The Handshake

Archbishop Timothy Dolan relates a story on his blog that tells of a conversion of heart, and incidentally makes some good points.  While at the airport a man came over to him and asked him if he were a Catholic priest.  When Bishop Dolan answered in the affirmative and reached out to introduce himself, the man did not shake his hand.  The man, through clenched teeth, snarled, "I can't look at a priest now and not think sexual abuser."

Interestingly, Bishop Dolan thought of slugging the guy.  But actually, he was coping with that type of emotion, tempered with helping the man.  He ended up saying that he felt sorry that he felt that way, but he understood the feelings.  They continued talking and comparing priest sexual abusers with those in other professions.

Near the end, the man asks a very good question, "How come we only hear this about priests?"

Yeah, I want to know, too.

The level headed Archbishop responded with, “For one, we priests deserve the more intense scrutiny, because people trust us more as we dare claim to represent God, so, when on of us do it – even if only a tiny minority of us ever have — it is more disgusting.”
“Two, I’m afraid there are many out there who have no love for the Church, and are itching to ruin us.  This is the issue they love to endlessly scourge us with.”
“And, three, I hate to say it,” as I wrapped it up, “there’s a lot of money to be made in suing the Catholic Church, while it’s hardly worth suing any of the other groups I mentioned before.”

Bravo!  Thank you Archbishop Timothy Dolan!  Cut these reasons out and paste them in the front of your catechism.  Memorize them, next time you are called upon to defend our priests. 

The encounter ended happily.  The man put out his hand for the Archbishop to shake.


Anonymous said…
Archbishop Dolan doing his work!!

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