Final Day in Washington

The day began with an early morning interview on a talk radio show, with a man call Bill Press. I am told he is one of the few liberal talk radio shows in this country.  The interview was a real pleasure.  Similar to the one with Maureen Fielder on the previous day, I was speaking to someone who knows about religion and the issues around the Catholic Church.  That interview is available, I am told, on Youtube under Bill Press.

In the afternoon I met with some priests, one of whom was the distinguished canon lawyer, Jim Corridan. It was good to meet Jim, and we had a very interesting conversation. He confirmed my decision, in dealing with my own case, not to go down the route of appealing through Canon Law.

In the evening I had my first open meeting.  It took place in the Augustana Lutheran Church. We got a great welcome from, Jack, the local pastor, and we felt totally at home. But there was a real sadness in all that for me. After almost forty years of preaching in churches up and down Ireland, this was another indication of how an institution can close in and shut you out if they consider you no longer in line.

Having said all that it was a great evening. The attendance was lively and very involved. Similar to Ireland, many of them were around my own age-group. But there was also a significant presence of younger people, in their twenties and thirties, which you would be less likely to get at home. Most of these young people are actively involved in the various reform movements. They added a wonderful level of energy and enthusiasm to the evening. I am poor at names, but I will remember Kate and Katie, Jess, Alan, Lynn and many more.  I will meet some of them again at the CTA conference in Memphis later in my tour.

This morning I leave for Baltimore, on the second leg of the trip.  I will have many lovely memories of my days in Washington, but probably what will stand out most of all for me is the two Maryknoll men I was staying with, Tim and Dave.  We had a wonderful time together, and shared many great stories in between some serious discussion on the state of the Church all over the world.