaic attack on "clericalism," but he had nothing enlightening in any way beyond what many others have said. Except my dinner was ruined. Why is it so often the Catholic church, and in this interview Pope Francis too, that arouses so much hatred out there in the world of opinion?

Thanks to Fr. Martin for pointing out the obvious. So, please pray share with us all what you think is the way forward on clergy abuse? What are your solutions? Do you have any at all? Or do you actually believe this is all going away somehow? I believe if we get it right, if we can devote ourselves to Healing the Abuse Crisis by helping Survivors to heal and maybe even prosper a little before we die, we could turn it around. What do you mean by "clergy abuse"? The Philadelphia report did not seem able to come up with any instances of abuse of minors since Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more.

Faith Short Take. James Martin, S. May 17, In a church without priests, I cannot find redemption: a response to James Carroll. The History Behind Celibacy and the Priesthood. Questioning Garry Wills. Show Comments Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more. Ahh Fr. Martin, I ask you what exactly are you counting as a Holy Priest?

Are priests only unholy when they molest children? This is brilliant.

Thank you. Nora Bolcon. It is fascinating Tim, That you, not I, group together all things masculine with pedophilia and clericalism and sexism. So don't worry Tim - I am not going anywhere! PS The analogy re: imams doesnt work either: mosques and their imams are independent localized institutions; they do not have a worldwide HQ with a CEO who hires, fires and makes the rules for every layer of leadership down to the individual leader. L Hoover. J Jones. The complicity of the laity is a related but separate subject, L Hoover.

Thanks for echoing my now 3 day old comment, J Hoover. Paul Hierholzer.

Do YOU have a calling to the priesthood or consecrated life? A word from Archbishop Sample

Tim O'Leary. Annette Barfield. Maria Alderson. Al Cannistraro. Christopher Lochner. William Guglielmi. So hideously true! It really does make one's skin crawl. Neo White. Heaven help us! Such ignorance, such "burn them at the stake" intolerance. Joseph O'Leary. Pagination Current page 1. Page 2. Last page last. Next page next. The Rev. Most popular. Pope Francis names seven women to previously all-male congregation. Are you serious about living a healthy spiritual life? Seek a spiritual director. Former U. Presidential Search.

We should root out clericalism. We should punish abuse and coercion.

26-year-old twins ordained to the priesthood side by side on the same day

We should recognise personal and structural sin, call its perpetrators to account, and work for something better. But we can only do that by grace. JD Flynn. Slice 1. Abandon the priesthood of Jesus Christ? Only if we are ready to abandon our hope. Read more. Will suffering our own humiliation make us deep in compassion, or deep in anger and bitterness? Fr Ronald Rolheiser. Tim Stanley. US Weekly newsletter. America Comment. This website uses cookies to improve your experience.