Diogenes' Lantern

I confess to having been in the dark concerning the contemporary re-incarnation of the ancient philosopher (happily this occurred prior to the Chinese Government's prohibition).

But several posts by Grant enlightened me to his existence.

So, from time to time, I've surreptitiously peeked into his lantern.

Here's an example of what I saw:

Let us now praise illustrious women

InKing Lear (III:vii) there is a man who is such a minor character thatShakespeare has not given him even a name: he is merely "FirstServant." All the characters around him -- Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund-- have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story isgoing to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no suchdelusions. He has no notion how the play is going to go. But heunderstands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding ofold Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand it. His sword is outand pointed at his master's breast in a moment: then Regan stabs himdead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But ifit were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best tohave acted.
-- C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night"

Dismayed by Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger'slint-flavored observations on yet another predator priest he'd keptstashed in an Evansville parish, it struck me what a shabby figure myown sex has cut throughout the clergy abuse crisis, and, on thecontrary, how frequently the voices raised in opposition to the liesand injustice have belonged to women. None of these women was heeded,as it happens, but they deserve to be honored all the same for thedecency and guts to sound off in the face of iniquity.

High on the roll of honor is Boston housewife Margaret Gallant, who wrote letters to archbishops Medeiros and Law beseeching relief from Father John Geoghan's ongoing molestation of seven of her nephews.

"Our family is deeply rooted in the Catholic Church,our great-grandparents and parents suffered hardship and persecutionfor love of the Church. Our desire is to protect the dignity of theHoly Orders, even in the midst of our tears and agony over the sevenboys in our family who have been violated. We cannot undo that, but weare obligated to protect others from this abuse to the Mystical Body ofJesus Christ. ... [Fr. Geoghan's] actions are not only destructive tothe emotional well-being of the children, but hits the very core of ourbeing in our love for the church..."

Sorry, Margaret dear, no can do. Geoghan's "effective life of ministry" had another 16 years to run.

When I first read Margaret Galant's letter some years back, I was overwhelmed by the love and anguish it expressed. Love and anguish not only for the children, but for the church.

Diogenes' post gives further examples of such "illustrious women."

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.

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