Your Turn. . . 6-26-03
Showing God's will in this moment of "darkness"
To the editor,
I read your profile of Stephen Brady ["Defender of the Faith" June 19], the Petersburg businessman who has become the world's most effective force in removing sexual predators from the Catholic clergy, on the same day that the Catholic Bishops of the United States were meeting in St. Louis for their semi-annual koffee klatch and confab. I spent as much time as I could stand watching the public portion of the proceedings on EWTN in the evening and couldn't help drawing the obvious contrast.
Steve Brady has read the Gospel, recognizes corruption and models Christ in driving it out of the temple. Jesus used the cut ends of donkey harnesses. Brady uses the Internet.
Place this alongside the behavior of our Bishops, still in the buildup toward a leadership crisis they brought on by systematic abandonment of truths of the Gospel. It is possibly the most dangerous time for the Roman Catholic Church since before the Council of Trent and our spiritual leaders spent the day posing with photogenic smiles and punctilious observations of Roberts Rules of Order.
They engaged in pretty discussions of abstruse committee documents, unmistakably aimed toward the further bureaucratization of a Church fertilized by the blood of martyrs. Not all the bishops were so oblivious. Bishop Bruskewitz of Nebraska rose to suggest that they might be drifting from their duties and an older archbishop actually made a motion to suspend the discussion "in light of the current situation." Both were quickly gaveled out of order. Then they went behind closed doors to further tweak a public relations campaign designed to make us all feel better about homosexual attacks on altar boys.
Pete Sherman's article was one of the best I've read about these matters. He took the novel journalistic approach of making his highest priority an accurate representation of the subject. There was none of the usual sneering condescension toward a traditional Christian point of view and we see Stephen Brady as a person, with sufferings, regrets and affections, even if he does stand for eternal values.
There are few faithful Catholics with hearts so hardened that they haven't begun to feel the pierce of the sword as leaders are exposed as venal betrayers of all that is holy. It's good to know strong Catholic men still exist.
Thank you, Pete Sherman, for showing us how God can use the least obvious instruments to do his will in these moments of darkness.
Kent R. Steinkamp
"Leaves a lot to be desired"
To Peter Sherman,
The article you wrote about Steve Brady leaves a lot to be desired. Not only is it written poorly from a journalistic standpoint, but the omissions of the profound good this man has done are omitted [sic]. He has been extremely successful in his endeavor to bring to light horrific situations with the clergy. It is only through the media that the people know the truth. He has been able, thank God, to bring this out to the public. You leave the reader with the impression that Mr. Brady is just an idiot of some kind, spinning wheels in sand. He is a gift and I thank him for his courage, persistence, and the good he has done. You owe him an apology!
May God raise up many more Stephen Bradys!!!
Kansas City, Missouri
A "sordid story"
After reading the sordid story of the "Pizzaman from Petersburg," I was reminded of a character in a W.C. Fields movie: J. Pinkerton Snoopington.
Stephen Brady's proclamation "We're in the business of destroying lives" says it all. This hyper-zealot was born five centuries too late; back then he could have had a prominent role in the Spanish Inquisition, perhaps as assistant grand inquisitor.
I am not defending the behavior of the clergy he is going after, but a self-righteous, intolerant, angry ideologue is far more dangerous than a gay priest any day.