Matt C. Abbott
April 15, 2008
Help us, Pope Benedict... California priest in 'state of crisis'
By Matt C. Abbott

Perhaps Pope Benedict's visit to the U.S. will be a sign of hope to certain priests who are suffering greatly.

Readers might recall my coverage of Father Joe Baca, of the Fresno, Calif., Catholic diocese. Father Baca contacted me in recent days and seemed distraught. I was, and still am, concerned for his well-being.

Thankfully, Father Baca is working with Joe Maher, president of Opus Bono Sacerdotii ("Work for the Good of the Priesthood"), who has issued the following update to Father Baca's unsettling situation:

    'I just talked to Father Joe Baca at length. He assured me that he was not suicidal; however, he is utterly exhausted and has lost just about all hope. He received a letter from his bishop via e-mail on Monday which I believe threw him into a state of emotional and physical shock. I cannot say more than this due to the confidential nature of canonical cases. I asked Father Joe to send me a copy of the letter and I may talk to his bishop personally to see what can be done to ease his pain and bring some justice to this situation. I don't want to give anyone false hope because bishops often act at their own discretion regardless of canon law. We shall see.

    'All that being said, and based on the thousands of priests' cases we deal with, and one new priest a day on average contacting us for help, Father Joe is in a state of crisis. Now more than ever, he needs the kind of love and support you are giving him here. Very few priests have such a network. When I can give a further update, I will.

    'May Our Lady of Priests be Father Joe's, and your, health and protection.'

Of course, we do have some good bishops, but, sadly, there's no doubt that corruption exists.

Please pray for Father Joe Baca, Father James Haley, and the other persecuted and suffering priests and for those whose lives have been irreparably damaged by clergy/religious/familial abuse and/or negligence.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

Latest articles

April 21, 2014
A miracle attributed to John Paul II


April 19, 2014
'The Brevity of Life'


April 17, 2014
Father Francis not given Pope Francis-style treatment


April 13, 2014
Remembering Terri Schiavo: Bobby Schindler comments on Pope Francis, Bishop Robert Lynch, and working on behalf of the severely disabled


April 12, 2014
Praiseworthy papal remarks; Sister Jane Dominic, persecuted


April 9, 2014
A 'domestic terrorist' I support!; Cardinal Burke vs. Cardinal Wuerl; The 'Day of Silence' walkout


April 6, 2014
'The Love That Made Mother Teresa'


April 3, 2014
The good bishop and the bad senator; The clergy abuse scandal in dollars


March 31, 2014
Divergent reviews of 'Noah'; School chaplain derided for nun's remarks on homosexuality


March 27, 2014
Bravo, Father Joseph Klee!; The touching story of the Storey family; Prayers for Paul Likoudis


More articles