Matt C. Abbott
Praiseworthy papal remarks; Sister Jane Dominic, persecuted
By Matt C. Abbott
April 12, 2014

Pope Francis has made some praiseworthy remarks on three different topics on April 11.

Regarding the clergy abuse scandal, the pope said:
    I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children. (Source)
Regarding abortion, the pope said:
    It is must be therefore reiterated the strongest opposition to any direct attack on life, especially innocent and defenseless life, and the unborn child in the womb is the most concrete example of innocence. Let us remember the words of the Second Vatican Council: From the moment of its conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes. I encourage you to always act with a style of nearness, of closeness: that every woman feels regarded as a person who is heard, accepted, and accompanied. (Source)
Regarding the devil, the pope said:
    We too are tempted, we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ. And what does the Spirit of Evil do, through his temptations, to distance us from the path of Jesus? The temptation of the devil has three characteristics and we need to learn about them in order not to fall into the trap. What does Satan do to distance us from the path of Jesus? Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.

    We have a temptation that grows: it grows and infects others. For example, let's look at gossip: I'm a bit envious of this or that person and at first I'm just envious inside and I need to share it and go to another person and say: 'But have you seen that person?' and this gossip tries to grow and infects another and another. This is the way gossip works and all of us have been tempted to gossip! Maybe not one of you, if you're a saint, but I too have been tempted to gossip! It's a daily temptation. And it begins in this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself.

    We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That's because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn't want our holiness, he doesn't want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: 'But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!' But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here, even in the 21st century! And we mustn't be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan. (Source)

(A version of the following commentary originally appeared at

We've recently seen a CEO – Brendan Eich, formerly of Mozilla – being a direct casualty of the "gaystapo." There's also a recent indirect casualty of the "gaystapo": Her name is Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.

    Dominican Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, who often speaks to high school and college-age students on matters of sexuality, gave an hour-long presentation to students at Charlotte Catholic High School on March 21 called 'Masculinity and Femininity: Difference and Gift.' School officials told the Catholic News Herald she spent about half her allotted time discussing homosexuality, blaming its rising influence in part on fatherless homes created by divorce and extramarital sex.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, a number of misguided students and parents – supposedly Catholic – were outraged. In fact, given the reaction of some, one would have thought Sister Jane had preached Nazism or militant Islam to the students.

You can pretty much figure out what happened next. School and diocesan officials held a meeting with the upset parents, apologized to them, and, lo' and behold, Sister Jane is now on a "voluntary" sabbatical. In other words, church officials essentially threw her under the bus, and now she's in exile – all for speaking out about the spiritual and moral dangers of the homosexual lifestyle. (The bishop's April 9 statement on the controversy is somewhat disappointing; click here for Phil Lawler's take on it.)

Now, perhaps – perhaps – it would've been a bit more prudent for Sister Jane to leave certain material out of her presentation to the students. Then again, spiritually and morally speaking, she may have been doing them a disservice by omitting the "offensive" material, which was not something she pulled out of thin air; it was, from what I gather, research on various aspects of homosexuality, albeit politically-incorrect research.

As Catholic commentator Dr. Jeff Mirus wrote:
    We have slipped here into a pattern all too common in Catholic life today: The idea that the Church may teach something (yeah, yeah) but it really doesn't matter. People can do what they deem best, and their way for them will be as good as anything. This attitude is false, and Sister Jane Dominic committed the cardinal sin of demonstrating its falsity. In point of fact, 'their way for them' will not be as good as anything. It will not only be spiritually deadening, but also have disastrous concrete, practical consequences, including negative impacts on others, which are statistically measurable.
In a way, it's similar to those "pro-lifers" who object to the showing of graphic abortion images under any circumstances. Such people may claim to be pro-life, but, hey, don't ever show the public the reality of abortion because it's disgusting, offensive and even hateful!

So it is with the extremely unpleasant realities of the homosexual lifestyle. There are indeed disastrous consequences to living and promoting a lifestyle that is contrary to natural and divine law. And it's not wrong to talk about those consequences, in a prudent manner, with impressionable high school students. I can't imagine Sister Jane was using foul and graphic language to get her points across. Homosexual activists, on the other hand, seem to delight in using such language in all settings.

Sadly, our decadent culture doesn't want to hear these truths, and the Christophobic homofacists – also known as homosexual activists – and their sympathizers will not tolerate those who oppose their agenda.

Keep Sister Jane Dominic in your prayers. According to Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith, president of Aquinas College (where Sister Jane has been teaching), "Sister Jane Dominic has only tried to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a world in need of healing. The Dominican Sisters and the Aquinas College community are in complete support of Sister Jane Dominic. We have concerns for Sister's personal safety at this time. Please keep this intention in your prayers." (Source)

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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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 also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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