NewsMon Mar 13, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
New Society of Faithful Catholics Forms to Confront Priestly Sexual Abuse
By John-Henry Westen
MINNEAPOLIS, March 9, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It seems like all hell is breaking loose in the archdiocese of St. Paul - Minneapolis.Â In recent weeks 27 priests signed a petition against Archbishop Harry Flynn’s backing for a measure to protect the traditional definition of marriage (https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/mar/06031006.html ).Â The diocese is refusing to release those names and it has not publicly ordered the priests to be silent about their heterodox views, but it has, at the same time, silenced a faithful priest who objected to the graphic sex-ed program advocated by the archdiocese (https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/mar/06030602.html ).Â
Like many dioceses in North America, the archdiocese has been plagued by the scandal of priestly sexual abuse.Â The diocese is unique however, in that a movement of faithful Catholic lay men has chosen to publicly confront the scandal, not by demanding - as do most such groups - that the Catholic Church become more liberal and abandon priestly celibacy, but by direct confrontation and demands for faithfulness.
The group’s website explains, “For an atheistic culture, celibacy is incomprehensible - and unnatural. But for Catholics, we know our nature is fulfilled by love for God our Father. Our purity codes could not match the splendor of our message if they were easy. Celibacy is difficult, but it marks the priesthood with a spiritual focus, pursued in imitation and anticipation of Christ. Our priests take on a difficult discipline, but it allows them to lead the laity in other difficult disciplines that the world says can’t be done - daily prayer, communal fasting and worship, faithful marriage and teenage virginity.”
The Dan O’Connell society, named after a father allegedly killed by a priest withÂhomosexual tendencies who had reportedly sexually abused boys, is an organization of men, of fathers, says founder Dr. David Pence.Â The organization has compiled evidence, not only on abusive priests but also, on the men in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church most responsible for allowing and even facilitating such abuse.Â
The group has called on three prominent priests in the diocese to resign, and hoping to avoid unnecessary public scandal, the society has requested they resign voluntarily before they are forced to act.Â By acting, the society means to publish a white paper which would reveal publicly the details of the misdeeds of the three men named.Â That white paper is to be revealed, if necessary, near the end of Lent.Â
The most prominent figure on the list is the diocesan Vicar General, Rev. Kevin McDonough, who prior to his appointment as Vicar General in 1992 was the diocesan Chancellor and the Rector of the local seminary.Â
Rev. Dale Korogi, who took over from McDonough as Rector of St John Vianney Seminary from 1990 until 1992 and is currently the pastor of Christ the King parish, has also been asked to resign.Â Finally, Rev. Jerome Boxleitner, who headed Catholic Charities and St Joseph Orphanage in the diocese and is now retired, has been asked to end his relationship with the diocese.
The society admits it is unpleasant to name names but states its case this way: “It is distasteful to name names, but it is individuals who are responsible for the corruption of the priesthood, not the Church itself. It is better to name the traitors than to dishonor Christ’s reputation and the purity of the ancient priesthood.”
Dr. Pence told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview that it is common practice in dioceses where priests are found to be sexual abusers to place those abusive priests in administrative positions so as to ‘keep them out of harms way’.Â However, says Pence, those positions are often the judicial positions which would deal with priestly sexual abuse.Â
The society’s founding document explains, “Presently we are granting abusers lifetime employment in the very judicial positions needed for clergy reform and diocesan justice. Putting these abusers in ‘administrative positions’ is like the President appointing a rapist to the Supreme Court as a way to keep him out of the general population.”
An example from the archdiocese is the case of Rev. Joe Wajda, who was appointed Judicial Vicar from 1998-2002 after having reached a civil settlement in a publicly revealed case of sexual abuse against young males.Â
Dr. Pence told LifeSiteNews.com that the society sees the destructive homosexual subculture within the priesthood as tied to feminism and its attack on patriarchy.Â Thus, the society aims to re-establish that fraternity among men - a fraternity of fathers - spiritual and biological.Â
“As Catholic fathers we observe the devious and immature homosexual cliques that have infiltrated so many of the diocesan chanceries and seminaries of our Church in America,” says the founding document. “We want the collar back. We have taught our children to respect ‘Father,’ and we want to be assured that Father will protect them. Fathers do not have sex with their children. Fathers do not have sex with other men. These are the oldest taboos in human history, and they are central to the purity code that defines the Catholic family.”
These men are tough, and their solutions are manly and straight forward.Â“The priests of every diocese know the offenders far better than any legal system. Instead of naming and removing known predators, we set up a national ‘name that body part’ program for Catholic grade school children. Instead of using our own church judicial structures to aggressively search out offenders, we park criminals in those positions and wait for the civil legal system to compensate a tiny fraction of the exploited. Instead of a priestly brotherhood fostering protective fathers, the priesthood has become a neutered bureaucracy,” says the website.
Watch for news from the Dan O’Connell society in coming weeks.
See the website: