C.T. Rossi explains how capitulation to prevailing cultural mores has shaken the stability of the Roman Catholic Church.
The recent scandals within the Catholic Church are quite a personal matter for me. This is not merely because I am a Catholic but because I am a former seminarian and have, in a certain sense, seen behind the veil. Anyone who has shared the same experiences within the Church has no doubt as to the cause of the sexual scandals.
Causes are precisely what we are not talking about. The media, already rather suspicious of things religious, things Christian and especially things Catholic, is content to unreflectively report scandal - never asking why these particular priests lapsed into such a moral morass. Given a murderer, an adulterous politician or a drug-addled movie star, the media will probe the causes of their tragic fall ad nauseam with a parade of psychological experts. But when they report that a priest has been accused of sexual improprieties, it is presented in a style so offhanded that one might be hearing the historical tale of a Nazi storm trooper shooting innocent women and children - a nameless, faceless agent of an evil institution, not worthy of further examination.
Neither do the American bishops seem much interested in the causes of the problem. Instead they seem more interested in image-crafting and rapprochement with the American media. Have no doubt that when the U.S. bishops' conference elected its first black president (in the person of Bishop Wilton Gregory) last fall, the idea of appearing "progressive" was in the minds of some. As a media event, Wilton Gregory has worked. Time magazine has named Gregory "person of the week" calling him "media-savvy," a "calm, quiet man with a reputation for listening" and one who "desperately wants to inspire . . . dismayed U.S. Catholics. . .". But what has Gregory really said?
Addressing the bishops' conference, Bishop Gregory proclaimed, "The crisis, in truth, is about a profound loss of confidence by the faithful in our leadership as shepherds . . . . We did not go far enough to ensure that every child and minor was safe from sexual abuse." No, this is the cause of the public relations crisis. Nothing Gregory said brought us any closer to understanding why a statistically disproportionate percentage of Roman Catholic priests are engaging in homosexual behavior with under-aged males.
Nothing he said gave any insight into why several American bishops did not find this type of behavior morally repugnant enough to seek the defrocking of offending priests. What Bishop Gregory did give the faithful was a more eloquent and stylized version of the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart's tearful, post-scandal proclamation: "I have sinned."
The planned "solution" offered by the bishops is a "zero tolerance" policy against sacerdotal sex offenders and a promise that bishops not place the fear of scandal above the well-being of children. But no where did the bishops offer to find out why the wave of abuse happened - as if the inclination of some priests to bugger young boys is somehow not problematic.
But for anyone who has been a Catholic seminarian within the past 20 years, the underlying problem is patently obvious. It is also apparent to the leadership in Rome as noted by the comments of Fr. Ivan Fucek, theologian of the Apostolic Penitentiary, when he stated that the U.S. bishops have "a certain passivity in accepting candidates to the priesthood with problems of sexual disorder and homosexuality - an excessive 'tolerance' dictated especially by the prevailing cultural mode." In short, American seminaries are overrun with homosexual candidates, some of whom are intent on remaining sexually active.
While some proponents of "diversity" and "tolerance" may argue for a laissez faire attitude toward the sexual inclinations of seminaries, the practical results are devastating. In a new book entitled Goodbye! Good Men, author Michael S. Rose uncovers the truth known all too well to those of us who spent any time in the seminary - there exists a gay counter-culture in Catholic seminaries that is militantly opposed to the traditional moral teachings of the Church. Paralyzed by a politically correct climate and a pervasive moral relativism, American bishops do nothing to remedy the situation.
It is the poisoned well of U.S. seminaries which is at the root of the Church sexual scandal. Under the guise of "tolerance," "compassion," and"diversity," men holding orthodox theology and moral views have been pushed aside in favor of candidates who have more so-called "progressive" ideas of sex and morals, many of whom are practicing homosexuals. Some prey on young boys.
This is the truth that the Bishops fear to speak.
C.T. Rossi comments on contemporary culture for the Free Congress Foundation.
This article can be found on the Free Congress Foundation website and is reprinted with permission.