Fr. John's Letter Archives
Not About You10-21-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
Over the last several weeks I’ve heard from many survivors of abuse, both at the hands of priests and others. The scope of how many people sexual abuse in general touches is really mind-numbing. But I tell those who were abused that the first step out of the damage of abuse is to realize that it was not about you. It was never about you, it was always about the abuser and his or her sickness and sin.READ MORE
Vatican vs Trump-Putin?10-14-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
The Viganò-Vatican vitriolic verbiage is starting to sound like something worthy of a Dan Brown novel. In a second published letter, Archbishop Viganò challenges several Vatican officials by name to reveal what they knew about the behavior of former Cardinal, McCarrick. One of them, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the head of the Vatican Congregation that assists the Pope in appointing Bishops, responded with a long and acerbic public letter.READ MORE
Poisonous By Nature10-07-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
The sagas of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, nominee for the US Supreme Court and Dr. Kermitt Gosnell, convicted killer, both intersect over abortion and the mistreatment of women. Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist was convicted of the homicide of women on whom he performed abortions and the death of multiple infants, who were born alive. The fierce opposition to Kavanaugh is at its bottom line over abortion, specifically whether or not he represents the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Once again, we see how abortion poisons everything.READ MORE
The Award Goes to...09-30-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
The First-Place award for how NOT to handle an allegation of sexual assault goes to: Sen. Diane Feinstein of CA. Congratulations Senator for demonstrating extreme self-centeredness in using an alleged victim of sexual assault as a political prop. Someone in her leadership position is required by law, when they receive an allegation of this nature that includes the name of the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator and approximate location and time frame, to report the allegation to law enforcement, in this case to the Montgomery County, Maryland Police. By not reporting it she is probably guilty of the crime of failure to report (and so is the counselor to whom this allegation was first made in 2012 if it included the same information). Every one of you who have completed our Safe Environment Training knows this is the procedure to report an allegation. How is it that a lawmaker who helped make the law for mandatory reporting doesn't herself follow it? If the Senator loses her upcoming re-election bid she could always try her hand a being a Bishop.READ MORE
Picking Real Winners09-23-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
One of my favorite novelists, Graham Greene wrote a short novel entitled, Monsignor Quixote. It's a humorous story of the adventures of a Spanish Priest from a small town who through a fluke is named a Monsignor by the Vatican much to the chagrin of his Bishop. The Bishop eventually suspends him as it’s just too much for the Bishop to have this lowly, unimportant, small-town priest to wear the robes of a monsignor. The irony is that Quixote is a very delightful, humorous man who is very well versed in Catholicism and ultimately is mortally wounded trying to save a statue of the Virgin Mary from being desecrated. The story is an ecclesiastical version of The Man of La Mancha in many ways.READ MORE
Necessary Clarifications09-16-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
In 2017 there were 1,207 allegations of child abuse by Pennsylvania public school employees. There were 280 reports alone in Philadelphia. In 2017, in the Catholic Church in all 50 US States and its territories, there were 24 allegations of abuse by Catholic priests. Six of the twenty-four allegations were determined to be substantiated and of those six, four were against the same priest. It would seem that child abuse by a priest is a thing of the past. But what about child abuse by Public School teachers?READ MORE
Who will be strong and stand with me?09-09-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
Do you hear the people sing,
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.
Will you join in our crusade
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Les Misérables: Final LyricsREAD MORE
Double Standards?09-02-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
The sworn memorandum by Archbishop Carlo Viganó, confirms things I wrote in my previous letter, albeit on a much larger scale. The media’s reporting on his testimony is quite curious. While this is potentially one of the biggest scandals in Church history, and we have had a few doosies over the centuries, the media is being very restrained in a lot of its coverage. (Of course, I realize that no story, no matter how big can compete with Trump-amania.) In the Reuters reporting, while they stated Viganó’s allegations they were quick to add that “no evidence was presented”. Other outlets stated that the document lacked proof or documentation to back up the claims. Fair enough. The same for the Archbishop’s recalling of a private conversation with Pope Francis in which he said he informed him that McCarrick had a very substantial file on him that the Pope should review, the media called that conversation “unsubstantiated”. Strange that the same media took as Gospel truth James Comey’s account of the private conversation he had with the President.READ MORE
When I Wore a Younger Man's Clothes08-26-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
In light of the sordid and criminal actions of the former Cardinal, McCarrick, we are witnessing the inability of the US Bishops to hold themselves accountable and therefore the complete collapse of confidence in the leadership in the US Church. At the same time, with L’Affaire McCarrick, the homosexual cabal that infiltrated the US seminaries, chanceries and bishoprics is being exposed. Many ask, “why didn't priests tell what was going on?” Part of the reason for that is because they, the cabal, controlled the levers of power in many places and would punish anyone who dared come forward. Maybe that’s a cowardly excuse but when you are a seminarian or young priest you had everything to lose by not keeping quiet. Even now I am sure some will come after me for the things I am going to say. That’s the risk I take, the risk we all take to rid the Church of this infestation. I know there are those who struggle with same-sex attraction and remain chaste or fall through human weakness, I am not referring to them but to those who have rationalized and justified living a double life.READ MORE
Now Proscribed08-19-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola
This is an enlightening juxtaposition of events: an inmate on Arizona’s Death Row for 23yrs had his conviction thrown out by a Federal Judge who ordered that he be immediately granted a new trial or release from custody; at about the same time Pope Francis issued an amended version of the Church’s teaching on the use of Capital Punishment for the Catechism.READ MORE