A lot of bizarre things have occurred in the wake of the secular media's coverage of the scandals involving priests engaged in sodomite behavior. One of the most bizarre involves Father Benedict Joseph Groschel's efforts on the Eternal Word Television Network to blame the secular media for exaggerating the nature and the extent of the scandals. Father Groeschel, the founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, says that the rabid anti-Catholicism of the secular media has fueled an anti-Catholic and anti-clerical feeding frenzy, misleading many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, about the situation. With all due respect to Father Groeschel, who I used to count as a friend, this is just plain balderdash.
To be sure, the secular media has had a field day with the stories of sodomite behavior on the part of priests and the way in which this behavior has been systematically covered up by our bishops. Anti-Catholics are delighting in these stores. Dissident Catholics--who believe that the unchanging truths of Our Lord contained in the Deposit of Faith can change - are using the spate of stories to their own advantage to militate for women priests and an end to priestly celibacy, among other things, including a more "democratically" run church. Yes, all of this is true. However, the secular media are not to blame for this. The blame for all of this rests squarely on the shoulders of the bishops and their chancery apparatchiks who have been covering up these scandals and/or promoting sodomy under various guises in so-called "sex-education" and "AIDS education" programs for the past twenty years or so.
As I have noted in recent commentaries, the stories breaking in the secular media are nothing new. The Wanderer has been reporting on these matters for nearly two decades now, after its publisher-editor became convinced that there was a crisis in this regard. Layman Frank Kelly of Annandale, Virginia, had gathered a sheaf of documentation about the extent of the infiltration of sodomites into the priesthood by the mid-1980s. The late Father Alfred Kunz, whose 1998 murder remains an unsolved mystery, had worked with Fathers Charles Fiore and Enrique Rueda to expose the homosexual network in the priesthood and in the hierarchy itself. Stephen G. Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., has amassed incontrovertible evidence about an axis of homosexuals in the American hierarchy. It was his relentless work that resulted in the "early retirement" of the sodomite and consort of male prostitutes, Bishop Daniel Ryan, as ordinary of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (although Ryan, who lives in denial and is utterly unrepentant). The late Father John Hardon personally went to Rome in early 1997 with one of the priests abused by Ryan. It took a full two years after that for Ryan to be replaced.
Yes, there have always been scandals in the church. Father Groeschel himself counseled the one-time Archbishop of Atlanta, Eugene Marino, after it had been revealed in 1989 that he had civilly married a woman while he was in office in Atlanta. However, Marino, like many before him, was repentant. Bishop Milingo, the African bishop who married a disciple of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, is repentant. The American bishops, on the other hand, do not even want to examine the problem of sodomy in the Church. Some of them, such as Bernard Cardinal Law, the Archbishop of Boston (and two of his auxiliaries at the time, Thomas Daily and William Murphy, who now serve, respectively as ordinaries next door to each other in Brooklyn and Rockville Centre) did not recognize that a priest, Father Paul Shanley, who had been instrumental in the founding of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was not fit ever to return to priestly work. The extent of the state of denial and of the cover-ups is massive. The American bishops resisted every single effort to present the facts of these situations to them, dismissing documented reports in The Wanderer as being without foundation, believing that a positivistic denial of reality would discredit the accusers and convince the faithful that no problems actually existed.
The bishops did not stop there, however. They actually sicced high-priced attorneys to intimidate parents of victims (and the victims themselves) when information was even presented to chancery officials of instances of alleged abuses, no less when lawsuits were actually filed by these people after they had been dismissed as mere nuisances by chancery apparatchiks. No concern was evidenced supernaturally for the welfare of souls and for the necessity of the pursuit of the highest degree of sanctity possible on the part of priests.
Indeed, Father Groeschel wrote in the spring of this year that the bishops had to use such tactics as they were facing the possibility of the loss of millions of dollars in judgments awarded to victims. Excuse me, Father, the bishops had to employ the attorneys who worked for the insurance companies? They had to wash their hands as virtual Pontius Pilates as truth and simple justice themselves were eviscerated by attorneys interested only in the financial bottom line? They had to act like corporate chief executive officers rather than shepherds of souls who have an obligation to protect the flocks entrusted to their pastoral care from the wolves in clerical garb, the men who dishonor the Priesthood and Victimhood of the God-Man, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
No, Father Groeschel, it is the American bishops who are responsible for the needless explosion of the stories which have been exploited by the secular media for their own nefarious purposes. It is the American bishops, most of whom have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to send their chancery officials and priests and consecrated religious to "workshops" and "theological update" programs to listen to speakers undermine the Deposit of Faith, who are responsible for the loss of millions of dollars in judgments rendered by juries (and in out of court settlements). Most of that money would have been saved if these problems were taken seriously and simple justice had been done twenty years ago. Most of the problems themselves would never have arisen if a new theology had not resulted in the systematic recruitment of homosexual and otherwise effeminate men into the priesthood at the time that believing Catholics were systematically excluded and stigmatized as "rigid" and "judgmental." Most of the American bishops have stood by as reverence in the liturgy was aborted as a natural byproduct of the Novus Ordo and the worship of self replaced the worship of the Blessed Trinity in the Mass. Most of the American bishops stand by as the souls of young Catholics are systematically de-formed in religious education programs and in Catholic schools (other bishops actively promote such deformation). Most of the American bishops permit the rot of classroom sex-instruction, which has done great damage to the natural resistance of children to topics that undermines their innocence and purity, doing so in absolute and direct defiance of Pope Pius XI's ban on all classroom sex-instruction. Blame the bishops, Father Groeschel, not the secular media. Blame the bishops and their apparthiks for their insensitivity, their lies, and their infidelities to the cause of Christ the King and Blessed Mary our Queen.
Again, as I have written in the past, the Holy Father is not without blame in these matters. I know, to assert this makes one a disloyal Catholic, a "stupid" Catholic, to use the words of Father Groeschel. However, truth is what it is. This Holy Father has not governed the Church. It took a virtual revolution on the part of lay people in France in 1994 to get the Bishop of Nantes, who supported the French-abortion pill, ousted by the Holy Father. Mind you, a bishop supports the French abortion pill and it takes an outcry from the lay faithful to get rid of him. Every other bishop is permitted to stay in place, regardless of the harm that is done to reverence in worship and integrity of doctrine, regardless of the harm that is done to the cause of the salvation of souls. The cause of the salvation of souls and the good order of the Church has been devastated by the novel concept of collegiality, one of the chief scourges of Vatican II. The Pope is a monarch. He is supposed to govern regally and decisively as a king. Princes are subordinate to the king. The fear, though, of offending the sensibilities of the princes has held this Holy Father captive to a series of forces that continue to devastate the Church.
For example, a Mass was celebrated on Sunday, September 15, 2002, at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Utica, New York, to celebrate "diversity" of "sexual orientation." The principal celebrant of the Mass was decked out in a rainbow colored stole. The altar was decorated with a rainbow colored cloth. As a news story indicated:
"More than 400 people, including a handful of local leaders and clergy, gathered to attend the area's first Mass for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people led by the Rev. Fred Daley. The main message at the Mass revolved around acceptance, love, forgiveness, peace and unity. 'I just want you to know you're very welcome here today,' Daley told the congregation as he started the service. He wore a rainbow stole over his white robes. . . . 'I think the last several days have been the greatest teaching moments on homophobia the Mohawk Valley has ever seen,' he said. 'I challenge all of us to use this moment as a time to move our community out of ignorance, hatred, fear and violence.' The key to breaking that cycle is education, he said, which will defeat the myths and stereotypes about gay people that come from as far back as the Middle Ages. Two fundamentals of that education are first, that no one can choose his or her sexual orientation and second, that the Bible cannot be used to evaluate one's sexuality, Daley said. 'We can't use the Bible to hit people over the head with,' he said, noting that he doesn't think modern theologians are able to use the Bible to prove homosexuality a sin. The Catholic church and others should not be so obsessed with what people do in private, he said. 'I didn't tell anyone at the 8 a.m. Mass or the 11 a.m. Mass (what to do in their bedrooms), so I'm certainly not going to tell anyone here at the 3 p.m. Mass,' he said, receiving more cheers and applause. 'Certainly no one is going to push me to stand at the pulpit and explain what is intimate.' At the end of the service, Beverly Bartlett, coordinator of the Mohawk Valley Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender organization, presented Daley with a clock commending him for his courage. Bartlett said sometime soon the organization would like to work with St. Francis DeSales to establish a monthly Mass for gay and lesbian people. 'We can walk out of this building and commit ourselves to speak the truth,' Daley said. 'If we do that there will be someday that our public officials will maybe even hang the rainbow flag.' After the service, people stayed for refreshments, to visit and to sign a card to Bishop James Moynihan, thanking him for allowing the
Mass. Daley said he spoke to Bishop James Moynihan and Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse officials last week to clarify the service and he expected no opposition for Sunday's Mass. Syracuse and Binghamton area churches have had similar services, he said.'"
Nothing will happen to "Father Fred." Bishop Moynihan will keep him where he is. And nothing will happen to Bishop Moynihan. Thus, the environment that breeds and promotes sodomites in the priesthood, to say nothing of acceptance of objective perverse sinful behavior as a normal part of a person's identity, continues unchecked in one diocese after another. This will produce yet more scandals in the years ahead. Bishop Moynihan is responsible for letting "Father Fred's" travesty of a Mass be celebrated in the first place. His silence in its aftermath is a token of his consent, or a badge of his abject cowardice.
Oh, but I guess it was Jennifer Warwick, the reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch who wrote the story about the Mass, who is to blame for creating a scandal within the Church, according to Father Groeschel's warped logic. No Jennifer Warwick is no sooner to blame for Father Fred Daley's Mass honoring sodomy and lesbianism than the Boston Globe is to blame for publishing the files of the Archdiocese of Boston that the latter's vaunted attorneys forgot to seal. The situation is what it is. Truth is what it is. While it is certainly the case that only a handful of priests in this country have been involved in the scandals being reported, the secular media would never have had the opportunity they have seized so gleefully if the bishops themselves had not handed it to them on a silver platter.
A new ecclesiology for the new theology for the new religion of the postconciliar era has produced uncertainty and ambiguity, indecision and blame-shifting. The Faith handed on by the God-Man to His Holy Church through the Apostles produces certainty and clarity, decisiveness and manly acts of taking responsibility when errors have been made. While the Church is divinely founded and maintained, while she will last until the end of time, while the jaws of Hell will never prevail against her, it is nevertheless true that, as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux noted, bishops who fail to govern the church according to the mind of Christ meet with an unhappy end when they die.
Praying fervently for the conversion of the American hierarchy and for the replacement of those who are in need of replacing as soon as possible for the good of the souls they have abused so thoroughly, we rely upon Our Lady's Immaculate Heart to help us be so cleansed of sin to realize that the real enemies of the Faith are within. On this feast of the Divinity of Our Lady: Mary most holy, Mother of God, pray for us.
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives