Accidental Easter Sermon, 2016
By Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC
Originally part of a Facebook comment to a member of my online community, (TodaysCatholics.com). The member is John Sharp. While John and I don’t always agree, he often has insights and words that make you think, which is good for all Catholics.
The comment was related to a post about the March 2016 report by a Pennsylvania Grand Jury on Vaticanite Roman Clergy pedophiles and the massive cover up. Like the first such opening of this cancer afflicting the Vaticanites so badly and for so long – the Boston Herald expose years ago, it broke and destroyed many myths, and made a public comment by current Vaticanite Head Francis sound as pathetically weak and wrong as those made by Vaticanite officials in the past. Francis comment was to the effect that only 2% of the 414,000 clergy under him were pedophiles. Only 8,000? It is most probably double that, especially if rumors of what happens to girls in Africa are at all true.
Left unsaid was the number of pedophile clergy in the Vaticanite history, as well as the number of pedophile clergy who had themselves been childhood clergy abuse victims. Also unsaid was a word of girls abused by nuns, septic tank babies in Ireland, and a good number of adult women taken advantage of by Vaticanite clergy.
TodaysCatholics.com refuses and rejects the belief that the Vaticanites are not part of The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, along with Orthodox, Anglican, Independent, and other Catholic families of denominations. We take seriously that we are One Body.
The comment, then, was my belief of the need for all Catholics to pray for Francis of The Vaticanites to turn toward God and open all the files, books, libraries, offices to law enforcement.
I was spurred….actually driven out of my wheelchair to my knees as I read the pages of the Philadelphia Roman Clergy abuse report released by the grand jury.
In a moment, in one document, was laid bare what We Catholics had known all along. Clergy pedophilia in the Vaticanite family was not caused by gay priests or the LGBTQ movement. It was not caused by Vatican II. The traditionalist Vatican I Catholics do not have any cleaner hands than any of the other Vaticanites. That the cover ups went on for decades, and it is impossible it did not reach several Vaticanite Popes, some of whom are now saints.
John Sharp posited that it was a systematic dysfunction in the Vaticanite system. Others posted indignation, anger, but no solutions.
“Yea, John Sharp, but these are our Catholic brothers and sisters… And, as I mentioned in my recent blog post,
we now know it predates Vatican II, gay rights, and except for a few occurances, is afflicting Vaticanites far more than any other Catholic family – even those groups God took and made cuttings from to plant as new variety of Roses. We know also that the Vaticanites also have a history of other cancers, like priests abusing girls and women, nuns abusing children, and…
…I am sorry, but infanticide.
No outside archeologists, criminologist, medical forensic experts were allowed to work the site in Ireland free of Vatican presence, and none have gone on record to substantiate the Vatican claim all those dead babies in that septic tank were barely formed fetuses naturally miscarried or stillborn. If they were, how is it so many skeletons were so solid they were still intact?
The cancers afflicting our brothers and sisters, the Vaticanites, have left open, gangrenous, festering wounds full of pus that because we ARE one church affect us all.”
Then, the words flowed almost as if they were not of my mind…but, having had some profound religious experiences and having been a Charismatic Catholic, having felt the power of the Spirit, I knew they were mine.
“We must not hide our lamps under baskets. We must shine our light and seek to pull all these wounds out to the bright Sunlight of Justice.
So we must pray, earnestly.
I believe, however, we must do more. We must demonstrate that we will support Francis if he chooses to turn towards God, away from the system, and open ALL the books, files, sites, church offices to full, impartial, professional law enforcement officials!
Yes, his enemies inside the Vatican will hurt him, already putting words in his mouth that only 2% of clergy – 8,000 out of 414,000 are pedophiles. As if!
Yes, his enemies inside the Vatican have duct taped his mouth shut on the girls and women abused, the babies left unburied to rot, the true honest but gay clergy who were abused and discarded.
Yes, If Francis turns towards God and lets loose the horrors, gives the keys to interpol and other law enforcement, his enemies will step up the attempts to assassinate him.
Better Francis die as a martyr of Truth, real confession, real healing than to see him continue the human sins of popes going back to at least 1940 and remaining silent!”
Francis has shown courage before, I thought. He has fought the system. He is so close, so likely to be The One to stop playing Caesar, to be just a real shepherd to the Vaticanites.
Then, my thoughts turned to John Sharp, John Plummer, Gregory Godsey, Caitlyn Finigan-Grenier, Trevor Terron Greene, Rick Philips, and so many others from such varied parts of the Catholic garden. I stopped and thought about these members, the ones who posted a lot and the others…
“Think for a moment. With only 414,000 clergy, and many of those deacons and priests….if all of US, the other Catholics, banded our prayers, our hands, our words together….wouldn’t we give The Holy Spirit a huge amount of room to aid our Brother Francis in choosing the first step in curing this systemically spread cancer through the Vaticanite part of our Catholic body?
Wouldn’t the very human Francis be embolded to do what is right if he knew that ALL the other bishops, ALL the rest of the Catholic body was ready to support him in opening the festering, dirty, useless bandages covering these wounds?”
I began to cry, feeling the weight of Jesus on the cross as he knew, 2,000 years ago, that these innocents might suffer so if humans made the wrong choices with their free will. The agony Jesus must have felt at that moment. And how pitiful my own sufferings are compared to His.
“Now, you can perhaps see why I spend so many hours in prayer for all of you members of TodaysCatholics.com.
You have stood up and proclaimed that the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church is so much more than the 40+ denominations in the Vaticanite family!
You have risked coming here online and putting yourselves as humans out there, and learned to read each other’s words, to talk civilly (most of the time) to each other, and many of you have found enough in common to “friend” each other, begin your own groups about vestments, music, theology ….
Think of just Bishop Gregory Godsey’s group for Independent Catholics, his growing magazine, the best Journal for a denominational group I have seen yet, and his ISM database where for free any Independent jurisdiction or clergy can be listed so travelling Catholics can find them!
Or consider Bishop Trevor Terrance Greene’s group, fast building an impressive, permanent, online library of canons and related documents from Catholic, proto- Catholic, and Early Christian communities around the world and history!
This is why you are all so dear to my heart….
2100 here and at the Not All Catholics Are Facebook group, 98 at the NACAR Google+ circle (soon to have it’s own account), and the 80 or so Vaticanites who dare not come out of a closet as painful and damaging as those of the LGBTQ and Mental Health Consumers….
Close to 2500 humans, communities, denominations, from all corners of the Catholic garden!
Why have I risen time and again, due to God alone, and gone to work to grow and be as much a mother to you all as this crippled, broken body is able?
Because what you have all accomplished since 2009 is but a taste of what you can together accomplish now, and long after I am dead! It matters!
You are the antibodies, fighting for communication, understanding, respect for differences, unity in essentials!
I am just a bag of bones that God gave an idea to, and who has saved me time and again to labor here, scruffy, poor, and as you know sometimes barely able to write coherently. I am still mostly that lay religious halfway back in the pews, raising my hands with questions, curling over an aging laptop doing what little I can until God sends more to this…ministry.
You members are Today’s Catholics. You are the future and present possible healers. It all starts by being brave enough to come online and say hello, to share a photo, ask a question, share joys and sufferings as humans.
Pray. Please. Pray for unity that doesn’t need a city-state, one type of governance or liturgy, one human head, all trademarked under “.catholic” owned by a secular government.
Pray for the unity of the early Jesus followers, Jewish, Greek, and more.
Pray for our brother Francis to turn to God and make the right first step now. Pray for each other. Pray, pray and pray!
Then, like the Old Catholic Saint Mother Augustine, go out each day and labor, write, act as you are each able.
If you read all this, thank you.
Post on the wall if you agree or not, post on the wall what Catholic unity might look like to you, as my vision may only be one facet of a complex diamond I cannot perceive.
Brenda Eckels Burrows”
An accidental, unplanned, from the heart sermon. If it bears fruit, I will know God led my words. If not, I will know that my sermons are not of use to the Church, and try to curb the impulse should it arise again. If I can’t see if it bears fruit or not?
God, that is in your hands. I will wait and pray.
*wiping tears, sweat*
*rolling away to rest*