Bob Bullock was a great priest and better person. Some years ago, he faced an existential question: Who was he, and what did he stand for? More importantly, what did the Gospel he tried to live by stand for?
In Father Bob’s case, he had to decide whether he was going to publicly repudiate his bishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, or stand with the institutional Catholic Church. Father Bob was appalled at the levels to which Law sank to protect deviants in Roman collars who preyed on kids. He was appalled that good priests were being lumped in with the criminals because the bishops were shielding those who should have gone to jail, protecting the institution at the expense of the individual.
When Father Bob decided he could not be silent and called for Cardinal Law to resign, I drove down to Sharon and asked how he reached his decision. Father Bob said he simply asked himself: What would Jesus do? Would Jesus approve of hush money and transferring predators to other parishes so they could rape more children? Or would Jesus side with the most vulnerable members of his flock? Would Jesus side with expediency or justice? When he framed it like that, Father Bob said, the answer was obvious.
I only wish Father Bob was still alive because I’d like to know what he thought of all the holy rollers, encouraged by a Supreme Court that’s a little slow on this separation of church and state stuff, who are swanning around, dressed in a cloak of bigotry they refer to as religious freedom.
Would Jesus really have a problem with a gay kid going to, or a gay person working at, Gordon College?
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