Skip to comments.Bishops - The Church in Crisis
Posted on 08/20/2018 9:29:48 AM PDT by pgyanke
While everyone feigns shock at the revelations out of Pennsylvania this past week, this isn't news to the faithful in the pews. We have been calling for accountability for years. We all either know someone or of someone who has been a victim of abuse or targeted for such abuse. When confronted, prelates turned a deaf ear and a blind eye. Even when the evidence was clear that a priest was targeting who he thought was a 16 year-old, it was excused because there was no evidence he had been able to fulfill those desires... yet. The abuse that came to light almost 15 years ago was an opportunity to cleanse the Church. The result was a superficial cleaning that didn't touch the root problems, make amends with victims, nor administer appropriate penalties for offenders.
The Church (in large part) is still failing to address the root problems in the current crisis. I think Bishop Morlino of Madison had the best response I have seen so far in his pastoral letter. Cardinal Burke was very forthright in his interview with Raymond Burke on EWTNs The World Over. Most other responses are more concerned with the embarrassment to the clergy and promises to do better without specifics. The root problem is the homosexual subculture that has taken hold in the Church. Any letter that fails to recognize this truth is continuing to fail in correction. The first step in the cure of any disease is an accurate diagnosis.
I have noted for years that the liberal mindset is the most closed-minded of ideologies. They use our open-mindedness against us. While we invite all viewpoints into our midst, liberals recruit and promote only those of the same mind. You can see this playing out dramatically on college campuses today where conservative speakers are violently rejected and only the liberal side is embraced. The media and academia are both measurably over 90% liberal due to this phenomenon of only embracing their own side. As liberals gain authority, they only hire those who agree with their own orthodoxy. This is the same process that has brought us where we are today in the Church. Our leaders have sought to display their tolerance to the intolerant and have been repaid by a growing subculture, hostile to our teachings.
At Mass last evening, the celebrant priest made the comment, "we tried to rehabilitate offending priests but have only recently learned pedophilia is incurable." This is more obfuscation. The problems of pedophilia have been known for more than three decades. There were even promises made during the last flare-up that pedophile priests would be out of ministry and away from children. That promise wasn't kept and here we are again. Comments such as these suggest that we will continue down the same road with bandaids that don't address the true malady. This isn't a recent discovery, it's a convenient excuse for past inaction.
There are bad actors in every walk of life. They do bad things. When this happens, those in authority must deal justice in the aftermath. That is what the bishops have failed to do for a long time and it is worse than the abuse itself. In many cases, the power of the Church has been wielded against the accusers rather than the abusers. This must be addressed and corrected. Actions like this scandalize the faithful and punish the victims.
I heard a story from someone close to me recently that puts this situation into a clearer focus. He had attended a retreat where the abuse was discussed. He was told the accused asked for prayers as they deal with these disordered desires and offenses. My friend asked whether the offenders had called for prayers for the victims and their families... No. Sexual disorders are selfish in nature. This response continues the selfishness through the so-called rehabilitation.
The main body of bishops and priests is still in CYA mode rather than taking offensive action to root out the offenders in their midst. The modern Church in this country is following the secular culture in their sin rather than aggressively opposing sin. We are a go-along-to-get-along Church. We accept what is unacceptable to appear reasonable and non-judgmental rather than simply standing for the higher truths. Where we should simply preach the truth, we water it down by making it personal. When its personal, the truth is a two-edged sword most are not prepared to wield.
We fail in both justice and mercy. When we show mercy without justice to the accused, we do greater harm to accuser and victim together. The victim continues in their temporal pain which may be a millstone to their faith. The accuser is confirmed in his sin and a lack of real repentance may condemn him for eternity. Certainly, both situations are scandals of infinite magnitude.
Our Church has been embracing homosexuality rather than confronting it for decades. I offer these few examples (among thousands possible) to prove my words:
Any resolution that dances around the problem isnt a resolution. If the Church doesnt stand for truth (especially difficult truths) then it doesnt stand with Christ, Who is Truth personified. I heard a parishioner after Mass today say that the only thing to be done is to pray. I respectfully disagree. In a way, that is a little like the Protestant understanding of faith... one must only believe in one's heart to be saved. Faith without works is a dead faith (James 2:26). Prayer without a firm resolve to do what must be done is an empty prayer. Where amends must be made, they should be made. Where the truth must be said, it should be said.
These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why arent bishops stopping it?
New Ways Ministry:LGBT-Friendly Parishes
New Ways Ministry: Building bridges between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church since 1977
The homosexual subculture problem in the Church is related to my effort to encourage the bishops to speak out against the Democratic Party for their advocacy of abortion and homosexual marriage. Both are sins that cry out to God in Heaven (Gen 4:10 & Gen 19:13). Both are in Democratic Party platforms at all levels... and yet our bishops have been mostly silent in condemnation. Are they silent because they sympathize with the Democrats on social issues or has their silence been coerced by a ruthless party which threatened to expose the unfolding scandal? Neither situation is flattering for our bishops. The time is now to speak all truth and come clean for the scandalized faithful. The culture of death must defeated by the Church standing for the way, the truth, and the life.
"The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops," said St Athanasius. As a husband and father, I am responsible for the souls in my home. Priests are responsible for the souls in their parish. You are responsible for the souls in your diocese or archdiocese. You have been blessed with great power and authority in the Kingdom of God. You have been cursed with great responsibility to stand against evil. Rather than forcefully condemn the culture of death, you have allowed it to metastasize within the hierarchy of the Church. The task of removing this cancer will likely be the greatest challenge of our generation. Failure has eternal consequences for laity and clergy alike.
" If I say to the wicked, You shall surely dieand you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade the wicked from their evil conduct in order to save their livesthen they shall die for their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their blood."I pray for all of the ministers of the Church in these dark times. Your challenge is to undo the decades of decay and neglect that have hurt your authority and message. Faithful Catholics everywhere stand with you as you stand for the truths of the Church. We know right from wrong and we know the Catechism of our Church. We will hear the truth when you preach it and be disappointed when you fail. We know you are as human as we are. We know you have a most difficult job. We also know you are the ones commissioned to do what must be done. We will stand with you as you rise.
- Ezekiel 3:18
There are a number of meetings in Archdioceses across America this week to discuss this issue. Enough attention will get this into their discussions rather than the usual CYA.
I’m no theologian, and I don’t want to go down the Protestant/Catholic road to contention. But I do think the Roman Catholic Church needs to have an uncomfortable Reformation. I don’t suggest they change anything of their theology — no need to go Martin Luther or anything — but they need to do MASSIVE cleanup that will take decades. If it’s not ugly and embarrassing, it’s not real.
Better PR won’t do it.
Loyal devout Catholics realize that a purge of the hierarchy and clergy is absolutely necessary. Homosexuality is truly an abomination and should not be tolerated. What now exists is not holy.
We ALL know someone?
Sorry. All of us except GonzoII...
The Catholic Church has been here before -- what we need is for reformers to step up and enact true reforms. Today, we celebrate the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whose reform of Benedictine monasteries (the Cluniac reform) was part of the many reforms during the "long twelfth century" that lasted from the 1070s or so to the early 1200s. Other key reformers in this time included St. Peter Damian (who wrote against various forms of sodomite perversions among clergy, including what we would today call homosexuality and pedophilia), and St. Gregory VII who imposed greater adherence to existing laws including clerical celibacy.
We also dealt with it again during and after the Council of Trent, where the Council Fathers addressed many of the (very real) practical abuses that the Protestant reformers complained about, while asserting that correcting the abuses neither necessitated nor justified a change in doctrine.
Better PR wont do it.
Think about both of those time periods... how many times have you heard "celibacy started in the Middle Ages to prevent sons from inheriting Church property" or "Celibacy is unnatural and is the cause of the abuse". Those lies arise from each of the respective periods and mark a failure of the Church in her "PR" -- but we addressed both eras of crisis with successful reform, and we need to do the same now. You're right... better PR won't do it.
Let me specify... there is no cure for criminal pedophilia. Those who sense the predilection may be able to overcome with help. However, like a recovered alcoholic, dont put them alone with children. They have to honest and refuse such scenarios like an alcoholic refusing a drink.
I have had patients who were murderers. They sometimes felt remorse for their actions. I have had patients who were pedophiles. Their only remorse is they were caught.
Did you send this to your own bishop only, or also to others?
I sent my book to all bishops in the US. I sent this letter by tweet so far to USCCB, Bishop Morlino, EWTN, Raymond Arroyo, and multiple Catholic news outlets. Im considering physically sending to all bishops.
I hurried to get it done after this weekend because our Archdiocese is meeting in SC this week to discuss the issues. This went to a number of very strong priests and deacons likely to attend... I hope this helps spur conversation. I dont have an email address for my bishop or archbishop and mail wouldnt get there in time.
I have had a few replies of encouragement but nothing very encouraging.
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