The Silence We Keep: A Nun's View of the Catholic Priest Scandal
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A Catholic nun speaks out about her life and vocation, women in the Church, the sexual scandal in the priesthood, why the Catholic hierarchy won’t fix it, and how Catholics will take back their Church.
Karol Jackowski joined the sisterhood forty years ago and remains a devout Catholic, but she is also an activist who now considers the reformation of the Church to be a part of her calling. In The Silence We Keep, she takes an honest look at the priesthood throughout history and reveals a culture of privilege and sexual permissiveness that is as old as the Church itself. She turns a critical eye on a spirituality that she describes as hypocritical in its condemnation of the sins of others, while far worse behavior is perpetrated by the condemners. She also discusses the sisterhood and its culture of submissiveness to the male clergy, a passivity that has prevented a system of checks and balances that could have stopped the abuse.
The Silence We Keep is hard-hitting in its frank discussion of the Church, but ultimately Sister Karol’s message is an uplifting and empowering call to action for all believers to seize upon this historic opportunity, break a centuries-old silence, and take back the Catholic Church.
Angeles archdiocese. The headline of the article by Arthur Jones reads “Discontent and Disaffection Grow as L.A. Archdiocese Dismantles Ministries.”4 I see the words discontent and disaffection and automatically I feel the presence of God. The story is about further sex-abuse indictments in the archdiocese topped off with the dedication of a brand new $190 million cathedral, followed immediately thereafter with the “dismemberment” of traditional Catholic ministries, for financial reasons. The
to say truthfully what we see. Like the apostles at the first Pentecost, those possessed by the Spirit are led to “make bold proclamations as the spirit prompts them…about the marvels God has accomplished.” Only those led by holy spirits receive divine revelations and have access to divine truths. The literal-minded remain soulfully blind. They are the blind who lead the blind because only the blind follow them. Almost always, the silence we keep is nothing other than the Holy Spirit of truth,
song, and planned a big lakeside picnic each summer for the Chères Amies families. I still remember my sisters and I sneaking as close as we could without being seen, straining to hear what they talked about at the monthly meetings that provoked such hearty laughter into the night. I remember that laughter more than anything else and still envy whatever it was that made those dear friends laugh so hard and so long, as though they held it in and waited all month to release it. Between club
abbreviations are used in scriptural references for books of the Old and New Testaments: Old Testament Ezek. Ezekiel Gen. Genesis Jdth. Judith New Testament Acts Acts of the Apostles 1 Cor. 1 Corinthians Gal. Galatians Matt. Matthew Rom. Romans Part One Introduction 1. Bill Smith, “Nuns as Sexual Victims Get Little Notice,” Saint Louis Post Dispatch, January 5, 2003, A1. 2. Mary Nevens Peterson, “Nun Sex-Abuse Report Does Not Surprise Sisters,” Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, Iowa), January 18,
her. A personal favorite is the amazing Saint Lucy. While few have confidence that the story is true, we were told that a young man lusted after Lucy so badly because her eyes were extremely beautiful. Rather than give up her virginity to someone who repulsed her, Lucy plucked out her eyes and said something like, “If you love my eyes so much, you can have them.” In art, she’s often represented as dressed in red and holding two eyeballs in a dish. And in the story, Lucy’s eyes grew back more