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petek, 17. februar 2017


Dorothy Day Whitewashed

Dear Atila,

There is a recent article in the Jesuit-run Magazine America written by Fr. James Martin, S.J., entitled "Dorothy Day: Future Saint, Imperfect Parent" in which he tries to whitewash Day's neglect of her daughter, dismissing it as one of those "failings" that even the saints were prone to.

As he is in the forefront of those promoting Dorothy Day's canonization, it is obvious that this is a cynical attempt to remove any obstacle which might frustrate that ambition.

My reply, printed below, has been published in the Comments section of that Magazine:

"Fr. Martin's article is simply a whitewash of Day's grave dereliction of her primary duty as a mother to personally care for her child. She spoke much about the necessity to have 'personal responsibility' for those in need, but hypocritically chose not to apply that to her own daughter in the latter's most vulnerable years. For a mother to cast her young child on the care of the community while devoting herself wholeheartedly to universal benevolence is as much opposed to nature as it is to religion. To diminish the mother’s role, as Pope Leo XIII stated, would 'act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home.' (Rerum novarum, § 14)

"Day could have made a reasonable living by using her literary talents in a writing career which would not have required leaving her daughter to be brought up by others.

"Surely that is not just one of those 'failings' that even the saints were prone to. Day failed in the most basic requirement of Christian charity, the personal care of her own child, and so fell far below the standard required both by the Natural Law and the Fourth Commandment of God, which includes this commitment.

"How can a Catholic priest condone this behavior which offends God and gives bad example to other mothers?"

You may use it in any way you wish.


     Carol (Dr. Carol Byrne, Great Britain)