Do you know where you were on this date, 11/22, 37 years ago? That would be 1975, for those who can’t do the math.
I was being ordained a Catholic priest in Oakland, CA. It all seems like a lifetime ago.
That day was filled with such promise and joy. Little did I know back then that the organization I was pledging my life too would turn out to be this rapacious monster, a destroyer of lives and vocations. That this organization’s leadership would become a heartless, insulated, monolithic, callous and tone deaf power structure hellbent on undercutting and dismantling The Second Vatican Council. Now, more than ever before and throughout the entire Church, people of conscience are being harassed, shamed and bullied, simply because they are not in lockstep with the old men in charge.
I thought things were bad when the Oblates of Mary Immaculate moved to dismiss me, on trumped up charges, in 1981. It took them thirteen years and a complete violation of our community’s rules and constitutions before they actually got around to tossed me out. I thought things were horrible back then. But those sad days pale in comparison to what is going on today. Just look what they’ve done to Roy Bourgeois. Not only did they dismiss him, but they excommunicated him and defrocked him too. Now compare the ruthless treatment Roy to how the hierarchy deals with pedophile priests in their midst and you’ll get a pretty good picture of the institution’s priorities.
It’s a scandal and it’s heartbreaking to watch.