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I wish I could have said this as well as 'Glen' posted on Sylvia's Site

Regulars here will know that I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Sylvia McEachern of 'Sylvia's Site', a blog dedicated to the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.  

I believe that she can be credited for keeping the Bishop's feet to the fire and ensuring that they follow their promised protocols and policies, as well as for her standing with and beside victims who must endure re-victimization by the process as their accusations wind their way through the criminal and civil justice systems. 

On the other hand, she has recently let her zeal for the cause blind her to her obligations to justice as evidenced by her unjustly calumniating an East Coast Bishop as I wrote about in a recent National Post digital edition

Ultimately I was banned from posting comments on her site as I would not be silent in the face of her calumny. Providentially, others have stepped up to continue my essential challenge of calling Sylvia to return to her heretofore ardent support of the Church. Here is a recent offering from someone named 'Glen'. He offers as good a 'sitz en liben' explaining the crisis in its proper perspective as you could find today. I wish I could have done as well.

With the caveat that the greater scandal has been the cover-ups of  past abuses by the hierarchy - an issue Glen seems to neglect to address -  his framing of the argument is spot on.

I hope he's allowed to continue to post there. Although, the signs are not promising. Already he's being accused of being Fr. Steve Ballard, a Diocesan brother and friend of this blog simply because he offers a cogent defense of the Church! Such an accusation is the digital equivalent of being marked with the scarlet letter on that site and he might soon find his voice silenced for posting 'abusive comments' that 'harm victims further'. (Although it is fair to ask if such a small thing as a comment from a someone you don't know is going to do further 'harm' to people who visit sites like Sylvia's on a regular basis, then they must possess such fragile psyches that they shouldn't be surfing such sites. But far be it from me to suggest that their motives are less than pure even if their judgment is clearly impaired, fired by a state of mind that evidently is not 'firing on all cylinders.')

Sylvia, I agree that confusion among the faithful is partly a result of clergy not teaching the faith. Sadly, this has been one of the fruits of the “spirit of Vatican II”. By the grace of God things are changing for the better albeit slowly. The younger generation of priests are more orthodox and desire to be priests, not poorly paid social workers.

I don’t have the numbers you asked me for. Like you I am outraged when crimes against children are not dealt with accordingly. Removing the filth from the Church is every faithful Catholic’s hope. However, my concern with your site is that it treats accused as guilty. 

The reality is the rate of pedophilia in the Church is no higher than any other religion and lower than some others. The highest rate of pedophilia is in the home. The second most dangerous place is a school. Do the commentators here demand structural changes in homes and schools? By their logic there should be no male teachers.

Nor do the Protestant religions that allow their ministers to marry have a lower rate of pedophilia. Therefore, allowing priests to marry would not change anything in this regard in the Catholic Church. Sadly, women sexually abuse children too.

Pedophilia is a societal problem, not exclusive to the Church. What we all need to do is put pressure on our politicians to make these crimes more than a slap on the wrist for punishment. If the penalty for pedophilia was life in prison I bet the rates would go down in every environment.

Unfortunately, many enemies of the Church use pedophilia to attack it for their malicious intentions. The Church is the most visible Christian institution and does not waver on moral issues. It is a favorite target of the entertainment and media industry. Did you know the Boston Globe ran more stories on the scandal there then they did on World War II?

Sylvia, please know that I admire your efforts. I too work within the Church to fix things and know how much time and effort is involved. In Christian charity I ask you to take some time to reflect on the direction you are taking things now. Could your work be more effective if it focused on the convicted? Due to the possibility of false accusations, could you handle such news more diplomatically? What if you used this issue to invoke changes to the Canadian justice system? If you became the catalyst for tougher sentences and by extension lowered the rate of pedophilia in our society how great would that reward be?



  1. Thanks Tim. I could not agree more.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. It's nice enough to know they care enough to visit here. Since poor Lina was stripped of her right to express her opinion on Sylvia's Site, I'll do her the honor of publishing it here for her.

      1 abandoned sheep says:
      March 12, 2012 at 8:00 am
      Glen- or should we call you Father SB, your bias against the truth about abuse in the Catholic Church by Priests being revealed, is obvious. Usually, posters like you speak from self-interest.
      Maybe your post should stay within your Diocese so your Bishop may benefit from your wisdom.

      Lina says:
      March 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm
      1 abandoned sheep,

      Do you know by saying this to Glen:

      “Glen- or should we call you Father SB, your bias against the truth about abuse in the Catholic Church by Priests being revealed, is obvious.Usually, posters like you speak from self-interest.

      Maybe your post should stay within your Diocese so your Bishop may benefit from your wisdom.”

      At this priest’s website Fr. T. M.’s: “Already he’s (meaning GLEN) being accused of being Fr. S. B., a Diocesan brother and friend of this blog simply because he offers a cogent defense of the Church!

      Fr. T. M. at his own blog site very conveniently OMITTED it was you “1 abandoned sheep” that said this to Glen. In other words he is implicating Sylvia and the rest of us.

      That I do not like!"

      It would be funny if it wasn't so sad and tragic. To live in a world ruled by such conspiratorial forces as dominate Lina's mind is truly a tragic condition to be subjected to. She is far more to be pitied and prayed for than to be judged for her addled view of life.


  3. Steve: Things are not looking up for poor Glen - who ever the fellow is. Sylvia has been responding to him with clarity, if not always with an eye to her obligations of charity to those she is calumniates with her posting allegations that have not been substantiated by the authorities.

    Fr. Tim

  4. This becomes so tiresome and Lina, Lucille, does not merit confidentiality any longer. Despite repeated suggestions, corrections and warnings, Lucille does not get it and continues to post nonsensical blather about you and me, even if it be by initials. So a little truth telling time. If you wish to use my name and Father Tim's at every passing, about matters of all kind, then it is your turn to stand out from the shadows and have your name exposed: you are Lucille Nighbor, a resident of the Pembroke area, outside the city. A parishioner was in the office today speaking about the exchanges and input of Father Tim and I. This was offered in a positive way. Lets have your name be openly known for all. I'm sure you won't mind and their is NO acquired privilege or right to privacy or confidentiality in this forum.

    1. Bob Higgins13 March, 2012

      And all along we thought this was Fr. Moyle's Blog, but now FR. Ballard exercises authority over the Blob by asserting his right to give away Lina's real name, which is, he says, Lucille Nighbor.
      Do these priests have nothing betterto do than be involved in such pettiness?

    2. Bob: Fr. Steve comments here without moderation as I trust his judgment and capacity to ably propose and defend for himself and doesn't need my supervision. I have to use comment moderation as an overall policy to keep the spam off the site. If I didn't, it would be overrun with hundreds of pitches for cheap viagra or discount tee-shirts.

      To deal with Lina specifically, let me say to you as I've said to her before. She knows how to contact me either here or in private via my email address (which is published as part of my blog profile quite openly on this site. If she objects to Fr. Steve's comment, I will remove it as I have done once before. He understands that when I do so, it's because it was published without my appreciation for some local reason for it not to be in the public domain. We both participate in parish and digital ministries without hiding behind some 'nom de plume'. Folks like Lina have felt very free to publicly out others who she believes to have failed in some aspects without concern for the defamation she wrecks on the reputations of the living and the dead. It seems strange that she would find it unjust to be addressed in like manner in the public forum... but if she should, I will remove Fr. Steve's comment.

      Fr. Tim

    3. She is very good at tossing slime around, indiscriminately. Let her stand out in the light and put her name where her slime is!

  5. Have plenty to do Bob.

    Why are you so angry? If you knew the slime that Lucille as thrown at me, mostly all of which was taken down by one blog, you might think otherwise. I am tired of folks throwing mud balls from undercover.

    Have a good afternoon.

  6. Bob, btw, you may notice that my remarks came after a comment written by Father Tim ~ so therefore it's called a reply.


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