The Parable of the Two Daughters

Once upon a time there was a Mother who had two daughters.

The older daughter felt herself oppressed by her Mother. For although she had dwelt in luxury for many years, she liked things just so and could not rest or think of anybody but herself if a button was out of place or the music she preferred was not just perfect or the art on her walls was not hung perfectly square.

She had a poor younger sister who lived far off in the Amazon jungle and had nothing. This younger sister could barely keep a roof over her head, because one of the many suitors of her older sister, a fascist named Bolsonaro, kept burning her house down and chasing her further into the jungle in his greed for her land.

But the older sister cared nothing about that. She felt oppressed because she could not have everything she wanted, all the time always. Her Mother provided her with rich food and drink, but it was not served by the exact perfect servants with the exact perfect words on the exact perfect trays with the exact perfect music, and this filled her with oppressed fury and resentment at her Mother.

Her younger sister, owing to her remote location and poverty, barely ever got anything to eat or drink at all. The servants of the food could seldom even reach her country and when they could, there were so few of them and they were spread so thin that the younger sister sometimes did not see them for years. She was always deeply grateful when she did see them though and always hoped that the day would come when more would arrive and bring her the food and drink she needed. Meanwhile, she spent her time doing good things for others because she was keenly aware that others needed things more than she did.

The day came when the Mother, at wits end about her selfish older daughter, decided that perhaps what would bring peace would be to give her what she wanted and let her have her meals with all the servants, words, music, and dinnerware just so. But instead of being happy the older daughter only became more dissatisfied and proud. The first servant to try to serve the newly authorized Just So Perfect meal, a man named Jorge, did his best, but did not do it absolutely perfectly, so she screamed at him and called him a Horror because she felt he had spoilt the meal by also touching Jewish food before serving it. (She had a particular loathing for Jewish food and liked to murmur with her friends about it in private.) But her Mother, hoping indulgence would bring peace, continued the experiment with the proviso, “If it does not bring peace to the family, I will try something else.”

Meanwhile, the younger sister in the Amazon continued to struggle for food and drink and tried to do what was best for others. She was humble and grateful and grew in grace and virtue despite having so little.

The older sister went on with her life, getting richer and more powerful and more selfish. She amassed great wealth. She formed business and political ties with Presidents who told her she was oppressed because she could not get the right coffee cups at Christmas. She had expensive dinners with white supremacists in America and Europe who told her she was superior to all the rest of the vermin her Mother foolishly cared about. She went on expensive cruises during Lent because she felt she deserved it what with all she had suffered. She went to lectures explaining how she, not her Mother, was the real Mother of all that was true and good and decent. She diligently dropped two copper coins in the Unborn Children’s Political Action box every month while spending the bulk of her cash on “Stop the Invading Browns” campaigns and “Don’t Let Them Take My Money for the Undeserving Sick” mobilization efforts.

One day, her Mother announced to her that the caretaker Benedict had retired and a new caretaker–the very Jorge the older daughter had spat upon for touching Jewish food–would be his replacement. The older daughter lost her mind with fury. She began a systematic campaign against him, insulting him to anyone who would listen, whispering behind his back and spitting in his face in the street and generally behaving terribly toward him. She called him a dictator. She called him a liar. She called him a Communist. She insisted he was hiring wicked people to steal her Mother’s treasures and destroy her house. She poured out venom on him at every opportunity and urged everybody to do the opposite of what he said. She insisted more and more loudly that she was the only real daughter of her Mother.

Jorge, for his part, could quickly see that it was not a prudent investment of energy to spend too much time trying to please her. And this was all the more true because as he assessed the family holdings it quickly became obvious that the younger daughter needed much more help than she was getting while the older daughter was wrapped up in her riches and possessions, but growing only in selfishness.

So he invited the younger daughter to his home to talk about how to get her more servants to bring her food and drink and help provide her with the things she needed to grow and thrive.

The younger daughter was overjoyed. She did not have any money and had few of the luxuries her older sister had. But she was true of heart and loved her Mother and looked forward to the trip. At last the day came when she could go to Jorge’s house and meet with his servants to talk about getting the help she needed. As a gift, she brought a little statue she had made in honor of her Mother’s Mother. It looked like her people as many such gifts did. It was nowhere near as splendid as the great art in her sister’s house, but it was a gift of love in honor the family and Jorge, being a good and wise servant, accepted it in the spirit of love in which it was given.

But the older sister, swollen with haughty rage, would have none of it. She went to her many microphones that blasted her voice out of many speakers in the city and declared her younger sister a bastard and a bitch and demanded she be punished. She broke into the meeting place that night, spat on the statue, and threw it into the river. She stood before many TV cameras and screamed that she alone was the daughter of her Mother and told the younger sister to go to hell. She also shrieked again that Jorge was an evil man for treating her younger sister with respect and pretending she was a member of the family. She made up lies about him and demanded he resign and used her many microphones and cameras to spread them.

Finally, the day came when Jorge talked with the Mother of the two daughters and they agreed, “Enough is enough“. The Mother concluded that the older daughter was, on the whole, worse, not better and that indulging her had been a mistake. She did not cast her out or reject her. She did not even forbid her to have her dinners the way she liked them (though the elder daughter insisted on telling her lackeys, sycophants and slaves that they could not pay honor to good friends of her Mother since she deemed them “demonic”):

Rather, the Mother simply revoked the privileges she had granted her elder daughter for the very good reason that the elder daughters fruits were bad.

The older daughter went off in a fury to surround herself with evil suitors who promised to tell her itching ears what they wanted to hear, which only made her more vengeful and bitter and self-absorbed still. It did not even occur to her to apologize to her sister. Indeed she still wallowed in pride over the way she had treated her, even as she wallowed in pity for herself.

Out of spite, the older sister decided to hold a huge party in honor of herself and her suffering and, just to show everybody who was boss, she spitefully decided not to wear any protections against a great plague that was ravaging the land at that time, nor to take any medicine that would protect her and her suitors, sycophants, lackeys and slaves against the plague. And she invited false prophets to tell her guests that their righteousness would ward off the plague. She felt that this would show the world who was The Best.

As a result, many who came to worship her and her superb dinnerware and exquisite music, and superior art became very sick and some of them died and others spread the plague to innocents who could not take the medicine. But she was proud of herself and cursed the name of caretaker Jorge and worked herself into such a rage at her Mother that she began to wonder if she and her suitors might be able to find a way to kill her Mother and claim all her things for herself. She also blared at the people of the city that they were cruel bullies if they did not hate Jorge and spit on her younger sister too. And the people, tender of heart and confused because most got their news from her lackeys and sycophants, did not want to be cruel bullies and wondered if she was right and whether they had somehow done her evil.

Her Mother was grieved, not because she feared death (against which she was immune), but because her daughter was so proud and unhappy and so tangled and choked with pride and riches and selfishness that she might never find happiness again. So she redoubled her prayers for her and soldiered on, as anguished Mothers have ever done.

Meanwhile, the younger daughter, humble, good, and grateful, welcomed the food, drink, servants and dinnerware she received and grew happier and happier. The Mother was pleased with the work Jorge did and commended him as a good servant. She told the people of the city not to be intimidated by the accusations of the older sister, but to keep doing good and to think first of the younger sister who had little yet thought of others, not of the selfish older sister who had much and thought only of herself. And the hearts and minds of the people of the city were greatly relieved as the older sister lost her power to cow and shame them with her complaints and accusations.


29 Responses

  1. I feel like a lot of it is true, but you forgot the part about the middle daughter.

    Back when the oldest daughter was the only daughter, she was loved and doted on by her mother. The mother told her she was the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven and that she would love her for all time. To friends and family it seemed impossible that the mother could ever lose affection for her child no matter what. The mother passed on all her tastes in music and words and heirlooms to her. The daughter cherished each one of these. Then a second daughter was born, we’ll call her the middle daughter. The mother wanted the middle daughter to have anything she wanted, and found that was often the opposite of what the oldest daughter liked. The middle daughter wished she was an only child and didn’t even like the sight of the oldest daughter, let alone the pictures, dresses, words, etc. that she held so dear. The mother did a complete turn on the older daughter and now told her that even though she still loved her that she was now ugly and disgusting and not as good as the middle daughter.

    For years, the mother demanded that the older daughter only like and do what the middle daughter liked, and even went so far as to go into her room at night and take her beloved pictures and heirlooms and burn them so she couldn’t have them (though the oldest daughter had hid many items away to use in secret). The mother would say to friends and family how embarrassing the oldest daughter had become. The mother had the oldest daughter regularly say how ugly and pathetic she was to the middle daughter and tell the middle daughter she was beautiful. If she didn’t, the mother would scream at her and take things away until she did. If the oldest daughter complained, she would be told that at least she wasn’t the youngest daughter in the Amazon, who didn’t even have food to eat, and to shut up and be happy with her ugly, disgusting, selfish self. Without knowing it, the mother had made the oldest daughter bitter, angry, and resentful of the other two daughters. The mother found the oldest daughter fantasizing about getting rid of the younger daughters and falling for suitors who told her that the mother was now evil and demon possessed. The mother really couldn’t understand why the oldest daughter would be this way. Maybe it was because she was just so inferior to the middle daughter? The mother tried to fix things by letting the oldest daughter have what she loved sometimes, provided the middle child never had to see it and providing she always accepted that she wasn’t as good as the middle daughter. When this didn’t work, she let the oldest daughter have all the things she wanted at any time, but by now it was too late and a monster who could never see herself as anything but the unloved child had been created.

    Now your story can start.

    I doubt you or others here will find any truth in what I wrote, but it’s what I’ve observed in my time in traditionalist circles. It doesn’t make some traditionalist behaviors okay or take away from the hardships faced by Catholics in the Amazon.

    1. To take your point out of the realm of metaphor, I’m asking you the following sincerely.
      In your traditionalist circles, you actually heard or read or observed priests and bishops saying that the old tradtional ways were ugly and wrong and bad and stupid?

      There’s a parish in my hometown in NJ that has a Traditional Latin Mass on their weekly schedule. Nobody says they can’t, it’s not behind the back of the bishop and I don’t imagine the bishop will withhold permission now, because at this parish at least, nobody is resisting the post conciliar Church.

      If on the other hand, you’re talking about sedevecantists, or SSPX folks who deny the legitimacy of the post conciliar Church or Papacy, or similar folks who think they’re the Remnant of Righteousness, then yes, they are wrong, the Mother is right, full stop.

      1. Some things I’ve personally witnessed and other things I’ve heard in my many conversations with older traditionalists (this drama goes back fifty+ years, after all). I used a little exaggeration, as Mark *very* freely did, and painted with a very broad brush, as Mark *very* freely did. However, I have seen people publicly humiliated in front of an entire church, been personally yelled at (not by a priest, but still jarring), and had my non-Catholic wife told the Latin Mass was “no good” when she mentioned having attended some with me to a deacon. I’ve read comparisons between the Latin Mass and Jim Crow Laws and you can find tons about the inferiority of the Old Mass (in fact, that’s why I attended the first time – I genuinely wondered how such horrible people could exist). Overall, I’ve been a very privileged traditionalist (though I don’t really consider myself one) and I regularly defend the Novus Ordo from the handful who get all bent out of shape over it, but I still recognize that every story has two sides.

    2. I actually have some respect for the traditionalists, at least when we’re dealing with their concerns for a reverent liturgy, including elements of praying ad orientem and liturgical music. I’ve seen some horrible adlibbing on the part of some priests, including changes to the creed. I kid you not.

      However, I find very little charm in their sartorial and political tastes, the first of which I find conservative to the point of being distasteful. The second, well, as I once told an Austrian traditionalist who was banging on about the lost greatness of catholic Austria-Hungary: ”your guns fired on Liége in 1914. You had it coming”.

      1. Artevelde, I thought of you when I saw news of the flooding over there. So sorry to hear about that. And here we are with our dams less than half full, bracing ourselves for fire season. Wonky jetstream 🙁

    3. @ taco

      Thank you for your concern. The Rhine and Maas areas have been hit hard. I happen to live not far away from the Maas (or Meuse), but luckily my town marks the beginning of a sandy plateau, marking the end of the Meuse valley. If this place gets flooded, the low countries are gone. Still, worst floods in over a century.

      I read about fires in northern CA and OR. It seems particularly bad this year. Keep yourself and your family safe.

      1. It’s weird–I’m in NorCal right now, and I’m told that there is a close fire near the town of Paradise, (that burned completely down a couple of years ago), but the sky is clear, and the air almost cold. It depends how the wind is blowing and if there is high pressure –which changes everything, and traps warm air from the inland valleys.

        Our “summer” months on the coast seem to be more like August, September, October. That’s when we mostly get the hot wind and high pressure that doesn’t let moisture from the ocean in. In the south we call it a “Santa Ana” condition, and it’s a bit terrifying. The hot wind from the valleys rush toward the coast instead. That’s when things can become an inferno.

      2. @ taco

        Fire and water are forces to be reckoned with. I grew up near the river Maas as a young kid, and usually it’s quite a gentle river. There’s usually some fishing going on and cows graze on its banks. During some summers, and using a few stepping stones, one can wade through it.

        I took a look at it last week, from a safe distance, and the change is frightening. A dark, broad, menacing flood of darkness and gray clouds overhead. Some of the cows were eventually found dead100 km downstream. Go figure.

      3. @ taco

        And speaking of fire and water, we could use a lot more of that in our church services, especially water. While I don’t object to communion in the hand at all, I’ve always felt some washing of hands *in* church (or in an adjacent bathroom) would be an improvement. Washing of feet too is very biblical and should be more common.

  2. OK then, and thanks very much for your response.

    I don’t particularly object to free exaggeration, after all the stories are both metaphors.

    But the distinction I would make, in line with that response, is that you talked about people being stupid, cruel, and narrow-minded. Individual people. So, there are differences of opinion about the Latin Mass, and some say it’s “no good”, and some trads say the regular Sunday Mass is “no good”, and people do love to glorify themselves and use religion to do it.

    It’s not actually the fault of the Church when people, well, behave like fallen humanity.

    1. I agree, but I’m not a writer and was trying to work within Mark’s bizarre framework.

      I’ve never seen a priest call someone stupid or ugly. I have seen a priest placed in a church with a Latin Mass and institute an extra special collection just for them with the understanding they better pony up more cash (no amount was ever enough, alas) if they wanted to stay and their choir better not use the church property to practice. I’ve met people – not just traditionalists and at more than one parish – tell the story of the altars or other art being secretly removed and destroyed back in the 70s without any consultation. I’ve met people who were told it is better to throw older vestments, music, and books in the trash than see them used in an indult Mass. I stopped reading a blog when the priest author said how unfortunate it was that “normal” people could attend the Latin Mass now and that they couldn’t be marginalized anymore. Now I’m seeing, in many commentaries about the new Motu Proprio, that we are apparently all monsters who got what we deserved.

      BTW, I haven’t denied some of the claims that Mark makes, only that the “spoiled brat” living in a perfect family narrative is wrong. Traditionalism has major problems, but problems don’t just magically manifest out of thin air and children are a reflection of their parents.

      1. The problems that tend to be associated with traditionalists also aren’t universal. Not even close. It is true that a certain type of unreasonable person is drawn to traditionalism, and can be very good at drawing a lot of attention to themselves, but they should not be construed as typical. The allegory above doesn’t match anyone I have ever encountered in person (where as on the internet, in contrast, the the unreasonable are able to amplify their voices).

        Unfortunately, it really feels like the unreasonable few have been perceived high up to be predominant, and so everyone who favors the extraordinary form is being punished for the sins of a few.

        This is a margin of the Church that I think has a lot to offer the Church and merits continued patience and discernment.

        It is definitely not the only margin where some members throw fits and curse the Pope, although sometimes a different Pope is the target. I’ve encountered no shortage of people who have had terrible things to say about Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, too.

        I’ve said before, I think a lot of pining for the older form could have been, and still can be pre-empted by simply finally getting around to implementing the reforms of Vatican II as actually intended. I am very thankful for several priests in my area who have bit by bit been working on doing so in their own parishes.

  3. I really do hate to say that this was pretty spot on.

    I don’t have a beef with TLM. ( It is hard to follow. ) It’s the people associated with it that turned me off. Haughty –Oh God, yes. (The world doesn’t need Catholic superiority complexes.)

    The pageantry and mannerisms reminded me of a play with costumes and overacting–people trying to reproduce something that doesn’t exist anymore. Stilted. Why would I want to try to go to a mass that tries to reproduce what a French King considered normal?

    At the end of the day it was all a distraction from Jesus. Why would anyone think it leads people to Jesus?

    Also–I’m suspicious of anything that becomes a mania in order to reject or scoff about another form of prayer and worship. Christians should never do that. It’s very disrespectful.

    1. “Why would anyone think it leads people to Jesus?”

      Lived experience. My own experience is less with the extraordinary form, and more with traditional practices incorporated in the ordinary form. That really helped me get past the self-conscious sense that we were just boringly reciting a skit about sharing bread and being nice to each other, and really develop a sense we are having an encounter with our Creator and Savior, and could express it not only to Him, but also to ourselves by intentional ritual actions.

      “Also–I’m suspicious of anything that becomes a mania in order to reject or scoff about another form of prayer and worship. Christians should never do that. It’s very disrespectful.”

      True. I’m sure some are drawn to the Latin Mass because of the sense of the elite, and therefore opportunity to scoff.

      But even among those who scoff, I suspect most are actually drawn to it for various merits they see in the liturgy itself, and the scoffing arises from the human tendency toward pride and comparing oneself to others.

      And then there is the rest who don’t scoff. They simply are drawn to it for the various merits they see, and may wish to promote what they have found to be good, but don’t intend to scoff at those who disagree.

      1. I would say what the old Mass did for me was it gave me a genuine love and appreciation for what the Mass is and does (that is, the idea of the Mass as a communal “sacrifice-banquet,” to use the term Fr Stedman does in his missal). I guess I would echo “Iamlucky13” in saying it moved me past the idea of Mass as a dull reenactment of the Last Supper. Rather than dislike the Novus Ordo, I feel like exposure to the EF has made me appreciate it more because I appreciate the very concept of what the Mass is more. I feel like the Mass went from something I generally liked well enough to attend sporadically to being something I don’t think I could live without regardless of the form used, and I chalk that up to my years of experience with the EF. I’m not sure if how I’m explaining this makes sense.

        I see the EF as very flowing, musical, and not-stuffy. It ranges from quiet and contemplative to dynamic and mystical, even when not celebrated all that well. I find it fairly easy to follow (especially compared to the OF in other languages since I wouldn’t know which options were being used).

      2. @Lucky (both)
        I don’t remember TLM–before it became niche. I was born into felt banners and guitar masses. The priest that baptized me (Fr. Alonzo) was a jolly 400 lb. Franciscan who would joke about sneaking down to the kitchen at night, stacking oreos and a half gallon of ice cream up both sleeves of his Franciscan robe. He was from Spain and had the Spanish propensity to use foul language, (but he never cursed or blasphemed). He must have had a thyroid problem because he had such huge bulging eyes. loved him. When his parents died he inherited their Mercedes Benz, which instead of selling, he drove. I don’t know why the idea of a son of St. Francis driving a Mercedes delighted me so much. I guess it’s because we all knew he was the real deal. He gave his life simply, as a youth minister. He wasn’t afraid of saying “Oh sh*t!” if he missed a shot playing basketball. He was very, very loved. The only thing my Mom complained about was his language.

        Materially, I had pretty much everything a kid could ask for in life. When I made my first communion there at the mission, I will admit that I was just as enamored with the idea of the host on my first communion cake –made of solid sugar, –as my consumption of Jesus himself. This was despite the best efforts of my teacher (whose son would go on to become a priest). If I analyze my intentions I can see that I had zero doubt about communion, Jesus loving me, and having me under his watchful eye. I credit my parents for this. It was all very natural and joyful and reassuring to the extent that I didn’t need reassuring. God was always there–and yes,I took that for granted. When I went away to college at 17, the crown that said “God is Love” that I’d written in glitter in my first communion class was still pinned to the center of the wall in my bedroom.

        I could tell you about all kinds of funny things that happened at college when people challenged my faith, but my faith was as solid as bedrock and unmoveable.

        I could also tell you at least 100 stories about my parents’ transition from that cute couple with the sweet looking family at the Santa Barbara mission

        –to the state of *anxiety* about the Church that my father died in.

        Hindsight is 20/20 eh? I’m not going to blame anything on traditionalism at all. It had everything to do with the people who allied themselves with traditionalism. To be 100% honest, I can see that my father was always attracted to movements and protests. He was fixated on justice like Ben from Oakland is–and I understand! Love of justice is a great quality. Ben makes so many powerful points.

        Anyway, I’ve been carrying picket signs since I was old enough to hold one up–the first one had to do with “GOO” (Get Oil Out of the channel) after a major oil spill. I don’t remember the spill, I’ve just seen pictures of that (very cute lol) two-year-old baby holding the sign. I kind of wish my father had stayed with the environmentalists. Ayn Rand came along in his life. It’s such a terrible, horrible shame. A waste. But I get it. Not long after baby-me was holding “GOO” I was holding an “eat grapes” sign to protest Caesar Chavez, who was holed up at the Mission on his hunger strike for farm workers. My newly minted Libertarian father absolutely hated labor unions. (Despite my mother’s grandfather’s being instrumental in founding of one in Ohio!) Sadly, we parted ways with the Mission (and Fr. Al by association) and became members of the parish at San Roque (where Bishop Barron is currently in residence). They never looked back. The Mission became known for being a hotbed of liberal “We Church” and a bunch of other stuff that appalled us and that we sneered at. My Dad and his new friends called the Seamless garment the Seamy garment, and talked about the gay infiltration of the Church constantly, as if there weren’t better things to talk about. Abortion became as Mark calls it, the monomaniacal obsession. But I will skip ahead to the part where San Roque (which had its own liberal faction) ended up with the first almost openly gay pastor. He was never out of the closet, but it’s not like he tried to hide. Fr. WestHollywood decided to “wreckovate” the church. It was war.

        Anyway, this isn’t a book, and I apologize for my loquacious tendencies. I have a feeling that I don’t even need to fill in all of the information that I’m leaving out. The story is repeated over and over again in so many “radicalized” Catholic lives.

        I will skip to the present. My father is dead now (God rest his beautiful soul). I am comforted by the fact that despite his errors, he was a good man that *loved*. He had a keen sense of humor and must be laughing now that his legacy includes a whole house full of men that refuse to work and live off of his generosity and the state. My husband and I delight in the fact that he is a big liberal now with indulgence for more than just his own family.


        My mother and much of my extended family live still in the thrall of his cult-like status. My mother has a Catholic guru who has inserted herself into a slot in her life that my larger than life father took up. He was such a grand patriarch –nobody had the will to challenge him except for me and a couple of my sons. He paid too many of their bills. But most of the time I laughed at his manias about conservatives and liberals because I was too busy changing diapers and living the conservative male dream for womanhood. I would just shake my head and say “you have the *luxury* to care about such things. And I mean that. With my whole heart.

        The manias of American and wealthy Catholics everywhere are *luxuries*. They can’t see that those manias have ceased to be about serving others but have morphed more and more overtly into the
        of others. It has almost nothing to do with Jesus.

        It would be interesting to get a Missionary of Charity, slumming it in Calcutta –to weigh in. First of all I think she would be confused. But if a person was able to really fill her in with what is happening in the American Church, I have a feeling she would think that we have gone out of our minds, and feel desperately sorry for us.

        (full disclosure, I didn’t edit this)

  4. What if the there is a third child, a succubus perhaps? How would I know, I am an atheist, and don’t believe in these things. But……..

    What is the opposite of an ornament to the church? And eyesore, a disfigurement, perhaps? A disfigured eyesore of complete moral corruption, perhaps?

    I am on a road trip, but I came across this little bit of information this morning. Note the diocese.

    The top administrator of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned after a Catholic media site told the conference it had access to cellphone data that appeared to show he was a regular user of Grindr, the queer dating app, and frequented gay bars.

    Some privacy experts said that they couldn’t recall other instances of phone data being de-anonymized and reported publicly, but that it’s not illegal and will likely happen more as people come to understand what data is available about others.

    Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill has since last fall been the general secretary of the USCCB, a position that coordinates all administrative work and planning for the conference, which is the country’s network for Catholic bishops.

    The La Crosse Tribune reports:

    Reports came from The Pillar, a Catholic news site, that said it found evidence the priest engaged in serial sexual misconduct.

    An analysis of app data signals correlated to Burrill’s mobile device shows the priest also visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference, The Pillar reported.

    The Diocese of La Crosse issued this statement today: “Msgr. Burrill was ordained a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse in 1998 and in conjunction with the Diocese’s Protect and Heal initiatives has consistently completed safe environment training and background checks. His most recent background check was completed in 2020.


    I know that you love your church, but when will enough be enough?

    1. When will enough be enough?

      Well, nothing surprises me anymore. Burrill is just another overfed imposter who has impulse control issues and needs to go to rehab.

      He’s tame compared to some of my family members. Someday I’ll write the book. Very Game of Thrones-esque.

      I suppose it will be “enough” for me personally when I exit to world. Burrill doesn’t have an ounce of anything to ruin Jesus for me. But despite his betrayal, I’m going to pray for his soul today. The poor man is a slave. I don’t wish that upon my worst enemy/family member.

      1. As always, you choose the path of kindness. I agree with you in theory. He is another hollow man. My issue is that he chooses it, but denigrates those who choose not to be hollow men.

    2. It’s impressive the way you use the piece on Boyle in order to totally ignore him and focus only on what you hate. Not good. But impressive.

      1. You’re right, Mark. It’s all about what I hate. I hate hypocrisy. I hate corruption. And this is all about absolute corruption. I’m sick to death of MY people getting slimed by YOUR church for all of its sexual issues, all of its McCarricks and Nienstedts and Altmans and Burrills.

        My simple question is : WHY AREN’T YOU AS UPSET ABOUT THAT CORRUPTION AS I AM? ? I doubt that you, being Catholic, would spout the “everyone sins” talibornagain nonsense. In my humble atheist opinion, this isn’t about sin, but about corruption. So, WHY AREN’T YOU?

        But back to what you call MY hate. I hate the homeau-hating-homeaux that infest your church, because they are some of the worst people on earth, and people think that decent, moral, kind gay people are just like them.. Lest you forget, because I certainly haven’t, this half a man was a point man for the USCCB, the very same people who were talking about forbidding the sacraments to a good, decent man like President Biden, but have yet to ex-communicate a single child molesting priest, or a single corrupt big honcho like Burill.

        I hate that ignorant people look at Burrill, or O’Brien, or McCarrick, and think that all gay people are predatory, lying, immoral perverts. I don’t know anyone who behaves that way, but then, I don’t personally know closet cases any more.

        This is the same USCCB that opposed a suicide hotline because it might help some gay kids not kill themselves because of the toxic spew coming from the very same USCCB. Right to life, let alone a right life, my a$$. How many of them received gifts from Bransfield? We knew there were at least a few of them. How many bishops were aware of Burrill’s activities. I would be willing to bet a few, because I have known closet cases.

        This is also a part of your church*. I didn’t create it, and I don’t support it. I’m just completing the story you’re telling. You want a nice story, a nice allegory. I don’t object to that, but there is a big chunk missing. If my allegorical addition to your allegory does not reflect reality, it’s your blog, and you should delete it. But if it does…

        Well, your choice.

        *as is nienstedt, Burke, Altman ($700,000, was it?), Bransfield ($792,000 worth) and a host of others.

      2. You have no idea what I am upset about. Nor how much. Stop talking as though you are the only person capable of moral outrage over grave evil.

      3. @ mark..

        We share a great deal of outrage, and the sources for a great deal of our outrage is the same. We both agree that it is grave evil, But that is the point where our outrage and its sources diverges,

        This is just how I see it after four years of being here on your blog.

        You are upset about it because it harms your church and your christian witness. I can see and agree with your concern, but it doesn’t really affect me, I’ll admit that.

        I am upset because this type of immorality, hypocrisy, and absolute corruption harms real people in the real world in immeasurable but predictable ways- people who are innocent and are harming no one- except to offend them by existing, and god forbid, demanding equality before the law. No one likes uppity.

        What amazes me is that you don’t see the exact parallels in your new column on virtue signaling. The church preaches “morality” by being opposed to gay people’s very existence unless we bend the knee. “HOMOSEXUALITY IS GRAVE MORAL EVIL. YOU MUST STOP THOSE IMMORAL PEOPLE.” There is the virtue signaling. And and you have given me plenty of reason over the past four years to think that doesn’t bother you any more than the harm to your church bothers me.

        At least I admit it.
        The MAGATry it covers up, fhe evil it does, is this: The USCCB opposition to an effing SUICIDE HOTLINE because gay kids might get support. And this is all being sponsored by a bunch of money grubbing, immoral, hypocritical and corrupt bishops, hiding among them closet case homeaux (Burill and McCarrick), child molesters (pick 10), embezzlers (Bransfield) and on and on and on.

        The evil in your church isn’t that a man like burrill is there. I know there are gay priests who are good men. The evil is that not only does this man not believe in the product is selling, but he uses this position to harm other people superficially like him, who don’t live lives of furtiveness, shame, hypocrisy, corruption, and immorality.

        And as my Catholic friend says, he is also handling your sacred host knowing that he is in an unrepentant state of mortal sin, and most likely planned/plans on committing it again. As were so many of them.

        “ Stop talking as though you are the only person capable of moral outrage over grave evil.” I never said I was.

        We just have different oxen getting gored.


    3. I don’t know, Ben. Was there any abuse or rape? If not, then why this “investigation?”

      I guarantee you, you can bring anyone down by the methods of “investigation” used, namely, “analyzing” a person’s cell phone usage.

      The Washington Post printed this article, along with Catholic site, NCR Online, questioning the ethics of this “investigation”:

      It all comes off as someone had it in for this priest, so they did an “analysis” of his cell phone signals, then did an “investigative” gossip hit piece on him. Motive? Who knows, for all we know, it could be something as lame as disliking a theological position that he had.

      That there are gay Catholic laypeople and priests should not be new knowledge. That there are gay Catholic laypeople and priests who struggle should not be new knowledge.

      The worst advice I would give to a gay Catholic person would be to abandon God, in an attempt to heal a psychological hurt. God is the ultimate healer, the word salvation coming from the latin word “salvus” meaning healing.

      I know God sees and knows their struggle, and would send them the grace to get by, and would welcome them home at the end of their days.

      1. @ work beastie

        With all respect, and I mean that, you’re missing something here. I’ve tried to answer a bit of it in my response to Mark. The man resigned, so whatever the “ethics” of the investigation, he has basically admitted it was true.

        But seriously? If it weren’t abuse or rape? That’s a pretty low bar, don’t you think? especially for a celibate man of god who has promised chastity?

        Burrill wasn’t “struggling”. That is moral charity that he is not entitled to. Pure and simple, he wasn’t in the closet, He was a closet case, doing what closet cases do frequently do. And he got outed, which is unfortunately for closet cases a real possibility every time they step out of the closet. The system which the closet enforces sets it up that way. You get punished by that system if you dare to live openly, get uppity, or like Burrill, get caught.

        I have nothing but sympathy for people who are stuck in the closet, afraid to come out, but not living double lives, or at least, feeling they have to lie about the lives they do lead. We have all of us been there. No one is getting hurt except themselves, and eventually, they learn that. That sympathy evaporates for Someone like Burrill who is closeted, but leads that double life while decrying those who live openly, without shame and fear. And for priests who actively work to Harm gay people. Well, i have nothing but contempt.

        The better class of closet cases live sordid, furtive, and often bitter lives, but at least they keep it to themselves— until they are found out. (Sorry, Mrs. Smith, about the arrest or the divorce). The worse class of closet case does what Burrill and his fellow travelers did: actively work to harm out, honest, and innocent gay people as means of deflecting attention from their own depravities and corruptions. (THEIR WORDS, NOT MINE).

        It’s corruption, pure and simple. Closet cases lie Burrill always run the risk of being outed. But this is the system that they themselves have set up, promulgated, and supported. Why should they, or any bishop, be given a pass from those consequences?

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