We need to speak out, not be silent


To the Editor:

Prayer and fasting? A family friend asked me if I believe this. The request for Catholics to pray and fast is well and good, but the pope’s advocating Catholics to stay “silent and pray” will not achieve an end to the divisions created by the scandal in the church this time. If we are to stay silent, where will this take us? Should we become silent on the issues of abortion, sanctity of marriage, immigration or homelessness?

Did Jesus teach us silence? He was not silent when excoriating the Hebrew leaders in the Gospel of Matthew (“… woe to you, scribes and Pharisees…”). The pope’s reference to Jesus on his return to Nazareth is hardly an example of silence. In Luke (4:16-30), Jesus recites a passage from Isaiah in the Torah to the people in the synagogue. He tells the people that the Scripture passage is fulfilled in their hearing. Seeing this as blasphemy, the people lead Jesus out of the temple and he is run out of town.

For centuries we have had sincere, committed, thoughtful, caring, hardworking priests and others in religious life caring for the poor, tending to the sick and dying, and educating our children. Again, we are faced with despicable misconduct of a very few and with re-living the pain and disgust; pain that inflicted wounds within and outside our diocese. This should have been expunged in 2000. Now we are being told to just be quiet about it (with prayer and fasting), and let those in control of the church take care of the matter. It is back to the future again.


We do not need silence behind closed doors. We need someone from the Vatican standing on the rooftop of a cathedral in Pennsylvania shouting “This will stop — and this will stop now!”

Randy Bickford

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on