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Monday, September 28, 2015

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Dorothy at Dirty Frank's--Center City








Dorothy came over from New Jersey to see Pope Francis at Independence Mall on 9/26. After this interview in Dirty Frank's, she went on to attend Pope Francis' outdoor mass the next day.

“He speaks and everybody is hearing him. Today, for instance, when he quoted the Declaration of Independence, he said, ‘All men and women are created equal.’ I don’t think I’ve ever heard any world leader said ‘and women.’ It’s always ‘All men are created equal,’ but this man said, ‘and women.’ I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Catholic, but there’s something that’s wonderful about this man, and he’s for everyone. He’s a good man.

I went to a little Protestan church. My father was a Catholic, and my mother was a Jew. We went to church every Sunday. To be honest with you, they just wanted us to learn the Bible, and I also think it was a way to get all five kids out of the house for a couple of hours on a Sunday.

I was drawn to this Pope immediately. Just from reading some of the things he was saying about the environment, about the poor, about immigrant, about homosexuals, about women, about… just about everything. Everything he said was just so right on, and it’s just amazing to hear a man of God saying these things, especially of the Catholic Church. He’s a good man, a good man, and you can feel that with him. It was overwhelming today… watching the reaction of the people. People were screaming, like he was some kind of rock star. I’ve never seen before… in just a regular person like that. I was crying. I was talking to this woman from Argentina, and we were saying what I’m saying now. We both just started… We both got emotional and just started weeping talking about him because his message was so powerful, and he’s such a humble and sweet man. I mean, he doesn’t even ride in the Pope Mobile with the bulletproof glass all around him. That’s faith. This man has true faith.

I liked John Paul. I didn’t like the last guy. He was a Nazi, and he was a quitter. You don’t quit being the Pope.

I thank my parents for never taking me as a baby and christening me, and baptizing me into a church. They give me a choice.

Would I become a Catholic because of him? No, because I don’t really care for the Catholic Church. I care for this man. I care for this man, a lot, but the Catholic Church, you know… It’s not a good organization.

My biggest objection is the power and the money. I really don’t think they use it to help the poor, and the homeless, and the needy. Then there’s the kids being molested. They move the priests around. They don’t fire them. They don’t get rid of them.

The corruption is disgusting. They’re the biggest organization. They’re bigger than the mob. They’re their own country. I really don’t think they’re helping people like they should. They have a lot of money and they’re always begging for money.

I think it’s despicable what they did to that woman, a teacher that they fired here in Philly because she was a lesbian. She was a teacher at this Catholic school for years, and they fired her because she was a lesbian.

I know a lot of people were offended that he said women who had abortions should be given forgiveness. You know, a lot of women were pissed off about that, but I was touched that he would say something like that because I’ve never heard any Catholic leader, or any man of God say a statement like that. And you know, somebody said, and I feel the same way, 'The only person who should forgive me for having an abortion is me. Nobody else.' But the fact that he would say that, I thought was lovely. Especially for Catholic women to have that burden… Granted, they have confession, and repenting, and God forgives, but guilt is a funny thing, especially Catholic guilt. I grew up with a Catholic dad and a Jewish mom, so I got guilt tenfold! I got the Jewish guilt and the Catholic guilt! But I refuse… You know, because of that, I feel guilty about nothing! They tried to make me feel guilty, but it didn’t work.

It was just an amazing day. Everyone was so happy and smiling and warm, and believe me, it was… young, old, black, white, Latino, Asian, everybody was just warm and wonderful. It was a great, great, great day, and I’m so glad I came. When it was over, everybody was just smiling. Their reaction was incredible. It blew my mind. As he came up Market and turned onto Fifth, people were just… screaming! You could hear people gasping. It was just incredible. I was like, oh my God, listen to them!”



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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.