Thursday 15th November 2018

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A Leaven In The World… Living Faith In Dark Days For The Church And Victims

August 20, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

The publication of the Pennsylvania grand jury report has laid bare the sins of the fathers, our spiritual fathers. Both priests and bishops, who abused the young and/or covered it up through an evil intention, placed children in the way of further harm with the sinful excuse of “saving face” for the Church.
Bishops who conflated the reputation of the Church with that of individual priests, or bishops, were suffering under the malaise of a most destructive delusion. The Church exists for the salvation of souls and the protection of their purity as well. The public reputation of a sinner who visits evil of any kind upon an innocent child is the only thing that rightly suffers when he or she is brought to justice. That comes along with the work of the Church.
The real source of scandal is when the Church fails to complete the mission for which Christ founded her. If the Church has any “reputation” at all, it should be for always placing the needs of her children and their salvation first. A bishop or priest is a true “Father,” according to the familiar title, when he places the needs of his children before his wants.
We realize this only too well, now, as we see millions of faithful Catholics reeling in the winds of further revelations about hundreds of cases of priest malfeasance in Pennsylvania. These escaped justice and placed more children in harm’s way — perhaps thousands. Adding insult to injury, some priests begged their bishops for help after they were discovered to have sexually abused children, and they were left in parish assignments, surrounded by further occasions of sin and leaving children vulnerable.
In the wake of the new and destructive tsunami for the Church in this country come a flood of new episcopal statements, websites, and documents to spin and defend the actions of the bishops at that time and after.
Other bishops, like Allen Vigneron in Detroit, took an initiative of a different kind. Although not currently under such intense scrutiny himself, as are those who served in the dioceses of Pennsylvania, he shared piercing and humble personal reflections on the need for continuing total conversion and purity of life on his own part as he leads others to do so in their role as shepherds of the flock.
His recent column offers this advice to other bishops and priests: “Repent or get out.” This can be a helpful response for the many suffering compounded scandal, anger, and emotions which in some cases are veering close to despondency. Others are only capable of tears as they think of the terrible destruction of emotional, spiritual, and affective capacities resulting from sexual abuse of the young. In some cases the result was suicide for the victims.
With the loss of a sense of sin in the Church comes the loss of a sense of emergency in a spiritual crisis arising from systemic evil. The response is more statements and documents rather than effective action or resignation. What more can be done?
Can this epidemic of crimes and sins be traced to changes in the way we worship? A priest who does not pray cannot pursue personal holiness. The prayer of the Holy Mass is the most essential one in the life of the priest.
As a priest myself who has tried for 25 years to pray during the new liturgy, I can say without a doubt that the Traditional Latin Mass more effectively provides for the prayer of the priest as well as for the people. When the prayer of the Mass changed for so many, after we were taught for so many years that the Mass can no more be changed than can the moral teachings of the Church, and morphed so often into Father’s “entertainment hour” on “stage,” could this also have undermined personal holiness and the moral life? We cannot categorically deny the possibility.
A priest cannot possibly entertain and pray at the same time. Entertainment the Mass was never meant to be any more than is the case of the crucifixion and death of the Lord, the unbloody representation of which is the purpose of the Holy Mass. Predators who seek access for the grooming of potential victims would be only too comfortable with the idea of substituting the Holy Sacrifice with a venue for showcasing their personalities.
The sacredness and holiness of the reverent and worthy offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass protects the holiness of the priest and effectively discourages those in seminary training who are not interested in the priestly vocation as a call to personal holiness for the sake of the people they will one day serve.
We now witness the Holy Spirit cleaning house in the Church and using men of the world, such as the Pennsylvania grand jury, to do the work the bishops were supposed to do. And what a wallop His broom has: loud, broad, and powerful, sweeping cherished and carefully burnished careers and reputations out as mere chaff in the absence of the true love of Christ in authentic pastoral care for the least and most vulnerable among us.

Damage Control Consultants

When a brother priest is inspired to address the current crisis well he deserves to be heard. Here is a stunning statement from Fr. Phillip W. DeVous shared on Twitter:
“I’ve given my whole life to serving Christ in His Church. Since beginning the seminary in 1994, every year has brought fresh revelations of the darkest corruption along with criminal moral perversion coupled to unbelievable levels of incompetence. Then I read the papers or catch the evening news and I see cardinals and bishops that I know for a fact are lying with impunity, deploying weasel words and fake emotions. Until I went to the seminary I was not aware of knowing a single criminal sex abuser. Since then, apparently, I’ve rubbed elbows with dozens, some being high-ranking prelates. And those are just the ones whose names have made into reports and news stories.
“Without The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the bishops would still be lying, obfuscating, and making asinine and entirely forgettable remarks about economics and immigration while ignoring corruption, abuse of power, criminal carnality, abortions procured by predator priests, systemic homosexual predation, pedophilia, sexual harassment, and rape in their own ranks.
“And despite these revelations they don’t appear to be all that upset about it. One gets the sense they are just saying words — if they’re saying anything at all — so they can minimize the harm done to diocesan collections. They sound like damage control consultants, not fathers who’ve had their families attacked and molested. I don’t know what to think about all this anymore.”
On the day that such a damning indictment is no longer necessary, on the part of a priest to our bishops, on that day the Church will be closer to the pure and holy Bride which Christ founded her to be. You are currently witnessing “FrancisChurch” collapse: Hang on for a rocky ride all the way to the bottom but, when we get there, our faith will still be intact though many of the powerful will have fallen. As our faith itself teaches us, not even Satan himself has the power to destroy it.
And do not ever forget the victims.
As I write this, we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Glorious Assumption of Our Blessed Mother body and soul into Heaven. She promised us, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” We need her now more than ever. Mother Mary, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
God keep you and love you. Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
@MCITLFrAphorism

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Having watched the first session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops General Meeting, and that fact that the Pope has ordered them not vote on any action items, I have to ask, what is the point of this meeting? What is the point of National Bishops' Conferences?

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