I had planned to write this the evening of Monday, July 1 — the day the Archdiocese of Milwaukee released nearly 7,000 pages of documents relevant to 45 priests who sexually abused children. After reading documents related to the abusers I knew from my days at De Sales Prep, I wanted to write — but to whom? You? The abusers? Their victims — one of whom I know?

I called a classmate. He hadn’t read the documents. It didn’t sound like he was going to do so. He knew even more of the people on “the list” of 45. He said little, but was kind enough to listen to my profanity laced rant.

I didn’t write; I went to bed. Tried to sleep. Not a chance. Too much anger, too many bad memories. None of them related to abuse, just to the abusers. Hours later, between fits of sleep and a couple of attempts at prayer, I still couldn’t write. 

By morning, the anger was subsiding, replaced by numbness.  I gave up on writing about it, but over the next several days I had plenty of time to think about — and pray about — what was in those documents. And now, I can write. Not much, but not much needs to be written.

I continue to pray — for you, me and the rest of the People of God we call the church, including abusers and their victims. Nothing else provides any solace or any hope of coming to grips with what I read.

I am out of questions, save one for the abusers. 


Whether any of them answers it or not, I will continue to pray. And I ask that you do, too.