ARCC Banner
Home Join ARCC Donate Facebook Table of Contents
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com

Who we are

What we do

Contact us


  Grown-up Values (Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:49 am)

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become an adult, I have put away the things of a child." (1Cor. 13:11).

Tom Doyle, OP, the distinguished canon lawyer and whistle blower of priest abusers and advocate for their victims, replies to those who express incredulity and shock at clerical abuse allegations, "Grow Up!"

Fr. Tom's words are appropriate for all of us. Many, perhaps even most of us, were raised to believe quite literally and simplistically that the Church was divinely instituted in every jot and tittle. Priests were intermediaries between God and man with special powers to forgive sins and bring God to earth. As with small children looking at a nativity scene, we saw, accepted, believed whole-heartedly, without qualifications and shadings.

That kind of unquestioning acceptance is perhaps appropriate to childhood but "Father knows best," "pay, pray, and obey," and "the Church would never do THAT" are not realistic expressions of adult faith. It is confusing the institution with the object to which it points. It is a seven-year-old's faith in thirty, fifty, seventy-year old bodies. It is part of how and why Catholic children were abused sexually by priests and Catholic adults allowed themselves to be sexually dominated and even barred from communion for expressing their sexuality by celibate priests who "learned" about sexuality from textbooks written in Latin by other celibates.

That is not faith: It is refusing to mature our faith as we mature our bodies. It is a copout, a refusal to think, learn, and accept responsibility for our religious lives and decisions, and for our religious community, the Church. It is a refusal to be mature people of God and build the community of love -- thinking, caring, mature love -- that Jesus prayed for.

We are told in the Gospel to have child-like faith in our heavenly Father. That's not the same as being childish.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

Home ] Up ]
Locations of visitors to this page

Contact Information

, D.P.A., President
(406) 544-5527
Postal address
P.O. Box 6512
Helena, MT 59604-6512


Website design and maintenance:
Ingrid Shafer &
Copyright © 2003-2010,
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church
DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic.com