Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Razzle Dazzle 'em Part 3 - John McCormack and Bernard Law

Razzle Dazzle ‘em –Part 3 – John McCormack and Bernard Law

And today on the treadmill of the Jewish Community Center I read the obituary of the courageous Sister Cathering Mulkerrin and again the words and the melody of Razzle Dazzle ‘em resounded in my head. Last November I applied it to the Government of Israel, yesterday to President George W. Bush and today to two of the past heads of the Catholic Church in Boston.

What a universal ecumenical message!! You can Razzle Dazzle ‘em whether you are Jewish, Protestant or Catholic.

Reprinted below are excerpts from the obituary not, however, in the same order as printed.

Sister Catherine Mulkerrin, who repeatedly pressed Roman Catholic church leaders in Boston to warn parishioners about priests who had been accused of exually abusing children, has died. She was 73. Sister Catherine died Saturday at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham after a 24-year battle with cancer, said Sister Joanne Gallagher, spokeswoman for their religious order, the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston. Sister Catherine received allegations of clergy abuse and dealt directly with victims while working as assistant director of the Boston Archdiocesan Office for Victims of Abuse from 1992 to 1994. She said she received allegations against more than 100 priests in that period. Many of her memos to her supervisors later were released as part of lawsuits filed against the archdiocese by alleged victims.

"She really confronted the Archdiocese of Boston six years before the sexual abuse scandal broke out . . . I think that she was incredibly brave to do that," said Sheila Boyle, 60, of Malden, an editor and author who received a settlement from the church after she was abused by a now-defrocked priest. Boyle said the nun's sensitive and compassionate handling of sexual abuse victims avoided subjecting them to additional psychological trauma.

Again, if you do not know the song, watch this clip from the movie:

(This is not a spoiler but keep in mind that Roxie murdered her lover in cold blood and here she is on trial for that crime.)

BILLY Roxie, you got nothing to worry about.
It's all a circus, kid.
A three ring circus.

These trials- the whole world- all show business.
But kid, you're working with a star, the biggest!

Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle Dazzle 'em

Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate.

Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bead and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?

What if your hinges all are rusting?
What if, in fact, you're just disgusting?

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they’ll never catch wise!

"I know I sound like a broken record," according to one memo from Sister Catherine that was released in 2002, "but we need to put in church bulletins 'It has come to our attention a priest stationed here between 19XX and 19XX may have molested children - please contact . . . ' "

She said in a deposition that archdiocese leaders ignored her repeated concerns that priests accused of sexual abuse were allowed to return to parish work without the kind of supervision she had recommended.

Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em

Give 'em a show that's so splendiferous
Row after row will crow vociferous

Give 'em the old flim flam flummox
Fool and fracture 'em
How can they hear the truth above the roar?

Throw 'em a fake and a finagle
They'll never know you're just a bagel,

"I expressed concern, consternation. What are we thinking of? What are you thinking of?" Sister Catherine said in a deposition released April 8, 2003, about her conversations with Bishop John McCormack, her boss who handled sexual abuse complaints involving priests as an aide to Cardinal Bernard Law, then head of the archdiocese.

She said in the deposition McCormack told her he was trying to address her concerns. He later said through a spokesman he was following policy, but acknowledged he made mistakes during his time in Boston.

Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll beg you for more!

Give 'em the old double whammy
Daze and dizzy 'em

Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

Give 'em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger 'em
When you're in trouble, go into your dance

Though you are stiffer than a girder
They'll let you get away with murder

Razzle dazzle 'em
And you've got a romance

Give 'em the oldRazzle Dazzle
Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em

Show 'em the first rate sorceror you are
Long as you keep 'em way off balance
How can they spot you've got no talent

Razzle Dazzle 'em
Razzle Dazzle 'em
Razzle Dazzle 'em
And they'll make you a star!

Law resigned in 2003 (Blogger’s Note - to take a position as archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and eventually to become a member of eight Vatican departments).

McCormack became bishop of New Hampshire in 1998.

1 comment:

npro said...

Once again you have dazzled me. Very creative juxtaposition.