Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deliberate Faults

In the strange, dark world
of priests and boys
the presence or absence of light
depends on your point of view

The holy church proclaims
you can do nothing with children
unless you win their confidence and love
by bringing them into touch with yourself

The extent of the problem
has been overstated
abuse cases have declined
suffer the children unto me

The use of stereotypes
reminds us of the more
shameful aspects
of anti-Semitism

Those who have suffered
deserve loving pastoral attention
some more than others

Pay, pray, obey

What say the lacerated lambs?
when told they’re at fault
their fragile worlds implode
as if all the angels took off

Who then to believe
the weavers of tainted wool
or the dreamers of corrupted dreams
their foundations ground to dust?

A bumper sticker
on my neighbor’s new car
caringly asks me to
Pray for our Priests

From all evil
all impurity of soul and body
all gluttony and sensuality
all hypocrisy and pretense
all imperfections and deliberate faults
everything that displeases Thee

Deliver them
deliver us all

~ J. D. Mackenzie


  1. Very powerful indeed, JD. Deliver us all.

  2. This is a powerful poem with some wonderful lines..lacerated lambs and weavers of tainted wool...very controversial issue at the moment in the strange dark world of priests and boys.
    I haven't seen that car sticker 'Pray for our Priests' Don't think anyone would be game enough to put one of those on a car down here.I get the feeling you must be a better behaved lot than we are Black Douglas Braveheart. The whole abuse thing is terribly depressing in all the other institutions as well as the Church.

  3. JDM,
    This is quite the poem you have written here. I think this abuse scandal should have been taken care of long ago instead of the cover-ups by the church. I was raised a Catholic and it makes me heartsick.

  4. His Holiness Pope Benny has finally admitted that there was (snort) "sin within the church!" (cough, gag). Too little, too late, Ben. Your poem on this very controversial subject is powerful and well-written, JDM!

  5. Excellent piece. Deliberate faults indeed - remember these are educated men... no excuses.

  6. Excellent poem, difficult subject, too true, deliver us all, amen.

  7. Great array of Church lines on the issue and related areas. Well constructed poem. It's hard to read it without visceral reaction...

    "Pray for our Priests," indeed! There are, of course, both ironic and unironic ways to interpret that. The "charitable" one is to see it as a call to pray for the ones who have done only good but have been tarred with their foul brothers' brush. Ironic that beginning June 19 last year, Benedict XVI declared the Year for Priests... without having first addressed the issues that have rightly kindled people's ire.

  8. Paul, I must echo your observation in the second sentence, that I too found it hard to read (after having written it). This was truly a found poem in the sense that perhaps 80% of the information was taken from the source. I noted the many ways that the bumper sticker could be read, both for the good ones and the fallen. Personally, I'm quite ready to move on to a happy poem with a less heady theme so I appreciate our week 3 prompt. Once again, I applaud Rall's impeccable timing.

  9. I really like this! It reminds me a lot of T.R Hummer

  10. James, flattered and grateful to you for turning me on to this talented poet. This poem of his just blew my doors off:

  11. I really like the lines you used here....thanks JDM

  12. JDM- This is really well written. I love how you isolated "of priests and boys" onto its own line. Because of the emphasis placed on it, I knew from the second line exactly what "deliberate faults" you were talking about.

  13. A skilful and profound piece of writing. It has to be said, it has to be talked about, otherwise nothing will change. Thankyou for posting this.

    I was brought up a catholic, and among many doctrinal doubts in early adulthood, my distaste for the insistence on a celibate priesthood was one of the elements in my decision to leave the church.

  14. JD -- Wow! Great that you put this out here. It's just so sad that this issue has persisted for decades... Brilliant first stanza and powerful, important message. Lots of great lines, including the image of "their fragile worlds implodes as if all the angels took off."

    Talk about drum solos on the heart...