The Dumpster Fire in the Church Today: Time to Let Go of Vatican II

 

For the past month, the laity in the Church have vented their anger over the explosion of sexual abuse allegations that surround former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the accompanying failure of his brother bishops to stop his abuse or curtail his rise to power and prominence in the Church. The statements that have come out from the bishops that surround this crisis, are to me weak, pathetic, and devoid of any sense of responsibility. And they continue to be devoid of any self-awareness, accountability, or responsibility (just listen to Cardinal Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor in DC, say that he doesn’t think it is a massive crisis and calls it a “terrible disappointment” — good grief man, are you kidding me?)

It is impossible to defend the indefensible and matters are made worse when those bishops who were closest to McCarrick say they were shocked — shocked mind you, that this could happen — saying that they had no idea that any of this was going on and issuing statements asking what more could have been done to protect the People of God. The bishops have lost all credibility in my mind. This is not only a moral failure, but it is a failure of leadership, a failure of these men to shepherd their people, and a failure of these men to admit the root cause of this horrific scandal:

Homosexual acts committed by or between clerics—even among those presumably able to consent—are at the root, the very root, of the sexual misconduct and cover-up crisis exposed by the McCarrick scandal. Who on earth does not yet know that yet?

Amidst all this I was surprised to read this article by George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington DC’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, and noted Catholic commentator. He writes about this year’s 25th anniversary of World Youth Day in Denver, CO, where about 700,000 young Catholics gathered to see and hear Pope John Paul II proclaim the Gospel. Weigel writes that JP2 challenged that crowd at the papal mass in Mile High Stadium with these words:

Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first apostles who preached Christ and the good news of salvation in the squares of cities, towns, and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel.… It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.

Weigel writes that what he calls the triumph of WYD93 was not only a triumph for JP2 and the organizers for the event but that it was a turning point for the Church in the USA:

Before WYD 1993, too much of Catholicism in America was in a defensive crouch, like too much of the Church in Western Europe today. After WYD 1993, the New Evangelization in the United States got going in earnest, as Catholics who had participated in it brought home the word that the Gospel was still the most transformative force in the world. Before WYD 1993, U.S. Catholicism was largely an institutional-maintenance Church. With WYD 1993, Catholicism in America discovered the adventure of the New Evangelization, and the living parts of the Church in the U.S. today are the parts that have embraced that evangelical way of being Catholic.

He paints a rosy picture but is he right?

Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council in a spirit of aggiornamento or modernization — a throwing open of the doors of the Church in a desire to dialogue with the outside world. Perhaps the New Evangelization was meant to flow from this (although it seems that PJP2 thought it necessary because of the decline in the Church since the Council). When one compares the statistics of the number of priests, religious sisters and brothers, reception of the sacraments, and church attendance to the total Catholic population from 1995 to now, the picture is grim.

A taste with a comparison of 1995/2017:

  • Catholics: 57.4M/68.5M
  • Parishes: 19,331/17,1567
  • Priests: 49,054/37,181
  • Seminarians: 3172/3405 (some good news!)
  • Baptisms: 981,444/660,367
  • Former Catholics: 17.3M/30.0M

I have to say we are back in a defensive crouch big-time with the continuing scandal of predatory homosexual clerics in the Church, the doctrinal confusion that emanates from Rome, the lack of belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (up to 40% of Catholics), the declining numbers for mass attendance, and the absolute failure of the bishops to protect the flock. Based on this, how can one proclaim the New Evangelization — prioritized towards lapsed and lukewarm Catholics, anything other than an utter failure?

Perhaps Vatican Council 2 has gone past it’s sell-by date and we need to stop using that Council as a reference for the Church. As Fr. Hugh writes:

(V2) described itself as a pastoral council, and it sought to repackage the teaching, life and worship of the Church to suit a world in flux. For this very reason the Council was necessarily going to have a best-before date. That date has been passed. The sad thing is that its milk turned sour very soon after packaging.

As Fr. Hugh notes, and the statistics above confirm, “Catholic vitality has plummeted” in the post-conciliar years. And as the Liturgy Guy writes:

If one still disputes this they cannot be taken seriously and should step away from the grown up table; these discussions aren’t for you.

Fr. Hugh again:

By any reasonable standard of judgment the application of the Council failed, miserably, to achieve the Council’s aims. This statistical revelation of decline is quite apart from the decline experienced by Catholics as they have seen dogmas, doctrines, morals and many other elements of Catholic life thrown into chaos in the wake of the Council. St John Paul II and Benedict XVI, in their different ways and according to their lights, attempted to stem the ecclesial wasting away. But while ever the main nutrition of the Church was based on the Council (usually very loosely) then the Church will ever be gaining a pound a losing two.

When one looks back and reads in Gaudium et Spes (the document that was most associated with aggiornamento), that “love of God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment” (GS24), and that “man is the source, the center, and the purpose of all economic and social life” (GS63), one reads statements that clearly contradict the words of Jesus Christ. And if one looks back to the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae, and the subsequent liturgical abuses that followed from this, one sees a clear break with the tradition of the Church and the dereliction of the duty of the Pope to protect this tradition.

But as Fr. Hugh points out and it is obvious to one who will look, the decline is not universal:

The Church grows apace in the developing world, where a different social and attitudinal dynamic is at work. The Church is growing in the West in certain places too. But here’s the rub: it is growing precisely where much of what was discarded by the post-conciliaristas is slowly and sensibly being reclaimed and integrated into the world of 2017 rather than the mid-1960s. What they are reclaiming is essential, timeless Catholicism rather than the tired mantras and shibboleths of the “Vatican II Church”. The young have discovered, and many of the older re-discovered, that there was a Church before Vatican II, and it was healthy, vital and beautiful.

V2 proclaimed itself a pastoral council. Pastoral actions, unlike doctrine, are not timeless. I will admit that I have for many years pounded the table and said that if only the council was implemented as the Fathers wanted all would be good. But I have come to realize that this is like the Progressives who say that if only socialism or communism was implemented properly all would be good. Fr. Hugh:

So, despite the many virtues of the Council documents, and some (of) its beautiful passages of theological lyricism, they are so laden with deliberate ambiguities, and have been so abused and misrepresented in their application, that are fit only for the occasional reference or quotation. They addressed too specifically a world that disappeared soon after the Council; Gaudium et speswas flawed even then, but now it reads almost risibly.

Thus it makes no sense to be constantly referencing every contemporary initiative to Vatican II, for justification or acceptance-value. It is time to move from a post-conciliar Church to a post-post-conciliar Church; which is to say, it is time to reclaim the Church as She has always been in her essence and her stable form, which has been able to function viably and vitally in every age and circumstance since the time of Christ. In the 1960s mankind, not least of the Catholic variety, seemed to think it had found something new under the sun. How old, dated and desiccated that new thing now looks.

It may seem silly or outrageous to you to blame the crisis in the Church today on the Second Vatican Council. But for me, it is time to move on and move back to regaining the history and tradition of our Church, and not use as a point of reference and foundation the most recent Council in the history of the Church. And my jumping off point for this is to avoid whenever possible the Novus Ordo mass and attend the Usus Antiquior mass.

To finish, I will point you to an article from a priest who gets the anger that so many are full of today. Monsignor Charles Pope writes:

I am grateful that many lay faithful love the Church enough to be angry. Sometimes one must be angry enough to be willing to act for change and to persevere in that work. I hope you will honor your anger and use it to creative ends: to tirelessly demand real reform in all the ways God gives you to see. Be careful to target your anger and speak it in love and for the good of all.

So, this is a crucial moment for God’s people. As a member of His clergy, I want to say that we need you now more than ever and to remind you that you will be essential to reform by insisting on it and refusing to accept a return to business as usual. Let us pray for one another and work for the reform we all know is necessary and long overdue.

There are 94 comments.

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  1. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I went to high school with Donald Wuerl. Unless he was somehow taken out of context I am very disappointed in him. He was at onetime very aggressive against wayward priests. Might have Stockholm Syndrome.

    • #1
  2. Lash LaRoche Inactive
    Lash LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Scott Wilmot:

    It may seem silly or outrageous to you to blame the crisis in the Church today on the Second Vatican Council. But for me, it is time to move on and move back to regaining the history and tradition of our Church, and not use as a point of reference and foundation the most recent Council in the history of the Church. And my jumping off point for this is to avoid whenever possible the Novus Ordo mass and attend the Usus Antiquior mass.

    I agree with this completely.

    The bishops who covered this up, perpetrated it, or turned a blind eye to this scandal should resign en masse in utter shame.  Their reprehensible conduct has damaged the Church so badly that it will take generations to recover.

    • #2
  3. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    How do you reject Vatican II without rejecting the Council of Trent? How do you square that with faith in the Church’s authority? How do you square the holiness of popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI with their devotion to unfolding Vatican II as a varied application of timeless Church teachings? 

    • #3
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Seems to me that the last 10 years of Church behavior justifies a walk away movement of its own.  It’s not time to let go of Vatican II.  It is time to let go of the Church itself.  It has betrayed its charge and lost its way.

    • #4
  5. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    How do you reject Vatican II without rejecting the Council of Trent?

    Please show me where I used the word ‘reject’ in my post. I said it was time to move on and stop using the Council as a reference point for everything in the Church today. It would do me good to learn more about Trent.

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    How do you square that with faith in the Church’s authority?

    I don’t question the Church’s authority. What I question and challenge is the implementation of the Council. Just take Sacrosanctum Concilium for example – the first of the Constitutions to be released by the Council. I wrote a post on this and said that had SC been implemented as the Fathers wrote – I would be a happy camper. But they did no such thing – and to paraphrase what I wrote above – if you dispute this you can’t be taken seriously. And for a long time I have used the old “but if it were just implemented properly” all would be good argument. But I’m done with that as is apparently Pope Francis when he said the changes are what they are and liturgical reform is irreversible. So if the Holy Father can ignore SC, so can I.

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    How do you square the holiness of popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI with their devotion to unfolding Vatican II as a varied application of timeless Church teachings? 

    I didn’t question the holiness of either man and don’t see what this has to do with what I wrote. God bless them both for their witness and holiness. Benedict XVI worked hard to get the Church to follow a hermeneutic of continuity with respect to the Council – he obviously saw a problem if he had to remind the Church of this. And see my comments on GS24 and GS63 above – I don’t think those quotes are timeless Church teachings.

    • #5
  6. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Seems to me that the last 10 years of Church behavior justifies a walk away movement of its own. It’s not time to let go of Vatican II. It is time to let go of the Church itself. It has betrayed its charge and lost its way.

    Incredibly, the dumpster fire that is the Church today has strengthened my faith in Her. Only a Divine institution like the Church can survive as She has – despite the sin of Her members.

    • #6
  7. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Seems to me that the last 10 years of Church behavior justifies a walk away movement of its own. It’s not time to let go of Vatican II. It is time to let go of the Church itself. It has betrayed its charge and lost its way.

    Incredibly, the dumpster fire that is the Church today has strengthened my faith in Her. Only a Divine institution like the Church can survive as She has – despite the sin of Her members.

    My faith is fine.  Just not in the Church.  She is surrendering her moral authority and seems to have become another Left wing organization with all the corruption and vice that implies.  I am getting tired of defending her undefendable actions.  If you wish defend them then more power too you.

    • #7
  8. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Okay, if you think “homosexual acts committed by or between clerics” are what’s causing this rot–and I totally agree with you–

     

    then what, exactly, should the Church’s policy be toward homosexuality?

    Ever  since, what, ten years ago, when  this scandal first became–well, not “public”; everybody knew all along, didn’t they?  There’ve been “altar-boy” jokes forever– it has seemed to me incredible that anyone is still a Catholic.  Why? 

    But what do you devotés propose to do about homosexuality among priests?  

    • #8
  9. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Seems to me that the last 10 years of Church behavior justifies a walk away movement of its own. It’s not time to let go of Vatican II. It is time to let go of the Church itself. It has betrayed its charge and lost its way.

    Incredibly, the dumpster fire that is the Church today has strengthened my faith in Her. Only a Divine institution like the Church can survive as She has – despite the sin of Her members.

    I’d have to question that.  People still believe in socialism,too.  And with much the same rationale: its abysmal failures are due to the frailty of the humans involved; not to the enterprise itself .   Rather than a “Divine institution” , I’d say a “Deified institution” can survive the egregious actions of its members precisely because it is a religion or the secular equivalent of a religion. 

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Okay, if you think “homosexual acts committed by or between clerics” are what’s causing this rot–and I totally agree with you–

     

    then what, exactly, should the Church’s policy be toward homosexuality?

    Ever since, what, ten years ago, when this scandal first became–well, not “public”; everybody knew all along, didn’t they? There’ve been “altar-boy” jokes forever– it has seemed to me incredible that anyone is still a Catholic. Why?

    But what do you devotés propose to do about homosexuality among priests?

    The “policy” toward homosexuality should be what it has always been. And I know gays who’ve left the Church find this risible, but… Persons with same-sex attraction are made in the image and likeness of God and are to be cherished as such. However, acts of homosexuality are disordered and are, therefore, not morally permitted. They can be confessed, repented, and forgiven, with a firm resolve to go and sin no more, but everyone is called to chastity, whatever his sexual desires and chosen vocation. The Church cannot change “policy” on what God has ordained.

    My understanding is some seminaries have gone a step further to dissuade men who suffer same-sex attraction not to apply. They are not accepted. Obviously, this is not the case in places where homosexuality has been normalized by the culture — that is, left-wing enclaves in large urban centers. It’s probably not possible to entirely drive the serpent from the sanctuary (except by Jesus himself), but it is these areas which need addressing. Bigly.

    • #10
  11. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    How do you reject Vatican II without rejecting the Council of Trent?

    Please show me where I used the word ‘reject’ in my post. I said it was time to move on and stop using the Council as a reference point for everything in the Church today.

    Sorry, I misunderstood. The other questions followed from that premise.

    Are you familiar with th website and YouTube channel Church Militant? It leans heavily on the gay cabal narrative. But I’d prefer a site that is more facts and less ranting. What sites do you trust and like for coverage of this scandal? You have already linked to a few.

    I agree with others that the FBI should be involved for investigating what are civil crimes and not just violations of Church traditions. But I don’t know how that gets started if it hasn’t already. Since each diocese is largely independent in operation, despite transfers of priests and bishops, the international aspect of the Church structure shouldn’t be so problematic that it negates the FBI’s utility in this scandal.

    I worry that big government is typically antagonistic to the Church and would likely use an opportunity like this to gain power over her. But the bishops invited that risk with their negligence.

    Anyway, the bishops should indeed be focused on perennial teachings and not on unfolding the last council’s often misinterpreted pastoral changes. But, to be honest, I generally ignore them because the sacraments are more relevant to my daily life. Most of what they need to say is repetition of timeless teachings. When I read their more novel thoughts, it is usually political nonsense like Cardinal Dolan calling immigration control advocates xenophobes. Whether or not that trend is more reflective of the bishops themselves or of media coverage, I can’t say since bishops are strangers to me.

    • #11
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    I worry that big government is typically antagonistic to the Church and would likely use an opportunity like this to gain power over her. But the bishops invited that risk with their negligence.

    A valid concern. 

    Not everything out of bounds morally is illegal, but this stuff is. Therefore, law enforcement should handle it. Sadly, all our institutions are corrupted and not to be trusted. That’s what we call “societal collapse” in progress. 

    “Take up your cross and follow…”

    • #12
  13. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Bishops are administrators, and administrators are not investigators. Administrators do not like bad news. The best thing the Church could do is hire some former detectives to investigate claims, and claimant’s allegations. The investigators should then report their findings to Canon lawyers, and then start removing clergy as necessary, and refuting false claims as necessary.

    • #13
  14. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    However, acts of homosexuality are disordered and are, therefore, not morally permitted. They can be confessed, repented, and forgiven, with a firm resolve to go and sin no more, but everyone is called to chastity, whatever his sexual desires and chosen vocation.

    And while I’ll admit I’m looking at it from the outside, that’s why I don’t think homosexuality per se is the root cause of the sexual abuse scandals. I see the root cause being a clerical culture (reflecting the Western culture) in which chastity is disregarded generally.  Homosexuality is just more easily ignored because it happens within the clergy and doesn’t result in embarrassing pregnancies. Once violating one’s vows becomes a habit, other taboos are far more easily violated as well. 

    As for Vatican II, well, it’s the same story that’s everywhere: Baby Boomers refusing to release their death grip on culture. We will bury them, though.

    • #14
  15. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    I’m wondering: when it became doctrine that priests must be celibate, did that ever  include homosexual or pedophilic acts?  Or was it always just sorta understood that those things were lesser sins? 

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    I’m wondering: when it became doctrine that priests must be celibate, did that ever include homosexual or pedophilic acts? Or was it always just sorta understood that those things were lesser sins?

    Please, H. We don’t want to rehash the celibate priesthood again. I’ll help you find the other threads where this was discussed, if you like.

    • #16
  17. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    And while I’ll admit I’m looking at it from the outside, that’s why I don’t think homosexuality per se is the root cause of the sexual abuse scandals. I see the root cause being a clerical culture (reflecting the Western culture) in which chastity is disregarded generally. Homosexuality is just more easily ignored because it happens within the clergy and doesn’t result in embarrassing pregnancies. Once violating one’s vows becomes a habit, other taboos are far more easily violated as well. 

    I don’t think it’s accurate to paint with such a broad brush. It discredits the vast majority of priests who remain faithful to their vows (although, some are apparently cowardly about fighting the evils in their midst). Again, it is the modern, urban, progressive West where this is happening. That’s the culture we’re up against. It’s where religion and politics intersect. 

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    As for Vatican II, well, it’s the same story that’s everywhere: Baby Boomers refusing to release their death grip on culture. We will bury them, though.

    You will always have the Left with you.

    • #17
  18. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I don’t think it’s accurate to paint with such a broad brush. It discredits the vast majority of priests who remain faithful to their vows (although, some are apparently cowardly about fighting the evils in their midst).

    Disregarded is probably too strong. Ignored? Winked at? It’s not that every priest is breaking his vow of chastity, but that the ones who are aren’t being punished or defrocked until the scandal becomes too great. (And of course, it’s easier to hide the scandal when it all happens in seminaries and rectories.)

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    As for Vatican II, well, it’s the same story that’s everywhere: Baby Boomers refusing to release their death grip on culture. We will bury them, though.

    You will always have the Left with you.

    The left, yes. Tambourine thumping, guitar wielding dancing hippies, no. 

    • #18
  19. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    I’m wondering: when it became doctrine that priests must be celibate, did that ever include homosexual or pedophilic acts? Or was it always just sorta understood that those things were lesser sins?

    If you are really interested in these things you might want to check the Catholic Answers website, or obtain a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

     

    • #19
  20. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    The best thing the Church could do is hire some former detectives to investigate claims, and claimant’s allegations. The investigators should then report their findings to Canon lawyers, and then start removing clergy as necessary, and refuting false claims as necessary.

    That would be good provided that from the outset those investigators are authorized to make their final report public record. Conspiratorial cover-up is a key part of the allegations, afterall, and the conspirators should not be allowed to hide a damning report. 

    Priests are right to never reveal anything spoken in the sacrament of Confession to law enforcement. That any clergyman would withhold knowledge of criminal activity gained outside Confession, however, is abominable. 

    • #20
  21. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    I’m wondering: when it became doctrine that priests must be celibate, did that ever include homosexual or pedophilic acts? Or was it always just sorta understood that those things were lesser sins?

    Please, H. We don’t want to rehash the celibate priesthood again. I’ll help you find the other threads where this was discussed, if you like.

    Dear WC, I know you think (for some reason!?) that I’m just trying to kick the hornets’ nest, but truly, I was only  curious as to whether celibacy when promulgated dealt at all with homosexuality?   

    • #21
  22. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I don’t think it’s accurate to paint with such a broad brush. It discredits the vast majority of priests who remain faithful to their vows (although, some are apparently cowardly about fighting the evils in their midst).

    Disregarded is probably too strong. Ignored? Winked at? It’s not that every priest is breaking his vow of chastity, but that the ones who are aren’t being punished or defrocked until the scandal becomes too great. (And of course, it’s easier to hide the scandal when it all happens in seminaries and rectories.)

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    As for Vatican II, well, it’s the same story that’s everywhere: Baby Boomers refusing to release their death grip on culture. We will bury them, though.

    You will always have the Left with you.

    The left, yes. Tambourine thumping, guitar wielding dancing hippies, no.

    Harsh!  No you can’t “bury”  us, we were like a new mountain range shattering the earth’s crust.  You can plant your vineyards,  but it!ll be on the terrain  we  terraformed!   Hahahahaha! 

    • #22
  23. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    then what, exactly, should the Church’s policy be toward homosexuality?

    The Church has clear teachings on homosexuality (CCC 2357-2359).

    Chastity and homosexuality

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    • #23
  24. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    But what do you devotés propose to do about homosexuality among priests?

    The Church has been clear on this too. From Pope Benedict XVI in the Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders:

    2. Homosexuality and the Ordained Ministry

    From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

    Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

    Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter[8].

    In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”[10]. (my emphasis)

    Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

    Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

    • #24
  25. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Sorry, I misunderstood.

    No problem.

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    What sites do you trust and like for coverage of this scandal?

    I trust Phil Lawler at catholicculture.org, Robert Royal at thecatholicthing.org, Carl Olson at catholicworldreport.com, Steve Skojec at onepeterfive.com, Ed Peters at canonlawblog.wordpress.com, Edward Pentin at ncregister.com, and Sandro Magister at magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/category/in-english/.

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

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I’d have to question that. People still believe in socialism,too. And with much the same rationale: its abysmal failures are due to the frailty of the humans involved; not to the enterprise itself . Rather than a “Divine institution” , I’d say a “Deified institution” can survive the egregious actions of its members precisely because it is a religion or the secular equivalent of a religion. 

    The Church is divine because She was founded by Christ and has Him as the Head. See CCC 770-776 for more information on the mystery of the Church as both divine and human.

    I have never heard the term ‘deified institution’ and don’t know what that means.

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

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    And while I’ll admit I’m looking at it from the outside, that’s why I don’t think homosexuality per se is the root cause of the sexual abuse scandals. I see the root cause being a clerical culture (reflecting the Western culture) in which chastity is disregarded generally. Homosexuality is just more easily ignored because it happens within the clergy and doesn’t result in embarrassing pregnancies. Once violating one’s vows becomes a habit, other taboos are far more easily violated as well.

    You make a good point about chastity. It is what Canon Lawyer Ed Peters argues about in his post on this that I referenced in the OP.

    But I still maintain that homosexuality is the root cause. For centuries up until 1983 homosexuality had been considered a canonical crime. From Peter’s post:

    1917 CIC 2359 § 2 stated:

    If [clerics] engage in a delict against the sixth precept of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of sixteen, or engage in adultery, debauchery, bestiality, sodomy, pandering, [or] incest with blood-relatives or affines in the first degree, they are suspended, declared infamous, and are deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, responsibility, if they have such, whatsoever, and in more serious cases, they are to be deposed.

    Another fruit of V2 to no longer consider this a canonical crime.

    Dr. Peter’s comments on chastity and celibacy:

    Oh, and third, I guess we have to say it yet again, clerical homosexual activity is not, repeat not, as Guarino seems to think, a violation of “celibacy” (as if celibacy has anything to do this mess), but is instead a violation of the chastity to which all the faithful are called (CCC 2337-2359) and of the continence to which all clergy are specially called (Canon 277 § 1).

    • #27
  28. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    I agree with Aaron and Doug.

    At it’s root this is a law enforcement issue. There has been a conspiracy to cover up the crimes of the Priesthood by many clerics within the Church. That conspiracy to cover up these sexual crimes is a crime in and of itself. Priests are not above the law. If a Priest hears of sexual abuse by another  Priest outside the confessional he has a duty to report to the Police.  If that means charging Cardinals and Archbishops, so be it. 

    It is one thing to be forgiving, but the crime of pedophilia is not easily cured and should not be blithely  forgiven without concern for consequences of further abuse.  To be concerned only for the perpetrator and not the victim is just pure evil, and that  all too often stance of the Church clergy I feel is a gut wrenching evil failure and mortal sin for many in the Church Hierarchy. 

    As for Priests and Marriage, in my parish I have seen the role of married Deacons grow to take over many roles formerly performed by Priests. I think this movement  of  using Deacons more is going to continue.  What I don’t fully understand is the demise of nuns, and the total lack of Church interest in reviving the participation of nuns in Church life. 

    • #28
  29. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    Dear WC, I know you think (for some reason!?) that I’m just trying to kick the hornets’ nest, but truly, I was only curious as to whether celibacy when promulgated dealt at all with homosexuality?

    See comment #27 – it’s not about celibacy, it’s about chastity.

    • #29
  30. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I’d have to question that. People still believe in socialism,too. And with much the same rationale: its abysmal failures are due to the frailty of the humans involved; not to the enterprise itself . Rather than a “Divine institution” , I’d say a “Deified institution” can survive the egregious actions of its members precisely because it is a religion or the secular equivalent of a religion.

    The Church is divine because She was founded by Christ and has Him as the Head. See CCC 770-776 for more information on the mystery of the Church as both divine and human.

    I have never heard the term ‘deified institution’ and don’t know what that means.

    Thank you very much for 23 and 24, I seriously was curious.   So, it’s a matter of the clear precepts having been flaunted all these years.

     

    “Deified institution”: I just coined that, to mean as SCOTUS once said, any organization promulgating a “deeply held belief which  assumes the place of a traditional religion”.  As you know, Soviet Communjsm was deliberately set up to imitate church structure and fistula.  Y’ever visit Lenin’s tomb?  Holy Sepulchre in Jerusakem has nothin’ on it….

    • #30

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