The news camera was rolling as I held John Doe JP’s typed statement in my hand. I wanted to give it the justice it deserved.
He wasn’t there. He couldn’t be there. But I could, for a moment, be his voice and read aloud his words for the media. It was my honor.
Standing at the edge of Corporate Parkway in front of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford two hours west of Chicago, I dodged raindrops from above and tiny biting ants below. The meanness of the bugs didn’t surprise me, given the location.
I was able to glance at the statement a few minutes before I read it aloud. It was short, it was deep, and it was so true. Tragically, it was true.
There are a number of things for which I pray.
I pray my childhood innocence be reclaimed.
I pray my childhood joy be restored.
I pray my childhood voice be heard.
I know these prayer can’t be answered.
When I was seven I was ahead in math by two grades
after the abuse I was put one grade behind.
From an early age the thought of death has been my only comfort to unending pain.
Money cannot answer my prayers but the church has not fulfilled their promises.
The promises of pastoral care and transparency have been empty and shrouded.
If the church truly followed their word my two requests would be answered.
1) Release of records on all priests that are offenders
2) Zero tolerance and defrocking of offenders.
Children protection must be the top priority and not hollow words.
-Statement from John Doe, J.P.
It is truly mind-boggling that, thirteen years after the Boston Globe busted the gates open on this scandal and two and a half years after Jorge Bergoglio took on the name Pope Francis, a 49 year-old man who was raped by a priest at age seven has to tell Church officials to oust the offenders and release all of their files.
John Doe, J.P. gets it. He knows right from wrong, good from evil, and truth from lies.
It’s not complicated. It’s simple. So, the obvious question is, what the hell is taking so long?
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave them in the comment section below.