Homosexuality, Pedophilia and the Priesthood |
by David May
Reprinted with permission of Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant first published in the March 15th issue of his excellent twice-monthly traditional publication.
" 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)."
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]