THURSDAY
April 4, 2002
volume 13, no. 64

E-mail       Print
The root of the problem


The seeds of sodomy have spoiled the fruits of vocations and the whole bad tree must be exterminated and the seeds of sanctity replanted before we can once again have holy shepherds

    While people are seeing red over the scandals of perversion, those in red better do something about it now or get out of the way and let someone else do it who cares!

by Gary Morella

    "'Begging for forgiveness' is not going to do it, in this case especially, because integral to contrition is a firm resolve to amend one's life. And to date, that amending, per Michael Rose's book, has not manifested itself in our seminaries where it is needed most. All the wringing of hands and renting of garments, rhetorically, on the part of the hierarchy of the Church in this country will be seen for what it's worth without a firm and expeditious commitment to the aforementioned resolve in order clean up this mess that they primarily caused. And if they are hesitant in any way to do this, they should be summarily removed from their respective offices by Rome, and immediately replaced with individuals who will."

    In light of the excerpt below from Michael Rose's book Goodbye! Good Men, How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood, Cardinal William Keeler is being disingenuous in regard to the article from the Baltimore Sun reporting on the "Anger at sexual abuse justified, Keeler says during a Mass homily," during which the issue was addressed briefly. Please see the references below to Cardinal Keeler's seminary in Baltimore in an excerpt from Rose's book, Chapter 4 "The Gay Subculture" - How homosexual politics discriminates against healthy, heterosexual men.

    "The issue was never one of my suitability for ordination. Rather it was that the gay clique had been given veto power over who got ordained."
    Joseph Kelleny, former seminarian, Mundelein Seminary, Chicago, Ill.

        IF THE APPLICANT IS ACCEPTED into a seminary program he is liable to encounter homosexual issues many times throughout his seminary career, sometimes in more direct ways than others. "For decades we have been hearing stories about priestly training and religious houses that would have made Boccaccio blush." These stories effectively deter many Catholic parents from encouraging a priestly vocation among their sons. It has, to be sure, deterred many young men from testing their vocations in certain dioceses.

        One popular book acknowledges what the author calls a "gay subculture" in many Catholic seminaries. Written by Father Donald B. Cozzens when he was rector of St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland, The Changing Face of the Priesthood warns of a growing public concern that the priesthood is becoming a "gay profession." He spends considerable time addressing the issue from his perspective inside the seminary.

        Cozzens states that "straight men in a predominantly or significantly gay environment commonly experience chronic destabilization, a common symptom of which is self-doubt." Compounding the challenge of studying, praying and living alongside gay seminarians, he adds, "are seminary faculties which include a disproportionate number of homosexually-oriented persons." In other words, this "gay subculture," comprised of both students and faculty at certain seminaries, deters the heterosexual man from continuing to study and prepare for the priesthood.

        This is to put it mildly. How can any healthy, heterosexual seminarian expect to be properly formed and prepared for the Catholic priesthood when constantly subjected to that which is so clearly contrary to Church teaching and discipline? How many heterosexual seminarians, whether orthodox or not, have decided to leave the seminary and abandon their vocations because of the "gay subculture" they were forced to endure, because they had been propositioned, harassed or even molested?

        According to former seminarians and recently ordained priests, the "gay subculture" is so prominent and accepted at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore that students have long nicknamed it "The Pink Palace."

        Father Andrew Walter, ordained for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2000, spent several semesters at the Baltimore school as a seminarian for the Diocese of Patterson, New Jersey. The problem was so bad when he was there, he explained, that "some of the students and faculty used to get dressed up in leather to go to ‘the block,’ Baltimore’s equivalent to 42nd Street in Manhattan."

        Seminarians, sometimes accompanied by faculty members, would do this regularly, Walter explained. "They would meet in the foyer, and then head for the gay bars." This issue is not new, and the claim is not uncommon. In March of 2000, Father. Andrew Greeley, a well known liberal priest sociologist from Chicago, testified that seminary professors "tell their students that they’re gay and take some of them to gay bars, and gay students sleep with each other."

        Walter also remembers a lecture that the Vice Rector at St. Mary’s delivered in front of at least 150 people, wherein he stated that "yes, we accept openly gay seminarians; that’s our policy," an acknowledgement that only confirmed what was already commonly known at the seminary.

        Walter said he tried to explain to his bishop, Frank Rodimer, what the atmosphere of the school was with such an open acceptance and sometimes encouragement of the gay subculture: "My constant theme to the bishop was that this is not just about homosexuality; this is about an agenda in a celibate seminary. It’s something directly in conflict with the teaching of the Church. These people are promoting this conflict"...

    With that knowledge, now consider an article in the Baltimore Sun published on March 26, by Sun Staff writer John Rivera titled "Anger at sexual abuse justified, Keeler says during Mass homily, issue addressed briefly." My comments are in red.

        Acknowledging that "these are difficult times to be Catholic," Cardinal William H. Keeler told a gathering of priests and lay people last night that they are justified in being angry about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and lay church workers.

    The anger, in light of the revelations about the seminary in Baltimore in Rose's book, should be placed directly where it belongs, on the doorstep of Cardinal Keeler.

        "We are angry when persons in the church, be they priests or teachers or ... lay ministers, abuse children and young people," Keeler said during an annual Mass to bless sacramental oils at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore.

        Keeler's remarks, coming as the church celebrates Holy Week, the most sacred time of the church year, were prompted by a nationwide scandal caused by revelations of sexual misconduct by priests affecting hundreds of victims. Some of the incidents date back three decades. In Baltimore, the last year has seen a priest serving at the Cathedral charged with possessing child pornography, and two lay teachers accused of sexually molesting their students.

        "My heart, and I can say all our hearts, ache for those who are victims of abuse. Turning our anger into action will require courage," the cardinal said, addressing the scandal in four paragraphs of a 25-minute homily.

        At the same time, Keeler criticized what he called "misunderstandings" of the sex abuse scandal, criticizing those who have questioned the church's adherence to celibacy.

        "Priesthood takes a certain kind of courage, especially in the face of misunderstandings so current in our culture," he said. "For example, celibacy is an issue totally unrelated to the sexual abuse of minors: Of such abusers, four out of five, perhaps even more, are married people, abusing other family members."

    Defending decisions

        Without naming anyone, Keeler also defended church leaders who have been bitterly criticized for transferring offending priests decades ago from one parish to another, where many abused more victims. Those leaders have said they relied on the advice of mental health experts, who told church officials that pedophilia and the sexual abuse of older minors could be successfully treated through psychotherapy and drugs.

    This kind of an attitude is unconscionable when dealing with ordained men who are supposed to be acting "in persona Christi", as an "altar Christus". It doesn't require a mental health expert to see what someone from the first page of any phone directory in this country, who is sane, would be clearly able to see. You don't allow people who are pedophiliacs to be around children. There is no such thing as "three strikes and your out" when dealing with a crime of this magnitude given the sacrilege that is involved per Matthew 18:6. You do not admit homosexuals, people suffering from a severe developmental disorder with a documented proclivity to pedophilia that is inordinate relative to their heterosexual counterparts, per NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, to the priesthood, PERIOD! This was not adhered to in Cardinal Keeler's seminary in Baltimore where a gay subculture existed per Rose's book.

        "Hindsight helps us to see the damage that was done, but it should also guide us to judge more fairly those who made decisions based on faulty knowledge both about that damage and about the near impossibility of changing course on the part of the offenders," he said.

    Cardinal Keeler here is justifying the unjustifiable! There are NO excuses for what happened, given the encouragement of it in his seminary.

        The Chrism Mass, in which oils used in baptism, confirmation and other anointings are blessed, also is considered an opportunity for priests to recommit themselves to their ministry.

        Recognizing that, Keeler sought last night to buoy the spirits of Baltimore's priests. He recalled conversations with Catholic youth who told him "how much good happened in their own lives thanks to priests who believed deeply and cared much for the spiritual good and growth of youth."

        Asking the congregation to "pray for our priests," Keeler invited them to show their appreciation through applause. Those in the pews responded with an extended standing ovation.

        His priests were gratified by the support.

        "Obviously, we've been hit a lot lately by the scandal," said the Rev. Charles M. Wible, associate pastor of St. Joseph parish in Cockeysville. "He acknowledged it's all right to be angry, but we also have to be courageous, to move on, to support victims and to do the right thing."

    Foundations 'shaken'

        Although Keeler's remarks were measured, Baltimore priests are increasingly taking to the pulpit to angrily denounce the actions of their errant colleagues.

    Baltimore priests have a right to be angry, given what has been allowed to go on at one of their seminaries. They, and Catholics nationally, have been betrayed by clergy and laity alike who would destroy the Church from within.

        "The very foundations of the priesthood have been shaken. For we priests have always seen ourselves as servants of God's people, of all of you who are our friends and companions in the work of the Gospel," the Rev. William J. Watters told his parishioners Sunday at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Mount Vernon.

        "Now these stories of unfaithful brother priests contradict and confound us, leaving us ashamed, wounded, broken and demoralized. How can I or any other priest stand before you in the wake of all that has happened?

        "Only with God's grace is it possible to do so," he said. "Only in God's name as I beg for your forgiveness, dare I do so,"

    "Begging for forgiveness" is not going to do it, in this case especially, because integral to contrition is a firm resolve to amend one's life. And to date, that amending, per Michael Rose's book, has not manifested itself in our seminaries where it is needed most. All the wringing of hands and renting of garments, rhetorically, on the part of the hierarchy of the Church in this country will be seen for what it's worth without a firm and expeditious commitment to the aforementioned resolve in order clean up this mess that they primarily caused. And if they are hesitant in any way to do this, they should be summarily removed from their respective offices by Rome, and immediately replaced with individuals who will.

[Editor's Note: Bolded words added for emphasis]

For past installments in this series, see Archives at www.DailyCatholic.org/2002for.htm




Thursday, April 4, 2002
volume 13, no. 64
FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
www.DailyCatholic.org
Return to Current Issue