SAN DIEGO (LifeSiteNews) – The Diocese of San Diego, in its recently published synodal synthesis for the Synod on Synodality, has revealed clear and sharp criticisms of the Catholic faithful toward their newly elevated bishop, Cardinal Robert McElroy.
The criticisms also include outrage at the responsibility of bishops in the cover–up of clerical sexual abuse cases, as well as their compromising of Catholic moral teaching on the matters of homosexuality, LGBT issues, and abortion.
Under a section titled, “Anger at the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandals,” the report states:
The intensity of the emotions expressed on the topic of clergy sexual abuse of minors was profound and widespread. “Sexual abuse was allowed to get so big and destroy the Church and people who love the Church.” “The priest scandals make it difficult to attract people to the faith and at the same time require having to defend the faith.” Participants specifically noted that “it was the cover up conducted by the bishops, rather than individual cases that disappointed them, and then seeing the same level of cover-up exposed not just in one diocese, or in one country, but rather across the globe – that was particularly disappointing.” There is a nearly universal perception that bishops were the core of the patterns of abuse and reassignment because bishops sided with guilty priests against the imperative to safeguard children and young people.
The criticisms of bishops in the United States centered on their responsibility for the priestly abuse crises. The Diocese of San Diego reportedly faces around 300 lawsuits from allegations of clerical sexual abuse and cover up. McElroy himself has been found to have covered up horrifying cases of sexual abuse, including those of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. According to the synodal report:
As to the comments of the synodal dialogues on the bishops of the United States, participants were highly negative. Many blame the bishops for the egregious errors of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. They think that the episcopacy has contributed enormously to a culture of clericalism.
Regarding bishops’ compromising of Catholic moral teaching on marriage, sexuality, and abortion, the diocesan report included both the views expressed by those who wish to change the Church’s doctrine and practice as well as the accusations of faithful Catholics who declared that “Church doctrine is quite clear on debated issues.” The latter lamented that the Pope and Cardinal McElroy have “introduced a corrosive ambiguity into the heart of Catholic moral doctrine.”
Under the section titled, “Inclusiveness and Acceptance vs Doctrinal Strength,” the diocesan report states:
The synodal dialogues revealed a profound split within the Catholic community about the issues of acceptance versus conformity with rules. This split reflects elements of the cultural and political divides that plague our society. But it takes on a specific form within the life of the Church.
After citing the requests of dissent Catholics for acceptance of women priests, and LGBT lifestyles and practices, the report went on to include the strong opposition to such departures from the Church’s moral teaching and sacramental discipline.
The counterpoint to this widespread call for greater inclusion in the life of the Church is a belief by many that Catholic teaching has compromised too much in the current secular moment and has grown too lenient. “The Church does not seem to have a clear message on how they view people who have same-sex attraction or LGBT,” one participant said. “There does not seem to be a clear guidance on that issue.” Many participants expressed the view that Church doctrine is quite clear on debated issues, but the Church’s current leadership has intentionally obscured that teaching on LGBT issues and other topics, including abortion. These Catholics raise concerns that Pope Francis has introduced a corrosive ambiguity into the heart of Catholic moral doctrine. They are highly critical of Bishop McElroy for this same reason. Participants who share this viewpoint worry that Catholic doctrine lies on a slippery slope in these days, and propose that sharpening the line between the Church and secular society would have a reinvigorating effect for the Catholic community.
McElroy has shown himself repeatedly to be a strong advocate for LGBT lifestyles, promoting homosexual groups, hosting a homosexual drag queen as a speaker after a Mass, and praising dissident pro-homosexual advocate Fr. James Martin. He has also opposed the denial of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians and argued that poverty and environmental issues are of equal moral weight with the sanctity of the life of the unborn.