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Toadies For Evil

January 17, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER

“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3).
Like the rest of us, priests are sinners — a fact made only too clear during the past two decades. At work is something I call the “Paired Power Principle,” by which I refer to someone or something that can do great good but, if depraved, can also effect great evil. The Latin expression corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst) catches the exact sense of this. It is evil enough when one of us sins; how much more regrettable is it, then, when those among us, specifically ordained to bring people to Christ by their words and deeds, deliberately lead people in the opposite direction?
The evil which came shriekingly to light in and about 2002 remains among us, and even today has its priestly public champions.
There is, tragically, much more to this particular and general ignominy. The priests who preyed, and prey, on adolescents, and others, had “friends.” And their friends had friends. And some of those friends knew what monstrous activity was afoot in rectories and parishes and chanceries. In turn, they did and said nothing to halt the grave evil being perpetrated by “friends,” predators in priestly collars.
By their cowardly silence, they aided and abetted perversion.
By their willingness to tolerate sexual predators — to look the other way, to hear and to see no evil (cf. the teaching of Psalm 1:1) — they gave aid and comfort to the enemy.
In this case, the enemy to whom they gave succor was not an armed menace to the Republic (see the Constitution, article III, section 3, which defines “treason”), but the greatest Enemy of us all (see 1 Peter 5:8). The priests innocent of sexually violating the young, but who knew of the depravities committed by others, nevertheless were guilty of manifest grave evil themselves in tolerating such evil. They were, in fact, traitors, for they betrayed the Gospel; they disavowed our Lord as surely as did Judas.
The Church has traditionally taught nine ways of cooperation with evil: commanding it; consenting to it; counseling it; concealing it; praising it; provoking it; partaking in it; remaining silent about it; and, by sophistry, defending it. Today, though, we read or hear little today about these nine ways of cooperating with evil. By contrast, the venerable Baltimore Catechism (item n. 192) used to list “to admonish the sinner” as the first spiritual work of mercy. That moral judgment is well worth reviving.
Such admonition should always proceed, of course, from a prayerful spirit of charity and prudence, not self-righteousness (cf. Luke 18:9-14 and Romans 3:10).
The USCCB website (look under www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings) does manage to tell us that “we must strive to create a culture that does not accept sin,” while warning us to remember that “we all fall at times”; that we must be humble and not arrogant; be nonjudgmental, certain to remove the beam from our own eye before we care about the splinter in our brother’s eye; and, naturally, offering the bromide that “we should journey together [my emphasis] to a deeper understanding of our shared faith.”
This is morally flaccid, jejune, and spineless. It is small wonder that we too often have episcopal and presbyteral “leadership” which accommodates the profane culture, which does not speak out about the evil of our day, and which will not denounce heresy masquerading as “development of doctrine.”
Recently, in Wisconsin, a priest used his homily to announce his same-sex yearnings and pride (The Wanderer, January 4, 2018): “I am Greg [Greiten]. I am a Roman Catholic priest. And, yes, I am gay!” Milwaukee’s archbishop, presumably understanding that homilies are “part of the liturgy,” and charged by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal with ensuring that homilies nurture the Christian life and “be an exposition of some aspect of. . . . Sacred Scripture or . . . the Proper of the Mass [n. 65],” reacted to the priest’s public declaration by oleaginously declaring that he supports the priest’s “personal journey.”
Is there no one to tell the supine prelate (cf. Isaiah 25:3 and Heb. 12:12) that he has the moral duty to upbraid the arrogance (and liturgical sedition) of this priest? Is there no one to remind both the priest and the prelate that the inspired teaching found, for example, in the Letter of Jude (v. 7) or 1 Cor. 6:9, is not to be cavalierly dismissed because they correct and interfere with one’s “authentically gay [sic] self”?
Doug Mainwaring, the author of the LifeSiteNews article in The Wanderer, writes that the newly out-and-proud priest did not make a declaration of personal chastity (CCC, n. 2337). Archbishop Listecki did manage, despite his “journey talk,” to remind his flock — and his priests? — of God’s call “to live holy, chaste lives.” One is somehow similarly reminded, though, of President Theodore Roosevelt, who once said of his successor, President William Howard Taft, that “he means well — weakly.”
The Mainwaring article also points out that a 2005 Instruction from the Vatican said that homosexual men should not be admitted to the priesthood, even if they are celibate, undercutting Greiten’s complaint that “there are no authentic role models of healthy, well-balanced, gay, celibate priests. . . .”
“Journey” is a very popular word in progressive circles. For instance, the bishops of the Buenos Aires region, in issuing an interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, burble about “a journey of discernment,” which, in many cases, excuses mortal sin among the divorced and remarried as essentially inevitable (utterly neglecting Phil. 4:13). It’s good to know that we are all together on our journey! Shouldn’t someone, though, check the credentials of the pilots and, while at it, ascertain the destination of our kumbaya-like journey (cf. 2 Peter 2:1-10)?
Priests and bishops are not, please God, travel agents for Hell, but witnesses for Christ’s Gospel and Christ’s Church (Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:20). Fr. Greg Greiten’s self-serving rebuke of the
“homophobia” in “my church” is belligerently wrong on two counts. What he calls “homophobia” is, rather, a “work of the flesh” condemned by St. Paul. Those who “do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:1-21), for “their god is their belly” (Phil. 3:19). But such Scriptures are, apparently, no longer relevant in a Church regarded as “mine,” and not “His” — Christ’s.
Archbishop Listecki, in a spasm of false compassion and befuddled loyalty, supports “Greg” and his “journey.” And if the self-identified “gay priest” does not repent and his journey carries him to the brink of perdition, will the archbishop journey with him there, just for fellowship (as Robert Bolt had St. Thomas More say in A Man for All Seasons)?
Evidently forgotten, in the fever of the “journey,” is Ezekiel’s warning that if we do not denounce the evil in others then we will accompany them to perdition (see 33:8; cf. Lam. 2:14).
No more of the evidently outdated notion that we must “convince, rebuke, and exhort,” whether the time is convenient or not (cf. 2 Tim. 4:2).
No more of the old-fashioned teaching of St. Paul that, with love and “replenished with all knowledge, . . . you are able to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14, Douay-Rheims) or of Luke that, “if your brother sins, rebuke him” (17:3), or of the Proverb that “wounds from a friend may be accepted as well meant” (27:6).
No more confessional exhortation to recognize and repent sin, to “dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell” — most of all because we have offended Almighty God by grievous sins of impurity — and “to do penance and to amend [our lives].” No sin . . . nothing to amend!
So we have a Marcial Maciel, LC (now deceased), whose followers utterly misunderstood what loyalty demands; a James Martin, SJ, whose writing and speaking directly contradict the Magisterium, but whose followers think he is morally stylish and oh so au courant; and college administrators who invite their ilk to campus for morally seditious and Seussian talks.
In Martin’s case, he refuses to answer the question of whether homosexual sex is sinful. Were he to say, of course, yes, he would lose the “gay crowd”; were he to say no, he would be obstinately denying a truth “which must be believed with divine and catholic faith.” The word for that is heresy (see CCC, n. 2089).
The only heresy today, evidently, is the heresy of denouncing heresy.
We will thus continue to have self-celebratory “outings” during homilies, “gay Masses” in churches festooned with rainbow flags, “gay-friendly” Catholic campuses, and parades honoring saints laced with gay marchers and with one even having featured a beaming cardinal of the Catholic Church. Those supporting and participating in such things are cooperators with, and toadies for, evil. This gives full meaning to the warning found in Matthew: “one’s enemies will be those of his own household” (10:36; cf. Micah 7:6 and Psalm 55:14-15).
These occurrences constitute theological scandal which “damages virtue and integrity,” and “may even draw [people] into spiritual death” (CCC, n. 2284).
For example, one group of priests which preyed upon teenage boys in New England was subsequently called a “priests’ ring.” Were there then no conscience-stricken brother priests to denounce them? Or were those who knew (but were not part of the actual ring) so concerned about being “humble” and “non-judgmental” that they smilingly and scandalously ignored the monsters in their midst? Or were those many instances of cooperation with evil — the silence and the concealment — just plain cowardice? And did anyone tell those who participated in the evil by looking the other way and saying nothing that, as cowards, they, too, would buy their tickets to Hell (see Rev. 21:8)?
There is, then, a pressing question today for us. Are we so eager for popularity (cf. John 12:43, Gal. 1:10, and 1 Thess. 2:4) that we will not admonish the sinner? Are we so afraid of being called “traditional,” or “old-fashioned,” or “biased” that we abandon what is good and true and beautiful — that we become traitors to the Gospel — to preserve the good opinion of our “friends”?
Is this what we believe, what we teach, what we preach, what we exalt? Do we betray our Lord to keep fraudulent “friends,” to sit on a dais, to march in a parade, to be popular with our students or with Catholics in our diocese, to host a sacrilegious event in our parish, sycophantically to sponsor speakers who denounce the faith? I’d rather just have the thirty pieces of silver.

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