Friday 16th November 2018

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It’s The Homosexual Clergy, Stupid

September 2, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., has finally broken the dam, calling out the pederasty crisis as a symptom of the “Velvet Mafia” that has gripped the Catholic hierarchy for the better part of five decades — not just in America but across Latin America and even the Vatican itself.
Disappointingly, the response from Cardinals Wuerl, O’Malley, and Cupich and even Pope Francis is lukewarm at best, blaming the pederasty scandal on “clericalism” rather than homosexual priests preying upon physically mature yet mentally immature young men and seminarians.
Here’s what galls me the most. Before a man can become a priest, he places his hands into those of his bishop and is asked by his superior whether he will obey him in all things. The answer must be an unequivocal yes, as the priest acts in the place of the bishop. It is a vow of obedience, a total surrender to the prelate and to the priest’s bride — the Church.
The fidelity of these young men was pitted against the sexual lusts of these predator priests. That relationship of humility was perverted into a rank power relation, one where seminarians and young men discerning the priesthood were effectively insinuated with a choice — do as you are told or rise no further in our ranks.
How many faithful young men were turned away from their vocations over the last 50 years as a result of this predatory lust? How many vocations were destroyed? How many good priests were turned away as being too rigid or too faithful to the Magisterium?
As a young man, I can tell you that there is a generation of us who discerned the priesthood only to be turned away — and almost always for the reason that we were too rigid, too faithful, too eager to begin the discernment process. It will nag us for the rest of our lives that the real reason had nothing to do with our formation.
Pope Francis’ response thus far has been absolutely deplorable. This is not a problem of “clericalism” but of a homosexual clergy. Nor is this a problem of celibacy, as I doubt a single person looks at one of these predators and exclaims “if only they had a wife and children!” What is more disappointing is Francis’ ability to blame “the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience” without diagnosis. Aches and pains are symptomatic; identifying the disease leads to cures.

+ + +

Some cardinals really don’t get the point. Sergio Cardinal Obeso Rivera of Mexico warned the victims of sexual abuse that they should feel “ashamed” (his words) of accusing priests and bishops because they too have skeletons in their closets. Pope Francis named him a cardinal two months ago.
One is instantly reminded of the hit job the Archdiocese of New York was allegedly preparing against Church Militant’s Michael Voris, whose past before his conversion included sins he thought were forgiven in the confessional. (The Archdiocese of New York denied Voris’ claims that it was preparing a hit piece of him. This all took place in 2016.)
This is the sort of “doxxing” that is popular on online forums such as Reddit and 4chan (do not go to 4chan if your soul is of any value to you). To keep people from reporting, you merely dig up a little bit of dirt and threaten to make it public. Certainly the actions of princes in the mold of Machiavelli, but certainly not what one expects from a prince of the Church.

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Speaking of the Archdiocese of New York, their headquarters warehouses a good number of organizations and individuals. One of those organizations happens to be the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, headed up by William Donohue. On August 16, Donohue published at the Catholic League’s website a commentary entitled: “Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report Debunked.”
To be charitable, Donohue does outline some of the failings of the report. Public schools have a far worse problem with sexual abuse than Catholic clergy; half of the 300 claims in the Pennsylvania grand jury report were ever demonstrated to be guilty; the tacit recognition that the problem stems from homosexual clergy; that psychologists at the time believed they could “fix” pederasts and the like.
In politics, we don’t punch through our friends to get to our enemies. Donohue is attempting to provide nuance in a world that needs its information in 140 characters or less. Is nuance what is required at this moment? Probably not…but is Donohue one of the bad guys for attempting to focus in on the problem a bit tighter?

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I have been giving a lot of thought about the Universal Call to Holiness lately, with such an approach being the antidote to a different call — one to judgment. Holiness is a lot harder than judgment, of course…we can look at someone’s failures and make a clear judgment, which is the predicate for mercy (as Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia reminds us).
Yet the call to holiness demands much more from us, not only because the judgment exercised in a condition of holiness and humility has so much more to do with the condition of our own souls than it does on the condition of outsiders.
For this reason, perhaps the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report stings all the more. Those charged with being living vessels of holiness in the world instead perverted this into a form of sacrilege, twisting their Holy Orders against the very faithful they were called to serve.
Of course, there has been a deluge of commentary from bishops across the United States, some of which was very good and others somewhat lacking in force. Nevertheless, the best statement thus far I have seen was to emphasize that the Eucharist itself forces us not to ignore the current crisis, but to feel the crisis in a direct and particular way because it is a sin against holiness — trading humility and truth for raw, unfeeling power.

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A small break from the comings and goings of the world. As many of you know, I am the proud father of seven children, all of whom are home-schooled and three of whom are taking college-level courses at their local community college. My oldest is currently looking at attending either the University of Virginia or the College of William and Mary, while your humble author will begin course work at the Catholic University of America for a Ph.L. in philosophy.
It is a gratifying experience to watch children teach themselves. For home-schooling parents, this might be the most difficult part. We set a curriculum, organize our lessons, and just when our little munchkins start becoming sponges we discover that they actually have interests of their own. For instance, my oldest son can read philosophy yet has no taste for it. My eldest daughter cannot stand history books. My second oldest doesn’t mind reading books, but would much rather be drawing or sketching CGI on his computer….
For myself, this is all terribly pleasing, even if my old philosophy books are set on shelves and dusted off only when I am reaching for a far-fetched thought. Part of a classical education is to teach children how to think, not what to think. In that sense, mission accomplished.

Send Me Your Comments

Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column. Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu

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