February 05, 2006

Healing broken trust

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 5, 2006

For two weeks, Julia Bledsoe hasn't been able to recite the Lord's Prayer.

She cannot ask God to forgive her trespasses because she cannot forgive the parish priest who may have trespassed against her church's children. Forgiveness is a doctrine she simply can't embrace at the moment.

In fact, it took a reminder from her granddaughter that everyone needs prayer before she knelt to pray for Rev. Daniel McCormack.

Facing the realization that she may not be able to forgive McCormack for the abuse of which he is accused left Bledsoe racked with guilt and shame.

"I am really sorry for my rush to judgment," said Bledsoe, 56, a longtime parishioner at St. Agatha Catholic Church, where McCormack served.

"I'm Catholic. I'm rushing to judgment; I'm doing everything that's not right," she added. "That's not a good thing, especially being an African-American. That's appalling, because we're always judged so quickly. But I always err on the side of the children. If it's not true, Daniel McCormack is an adult, and he'll be able to defend himself."

Posted by kshaw at February 5, 2006 08:18 AM