I have been receiving many comments/messages/texts about the infamous letter. I am sure many of you are hearing about it as well. The following are my final comments on the matter.
The letter in question is only part of this story because a priest and confessor betrayed his parishioner and penitent by illicitly obtaining* the letter and sharing it. The letter is a personal correspondence and should have remained so.
I do not believe it is a love letter. I genuinely believe that it was a letter of friendship, which is a form of love and a very important one at that. Have we forgotten that love is a multi-faceted term? The Greeks distinguished four types of love:
Storge: affection – the love between family
Philia: friendship – the love between friends
Eros: passion – the love between lovers
Agape: unconditional love – the love of God
People are spreading this letter around our diocese (and beyond) along with their erotic interpretation of it. Salacious rumors are running rampant and people are using their erotic interpretation as “proof” of their claims. It disgusts and disappoints me in equal measure. These are good, faithful people I have respected in the past and want to still respect now and in the future. We are being divided – at a time when we most need unity!! – over personal interpretations of a letter none of us should ever have seen in the first place. Talk about compounding a tragedy!
Bishop Malone wants us to focus on this letter – that’s why he referenced it so much during this press conference on Wednesday! He wants this letter (and its author, recipient and thief) to deflect attention away from himself. We know how horribly he has treated Father Ryszard in the past – as this story makes heartrendingly clear – so it should not surprise us to realize that he is doing it again. Don’t let Bishop Malone get away with this pathetic diversionary tactic!
One of the most beautiful lines from The Little Prince is this one:
“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.”
Eros is so very visible in our society. We are surrounded by it in many forms.
Let us not allow our eyes and hearts to be blinded to the essential reality of philia.
And for the love of God – agape – stop spreading slander!
I will entertain no further comments or questions on this matter. Please join me in prayer for all involved. Thank you!
*Yes, I am fully aware that I “illicitly obtained” documents from Bishop Malone. They were of an obviously different nature and import.