Often we become very upset when we hear charges of abuse of children by adults, and rightly so. We seek a person on which to vent our frustrations; we seek the one to whom we should point the finger of blame. The case of clerical abuse of children in our Holy Church is in fact rare, much less frequent than among the ministers of other (false) religions. But yes, it happens, and the finger of blame typically points at the diocesan bishop for not doing more to prevent such incidents. We might even think of asking the local ordinary to resign, or tend to agree with those who do ask him to resign. The bishop represents a quick, easy, and convenient target and to depose of him would be to many of us a quick measure of justice and would go far to aright the incident. I'm sorry dear friends, but I disagree that this will solve the problem, though it is necessary if there is a willful negligence.
In fact heinous crimes of abuse of children are emerging in many or even all of the dioceses around the world. One way to deal with such incidents is to ask all of the bishops to resign, or perhaps to even ask His Holiness to resign, since he is ultimately responsible, is he not? Perhaps that would satisfy many of us who believe that the problem would then go away. I'm sorry but I see it differently. When we throw out the odd priest here and there who has committed a grievous offence, particularly one against children, of course it's necessary, it must be done, but it is only a trimming of the branches, a sweeping of the house, and most certainly does not address the root of the problem. The same with cases in which the diocesan bishop resigns over such matters: the branches are trimmed, but the root remains to grow back. And it is not just a matter whose root cause is the permissiveness inspired by the Spirit of the Vatican II Council as some of us would like to think. I'm sorry to inform you that crimes are being committed, some of them very grave, even within the Traditional Orders that do things the old way, the pre-Vatican II way so to speak. Hence we cannot say that it is a particular form of worship that is a root cause of these ills.
No dear friends, I say the problem lies with each of us. One should look in the mirror when pointing the finger of blame. Yet some will say: 'How can this be? We have done nothing wrong!' But clearly all of us have, whether it is by sin of omission or commission. Allow me to explain. We are all guilty for the state the world is in today. No one is sinless. By hiding in our comfy homes, by confining ourselves to our safe domain, we ourselves are ignoring the problem of grave sin that builds like a flaming pile of dung toward the God of Heaven. Permit me to provide some examples.
How many of us have done anything about the ominous problem of child prostitution among the poor of Eastern Europe? These poor people are freezing to death in wintertime and starving throughout the year. They are dying of simple ailments for lack of medical treatment. They have no money for anything. As one bishop said: 'They live like dogs'. The result is that the families must turn to raise funds any way they can. For some, which likely impacts thousands of East European children, that means turning the children into child prostitutes and to film the pornography. It rises as a great stench to the nostrils of the Lord our God in Heaven! Yet these people are our kin in the Lord Jesus Christ! Most are Orthodox or Roman Catholic. They are a good and devout people. In my experience, their culture is naturally more devout, less sinful, more hardworking, and much more moral, than is the West by any measure. And I am saying this, with chagrin, as a son of Italy, a shameful Western country today of wickedness and sin and perdition almost everywhere one looks throughout that land. And so we must ask, what have we done to rectify this matter?
We can speak of other prominent illustrations. For example, it was reported recently on Fox News that the United Nations (UN) is providing child-brothels for its soldiers in Kosovo. Now here is a country where our fellow Christians, the Orthodox Serbs, were driven out, and Muslims were put in power, with most of the world's blessing. These same Muslims have since destroyed all of the lovely centuries-old Orthodox Serbian churches in the country and driven out all of the Orthodox, and to add sin upon sin, we now find that the UN is running child brothels supplied by the poor children and orphans of Eastern Europe! It is an unspeakably terrible sin! To imagine the bodies of little ones being sacrificed in this manner - I don't want to think of it. But just as bad, we can look to the United States as being as culpable as the rest.
Consider the so-called 'Olympics' being held in Salt Lake City for the last two weeks with the blessing of many politicians. The opening 'act' was a music performance by an R&B 'artist' who has raped dozens of children. This same 'Olympic' Committee, which bribed their way into getting the 2002 'games', has also refused to allow the Boy Scouts to participate in the ceremonies. The Boy Scouts are an organization which have taken the moral high ground in refusing to allow avowed active homosexuals to have any leadership position in the organization. The Boy Scouts support chastity, a good moral upbringing, and reverence to God. It was also reported that at the last 'Olympics' thousands of boxes of condoms had to be shipped in, beyond the original estimate, to support the cravings that the so-called 'athletes' had for each other. And yet do we support them? What have we done to rectify these grave assaults that should offend all good and moral people?
And some will ask, what can we do? My dear friends, it is very easy to take an active role in fighting against the heinous crimes I have just brought to your attention, and the many more, even right from your very armchair. For one thing you can boycott watching the 'Olympics' on the Tele, as I have done.
Simply copy and paste in the above note if you like. We can also support the Boy Scouts. We can help the poor families of Eastern Europe with our prayers, and if you have a little money and some generosity in your heart, you could even help those organizations that provide food and shelter and clothing for the needy and for wayward children. For example, there is the US Catholic Bishop's Office to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, or type 'help the children in Eastern Europe' in your browser to see large numbers of such organizations. We can also speak out against the UN child-brothels, by either writing to the UN directly using their on-line form or email email@example.com, or even to write to our elected officials. In the United States the email addresses for the President and Vice President are: firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. If we want to help things on a more local level, one could start by putting just a few coins, or even a few big bills, in the poor box of the parish church. When people really are poor, and it happens even in the United States right under our very noses, they may be forced to turn to prostitution, even child prostitution, both male and female. If you have a good parish and pastor, the priest will know what is happening in his community, and will direct the money to families in great need. Your quarter or $10 bill dropped in the poor box when no one is looking might save the chastity of some poor child who lives in your very own area.
To whom it may concern:
I am boycotting these Olympics because you hired R&B artist Kelly, a known child rapist, to perform the opening 'act'. Also, you have refused to let the Boy Scouts of America, a good and moral organization, participate in the ceremonies. And you have supplied thousands of condoms in support of immoral acts between 'Olympians'.
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Finally, we must talk about our very own families, friends and associates. How many of us take a vigorous stand against abuse and fornication? Now concerning fornication, one lady wrote to me recently: 'Well, it isn't really such a bad sin, because it is an act in which both partners agree to engage'. I'm sorry I disagree. Jesus said: 'Woe to those who cause any of these little ones to sin. It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and drowned'. That most certainly includes robbing children of their virginity, through both fornication and abuse. The problem of abuse, which is a heinous act by one person against another, is most certainly horrid. We must stamp it out wherever it occurs. The problem of fornication, the willful destruction of the marriage seal by two consenting 'partners who agree to engage', is huge in number - it involves hundreds of millions of so-called 'Catholics' around the world. In fornicating, both partners agree to partake in a satanic act, rather than just one. There is no innocent victim when the marriage seal is broken; instead you have collusion by two. Every time virginity is destroyed in fornication it is a destruction of God's Holy Temple by two consenting people. Two people have chosen to sing a hymn to satan and follow him and add to his power. Willful destruction of the marriage seal also destroys any sense of self, causes sexual dysfunction, and scars a person for life if they truly realize what they've done, and worse, it was their own fault. It leads to abortion - which is infant sacrifice to beelzebub, and it leads to divorce - the dissolution of the marriage bond, which is the covenant between God and man. Fornication is a very grave sin, just as abuse is. For both these sins many souls are heading for hell and the world is in an awful state. Sister Lucia and the other seers of Fatima were shown the vision of such. And we, all of us, are no better than the bishops for allowing these to happen in our midst.
And how are we all guilty? The problem rests with all of us in failing to do sufficient prayer, petition, and penance in reparation for the offences committed. I am speaking also of the need by parents to watch their children more carefully, and indeed for all persons of good will to watch the children in their midst, who are not fully formed. We, all of us, are responsible for safeguarding the children - layman, priests, and bishops alike; indeed the entire Church. It is a spiritual warfare on the highest level, and every time a grave sin is committed it adds immensely to the power of the evil one. A further discussion of this particular spiritual warfare can be found in writings on chastity. Now years ago we, layman and priest and bishop, might have had some excuse that we did not know what was happening, but the world was gradually transformed from its innocence since 1965 at the close of the Vatican II Council.
Today, in 2002, we cannot claim innocence from knowledge of these events. We clearly know what is happening and must act for the good if we are ourselves children of God. And instead of simply condemning abusers and fornicators, we can pray that they receive the help they need. We must love the sinner, though it may be difficult. Whether the cause of abuse, and fornication for that matter, is imbalances of hormones and chemicals in the body, which is being researched on a scientific level, or some past incident in the life of the abuser and fornicator, or just plain evil, they need our prayers; we cannot wish anyone to hell. And we can all work to change our nations' laws back to what they should be according to the moral law - that any sexual intimacy outside of marriage is a crime that should be punished in this life as it will be in the next.
Beáti mundo corde, quóniam ipsi Deum vidébunt,