IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 5

June 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm 5 comments

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part One
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part Two
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 3.
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church -Part Four

My Roman Catholic friends either laughed , shook their heads or knowingly smiled when I said

I am going to write to the Vatican.

I went on the Vatican’s website- No! I wasn’t going to write to the Pope he has his own problems ( because situations in the Roman Catholic Church that had been ignored, disregarded and swept aside – were now coming to light with a vengeance.

Investigators also opened the graves of archbishops in the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechlin, north of Brussels, looking for possibly incriminating documents, said Jean-Marc Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor.


Austrian Catholics ramp up quest for church reform

Vatican opposes interrogation of pope in sex abuse case -USA

Pope Names Team to Investigate Abuse in Ireland

Walter Mixa, German bishop and ally of the Pope, faces new child abuse allegations

It seems the Vatican and the Pope are trying to sort through decades of problems world-wide because they were “ignored” in the first place (imho) . I figured I would get lost in the shuffle of “those that were ignored” and quite frankly they certainly deserved to be heard more than I!

Searching through the Vatican site I came across

Il Gran Magistero dell’Ordine
The Grand Magisterium of the Order
John Patrick Foley –

Ah well here is a someone who was born in Pennsylvania so certainly wouldn’t need an interpreter as to American “mid western” thinking.

I wrote the following:

Archbishop John Patrick Foley
President, Pontifical Council for Social Communication
00120 Vatican City State,
Rome, Italy February 26, 2010

Dear Archbishop Foley.

I am writing to you as you were born in Pennsylvania so presumably you know the “culture “of the Midwestern thinking. Also, quite frankly not knowing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, I am sending this to you as you seem to be in charge. I am curious to see what happens – will etiquette at least produce a letter of receipt or acknowledgement which hasn’t been the case so far in my journey of grief?

You can put this letter down to a grieving mother who wants some answers or who just wants to reach out and make someone of your faith aware of her terrible pain caused, in part, by decisions of people of your faith and enabling of such by your church and an acknowledgement of such.

I did write to the local Bishop ( Richard Lennon) and the priest here in Ohio involved in my secondary loss of my son. (Please see enclosed letter). However, I have received not even a “thank you for you letter, your concerns have been noted and filed” . As an aside the withholding of my son’s cremains was not done for any “religious reasoning” but because he wasn’t an organ donor so she wanted him “intact”.

Maybe I expected too much. I suppose in the grand scheme of things my grief and loss is tantamount to a mere blip on the screen of life , not worthy of acknowledgement , but to this family it is our world- one of unbearable heartache. Do you not think that I should have “expected” an acknowledgement? It does seem that the consensus among your flock here in Ohio they would not have expected any answer. I find that disconcerting actually that even your own people have told me “don’t expect any response”. Why shouldn’t I have expected a response to a letter sent to “men of the cloth” and the human experience?

So I thought I would reach out to the “almost” top and follow through. Thank you for your time in this matter- I await with anticipation your views or acknowledgement at least.

Yours sincerely

Loraine Ritchey



You see if Angela (Lombardi) ritchey IF she had said:

”due to my religious beliefs I cannot separate the ashes”

Believe it or not I would have understood that reasoning - I would have tried to intercede to change her mind to have people of her faith explain BUT remember that is NOT what she stated in the “note” over her signature – in fact she went out of her way to state that religion wasn’t the reason

Angela Lombardi ritchey

(emphasis mine)

I have decided not to separate his ashes. This decision was not made as a reaction to recent events . Religion did not play a role. Chris did not want to be an organ donor he wanted to leave this world with what he came with…I feel this is one last thing I can do to honor my husband…..

CAN YOU BELIEVE ALL THIS ???? – ALL THE HURT, ILL FEELINGS AND TURMOIL FOR A REASON SUCH AS ‘NOT AN ORGAN DONOR”- BEGGARS BELIEF…….( especially when he WAS! …..guess she didn’t know Chris as well as she thought she did.
This is supposedly an intelligent individual who hopefully takes in account what the outcome of her decisions make ( Dr. ) on fellow human beings. Also medically speaking she certainly should know what happens to the organs during a cremation

During the cremation process, a large part of the body (especially the organs) and other soft tissue are vaporized and oxidized because of the heat, and the resulting gases are discharged through the exhaust system.

Didn’t she give a thought to how her actions ( based on such asinine reasoning) would be nothing less than an act of cruelty of the most emotionally abusive kind perpetrated on this family –

Did she discuss this with her Roman Catholic family ? ( according to Sue Lombardi the morning of Dec 11th when confronted by my daughter- “Angela thought long and hard about this”- ( even more worrying in my opinion as to lacking in consequences of one’s actions- (but then again they wanted to send Chris on a 28 hour train journey when he couldn’t even walk to the bathroom)

Did she discuss her reasoning with her priest?

Did she discuss her thinking with fellow colleagues in the medical field?( after all some on them were part of the gypsy caravan in the waiting room .

ED note: looking at the scene that day where medical professionals ( my son’s “new” Dr. whom I met for the first time) piled into an already crowded 25 ft area .. sitting on that filthy waiting room floor carpet ( dressed to the nines)…… sharing soup and sandwiches – gathered around the feet of Angela whilst her mother (imho) figuratively crooned and swooned over the “professionals” reminded me of some alien picnic . It was very surreal and not conducive to my having “faith in the profession”- but I digress…….


Did they all think this was the “right ” thing to do?

Did not one soul have compassion for the people who would be traumatized by this act of “legal ” right?

OR DID THEY TOO -IGNORE?

TO BE CONTINUED……….

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Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, hell is other people, journey, notorious opponents of exactitude, personal opinion, religion, weddings and funerals. Tags: , , , , .

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 4. IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 6 -

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aylin  |  June 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Loraine, Forgive me. I am missing a part of the story – did Chris want to be an organ donor, but his wife ignored this – and hence, his organs werent donated. And then, on top of that, she dismissed his family (you werent aware of the funeral mass) AND she also had him cremated but didnt give you half of his ashes as she originally promised?!!!

    Am I missing something?! What in the world?! That is really cruel – no compassion. I would think HER MOTHER would have stepped up to the plate and guided her in another direction. Awful.

    I understand your frustration thus far with the Catholic church, but I am betting the priests either werent aware or were told that the “Ritchey” side wasnt available for the funeral mass. It would be grave sin otherwise.

    I know the church has a lot going on in regards to recent allegations of molestations, etc – but please remember, all organized religion is only as good as the people upholding it. The priests, bishops who committed the heinous sin of rape/molestation, etc AND those who looked the other way (a heavier sin) will all have to answer to their ways one day. There are many priests/nuns/holy people who dont make it to the big party in the sky. Please remember that our faith, tradition, dogma, etc doesnt “accept” this behavior. Jesus tells us in the bible that it is better for someone to tie a millstone around their neck and jump in water than it is to hurt His little ones. This isnt over, Loraine.

    I am not hear to defend the church, but only to remind you anything run by humans in prone to error (and sin).

    Looking forward to reading the response from John Patrick Foley. I am sure you received one from him.

    I said one for you this morning. Take care. aylin.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 30, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I admit is is confusing lets see

    1. Angela agreed to the cremation and the division of the ashes on Dec . 4th at the funeral home meeting. Therefroe we made all our arrangements for closure based upon that promise.

    2. On Dec 11th I was called over to the funeral home and given a note Angela had left stating that she had now changed her mind and would no longer agree to the division of the ashes- not for any religious reason but because she wanted Chris to be whole as he wasn’t ever an organ donor.

    3. In fact Chris up until his last license ( August 09) had been an organ donor but couldn’t be on his latest license as he had cancer. So Angela was wrong- I have Chris license to prove it. But it was a flimsy reason anyway as Angela being a Dr. knows or should do what happens when a body is cremated.the justification was absurd at best.

    4. After she changed her mind ( which effectively denied this family any closure in our beliefs) she made arrangements to inter Chris cremains in their Catholic Cemetery and in their family plot- and did not inform any of Chris family of the time they were holding the burial service. Therefore the interment of my sons remains was without any of his family in attendence.

    5. They had a memorial service for Chris ( before he was cremated on Dec 7th ) Chris was not cremated until December 13th – ( I believe although I am not positive that the interment was held sometime on December 19th????

    I did not attend the memorial service at St. Mary’s on Dec 7th although my family did – I was with my husband who was taking Chris death very badly ( he also had had open heart surgery a few years back and we were very concerned as to the state of his health ) and I also stayed to look after him and Nikkis baby . I had the letter ( which appeared on this blog) read by my cousin and apparently according to the “family friend of the Lombardis that annoyed Angela and then she decided to “take control and exercise her rights as Chris wife.

    and there you have it . I felt the Priest and the the church bore some responsiblity in all this .

    This series is really about being “ignored” and the examples of abuse basically boil down to the fact that the “church ” ignored and how evenutally you ignore at your peril.it isn’t just the church as I said in the series it is a common occurence from Governments on down ….we get ignored all the time and this was one time I decided I was not going to be ignored…. especially by supposedly those who have humankind as part of their job description.

    Yes I received a response and it will be going up in a couple of days:)

  • 3. aylin  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you for the clarification. It is an astounding story. I cant beleive it. Even if you and Angela had differences, this was a time for her to extend out to you. I dont even think she understands what she held you back from and how deeply it hurt you. I dont know that someone who hasnt carried a child could possibly understand what she took from you. For her sake, I hope she never does feel that hurt and I hope with God’s grace, you are able to somehow release the most understandable anger and hurt you feel towards her – so you will be able to heal and be free of her once and for all. This is a lot for one mother to carry – a heavy burden and the only way I think it will be lighter would be through prayer and God’s grace. I ask this for you.

    I am anticipating his response to your letter. Woman, I have to tell you, even in your pain, your fight is strong and you are steadfast within it. That is admirable. I reckon England would be in a lot better place if they could get an ioda of your fight and passion in the World Cup!!!

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Even if she hated me and I guess the relationship I thought we had up until Chris could no longer speak was not what I thought we had…. I didn’t think there were any major issues, she was welcomed into this family and I tried ( obviously there was more to this than I could ever have believed.)… but as I said even if I was the worst mother in law in the world the most horrible person and you wanted your pound of flesh from me….

    How could she even think to hurt Chris Nana and father anyone that knows them will tell you they are the gentlest of people and never ever do anything that is unkind….they loved Angela….and Nikki she thought Angela was her friend as well as her sister in law – Anglea lived with Nikki for weeks when she was on a rotation on Toledo, shared her home and table…. Anglea of all people knew and saw how this disease devasted Nikki and how scared she was for Chris she also knew how very very very close they were… she came to that hospital ( Nikki) leaving her baby , she was also nursing him and had to take major precaustions because they said Chris had H1N1 ( they didn’t want her there at all- and that situation as far as danger to little Gavin it was so hard to dirve twohours for every visit.she had the Drs. telling her what she had to do to protect Gavin for her stripoff and shower in the garage etc.. oh what she went through just to be with Chris . I

    n fact Angela asked Nikki to come back to the hospital room Nikki had to leave to feed Gavin .he wasn’t taking the bottle because when Nikki was there Chris stats calmed.. so she asked Nikki to come back up as her very presence helped him….. How could she do this to Nikki.let alone the rest of the family ………I will never understand her reasonings or cruelty to those I love and I certainly will never understand how her family not only enabled but guided her through this horrible horrible travesty of control

    I am having a really really really bad day today I am a puddle again….. my eyes are blurred with tears for most of this day … thank you for your thoughts and your prayers . Loraine

  • 5. aylin  |  June 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I am so sorry the day has been so rough for you. I am sure that writing is theraputic, but I have to think it also drudges up all of the emotion and forces you to relive all the pain once again.

    I dont know how anyone could do all of the above – even if you were the worst person in the world, what is wrong with this picture that an entire family had no compassion? I just dont understand why there was this need to control and inject an immense amount of anxiety and pain into a situation in which your hearts were already so heavy? Cruel.

    As for the church, I hope they didnt have a hand in this – I dont know the priests that you are referring to or the parish, but I hope none of this was intentional on their behalf.

    In any event, mother to mother, I wish I had words to console, but I do not – only to say that you are in my daily intentions and will continue to be.

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