March 27, 2001
volume 13, no. 58

Those reeling from the scandals are putting a false face on the reasons

    The following is an editorial that appeared in the March 15th issue of Boston Archdiocese official publication The Pilot. In their efforts to defend their beleaguered prelate Cardinal Bernard Law they launched the ridiculous supposition that priestly celibacy is the culprit. Wrong! We present this outrageous commentary in purple type by the editor of the The Pilot below with Gary Morella's sound, orthodox comments following in red.
Questions that must be faced

    Before we breathe a sigh of relief now that many of the allegations against John Geoghan have been settled, we must realize two things: there are outstanding allegations against six other archdiocesan priests; and these scandals have raised serious questions in the minds of the laity that simply will not disappear.

  • Should celibacy continue to be a normative condition for the diocesan priesthood in the Western (Latin) Church?
  • If celibacy were optional, would there be fewer scandals of this nature in the priesthood?

    Celibacy is an act of resignation to the Divine Will of God, giving all to Him, not self. It is Scriptural in its roots and in the Tradition of the Church for one very good reason. You cannot serve two masters. The reason that there are questions re celibacy among Catholics is that Catholics don't understand the beauty of celibacy in relation to Holy Orders by sacrificing self for Christ.

  • Does priesthood, in fact, attract a disproportionate number of men with a homosexual orientation?

    The revelations in Michael Rose's new book, Goodbye! Good Men are proof positive that that those inclined to the developmental disorder that homosexuality is were encouraged to attend seminaries because those seminaries encouraged sexually perverse behavior.

    The homosexual rot, the gay subculture that has been allowed to infiltrate our seminaries and our Churches must be exorcised ONCE and FOR ALL.

    In particular, those people calling themselves bishops that aided and abetted in these heinous crimes need to be removed from their dioceses for the sake of the souls of the faithful, along with the dissident apparatus that supported them.

    The problem is not clerical celibacy here; THE problem is unchecked dissent on every major Church teaching that has been allowed to propagate geometrically to include especially the teaching against contraception in Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae.

    Our priests are supposed to act, post Holy Orders, "in persona Christi." We're not talking about a faux pas when they don't; we're talking SACRILEGE in terms of the scandal to the faithful! Don't compare a priest with those who are not; we're talking about consecrated individuals who participate "in persona Christi" in the Sacrifice of Calvary at every Mass. As such, Catholics have a right to expect more from such individuals. This is what makes their crime inordinately more grave.

    But as grave as it is, it pales in comparison to those who knowingly promoted the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood, given the well-documented correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. And per Matthew 18:6-7, their eternal fate, barring repentence, contrition, and amending their lives for the rest of their days, is SEALED!

    "But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but, nevertheless wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh."

    That is the teaching of Holy Mother Church, a Mother that has been raped by those masquerading as "good shepherds."

    We need to return to the Sacred Traditions of our Church in terms of our liturgy, and a reverence for her invariant Magisterial teaching on faith and morals. The former is an absolute requirement for the latters, because "lex credendi, lex orandi." What you believe, how you live your life as a Catholic, is shown by how you pray. And regaining that sense of the sacred that has been lost is paramount if the Church is to survive in this country.

    Those who are doing that, or have done that, are the ones that I believe are referred to in the promise that the "gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church." We're not talking about the rot of an institutional Church being protected, but rather that of those who know what it means to be Catholic in more than name only, and are not afraid to witness to and defend their faith!

  • Lastly, why are a substantial number of Catholics not convinced that an all male priesthood was intended by Christ and is unchangeable?

    See ibid. on celibacy. The problem is not celibacy. The problem is heresy and apostasy in the chanceries of dioceses throughout the country which encourage dissent from the faith, brainwashing their seminarians into believing that dissent is good for the Church, when, in truth, it is destroying the Church in America.

    These questions are out there in the minds of Catholics — more so in the United States than elsewhere. They have been answered in the past but now these questions have taken on a deeper intensity in more Catholic minds than prior to these sexual scandals.

    Even if our present woes in the archdiocese were suddenly to disappear, these questions have taken on an urgency and will not slip quietly away.

    Before intelligent answers can be given, we must realize that there is no panacea; that a married clergy presents its own distinctive problems and liabilities, and that more studies with concrete data will be necessary before an intelligent response can be made. Right now emotions are running too high.

    For example, if the number of archdiocesan priests accused of pedophilia over the last 50 years is approximately 60, it is essential to know how many priests there were in 1951, how many have been ordained since that date and how many others have been incardinated into Boston’s diocesan priesthood from other dioceses and religious orders.

    A fair total estimate would be 3,000 — making a ratio of approximately two percent. What is the percentage of American males afflicted with this psychosexual pathology? Is this devastating sin/crime/illness more common in the priesthood than elsewhere?

    This overlooks the result of the research of Rose who documents in detail the encouragement of dissent, and the gay subculture being allowed to flourish in our seminaries. You admit homosexuals to seminaries, you're putting out the welcome mat for clerical pedophilia given the considerable evidence showing the direct correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia per organizations such as NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

    The New Testament clearly prizes an embraced celibacy “for the sake of the kingdom” and by the earliest centuries it became associated with ordination to the episcopacy and, later, to the priesthood. The Council of Nicea, the first ecumenical council, addressed the issue in the year 325.

    We Americans live in a popular culture that simply does not understand, let alone prize, celibacy as an expression of love for the Lord and His kingdom. Would abandoning celibacy be the proper answer to new data from the contemporary sciences or would it be surrendering to popular American culture?

    The Church is supposed to stand in contradiction to the world, not in accommodation to it. The celibacy of its clerics is a witness to this for the love of Christ in following His example, i.e., acting in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, which is what Catholic priests are supposed to do.

    A further question is this: What does the Church do to attract a sufficient number of priests for the service of its people in a culture that does not consider celibacy a Gospel ideal?

    Since when does the secular culture dictate to the Catholic Church?

    Another question would be: Would a married clergy, in a culture in which there is a 50 percent divorce rate, be the answer? Data from Protestant and Orthodox churches might provide a helpful insight.

    Regarding the question of homosexual orientation and the priesthood, the following questions come to mind. Is sexual orientation an either/or? How do we know anyone’s sexual orientation unless they candidly admit it — or their past history confirms it? Is there a valid screening tool that can evaluate such an interior world?

    There most certainly is, given the Pope's latest directive on psychological screening where the psychologists in question are to be Catholic in more than name only, understanding the Church's teachings for the sake of the souls of the faithful. What is happening is that many of these same psychologists are militant pro-homosexual activists who have committed public heresy in regards to scandalizing the faithful by their vociferous support of homosexual lifestyles. Such is the situation in the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA.

    Is every male who is sensitive, caring, and even somewhat effeminate a homosexual?

    Was Christ effeminate? No! Is being effeminate good for the priesthood, where priests are supposed to be acting in persona Christi? Clearly, the answer is no.

    Is every male who is macho, a jock and seemingly overflowing with testosterone a heterosexual?

    There are enough natural problems that our priests must overcome in a world that mocks their vocation. Why should we make their crosses more difficult by also asking them to overcome unnatural problems, a sin much greater than the former, which is also Scriptural, and directly addressed as such by the most famous doctors of the Church, Augustine and Aquinas. We see the consequences of admitting those to the priesthood suffering from unnatural problems on an almost daily basis.

    We know that our sexual orientation is neither morally good nor evil.

    What we know, in fact, is that an orientation to homosexuality is unnatural. It is an "ordering to an intrinsic moral evil". That being the case, how can those being so inclined be considered as candidates for the priesthood? Answer - they can't.

    We know the following from the Teaching Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, where the definitive position on homosexuality is presented in a "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual persons" given at Rome, 1 October 1986 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The major excerpts from that letter follow.

    "Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. "Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not."

    This truth is reinforced in the Universal Catechism which calls inclinations to homosexuality "objectively disordered."

    Evidence now seems to indicate that it is a genetically inherited condition.

    This is a lie! There is absolutely no evidence, nor has their ever been any credible evidence which would indicate that homosexuality is a genetically inherited condition. All evidence along these lines by "homosexual" researchers has proved fallacious.

    Morality comes in to play only when we deliberately choose to act contrary to our conscience, the natural law and the teachings of the Church. True, the Church teaches a very high morality in matters of sexuality, but not higher than its teaching on truth and honesty — our individual behavior to the contrary not withstanding.

    What kind of double-talk is this? Yes we must act according to our consciences. But we are OBLIGED as Catholics to inform our consciences with the teachings of Holy Mother Church. That is what truth and honesty demands, especially when God is Perfect Truth.

    Space prevents our addressing the questions that circulate around the issue of ordaining women so The Pilot will focus on that next week.

    Save your ink on the issue of ordaining women! That issue has been closed for quite some time thanks to Church disciplines and documents like Ordinatio Sacerdatolis, and the subsequent Responsum ad dubiam, two documents from the Magisterium which say that the Church cannot ordain women. Why is this so difficult to understand? How can a priest act "in persona Christi" if the priest isn't a man as Christ was? The ministerial priesthood is inextricably related to the person of Christ.

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

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volume 13, no. 58
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