Defrock Them All

 

“Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.” St. Basil the Great

The latest news to break after the revelations surrounding the evil Theodore McCarrick (he is no longer a cardinal): 300 predator priests have been identified by an independent organization in Pennsylvania alone. These allegations go back a few years, which is little comfort to the likely thousands of victims who were abused by these men.

I thought this was over. Before the McCarrick news, the biggest story of clerical abuse regarded Australian Vatican official George Cardinal Pell, the accusations against whom are not entirely credible. Certainly, an investigation should have happened (and is happening), but it was nothing like how it was in the early 2000s. Now, the laity are thrust back into the fray as credible allegations rain down about one of the highest ranking men in the hierarchy, with more coming out almost every day.

I am positively incensed. I am tired of the institutional church’s complete incompetence. I pray that it is merely incompetence, and not something more sinister. I weep for the victims, and rage at the perpetrators. But my most fervent ire might be directed toward the men who concealed the crimes of their fellow priests and bishops.

When the McCarrick story broke, it was suddenly revealed that “everyone knew.” Priests as prominent as Father James Martin openly admitted that they had heard rumors regarding McCarrick; Martin’s defense for not coming forward was that the rumors were not credible.

Really, Father? When you heard a rumor that a high-ranking Church official had been sleeping naked with seminarians, that didn’t set off any alarm bells? What about when you heard that he invited them to a private house to spend some time with him? And I’m sure you never caught wind of the news of him molesting underage boys, right? Give me a break.

The fact that a priest with as much influence as Father Martin did not feel the need to come forward speaks volumes about the rest of the cowards who have been given the charge to shepherd the flock. I know that is an unfair generalization, but right now, I don’t really care. The charitable reading of this is that most priests don’t feel comfortable coming forward because of retaliation; others might have tried but been shut down by the corrupt hierarchy surrounding them. But the fact remains that men like McCarrick have been aided and abetted by too many clerics for too many years. Something has to give.

A full, outside investigation must be launched. It must be launched as soon as possible, preferably by the FBI. I almost agree with Michael Brendan Dougherty that a ban on ordinations should be put in place until the Holy See cleans house, and cleans it well. And in my anger, I am ready to call for Pope Francis to demote each and every member of the ineffective, cowardly, impotent, embarrassment of an organization that calls itself the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Clearly, the pathetic Dallas Charter has changed nothing. The bishops are just as complacent and just as complicit now as they were 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

It’s time for a seismic shift in the Roman Catholic Church. It’s going to be ugly. Our faith might be shaken. Surely, many will leave for good. But the light must be shone upon the rot within. The evil must be exposed and cut out, no matter how bloody it gets.

If it means removing the ill-bestowed appendation “the Great” from Pope St. John Paul II’s name, so be it. If it means shutting down some historic parish, or breaking up a long-revered diocese, so be it. If Pope Francis has to personally defrock every single priest who knew an iota about any abuse, it must be done.

Excuses, blame-shifting, and claims of ignorance are no longer satisfactory. Without epic changes in Church policy regarding abusive priests and bishops, dealing with victims, and screening processes for ordinations, the problem will continue. Abuse is an epidemic within the Church; we must take drastic measures to kill it before it consumes us.

“Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.” — St. Peter Damian

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  1. JudithannCampbell Inactive
    JudithannCampbell
    @JudithannCampbell

    What makes me wonder is, how long has this been going on for? Centuries? A celibate priesthood is a tradition in Catholicism, not a requirement. There will always be a few bad apples wherever you go, but the hierarchy of the Church has been covering this up for so long-how could so many people all be so clueless/evil all at the same time?

    • #1
  2. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    I completely agree. I was never all that confident in JPII. From the beginning he seemed to me a bit too fond of the spotlight. Now, given his response to abuse, I am even more suspect given that he appointed so many of the bishops and cardinals who were active in abuse or covered it up, or both. I have equal concerns about Benedict XVI. I have longed wondered just how much this matter played in his abdication of the Chair. I suspect he knew the storm was still brewing and, perhaps because of his own ineffective handling of the scandal, felt he could not, in good faith, remain Pope. 

    A few weeks ago our bishop sent a letter to the priests of his diocese asking parishioners to essentially double their contributions to cover the $23 million the diocese has agreed to pay to settle the remaining 43 lawsuits pending. I’ll be glad to contribute once the bishops do what is required of all Catholics: confess, do penance (publicly in this case) and amend their lives. So far all I’ve heard is endless excuses and overwhelming sophistry I am also certain that the settlement agreement includes a non-disclosure clause which will effectively gag the victims: A way for the hierarchy to continue in their cover up.

    Yes, let’s get the FBI involved and a grand jury set up to really scour the bosses.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Matt Walsh is not known for pulling his punches.

    • #3
  4. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Sure, there is a rich sartorial tradition in The Church, but perhaps as a start the priests could start wearing pants, preferably not purple.

    • #4
  5. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Since Vatican II, the Church has stopped preaching sin and the need for repentance and penance. Bishops and priests have adopted a “pastoral” approach that is non-confrontational to a fault and, like the rest of the culture, sees hypocrisy as the greatest sin. And it’s impossible to be a hypocrite if you never demand that anyone uphold a moral code that you yourself might occasionally fail. The end result is moral cowardice and an abdication of the sacred duty to preach the Gospel zealously, or to hold anyone to account, including fellow priests and bishops. Bishops are so afraid of being seen as an old style cleric preaching “Catholic guilt” or being self-righteous that they would rather ignore sexual predators in their midst.

    This is, strictly speaking, a case of a loss of morale, and it has happened many times in the history of the Church. The cure is always the same: God raises up saints (like St. Francis or St. Philip Neri) to call the Church back to Christ and the fullness of the Gospel. May we pray for such saints today.

    • #5
  6. Underground Conservative Coolidge
    Underground Conservative
    @UndergroundConservative

    I don’t agree completely with sticking to your morals as the solution to this problem. Frankly, if you put people in a room together unsupervised, temptation has a heyday. I think Matt Walsh and Scott Wilmot bring up a very uncomfortable topic. This is a root and branch issue that cannot be ignored. Trimming around the edges hasn’t worked at all. If you think it’s bad here, it’s probably worse elsewhere in the world. Ireland has already been torn apart. There will be others. As a practicing Catholic, this leaves me in complete despair. 

    • #6
  7. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    I commend the following to your attention. Author and former priest Peter Grant wrote this eight years ago.

    Not only do I like his writing in general, but my own “faith community” (I don’t like that phrase, but…) has had its own sex abuse scandals… and celibacy was not a factor. Delay, coverup and failure of all too many professionals to behave with professional responsibility definitely were.

    The Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal

    He introduced a series of posts (linked below) like this:

    I’ve been debating with myself for a long time whether or not to write about the Catholic Church and its recent problems with pedophile priests, monks and brothers (and, to a vastly lesser extent, a few nuns and sisters). You see, I was a Catholic priest, and saw this scandal erupt from the inside. I’ve not made any public comment until now, because I didn’t want to say or write anything that might damage the faith of Catholics, of whom the vast majority have nothing to do with this problem and only want to serve God to the best of their ability, according to the light that’s been given them.

    Unfortunately, the scandal appears to have expanded, in that allegations of pedophilia have surfaced in Ireland, and more recently in Germany, Norway and other nations. It seems the hierarchy in those countries (and perhaps others) learned nothing from the experience of the church in the USA over the past couple of decades. They appear to have tried to evade personal responsibility for the crisis, just like many US bishops. Some of them have now tendered their resignations, which is appropriate: but they did so only after being implicated in the scandal. Many had demonstrated a lack of due care and diligence by not addressing the situation as quickly and/or as seriously as it required. The Church in those countries is now even more damaged than it would have been if the bishops concerned had confronted the problem more openly, or accepted their personal responsibility and resigned their positions more quickly.

    These reports have brought back to me all the enormous mental and spiritual anguish of the long-drawn-out crisis over clergy sex abuse in the USA. I’ve therefore decided to describe how I experienced that crisis. Call it a personal catharsis, if you like. I hope my words will help more people to understand the nature and scope of the problem. There’ll be those who won’t understand, or agree with, or approve of my perspective and actions; but I hope there’ll be others who do. It’s been an enormously painful decision to write this, and it remains deeply painful even as I format the results on this blog. I hope it proves to have been worth it.

    Part I

    Part II

    Part III

    Part IV

    • #7
  8. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):
    I was never all that confident in JPII. From the beginning he seemed to me a bit too fond of the spotlight.

    But Francis is totally cool, right?  It’s not like he’s a wanna-be Rockstar Pope?

    The best thing he’s done so far is accept McCarrick’s resignation.

    • #8
  9. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    A homosexual Roman Catholic priest makes about as much sense as a Gus Hall supporting communist running the CIA.

    • #9
  10. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Joe Pas: The fact that a priest with as much influence as Father Martin did not feel the need to come forward speaks volumes about the rest of the cowards who have been given the charge

    My high school and diocese has been rocked by such scandals.  

    After one person came forward, more and more people came forward.  Then it wasn’t just the clergy, then it was the teachers, then the coaches, then the counselors.  It was everyone.

    Excuse me just one moment if I somehow disbelieve that every single male at my school was some sort of pedophilic pervert.  I do not believe they were.  I firmly believe that some of them abused their students.  Absolutely.  But this is not just about cleaning house at the church.  This is about outside forces actively villainizing the Church and making a mockery of priesthood.  By calling out everyone for not breathlessly tattling on any gossip to the Church, we are harming the faith even more.  We are not only embarrassing ourselves and damaging others, but we are actively killing the souls of other people based upon nothing but idle gossip from people who want attention and are often folks who have fallen away from faith.

    I know one priest who left the priesthood because he fell in love.  He was accused of molesting multiple kids after he’d already left to get married.  Of course, none of this ever came forward until it became the cool thing to tell about the time the Creepy Priest Looked At You Funny.

    I’m completely over it.  I’m over the Church’s gross incompetence and I’m over good, otherwise decent people, feeling entitled to accuse people of grotesque malevolence with no foundation at all.  I’m tired of all of it.

    And people wonder why I don’t go to church.

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The Institutional Church is too interested in maintaining its own power and prestige, and has lost sight of its Mission, bringing the people to Christ.

    • #11
  12. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    The fix is to allow priests to get married.  That will tilt the balance away from the “boys club” it has long been.  It should be noted that married Anglican priests are allowed to convert to Catholic priests, so married priests is not a hard rule.

    • #12
  13. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    In my youth (I’m 62) it was no secret that homosexual Catholic men trended to the priesthood.  None of this is surprising except the persistence of this scandal for so long.

    St Basil had it right.   Clean house.  Fire, prosecute, excommunicate.   Forgive those who come and confess and serve penitence.

    The Roman Church should also encourage priests to marry, to marry women, and to seek normal, heterosexual young men for the seminary.   As a Baptist, the idea that my Pastor not be a married man with children is almost comical.

    • #13
  14. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Joe Pas: The fact that a priest with as much influence as Father Martin did not feel the need to come forward speaks volumes about the rest of the cowards who have been given the charge

    My high school and diocese has been rocked by such scandals.

    After one person came forward, more and more people came forward. Then it wasn’t just the clergy, then it was the teachers, then the coaches, then the counselors. It was everyone.

    Excuse me just one moment if I somehow disbelieve that every single male at my school was some sort of pedophilic pervert. – snip

    I absolutely hate talking about this subject. But I appreciate @joepas bringing it up.

    It’s important to point out that most of crimes were not pedophilia

    From Wikipedia: In Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, Cimbolic & Cartor (2006) noted that because of the large share of post-pubescent male minors among cleric victims there is need to further study the differential variables related to ephebophile versus pedophile offenders.[14] Cartor, Cimbolic & Tallon (2008) found that 6 percent of the cleric offenders in the John Jay Report are pedophiles; 32 percent ephebophiles, 15 percent 11 & 12 year olds only (both male and female), 20 percent indiscriminate, and 27 percent mildly indiscriminate.[15] They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups. They reported that there may be “another group of offenders who are more indiscriminate in victim choice and represent a more heterogeneous, but still a distinct offender category” and suggested further research to determine “specific variables that are unique to this group and can differentiate these offenders from pedophile and ephebophile offenders” so as to improve the identification and treatment of both offenders and victims.[15]

    That said, I assume accuracy is impossible as there’s no way to know just how many perpetrators and how many victims.

    I am absolutely disgusted, furious and demoralized. 

     

     

     

    • #14
  15. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    As I have written here (when the story first broke and as a follow-up), the bishops still don’t get it. Until a bishop – even just one bishop – can come out with more than the boilerplate “I am shocked and saddened”, nothing will happen.

    The infamous Dallas Charter holds no accountability for bishops – only for priests and deacons. And guess who was greatly influential in writing that document – yes, “Uncle Ted”, the homosexual predator.

    If you’ve read either of my articles you will know that I am enraged as well. But this scandal does not demoralize me or shake my faith – on the contrary it strengthens it. To know that the Church can survive and still bring God’s grace to us through the sacraments, even among this filth, is reassuring.

    McCarrick’s resignation seems staged to me – that coward won’t even admit to what he has done. The Holy Father should drag McCarrick’s sorry you-know-what to Rome and put him under immediate canonical trial and then laicize him and send him to a desert monastery. The Pope should also send Archbishop Scicluna to investigate this scandal (he is the one who opened the Pope’s eyes on the abuse scandal in Chile) focusing first on those bishops who worked in the dioceses that McCarrick infiltrated. And he should remove Cardinal Farrell (a man who worked in the Legion of Christ and said he had no knowledge of the sexual predator Marcial Maciel Delgado and was McCarrick’s flat mate for 6 years and had no knowledge of him either) as Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, and along with Fr. James Martin, disinvite both of them to the upcoming World Meeting of Families.

    The Pope should also remove Cardinal O’Malley from his role as head of the special papal commission on sexual abuse. His bureaucratic response, saying that he did not receive the letter (not saying he didn’t know about it) and then blaming what happened on the policy that he and his brother bishops wrote – which excluded themselves from accountability – was pathetic and embarrassing. And what does he call for to address the crisis?

    Specific actions: adjudication, assessment of standards, and communicating to Catholics a process for reporting allegations. The last implies that the problem with Cardinal McCarrick lies partly with the flock’s inability to bleat correctly while the wolves devour them. This is all bloodless bureaucrat-ese. Bishops knew about McCarrick and chose to do nothing. Confronted with the reality, they do not accept responsibility, they do not promise to boldly confront evil. They cry out for more policies that would help them avoid direct confrontation.

    The bishops just don’t get it – they are all gutless men without chests.

    I like St. Basil the Great’s solution to this problem.

    • #15
  16. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Two bishops have come out with letters to their dioceses:

    Bishop Scharfenberger of Albany NY.

    Bishop Olson of Fort Worth TX

    I still don’t see either of them admitting that there is a problem with homosexual predators in the Church – why can’t they admit this?

    • #16
  17. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    I encourage all Catholics here to write to his/her bishop and tell them that you will no longer fund his diocesan appeal until you are convinced he is active in bringing this scandal into the light and cleaning this horrific mess up. I would share with you the letter I wrote but it is not as kind and all-encompassing as this one published at First Things by Christopher Tollefsen:

    An Invitation to the Laity

    He writes:

    My Fellow Catholics,

    On July 28, I sent the letter below to my bishop, the Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston. In it, I explain that I will no longer contribute to diocesan appeals for financial contributions until I am convinced by his public actions and witness that he is zealously seeking the creation of an independent investigation into the failings of the American hierarchy in regard to Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misconduct. I expect him to seek as well the removal from office of any bishops judged by such an investigation to have behaved negligently or worse. I ask my fellow Catholics to consider whether they also should withhold their diocesan contributions, in order to bring to bear one of the only effective forms of influence over the bishops that is available to us. I make the letter available for any who so decide, so that they may use it as a template for a letter to their local bishops. They should also feel free to forward it to anyone else that might be interested in making use of it.

    Read the letter. Write your bishop. Until the Church Militant makes it clearly known to the bishops how angry we are, nothing will happen.

    • #17
  18. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

     George Weigel told an audience,  if I remember the remarks correctly it was some years ago when the scandals were first breaking, that the problem really began with the mis interpretation of Vatican II and the belief that the church was going to change it’s stance on celibacy and marriage.  It was the progressive wave of the future and also progressive views on psychiatry and therapy, fear of discrimination against gays.  Sounded about right to me.   Had a priest friend who said he almost left seminary in the 80s as it was full of gays. Progressives destroy everything they touch.

    • #18
  19. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    I am a Lutheran of the insane liberal branch here in the US, and I’ve looked more than once with a sense of longing towards RC, with your rich history and solid position on life and traditional marriage (at least for the laity).  But this whole “thing” of the priesthood not able to marry and the inevitable follow-up of sexual scandal is one of the great negatives of the Church, potentially keeping many away who might join you in you pews one day.  To take a healthy young man and expect the sexual part of him to just be silent is simply not realistic.

    My Pastor is married with two kids, an affable chap with a solid grounding of peoples real lives and troubles due to him being a husband and a Dad.  I think it makes him a better Pastor to be married.  That’s my local Pastor…the national leadership?  Don’t even get me started on their nuttiness.

    • #19
  20. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Matt Walsh is not known for pulling his punches.

    Matt Walsh hits the nail on the head. It seems to me that since the sexual revolution, people don’t like to talk about the obvious uncomfortable truths about sex, and sexual attraction. It’s like modernists only want to focus on the idea of sexual freedom but when that sexual freedom results in abuse, exploitation and health problems then nobody wants to talk about it. That sexist or homophobic or whatever other pejorative they can say to shut you up. 

    Having sexually disordered men ordained, is the issue. It’s not celibacy, and it doesn’t mean those men can’t contribute to the church in another capacity. This is a fraternal order where men live and work in close quarters and of there is a sexual component involved it causes problems then throw in a power contingent and it compounds on itself. Other institutions have this problem like the military, the Boy Scouts and education. No one wants to address that we are humans with sexual proclivities and it doesn’t mean everyone is a rapist or a pedophile or pederaste but we shouldn’t  put people in these positions where abuse could happen. 

    • #20
  21. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    Curt North (View Comment):

    I am a Lutheran of the insane liberal branch here in the US, and I’ve looked more than once with a sense of longing towards RC, with your rich history and solid position on life and traditional marriage (at least for the laity). But this whole “thing” of the priesthood not able to marry and the inevitable follow-up of sexual scandal is one of the great negatives of the Church, potentially keeping many away who might join you in you pews one day. To take a healthy young man and expect the sexual part of him to just be silent is simply not realistic.

    My Pastor is married with two kids, an affable chap with a solid grounding of peoples real lives and troubles due to him being a husband and a Dad. I think it makes him a better Pastor to be married. That’s my local Pastor…the national leadership? Don’t even get me started on their nuttiness.

    A couple of points/questions:

    1. How will removing/relaxing the celibacy requirement affect homosexual priests abusing teens/young men?  Clearly, they won’t be able to partake of marriage, at least within the Catholic sense of that Sacrament.
    2. If we do allow married priests (which we already do in some selective instances, e.g. converts from Anglicanism, etc), you’ll still have the issue of abuse and adulterous priests, won’t you?

    I’m not so sure that’s a fix, or that’s really at the root of the problem.

    • #21
  22. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Quake Voter  

    A homosexual Roman Catholic priest makes about as much sense as a Gus Hall supporting communist running the CIA.

    The origin of this scandal began in the 60s when radical priests and nuns took over the seminaries. There is a pretty good book about this story that was written years ago but is still in print.

    https://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Good-Men-Liberals-Corruption/dp/0895261448

    Remember that Cesare and Lucretia Borgia were the children of Pope Alexander VI.

    It is well past the time to allow married priests.

    • #22
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    It is well past the time to allow married priests.

    See the surname McTaggart, and variations thereon. IIUC marriage was not always in the picture.

    • #23
  24. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    The Institutional Church is too interested in maintaining its own power and prestige, and has lost sight of its Mission, bringing the people to Christ.

    It is not so much power and prestige but the fact that the bishops are more concerned for the organization, the buildings, the funding than they are with the reason and purpose for which those entities were put into place.  It is an example of a bureaucracy totally consumed by its own interests, completely detached from the reason and purpose it was created.  The entire Catholic hierarchy is like a bunch of marginally competent, morally flexible middle managers in a corporation they know is guilty of fraud or serious environmental crimes.  I find it implausible that when the day arrives for each, St. Peter’s first question to any of them will be whether they preserved diocesan fund-raising levels.

    John Paul II seemed more concerned with some semblance of immunity from prosecution for clerics worldwide than in addressing the truth of the matter.  The sheltering of Cardinal Law in the Vatican when the Boston disaster erupted was a disgrace.

    The core of the corruption is that some seminaries seemed bent (no pun) on filtering out the pious normals in favor of a very different outlook. Bishops who knew enough to know better decided better to staff with suspect candidatges than have a short term priest shortage after an embarrassing house-cleaning.  If any of the graduates were to become a problem, a few novenas, some special intentions and a fresh start in another diocese (without informing anyone there) and one’s episcopal duties were fulfilled.

    The right-out-of-County Mayo pastor I knew as a kid more than half a century ago would not have had any qualms about calling out this kind of evil.  The man was known to walk into local bars and call out parishioners who were drinking away family funds.  The cops refused to arrest him when it came to blows (as it did a couple of times).  He was a large, colorful man, an old time Irish village priest with big fists.  I could not imagine anyone dumb enough to throw a punch at him both because of his sanctified status as a priest and because he could easily beat the crap out of most guys.  He was very understanding and fatherly about most boyhood misbehavior but sexual crudities in the company of women or younger kids would invariably result in corporal punishment. He had a very manly notion of protecting innocence and dignity.

    Jesus himself said that those injuring the innocence of children would be better off tied by the neck to a millstone and dropped in the ocean. Heck, if  Jesus says he doesn’t like you, how badly do you suck in the eyes of God?  That any of this perversion was tolerated in any way is beyond disappointing.  It is bureaucratic moral cowardice and betrayal on an almost unimaginable scale.

    • #24
  25. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    A couple of points/questions:

    1. How will removing/relaxing the celibacy requirement affect homosexual priests abusing teens/young men? Clearly, they won’t be able to partake of marriage, at least within the Catholic sense of that Sacrament.
    2. If we do allow married priests (which we already do in some selective instances, e.g. converts from Anglicanism, etc), you’ll still have the issue of abuse and adulterous priests, won’t you?

    I’m not so sure that’s a fix, or that’s really at the root of the problem.

    I hesitate here since I’m not Catholic, and I’ll likely bow out of this thread out of respect for that fact.  But I will respond to the questions. 

    It’s not that allowing priests to marry would have anything to do with a homosexual abusing a young person, but it will have the affect of bringing the priesthood into the mainstream as far as men who would then be attracted to that occupation.  I think it’s accepted that the priesthood as currently arranged has a higher than normal percentage of homosexuals?  If not than I apologize.

    As to the second question, adulterous priests could be a problem for sure.  But adultery in marriage is a far different problem than sexual abuse of children.  

    • #25
  26. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    The whole, Catholics should just let priest get married, argument, in my opinion, is like the gun control debate. That if these men could just have sex, then they wouldn’t abuse boys and young men. I realize that is a simplistic version of the argument but isn’t the implication that the vocation that requires celibacy will not attract men who would want to dedicate their life to Christ? It isn’t the celibacy, it is the infiltration of modernism into the seminaries that is the problem. There are seminaries that actively try get the  more orthodox seminarians to quit. In my opinion, this is the devil’s influence on the church as it has been for centuries. The holy orders is a sacrament and vocation that one is called to. So is marriage, it is a vocation that we are called to. However the church hasn’t taught that is a long time, so the flock has lost it’s way and so have the shepherds.

    Hilaire Belloc wrote “The Catholic church is an institution I am bound to hold divine- but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.

    Christ gave us the church, humans corrupt it over and over again. This isn’t new, we just have to pray that this gets rooted out.

     

     

    • #26
  27. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Curt North (View Comment):
    It’s not that allowing priests to marry would have anything to do with a homosexual abusing a young person, but it will have the affect of bringing the priesthood into the mainstream as far as men who would then be attracted to that occupation

    One of the beauties of the priesthood is that it is a sign of contradiction in the world. If the Church bends to the whims of he world, then She becomes a part of he world rather than that sign in the world.

    It should not be surprising, therefore, that Jesus should speak of some who would remain celibate (“eunuchs”) for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Mt 19:12). St. Paul not only continued his pre-conversion celibacy as a Christian but recommended it for those who would be dedicated to serving God in this world (1 Cor. 7:7, 17, 32-35). He was speaking to a general audience and so he does not oblige it. But observe what he says in verse 17, “Only, everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God called each one. I give this order in all the churches.” This coincides with the admonition of Jesus to follow the vocation given by God, whether celibacy (Mt 19:12) or marriage (v.11).

    It is a horrible sign of he world that sexual abuse of children exists. Is this problem more prevalent in the Church? Statistics say now that it is not. Yet, the crisis we are dealing with is one of homosexual predators, and I’ll bet that the predation of cowards like McCarrick and his ilk on adult seminarians was much greater than the homosexual abuse of children – and that is what the bishops don’t get and won’t deal with.

    Until the Church publicly admits that homosexual predation is a huge problem, nothing will happen.

    When the Pope made his “who am I to judge” comment about Monsignor Battista Ricca, a known homosexual, this probably sent a message to the lavender mafia to not worry about anything under the pontificate of Pope Francis. The Pope has admitted his mistake in the Chilean abuse scandal. I hope he will come out and say his “who am I to judge” comment was wrong and give a stern fraternal correction to the homosexual predators and call them to admit their sins and do penance. 

    • #27
  28. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    PedroIg (View Comment):
    I’m not so sure that’s a fix, or that’s really at the root of the problem.

    It isn’t.

    And just as much as married people complain about having a celibate priest guide them on marriage, I hate a married priest guiding me on celibacy.

    Because they don’t know anything unless they’ve done it?

    Of course not.  The point is, these aren’t priests going around dating.  These are men committing crimes.  You don’t prevent crimes by allowing them to date and get married.  It isn’t sexual frustration or a lack of loving relationships that it making them molest kids or abuse teenagers.  It’s a weird false equivalency.

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Joe Pas: I am positively incensed. I am tired of the institutional church’s complete incompetence. I pray that it is merely incompetence, and not something more sinister. I weep for the victims, and rage at the perpetrators. But my most fervent ire might be directed toward the men who concealed the crimes of their fellow priests and bishops.

    Although I am a Protestant, I pray for the survival of the Catholic church.

    Action to cleanse the ranks must be taken for the Catholic Church to survive as a meaningful religious institution (IMHO), but I believe it goes beyond sexual abuse.  I believe it should include political grandstanding.  Why is the act of priests and nuns throwing vials of their blood on the buildings of weapons facilities or military bases not grounds for excommunication?  Why is someone like Father Pfleger allowed to wear The Collar while he preaches a message of hate?  Is being a social justice warrior more important than saving souls?

    Some mainstream Protestant denominations have seen their ranks shrink bunches with their acceptance and promotion of homosexual “marriage”.  Is Peter’s Rock to be destroyed by trendy social fashion?

    I pray it’s not . . .

     

    • #29
  30. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Remember that Cesare and Lucretia Borgia were the children of Pope Alexander VI.

    It is well past the time to allow married priests.

    ?

    • #30

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