On the Nature of the Crisis in the Church, Part II

From various sources:

Testimony on the Cover Up of Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis and McCarrick: where does the evidence lead?

From a Moral-Historical Perspective, This Crisis is Worse Than You Realize

Pope Francis’ Accuser Turns Up the Pressure With More Accusations

Nebraska Catholic diocese rocked by old abuse allegations (this regarding allegations in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, which for many of us represents – at least in theory, for those of us who’ve never been there - a bastion of orthodoxy and relief from the current madness. This story has been followed by the National Catholic Register long before it broke in the secular news. But then, that’s true of ALL of these stories...)

Pope: "I will not say a single word" on allegations of McCarrick cover up.

Pope Francis wants concrete action to combat the “emergency” of plastics littering seas and oceans. (New York Post 1 Sep 2018)

Had enough yet? These are just a sampling, there’s LOTS more.

Firstly: as laity, we must first examine our own consciences. The reading for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time for AD. 2018 is from St. Mark: “From their hearts com evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within, and they defile.” Is my heart pure? Are my lips clean? Do I live as Jesus would have me live? I have an obligation as a Catholic to understand the storms and violence rocking and wracking the barque of Peter, absolutely, but first, and foremost, am I living as Jesus would have me live?

Secondly: We must understand what is going on. I have always admired the writings of MSGR Charles Pope, of the Diocese of Washington, DC. I have never met the man, but his honestly, clarity of thought, and outright courage come out in his writings. I would direct your attention to his offering on the National Catholic Register, here. As always, I do not want to be accused of “word picking” or taking things out of context, so go and read the entire thing for yourself. That said, I am struck by this (as always, the emphases are my own):

It is evident that the vast majority of the cases involving both the sexual abuse of minors and of adults involve male victims. The 2004 John Jay Report (The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States), which was commissioned by the U.S. bishops themselves, found that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent of all victims were post-pubescent. Thus, though legally still minors, they were sexually mature in the physical sense. So, the large majority of cases involved attraction by homosexuals to young men who, though legally minors, were physically and sexually mature males, not little children. This is not pedophilia. It is homosexual attraction...

(Regarding situations in seminaries) ...soon enough a subculture sets up where temptations are fierce, and compromises and liaisons soon emerge. And this is what we have seen in the “gay” subculture that is demonstrably existent among a significant number of clergy in the Church.

An honest discussion of the recent crisis needs to include a clear setting forth and analysis of these facts. Ignoring them and staying silent through political correctness is malpractice at this point. We must speak charitably and clearly about this. We must not allow charges of intolerance, homophobia and scapegoating to suppress a frank discussion and analysis of the link of much of this misbehavior to active homosexuals, and a subculture among some of them that tolerates and promotes behavior which God forbids.

See here for a follow-on: An Interview with Msgr. Charles Pope: “It’s hard to find Christ on this terrible hill of Golgotha right now, but this is where he is.”

The systemic problem, right now, is NOT pedophilia. That is not to say there are not genuine instances of genuine child sexual abuse, for there are, just as there are genuine instances of priestly liaisons with married or unmarried women and priests stealing from the collection plate. These cases should be investigated, and dealt with properly and forthrightly. But these cases are also sporadic, and relatively few. They are not the systemic problem. The systemic problem is homosexual activity directed against young men, teenage boys, and peri- or pre-pubescent boys. Yet, once again, in this Diocese and in Dioceses across the land, the current troubles are being clearly and unashamedly spun as “child abuse” problems. See here (also linked above) for a brief history lesson on homosexuality as practiced in ancient Greece.

This needs to be said: The man who wrestles with same sex attraction, who desires to live a chaste life in accordance with the teachings of the Church purportedly founded by Jesus, is really no different from the man who wants to live according to the teachings of the Church yet struggles with attraction to fornication or adultery, or struggles with pride, covetousness, lust not otherwise specified, anger, envy, or sloth. All of us are sinners, and all of us struggle with temptation sin, it is only the flavor of the temptation(s) that varies. Each and every one of us must examine our own lives first.

Thirdly: do not use this as an excuse to “give up” on the Church. I am as disgusted with the antics of highly-placed churchmen as anyone; but if watching this freak show is painful for me, how more more so it must be for those seminarians, priests and bishops who have given their lives to Christ and His Church, and who truly want to be good and faithful priests. I believe these men make up the majority of the clergy. More than ever, they need our support.

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