Wednesday, August 22, 2018

No More Pious Platitudes



How old is the Catholic Church? Well, what year are we in? It’s 2018 years old, the oldest, continually-functioning institution on earth. Along the way it’s been corrupted and reformed more than once and we’re overdue for another purge. When now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was credibly accused earlier this month of having molested young men and boys for decades, I was shaken. When the sexual abuse scandal first broke in 2002, McCarrick had been a prominent spokesperson assuring us all that he and other bishops would straighten everything out. Now we see he’d been a predator himself the entire time.


Then came the grand jury report in Pennsylvania earlier last week documenting that a thousand young people, mostly adolescent boys, were systematically molested by over three hundred priests. How many more were there who never came forth? Even worse, it was covered up for decades by other priests and bishops just like McCarrick. Those bishops live in mansions, but they belong in prison cells. How many clergy knew what was going on but lacked the courage to speak up? They should resign immediately. The time for pious platitudes is over.

Pittsburgh bishop's mansion
I was born a Boston-Irish-Catholic-Democrat in 1951 and went to mass every Sunday. I attended Catholic schools from second grade through high school. After eighteen, my attendance declined. After going out on my own I had stopped attending altogether. Only when I had children who asked me about God did I go back.


Some years later The Boston Globe published its 2002 Spotlight Series on the huge scandal in the Boston Archdiocese. Priests had been raping altar boys by the hundreds across eastern Massachusetts for decades — all covered up by bishops, Cardinal Bernard Law, and others until the Globe blew it wide open. The Globe had done us all a service but they were wrong about one thing. They spun it as a “Pedophile Priest Scandal,” and yes, there were a few pedophile priests who molested children, but the vast majority of assaults were by homosexual priests preying on pubescent boys and young men. It was most definitely a homosexual priest scandal, but Cardinal McCarrick and others the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) carefully painted it as something else. Now we know why. 


Several of their advisors, however, disagreed. According to a 2011 article in the Linacre Quarterly: “Dr. Paul McHugh, a member of the first USCCB National Review Board and former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, stated in an interview about the crisis: “I’m amazed that this fundamental bombshell [of the homosexual predation of American adolescent males] has not been the subject of greater interest and discussion. . . . I’m astonished that people throughout America are not . . . wondering about what the mechanisms were that set this alight.” 


A more recent article in US News and World Report cites research concluding that a majority of Catholic priests are homosexual. The Catholic Church has long taught that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered,” but it’s obvious now that many American and European priests, bishops, cardinals, and maybe Pope Francis, don’t believe it. Many, maybe most people in the pews don’t believe it either. How many Catholic readers here have heard homilies about homosexual sex at mass? I’ve heard only one in the past thirty years.


The Church also teaches that abortion is wrong, but how many homilies have you heard about that? Again, I’ve heard only two in thirty years. As many as half the people in the pews don’t believe homosexual sex or abortion are wrong and live accordingly. The late Bishop Fulton Sheen put it best: “If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.”


Such are the consequences of the last century’s sexual revolution. If the Catholic Church is to be saved, bishops and priests who don’t believe its teachings must leave. Those remaining must return to preaching that the only proper place for sexual behavior is in a marriage between one man and one woman that welcomes children. They must preach that abortion is always wrong except to save the life of the mother, which is hardly ever necessary. Most people calling themselves Catholics today think it okay to live lives in violation of Catholic teachings, and it’s increasingly clear that many in the clergy, too, think it’s okay to wink at the rules. This cannot continue.


To preach on church teachings, one must believe them and those homilies will very likely drive down both attendance at mass and revenue from the collection box. Many parishioners and clergy will join Episcopal, Unitarian, and other churches where rules are easier, or you can make your own.


We used to see the Catholic Church as holding fast to basic Christian principles against enormous world pressure to relax them. It’s harder to see it that way now.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Church must adhere to its principle dogma rather than trying to reflect the attitudinal changes in our culture. Abortion, peddophilia, homosexuality and sex outside of marriage rather than for procreation are wrong. Period. No one is perfect but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t strive to be.

The West is also moving away from its Judeo-Christian values substituting the government for parents and religion. Muslims, on the other hand, are moving more toward fundamentalism under Sharia setting the stage for a clash of civilizations.

Nick Peace said...

1. I would date the founding of the Catholic Church to the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It was just a rag tag assortment of beliefs until then and did not have real institutional power.
2. Lots of corruption and intrigue in the Catholic Church in its 1700 year existence
3. Disagree that there is anything intrinsically wrong with homosexuality. To each his own.
4. Of course there is a major problem with sexual predation on children. This is abhorrent. And it is disgusting that the Catholic Church has continued to cover this up for decades.
5. The Church should consider some major policy changes including a) allowing women to become priests b) not requiring celibacy c) allowing priests to be married. I point out Judaism has survived just fine while allowing rabbis to marry.

Dawn said...

As a former Catholic, (born and baptized) and now a very strong Bible Believing Christ follower, I have always believed that the Roman Catholic Church is rotten at it's core. I absolutely do not believe this is "Christ's church." I also believe the history of the RCC can be traced back to the 4th Century NOT to the Apostles and the early church as they love to claim. Actually Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and Peter the Apostle of the Jews (says so in Scripture) so right there at their very foundation is the first lie. Think about it. Christ was killed ONLY because they had to make up lies to get Him to the cross. In our time abortion made legal in 1973 was conceived from a lie. Homosexuality another lie. It's very effective as Hitler himself made it perfectly clear when he said if you say it enough people will start to believe it. Anything perpetuated with a lie is evil.

As a lover of history both the Christian and Secular I absolutely believe that when Constantine stopped the persecution of Christians and declared Christianity to be the new state religion the local pagan temples simply put crosses on them. So it's a mix of both paganism and Christianity. That was the beginning of the RCC. The best lie is mixed with truth. Satan's best tool in the box!

What's in the well comes up in the bucket! What we are seeing is very very dirty water coming out of the RCC.

"Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:3

"Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?" James 3:11

Reality Check said...

"Imagine no religion, it's easy if you try"

John Lennon

CaptDMO said...

Between the tenants of the two churches brought into the union by the parental units, others that were subsequently available to me, and a couple that are not, I choose "heathen" as a way of traveling.

Brian said...

At this point it is easy to make the comparison that all those that enabled the church to carry on with these horrific activities (by looking the other way because they had the same "bigger goal" in common) and pretending it wasn't happening, are very similar to those doing the same with the thuggish buffoon we have in the White House.

When will Trumpies admit reality? How long can they ignore the evidence which is already starting to crumble down Trump's mafia like organization? Has there ever been a more pathetic buffoon of a mob boss? Of course people aren't remaining loyal to a self-centered prick of a man.

His last remaining supporters will go down in history as a WTF bewilderment.

Brian said...

Today's Doonesbury relates to reconnecting Trump supporters to society and reality. The character is listening to a radio in 2021 talking bout the "transition of the Trump base back to reality. The lost population of Republicans has typically come to believe that lying is truth, losing is winning, and weakness is strength. To help them rejoin Democratic society, new reorientation centers will emphasize character building, facts, and common sense. They also will provide strategies to curb fear and hatred."

CaptDMO said...

Today's Doonesbury relates to fantasy generated in the delusional subconscious of
a floundering "activist".
Oh, and it's fiction.

Brian said...

Doonesbury also predicted Trump's presidency about 20 years ago.

Oh, don't we wish that was fiction.

But I'm glad he is letting us know how it all ends.

Steve said...

I don’t understand your claim that some of the guilty priests were pedophiles while the majority of them were homosexuals. Pedophilia is a crime; homosexuality is not. Some, many or even all of the assailants may be homosexuals, but I don’t understand the significance you’re placing on that. The real crime, the real unspeakable abhorrence of this should be that adults molested children and the church systematically covered it up for decades, maybe even for as long as this “oldest, continually-functioning institution” has been on earth.
If a 40-year-old man molests a 10-year-old girl, is that pedophilia or is that heterosexuality?

Reality Check said...

Great point Steve. One that Tom will have to ignore, like so many other things.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Sexually molesting children is, of course, the evil here. Men molest children much more than women do and statistically, homosexual men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men do. That so many actively homosexual men are priests is the root of this enormous scandal. Benedict was right. They shouldn't be priests.

Catholics believe that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered, and acting on same-sex attractions is sinful just as heterosexual actions outside marriage are.

Catholics believe sexual behavior must take place only within the sacrament of marriage.

Sami Gay said...

"statistically, homosexual men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men do." That is a blatant lie that. You are a despicable human being.

CaptDMO said...

Do you have any verified confrormational bias on the subject matter at hand, that you care to share with us Sami?
"Wikipedia" denied on any matter deemed controversial.
"Social" media now deemed suspicious and anecdotal.

Anonymous said...

(Show Low Yaqui said)
I agree with much of the column, and think it's shameful how the church hierarchy has responded to the pedophile priests. "...the church has always been rotten at it's core..." (Dawn) I have to agree basically, but there have been many devout and exceptional Christians among the clergy, of course.

Some of the posters may like "Constantine's Sword" by James Carroll copyright 2001. A powerful and enlightening book vis.the Church and the Jewish people through the ages.

Steve said...

"...statistically, homosexual men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men..." Your lack of empirical data, which you call for when a liberal makes a point, aside, the reality is a man doesn't molest a boy because he's a homosexual. A man molests a boy because he's a pedophile. Just like a man doesn't molest an underaged girl because he's a heterosexual. He molests a girl because he's a pedophile.

Tom McLaughlin said...

So you say, even though 85% of the victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were post-pubescent males, and their perpetrators were not-so-closeted homosexual priests and bishops.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Bishops and cardinals who comprise the "lavender mafia" in the Catholic hierarchy were happy to repeat the
"pedophile" smokescreen you echo, Steve. They continue to hide behind the pedophile curtain, but it's all unraveling now thanks to Archbishop Vigano.

Steve said...

You’re actually arguing against pedophilia as a crime. If homosexuality is the crime and not pedophilia, then you have to apply that rational to heterosexuality. Since the church espouses heterosexuality is the natural order of life, creation, marriage, etc, then a man who sexually abuses a girl is actually guilty of nothing.
When it comes to crimes and offenses committed by Democrats, you’ve written many times that it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up. That is what you have here with centuries of cover up by the catholic hierarchy. Throughout history, the homosexuality demographic has been one of the most marginalized and oppressed segments of any population. The necessary rejection of them is even codified in Judeo-Christian - “oldest, continually-functioning institution” – tenets. Unless the entire, global catholic hierarchy is gay, then some of the people who covered up this abomination had to be heterosexual clergy. Those people chose to protect these predator priests at the expense of defenseless children. For centuries, the catholic hierarchy chose not to jeopardize their own cushy lifestyles over the health and safety of god’s defenseless children.