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

There are 56 comments.

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  1. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    As a Baptist, the idea that my Pastor not be a married man with children is almost comical.

    I’m sure Jesus would agree.

    • #31
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    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.

    ?

    The indescretions of Popes in the past should not be allowed to determine future changes.  However, I’ve felt first line clergy in the Catholic church should be allowed to marry, maybe limiting it to nuns and priests.  If a priest wants to advance further, then maybe he should be to one to follow in Christ’s footsteps and remain celibate in his life.

    As I said before, I’m Protestant.  This means any comment I make about what the Catholic church should do is pure caca . . .

    • #32
  3. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I’ve had this discussion with Catholic theologians who say that the issue isn’t theological, that there is nothing in basic doctrine against marriage of priests.    Marriage is a problem for the church because priests live on shoestrings.  Were they married they’d have to be paid real salaries.  Moreover, marriage would lead to  a different understanding of the priesthood.  Most believing Catholics I know are comfortable with the priesthood as it exists today.  Moreover, allowing marriage  wouldn’t change the problem of predatory homosexuals.  The church has to decide what to do about them and homosexuals are in important positions in the church and will remain a problem.   Huge influential pieces of our disordered society are ready to pounce on anyone who tries to deal with disordered sexuality.  

    • #33
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Jesus chose Judas. It was not by poor judgment. Judas did not merely tag along with the other apostles, a pariah and fraud from the beginning. Christ saw goodness in him. Remember that Lucifer too was outstanding and good before abandoning God and becoming Satan. 

    To be chosen among the few apostles, Judas was presumably a remarkable man. The Holy Spirit surely anticipated his betrayal. But had the Lord selected a wicked man only to set in motion His greatest sacrifice, then the accounts of Christ’s first disciples would have included that suspicion and acrimony. Judas would have been a point of doubt among the others. 

    Why do I refer to Judas? Because here again we find wolves among exalted shepherds, and it is tempting to believe those men were always wicked and selfish predators. But perhaps that is just how their stories end and not how they began. Perhaps in seminaries they were rightly praised, but in power — like the fallen angel — they became vain and would not love weaker creatures. 

    Cultural rot in and beyond the seminaries is at play. Bureaucratic timidity and insularity plague Western prelates. But even Aaron, brother of Moses and first High Priest of the Israelites, fell into decadence and crafted an idol. The ordination of these men was not surely a mistake. 

    Aaron was forbidden from entering the promised land. Mercy does not always mean escape from harsh punishment. I hope yet again that our next pope is not from the softened West. 

     

    • #34
  5. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    Curt North (View Comment):

    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.

    Catholics see the priesthood (or to be more precise, those called to the Sacrament of Holy Orders whether they are deacons, priests, or bishops) as a calling, which carries much more significance than an occupation.   Part of that calling is to be at service to the laity.  Right now, the discipline of celibacy is a means to that end.  As mentioned, the Church in a select few instances already permits men who are married to be ordained in the Church, so it’s not a doctrinal issue.  There are also married deacons, who are also called to Holy Orders. Those men generally have to have their wives included in aspects of their training and have their wives “buy into” their calling, since an entire family is affected.  I think where you have a point is that it’s less likely that a married man with children, if he were in a position of authority, would have turned a blind eye to the horrific abuse of children that’s emerged in recent decades.  Even if the Church were to ordain married men to the priesthood, the bishops would still have to be celibate, according to my understanding of Church law, so we’d still be back to the same issue.  One would think you’d need not have to experience marriage and fatherhood to “get” how egregious it is to harm a child.  I wish I had an explanation for that.  The closest thing I can think is that these men in authority have become so focused on maintaining the institution, that they’ve lost touch with the purpose of the institution.

    • #35
  6. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Jesus chose Judas. It was not by poor judgment. Judas did not merely tag along with the other apostles, a pariah and fraud from the beginning. Christ saw goodness in him. Remember that Lucifer too was outstanding and good before abandoning God and becoming Satan.

    To be chosen among the few apostles, Judas was presumably a remarkable man. The Holy Spirit surely anticipated his betrayal. But had the Lord selected a wicked man only to set in motion His greatest sacrifice, then the accounts of Christ’s first disciples would have included that suspicion and acrimony. Judas would have been a point of doubt among the others.

    Why do I refer to Judas? Because here again we find wolves among exalted shepherds, and it is tempting to believe those men were always wicked and selfish predators. But perhaps that is just how their stories end and not how they began. Perhaps in seminaries they were rightly praised, but in power — like the fallen angel — they became vain and would not love weaker creatures.

    Cultural rot in and beyond the seminaries is at play. Bureaucratic timidity and insularity plague Western prelates. But even Aaron, brother of Moses and first High Priest of the Israelites, fell into decadence and crafted an idol. The ordination of these men was not surely a mistake.

    Aaron was forbidden from entering the promised land. Mercy does not always mean escape from harsh punishment. I hope yet again that our next pope is not from the softened West.

     

    <span class="atwho-inserted" contenteditable="false" data-atwho-at-query="@aaron“>@aaronmiller, you’ve hit on something that I’ve often reflected upon after hearing these horrific stories of clerical abuse of children.  I didn’t see it as likely that someone would begin his priestly or religious calling with the intent to facilitate child abuse.   It’s far more likely that “Satan then entered their hearts” over the course of their formation and priesthood, along with misguided notions of mercy, as you described above.

    • #36
  7. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    As a Baptist, the idea that my Pastor not be a married man with children is almost comical.

    I’m sure Jesus would agree.

    Indeed, I expect he would.  Jesus was a Jew, his disciples called him “Rabbi”.   So far as I know, rabbis in the fourth decade AD generally married and procreated.  If I’m wrong, I’d be happy to learn of it.

    • #37
  8. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    I think saying JP II shouldn’t be called great because of the sex abuse scandal is like saying George Washington and Thomas Jefferson shouldn’t be called great because they owned slaves, only worse, because owning slaves is actually evil, while not dealing adequately with a problem you were deceived about isn’t.

    And just as the documents and principles the founders wrote, fought for and established embodied the eventual solution to the evil of slavery, John Paul II’s philosophical and theological legacy, particularly in the area of sexuality and marriage, hold the key to overcoming this terrible scourge in the Church.

    And that’s just one aspect of his greatness.

    As for the unfolding scandals, in my opinion, apart from a thorough housecleaning, we also need a radical ecclesial restructuring, so that it’s no longer true that bishops and priests hold all power and responsibility in the Church while the laity “pay, pray and obey.” 

    • #38
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    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.

    Rod Dreher recently received a communication from the father of a family who had to deal with sexual corruption, including adults sexually corrupting minors, at a Protestant church and school, despite marriage being available as an outlet for the adults’ heterosexual passions. From the father in question:

    I spoke earlier of a miasma, and it turns out that one of the most senior pastors/elders had been unfaithful to his wife multiple times, with multiple women over the years, and the affairs were well known among the church leadership. That they covered those up (his “confessing” to them each time was deemed “good enough”) while leaving him in the same post was of the same mentality for their covering up for the teachers and school admins involved in their own sins too.

    We moved on and left it all behind. Our kids go to school elsewhere, and we changed churches. One family we know, whose child was directly affected, and whose mother taught at the school, completely moved out of state to get their child away from it. But there is still one parent whom I see handing out leaflets and wearing a sandwich board at busy intersections around town, still protesting for justice and accountability, long after his own children have become adults. And I still wonder if the rot was ever purged. Somehow I doubt it. A church that can deliberately hide a pastor’s infidelity, and can ignore pedophiles in its teachers, can hide a great deal more besides.

    I’m a protestant myself, and married in my late twenties. Until then, I was celibate, though, and I regard celibacy as a calling that ought to be honored. Although I’m quite used to a married priesthood, I wouldn’t trust marriage to be a cure-all for the Catholic clergy’s problem. This idea that celibacy is “unhealthy” — that people must have a “sexual outlet” in order to avoid abusing others — doesn’t square with my own life before marriage.

    I realize having gone until my late twenties without sex isn’t the same as going a lifetime without it, but it does cover the most libidinous years. Moreover, the abuse I’ve seen with my own eyes in protestant churches (fortunately abuse that was very small potatoes compared to this) has been from those who didn’t have to seek clandestine “outlets”, if they wished. They still abused.

    • #39
  10. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):
    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.

    Does he want a reformation? This is how you get a reformation.

    • #40
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    [snip]

    Why do I refer to Judas? Because here again we find wolves among exalted shepherds, and it is tempting to believe those men were always wicked and selfish predators. But perhaps that is just how their stories end and not how they began. Perhaps in seminaries they were rightly praised, but in power — like the fallen angel — they became vain and would not love weaker creatures.

    Cultural rot in and beyond the seminaries is at play. Bureaucratic timidity and insularity plague Western prelates. But even Aaron, brother of Moses and first High Priest of the Israelites, fell into decadence and crafted an idol. The ordination of these men was not surely a mistake.

    [snip] 

    This is a good point. My suspicion is that the Church has long attracted homosexuals hoping that vows would help them no longer be attracted to men. 

    The military too, seems to have a significant homosexual population – perhaps some of whom were hoping that ‘toughening up’ might change their predelictions. 

    In both cases, such a homosexual is signed on for permanent temptation in an organization that is inimical to homosexuality – which, I suspect, means that practitioners must maintain secrecy which makes them both vulnerable to coercion and desperate enough to do some coercing of their own. 

    That both organizations have legitimate reasons for keeping bad news in-house, secrecy in general, and absolute secrecy in certain instances doesn’t help. 

    Neither does the power and authority that members have over those lower in the hierarchy. 

    My point is that – leaving aside the fact that we rightly expect both organizations to only have the best and most moral people – the things that make the structures so strong are also the things that promote rot.* 

    _____________________________
    * The above sounds like I believe that the Catholic priesthood and the military are shot through with homosexuals. 

    I don’t, nor do I believe that homosexuals are bad news in general. Within the clergy and the soldiery though, they seem to do some damage. 

     

    • #41
  12. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    As a Baptist, the idea that my Pastor not be a married man with children is almost comical.

    I’m sure Jesus would agree.

    Indeed, I expect he would. Jesus was a Jew, his disciples called him “Rabbi”. So far as I know, rabbis in the fourth decade AD generally married and procreated. If I’m wrong, I’d be happy to learn of it.

    Was Jesus an unmarred rabbi without children?

    • #42
  13. Seco Inactive
    Seco
    @Seco

    I’m confused, how is marriage going to stop a priest abusing underage boys? Unless of course people here suggesting celibacy is the issue are advocating homosexual marriage for priests? 

    As for George Pell, I truly believe he’s paying for the sins of the church under Frank Little, not because he knew or was party to what was happening at the time like Little did but because he was staunchly conservative and didn’t give in to the rainbow dash brigade lining up for communion each week. In fact he was the first church official to shine a light on the cockroaches infesting the church with the Melbourne Response. If anyone here has read anything on the “Get Pell” committal hearings, they’ll realise what a sham it is. No doubt he’ll be found guilty though such is the level of corruption with the Victorian government, police and the courts. 

    What is interesting is the stories now coming out in the Australian media of famous lefty artist types with very close affiliations with the Labor Party of pedophilia etc around the same time, of course long after the perpetrators are dead. Nobody calling for a royal commission though. Why?

    • #43
  14. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Seco (View Comment):
    I’m confused, how is marriage going to stop a priest abusing underage boys? Unless of course people here suggesting celibacy is the issue are advocating homosexual marriage for priests?

    If it is as common as reported, the situation reminds me of Afghanistan and similar countries where presumably heterosexual and married men bugger young boys with impunity. Remember our soldiers there being told to stand down, rather than end the cries they heard from the abused boys by accosting the rapists? Perhaps a disgusting culture has taken root that has little to do with gay men being ordained.

    • #44
  15. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Seco (View Comment):
    I’m confused, how is marriage going to stop a priest abusing underage boys? Unless of course people here suggesting celibacy is the issue are advocating homosexual marriage for priests? 

    I thought the marriage thing was obvious.  Let me explain.  First, travel back in time to 1970.  Back then (and in other cultures today) men were expected to get married.  They were expected to woo a female and have sex with her and her alone and make babies.  For gays, that is not right lifestyle.  The alternative is choose a profession where a guy can get away with not being a baby-maker and not being monogamous.  That profession was priest!  The pay sucks, but you get to be a hero and nobody knows what you do in your off hours.  Now if priests can marry, they are suddenly expected to be monogamous baby-makers too.  Plus, they live with someone who diligently monitors their off hour activities.  That that explains why back in the day (and in other cultures) the priesthood was a haven for gays and why monogamous marriage is repellent to gays.

    The next thing that emerged (and I am a study of emergent order) is that the gay priests quickly recognize the other gay priests.  It could be mannerism, a turn a phrase, or a rumor at a nightclub.  Once identified that priest is compromised and cannot call out bad behavior in others.  A culture of secrets and corruption develops and lots of horrible things go undiscussed and unaddressed including pederasty.  Looking back on it 40 years later it all looks bizarre and evil. 

     

    Now-a-day in the US, the culture has no expectation of marriage and baby-making and gay pride is a thing, so being a priest is a unnecessary life for a gay man.  It is also the case that Parishes are now run like businesses and pastors are like CEOs, so a different type of person is selected. 

     

    • #45
  16. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    DonG (View Comment):

    Seco (View Comment):
    I’m confused, how is marriage going to stop a priest abusing underage boys? Unless of course people here suggesting celibacy is the issue are advocating homosexual marriage for priests?

    I thought the marriage thing was obvious. Let me explain. First, travel back in time to 1970. Back then (and in other cultures today) men were expected to get married. They were expected to woo a female and have sex with her and her alone and make babies. For gays, that is not right lifestyle. The alternative is choose a profession where a guy can get away with not being a baby-maker and not being monogamous. That profession was priest! The pay sucks, but you get to be a hero and nobody knows what you do in your off hours. Now if priests can marry, they are suddenly expected to be monogamous baby-makers too. Plus, they live with someone who diligently monitors their off hour activities. That that explains why back in the day (and in other cultures) the priesthood was a haven for gays and why monogamous marriage is repellent to gays.

    The next thing that emerged (and I am a study of emergent order) is that the gay priests quickly recognize the other gay priests. It could be mannerism, a turn a phrase, or a rumor at a nightclub. Once identified that priest is compromised and cannot call out bad behavior in others. A culture of secrets and corruption develops and lots of horrible things go undiscussed and unaddressed including pederasty. Looking back on it 40 years later it all looks bizarre and evil.

     

    Now-a-day in the US, the culture has no expectation of marriage and baby-making and gay pride is a thing, so being a priest is a unnecessary life for a gay man. It is also the case that Parishes are now run like businesses and pastors are like CEOs, so a different type of person is selected.

     

    This outside observer says: the priesthood used to be a culture of celibacy embedded in a (Catholic) culture of chastity embedded in a larger society which also approved of chastity.

    • #46
  17. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Annefy (View Comment):
    They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups.

    I have always believed that most of the offenders were homosexual priests and not pedophiles. Certainly there were a few. I went through Catholic schools to college and we had gay Christian Brothers and everyone knew about it. WhenI was in grammar school (1940s) we had a priest who might have been a pedophile but I don’t know that he ever did anything about it. He was sort of weird and write childrens’ book.s

    • #47
  18. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):
    They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups.

    Are you questioning who they were or what my point was?  Their father was Pope Alexander VI.

    • #48
  19. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    I Walton (View Comment):
    The church has to decide what to do about them and homosexuals are in important positions in the church and will remain a problem.

    They have been much more of a problem the past 50 years. The seminaries were taken over. It will take time to see them all go.

    • #49
  20. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):
    They also found distinct differences between the pedophile and ephebophile groups.

    Are you questioning who they were or what my point was? Their father was Pope Alexander VI.

    I was questioning why Pope Alexander’s children would cause you to conclude that it’s well past the time to allow married priests.

    • #50
  21. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    DonG (View Comment):
    For gays, that is not right lifestyle. The alternative is choose a profession where a guy can get away with not being a baby-maker and not being monogamous. That profession was priest! The pay sucks, but you get to be a hero and nobody knows what you do in your off hours.

    Your point about the self-preserving gay community once established is well made. But for such a community to be established to begin with would require common failure among spiritual advisors in the seminaries.

    A properly managed Catholic seminary does not “graduate” every attendee as if it was a college. There is no assurance of becoming a priest or monk. Identifying whether God is calling a person to ordained ministry or to holiness in marriage and normal life is one of the responsibilities of the priests leading seminaries. 

    Y’all have prompted me to trace the history of seminaries. Obviously, there were priests and bishops long before seminaries, perhaps more akin to professional apprenticeship. But, again, the mentor was responsible for verifying the call to priesthood. Justifiable concerns about falling numbers of clergy have probably tempted our shepherds to become somewhat careless. 

    I spent some time with the Legion of Christ at their seminary in Connecticut years ago. I was impressed by their community and fervor there. But their quick pressure upon young visitors to make a commitment to Regnum Christi, a related lay order, seemed too reliant on impulse and peer pressure to me. It is right to appeal to both social enthusiasm and quiet contemplation. But greater sacrifices merit greater pauses for consideration. 

    • #51
  22. Mike-K Member
    Mike-K
    @

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):
    I was questioning why Pope Alexander’s children would cause you to conclude that it’s well past the time to allow married priests.

    My point then was that priests and even Popes had concubines for so long that celibacy was largely a fiction.

    • #52
  23. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Mike-K (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):
    I was questioning why Pope Alexander’s children would cause you to conclude that it’s well past the time to allow married priests.

    My point then was that priests and even Popes had concubines for so long that celibacy was largely a fiction.

    This seems to me a bit like arguing that the existence of McCarricks in the church should warrant acceptance of their sexual misbehavior. In any event, I think the history of the Borgias presents a textbook example of the dangers of incelibate churchmen.

    • #53
  24. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Justifiable concerns about falling numbers of clergy have probably tempted our shepherds to become somewhat careless.

     

    This is more a factor than you might think.  Someone I know who works at a seminary disclosed to me the story of a recently ordained priest who was known to have serious character flaws, including engaging in deceitful and scandalous (in this case not sexual) behavior in seminary, and he was moved on to ordination despite full knowledge of his transgressions because his bishop needs bodies in his parishes.  The guy is a ticking time bomb, guaranteed to result in a lawsuit somewhere down the line.  The bishop obviously learned nothing.  The guy should have immediately been asked to leave after the pattern of transgressions became evident and now he’s a priest.  If this is the “business model” that even some of our bishops are utilizing, I’m not very hopeful things will change any time soon.  No document from the UCCB will fix this type of thing.

    • #54
  25. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    This article says that Cardinal DiNardo, President of the USCCB, has put out a strongly worded statement on the McCarrick scandal.

    I don’t know about y’all, but I for one am tired of strongly worded statements and announcements about more committees to be formed and policies to be implemented. From the opening paragraph:

    The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.

    What more could have been done? Are you serious?

    For starters, the enablers who knew about Uncle Ted should have publicly called him out and exposed his serial homosexual predation. And how about now publicly calling out J. Tobin, Wuerl, Farrell, Dolan, Cupich on what they knew. Let’s get the filth into the light so it can be cleansed from the Church.

    The letter from DiNardo gives me no confidence that they will do anything about this.

    • #55
  26. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Sandro Magister has an article up today that expands on what I wrote in comment #15:

    McCarrick and His Proteges. The Miraculous Career of Cardinal Farrell

    Farrell, Cupich, J.Tobin – all proteges of McCarrick and all the face of Pope Francis in the USA. And Maradiaga and Errázuriz, members of the Pope’s C9, and the infamous Battista Ricca of “who am I to judge” fame.

    ¡Hagan lío! 

    • #56
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