Bp. Slattery’s Sermon in Washington DC – unforgettable

Here is the audio of Bp. Edward Slattery’s marvelous sermon at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.


Bp. Slattery, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, stepped up and made himself available to be celebrant for the Pontifical Mass in the older, traditional Extraordinary Form for the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the beginning of Pope Benedict’s pontificate.

The very beginning of the audio is a little soft until the microphone is moved closer to His Excellency where he sat, at the episcopal throne.   And I corrected a small audio glitch since I originally posted this.

Bp. SlatteryWe have much to discuss – you and I …

… much to speak of on this glorious occasion when we gather together in the glare of the world’s scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter.

We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.

We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Church’s long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christ’s body by their resolute courage under fire.

But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age.

From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church’s most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age.

This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling – if we do not remember that Christ – our Pasch – has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion – if we do not remember that Christ – our hope – has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Pasch, our hope and our light.

He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.

Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God.

The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.

But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christ’s command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the promise that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt.

This is the meaning of Peter’s claim that he is a witness to the sufferings of Christ and thus one who has a share in the glory yet to be revealed. Once Peter grasped the overwhelming truth of this mystery, his life was changed. The world held nothing for Peter. For him, there was only Christ.

Bp. SlatteryThis is, as you know, quite a dramatic shift for the man who three times denied Our Lord, the man to whom Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Christ’s declaration to Peter that he would be the rock, the impregnable foundation, the mountain of Zion upon which the new Jerusalem would be constructed, follows in Matthew’s Gospel Saint Peter’s dramatic profession of faith, when the Lord asks the Twelve, “Who do people say that I am?” and Peter, impulsive as always, responds “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Only later – much later – would Peter come to understand the full implication of this first Profession of Faith. Peter would still have to learn that to follow Christ, to truly be His disciple, one must let go of everything which the world considers valuable and necessary, and become powerless. This is the mystery which confounds independent Peter. It is the mystery which still confounds us: to follow Christ, one must surrender everything and become obedient with the obedience of Christ, for no one gains access to the Kingdom of the Father, unless he enter through the humility and the obedience of Jesus.

Peter had no idea that eventually he would find himself fully accepting this obedience, joyfully accepting his share in the Passion and Death of Christ. But Peter loved Our Lord and love was the way by which Peter learned how to obey. “Lord, you know that I love thee,” Peter affirms three times with tears; and three times Christ commands him to tend to the flock that gathers at the foot of Calvary – and that is where we are now[This Mass is the foot of Calvary but so is this modern world!]

Peter knew that Jesus was the true Shepherd, the one Master and the only teacher; the rest of us are learners and the lesson we must learn is obedience, obedience unto death. Nothing less than this, for only when we are willing to be obedient with the very obedience of Christ will we come to recognize Christ’s presence among us.

Obedience is thus the heart of the life of the disciple and the key to suffering in Christ and with Christ. This obedience, is must be said, is quite different from obedience the way it is spoken of and dismissed in the world.

For those in the world, obedience is a burden and an imposition. It is the way by which the powerful force the powerless to do obeisance. Simply juridical and always external, obedience is the bending that breaks, but a breaking which is still less painful than the punishment meted out for disobedience. Thus for those in the world obedience is a punishment which must be avoided; but for Christians, obedience is always personal, because it is centered on Christ. It is a surrender to Jesus Whom we love.

For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth.

Let us consider, then, that Christ has given us both the image of his obedience and the action by which we are made obedient.

The image of Christ’s obedience is His Sacred Heart. That Heart, exposed and wounded must give us pause, for man’s heart it generally hidden and secret. In the silence of his own heart, each of us discovers the truth of who we are, the truth of why we are silent when we should speak, or bothersome and quarrelsome when we should be silent. In our hidden recesses of the heart, we come to know the impulses behind our deeds and the reasons why we act so often as cowards and fools.

But while man’s heart is generally silent and secret, the Heart of the God-Man is fully visible and accessible. It too reveals the motives behind our Lord’s self-surrender. It was obedience to the Father’s will that mankind be reconciled and our many sins forgiven us. “Son though he was,” the Apostle reminds us, “Jesus learned obedience through what He sufferered.” Obedient unto death, death on a cross, Jesus asks his Father to forgive us that God might reveal the full depth of his mercy and love. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed, “for they know not what they do.”

Christ’s Sacred Heart is the image of the obedience which Christ showed by his sacrificial love on Calvary. The Sacrifice of Calvary is also for us the means by which we are made obedient and this is a point which you must never forget: at Mass, we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ, who offers Himself in perfect obedience to the Father. We make this offering in obedience to Christ who commanded us to “Do this in memory of me” and our obediential offering is perfected in the love with which the Father receives the gift of His Son.

Do not be surprised then that here at Mass, our bloodless offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is a triple act of obedience. First, Christ is obedient to the Father, and offers Himself as a sacrifice of reconciliation. Secondly, we are obedient to Christ and offer ourselves to the Father with Jesus the Son; and thirdly, in sharing Christ’s obedience to the Father, we are made obedient to a new order of reality, in which love is supreme and life reigns eternal, in which suffering and death have been defeated by becoming for us the means by which Christ’s final victory, his future coming, is made manifest and real today.

Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiffs, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.

[NB] Do not be dismayed that there are many in the Church who have not yet grasped this point, and fewer yet still in the world will even dare to consider it. But you – you know this to be true – and it is enough. For ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.  [OORAH!]

If, then, someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came here to Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery. And if someone asks what I said to the present situation, tell them only that we must – all of us – become saints through what we suffer.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TNCath says:

    I just listened to the podcast. It doesn’t get much better than this. A grand slam.

  2. Indeed. I just put the text up about an hour and a half ago , as well, after getting it from Msgr. Brankin earlier today. It was good to have the podcast to link to here.

    I pray other bishops will follow his lead. He found the right balance in delivering these words.

    When was the last time you heard talk of obedience from the pulpit? And, explained in such a way?

  3. Dan says:

    I was there yesterday, and when Bishop Slattery finished his sermon I was blown away…amazing. Honestly, I had been a bit upset by all the allegations of abuse/cover up in the news recently…Bishop Slattery’s sermon made me proud to be Catholic and to follow our Holy Father and unite our sufferings to his so that we can one day be saints- through what we suffer.

    Probably the best sermon I have ever heard. It was so appropiate to follow it with the Credo…I sang it with such confidence in my faith after hearing what His Excellency had to say.

    I hope EWTN or the Paulus Institute make yesterday’s Mass available for purchase on DVD…it was such a moving experience and I wish I could go back to it and feel the grace all over again.

  4. medievalist says:

    Although frowned upon, this is one of those homilies that makes you want to jump up in applause afterwards. Both for the shepherd and for God who clearly inspired him.

  5. Jaybirdnbham says:

    At the very end of the written text, a few words were left out. His last statement was that we “must – all of us – become saints, through our sufferings.”

    Those last three words give the sentence it’s real meaning and power.

  6. Lurker 59 says:

    Thank you SO SO much for posting this!

  7. Clinton says:

    Father Z., thank you for posting this. God bless Bp. Slattery not just for making himself available at the last minute, but for
    bringing his best efforts to bear. Sermons like that don’t just happen–His Excellency brought his A-game to Washington.

  8. Andy Milam says:

    The homily was as good a homily I’ve EVER heard….and I’ve heard a couple of duesies….

  9. TNCath says:

    The next thing to look for is to see how this Mass and homily is going to influence liturgy throughout the Church in the United States. We can only hope and pray it will be the defining moment for a turnaround.

  10. Bishop Slattery may not have been originally scheduled to do this Mass, but he was meant to do it.

  11. stgemma_0411 says:

    Diane: Dead on, there.

    I really do yearn for these types of homilies that give such strength, wisdom, tenderness, and sustenance to give each one who listens the continued courage to fight the good fight every day. So few preachers (deacons, priests, bishops) exhort their congregation to become saints for God.

    Ad multos annos, Bp. Slattery. God Bless you.

  12. I have some added notes at the bottom of my blogpost on this, about Bishop Slattery.

    Few people today have heard the concept of obedience explained in the way that the bishop has in his sermon.

    Few people today have heard about the concept of reparation, which the Bishop has “discussed” with his flock with regards to the sexual abuse scandal.

    Words like reparation got stuffed inside the confessional, which itself got stuffed with off-season decorations in some parishes. It went the way of “sacrifice”, “mortification”, and “taming the will”. Today, the will of many is not tamed, which is why we have so many young people having psychological and emotional problems.

    I think we should have a national day of reparation here in the US. While I am not responsible for the abuses, I could have prayed more for the sanctification of the priesthood, and for our bishops. Christ did not commit sins, so he suffered not for anything He did, but for our sins. In a like manner, we must expiate not only those sins we have committed, but for those committed by others.

    There’s another word: Expiation.

    Bishops and priests – please teach these things.

  13. gambletrainman says:

    Diane at Te Deum.

    I watched all of the Mass on the internet, and was overjoyed. I will agree with you about making atonement. Sister Lucy has said of the apparitions at Fatima, that we should make reparations for the sins of others so that souls may be saved.

  14. Mike says:

    I was there, and it WAS powerful. I will bring the text of his homily to my prayer this week. As Fr. Z says, OORAH!

  15. joan ellen says:

    Thank you, God. Gonna pass this on to my email list. And make a copy for me to carry around.

  16. momoften says:

    Thanks Fr Z so much for posting this! It is a wonderful homily, and one which I will enjoy many times!!
    God Bless You!

  17. floppy2 says:

    I have had a real, solid, sense of this sermon for some months now. God does not change. His method of making a holy people does not change. What His Excellency was doing was reminding that saints are made thru suffering with, for and thru Christ. Nothing else! Why should we be so suprised at all that is taking place in America, the Church and the world? It is no different now than it ever was. The world has always hated Christ and will hate those who follow him…truly and honestly. Be not suprised.

    I am so glad His Excellency reminded us of this. We forget our lives are hard at times and think it is our faoult or that God hates us. He is reminding us to be patient in suffering and be prepared for more. God is with us. He will not abandon us. He loves us. He will give the joy inside the pain. We can smile thru the tears and, thereby, merit a reward greater than the pain.

  18. Mike says:

    floppy2–really nice post…thanks.

  19. floppy2 says:

    On the definition of Reparation:

    Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, and thus belonging to some of the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith. It is the teaching of that Faith that man is a creature who has fallen from an original state of justice in which he was created, and that through the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of the Son of God, he has been redeemed and restored again in a certain degree to the original condition. Although God might have condoned men’s offences gratuitously if He had chosen to do so, yet in His Providence He did not do this; He judged it better to demand satisfaction for the injuries which man had done Him. It is better for man’s education that wrong doing on his part should entail the necessity of making satisfaction. This satisfaction was made adequately to God by the Sufferings, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ, made Man for us. By voluntary submission to His Passion and Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ atoned for our disobedience and sin. He thus made reparation to the offended majesty of God for the outrages which the Creator so constantly suffers at the hands of His creatures. We are restored to grace through the merits of Christ’s Death, and that grace enables us to add our prayers, labours, and trials to those of Our Lord “and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ” (Colossians 1:24). We can thus make some sort of reparation to the justice of God for our own offences against Him, and by virtue of the Communion of the Saints, the oneness and solidarity of the mystical Body of Christ, we can also make satisfaction and reparation for the sins of others.

    This theological doctrine, firmly rooted in the Christian Faith, is the foundation of the numerous confraternities and pious associations which have been founded, especially in modern times, to make reparation to God for the sins of men. Thus the Archconfraternity of Reparation for blasphemy and the neglect of Sunday was founded 28 June, 1847, in the Church of St. Martin de La Noue at St. Dizier in France by Mgr. Parisis, Bishop of Langres. With a similar object, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established at Tours, about 1851, through the piety of M. Dupont, the “holy man of Tours”. In 1883 an association was formed in Rome to offer reparation to God on behalf of all nations. The idea of reparation is an essential element in the devotion of the Sacred Heart (see Heart of Jesus, Devotion to the).

    The Mass, the representation of the sacrifice of Calvary, is specially suited to make reparation for sin. One of the ends for which it is offered is the propitiation of God’s wrath. A pious widow of Paris conceived the idea of promoting this object in 1862. By the authority of Pope Leo XIII the erection of the Archconfraternity of the Mass of Reparation was sanctioned in 1886.

  20. trespinos says:

    Unforgettable, indeed.

    Could even one of those attending yesterday have entered the Basilica Shrine expecting that he or she would be witness to something even rarer than a XXIst Century Pontifical Solemn High Mass, namely a sermon so profound and Spirit-filled that, published, it will claim a rank among the finest ever delivered by a North American churchman?

  21. doanli says:

    Thanks and God bless for publishing this, Father.

    I am too trying to learn the mystery of suffering being redemptive, probably because it makes me so angry and irritable that it’s hard to see Christ working in it. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it because I’m such a whiny baby as it is.

  22. joecct77 says:


    Msgr. Pope, who was one of the Deacons of the Chair (did I get the term right???), writes in his blog that the attendence was 4,000!!!. http://blog.adw.org/2010/04/why-pray-in-latin/

    I remarked at the blognic to one of the attendees when I heard that you did the commentary of the Mass for EWTN, that I hoped you were not like the Vatican TV commentators that talk over the entire Mass!! I was pleased, when I watched the DVR recording today that you and Fr. Goodwin did a great, measured, commentary on the Mass. You let the Mass tell the story, not tell the story of the Mass.

    My son and I were way in the back, so we could not see the front pews, but were any DC dignitaries present? I was wondering if the father of one of the Deacons assisting Bp. Slattery may have been there.

    My kudos to the Canons Regular, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington who assisted with yesterday’s Mass. You guys done good!! And a tip of the hat to Fr. Nolan, FSSP who was deacon at the 1st EF EWTN on 9/14/2008 and now at the 1st EF at the Shrine in 45 years.

    Ad Multos Annos to you all!!

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    That’s probably the best homily I’ve ever seen/heard. Just beautiful.

  24. eiggam says:

    Thank you to the person who posted the Mass would be rebroadcast last night. By the time the Bishop’s homily was on, it was 1:30 AM, so I appreciate the posting of the homily here. The mass was beautiful, worth staying up late to have the splendor of the eucharist with the excellent commentators.

  25. my kidz mom says:

    I chuckled just now reading Fr. Z’s OORAH – I had the same reaction at that same moment! Thank you dear God, and thank you dear Bp. Slattery. (p.s. Father, a few words were left out of the last two paragraphs)

    “Suffering then – yours, mine, the pontiff’s – is at the heart of personal holiness because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals His glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of His suffering and sharers in the glory to come. Do not be dismayed that there are many in the Church who have not yet grasped this point, and fewer still in the world who will even dare to consider it. But you…you know this to be true, and it is enough. For ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.

    If then someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came here to this Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery. And if someone asks what I said to the present situation, tell them only that we must – all of us – become saints through what we suffer.”

  26. I agree. This was a challenging homily. Well delivered. I got much out of it.

    However… wet blanket. Before hand, I knew this homily was going to be about obedience (though the connection between suffering and obedience was very original). It seems that all Pontifical Masses in the Extraordinary Form will include a homily about obedience. I’m starting to feel pigeonholed.

  27. Geremia says:

    Yes, this homily was very Chrysostom-like. God bless Bp. Slattery, and may He continue to give him more courage!

  28. becket1 says:

    Quote: “Yes, this homily was very Chrysostom-like. God bless Bp. Slattery, and may He continue to give him more courage!”

    If that’s the case than he should become an Eastern Catholic Bishop.

  29. sawdustmick says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the Mass on EWTN, (I am in the UK). However, thank you Father for posting. first of all the podcast which I listened to soon after posting, and now the transcription of the sermon.

  30. MichaelD says:

    This quite possibly could be the most significant homily given by a U.S. bishop in the last forty years. I hope it heralds a turning point in American catholic life. God bless His Excellency Bishop Slattery. May he be granted health and strength to continue to serve the Holy Church.

  31. Jerry says:

    As my kidz mom noted, there are several errors in the last two paragraphs of the text (in addition to the omission of the last four words, which Fr. Z has added here). The corrected text is:

    Do not be dismayed that there are many in the Church who have not yet grasped this point, and fewer yet still in the world will even dare to consider it. But you – you know this to be true – and it is enough. For ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.

    If, then, someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came here to Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery. And if someone asks what I said to the present situation, tell them only that we must – all of us – become saints. Through what we suffer.

  32. I agree on the last two paragraphs and swapped out the written text, for the audio transcript in my version.

  33. Tom in NY says:

    I think one reason the sermon is so powerful is that it details the redemptive power of suffering. It adds the concept of obedience. Also, it shows the transfiguring power of the goal, union with God, so difficult to see “durante patientia.”

    Quintilian would be proud. You’ll see an exordium, narratio, divisio, confirmatio, a quick confutatio and the peroratio. And there’s only 1800-1900 words.

    His Excellency may have been thinking this way for a long time — but it was a high achievement to prepare it so quickly.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  34. adagio48 says:

    I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. Alleluia

  35. irishgirl says:

    OORAH indeed! Thank you Bishop Slattery for ‘pinching in’, and thank you Father Z for your ’emohases’ and ‘comments’!

    A lady I met last year at the Pilgrimage for the Catholic Restoration in Auriesville, NY, is going to send me a DVD of the Mass, in case EWTN doesn’t have it available.

    Chysostrom-like, too!

  36. irishgirl says:

    I think I should have said, ‘pinch-hitting’, not ‘pinching in’….got my baseball terms mixed up.

    Oh well….

  37. irishgirl says:

    And I misspelled ’emphases’, too….oy vay….that’s Monday for ya!

  38. lacrossecath says:

    The best part is he didn’t waste words talking about the TLM rubrics.

    I have never heard such a brilliant conclusion to a homily.

  39. fbcallicoat says:

    So proud of our bishop and his right hand man, Msgr. Patrick Brankin.

    What you who do not live in the Diocese of Tulsa don’t realize, is that we get to hear homilies like this on a regular basis.

    How many times have I remarked “Oh, how blessed we are to live in the Diocese of Tulsa!”? Clear Creek Monastery, the Latin Mass, Solemn High Vespers, and a bishop who celebrates Mass ad orientam! God only knows.

    I remember thinking five years ago, when Benedict was raised to the throne of Peter “How can we be so blessed? This is too much to have hoped for.” Even today God’s blessings continue to shower upon us.

    May God bless and preserve our good and holy bishop, Edward and our Holy Father in Rome, Benedict!

  40. evener says:

    OBEDIENCE & REPARATION….. years ago I was told the lessons from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we retain in our memory of some part of it, are the teachings the Holy Spirit want us to take home with us & work on….these 2 teachings came thru, along with ” HIS delight is to be with us ! ”
    This last one unrelated? ….i think not.

  41. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Thanks for posting this wonderful homily, Father. I hope we hear more from Bishop Slattery.

    To correct a comment made above: The Pontifical Mass was not the first old Mass to be said at the National Shrine in over 40 years, but at the High Altar.

    Other EF Masses have been celebrated there recently. For example, at the 2009 Chant Workshop in the Fall, I attended the Extraordinary Form Mass in the Crypt chapel. We sang the pieces that we learned in the weekend workshop.

    To be sure, that the old Mass was celebrated so beautifully and publicly, not just in a local church but in the Catholic Shrine of our nation was EXTRAORDINARY!

  42. vincentuher says:

    Many, many thanks to you, Fr. Z. for making the sermon available here. It is a great joy to see others thanking God for Bishop Slattery and the authority and compassion with which he preached. The Catholic Diocese of Tulsa is definitely one of the brightest spots in Holy Church.

    Ad multos annos!

    Some of you may be interested in the hymntext I was commissioned to write in honour of Bishop Slattery and Father Mark Daniel Kirby (for Annus Sacerdotalis): Friends of Christ, O Royal Priesthood

  43. Go thank Bishop Slattery at the Diocesan Website where the homily is now posted online.


  44. Excellent homily, but am I the only who found the reference to the suffering of the “undocumented” unnerving?

  45. ME_G says:

    “Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiff’s, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory”

    Two questions. What is the source of the Pope’s suffering, if not the pattern of abuse surfacing around the world? Is suffering caused by a grievous sin of omission “at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory?”

    Those abused and those affected by the abuse are “suffering” much more than His Holiness . Their body, mind and spirit have been torn and violated. Their suffering is felt anew every time the child molestations are candy-coated in these terms

    “What do they want?” I hear the cry. All “they” want is a recognition, clear and without legalize, that the abuse happened, that the Church officials deliberately covered them up, that the Church recognized that it placed the welfare of the Church over the well-being of children.

    Does no one recall the saying of Christ:
    Matthew 18:6
    “But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
    “The law of sin is the violence of habit by which even the unwilling mind is dragged down and held, as it deserves to be, since by its own choice it slipped into the habit.” -St. Augustine, “Confessions”

  46. mdsmelser says:

    I emailed Bishop Slattery a few days regarding his Pontifical Mass, and sometimes I see him in Tulsa when he says mass at Holy Family Cathedral (near my son’s home), but I have never met him personally. He wrote me back the following very kind and personal letter, which I thought I would share with you, Fr. Z, since you recommended we write to Bishop Slattery in support of his ministry:

    I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the marvelous way He has used last week’s Pontifical Mass in Washington to reawaken faith and trust in His power to save.

    Hundred and hundreds of Catholics (and a surprising number of non-Catholics as well!) have written to me to tell me that they felt the Mass represented a kind of turning point for them in their spiritual journey. These testimonials have poured in from around the country and from around the world, leaving me astonished at the goodness of God.

    Thank you, Mary, for writing and sharing your own reflections on this celebration in honor of Pope Benedict’s 5th anniversary. I will rely upon your promise of prayers, as indeed I promise you a sharing in my own. I hope that the next time you visit your children in Tulsa, you might stop in at the Cathedral and see how beautiful it looks now that we have renovated it. Let us together ask God to heal the wounds of the Church, to protect and safeguard our Holy Father, and to strengthen everywhere the courage of our people.


    Bishop Edward Slattery
    Bishop of Tulsa

  47. mdsmelser says:

    This incredible homily, the mass, speaking from the chair, the whole thing was an experience I will never forget!

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