By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | January 17, 2022
The Catholic Church is shielding wolves. Two quotes in the last three weeks have caught my attention. The first one was from an anguished mother who emerged victorious in her fight against the Church when a Priest, Fr Lawrence Johnson, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Fr Johnson, who had molested her minor son in 2015, was being shielded by the Church. Archbishop’s House, it is alleged, was fighting his case, even though they knew he went on his knees to ask pardon from the mother as reported in the Times of India, December 30, 2021.
“The courts pronounced Fr Lawrence guilty today, but I held him guilty on the very day of the assault. He even knelt before me and admitted his crime. My faith in the men that run the Church is broken but my faith in Jesus is unshakeable,” said the anguished mother whose faith was restored in “Justice and Jesus.”
Three days ago, there was another quote. This was from a former Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun. “Only the trees that bear fruit are stoned. I am just proud of that. Praise the Lord,” he said after being acquitted by a Sessions Court in Kerala.
Isaiah 62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch.
Fighting the good fight…
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, it was reported in the Times of India on December 30, 2021, was leaving for Rome the day the mother approached him. “Before approaching the police, I took my wounded son to the Cardinal that night. The Cardinal said in Marathi that he was leaving for Rome and would address the matter after his return,” quotes the TOI.
So what would Jesus have done in a situation like this? Did the Cardinal ask this question to himself? The tragedy with our religious people is that they forget that their primary vocation and duty of being a Priest is to bring their flock closer to Jesus. If Cardinal Oswald Gracias had acted swiftly, prudently, siding with the truth, he could have saved Johnson from prison and also given justice to the ‘wounded son’ and his distraught mother.
It is alleged that Lawrence Johnson’s antecedents are known to the higher-ups, but they preferred to allow him “to be” and kept transferring him instead of sending him to an institution for rehabilitation, or defrocking him.
Twisting the Word like a cunning fox…
Cut to Franco Mulakkal. The man has forgotten that the Save Our Sisters organisation, formed to support the Nuns, have revealed that they will appeal to the higher court. The man also forgets that trees that are stoned are for the fruit they bear so that they can be relished. What fruit did anyone get from him?
Here is what Jesus said about a good tree and fruits. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits, you will know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20).
No woman in her right mind would accuse anyone of rape. And this here is a religious sister. Can you imagine her plight of having to now go further in her fight for justice? Will the Church stand with her?
The Nuns may not have the support of the Church, but they do have the support of their prayer warriors. Justice will be served. Franco should know that God is their vindicator. This is a Rhema for the Nuns who are fighting this murky battle. “I will be your lawyer to plead your case, and I will avenge you,” says the scripture (Jeremiah 51:36).
A Cardinal sin…
Dear Cardinal Oswald Gracias, how many children and families have been ruined by these “ravenous wolves”? Don’t you think the Church has a responsibility? Don’t you think that it is a sin of omission not to arrest these ‘crimes’? Don’t you feel the Church needs to take a stand and throw out sexual predators from their premises; not transfer them? Why is the Catholic Church shielding wolves?
The poor mother is quoted as saying, “Supporters of Fr Lawrence held a morcha against us while we were in the police station. They claimed we were filing a false case to extort money. My bleeding son escaped their notice.”
Supporters in every parish…
Yes, there are supporters of “ravenous wolves” in every Parish. There was this Parish Priest who took great delight in running down parishioners in his sermons, directing taunts at them. They all left the Parish in disgust. He even directed a dig at the new Parish Priest, who had yet to take charge. Poor sod; it appears he has a Ph.D. in humiliating people who attend Holy Mass. You cannot treat people like garbage and worship God at the same time.
He even shielded a catechist, with a questionable past of harming children, allowing them to be humiliated. Imagine a child coming first in Sunday School Sports is told they cannot get a prize because they have a poor attendance record in Sunday School! The poor humiliated boy, head cast down, spirit broken, walks away never to come to Church again.
We are living in the times of Counterfeit Christianity, and the Church is teaching their own to adjust to their sin rather than reprimanding them, teaching them to confess and forsake their wrong ways. The Catholic Church is shielding wolves.
Will the present Synod convened by Pope Francis (where he invites the entire Church, including the laity, to reflect on deeper communion, fuller participation, and greater openness to fulfilling our mission in the world) be the start of the solution towards a common journey together for the Church?
Will the Church, be the leader in this and take corrective measures to clean their backyard first?
(Moody Marty: sometimes funny, sometimes informative, always downright forthright!)
Also Read: Fr Sunil Pinto hits the ball out of the park