Moving on?

This mornings paper greeted me with two major headlines:

I had most recently been over to 38th and Chicago on May 23, 2021, two days before the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.

On the Kevin McDonough issue: I and others were abundantly blessed by having him as Pastor during his time as Vicar General of the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.  I’m quite sure his current parishioners feel similar to me.  My time at his parish was 1991-96, which was the same time period where the sex abuse problem was getting deserved publicity, and my Church and other institutions, religious and otherwise, were forced to come to  grips with what was a major problem.  This was over 30 years ago.

There are other recent issues along the same lines.  For just a single example: The Tulsa Massacre of 100 years ago is finally being acknowledged, and now the demands are what has to be done now to repair the terror that destroyed then lives, and still affects the generations of survivors.

The question arises in my mind: Is there a time to move on, or is every grievance a moving target living in perpetuity?

Must 38th and Chicago be a permanent monument to a heinous crime for which the perpetrator was found guilty?  Can Kevin McDonough, whose only crime was not doing enough (wisdom of hindsight) when it was on his desk that complaints landed, be permanently tarred and feathered, though his only offense was not doing enough about something he didn’t know enough about at the time?

I don’t know the answer to these and other questions.  Neither does anybody else.  It may be impossible to dispassionately deal with any of these issues.  If you’re alive and American you have an opinion, likely.

Is there an appropriate ‘mourning period’ for injustice?  I did the traditional google search, and gave up quickly.  It depends on the rules established by whomever, whenever.  There was an interesting article on the topic which I share here.  I share it only as an example.

Probably where I stand on these issues is best reflected in a comment by my friend, Mary, in my Memorial Day post.   You can see it in the comments section.  But here it is as it appeared earlier this week. “About 5 or 6 years ago when I was in Vietnam, I asked a question of a wonderful guide who had been very open about his experience of war. “How do you feel about all the Americans tourists after what you, your family, and friends experienced during the war and after?” He gently replied “we never forget but we always forgive” His words were an a very important lesson to me. As are the messages of Veterans for Peace.”

All grievances are not alike.  I had an entire career seeing that truism in action, every day.  Solutions need to be found for every circumstance.

But holding on to grievances forever is an albatross of going forward.  The advice of the Vietnamese guide says it all for me.



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