Author, a Franciscan Priest, Criticizes Leadership of Catholic Church
St. Lucy Church, Call to Action Sponsor Michael Crosby's LeMoyne Talk

By Renee K. Gadoua
The Post-Standard [Syracuse NY]
April 10, 2003

Michael Crosby says he takes his cue from St. Francis.

Francis, known for using his wealth to care for the poor and the sick, is said to have heard this message from Jesus: "Go, Francis, and repair my house which is falling into ruin." Crosby, a Franciscan priest, said the founder of his religious order set the stage for his criticism of the Catholic Church's structure and leadership.

"God's house is increasingly ruined, increasingly debilitated," Crosby said Monday in a telephone interview from Milwaukee. Crosby will discuss his criticism in a lecture today at LeMoyne College. He is the author of 13 books, including "The Dysfunctional Church: Addiction and Codependency in the Family of Catholicism." Crosby is considered an expert in biblical spirituality and advising investors on corporate responsibility.

His local presentation is sponsored by St. Lucy Roman Catholic Church and Call to Action, a national Catholic organization that supports issues including the ordination of women, a greater role for the laity and a stronger emphasis on peace and justice.

According to Crosby, the structure of the Roman Catholic Church led to the clergy sex-abuse scandal. "To preserve the system of the male, celibate priesthood, you had bishops unwilling to implement their own decrees," he said. "You had bishops unwilling to hold other bishops accountable, and bishops acting unilaterally."

It's not the system God envisioned, Crosby said. "When you have clericalism and sexism making decisions, you have a style that does not reflect the Trinity," he said.

"Everything is in the hands of the few that affects the many, with the many having no say in the process," he said.

Compounding the problem is the fact church leaders discourage Catholics from challenging the system, he said. Crosby remains optimistic about the church and has no intention of leaving it.


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