Thank you for the program on Father Greg Boyle, Society of Jesus, and his work. It has helped provide me with some perspective on comments concerning the good still done in some corners of Roman Catholicism. It is particularly helpful in these times of ganging (sic) up on the Church and many of her officers, including His Holiness Pope Benedict, Society of Hitler Jugend. I wish I were there at the forum to ask the kind Father to comment on the enormous damage done by priests and other men in the Church, many (or mostly) homosexuals, acting out sexually with innocent kids. Fr. Boyle peppers his comments with traumatogenic tales of moms dropping six year old sons off at the orphanage, etc., and all can see how damaging this can be in terms of childhood development. He's correct in saying that the prisons, and death rows, are full of folks whose poor choices were snuggly embedded in the causal web of childhood trauma/neglect. This has certainly been my experience as an alcoholic, violent felon, inmate, and a prison psychiatric physician. There's plenty of talk about the ingredients to and sequelae of childhood abuse in noisier populations such as gangs. But I see little of the same documenting the severe life long challenges faced by the tens of thousands of recovering/languishing abused altar boys. Somehow acknowledging, let alone in depth journalistic exploration of these stories doesn't seem to qualify in terms of certain sensibilities. Most of us aren't brown. We (current company excepted) speak only English. Few are the beneficiaries of affirmative action. But suffer we do, in spite of fat financial settlements like the one I was able to wrangle out of my archdiocese near Boston. The good Father would suggest donating these funds to a charitable outfit like the several he heads up. I've already done so, namely to the victims of my violence. For a while I thought about giving it back to the Church, since the settlement was the closest thing to an apology I ever received from anyone in the Church, and since I really don't need the money. Healing is multidimensional. One dimension is first recognizing the extent of the damage done. Perhaps Fatter Boyle could spend the next quarter of a century. putting the same caring energy into helping recovering altar boys as he does with his cholitos. Robertito.
More information about text formats