The real agenda behind “healing masses”
By David Clohessy
In dioceses where the abuse and cover up crisis has been widely exposed, bishops often do a smart public relations move: they schedule “healing” masses. Bishop James Johnston is holding some of these in Kansas City. It’s worth looking at how one of his staff talks about them.
“There has always been a desire to do more outreach to try and help victims come back to the church, or at least see the church being empathetic and sorrowful,” said Kathleen Chastain, Johnston’s staffer who handles abuse.
Ponder this quote for a second. I’m grateful Ms. Chastain made this comment. Two parts of it leap out at me.
First, notice Chastain is NOT saying “We care.” She’s saying “We want victims to come back to the church.”
Second, she’s saying “We want victims to see the church being empathetic and sorrowful.” See, it’s not about reality. It’s about perception.
We’ve long felt these events are more about them than about us. Ms. Chastain’s comments reinforce our skepticism.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.