2002 April 7 – Not a Good Time To Be a Priest (Prison Writings)
NOT A GOOD TIME TO BE A PRIEST – INSIDE OR OUT
Like any Catholic who loves his Church, I am deeply saddened and grieved by the recent scandals that have come light about pedophile priests and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. This is not a good time to be a Catholic priest, especially locked up in a prison or jail. The daily media revelations and disclosures keep the issue alive and a daily topic of discussion and ribbing from my fellow inmates. I was never so happy when the press clippings from my trial arrived so I could prove my reason for incarceration. It used to be my being locked up as a protesting priest, most guys wanted to know why I protest. This time, the issue is my priesthood. It’s no fun being the brunt of crude and vulgar jokes about altar boys and nuns, nor being placed in the position of always trying to explain my reasons for staying in the Church as a priest.
Side by side with my sorrow and grief is a real disappointment and discouragement with our Church leadership. They have fostered a climate of fear within the Church, silencing any voices critical of fear within the Church, silencing any voices critical of the clerical culture and governing structures that have helped put us in this sorry situation and now act clueless on what can be done.