Matt C. Abbott
The scandal isn't over; 'A Shepherd'; Pray for Michael Terry
By Matt C. Abbott
September 28, 2013

Pope Francis will have his hands full, no doubt; the clergy abuse scandal still isn't over.

Several cases have made the news in recent days.

Father Curtis Wehmeyer.

Father Robert Poandl.

Father William Paulish.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski.

Father Wojciech Gil.

Father Julio Cesar Grassi.

Bishop Gabino Miranda.

Father Louis Grandpre.

Father Robert Brennan.

Father Matthew Riedlinger.

On a related note, Billy Graham's grandson is sounding the alarm about abuse among evangelicals.

According to a Sept. 26 story at Religion News Service:
    The Christian mission field is a 'magnet' for sexual abusers, Boz Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse said Thursday (Sept. 26) to a room of journalists.

    While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, 'I think we are worse,' he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had 'sacrificed the souls' of young victims....
Click here to read the full article.

A Shepherd

By Susan E. Gorski

A shepherd tends his flocks
He must guard and feed the sheep
His burden is to defend them all
From that which would defeat

The hungry wolf is cunning
He scatters so he may devour
The priest must spot the beast
In all disguise, at every hour

A heavy cross indeed you carry
The vocation of each priest
Yet His Grace is sufficient for you all
That each of you may succeed

You, pastor, are a servant
Given charge of their very souls
You must lead them to our Father
Even through agony untold

Enter this state not lightly though
For the charge is indeed grave
Know you the responsibility
And the penalty if you fail

Lead them to the Father
In Heaven, He reigns with splendor
Much the joy, O happy priest
The reward for your endeavor

A priest must sacrifice himself,
For his flock, in nearly every way
But Who is a member of his flock?
Every person, everywhere, every day

You see, by your examples
You shall help or you shall hinder
You can bring a soul to God, or
You can condemn her to a cinder

It is not a boys' fraternity
That office of priesthood stand
It is dire responsibility
That rests upon the shoulders of a man

Neither does the shepherd wane
No woman should deign to be
God gives equal purpose to our genders
A special plan for our femininity

Man, it is, who gives the seed
Woman need accept to receive and reconcile
While man must bear many other burdens
God deigned woman to conceive and bear a child

Whilst tonsured man is the shepherd of souls,
In God's plan, woman brings new souls to earth
She has great dignity In the sight of God
As she carries a new soul and gives birth

So woman envy not the man
Before God his dire obligation
God has given us other gifts
Surrender this consternation

Priesthood with all its encumbrances
Still gives a man great elation
To know that his spiritual children
Give honor to God and His creation

The dignity of priestly office
No man can ever surpass
No servant is greater than his Master
And there is no greater sacrifice than the Mass

O man, to be called forth and be chosen
Is to become a slave to all
Be fearless in your service of God
And truly you shall answer His call.

From veteran pro-life and conservative activist Randall Terry:
    In the last 48 hours, my wife Andrea and I have learned that our son Michael Winston (age 10) has a tumor. Michael [pictured below with Randall] is a vivacious and happy boy who loves Jesus, plays the guitar, and loves to play in the woods with his three brothers. Everyone who knows him will confirm that he is a delight.

    The tumor is in the bone of his left leg just above the knee. An MRI showed that the tumor has spread to the soft tissue in his leg, as well as the lymph node in that area. He is now on crutches to keep the weight off the area to avoid a fracture. This morning we learned from a CT scan that his kidneys and pancreas each have an abnormality as well. The doctor is concerned with metastasis.

    We will get a biopsy this week, to find out what we are dealing with, and what treatment the physicians will pursue. The oncologist has braced us to expect chemo, radiation and surgery.

    I do not need to tell you how devastating news of this nature is. Andrea and I are talking with everyone we know in the medical/health world, and contacting every Christian we know to beg their prayers. Michael knows that something is wrong – the MRI, bone scan, and CT scan were an obvious clue. We have told him that we are still trying to figure out what is wrong, and what the doctors are going to need to do.

    I am pleading with God for my son. I am begging the saints to intercede for his healing. And I humbly ask you to join us in praying for his health and life. I ask that you make Michael's prayer need known to every prayer chain, prayer meeting, etc., that you know.
© 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.)

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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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