Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Catholic Online intentionally chose to NOT enter into the feeding frenzy

The allegations concerning clergy who have committed egregious sins and succumbed to the basest of sexual deviance- by committing criminal, immoral acts against children - demand a brutally honest assessment concerning the morally depleted condition of our beloved Church in the more devastated parts of the vineyard. The perpetrators of these abuses must be stopped and face the consequences of their acts. There is mercy for them. However, it is on the other side of justice for the victims and housecleaning for the Church. They know that they have sinned and hiding will not free them from the bondage.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/27/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: purification, sexual abuse scandal, catholic church, clergy abuse, Cardinal Mahoney, Conclave, New pope, Pope Benedict XVI, purification, renewal, Catholic Church crisis, clergy sex abuse, Pope benedict XVI, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - All weekend long the European Press was rife with speculation over a 300 page report from three cardinals given to Pope Benedict XVI on December 17, 2012. It reflected the results of an investigation into the Vati- Leaks episode. Speculation over the content of the report led to a series of articles in the European press which filtered back to the States over the weekend. Catholic Online intentionally chose to NOT enter into the feeding frenzy. The sources were questionable and the tenor was sensational.

Some reports insinuated that the contents of the report could have contributed to the Pope's decision to resign his office. They offered no objective proof. That claim simply did not fit what we know to be true about the man who has served with such humility, integrity, holiness, theological profundity and quiet courage for nearly eight years, Pope Benedict XVI.

Among the more salacious claims was that the report exposed some sort of lavender mafia, a homosexual network of clerics which may have even attempted to blackmail the Pope. The feeding frenzy in the European press finally led to an editorial from Fr Federico Lombardi entitled A Penitential Time which can be read in its entirety here

He noted "There is no lack, in fact, of those who seek to profit from the moment of surprise and disorientation of the spiritually naive to sow confusion and to discredit the Church and its governance, making recourse to old tools, such as gossip, misinformation and sometimes slander, or exercising unacceptable pressures to condition the exercise of the voting duty on the part of one or another member of the College of Cardinals, who they consider to be objectionable for one reason or another."

"In the majority of cases, those who present themselves as judges, making heavy moral judgments, do not, in truth, have any authority to do so. Those who consider money, sex and power before all else and are used to reading diverse realities from these perspectives, are unable to see anything else, even in the Church, because they are unable to gaze toward the heights or descend to the depths in order to grasp the spiritual dimensions and reasons of existence."

"This results in a description of the Church and of many of its members that is profoundly unjust. But all of this will not change the attitude of believers; it will not erode the faith and the hope with which they see the Lord, who promised to accompany his Church."

This report will be handed to the next successor of Peter. There is little doubt it will contain news concerning corruption within the Church, including sexual immorality and sin committed by clerics,  priests, deacons and Bishops. This is a troubling time in our Church.

I recently received a distressing letter from a devout Catholic and gifted writer whom I greatly admire Monday morning. She found out that her home parish was a place where a sexual predator priest from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was sent by now Cardinal Mahoney after having been accused. She was justifiably angry and disillusioned that a child predator priest was sent to potentially victimize more children.

This came on the heels of the startling announcement that Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland,  a strong defender of life and marriage who as of Friday had denied allegations he had engaged in immoral acts with priests thirty years ago, had his retirement accepted by the Pope. 

After the allegations surfaced last week the Cardinal had announced that that he had retained legal counsel and was going to attend the papal convocation. Though we must presume the good for all who serve the Church, the abrupt change in direction was distressing to say the least, especially for this seasoned civil trial and appellate lawyer.

The allegations concerning clergy who have committed egregious sins and succumbed to the basest of sexual deviance- by committing criminal, immoral acts against children - demand a brutally honest assessment concerning the morally depleted condition of our beloved Church in the more devastated parts of the vineyard.

Blessed John Paul II labeled the cultural climate that has given us the rancid fruit of unrestricted abortion, euthanasia, and growing disregard for the dignity of every human person a culture of death. There is a common root between many of the controversial issues that are at the foundation of much of our contemporary crisis, it is infidelity. The culture of death has crept into the sanctuary of the Church.

There is a failure to respect the dignity of every human person because they are human persons, created in the very image of God. Rather than being respected and honored, human persons are treated as commodities to be used and abused. Rather than being seen as an integral part of the human person, the human body is reduced to a sexual object to be used, abused or molested. This lies at the root of the sin of pornography as well as the sexual acting out of what is often begun in the heart - in acts that the sacred scripture calls the sins of the flesh.

The late Pope referred to abortion as the cutting edge of this culture of death. It is the most blatant example of the use of another person. We no longer protect our smallest members but rather encourage mothers to participate in destroying their own child in the former sanctuary of the womb, the first home of every person.

Trafficking in parts of aborted children hides under a false claim of progress. Every time a stem cell is extracted from an embryonic human person, he or she is killed. No matter how these techniques are dressed up as science and no matter how they promise to prolong our lives (a claim as of yet unproven) they are immoral.

Some choices are always and everywhere wrong and intrinsically immoral. They violate the natural law, even if they are legal under current positive law. It is always and everywhere wrong to use people and treat them as objects, no matter what the purported end or goal of the use or the age of the human person.

Faithful Catholics support adult stem cell research and fetal cord blood research because we support all scientifically legitimate and moral research that does not destroy life. We believe that good science must serve the person and the common good. However, we reject destroying life for the use of another. People should never be used as a means to an end.

This error lies at the root of the Catholic rejection of artificial contraception. Contracepted sexual activity - no matter how well the argument in favor of artificial contraception is dressed up in the finest sophistry by dissidents within our own Church - is never a complete gift of self. It is not open to life; therefore it is not unitive or pro-creative. It involves a use of the other.

Contraception is immoral because it impedes the sexual expression of authentic love as the full and complete gift of self in the marital embrace. The Catholic Church is not unenlightened. She is not against sex. Rather, she proclaims the full understanding of the beauty and the dignity of sexual relations as proper only in marriage. The Catholic Church is actually the guardian of the truth about the beauty of sexual love in an age given over to self centeredness and sexual libertinism.

The Church rejects artificial contraception and insists on the proper use of natural family planning within marriage. Again, not because she is opposed to sexual relations. That would be heresy. Rather, because she proclaims the dignity, beauty and splendor of conjugal love between spouses as a sign of the complete gift of self.

Sexual relations belong exclusively within the embrace of faithful, chaste marriage. They are a part of the sacramental nature of Christian marriage. Marital sexual relations, rooted in the love that is the gift of self to the beloved, should always be open to new life. They are a participation in the mystery of communion, sharing in the creative and redemptive nature of the Christian mission.

The problem we face in the Catholic Church is infidelity. The problem we face in the Church is sin. Many of the incidents reported among the minority of clergy who have sinned against their vowed celibacy involve homosexual acts. In many instances, the activities in which they engaged constitute pederasty, a term derived from an ancient Greek word that referred to sexual relationships between men and boys.

The teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality is clear, compassionate, and true. Homosexual orientation is disordered. Homosexual temptation, like every other sexual temptation, is not sin. However, homosexual acts are ALWAYS sin. Homosexual acts can never accomplish the ends (in the philosophical and theological sense of the word - goal) of authentic love.

The sexual expression of love is reserved for the marital conjugal act, the marital embrace. The Catholic Church rightly proclaims that every marital sexual act must be both unitive (fulfilling the divine mandate of marriage that the two shall be as one) and procreative, or open to life. Homosexual sexual acts are not procreative and cannot be unitive.

While the Church teaches that we must respect the dignity of every person, including homosexual persons,  it clearly and unequivocally teaches that homosexual acts are always and everywhere intrinsically immoral and sinful. Homosexual sexual acts constitute a use of the body of another. 

Such sexual activity, when forced on a child by one in a position of power - particularly by a priest, bishop or deacon- is an act of evil in its most heinous form. It constitutes a spiritual plundering and the attempt to destroy a soul. It is also, and rightly so, criminal - and should be prosecuted.

Not speaking the truth is never compassionate. Those who struggle with homosexual temptations need to hear this truth as well. There is hope and forgiveness for everyone in the Lord. His Church presents the way and provides the pastoral resources for people who struggle with homosexual temptation and orientation to find freedom and fulfillment.

However, they must listen to the Church, not to those who purport to speak in her name and then tell them lies. What the Catholic Church teaches on this subject is true. The egregious nature of the sexual behavior and abuse among a small minority of clergy is clear to anyone who accepts the unbroken teaching of the Catholic Church. That teaching will not change because it cannot change.

The exposure of sexual sin among Catholic clergy is not accidental in its timing. It is a part of a time of purification. This is not the first time in our history as a Church that clergy reform accompanied a time of restoration. The words of the Lord in the Gospel of Mark come to mind as I write on this subject, "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open" (Mark 4:22).

There have been other times in the history of the Church when the clergy have been corrupted. God always begins His Spring cleaning in His own house. As the Apostle Peter wrote to the Church of the first millennium during another great missionary age: "the time has come for judgment to begin with the House of God." (1 Peter 4:17)

Every man, woman and child ever created is called to live in that House. We must make it a place where they can truly find redemption, rest and safety; and discover the fullness of their destiny in Jesus Christ. The perpetrators of these abuses must be stopped and face the consequences of their acts. There is mercy for them. However, it is on the other side of justice for the victims and housecleaning for the Church. They know that they have sinned and hiding will not free them from the bondage.

The victims must be helped with healing and restitution. The Church must be purified if she hopes to rise to the challenge of her missionary task in this Third Christian Millennium. That means that her clergy - Priests, Bishops and Deacons - must all be holy as the Lord Himself is holy.

If the Church is going to lead this contemporary age out of the Culture of Death, she must become a Culture of Life and a civilization of love. Her clergy must be men who love, live and serve as the One who founded this Church loved, lived and served.

The Catholic Church is poised for a new missionary age. She needs Purification, Renewal and Restoration to Rise to the Moment. On the day of the Pope's resignation, lightning struck the Vatican. I do not intend to join the sensationalist reports which speculated concerning the incident.

However, if that lightning symbolizes exposing what needs to be exposed so that the Church can be purified for her irreplaceable mission, I say, bring it on.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Europe

Forced into prostitution: Greece's economic crisis has married women, mothers hitting streets Watch

Image of The situation of Grecian streets is worsening, as many of the Greek women now turning to prostitution don't bear even a passing resemblance to the drug-addled stereotype of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece, at the heart of the European economic crisis of a few years past, has elected the "anti-austerity" organization the Syriza Party into office. Mass unemployment remains, with more than 50 percent on the nation's young people without work. An even seedier ... continue reading


The first tax revolt: 800 years later, the Magna Carta stands boldly as spiritual predecessor to the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution Watch

Image of A copy of the Magna Carta on display.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This year will mark the eighth centennial of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede near Windsor, on June 15, 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Magna Carta was one of the first documents that limited the power of the English crown, and ... continue reading


VIDEO: 70 years later, drone flies over infamous death camps showing the shocking and HORRIBLE extent of Nazi death camps Watch

Image of The gates of the Auschwitz death camp, which in English say

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In 2015, more than 1,500 survivors of the Holocaust returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation by Soviet troops. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On January 27, event organizers are ... continue reading


FEAR GRIPS VATICAN: 'Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope' Watch

Image of Pope Francis has frequently spoken out against the Islamic State group. The Holy See has also voiced its support for U.S. air strikes in Iraq. This has led several to think that this increases the Pope's likelihood as a terrorist target.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican is under heightened concern that a terrorist attack may be imminent. Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See, Habib Al Sadr, at the time warned that "what has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope. The ... continue reading


Is Hitler funny? Leader of far-right German party steps down over inappropriate selfie Watch

Image of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) is a German far-right group which is for deporting or denying entry for Muslims into Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks earlier this month, as well as the numerous acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims throughout Europe over the last several years, Germany is seeing a resurgence of far-right radical groups whose attitudes and ... continue reading


Incredible footage of Lamborghini crashing at 200 MILES PER HOUR! Watch

Image of A Lamborghini Huracan crashed on the M7 motorway going 208 miles per hour. Both passenger and driver survived.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hungarian police have released footage of the first ever Lamborghini Huracan crash at more than 200 miles per hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014 it was reported that a crash over 200mph occurred. A Huracan registered in the Czech Republic hit a barrier ... continue reading


Five bodies found in ancient tomb - could they be Alexander the Great and his mother? Watch

Image of Many experts have discounted the Alexander theory. They say the ancient emperor was more likely buried in Egypt.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Archaeologists have unearthed bones from at least five people in an uncovered ancient tomb in Greece. Among those discovered was a woman aged over 60, a newborn baby, two men aged between 35 and 45 years of age and another adult of indeterminate age. Since the ... continue reading


If European cities say so - Uber Taxi could create 50,000 jobs Watch

Image of Uber Taxi has been hit with court injunctions in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. Uber has also faced protests from taxi firms in major cities, including London.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Taxi said in Munich that Uber Taxi could create 50,000 jobs as part of a "new partnership" with European cities. Kalanick says he wants to make 2015 a year of rapid expansion in Europe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Why the Islamic State's systematic recruitment of European Muslims is a threat to us all Watch

Image of Lone Wolf terrorism is a new symptom of the Islamist war against Western nations and their values.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Muslims from countries in the Middle East make up the largest percentage of members of the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups. Local Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa constitute the core membership of most Islamist groups; but a new trend is ... continue reading


Will Greece's emergency elections spell the end for European recovery? Watch

Image of Protests, violence and demonstrations from the Greek liberal and leftists threaten the fledgling recovery of the struggling Greek economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece has faced a struggling economy for the better part of a decade, since the worldwide recession hit back in 2008 and 2009, though amplified starting in 2010. Through these turbulent years, unemployment, government corruption and welfare requests have ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter