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Wuerl prays with sex abuse protestors

posted by jmcgee

When my wife and I called her parents last night, to wish them a Happy Easter, they asked if we’d heard about something extraordinary that the Archbishop of Washington had done during Holy Week. It was news to me. And it really is extraordinary. I’m not aware of another bishop doing anything like this, ever:

Archbishop Donald Wuerl took the unusual step of praying with protesters calling attention to the sex abuse scandal.

Wuerl has not been shy about discussing sex abuse in the Catholic Church. He has mentioned it several times since taking over the Archdiocese of Washington four years ago.

Just before leading Good Friday services at the Cathedral of St. Matthews on Friday, the Archbishop walked across the street where he joined a number of protesters in the stations of the cross.

The people protesting sex abuse in the Catholic Church were about halfway through the stations of the cross when Archbishop Wuerl crossed the street to join them.

Arriving just in time to hear the story of David Lorenz.

“It took me until I was 33 years old before I could tell anyone. I wanted to. I didn’t know how. How do I tell you that I was abused?” said Lorenz.

Through the 14 stations or the last hours of Jesus before his crucifixion, the protest followed a theme. Asking for justice, praying for victims too ashamed to come forward.

As the stations came to a close, Archbishop Wuerl sought out David Lorenz, telling him that “I came just to show some solidarity.”

You can see the news report on this below.



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hlvanburen

posted April 5, 2010 at 10:09 am


“As the stations came to a close, Archbishop Wuerl sought out David Lorenz, telling him that “I came just to show some solidarity.””
Matthew 25:37-40
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Thank you for reporting this, Deacon. No doubt the Archbishop will catch heat for his actions, but in my mind his simple act is the best reflection that I have seen of the sacrifice the Church and so many Christians have celebrated this past week.



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Bill Wilson

posted April 5, 2010 at 10:19 am


God bless Archbishop Wuerl. He is doing exactly what needs to be done and showing a level of commitment to the people of God about which the bureaucrats in Rome are totally clueless. Maybe he needs to be our next pope!



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Julie

posted April 5, 2010 at 10:35 am


I totally agree. If healing is ever to happen, bishops and priests can never tire of demonstrating the Lord’s mercy to victims. They need to stop all this defensive posturing that’s going on, as well. Despite the fact that they weren’t the perpetrators, since they represent Christ and His Church, they must reach out in love and make reparation for the horrendous damage done to all these suffering victims. It’s never easy, but it’s the merciful thing to do! Kudos to Archbishop Wuerl and Bishop Zubik…they clearly GET IT!



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Vic

posted April 5, 2010 at 10:47 am


What Bishop Wuerl is what Catholicsm is all about. He is setting up a good example for us to follow. We are a church of compassion and justice and he is just reminding us.



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Klaire

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:13 am


Well, he certainly has it right that the “healing” is in the cross. Maybe the US Catholic Church should start a regular “Friday at the Cross for the Abuse Victims.” We, the folks in the pews, are just as much a part of the church too, and it would be an awesome way to show our solidarity, not to mention the power of the prayer behind it.
As horrifc at the abuse is/was, the only true healing also comes from the one and only Catholic Church. Sadly, there are some ‘victims’ who want to stay victims it seems, where nothing will ever be enough, except of course, revenge. For those we also need to pray of course, for the grace of God for forgivness. For me I was able to find it also by the study of the Theology of the Body.
If the object is to heal, the cross and Euchrist are the only places where that is likely to occur. It’s a profond grace for those who are open to it.
Maybe it’s time for an “Abuse Healing Ministry” specific to the above mentioned; something far better than all the money in the world. How could it not be, it’s real love?



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm


Nice gesture by the Archbishop. However, God help us if he were to become the next pope.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/jan/07012501.html
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09020402.html



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm


Lots of young people in this country fell victim over many years to priestly sexual abuse, due to the American hierarchy’s enabling of same. The hierarchy was grossly wrong, admitted as much a long time ago, and has taken action to redress the wrong, and to not further repeat it.
My question is, what are these protesters continuing to protest; what what would make them stop?? If what they want now is the priesthood opened to women, liberalized teaching on sexuality, etc., etc., then what they don’t just SAY so?!! Pardon my cynicism, but I suspect that Archbishop Wuerl would still be joining them.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm


What victims want is for the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, to make a simple admission of truth and to accept responsibilty — “we did it, it was wrong, and we are sorry”.
Maureen Dowd quotes Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s words at the end of her latest column:
“There is no shortcut to addressing the past. This has been a difficult year. We see how damaging failure of integrity and authenticity are to the body of Christ. Shameful abuse took place within the church of Christ. The response was hopelessly inadequate.”
That should have been the response all along. Had it been the response all along, things would have been resolved long ago.
It’s the whining and finger-pointing and excuses and deflections and blaming the victims, homosexuality, Hollywood, the Summer of Love, Vatican II, blaming anything and anyone but those individuals who were directly responsible for the abuse and who were directly responsible for the cover-up, that the world is rejecting.
How can someone who was abused in the Church at the hands of a priest, who saw that priest remain free to abuse again and again in parish after parish, who has been barraged for years now with the filthy blame and condemnation falling out of the mouths of the Bill Donohues of this world, who is even now being told they should accept their abuse as a blessing sent from Christ so Christ can redeem him, go to the very source of all this hideous evil for “healing”?
That’s ridiculous.
When the Church gets it — really gets it — and more of the hierarchy starts responding appropriately, then maybe the Church will begin to regain the credibility it has lost. But as long as there are those who are so appallingly selfish and cruel they cannot see past the noses on their own faces and imagine for one minute what living the hell of this particular situation has



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Klaire

posted April 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm


Good question Your Name. Many of them I suspect are simply unable to forgive, which is all the more reason they need the sacraments and healing of the church.
Sadly (and with all due respect to the real victims), there is also a large group who hate the church, and won’t be happy until they see it bankrupted and ‘brought down’ from the scandal. That’s revenge. I often ask those types how happy they were with the Catholic Church BEFORE the abuse scandal? Interesting, before the priest scandal, “mean nuns” were the best ‘crime’ these types could muster, with the “nun jokes” replacing “pedophile priests” jokes on late night comedy.
I am in no way trying to relegate the real abuse. That said, there’s a lot of “repressed memory attorny enabled” abuse that I believe fuels a lot of this “never satisfied” group, many of them in SNAP.
At the height of the scandal, my 50 year old male cousin in RI was contacted by an attorney and told he could get him at least a half of a million if he wanted to “particapate.” FYI, my cousin was never abused and would have nothing to do with it.
It’s always been an enigma to me why the abused of the church aren’t doing more to help the abused of the secular world. Why do we never hear their voices in trying to protect abuse that is ongoing in schools and homes, instead of trying to get “one more apology” from decade old crimes from an institution that currently has only 6 (still too many), cases a year?
I think we all know the answer. Their “voice” is the same place that the voice of the MSM is, no where to be found for abuse outside of the church.
There is no question that faithful Catholics have profound grief for the sins of a few priests and the abuse of real victims. But you know, enough is enough, and it’s time we separate out the legitimate abuse victims who want and deserve healing, from the “hidden agendas.”
This has become almost like a race issue; too sensitive to even suggest what I’ve just written, at the risk of being insensitive to the real victims.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm


“Legitimate abuse victims” meaning those who capitulate to you, Klaire?
If you were even remotely acquainted with this type of abuse, you’d know that, while the actual incidents took place decades ago, the fallout of that abuse lasts a lifetime.
You think the abused should just quit their whining, get over it, and should all embrace your whacked out brand of mindless Catholicism in order to find “true healing”.
That’s cultspeak.
Healing is a long process, and the justifiable anger abuse victims experience is legitimate, in spite of your claims to the contrary.
According to you, any victim who doesn’t react to his or her abuse in the manner you insist they absolutely must isn’t legitimate, is a hater, just wants to bring down the Church, has an agenda, is probably lying to get money, etc.
How do you know what any victim of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal does or does not do to speak out against abuse in any other sector of society? You outright clain none of them, nor anyone else in the MSM ever does anything…well, I’ve been following two stories of child rape and abuse in the MSM that had nothing to do with the Church. It’s front page news. Maybe if you turned off Fox News for five minutes and actually read a newspaper you’d realize that other abuse gets covered all the time, that there are all kinds of groups made up of all kinds of people, including Church sex abuse victims, working towards bringing these cases to light and working towards finding healing for the victims.
You are the one with the agenda here, Klaire, and that agenda is clear — protect the Church at all costs, even at the cost of the innocence of children and the acknowledgement of the truth.



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Klaire

posted April 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm


What victims want is for the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, to make a simple admission of truth and to accept responsibilty — “we did it, it was wrong, and we are sorry”.
Yes, Pope Benedict XVI DID DO THAT, face to face with some of the American victims, along with a sincere apology to all.
As for the living hell, thanks for making my point. Abuse is abuse, so let’s “stop the living hell” for the millions of kids in America that have NO VOICE.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 2:25 pm


No, he hasn’t.
We should stop abuse for everyone. Of course, this is easier said than done. At the same time we try to stop abuse in all quarters, we should be compassionate towards ALL abuse victims, not just the ones that fit our narrow definition of how an abuse victim should behave or where or how they seek healing.
That others abuse doesn’t excuse what happened in the Church. That is happened in the Catholic Church does indeed add layers to this that make it a far, far worse phenomenon.
If you have direct knowledge of all these millions and millions of abuse incidents, then why do still refrain from bringing this knowledge to light? You keep deflecting blame away from the Church by saying all this abuse is going on all around us and is getting ignored because we’re focusing on the Church abuse scandal.
Well, here’s your big opportunity — name names, dear. Tell us where, when, how and by whom. Show us the covering up, the repeat offenders, etc., that you are privy to but absolutely no one in the news has ever, ever covered.
You do know it’s a crime to refuse to report incidents of child abuse, right? So why are you refusing to report them?
Or is this all theoretical abuse you’re cooking up in your head so you don’t have to deal with the very real abuse that we know occurred, or the very real criminal actions that covered up that abuse?
If you know of them, then they were reported, right, so how again are these victims voiceless?
Your insistance that we all drop this whole silly, pesky, tiresome Catholic thing because, OMIGOD, MILLIONS OF CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED SOMEWHERE ELSE RIGHT NOW, makes no sense.
Either real children you know about are getting abused and you have evidence of this abuse and you’re not telling, or all this abuse you keep screaming about isn’t anything specific and therefore no one can do anything about it.
It’s all just a big smokescreen. THAT’S what the REAL victims of REAL abuse at the hands of REAL priests who were given license to abuse over and over again by REAL bishops what you to stop doing.
Get it now?



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm


Actually, after DECADES of being denied, being blamed, being ignored, many victims used the only means available to them to make their voices heard — hitting the Church in the one area they would have to pay attention to — their bank account.
NONE of this would have happened if the Church had done the right thing from the very beginning. The Church chose — deliberatley, methodically, systematically, willfully CHOSE — to do the wrong thing.
Until very recently, they continued to make the wrong choice, the evil choice, the selfish choice, and now they’re paying for it.
They have nobody to blame but themselves.
So now they can take it on the chin like men, or they can whine and cry like babies and blame the victims some more.
A few are realizing they have to exercise a little humility and take it on the chin — rarely the ones involved personally, btw.
Others are continuing the trajectory of the failed men they are.
Whatever.
People show you who they are all the time. The men of the Church will show us, one by one, who they are and what they really believe, as will the people in the pews. As long as there are priests, bishops and parishioners who continue to blame others and throw up smokescreens, there will be no resolution, no peace, no healing, no Truth to be found in the Church.



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Curious

posted April 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm


NM how about a little cheese with that whine? It is all getting a little tired.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm


I’n not the one doing the whining, er, “Curious” (odd name for a person defending child rape, that…).
Klaire and those of her ilk, such as yourself, keep throwing it back on the victims — that’s whining, dear.
She says she knows personally of an attorney who wanted to defraud the Catholic Church — did she report this attorney? Did she stand up and name names? This happened in Rhode Island? Fine. I’ll contact some folks in the press, steer them towards Klaire’s post and they can get to the bottom of it.
Klaire and you make a lot of claims about how the victims aren’t real, are out to defraud, blahblahblah, and anytime you get called out and pushed to prove YOUR statements you fall back on blaming the victims.
Man up, dude. Be a man. Be something. Right now you’re just a pathetic pile of horse manure. You don’t stand for anything.



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Panthera

posted April 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm


The more people try to blame the victims for the atrocities committed within the church, the more disrespect and harm they are doing to those whom they have already raped and abused.
These attempts to defend the indefensible are inexcusable.



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hlvanburen

posted April 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm


And yet, as the defenders of the church circle the wagons yet again, we see yet ANOTHER set of documents released that bring into question the actions of (then) Cardinal Ratzinger with regards to the Scandal.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-03-church-abuse-vatican_N.htm



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Curious

posted April 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm


NM, let me put this as clearly as possible so even you can grasp it. No one is blaming the victims, some priests committed atrocities, some bishops covered it up and there have been hundreds of apologies made even by two popes. Billions of dollars have been paid out. What exactly do you want done about it now? It happened and there is nothing anyone can do to undo it. Got it? Understand? Take your self-righteous bull elsewhere where some one might be interested in it. Panthera too.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm


Dude, you are so pathetically wrong it’s laughable.
People IN THESE VERY COMBOXES ON THIS THREAD are still blaming the victims.
Bill Donohue, on national television, is purporting to speak for the Catholic Church in an official manner and is still blaming the victims.
The current Pope has issed a convoluted apology of sorts, and the previous Pope issued no such apology. An apology includes a full disclosure of culpability, a full admission of guilt, no disclaimers, no manipulations, no self-serving fluff attached.
And, frankly, I am inclined to believe, as I have stated before, that the hierarchy of the Church is on the right track, finally, in their own snail-like way.
It is the Klaires and the Bill Donohues and folks such as yourself who now present the greatest obstacle for the Church’s recovery from this catastrophic, tragic series of events.
Until the Church quashes those in the pews who would stand in the way of victims coming to God, the Church is going to stay stuck in this crisis for a very, very long time.
The Church needs to be proactive moving forward, and that includes reining in those who would perpetuate the arrogance and pride that got the Church where it is today.
The hierarchy is getting it — finally getting it. We’ll see if the usual suspects in the pews follow suit. So far, I’m not particularly hopeful.



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panthera

posted April 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm


Curious,
Your assertions that paying out billions of dollars somehow makes it OK that children were raped by priests is sickening.
The horrid perversions committed by the Catholic church must all be brought to light, the victims must be granted every recompense and aid possible (not, because such recompense justifies the perversity and sins the Catholic church has and is committing against these children).
Those who committed these acts of rape and other such crimes must be brought to exacting civil justice. Those in the Catholic church who directly sought to cover up the matters must be charged for their complicity in civil courts.
All that can be done must be done to prevent this from ever happening again.
How dare you try to silence those who speak up on this injustice! An institution which has the effrontery to to proclaim two men or two women who love each other and seek to marry as disordered yet actively encouraged her priests to rape and abuse children is beyond despicable.
Placing the blame on the victims and pretending the Catholic church has shown contrition enough when we are confronted daily with the lies emanating from the Vatican is inexcusable.



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Your Name

posted April 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm


Panthera, you are good at throwing around the “how dare you”. Who in the world are you to even comment on this issue. Are you Catholic? Who appointed you judge and jury. You support gay marriage and you are here judging how people dealt with the abuse? You self-righteous people make me puke.



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hlvanburen

posted April 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm


“You self-righteous people make me puke.”
If the Catholic Church does not want to have the public poking around its inner workings, it should keep its collective fingers out of the legislative process.
A group that sets itself up as the moral conscience of the nation is inviting critical investigation of its rules and its people.



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ds0490

posted April 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm


“Billions of dollars have been paid out.”
Well, this raises a good question. What price would you charge your priest if he wanted to anally rape your son/daughter? Since economics seems to be your main concern, you must have a price. What is it?



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Charles

posted April 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm


hlvanburen,
See the attached URL for the complete facts of the case. Much like the New York Times, the AP dropped the ball on explaining Cardinal Ratzinger’s role in making the necessary reforms to address the abuse crisis.
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/04/what-to-keep-in-mind-about-the-arizona-case-which-is-revving-up/



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Dennis

posted April 5, 2010 at 9:11 pm


I am a survivor of male sexual child abuse. You all miss the point. The priests who raped the children are sick and need professional help. Those who covered up their abuse are sicker then the rapist. The point that is missed here is that it is not called RAPE for nothing. It took me 50 years and at this time six years of therapy to deal with the sex abuse. Most children do not survive, they commit suicide or end up in insane asylums or the porn industry. The wheels of God’s justice grind slowly but the rapist has nothing but “wailing ans gnashing of teeth” waiting for them. In the meantime who cares about the shattered souls of the children? All this talk about the church and the priests makes me sick because there are children out there who hurt so bad that they will kill themselves to escape the pain. Does anyone care about them?



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Klaire

posted April 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm


Quote: All this talk about the church and the priests makes me sick because there are children out there who hurt so bad that they will kill themselves to escape the pain. Does anyone care about them?
End Quote
My point exactly Dennis. We certainly know that the MSM, the NYT’s, MoDo, and the Catholic Bashers don’t care about the current victims, only decades old church abuse that, as bad as it was, is for the most part, over and done.
It’s time to heal, and help those who are currrently stilling being abused, in homes and schools especially.
I’m sorry for your abuse Dennis. I will pray for you.



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NM

posted April 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm


–We certainly know that the MSM, the NYT’s, MoDo, and the Catholic Bashers don’t care about the current victims, only decades old church abuse– Klaire
We “certainly know” this? Prove it, then. Facts, please. Klaire, you make these tremendous, unfounded, uncharitable, sinful, dishonest sweeping generalizations but offer not one shred of proof.
What are all the employees of the MSM, the NYT and Maureed Dowd not specifically doing?
What are you specifically doing — you’ve laid claim to knowledge of abuse yet refuse to go to the authorities and/or the press, you have laid claim to specific knowledge of an attorney who is actively working to defraud the Church and you also have not contacted the authorities or the press.
You say anyone who is a victim of abuse at the hands of a priest and who does not act exactly as you personally would have them act is lying about their abuse, out to destroy the Church and out to defraud the Church. Proof, please. You continue to make these accusations about specific people — which victims of abuse — the victim of abuse in this news clip? Is he lying and/or out to defraud the Church? Shall we call the reporter who did the story, forward him a link to this thread and have him interview you about your very specific, certain, knowlegeable claim that this man is lying and out to defraud the Church?
Why aren’t you helping those who are currently being abused right now all over the world, Klaire? You say it’s time we did that — can you please list their names and locations so we can stop their abuse and help them heal? You seem to have specific knowledge of this abuse, you are accusing us of not helping them, and yet you’re not telling us who they are. Why not tell us who they are so we can stop their abuse. Actually, as I already stated, it’s a crime NOT to tell us who they are, Klaire.



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NM

posted April 6, 2010 at 12:03 am


Also, just because the acts of abuse themselves are theoretically “over and done” does not mean the repercussions of that abuse for the victim are over and done.
An abuse victim would know this, would understand this.
The truth is the suffering lasts forever. It doesn’t end.
It especially doesn’t end for those of us abused by priests when we see frauds like you, Klaire, blaming us for our abuse, accusing us of lying and accusing us of being out to defraud the Church.
Again, proof please — tell me all about my situation, who did what, when, where, what happened, and about all the money you claim I sued the Church for.
Tell me, Klaire — tell me all these facts you claim to have about me upon which you base your accusations towards myself and other victims who haven’t capitulated to your appalling witness.
Also, tell me again how it’s all a big homosexual problem — how is a priest raping a little girl a homosexual thing?



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dymphna

posted April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am


The sad thing is that these people will never be happy. This will never be over and no matter how much money they get they’ll still be victims forever. What a tragedy.



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Curious

posted April 6, 2010 at 10:58 am


Yes, Dymphna it is sad. The message of Easter seems lost on so many here. Tragedy and sadness are not the end. Easter signals new hope and renewed faith. The Paschal Mystery is played out in our lives just as it was in Our Lord’s. Too bad people don’t seize the opportunity to look beyond the cross to the empty tomb.



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