Cupich, McElroy & the Civil War

Cardinal Cupich apparently missed the part in the meeting where they told him to keep quiet, look holy, and let Bishop McElroy foment so he could keep his hands as clean as possible. Seriously, I had a whole post dealing with McElroy’s sophomoric response and then Cupich went and ruined the “Protect the Golden Boy” plan and I had to make a re-write. 

I’m sure nobody in the camp over there got much sleep last night. Not gonna lie. While it’s super-sad, it was satisfying to watch the freak out. In my mind it’s akin to sprinkling a demon with holy water. A big ol’ truth bomb has the same effect on them. I went to bed last night with an amazing amount of hope for the Church and it just got all the better today.

If you’d like to see Cardinal Cupich take gold in the shark jumping contest, go here.

He literally said “…they also don’t like him because he’s a Latino.” Can I just say that coffee coming out your nose is painful??? The race card, really??? Bahahaha! Not that it has much to do with anything but does anyone want to clue Cupich into the fact that Pope Francis is Italian? How in the heck did he miss that? I’m probably more Latino than he is! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis How about someone ask Cupich the reason why we dislike him? I’m pretty sure Cupich isn’t Latino. Can’t wait to see what he says.

Of course, it was pathetic through and through, but the worst statement is that the Church is not “going to go down that rabbit hole” (aka – investigate) because of the environment!!!  Never mind people being molested and raped because the environment. Oh my ever-living goodness! #ResignNow

And then you have McElroy:

Statement by Bishop McElroy on “testimony” by former Papal Nuncio

In response to a letter published on Aug. 25 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Papal representative to the United States, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has released the following statement:

‘This is a moment when the bishops of our nation, in union with the Holy Father, should be focused solely on comprehensively revealing the truth about the patterns of the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy in our Church, so that deep reform can be enacted.’

Wait! I thought the environment was the priority?!

No, Bishop McElroy, this isn’t the moment. This should have been done long ago after the first go around. You had your chance. You were all given ample opportunity and you blew it. You got caught doing the polar opposite and now you’re ticked. Forget the countless victims, it’s all about you.

‘Unfortunately, in recent weeks ideological warriors within the Church on both sides of the spectrum have utilized the tragedy of victims of abuse to promote their goals. The dedication to comprehensive truth has been subordinated to selective targeting of enemies and tendentious distortions of the truth.’

I’m sorry, if “ideological warriors” are people like myself who are ticked that you protected your own rather than preventing further victims, I’ll take the title. You wouldn’t know “comprehensive truth” if it walked up and slapped you in the face. There’s no “selective targeting.” The target is people who reject the teachings of the Church and put their own proclivities above all else. 

‘Archbishop Vigano’s statement constitutes just such a distortion. It is not an attempt to comprehensively convey the truth. In its ideologically-driven selection of bishops who are attacked, in its clear efforts to settle old personal scores, in its omission of any reference to Archbishop Vigano’s own massive personal participation in the covering up of sexual abuse by bishops, and most profoundly in its hatred for Pope Francis and all that he has taught, Archbishop Viganò consistently subordinates the pursuit of comprehensive truth to partisanship, division and distortion.’

Wow! So many whoppers, so little words. First, Bishop McElroy, you say that Archbishop Vigano’s statement is a distortion. Please, please tell us where.  Generalities mean zip. Last time I checked, calumny and slander were no bueno. You want to lay down a little specific truth, feel free. You want to make innuendos, peddle them somewhere else. Saying someone “hates” the Pope tugs at the heartstrings but doesn’t make it true. It’s a sad, pathetic tactic. Who’s throwing the victims under the bus right now? I imagine more than a few are cheering for Archbishop Vigano because that one man is taking you all down and you know it. Bye-bye legacy and hello early retirement.

By the way, it’s really time to point out, once again, your accusation of “massive cover-up” of one bishop by Vigano was just shot down with documents to support. (Hint: This is why your club prefers to let you do the talking. They don’t want to look quite as foolish when their faulty accusations blow up in their faces. Too bad Cupich didn’t follow the plan.) The one thing you hung your hat on – that Archbishop Vigano told investigators to end their investigation – didn’t happen. Poor you. Feast  your eyes on this and this! I’d like to take the time to thank Archbishop Vigano for having the foresight to save everything in black and white. It validates me never clearing out my email box. While all of you are spitting into the wind, Archbishop Vigano is backing up his statements with solid evidence to prove his claims. I’m sure his latest doc drop occurred after you released this ridiculous statement, Bishop McElroy. Again, kudos to Archbishop Vigano for seeing what was coming his way and handling it like a pro. The less “he said/she said,” the better.

‘We as bishops cannot allow the pathway of partisanship to divide us or to divert us from the searing mission that Christ calls us to at this moment. We must make public our sinful past. We must engage and help heal the survivors of abuse. We must develop new, lay-governed instruments of oversight and investigation in every element of how we confront sexual abuse by clergy at all levels in the life of the Church. And we must reject all attempts to subordinate these goals to ideological or personal projects. For if we do not, we will have betrayed the victims of abuse once again.’

+Bp. McElroy

Translation: You can’t possibly impose the Church teaching of vetting homosexuals out of seminary.  Seriously, these guys are single issue people! This is all they care about (which is in itself creepy), and if you point out 80% of the previous cases were homosexual priests (and after reading the first 300 gut wrenching pages of the Pennsylvania grand-jury report, I’d conclude even more), and that following Church procedure would eliminate a huge percentage of future cases, suddenly you are an ideological warrior?!? Just who are the ideologues again? 

Please note that McElroy didn’t actually make a point by point rebuttal. In fact, he didn’t make a rebuttal at all. Why? Could it be they can’t???  He tried to throw out the cover-up line, but that got walloped by Vigano himself. 

Personally, I wouldn’t just uphold the Church’s rules on homosexuals in the priesthood, I’d nix anyone who questions any Church doctrine from entering the priesthood. If you can’t uphold those teachings, you probably aren’t going to be able to uphold your vows. See? No bias. No hatred of homosexuals. It’s a simple, “If you don’t buy what the Church says, you certainly can’t sign on to be a pastor of souls.”

One more thing, since I’m seeing the use of “Civil War” crop up in the talking points, let’s talk about it before I wrap up. This is simply a tactic to keep us from fighting for good. It’s slick, but don’t fall for it. “So and so waded into the Church’s Civil War” in a derogatory tone, as if we’re all supposed to sit on our hands as more and more victims appear on a daily basis? We’re supposed to stay out of it while our clergy pool is either guilty or looked upon as creepers even if they are good, holy priests just trying to live holy lives??  We’re supposed to give the benefit of doubt to some overwhelming evidence of lack of character, if not evil action itself??? I’m not going to find myself sitting on a fence with my hands on my face saying, “Oh my!” as I watch it all go down. The McElroy, Cupich, Farrell club isn’t sitting on the fence in this fight.  They’re totally down in the mud. Their “We’re the peace-makers!” mantra should be an obvious falsehood by now. 

Civil wars are usually fought to end some sort of evil. Take the American Civil War, for instance.  While it was about a bit more than just slavery, slavery was certainly the evil being fought. It’s the same in our Church. There’s a reason the chasm is growing wider and wider. It’s not on policy and style, it’s about spiritual and physical abuses. Of course, we have to pick a side. And, no, I’m not talking about leaving the Church. I’m talking about fighting for her, and that cannot be done from the outside. Don’t be a fool. This most certainly is a civil war for the spiritual and moral health of the Church. Don’t let the stupid catch phrases keep you quiet.

This is not the first time the Church has free-fallen into immorality. It’s a cyclical thing.  It’s one of the reasons I know it’s the right Church, because no matter how corrupt her members, here She stands.  Nothing without Divine assistance could survive with all the fools running around over the centuries.  Think this is bad? Check out the 1300s.  At least the current knuckleheads try to obfuscate. #ResignNow #IdeologicalWarrior #CatholicCyberMilitia

 

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The Crux of Vigano

****See update at the end.****

So, when I wrote my last post, I already knew about the attacks on Archbishop Vigano.  I didn’t address them at that time, though, because I get really annoyed when I draw attention to National catholic Reporter and their ridiculous propagandizing under the guise of “reporting.”  Now, however, it’s crossed over to Crux, although it’s wrapped in John Allen’s usual school of nice.  He just tries too hard to see both sides as if there’s no agenda there, either.  He can’t call a spade a spade when this Pope has fulfilled all his hopes and dreams on the economy, war, poverty, and the death penalty.

Here’s the part where I’m going to launch into my Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano apologist persona and point out how weird it is that the Pope who touts honesty and transparency in giving interviews on planes told the reporters to basically go suck lemons.

Making sense of McCarrick cover-up charges against Pope Francis

John L. Allen Jr.Aug 27, 2018 EDITOR

Yes, let’s use a little common sense, not hopes and dreams.  Let’s just look at the reality of the situation.

DUBLIN – As Pope Francis wrapped up a 32-hour visit to Ireland on Sunday, the cold, windy and rainy weather undoubtedly put a damper on turnout. Officials had expected around a half-million people to flock to Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the concluding Mass, for instance, but in the end the Vatican said 300,000 people turned out.

Ireland has been hit hard by clergy abuse, but yeah, it’s the weather. Do I know why people didn’t show?  Of course not, but neither does John Allen, and that’s pretty much how this whole article goes.  Let’s show an event and provide some correlation and causation that may or may not exist. The problem here is that it becomes a character assassination piece on Archbishop Vigano – but done in a nice way.  Sigh.

Let me state this at the outset, and I just ran across a piece from Rod Dreher that pretty much says the same thing – Archbishop Vigano’s motives for doing what he did DON’T MATTER ONE BIT.  He made claims that the Pope can either confirm or deny, so how about we see that happen???  Honestly, I like Vigano and I always have.  He was crucial in some amazing episcopal appointments and did his best to try to save this nation. He’s a staunch supporter of traditional marriage and he’s against admitting homosexuals into seminary.  Is he bitter about being appointed to this miserable country (Catholic wise, that is)? Does he have an axe to grind or is he thinking of the countless victims of McCarrick and club? Don’t know, don’t care.  I only care about the facts laid out while using a little common sense on the allegations against him.

Yet as it turns out, the meteorological storms Francis faced paled in comparison to the metaphorical ones breaking on Sunday, in part related to his overall handling of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but more specifically to an astonishing claim by a former papal ambassador in the U.S. that Francis had lifted restrictions imposed on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, despite being informed of misconduct concerns against McCarrick in June 2013.

Yes, the bad does pale in comparison to thousands of lives altered by this abuse scandal.  The claim by Vigano wasn’t astonishing.  That’s what’s so terribly sad about it.  The only thing that was astonishing is that someone broke through the cone of silence.

Aboard the papal plane on Sunday, Francis basically challenged reporters to judge those accusations for themselves – the clear suggestion being that if they did so, the charges would crumble under their own weight.

Oh, yeah, he sure challenged them.  He didn’t take the 5th at all.  Sigh.  What happened to his reasoning for never formulating answers ahead of time?  What happened to the transparency and authenticity which supposedly come from his interviews on a plane?

Assuming journalists take the pontiff up on his offer, so far we have only the word of that former ambassador, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, that he personally informed Francis on June 23, 2013, of the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Benedict.

Over and over again on Sunday, I was pressed by colleagues and ordinary folk alike for an answer to one burning question: “How seriously should we take this?”

Here’s my bottom line response: Take it seriously, but with a large grain of salt.

But, pray-tell, why, John?  This was a very public accusation with dates and names included, and the only response has been “No comment.”  Who is more suspect at this point?  Sure, Archbishop Vigano could be flipping insane, but he’d have to be to put out something like this simply because of sour grapes.  This isn’t a simple “The Pope knew” statement.  This one puts it all on the line.  Also, who has a lengthier track record of abuses being brought to light and ignored.  ***cough***Honduras***cough***

One certainly can’t dismiss the charge out of hand, if for no other reason than never before has a former papal ambassador accused a sitting pope of complicity in what would amount, if true, to a criminal cover-up.

I’m not sure it could actually be considered criminal since it was the over-18 crowd and no charges have been brought yet.  If it was true, it really would be far more than a cover-up.  It would be allowing a dirty old man to wander free in the Church after sanctions had been placed on him by prior Pope.

To be clear, this isn’t some anonymous figure claiming to have sent the pope a letter. Viganò was the pope’s man in America for five years, and over that time he certainly had the means and opportunity to inform the pope of things if he wanted to.

Right.

Further, there’s a symbolic dimension to the situation. Francis has been charged with mishandling an abuse allegation, and if there isn’t a credible and transparent effort to get to the bottom of things, then the pontiff’s rhetoric in Ireland about being “firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice” might ring hollow.

Right, again, especially after his fumbling of other large-scale abuse issues.

On the other hand, there are at least four reasons why a large grain of salt is warranted.

And here comes all of the stuff that doesn’t change the fact a list of charges have been laid out to confirm or deny.

To begin with, the 11-page statement Viganò released to reporters probably undercut his own credibility in key respects. The letter contains charges of some form of wrongdoing or questionable behavior against no fewer than 32 senior churchmen, and in most cases Viagnò himself acknowledges that his comments are based on no more than supposition and/or connecting the dots.

Uh, OK.  That’s a sweeping generalization.  If you had gone for “some of his comments”, you might have been close, John. Let’s go down the list, shall we?

Bertone is known for putting homosexuals in positions of authority.  Not supposition.

McCarrick admitted he had shared his bed with seminarians.  Not supposition.

Sodano was given all the McCarrick info.  Not supposition.

Sodano tried to cover up the Maciel case.  Not supposition.

Sodano responsible for putting McCarrick into power. Finally, a supposition and a good one at that.  Makes total sense, though.

Cardinal Re wanted nothing to do with McCarrick.  Not supposition.

Sambi gave Bertone the file.  Not supposition.

Montalvo sent a report to Bertone.  Not supposition.

Sodano sent out a press release saying Maciel case was closed.  Pope Benedict smacked that idea down.  Not supposition.

Bertone didn’t quibble over Vincenzo de Mauro (another one everyone knew was an active homosexual).  I guess you could say supposition, but do we hear any quibbling?

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia subvert Catholic teaching on homosexuality.  I guess you’d throw that under supposition.  But, really?!

Cardinals Edwin Frederick O’Brien and Renato Raffaele Martino?  Don’t know them, so I’ll give John one point for supposition.

Cardinal Wuerl?  Not sure how anyone could think John is this ignorant at this point.  Supposition based on a mound of evidence that he knew a whole lot more than he’s saying.

When anyone hurls around accusations quite so lightly, it’s difficult to know how seriously any one ought to be taken.

Bishop Paul Bootkoski and Archbishop John Myers?  They made payouts, for heaven’s sake.

Farrell?  Supposition, but a very logical supposition.  That said, he’s kind of one of the lackeys, so who knows.

Cardinal O’Malley?  Dude!  This was his job.  He either was completely incompetent or he knew big time.

Second, Viganò has a history.

Now onto John’s suppositions.

He was a key player in the “Vatileaks” scandal under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, which pivoted on confidential documents being stolen and leaked to the press by a papal butler. Among them were two letters by Viganò to Benedict and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s then-Secretary of State, protesting his impending appointment as ambassador in the U.S. on the grounds that he wanted to remain in the Government of the Vatican City State and continue battling financial corruption.

I love how you’re a key player in “Vatileaks” when your stuff was found and leaked.

Then as now, the letters contained a mix of factual detail with innuendo and conspiracy theories, and it proved arduous – in some cases, basically impossible – to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As conspiratorial as the current testimony, John?  Says you.

Third, Viganò arguably undercut his credibility by not dealing with his own record on the abuse issue.

And here’s the only place they might have game, although I think witch hunt.

According to a 2014 memo, first made public in 2016, Viganò as nuncio quashed an investigation – going as far as demanding that evidence be destroyed – into then-Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who was being investigated for misconduct with seminarians as well as cover-up of sexual abuse. In 2015, Nienstedt stepped down as head of the archdiocese.

By not at least trying to explain his actions in the Nienstedt case, Viganò left open some serious question marks

So if you’ve got some serious question marks for him, what punctuation are you tallying for the Holy Father at this point?

Let’s go over a bit of a timeline here.  Nienstedt was accused of inappropriately touching a teen during a post-confirmation photo shoot in December of 2014.  It was investigated by police, and in March of 2014 they said, after an intensive investigation, that no charges were warranted. Archbishop Vigano then met with Nienstedt in April. All other allegations against Nienstedt were decades earlier and seemingly he said/he said statements.  Oddly enough, they all magically appeared after the battle over “gay referendums” started in Minnesota.  So, in quite good conscience, Vigano likely concluded that the police found nothing in the case of the confirmand and that this was likely an attack launched by proponents of “gay marriage.”  Right or wrong, Vigano looking the other way was hardly as habitual as, say, the Holy Father.

As far as Nienstedt goes, I think he did indeed blow it not removing some priests and he resigned.

Fourth, it may be difficult for many observers to escape the impression that all this was orchestrated with a political agenda in mind.

In the statement on McCarrick, Viganò clearly betrays a generally conservative political bias, among other things in his frequently derisive commentary on prelates and clerics he finds to be excessively “pro-gay” – such as an offhand claim that Italian Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (both former or current Vatican officials) “belong to the homosexual current in favor of subverting Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.”

Wait, John!  I thought suppositions were verboten?!  And really, fighting for traditional marriage and following the rule of keeping homosexuals out of seminary are political things?  You can keep your head in the sand about Coccopalmerio and Paglia, but that’s really how we got into this mess, isn’t it, John?  Sorry, but when you’ve already spoken highly of homosexual relationships AND your buddy you’re recommending for bishop gets arrested for hosting a homosexual orgy…

There’s also the question of why Viganò’s statement appeared today, on the very day Francis was struggling to address the abuse scandals in Ireland.  Adding all that up, the release of the statement can’t help but strike some as an orchestrated maneuver.

Oh, what mystifying conspiracy does that allude to?  And really, why suggest it when you’re just going to turn around and say:

(As a footnote, if this was indeed orchestrated, it had to be a pretty off-key orchestra. Had Viganò restricted himself to releasing a crisp, one-page statement focusing solely on the charge against Francis, a former nuncio’s standing would have guaranteed a wide echo. As things stand, it’s understandably difficult for many people to know quite what to make of it.)

Is it some grand design or isn’t it?  Could Archbishop Vigano simply given up hope that anything was ever going to be done after the decade or so of reports?

“I believe the statement speaks for itself, and you have enough journalistic capacity to reach the conclusions,” Pope Francis told reporters on Sunday.

Time will tell what conclusions are indeed reached, but a sober point of departure right now probably would blend genuine curiosity with healthy skepticism.

My skepticism lies with the hierarchy of the Church. The Pope’s lack of a response is troubling, particularly when, as you, John, so eloquently put it, he is fond of “taking questions on every topic under the sun with no filters and no limits, speaking without notes and delivering straight answers.”. Where are those straight answers? Why don’t you spend a little less time trying to downplay Archbishop Vigano and more time trying to get those answers for all of the victims? Writing things off as “political” doesn’t do a darn thing for them.

While Allen wants to suggest the whole testimony of Archbishop Vigano is supposition, again, please read the whole sad thing for yourself.  https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4784141/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL-VERSION.pdf

Not five seconds after publication this came in:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4788059-Nienstedt-English-Final.html

LifeSite also has an article with the supporting documents. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vigano-issues-new-statement-documents-to-clear-his-name-of-false-charges

Whatcha think John Allen?

This firm belongs to the group “Lawyers for All Families,” who fought against Archbishop Nienstedt over the approval of same-sex marriage in the State of Minnesota.

Who was the braniac who chose the law firm that wants to take down the Church in the “gay marriage” issue to investigate and how did anyone in authority agree to that?  Where should the skepticism lie again?  Can’t imagine why anyone would think that Archbishop Nienstedt wasn’t going to get a fair shake there.

 

 

The Top-Tier Villains

This!  Please read every last page of it. 

 https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4784141/TESTIMONYXCMVX-XENGLISH-CORRECTED-FINAL-VERSION.pdf

If you want to know what needs to be done, it’s this.  Good men need to step up and shed some light on the truth. WHO IS NEXT?!  Collegiality for the sake of collegiality and at great cost to the victims has got to stop.  I think we can all understand if a predator has gotten away with something under your reign due to their sly ways and insufficient evidence but the silence has got to stop no matter the personal cost to you.

With the exception of Wuerl who I had truly hoped was turning around after a few good statements, we have ranted against every single one of the American losers here at great length.  Their deceit, malfeasance and general stupidity is not a secret in any way.  Let’s go down the list:

McCarrick

Tobin (NOT Thomas Tobin)

Wuerl

Cupich

McElroy

Mahony

Farrell

O’Malley

And last but not least…

Martin

I would also add a few more but they’re more like the wallflower wannabees in the popular kids’ club. These are the dirty deed doers and EVERYONE KNOWS IT!  Think about it, it’s so well-known that a housewife from Nowhereville has the same top-tier villain list.

Thank you Archbishop Vigano!  I know your enemies are already preparing to mount an offensive.  I’ve already seen the warning shots.  Thank you for not remaining silent even though you know hell is headed your way.  In your kindness, dear readers, please keep him in your prayers.

And, please, dear good bishops and cardinals, don’t let leave him hanging all by himself.  If you know something, say it.  This is a time for true transparency instead of all the talk.

Oh, and yeah, by and large, this is an active homosexual problem or so says the hundreds of pages in the grand jury report.  Some should stop being so gleeful when a woman or child is raped or molested just so you can parrot the party line “Stop scapegoating homosexuals!”  It’s quite a sick tactic.  Stop wagering on the hope that nobody will bother to read for themselves.  If you really had the victims in mind you would take the first easy step of vetting seminarians for homosexual tendencies and adhering to the directives already in place.  I can tell you that 80% of the victims if would have been thankful to have had that done before their horror stories happened.

#stopthesilence #catholiccybermilitia

 

 

A Few Good Men

Oh, boy, here we go again!  Here are a bunch more policies and procedures coming our way. Never mind that immoral people don’t usually follow procedure. (Didn’t the McCarrick debacle teach us anything?) We’re still going to burden the rest of the good folks who, apparently, are as weak as those who have been caught and have zero common sense when it comes to how to avoid any appearance of impropriety. So, Cardinal Wuerl’s suggestion the Vatican and the church in America handle it is ridiculous. Honestly, insanity would be if we expected a different result after decades of fumbling this crisis.

How about we try a few other things first? Here are some suggestions:
The Holy Father

At the top of the list goes a canonical trial for McCarrick in an ecclesiastical court with, say, Cardinal Burke running the trial. Did I miss someone talking about this viable option??? I saw that McCarrick was “ordered to a life of prayer and penance until a canonical trial”, but when was the last time that actually happened? Usually we wait around for police to come a-knocking. Why do we need to wait for civil authorities, though? This isn’t the American judicial system where things like this take years to get to trial and many times the abusers die before being brought to judgment. The Church can act far more swiftly. If we think abusing people is a crime, how about we act like it? I know people are calling for laicization, but that’s the easy way out for them, and McCarrick resigning is sweet, too, but how about the Holy Father puts the right tough talk into action. There’s nobody else who can pull that trigger and haul his behind into an ecclesiastical court, for

In ecclesiastical law, cases affecting civil rulers or cardinals, also criminal cases of bishops, are still reserved exclusively to the Roman pontiff. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04447a.htm

Of course, the Holy Father can appoint people to represent him, but wouldn’t it say something if he actually presided?  After decades of this crud, it might be nice if a Pope had to sit and hear the testimony of the victims.  It could, however, be a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment.  The same thing applies to all of the other scandals around the world – Chile, Honduras, etc.  Want to stop it, Holy Father?  Acting like it’s a crime would be a start. Bring them all before an ecclesiastical court!

Our Priests

Then, how about we go back to some fire and brimstone homilies? Stop being the “Church of Nice” and talk about things that make people feel uncomfortable. Let them know what sin is and what happens as a result of it. For those of you who don’t know, that would be spiritual death and hell. When we adopt the “consequences don’t exist, just be nice” attitude, of course nobody realizes there are going to be repercussions for their actions, and that causes a ripple effect throughout society.

Structure, structure, and more structure. Quite frankly, the holiest and most effective priests I know don’t get a day, week, or month off (mainly because their bishops hate them). They’re so busy that they don’t have time to engage in immorality. Their precious time off is spent in their own spiritual direction and formation such as the annual retreat. How does this compare to, say, the life of my husband? He has to get up every day and go to work. When he gets home, he is a husband to his wife and a father to his children. Does he get to sit and watch TV and relax a bit? He does on a good day, but outside of his regular work schedule he has cars to fix, yard work, home repair, etc., and he never gets to take the dad thing off. That is his all-encompassing vocation. Even when he takes a moment to catch a beer with a friend, it’s kind of a mutual help session, not an “I can ditch my vocation for a few hours and let my mind wander.” That, quite frankly, is how many men get in trouble. They’re not enjoying the company of people struggling in a similar life, they’re “cutting loose.” They’re trying to escape from their lives, even if temporarily. Sadly, that small little breach usually becomes wider and wider. I’ve seen many a debate about whether priests should have a day off or get to retire. I say no.  Sound harsh? Let me explain. This isn’t to say they shouldn’t get time to relax. My husband has much less work time on the weekend. He does get to escape “the career” without every escaping the vocation. He rather mixes business with pleasure. So, am I saying Fr. So and So shouldn’t get to go play golf on Tuesdays? Nope. In fact, I’m sure much spiritual direction has been given and received on the links. I am saying that he shouldn’t be “checking out” from his vocation. We, as lay people, should also help in this area. Having the parish priest over for dinner can be mutually spiritually beneficial event. I think I’ve made it clear to my priest friends that I will be extremely displeased (use your own translation for this one) if they scandalize my kids in any way.

The Seminaries and Seminarians

Next, we need a few good men! We need to tell those who are discerning priesthood that there is, from the get go, a spiritual battle for their souls. Mortal combat will ensue. Clearly, the liberals see the priesthood as more of a fraternity where they are accepted and coddled (and apparently corrupted) the rest of their lives. Seminary should look more like bootcamp and a little less like college. Uncomfortable, hard, very structured, and the threat of discipline always looming overhead. That’s where “zero tolerance” needs to start. We need to encourage masculinity. We are suffering from a toxic lack of masculinity (hat tip Culture Project for this perfectly worded phrase). We need to teach them how to be fathers who are responsible for the physical and spiritual welfare of their families. In fact, might I suggest heavy physical as well as spiritual training?  Seriously, if the military engages in that form of formation, shouldn’t we go even further with our priests? There’s a reason the military engages in physical and psychological training. They want a cohesive unit, a disciplined unit, and most importantly, an obedient unit. In fact, when they started lowering their standards, they lost in all of those areas. When the Church gave up the “court-martial” of abusing priests (see my last post here), what did they think was going to happen? The same disaster happened when we no longer acted like dissenting from Church teaching was a bad thing.

Now, it sounds like some seminarians knew and were quite willing participants. That would be an epic failure on the part of the Church to 1) educate people that they have an immortal soul and 2) to properly vet seminarian candidates. Of course, I’m sure in some seminaries, they’re being vetted to see if they might be willing to be the type who would engage in some sort of lewd conduct. (Sigh.  Sometimes it’s hard to come from the point of view that this is not all seminaries and that there are some really good ones out there.) 

As for the seminarians who weren’t willing and were caught off guard, you knew when it happened to you. Thank you to the ones who did try to sound the alarm. I’m sure you were promptly booted for being too rigid. To the rest, I’m failing to understand how one could just go with the “I just wanted to survive the awful McCarrick seminarian days and move on to the priesthood.” Maybe that’s too harsh. I’m not blaming the victim but from now on, you guys need to have a plan in place. Maybe you didn’t even realize what the heck was going on until you were at the “What the hell?” moment. However, you were/are going for the job of saving souls – even the souls of your fellow wayward seminarians – so I’m not sure how louder whistles, or, rather, air horns weren’t sounded.  I’m sure you’d at least heard the word “millstone” once or twice. That’s how bad these creepers are.

While I don’t know what it’s like to prepare for the priesthood, I can definitely say that you’re probably going to experience a same-sex attracted incident somewhere along the way.  It’s permeated our society and our Church. Keep your head out of the sand and take the burden you’ve been given by that person and deal with it. Yep. It really is happening and it’s going to affect us all if you don’t speak up.  What’s worse? It might affect our youth. And, yes, based on the torment whistle-blowing seminarians have received, you are likely going to be persecuted. I’d love to say you’re going to go to your superior and he’s going to take care of it. That might be the case depending on where you are, but there’s too good of a chance it’s not going to happen. Start thinking of your future flock now. Be prepared for the possibility and have a plan of action. If your seminary refused to deal, move on to the bishop, the neighboring bishop, or if all else fails, perhaps the media. Oh, they’ll do something. They can’t resist. But, again, think about your future flock. I mean, seriously, when someone in your flock comes to you and says they’ve been a victim of some sort of abuse or harassment, what are you going to tell them? “Keep you head down and try to avoid the situation?!”

So, my young seminarian friends, let me cover something that has been apparently lacking all along the way. If someone harasses or abuses you, sound the alarm first and worry about the vocation later. The immediate “vocation” is to stop evil from happening. Worry about the rest later after you’ve gone this first round with satan. People I care about are in seminary, so I do not take this lightly.

I’m also partial to the idea that at least one class should be taught by a married couple with kids. I like to think of it as a course in reality. That would, of course, include the topic of the traumatized couple needing to go to confession should ANYONE hurt their child in any manner. I don’t think most abusers understand the depths of a parent’s love and the depth of insanity that appears when our kids are hurt. That alone could be a “scared straight” course.

The Laity

Parents of minors, why would your children ever need to be alone with a priest outside of a confessional? Yes, I’m probably a paranoid freak about the safety and well-being of my children, but you might want to join me. We still try to keep a very careful balance of not making our children fear priests and letting them know anyone can act in and evil immoral manner. Yes, that’s hard to do. We teach our kids they shouldn’t be alone with, really, any adult who is not us in a private space, and of course, the usual physical boundaries that should be taught should they ever find themselves in that situation.  Quite frankly how is it that some make it all the way to seminary and don’t know how to blow the proverbial whistle when someone is acting inappropriate is way beyond me.

Lastly, again, remember that satan exists and this is all his handiwork. We need to find the balance between Pollyana and suspicious. People who have done or will do satan’s work will and have always existed in the Church. We can’t let this take our faith away from us, no matter how shocking it’s been. If we don’t walk through life trying to figure out where satan is daily trying to steal our souls, then no matter what goes on in the world around us, he will get us at least a good portion of the time. #banfoxesinhenshouses #CatholicCyberMilitia