Thank you all for your warm welcome. I'll try to answer a couple of questions.
The first has to do with faith, I believe (pun intended). My heritage is Irish with my forebear coming ashore at the Port of New Orleans in 1891. My
mother's family has always been protestant - Lutheran. Marry and Irish catholic and you'll be changing your faith.
Anyways, I was born the oldest of 8 children. My grandmother was personal friends with the archbishop and was always directing me into becoming more
involved with the church. I was an altar boy and personal assistant to the priests. I was headed for the seminary.
Just before I turned 16 and would have otherwise qualified for introductory classes to the priesthood there was an event that toally changed my
perspective and my faith. My closest friend, another boy involved with the priests, came to me with news that he had been sexually molested.
Apparently it had been going on for some time and did not include only one adult priest. This was 1974 in California.
When I brought this to the attention of the archbishop he seemed very concerned. He said that he would immediately contact those invovled and get to
the bottom of things. No one ever called the police.
As time went by I became concerned because the priests my friend had named to me were still active and very much present. This made for a very
uncomfortable situation. Finally I confronted one of the priests and demanded to know why he was allowed to do the things he did and still walk
around like nothing had happened. This act got me an audience with the bishop who admonished me for interfering with priestly duties.
Priestly duties? I was baffled. This was unacceptable. After finally speaking the truth to the 'authority' I was the one risking punishment.
Nevertheless I took my plea to the archbishop. This time he became red faced and angry. How dare I interfere with the very nature of the church?
Nature of the church? Priestly duties?
It all came together in a single epiphany. I blurted out that if this is what the church really was I wanted nothing to do with it. The archbishop
responded with immediate excommuniccation.
It was as if a ton of weight was lifted from my shoulders. I no longer had to deal with these perverse and unholy men. Of course my family was
traumatized. My poor grandmother fainted. Over the years they have learned to adapt to the idea that the church is not what it seems.
Pity they didn't see that before 10% of their hard earned money was shipped off to Rome every Sunday.
This left a spiritual vacuum in my life. Perhaps in another thread I can explain how that has matured through tiime.
The other question had to do with the changes I have experienced since my son passed. I don't share the experience solely. Many people knew my son.
He died the same day as the Pope (John Paul II). We had a heck of a time finding a priest for the funeral (also the same day).
Personally I have had to question every facet of my life since this experience. The things I have taken for granted all of my life were shaken and
thrown out before me. No parent should ever have to bury a child. But it happens. I think of all of those grieving parents whose children were sent
to a foreign land where they died. The way inwhich death overtakes them is not important. The point is that they are gone.
One begins to question; why? My wife and I spent 15 years 5 months and 5 days raising and caring for perhaps the most unique medically involved child
that ever came through Phoenix Children's Hospital. Our lives were dedicated to caring for him and his brother, who was perfectly healthy. This was
an intense period of struggle not only financially, but spiritually, physically, mentally exhausting.
Then one day it all stopped. He died at home with his family. He was a loving soul and was loved by everyone who met him. He is so missed. Now
that we aren't spending every waking moment in pursuit of our children's well being we are left to ponder our purpose.
Our oldest graduated from high school two months after his brother passed. And he was gone...
This kind of life altering experience leads to many different paths. Eventually we found our way. Now we are stronger, better able to adapt and deal
with whatever life throws at us. We are grandparents! The most beautiful little one year old boy you ever saw.
The underlying current of love is what really works to bind us. This is the change I really feel has occured. The acknowledgement of the existence
of the field of love that surrounds us and binds us all together. Not just as members of a family, bubt also as members of the human race.
We all have this potential for excellence and perfection in thought. We all have a connection to a greater sphere of influence that is spiritual in
nature. Communicating with this spiritual sphere is comforting, and educational. It also makes it easier to understand and accept the change that is
going on all around us.
Enough for now. Don't want to upset any mods with a long winded dialog. Peace to all.
reply to post by blasphemous