Priest begs US bishops to use upcoming meeting to restore ‘holy order’ to priesthood
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The prevailing atmosphere of the Catholic Church is currently “one of unholy disorder,” a well-known U.S. priest has said, “brought about by the very ones ordained to bring Holy Order.”
One of the primary functions of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the office of Christ conferred upon bishops and priests is the keeping of order in the Church through governing, teaching, and sanctifying, Msgr. Charles Pope said. And a bishop is further designated the leader of a local area or diocese.
But, “by any reasonable measure,” Msgr. Pope said, those in the Holy Orders of the Church are doing “terribly.”
“Indeed, some of the gravest disorder is to be found within the very ranks of Holy Orders,” he stated. “There is a shocking yet persistent picture of disorder, confusion, and denial up to the highest ranks, both nationally and internationally.”
Pope begged the U.S. bishops “to hear a cry of the heart,” as they prepare for their Fall General Assembly next week. Not only from him as a priest, he said, “but from so many of the faithful who must live with the disorder in the Church that we who are in Holy Orders have every obligation to correct.”
“Our credibility is nearly nonexistent,” he wrote in his most recent National Catholic Register column.
“The Catholic faith is outright betrayed and denied by renegade bishops - even whole conferences of bishops - and heads of religious orders,” the priest of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said.
While Pope did not name particular bishops, there are a number in the U.S., numerous among them Francis appointees, who are affirmative in regard to LGBT lifestyles in conflict with Church principles.
Msgr. Pope got to the heart of most of the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, stating, “In the seminaries and within the priesthood, homosexual predation by an apparent network of priests has gone on for years along with cover-ups, denials, and secret payouts.”
“The Holy Father himself is surrounded by questionable figures who are at the very heart of the current crises,” he stated. “The faithful are dismayed by the chaos.”
“Synods sow confusion and division rather than clarity or unity,” Msgr. Pope said as well.
“Teaching is on holiday, silence in the face of error is rampant, and listening without limit is called “magisterial,” he said. “Ambiguous euphemisms that violate Catholic anthropology, doctrine, and sacred tradition are adopted uncritically.”
His words likely refer to both the just concluded Youth Synod and its preceding Synod on the Family.
There was an insertion of problematic language surrounding sexuality and Church governance into the Youth Synod’s documents. That Synod was also controversial for an apparent absence of focus on delivering Church teaching to young people and for what appeared to be an effort to give Synod documents magisterial authority.
Various bishops’ conferences worldwide have used the ambiguity in parts of Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia, promulgated from the Synod on the Family, to allow Communion for Catholics living in so-called “irregular unions.”
Another example Monsignor stated was that, “There are wandering 'celebrity priests' who promote the LBGT agenda without any reference to repentance or chastity,” evoking LGBT-affirming Father James Martin.
The Monsignor stated that “legitimate questions and requests for needed clarifications are met with silence,” likely referring to the five dubia proposed by four cardinals to Pope Francis in 2016 to clarify the ambiguities of Amoris Laetitia. Those questions remain unanswered to this day. The Monsignor was also likely referring to the fact Francis has yet to address charges in former Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s written testimonies that the pope and other senior prelates covered for accused serial sexual predator Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.
Open dissent at Catholic colleges, liturgical abuses, financial scandals, and declining Mass attendance also made Msgr. Pope’s list of examples of the crisis in which the Church finds herself.
Repentance and recommitment by clergy to the Lord’s doctrinal and moral teaching is the only path forward, he said, this, and calling sin by its proper name.
“We must speak no less plainly than did our Lord and His apostles, who used words like sodomy, fornication, adultery, greed, hatred, divorce and heresy,” said Msgr. Pope. “Resorting to vague terms like woundedness, clericalism, and abuse of power only diminishes our credibility. People can see right through such obfuscation.”
He concluded with a call for restoral of order to the Lord’s Church, and for people to pray and fast for the bishops as they prepare for their upcoming meeting.
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