The letter I have posted below comes from a Catholic friend and is addressed to Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church. As a former Catholic, who left the church for similar reasons, I volunteered to post his letter on my blog. – SJ Thomason
Dear Holy Father,
I write this in all earnest after great reflection and careful meditation. I have great difficulty in finding the words to surmise my feelings and emotions regarding the recent discoveries involving not only the US Bishops and Cardinals, but also the Papacy and their role in all the tragedies of sexual abuse of children by priests now brought to light. I write these words in the hopes that you will understand the mindset of the average Catholic in these matters. I have heard that it would take a call from “the Laity” to bring about the needed changes.
This disgrace has cut very deeply into the Church. I myself now feel that I am a co-conspirator to these heinous crimes. Every tithe or act I have committed in the name of promoting the faith now clings to me as a stain on my soul. Because of your protection and “mercy” not only have these individuals escaped justice but you have enabled them to prey upon others! The facts clearly show that 300+ assaulted over 1000 children. This a clear sign of a non-contrite heart, it proves that by your actions and decisions you have enabled these predators to continue in their demonic acts; and your mercy for the perpetrators has turned into a living hell for the victims!
With this in mind I propose “The Millstone Decree”.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42.
If any priest or ecclesiastical agent be found guilty before a civil and papal investigation or trial they receive three times the adjudicated sentence.
The vows taken by priests include the following:
“If I should, by my acts and sins cause a child who believes in You my Lord Jesus Christ to be lost, may I be cast into the sea with a great millstone about my neck, and may The Lord find mercy for me.”
If any Ecclesiastical body or agent attempts to conceal, relocate or in any other way cover-up any suspected crimes, they too shall be held accountable for the same crimes as the offender if convicted and if not convicted tried for obstruction of justice for attempting to conceal such alleged crimes.
These priests have been given a great and sacred honor to raise new souls into the Faith, to guide others closer to Christ in Love and Truth. I know the vast majority of priests are good and upright men. But the toleration the Church has shown MUST STOP NOW! This “decree” will not only discourage any pedophiles from entering the priesthood, but would also serve to give weak men pause for thought if tempted ‘beyond their strength’. The Church must protect its children, any decision counter to this means the Church is a house divided and will not last.
Holy Father, you may ask me “Where is your forgiveness? Where is your compassion? Do I not know the Mercy of Christ?” I would respond: “My forgiveness comes when they confess and take responsibility for their actions. Once they have faced the repercussions of their deeds and paid their debt to society, when they have done their penance, I will grant forgiveness. Just as we do in the Act of Contrition. If they are allowed to continue hiding in the shadows and preying upon the weakest and most defenseless, I cannot have forgiveness for either them or myself. If we by our actions – and know that we are One in Christ – allow such disgusting repeated acts, to go unpunished, what do you think God will think of us? If we do not stand for the most vulnerable among us, who do we stand for? Unless the wretched soul that commits such a vicious act comes to own a truly repentant heart, they will be lost forever. Where do you suppose they can acquire a “truly repentant heart”, the comfortable and dependable protection of the Church, or Prison? If you have compassion for their eternal souls, you will see the need for severe penance in their lives; do not stave off the judgment of God until it is too late. I have read comments you have made in regards to this matter. Comments referring to the “Great Accuser” and then others speaking of the “soiling” of the Church. Even if my tone is not as pleasant as you might like, do not mistake me for the enemy. I care very deeply about our Faith and have presented you with the truth. You can in one fell swoop transform this entire disgusting crisis into a victory. By “drawing a line in the sand” you can enact new rules and punishments designed to guard and protect our children whom we entrust to your care. By taking a decisive stance and taking deliberate actions you can galvanize the laity.
I understand that by removing all the priests and clergy found to have committed these acts, you may face a shortage of personnel. This may be the catalyst for you to allow women priests and married priests, which would in turn bring a new vitality and energy to the Body. Just as there is opportunity, there is also potential for disaster.
I pray continually that God will reveal this matter to you as He has to me, and that you will take swift and just action to protect and defend our children. Our children are the most precious and beloved gifts God gives us in this life. How can anyone follow a Faith that condemns such blatant abuses in words but fails to take action? Who would trust their children to that kind of care? Holy Father, you have the power to wash the Church clean.
Most sincerely and with the heaviest of hearts,
Parishioner St. Anthony’s of Padua Dayton, Ohio
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