" 'The Church is aware that it lost control over the last decade of its discipline,' one Vatican official said."
To quote Julius "Groucho" Marx, the host of You Bet Your Life on NBC-TV in the 1950s, you bet your life that the Church lost control over its discipline. However, the lack of discipline is not a novelty of the last decade. No, the lack of discipline stretches back even before the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.
The Vatican official, who was quoted in The New York Times on Sunday, October 20, 2002, was quoted in a news analysis of the Holy See's rejection of the American bishops' pathetic schema to deal with what has been termed the "sexual abuse of minors" problem. The official, who justified Vatican inaction on the grounds that disciplining bishops in one part of the world might set a bad precedent in other parts of the world, admitted that the lack of Vatican supervision is one of the reasons that the situation in the United States got out of hand, and that the Vatican rejection of the American bishops' "zero tolerance" policy is an indication that the Church has a responsibility of observing the precepts of canon law rather than to play to the audience of the secular news media and American public opinion.
The fact that the Holy See has dealt a decisive blow to the American bishops' schema will indeed be a relief to many orthodox priests who stood exposed to the possibility of trumped up charges as a means of removing them from their pastoral positions and stigmatizing them for the rest of their lives as abusers. However, the statement released by the Holy See on October 17, 2002, is founded on the acceptance of the American bishops' claim that the crisis afflicting the Church in the United States is one of the sexual abuse of minors. It is not. The problem afflicting the Church in this country is the systematic recruitment and promotion of sodomites into all quarters of the priesthood, a problem that is not at all a local one, as was implied by the unnamed Vatican official in The New York Times news analysis, but global in scope. It will not be until the Holy See admits this publicly and forces the American bishops to come to grips with the true nature of the crisis that has exploded in the secular news media this year that there can be a frank recognition of the simple truth that the bishops responsible for the recruitment and protection of sodomites must be removed.
Although the Vatican has not disciplined the bad bishops of the world (with some rare exceptions), the bishops themselves, know only too well how to discipline those who cause problems for them, namely, the priests and laity who complain about liturgical abuses and doctrinal impurity, as well as anyone who petitions too loudly for the "wide and generous" application of the Holy Father's Ecclesia Dei motu proprio in one diocese after another. There are numerous instances of good priests and members of the laity being browbeaten for their orthodoxy. There are instances of actual public embarrassment of people considered to be "trouble-makers." While these good people recognize that they are suffering with Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, who stood so valiantly at the foot of the cross as our sins took their toll on her Divine Son in His Sacred Humanity, it is nevertheless true that the Vatican's abandonment of discipline over the bishops has resulted in the needless persecution of good people by the shepherds entrusted with their pastoral care.
As I keep noting all of the time, a Catholic knows that the Church founded by Our Lord upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, will last until the end of time. A Catholic knows that the sins of all men, including himself, wound the Mystical Body - the Church Militant - here on earth. A Catholic knows he must be serious about uprooting sin in his own life by cooperating with the graces won for us by Our Lord on the wood of the Holy Cross and administered to him in the sacraments. However, it is also important for those in ecclesiastical authority to understand that their abdication of governance undermines the credibility of the Church and puts souls immediately at risk. There is nothing more important for the good of the Church and for the right ordering of souls than for a Pope to remove bishops who are hurting their flocks and helping to undermine the integrity of the Faith. Even an editorial recently in Catholic World Report's on-line edition stated this plain truth quite directly.
To point these things out is not to be possessed of a "critical spirit" or a "spirit of negativity" as some priests and bishops like to point out (quite self-servingly, I might add). No, even the Angelic Doctor himself, Saint Thomas Aquinas, wrote about the necessity of rebuking clerics who put their flocks at risk or were themselves guilty of heinous crimes about which they were unrepentant. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux warned popes and bishops in his own day of the judgment that awaits them if they did not exercise their governing authority firmly.
More than fine-tune and/or redraft the schema of the American bishops, the Vatican must work to remove the network of homosexual bishops and the priests who have been protected by them over the years. All anyone in the Vatican has to do is give Stephen G. Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., a telephone call if he wants information about who the sodomites are in the American hierarchy. Humanly speaking, you see, it will not be until the wolves are stripped of their shepherds' clothing that the Church in this country can recover from the self-inflicted wounds that have been exploited by notorious anti-Catholics in all walks of our social life.
All of the self-righteous huffing and puffing on the part of supercilious bishops and priests cannot make this simple reality go away: the vice of sodomy is what is at the root of the problems facing the Church in this country and in the world. Until and unless the Holy Father and his curial appointees get serious about addressing this very directly, the symptoms of this problem will continue to fester and worsen over the course of time.
Trusting in Our Lady's Immaculate Heart, we intensify our prayer before her Son's Real Presence so that men will be men and face up to the reality of our situation by governing without regard for how their manly defense of the
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives