Matt C. Abbott
Readers sound off on Mel Gibson, psychological suffering, pro-adoption license plates, and the Jesuits
By Matt C. Abbott
July 22, 2010

The following are e-mails I've received in response to recent columns of mine (certain e-mails are edited and do not necessarily reflect my opinions):


    Today in my email I received your article on Mel Gibson. And yes we should all hope and pray Mr. Gibson receives the spiritual and psychological help he apparently needs. My purpose in writing you though is to say I fully relate to you in the description you gave of your sufferings with OCD and depression.

    I have, thank God, not suffered to any great extent with depression, but I have suffered greatly with OCD, both compulsive and unwelcome thoughts, and at other times with great fears and repetitive actions. This went on for very many years, despite long term therapy. I continually every day said the rosary again for many years, and thank God was freed to a great degree from this horror.

    So there is real hope for suffers of this illness. It has impacted my life to a great degree. I'm a single guy, could never have been otherwise with this, but I'm happy in my life, love God completely, go to Mass and Communion daily for 45-plus years, and have been successful in business with some good and loyal friends. You are obviously doing quite well, I trust. I will remember you at Mass each day and ask you to remember me occasionally in your prayers. God bless you and Mary protect you.


    You've written another article that hit home for me. Our daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This has been a long slow recovery — periods of depression so severe she wasn't happy with living and did in fact have those suicidal thoughts. Thank God it never went beyond the thoughts. She has been under a doctor's care for several years. She went through a divorce and then moved back with us in October 2009. We took her to a different (highly recommended) doctor who told us the medication she was on was all wrong for bipolar disorder.

    The new doctor gradually changed the medication for our daughter and there were some very frightening times for her and us, as she had to go through a withdrawal from the wrong medication. We're pleased to say that by May 2010 she was well enough to begin looking for employment. She was just hired for a new job beginning in September 2010. Thank the Lord. He was good enough to lead us to the right doctor. Thanks for sharing your personal story. I'll be including you in my prayers.


    Thanks for being open with your weaknesses. We all have them, only many do not wish to acknowledge theirs in the fear of appearing weak. I believe just the opposite. It is precisely when we acknowledge our inability to do anything without the Lord's help that we are finally starting to 'get it.'

    I remember a priest sharing how he went to a charismatic prayer meeting, telling God what he wanted to accomplish and his frustrations at not being able to do so. At that moment, he became unable to move and his arms were as if glued to his chair. He kept hearing the Lord repeat this simple phrase to him, 'Without me, you can do nothing...without me, you can do nothing...'

    This went on without ceasing, and the group eventually decided that he must be entranced in prayer so they shut off the lights and went home. It was not until about 3 a.m. that he finally was freed and no longer heard the Lord repeat that prayer. He said, 'I finally got it. It took a lot for the Lord to get through to me, but it worked. I really do understand now.'

    The Lord is working through you and there is no doubt that Satan is trying to make you give up. Don't...It may be a great grace that is forcing you to rely more on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can tell you that I consistently struggle with my own weaknesses and sinfulness and I thank God for the power of the Sacraments and His mercy which endures forever.

    I remember when I was willing to give everything up for the sake of really knowing God and He reached out to me through a Protestant radio minister. I remember being ready to leave the Church and asking Him if I should. I still remember His voice telling me that, 'No, you are already in my Church. Remain in my Church and I will teach you the truths of my Church so that you may teach others.'

    He has led me on a most incredible journey and taught me things beyond my wildest dreams. Yet, He allows me to struggle internally and works through my weaknesses and fallen nature. When I prayed for Him to find the perfect person for me to marry, in three years, no less (hey, I was an arrogant individual), He did and reminded me at the altar of our wedding day. I had completely forgotten the prayer that I had said exactly once and promptly forgotten about.

    We have been blessed with six beautiful children, but we have had our share of trials as well. I believe that our faithfulness in attending Mass, not using contraception, etc. has been rewarded. Yet, we have had many difficult days as well.

    Know that when God uses you, you will be beset by trials. Remember when Elijah called down the fire and the wet holocaust was consumed? Yet the next day, he hid for fear of a woman — give me a break. If it is any assurance, Matt, the Lord has used me in cool ways to teach others, yet I repeatedly let Him down with my own sinfulness. Thank God for His mercy! Keep the faith and don't give up. You are a voice in the wilderness crying, 'make straight the path of the Lord.'

    Vivat Jesus!

Sam Doucette:

    I just wanted to let you know that if Massachusetts could successfully get a Choose Life license plate approved after many years (first proposed in 2005), Illinois certainly can. We're just as much if not more beholden to the culture of death here, but Merry Nordeen and others at Massachusetts Choose Life doggedly kept at it, even after the 2006 election of pro-death Gov. Deval Patrick. My approved plates are in the Registry of Motor Vehicles queue, just waiting for me to fill out the required registration and insurance forms. Keep up the faith, hope, and charity! Life will win.

Laura Yantsos:

    This Catholic writer is wrong in his conclusions about the Jesuits, as he is promoting that tiresome and erroneous idea among Catholics that the order 'went bad' when the record shows that they were bad from the beginning. This is clearly evidenced by the statements made by Clement XIV in his papal bull of 1773, who lists the damage they had done to the Church 'from the beginning' and who shows that they were incorrigible. However, I agree with his view that the Jesuit authorities' show a lack of regard for the North America martyrs, but this lack of regard is also evident from the beginning and can be appreciated when considering it was an order of their superior that sent them to North America in the first place and this order had to have been known to have assured their deaths.

    I feel certain in my opinion that this was the fate of any true Catholic who happened to wander into that Society. I would also agree with Chesterton's statement about their being a 'strange admixture' of orthodoxy and dissent, but their chameleon-like ways were also apparent from the beginning. It was very important for them to appear to be one thing, while actually being another. For example, they gave themselves the reputation of being the 'pope's men' and 'loyal to the pope' (found in their own formation papers), but history is replete with examples of their disloyalty and contempt for him, as well as his authority: ignoring the orders of at least four popes to take Confucius off the altar in China; to stop dressing as Brahmins in India; to disband their order.

    This contempt is also evidenced in the bull of Clement XIV, who shows that when Rome tried to reform them at various times through the years, they were found to be incorrigible. Even the testimony of the closest advisors to Clement XIV — that Clement XIV was murdered by the Jesuits — shows that they did not deserve the reputation as the 'pope's loyal men.'

    In 1773, the pope states that they were incorrigible and lists all the ways they damaged the Church from the beginning. Their 'permanent suppression' was 'lifted.' Yet, a mere 70 years later, their continuing damage to the Catholic Church ways were again exposed in their promotion of evolution in the hoax of Piltdown Man. People blame one man, Teilhard de Chardin, for the hoax, but it was not only him — several other Jesuits fostered that hoax. For all intents and purposes, 'Piltdown Man' was not a hoax fostered by one Jesuit, or even by some Jesuits, but by the Jesuit order itself, as evidenced by the fact that their superiors never defrocked, suspended, censured or even scolded the Jesuits personally involved in the hoax that caused so much damage to the Church.

    If I were to follow the letter of the law as set down by Clement XIV, I would have to say that despite what Pius VII tried to do in 1814, I am not obliged to acknowledge that a Jesuit order or Jesuit priests exist today. Frankly, the faith of the people would be more intact had they taken this view after 1814.

© Matt C. Abbott


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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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