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August 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — In a forcefully-written column titled “A Cancer on the Papacy,” former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan pulls no punches as he contends that the Catholic Church is going through perhaps its “gravest crisis” since the Protestant Reformation, and that homosexuality is to blame.

A former aid to Richard Nixon who in a 2002 column argued that Vatican II was an “unrelieved disaster,” Buchanan calls for not only a thorough investigation of the “stunning” claims made by Archbishop Carlo Viganò, but an extensive “purge” and severing from the priesthood of those who covered up the scandals.

“The issue here is whether Pope Francis knew what was going on in the Vatican and in his Church, and why he was not more resolute in rooting out the moral squalor,” Buchanan writes.

Priests that prey on children are not only guilty of sin but are “criminal predators” who deserve to be put in “penitentiary cells” rather than parish rectories.

Echoing the sentiments of a growing number of U.S. bishops (and laity), Buchanan believes it is imperative, given the gravity of the revelations, that Rome address Vigano’s allegations that more than 30 high-ranking cardinals, bishops, and priests – including Pope Francis – covered up sexual abuse.

“For too long, the Catholic faithful have been forced to pay damages and reparations for crimes and sins of predator priests and the hierarchy’s collusion and complicity in covering them up.” The church “needs to act decisively now.”

At its core, “this is a homosexual scandal,” Buchanan plainly states. “Applicants to the seminary should be vetted the way applicants to the National Security Council are. Those homosexually inclined should be told the priesthood of the Church is not for them, as it is not for women.”

Traditional Catholic teaching holds that “homosexuality is a psychological and moral disorder, a proclivity toward acts that are intrinsically wrong, and everywhere and always sinful and depraved, and ruinous of character,” Buchanan wrote.

Although Buchanan ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1992, 1996, and 2000, his ideas, according to Politico writer Tim Alberta, served as the ideological underpinnings of the Trump campaign and now presidency.

In an article published in the spring of 2017, Alberta points out that many of the policies President Trump ran on, and is now implementing, were first proposed by Buchanan more than twenty years ago. These policies include secure borders instead of open borders, fair trade instead of free trade, nationalism instead of globalism, foreign policy restraint instead of interventionism, and America first instead of NATO first, among other things.

Buchanan concludes his essay by reminding his readers of the media’s fawning attitude towards liberal clergy.

“Undeniably, Francis, and the progressive bishops who urge a new tolerance, a new understanding, a new appreciation of the benign character of homosexuality, have won the plaudits of a secular press that loathed the Church of Pius XII.”

He rhetorically asks, “Of what value are all those wonderful press clippings now, as the chickens come home to roost in Vatican City?”