NB: Originally published in March 2018.
A look into the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal!
In my first Commentary here on the Blog, I want to give a commentary on a subject that is very sensitive to the Church at this moment. A subject that we are all too familiar with, no thanks to the constant media coverage of it, usually distorted or twisted to fit their own narrative, i.e. what they now call fake news.
Over the past week or so I have been reading various articles on Church Militant regarding the outbreak of sex abuse scandals that have erupted out of the US Diocese of Saginaw. I believe that I have linked to practically every one of the articles on the Catholic News Page. If I haven't, Church Militant has a list of links.
The scandal has been made worse by the fact that the bishop of the diocese, Bp. Joseph Cistone, has been covering up the abuse, is not co-operating with civil authorities and has a record of destroying evidence incriminating abusive clerics. Subsequently, the bishop's residence was raided on Thurs. 22 March, as well as diocesan offices.
The eruption of these scandals in Saginaw are but a symptom, a microcosm, of a systemic, universal problem that has been slowly burrowing again into the Church's woodwork. This problem is not new, and is something that the most renowned Benedictine monk, Cardinal and Doctor of the Church St. Peter Damian fought against in the 11th Century, writing his famous Book of Gomorrah to the Roman Pontiff, St. Leo IX, to complain about it. Fortunately for him, something was done about it, since the Pope respected the wisdom of St. Peter Damian and was his friend. The Book is the most extensive treatment and condemnation of clerical homosexuality and pederasty by any authority in the Church. He also loudly condemned the cover up of these sexual crimes by bishops and other superiors. Beginning to sound familiar?
The problem that we call the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal is not what we have been led to believe by the Mainstream Media, who are no friend of the Catholic Church, and who have now been exposed for being nothing more than propaganda machines for the Left and their agenda. So, it should come as no surprise that the Sex Abuse Scandal in the Church is not for the most part, contrary to the MSM narrative, a paedophilia problem.
Church Militant has reported that the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) in its official reports for 2015 and 2016 have admitted that the vast majority, around 81%, of sex abuse victims are male, and the majority of them are post-pubescent, that is, of teen age. It is most likely, nay certain, that the USCCB report for 2017 will show similar statistics. These figures are, no doubt, representative of other national Catholic Churches.
What this shows is that is that the clergy is suffering not from a paedophile problem, but ephebophilia or pederasty, as it was in the days of St. Peter Damian. And couple that with the fact that most victims are male, and you have homosexual pederasty. Three guesses as to why the MSM won't report that too loudly?!
This revelation flies in the face of the LGBT lobby in the Church who are pushing for the Church to officially embrace homosexuality. How can Catholics be "tolerant" of the very men who are abusing their sons behind closed doors? And then how can we be surprised that the Church officially bars homosexual men from the Priesthood? Their exclusion is not only for the safety of the Church, but of the individual himself. To put an active homosexual in Orders amongst other men and boys, is like putting a chocolate addict in a room full of chocolate. The temptation would be too much, and such temptation was presented to them by someone who should have known better. Thus, the Church bars homosexuals from the Priesthood in order to keep them from temptation, and from a situation which would be made even worse by the fact that they would be wearing a Roman collar! It is really a mercy of the Church to protect men from such a situation and not endanger them or those around them.
Naturally, though, rather than deal with the problem head on, the LGBT lobby will just object that publishing such facts and barring such men from the Priesthood for their own safety is "homophobic", "intolerant" and "hateful". It is no different to the reaction when one points out the obvious violence commanded by the Quran. Rather than face the problem, the immediate reaction is to demonise the offending party, because, apparently, if you don't talk about it, it will either go away by itself, or it will make the blinding problem non-existent.
What also exacerbates the hard situation of dealing with this problem is the reaction of the LGBT community. Their reaction to these facts as described above is a symptom of a false understanding of the Church's teaching on homosexuality, or else just flat out hatred of the Church. Like rebellious teenagers, the LGBT community complain that Mother is being restrictive and controlling because She won't allow them to live a life not only contrary to moral law, but contrary to one's own health. They thus paint an image of the Church as a evil witch, and then come to hate their own false image of the Church, believing it to be the real image. Those who have pure hatred for the Church cannot be helped without extraordinary grace from God; those who are just simply misguided can be helped, if they want to be helped. Another exacerbation of the situation is when clerics begin to accept these false images of the Church as homophobic etc., and then actively promote the LGBT narrative of calling for the Church to change Her divine teachings on this subject. Such clerics show by their actions that they didn't understand the Church's teaching in the first place; if they did, they clearly dissented from it.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, contrary to most beliefs I suspect, presents very little on the subject of homosexuality [#2357-2359]. The reason being is that She isn't some hateful, intolerant witch! Her response to the homosexual lifestyle is that whilst homosexual tendencies aren't sinful in themselves, they are disordered, whilst homosexual acts, such as sexual intercourse between two men, is intrinsically evil; that is, it is evil always and everywhere in every circumstance. However, the Church does not hate homosexuals, but rather loves them; so much so that She teaches us to accept them with respect, compassion and sensitivity.
Contrary to popular belief, neither the Church nor any of Her faithful can judge people; that is a property of God alone. Only He can judge why a person is behaving in such a manner. Perhaps they were sexually abused by a man and thus became confused about themselves; perhaps they are seeking a father figure in other men because they didn't have a responsible father in their lives; maybe they had a radical feminist for a mother who's constant demonising of men created a fear in the young man that he won't be loved by his mother if he became too masculine. They are a number of reasons why such men become homosexual. Because we don't know, at least at first contact, why a particular man is homosexual we cannot judge the man himself.
However, we can tell him that his actions are contrary to moral law, and that he needs to cease his behaviour, turn to God, be contrite for what he has done, go to sacramental confession, and be released from his sins. After this, he needs to be guided by the Church to work out who he is, why he feels the way he does, and receive proper counselling and support. A well-known ministry that helps men with same-sex attraction is Courage. They help men and women with same-sex attraction learn to control their passions, and live chaste, holy and happy lives in conformity with Christ and His Church. Doing so, they are freed from the identity politics of their active peers in the LGBT community. Their banner becomes the Cross, and not some twisted version of the rainbow. Their disordered feelings are directed to ordered love for God and His Church. God has allowed such people to carry a heavy cross; usually to make them better saints and examples of His love and mercy. Such crosses are a time of trial for such people, and we should be their Simon of Cyrene's, helping them to carry their cross, not telling them to let their cross crush them down.
However, acceptance with respect, compassion and sensitivity does not negate the Church's teaching from being taught correctly. It does not mean compromising the teachings of the Church like the infamous Fr. James Martin, SJ. has been doing. The Church's teachings can, and must, still be taught properly, correctly and inviolate. But it should be taught with charity.
Yet, such behaviour amongst the clergy must be punished. St. Peter Damian's list of punishments included public beatings, imprisonment in a monastery for the rest of one's life with constant surveillance, three days of fasting and the like. To us that would seem extreme, however such treatment is meant to wear down the man, thereby making him less likely to want to sodomise someone. Now, just imagine if something like that was in force today. Imagine going to your local Cathedral on a Friday, and witnessing a group of monks flogging an abusive cleric. That would send a signal to the Church: we do not tolerate such behaviour. Imagine a public defrocking of a sexually abusive cleric in full view of the faithful. This would give the faithful a clear imagine of the Church doing its job: safeguarding the faithful from evil men. Sadly, the reality is that the Church isn't just to do something, She must be seen to be doing it. She must be the leader of reform within Her ranks, if She ever wishes to reform the world. What a scandal it is for the Church to preach purity, when Her own clerics are impure! The problems of the world are just an outward manifestation of the crisis in the Church.
Yet, many will object to using such treatment today. It is too medieval. It is too brutal. It lacks charity. Regardless of your opinions on such treatment, I think we all agree that something has to be done. And the Church shouldn't be doing it for the sake of virtual-signalling, but actually doing something, sweeping the floor, scrubbing the woodwork, dusting the shelves. And this reform must begin in Rome, which is infamous with being stuffed with homosexual clergy. The very See of Peter is the centre of this filth! The Holy Father needs to make an example of these men, and show the world that he is doing something within his very diocese. Then, he must expand this reform to the rest of the Universal Church.
And how should this reform come about? Only with strict procedures, tough love and elbow grease. At present, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly called the Roman Inquisition) is the Congregation in charge of prosecuting sexually abusive clerics (traditionally called heretical depravity), whilst the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is the Commission in charge of advising the Roman Pontiff on how he is to go about protecting minors, and also uniting their efforts with the aforementioned Congregation. One can read about the Commission for Minors on the website.
This Commission was set up in 2014, and then lapsed around the end of 2017, but not without going through some scandals on the way! Several members left the Commission over claims that nothing was being implemented to safeguard minors in the Church. So, the Commission got off to a bumpy start. However, in Feb. 2018, Pope Francis restarted the Commission, expanding its membership. Let us pray they actually do something this time!
Commissions are all well and good, but what good are they if they are not accompanied with proper strict procedures? Whilst many may think that the public whipping of clerics may be a step too far, they would at least agree, I hope, that abusive clerics should be removed from active ministry, or even removed from the priesthood entirely. Criminal clerics naturally deserve imprisonment, whilst other clerics who engage in non-criminal sexual activity deserve some form of punishment for breaking their celibacy, and for their heretical depravity.
One can speculate on what punishments should be enforced. I think perhaps taking St. Peter Damian's suggestions would be a good start. Yes, I know, flogging may seem too harsh, or too medieval, but we are talking about sexual abusive/active clerics! At the least, they need to be publicly shamed for their crime, and then put into a regime of penance.
I think also that St. Leo IX's stance could be adopted:
1) Those who, of their own free will, have for a short time, but not with many others, practised solitary or mutual masturbation or who have engaged in interfemoral coitus (masturbation by stimulating the genitalia against the thigh of a partner) shall retain their status, after having "curbed their desires" and "atoned for their infamous deeds with proper repentance".
2) Those who, for a long time, or a short time with many, have engaged in the above, or have engaged in anal intercourse, are to be entirely removed from office.
I suppose there are many suggestions that could be put forward, the which would make this post rather voluminous! Perhaps a Part II is in order - but not just yet! I think I need a break from writing about this subject, and wash my brain out with something else!
To finish off, I would direct my reader to the Fisheaters website, which has a page on the Clergy Sexual Abuse. I would also proffer to the reader this Constitution of Pope Benedict XIV, who speaks on clerical sex abuse (thus reminding us this is no new thing!). The first part of the Constitution is the Latin text, whereas the English text is underneath.
I pray the above prattle is an insight into what is really happening. And for St. Peter's sake: DON'T LISTEN TO THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA! They are run by the Father of lies, hence why they are pushing fake news all over the place, and why they so hate the Church.
It is most providential that the Holy Father has instituted a new feast. This new feast, called Mary, Mother of the Church, will be celebrated yearly on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday. It reminds us that Our Lady is the Mother of the Church, since the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and Mary is the Mother of Christ. She is our caring Mother, and I think we need to start to begin a deep devotion to Her under this title. Perhaps, I could create a page with various improvised prayers to Her for your consideration! At least, I would doing what I preach (for once!).
May Almighty God through the intercession of St. Mark keep you all unto eternal life!