‘Maybe the Pope has to go, too’: Catholic priest demands resignations of bishops and cardinals
NAPLES, Florida, August 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A parish priest in Florida has delivered a searing homily exposing some uncomfortable truths about the ongoing clergy abuse crisis and offering advice to his shocked congregation about how they can help resolve the situation.
“Ask for resignations,” said Fr Michael Orsi, the parochial vicar of St. Agnes Church, to his parishioners at Masses on August 18 and 19. Fr Orsi is also the host of Action for Life TV, Christian Television Network (CTN). “Some bishops and some cardinals have to go. Maybe the pope has to go, too. Because when you start telling people ‘Who am I to judge?’, that’s where the problem is. Nobody wants to make a judgment anymore [of] what’s right [or] what’s wrong.”
“That’s not good theology,” he thundered. “It’s not Catholic, it’s not moral, it’s not human. You [have to] make judgments.”
Orsi said that the ongoing crisis, involving new revelations about both cover-ups of clerical sex abuse of minors and of seductions of seminarians by superiors, was “horrendous.”
“There has been nothing so tragic since the Protestant Reformation,” he said. “This is a very serious issue. It will not go away in one generation or two generations. The Church will never be the same.”
After denouncing bishops’ transfer of predatory priests from place to place over the years as “unconscionable”, Orsi took a hard look at who the majority of victims were: adolescent boys.
“These cases are involved with homosexuality,” he said flatly. “Now I know a lot of people are going to [say], ‘How dare you say that about homosexuals? That’s not politically correct.’ Let me be clear about that. I’m not saying that all homosexuals are pedophiles….But what I am saying is that, for the most part, these 95% of cases were where … the clergy involved were after young men. And these young men found themselves in situations where they could not give any kind of free consent.”
The priest explained that priests have power over people, especially young people who haven’t yet come to a firm understanding of who they are sexually, and are therefore vulnerable. A boy without a father at home can be particularly vulnerable, for sometimes a priest who steps in to be his “father image” involves him in homosexual activity, which leads to further sexual confusion. This has led to depression, difficulty in the abused boys’ future marriages, and even suicide.
“These cases are criminal. They are a crime. And those cases, therefore, call for justice. There should be punishment,” Orsi said.
The second category of homosexual abuse Orsi discussed concerned seminarians.
“Reports are also coming out now from places like Honduras and Chile that the seminaries are [full of] homosexual people,” he said. “I’m not saying homosexual people are bad or evil. I’m just telling you what has happened. And in these circumstances, you have some very vulnerable young men.”
He acknowledged that the situation of young men over 18 is different from that of minors, but although criminal law does not apply to the seduction of adult men, the moral law still applies. Grooming seminarians is a form of abuse, the priest said.
“It’s taking advantage of someone who’s in a lower position ... and is flattered by a priest, a seminary rector, a bishop or a cardinal who takes special interest in them,” Orsi explained.
“It’s so flattering,” he continued.”Then there are of course the little promises or little gifts that might be dangling in front of [the seminarian]: ‘You belong in Rome’; ‘Gee, one day YOU might become a bishop’; ‘How would you like to spend a weekend with me at my summer house?’ And all of a sudden, you have a young man who feels himself mesmerized and caught up in a situation which he would never have accepted in the past.”
“It’s awful,” Orsi said. “There is no word to explain how sad I am to have to speak to you like this tonight.”
“Like brings on like”
The situation the Church is in, he believes, has been caused by tolerance of, and therefore the proliferation of, sexually active homosexuals in the priesthood.
“Once you begin to allow homosexual behavior in the seminaries, the heterosexual people, they leave. And it becomes a very comfortable situation for those people who are psycho-sexually confused, immature or have decided that they are indeed homosexual,” Orsi said.
The first lesson in organization theory is that “like brings on like”, and so the boss brings “on people who are like him”, the priest explained.
“So religious orders have a high number of homosexuals,” he said. “Chancery offices have a high number of people who are like the boss in some places. And of course some seminaries have gained a reputation as a place where homosexuals can feel comfortable.”
Orsi shared that he had read that 10% of priests have homosexual proclivities, in contrast to 2% of the general population. There were gasps in the congregation after he revealed that it is believed 40% of bishops are themselves homosexuals.
“Now this is dangerous territory I’m treading on,” said the priest. “I’ve been there before. And if I don’t tell you the truth, well, I have to answer to God. You get to my age… you worry about what’s coming.”
As well as demanding resignations of high-ranking clerics, including--perhaps--the pope, laypeople should pray for the Church but also take charge of her clean-up because, Orsi said, priests won’t.
“You know why?” he asked. “It’s their job. It’s their meal ticket. Nobody wants to lose their job. Nobody wants to be on the outs with the people who are on the ins.”
“Some priests have to be white martyrs”
Nevertheless, he said, there have to be priests who are willing to be “white martyrs”--martyrs who aren’t necessarily killed for the faith, but who are made to suffer.
“Some priests have to be white martyrs,” Orsi stated. “Speak the truth, take the consequences. You know that God will take care of those faithful to him.”
Saying that the mess would not be cleared up in his or his congregation’s lifetimes, Orsi nevertheless ended his homily with a message of hope:
“The Church IS the Bride of Christ,” he said. “The Church will be purified--in God’s time. And when Christ comes again, he will lead His spotless Bride and present her to His Father. And those who will be faithful will live with Him forever.”