The plague of pedophilia which is perpetrated by some homosexual priests has become a public relations nightmare for the Roman Catholic Church in America and an emerging financial black plague for infected dioceses. It has also become a major factor in heterosexual men choosing not to follow the vocation to the priesthood. Progressive dioceses have excluded men who have a low tolerance for a homosexual agenda, with the excuse that they are "inflexible" or "intolerant." The Church is in need of those who have little tolerance for sin and choose to be inflexible with evil in the pursuit of holiness. Such virtue leads the righteous on the path toward sainthood.
It has been a source of amazement that homosexuals have ever been considered to be spiritually qualified for the priesthood, regardless of whether or not they were practicing. Even if it is not being acted out, it is still in their hearts. Would the Church ordain someone who was an admitted murderer in his heart, even though he was non-practicing? Not likely. The analogy can apply to theft, adultery, lying, or any number of sinful orientations.
Some of the homosexual persuasion were practicing their perversion when they received Holy Orders. For the non-practicing homosexual, there is obviously a point at which he can regress to his former manner of life. Either way, disrepute can be brought on the Church. Those in question are a ticking time bomb that can begin blasting away at a crucial breaking point in their spiritual and moral life. The Church's usual response prior to any aberrant behavior is that they are deserving of the trust that they will not violate their sacred oaths of fidelity to the bishop and to God. It is foolhardy to extend trust to those who are already in a determined violation of the trust of God by choice. Since they are already in a state of inner rebellion against God by their perversion of mind and heart, why is it so difficult to comprehend that they can extend their mindset even further, since it is the nature of evil to progressively degenerate. The bishop has the greater responsibility to the sheep, whether parents or their children, to provide priests who are trustworthy and have no admitted inclination toward behavior that is perverse in the sight of God. In view of the significant numbers of homosexual priests who have brought disgrace upon the Roman Catholic Church in America, it is little wonder that significant numbers of former Roman Catholics have become active participants in the Protestant movement, even to the point of becoming the largest group in some congregations. It boggles the mind that bishops would even entertain taking the chance that the sheep under their care would be in danger of predation by those entrusted to guard them from evil.
In considering the Biblical evidence pertaining to the perversion of homosexuality, sin begins in the heart. Jesus said that anyone who looked at a woman lustfully has already committed sin with her in his heart (Matthew 7: 28, RSV, Catholic Edition). The principle is established that all sin begins in the heart, and its coming to completion is in the act. The Lord commands all people to refuse to permit sin to take root in the heart in the first place, for it can lead the individual to be thrown into hell (Matthew 7: 29-30). As long as the homosexual orientation is present in the heart, the perversion can be open to find expression in the seduction of those willing and unwilling. For a perversion, there is no category of "consenting individuals," whether adult or not.
The displeasure of God with homosexuality is first mentioned in Genesis 18:20. The background for the pronouncement against Sodom and Gomorrah and its sin was the specific good news which Yahweh gave to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son in their old age (Genesis 18:10). The pre-incarnate Son of God appeared to Abraham with two angels to bring to realization the earlier promise to the Patriarch (Genesis 15:4; 17: 15-21). The implication in the connection of the two events could be that Lot would not have a part in this blessing because of his contamination by the perversion of Sodom, which led his daughters to intoxicate him so that he would provide them sons by incest. The close association with the abominations of Sodom had so jaded his daughters that incest was an acceptable solution to the problem of no available husbands. These children became the progenitors of the nations of Moab and Ammon, destined to be the implacable enemies of Israel (Genesis 19: 30-38). The lesson with Lot and his daughters is that any connection with the abomination of homosexuality can lead to moral dissolution and the destruction of a nation. The Hebrew word for the "outcry" which Yahweh mentioned in Genesis 18: 20-21 had come to Him was a cry of distress that weighed heavy on the afflicted inhabitants of the cities. Further insight into the perverted mentality of the Sodomites is seen in the request of the King of Sodom for the people taken in the conquest by Abraham, rather than the goods (Genesis 14:21). These individuals could be used for the perverted pleasures of the king and his companions in evil. Even so, Abraham in his well-intentioned goodness attempted to bargain with the Lord to avert the destruction of the cities of the plain. The ten righteous souls for which God was willing to spare the cities were not to be found, so deep and insidious was the perversion.
When the two angels came into Sodom, Lot offered them hospitality. It has been claimed that the Lord destroyed the cities of the plain because the angels were not shown hospitality, which is a disreputable dodge to avoid the seriousness of the perversion of homosexuality. They were indeed offered hospitality, but the rampant depravity of the citizenry violated this social obligation. The men of Sodom demanded that Lot give the strangers to them "that we may known them" (Genesis 19:5). But for the angelic intervention, when the men of the city were struck blind, Lot would have also been abused (Genesis 19: 9-11). Their perversion was so great that they would not even accept the offer of Lot's two daughters as a substitute for the two strangers (Genesis 19:8).
A parallel intention to sexual abuse of a stranger is found in Judges 19: 22-26, where the base men of Gibeah of the tribe of Benjamin demanded "that we might know him" (Judges 19:22). The stranger gave his concubine to them instead, and they abused her so that she died. The eventual result of this outrage was that the tribes of Israel took up arms against Benjamin. The principle is reinforced that the perversion of homosexuality can and will lead to disastrous consequences far beyond any human speculation, because it is such a great abomination in the sight of God. Not only does it mitigate against the stated purpose of God that man and woman were blessed for procreation (Genesis 1:28), but that blatant misuse of that for which it was intended is perpetuated. Benjamin would have been obliterated out of existence had it not been for the mercy of the other tribes (Judges 21) through the providence of God.
The moral law of the Old Testament forbade any homosexual intercourse, for it is an abomination, a behavior that God hates (Leviticus 18:22). The next verse places homosexuality and bestiality on the same level, for both acts defile and render the participants unholy. The evil nature of homosexuality is intensified when the altar is approached and holy things are touched, particularly the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. In this state of sin, which is known to the angels gathered about the altar, those who stand at the altar can be a stumbling block to the faithful in ways that are known only to the Holy Trinity and the attending angels. The obligation to holiness before the Lord and the altar is a most solemn responsibility for the priest, so that he will be a blessing and not a hindrance to the faithful. Homosexuality is a perversion which is to be shunned, particularly by those responsible for the proper administration of the sacred.
Leviticus 18: 24-30 continues the thought when it speaks of the land being defiled, which leads to God's punishment and the inhabitants being vomited out of the land. Those who commit these abominations will be cut off from their people. Being "cut off from Israel" has the force of being excommunicated from God's salvation (Leviticus 18:29). The sin of homosexuality will result in its practitioners being excluded from eternal life. If priests who commit homosexuality are to be excluded from eternal life, how is it that a bishop would ordain them? What does this say of the spiritual comprehension of holy things and of the clear teachings of Holy Scripture on his part? The faithful are poorly led when "abominations" and "perversions" characterize those who are ordained or who are allowed to continue in office despite this spiritual albatross which hangs around their necks.
Deuteronomy 23: 18 says that the wages of a sodomite may not be brought into the house of God in payment for any vow. This being the case, how much less could the service of one who engaged in such evil behavior be considered worthy to be offered to God before His altar. The same principle applies in the New Covenant as in the Old Mosaic legislation. It is obvious that the sense of the holy in our society has become so watered down and debased that there is little comprehension of the awesome majesty and incomprehensible holiness of the Most High God. This has been to a large extent brought on by the laxity and "community" orientation of those who have espoused to varying degrees a Protestant American civil religion mentality that prefers a "feel good" attitude, instead of the pursuit of holiness that understands the concept of sacrifice which permeates the historic concept of sacrifice which permeates the historic Mass of the Church.
From personal observation, it seems that the sharing of the peace of Christ is the highlight of the worship of many, with the sacrificial aspect being a secondary element. The cult of "good feelings" has taken over the hearts of people , to the extent that what is thought and believed in regard to Scripture and Tradition is often not a primary issue. The toleration and acceptance of homosexuality in the mainstream of progressive thinking has been greatly abetted by the slide into feelings at the expense of rational and coherent understanding. It has become increasingly apparent that the designed ambiguity that is characteristic of the Vatican II documents has been instrumental in fostering a "pastoral" mentality that can give license to the flouting of the historic doctrinal and moral positions of the Church. In this regard, a significant part of the conflict in the Church is between the neo-conservatives, who attempt to defend the ambiguity of Vatican II by giving the traditional interpretations of the Church, and the conservatives, who maintain the Magisterial doctrinal and moral force of the documents prior to Vatican II in the face of what they see as weaknesses or deliberate intrusions in the documents that directly and implicitly contravene prior teachings. Instead of the development of doctrine as enunciated by Saint Vincent of Lerins, there is the evolution of doctrine, which involves changes in the Magisterial Deposit of Faith. The shift in the Church's treatment of homosexuality is reflected in the progressive mentality following the promulgation of the Vatican II documents. And, while these two camps take the center stage in the conflict, the progressives continue their demolition unabated, with the result that the sheep in the naves are having their Roman Catholic faith undermined by the knaves given over to progressivism.
The flagship passage in the New Testament is Romans 1: 18-32, which is divided into three sections. The first (1: 18-23) sets the context, which is the deliberate suppression of the knowledge of God's eternal power and deity, clearly perceived in the things which have been made. These are without excuse (1-20). This "without excuse" applies to the question of homosexuality in 1: 26-27. They have no one to blame but themselves for their perverse disobedience in the face of the clearly known facts about God in the creation. "They knew God" (1:21) makes it obvious that there is sufficient knowledge to do the righteous things and not to be caught up in a perversion. "Claiming to be wise," they substituted their decisions for the wisdom of the Almighty, thus rendering themselves to be fools in the eyes of God. Verses 24 and 25 give the consequences of such a terrible spiritual course of action when it says that "God gave them up" to pursue lust, resulting in impurity and the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. The dishonoring of their bodies "among themselves" (1:24) shows that this was participatory in nature. The cause of this condition was the changing of the truth about God for a lie, which led to the worship and service of the creature rather than the Creator. The second "God gave them up" (1:26) refers to homosexual behavior by men and women. Their shameless acts resulted in their receiving the penalty for their behavior in problems with their own bodies. It is well-known that this perverse behavior leads to venereal disease, AIDS, a higher than normal rate of suicide, and physically destructive behavior. The third "God gave them up" (1:28) took away the divine protection that would have kept them from descending into the worst of behaviors in regard to themselves and others.
Since the truth about homosexuality is clear, how is it that bishops can ordain known homosexuals to be priests? How is it that homosexuals can stand before God at the altar and have no conscience pangs? Maybe they thing that the greater good is to be a priest, despite everything else. Perhaps they are what we might call "spiritually clueless," because they have hardened themselves through self-deceit. It is a quandary. On a practical note, the priesthood can be an excellent cover for their situation, and they gain automatic respect from those who would not give it otherwise. In this latter scenario, there has to be little or no understanding of the penalty for the violation of the sacred or the fear of the deserved wrath of Almighty God.
Can homosexuals change and no longer have such a spiritual and mental affliction? The Apostle Paul said that homosexuals are among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). But he goes on to say that "such were some of you." There were some in Corinth who had repented and were no longer homosexuals. Thus, the condition is not irrevocable or genetically conditioned so that one has no choice. Free will is a fact of life. There are times when people are not sufficiently aware of all the forces and pressures that are brought to bear on the mind and heart. Yet, the sense of right and wrong constituent in the soul of man (Romans 2: 14-15) by virtue of man being created in the image and likeness of God enables people to make proper decisions. Since the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, He is able to work with anyone who is open to His leading, for He convinces people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16: 8-11). The desire to be open to righteousness and the leading of the Holy Spirit leads people to the supernatural graces available to mankind which are found in the sacraments of the Church. This requires a subjugation to God and His ways as revealed in Scripture and Tradition. Is this easy? No! There is always the lurking power of evil ( 1 Peter 5:8), which desires to destroy the faith of the individual and to take away the salvation gained through Christ and His righteousness. Since Christ said that the way is hard that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:14), much energy, great forethought, and the informed exercise of the will are to be maintained throughout the life of faith. Although the Christian has to pull hard, the yoke is easy, for it is designed individually for each believer in the providence of God, so that the life of faith is not a burden (Matthew 11: 28-30). The grace of God is always sufficient for the faithful, for His power is made perfect, in spite of human weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). This grace is available for the individual caught in the deadly trap of homosexuality, as for any other sin.
Other passages are 1 Timothy 1:10, which lists sodomy as a sin to be rejected. 2 Peter 2: 6-8 mentions the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, and it mentions that Lot was greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked. Jude 7 mentions Sodom and Gomorrah as suffering the punishment of eternal fire because of their immorality and unnatural lust.
When faced with such a situation ina parish or in the Roman Catholic Church at large, what are the faithful to do? We are to pray for particular individuals who are known homosexuals - that God will change their hearts and minds to rid them of evil thoughts and to transform their way of looking at gender. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). He is able to do far more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As the faithful spent nine days in prayer between the ascent of Christ into Heaven following the forty days after His resurrection until the descent of the Holy Spirit, so it is appropriate for the faithful to pray a novena for the soul and ministry of every priest, particularly when the perversion of homosexuality is a known fact. If there is no clear certainty, no conversation linking him to such should be made. Secondly, the bishop is to be quietly notified of the situation when there is demonstrated evidence of homosexual practice. If children are involved, it is my view that the civil authorities are to be notified and presented with the evidence in accord with proper legal procedure.
There have been too many times when such behavior has been quietly pushed under the rug by a good old boy system. There is even a homosexual network in place which exists for the protection and furtherance of this practice. See the National Review, February 11, 2002, p. 30, for a perceptive article on pedophile priests. This course of action will prevent pedophilia from being shoved under the rug and the miscreant away for therapy until things calm down and then reassigned where he can begin anew. There is no hard evidence that actual pedophiles are cured. Personal vengeance is not permitted. Yet, the sheep have the responsibility to protect themselves and their families. It is parental dereliction of duty to allow anyone, particularly a priest, to abuse the children whom God has entrusted to their care. The spiritual danger is paramount for the abused child, for it can give such a negative cast to the Church and salvation that the child is driven away from the grace of God leading to salvation (Matthew 18: 1-6), or at least from effective service for the Lord. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the sheep to take action to protect that which is holy from profanation, through the instrumentality of the bishop, and especially with all that is related to the altar. All things in the Church, however, are to be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).
In the Roman Catholic Church, the bishop is pivotal in the work of the Lord. He is held responsible before the Lord for the welfare of his diocese and for the behavior and spirituality of the diocese and for the behavior and spirituality of the priests who administer holy things to holy people (1 Timothy 3: 1-7; Titus 1:7-9). It is his office to protect that which is holy by putting a stop to homosexual activity by priests. In regard to pedophilia specifically, the bishop who knowingly allows pedophiles to resurface in his diocese and to practice their perversion is an enabler for their activity. He has demonstrated that he has not exercised the necessary spiritual oversight to protect the sheep, particularly the little ones who can so easily be driven away from the faith. He has become involved in the abuse by allowing it to happen. If those in the Church play political games and cover for one another, the perversity deepens and spiritual rot sets in. The wrath of God must follow, for God will not allow His holiness to be deliberately or arbitrarily violated. As it was in the Arian heresy that threatened to harm deeply the very life of the Church, when the laity rose up to stem the tide, so it can be the role of the laity today to call the Church back to faithful observance of the ancient traditions and to a holiness of life without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
Note: [editor's bold, brackets and italicized for emphasis]