Letters to the Editor
February 20, 2019

To the Editor:
Your Editorial of February 17, 2019
I almost made it through your February 17 mini-editorial without groaning. But once I started, that pesky curiosity got the better of me.
Religion is a touchy subject as you undoubtedly found out last week after your earlier rant on the Vatican. Since you think that experience of religion is essential to bona fides in this matter, I will disclose that I too, was a Roman Catholic from birth, a graduate of Catholic grammar, high school, and Santa Clara University. I was in fact a sister in Dominican Convent, San Rafael, leaving as a novice. My disputes with the Catholic Church have to do with faith and I won’t bore anyone with the particulars.
I have read your opinions for years, so I know that you have at the very least remained silent on all manner of Church activity over the last 25 years. No calls for Cardinal Mahony to step down when he ritualistically concealed thousands of cases of sexual abuse by priests in California or tried to cheat his church gravediggers for honest pay. No condemnation of requests from the archdiocese for parishioner’s money to cover legal costs related to the abuses (let the cardinal sell off his mansion to cover those costs and live Christ’s life). No demand that Pope Benedict resign for his coverup of all manner of corruption including toleration of sexual abuse.
No, Martin, what gets your goat is that Pope Francis appears to be trying to shed a light on the failures and excesses of the Church, is trying to remove the veil from the secrecy from the Vatican, appears to be more concerned with social justice than preserving the reputation of the Holy See. And he’s got his work cut out for him with millennia of unchecked power to contend with, but he knows what the message of Christ was and is. And that involves love, forgiveness, and hope, and a people-centered, not clergy-centered, belief system. Yes, the Protestants got some things right.
Pope Francis parted the curtains on the Vatican and now, suddenly, he is responsible for all the ills of the Catholic Church of the modern era (sorry, Second Vatican is also complicit). You would, I think, far prefer he had never touched those curtains and the power of the hierarchy had never been challenged. I’ll bet they feel the same way in Vatican City ; just ask Theodore McCarrick who was not only removed from the list of cardinals, but was recently defrocked by Francis, i.e., he cannot exercise his priestly ordination for the remainder of his life as punishment for his sexual abuses.
Don’t start crying crocodile tears over the sins of the Church now. Pope Francis is not doing enough fast enough to cure its ills! He must resign! That’s not what really ticks you off, Martin. What gets to you is that this Pope is sounding like he’s not only principled, he is actually trying to exercise those principles! And, in doing that, he demonstrates suspicious tendencies. Sometimes he sounds like…..a Christian liberal. That’s why you’re grinding your teeth: that two-thousand year-old message of “love over law.” Such a betrayal.
- Kelly Scoles, Fillmore, CA