I want to be in Rome. I want to be by his side supporting and demanding a naive brand of Christianity with a firestorm of change that will create yet another schism in the church. Pope Francis, listen to me, but just five minutes, and act swiftly with your Papal Authority. After contemplation Pope Francis, tell me how foolish is my thoughts:
- Zero tolerance: Immediate and public defrocking of any priest with 1 verified transgression of children or any sexual abuse of anyone, period. If in Christian spirit you deem the church cannot turn them out into the street, offer them monastic pasture, walled away for a life of contemplation, care for, and fed. Should they leave those walls, they are free to do so – but not to come back. We must demonstrate Mercy even to those who have betrayed the faith. Perhaps we only accept care for them if they turn over their wrong-doings to the appropriate civil authorities as well and serve whatever prison time is required. (See number 2).
- Turn-over: Any information to civil authorities and let justice be served.
- Timeline: Remove said priest from office by December 2, 2018.
- Withdrawal: Declare our beliefs and faith independent of any government or institution. Let Secular society set their laws by secular standards without our judgement or misdirected evangelizing. “May we not think of ourselves more highly than we ought” by taking criminalizing values and actions that are contrary to our beliefs. As an example, our marriage is a sacred one within the Catholic Church and should be separated and distinct from any “legal” or “contractual” societal definition of marriage without any judgement passed on the latter. Issue by issue, flash-point by flash-point we must remove ourselves from enforcing our faith by institutional mandates and laws (whether of the church or of our beliefs being encoded in law) and share our faith so that it is desired and followed out of love of God and from our souls. Live by the virtues we stand for and attract by that measure only.
- Atonement: By December 2, 2018 have a detailed plan for a week of prayer in every church – 24 seven for all priests and parishioners set to re frame our dedication and belief as one body: “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” he wrote in the 2,000-word letter. “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
- Clericalism and Pharisaic practices: The Conservative wing of our church that opposes you on so many fronts is fearful, and rightly so, of losing control of our identity and core beliefs. They prefer to maintain these views by fiat rather than by faith and mercy. Sinners of every brand, sexual identity issues that we fail to understand, and the depravity with which we treat the poor and the oppressed are to be handled by action and love, not by what we think others “should do.” More priest may take a note from Reverend James Martin and Bishop Robert Barron and be appointed leaders to see your work through in the decades to come.
- Liberalism and Relativism: To include and to love is not the same as to condone and deny. Our faith has lost site that very few of us measure up to divine expectations and fall short daily of stated principles and beliefs. In America our wealth, hubris, pride, death penalty, and countless other issues condemn us everyday.
- Mysticism and prayer: Without depth of prayer and deep dives into the history of the saints and founding fathers of the church, without knowledge of ethics and philosophy, our congregation are truly sheep among wolves – both wolves external to the faith and wolves within the faith and even with a white collar.
- Institutional change: The pastoral vision and gentle and humble leadership you provide are refreshing. If time were on our side I would say continue to lead by example and let change come in the Churches time. We do not have time. It needs to be in God’s time supported by your brave leadership and a new, time limited Vatican III.
- Tears: When you are attacked, I am attacked. When the church is attacked, I am attacked. When children are abused by Catholic priest, I am harmed and devastated.
- 2019: The trial and the test of Catholicism. Rapid transformation and renewal post fire and brimstone house cleaning, repentance, and several structural changes are the beginning. Vatican III moves forward ambitiously and aggressively.
- Discipleship: A smaller church maybe necessary – not through exclusion but by re-organization, de-institutionalization, reparations. At the end of this brutal process every member has a refined role and sober pride to be able to stand testament in a secular society to living as a body of believers a holy life.
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
The Pope has better advisers than me – so no need for me to go to Rome or mail this letter into the abyss of the Holy See administration.
A tweet will do to express my sorrow and advocacy for dramatic and timely change.
Tweet to the Pope: 8/26/2018
@Pontifex I share our collective shame and pain of the state of our church. I trust in you and God’s providence. I hope for radical change that I cannot detail in a tweet. I pray for the victims of abuse and tragedy at the hands of misguided and criminal priestly actions.