Bishop Morlino of Madison displayed courage rare among American bishops when he published a letter this weekend which gets right to the heart of the matter of the abuse of children within the Catholic Church. Here is what he said, in part:
It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest. And the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just as we love goodness. But while hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible mercy.
At the same time, however, the love and mercy which we are called to have even for the worst of sinners does not exclude holding them accountable for their actions through a punishment proportionate to the gravity of their offense. In fact, a just punishment is an important work of love and mercy, because, while it serves primarily as retribution for the offense committed, it also offers the guilty party an opportunity to make expiation for his sin in this life (if he willingly accepts his punishment), thus sparing him worse punishment in the life to come. Motivated, therefore, by love and concern for souls, I stand with those calling for justice to be done upon the guilty.
There is plenty to be said about his appropriate and necessary call to hatred of sin — a call you rarely hear from leaders of the Catholic Church, or any other church — but the first sentence of that paragraph is most notable. Here is a high ranking official in the Church admitting, finally, that there is a "homosexual subculture within the hierarchy" which is directly linked to the sex abuse scandals.
It is important to emphasize that this is not a matter of a bunch of individual gay priests who just so happened to wind up in the Church. There is an actual gay culture, as the Bishop notes — or a "homosexual undergound," as another report puts it — and it is "wreaking devastation." Last week I mentioned the priest in Tampa who revealed just how this organized network of homosexuals operates and what sort of tactics they use to intimidate and blackmail other priests into silence. Do those who wish to deny the link between homosexuality and the abuse crisis believe that this priest is making up stories? Why would he make up stories? What does he gain from it?
And is this report from Catholic News Agency made up? It exposes a rampant gay culture in the Archdiocese of Newark, where the homosexual predator Cardinal McCarrick was archbishop for a number of years:
Seminarians and priests from ordination classes spanning 30 years, during the terms of McCarrick and Myers, reported to CNA that they had observed an active homosexual subculture of priest and seminarians within Newark’s Immaculate Conception Seminary.
One priest ordained in the early years of McCarrick’s term in Newark said that “a lot of people lost their innocence in the seminary.”
He told CNA that there were two distinct groups of students. “You had the men who were there because they had a deep love of the Lord and a vocation to serve his Church,” he said, adding that those men were the majority of seminarians.
“But there was a subculture, with its own group of men, that was openly homosexual and petty and vindictive with everyone else,” he explained.
The same priest said that before he entered the seminary he was warned he would “see things that weren’t right.” He said he was counseled by an older priest to “just remember who you are and why you are there.”
Several Newark priests told CNA that the same atmosphere existed under Archbishop John Myers, who led the archdiocese from 2001-2016.
One priest who studied during that period recalled being told, as a newly arrived seminarian, to lock his bedroom door at night to avoid “visitors.”
“I thought they were kidding – they really weren’t,” he said.
Another priest told CNA that, as a senior seminarian and transitional deacon, young seminarians would come to him in tears.
“They were just so scandalized by what they saw, these upperclassmen flagrantly carrying on with each other in gay relationships.”
A third priest says that these seminarians were frequently visited by other priests of the diocese, some of whom he later saw at the rectory cocktail parties.
“There was definitely a group of, well I guess we’re calling them ‘uncles’ now. They would come by to visit with the effeminate crowd, bring them stuff and take them out,” he said.
If you're wondering what those "rectory cocktail parties" consisted of, here are a few details:
One recalled that he attended a cocktail party, thinking he had been invited to a simple priests’ dinner.
“I was led into the room to a chorus of wolf-whistles,” he said. “It was clear right away I was ‘on display.’”
Another priest told CNA that he was also invited to a party hosted by the priest. “They were all carrying big mixed drinks, pink ones, it was like something out of Sex in City.”
He recalled that after asking for a beer, he was told by his host, “you need to try something more girly tonight.”
All recounted overtly sexual conversation at the cocktail parties. “I was fresh meat and they were trying me out,” one priest said.
All three said they left quickly upon realizing what was going on.
“Everyone was getting loaded and getting closer on the couches, I wanted out of there,” a priest told CNA.
“Everyone kept calling me a ‘looker’ and saying they had to ‘keep me around’ from now on,” a third Newark priest told CNA.
The current Archbishop of Newark, Cardinal Tobin, released a letter denying the existence of a gay culture in the archdiocese. But before you decide whether to take him seriously, keep in mind that this is the same liberal Cardinal who endorsed an "LGBT pilgrimage and Mass" in Newark. And it is the same Cardinal who recently and mysteriously tweeted and then deleted, "Nighty, night baby. I love you." He claimed it was supposed to be a private message to his sister. I suppose it is possible that the liberal, gay-apologist Cardinal of an archdiocese where priests attend gay cocktail parties meant to send a private message like that to his 65-year-old sister, but a reasonable person may have his suspicions.
We must evaluate the sort of bishops and priests who are crying out about the problem of homosexuality within the priesthood, and the sort of bishops and priests who are denying that such a problem exists, and decide which group is more credible. Personally, I have a much easier time trusting Bishop Molino than Cardinal Nighty Night and his ilk.
And once we have accepted the fact that homosexuality represents a serious challenge within the priesthood, it begins to make sense that the great majority of abuse victims have been males. If homosexuality within the Church were not a problem, why wouldn't the great majority of abuse victims have been female, as per the distribution of sexual orientation within the population at large? To ignore a problem that contributes to the abuse of male children in the priesthood is politically correct at best, and dangerous at worst.