As a university professor who teaches gender studies, Isa Kelley Bowman probably regularly lectures on the evils of profiling, stereotyping and the dangers of generalizing particular groups of humans.
Yet, apparently for Ms. Bowman, Catholics are fair game, as it would be difficult to find a better example of profiling, stereotyping and generalizing a particular group of humans than her recent column (Jan. 31, “This is a Catholic Country,” The Guam Daily Post).
The fact is, the Catholics which Ms. Bowman attempts to impugn, belittle and shame into silence have accomplished something no other Catholics in the world have done in modern history: rid themselves of an abusive bishop.
With their walkers, wheelchairs, canes and rosaries, a small group of mostly elderly Catholics began to stand up to the most powerful man on Guam. And in doing so, they also began to stand up against the culture of silence imposed on them by oppressive and cowardly clerical bullies like the one they were now standing up against.
And after more than a year of pounding the sidewalk in front of the cathedral-basilica, the sound of that pounding finally reached Rome. But not just Rome. That pounding was also heard in the hearts of what is now more than 150 "children" who for decades lay quivering in the dark with horrible, suppressed memories, if not ruined lives.
In other dioceses around the world, bishops have been removed or disciplined only after the press or aggressive lawyers and legislators initiated investigations and lawsuits.
Not so, on Guam. In fact, the press (for the most part), the lawyers and the legislators did not get involved until the pounding and the crying grew too loud to ignore.
No. On Guam, the same Catholics who Ms. Bowman says have no right to protest abortion unless they protest sex abuse are the very Catholics who did what no legislator, no media person, no lawyer and no university professor had the guts to do.
Tim Rohr is a resident of Agat.