Matt C. Abbott
Readers respond to 'The Catholic who's anti-Catholic'
By Matt C. Abbott
January 3, 2011

As expected, I've received both angry and complimentary responses to my Dec. 30 column. One person even wrote, "Nuke the Vatican ASAP." Nice, huh?

Please be advised that I will not correspond with anyone who writes such things, although I will save your e-mails just in case I, um, happen to meet with foul play and the authorities need to know where to begin their investigation. Anyway, below are selected (edited) e-mails.

Carolyn Van Pelt wrote:

    I'm not anyone of any consequence whose opinion would matter, but I frequently read your column and appreciated 'The Catholic who's anti-Catholic.' I was gone from the Church for 20 years. Left after a major conversion in my 20's and because a good friend, who 'corrected' everything I'd been taught in eight years of Catholic school, told me I needed to be 'born again.' I wandered from one Protestant church to another like a homeless orphan until five years ago, when through the faithful prayers and rosaries of my mother, I came home to the one, true Church.

    However, while I was gone, I met so many Catholics who also had left and harbored great hatred for the Church — and I do mean hatred. Sadly, because of years of my association with Evangelical fundamentalists, I became one of them. I'm still healing. It's been a whirlwind journey. It hurts to read it, but it's true. The bigotry is real, and I was one of them.

    Now, after several great confessors and a wonderful priest who told me to get up from the ashes, use what I've learned and bring those who have wandered from The Faith, home, I've humbly embarked on that mission, stumbling with a new blog of my own, praying that for every soul I embittered, the Lord will let me bring 10 back. I learn a great deal from you and appreciate your witness for the truth.

A. F. wrote:

    Oh please Matt, I think this woman is quite centered and knows what she is talking about, because being a survivor, I have experienced the scorching indifference of the Church. No one knows in my old parish community nor do they care of what happened when I approached the Church and parish. This woman is so right about the Church blathering on about abortion and homosexuality, as though they have the right moral compass.

    Your words above prove to me that you are a Catholic droid. Get educated. If you tell a woman not to get an abortion, you'd better be ready and willing to support her and her baby personally until the baby is grown. Otherwise you must not preach. I'll never read another article by you.

Tony Loginow wrote:

    Thank you once again for a poignant article about Catholics who are looking for a way out of their own turned and misdirected hearts, minds and consciences. Your articles fill an important link for those Catholics who follow the Magisterium. Happy New Year and the God bless you and your family in 2011.

Diego J. Peña wrote:

    Your column was well-written, direct and to the point. I completely agree with you. While I, like other Catholics, am disappointed over the scandals, I see the scandals as an opportunity for the Church to become stronger. Sadly, the lady you quoted is very misguided. We need to pray for these fallen-away Catholics. Keep up the good work.

Helen Westover wrote:

    As you know, I am not anti-Catholic. But the damage done to my beloved Church by these crimes is incalculable. I was a victim of clergy abuse, from adolescence to adulthood. At my 'Cursillo,' during a 'spiritual guidance' encounter, the priest ran his hand up my leg.

    I love the Church with all my heart, and thank God, I didn't let these experiences (three priests and a bishop) damage my faith. But we must hold Christ's one, true Church to a higher standard. I know it's difficult sometimes to decipher who is using this as a sledgehammer to further damage the Church and those who have been truly wounded.

Cecilia Skudder wrote:

    I have to tell you how delighted I am by your commentary regarding that lady who was so vitriolic in her condemnation of the Catholic Church. As a wife, mother, grandmother, retired Macmillan Nurse (who looked after those dying of cancer), volunteer editor of my parish's website and numerous other roles, I am so pleased you put into words what I find hard to do. I live in Orpington, Kent, UK. Thanks again for your support of the Church.

© 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 MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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