US bishop: Church is ‘divided’ because of bishops who ‘compromise’ on morality
SPOKANE, Washington, March 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A wide-ranging interview with the Spokane Inlander makes it clear why Bishop Thomas Daly – who followed now-Cardinal Blase Cupich as the bishop of Spokane – is referred to by some as the “Anti-Cupich.”
Cupich has made a name for himself as one of the most pro-homosexual, left-wing prelates in the Catholic Church, while Bishop Daly stands up for Catholic orthodoxy.
The messages from these two stand in stark opposition to each other.
The ‘arrogance’ of some bishops
“An archbishop said to me a couple years ago – he's an East Coast archbishop, he was ordained in the early '70s – he said, ‘I've never seen the church this divided in my life.’And this is a man who lived through the craziness in the late '60s and '70s in the church,” Daly said in the new interview. “And I would agree to that.”
“I believe the church is divided because we have people who want to compromise – and I’m talking about bishops – fundamental principles of morality that the church has remained very clear and steadfast on,” he explained. “The church, when it’s arrogant, is sinful. When it’s humble it grows in its holiness. And I believe the attitude of certain bishops and beyond has been one of arrogance.”
“What does the church need to do? We need to be truthful. I don’t like the word ‘transparent.’ It sounds like our ad agency, our PR firm, polished us up,” said Daly. “We all understand the meaning of ‘truth.’”
The disintegration of Church authority, a crisis of confidence
The bishop addressed the reticence of some of his fellow bishops to proclaim the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
“I think there’s a reluctance of certain bishops to teach what we believe is essential to society, because they have been afraid [of the impact of the abuse scandal],” said Daly. “‘Who are you to tell us that life is sacred, when some of you have harmed children yourself or have allowed priests to have harmed children?’”
“It was a crisis of confidence to step forward as moral teachers of the faith,” declared the Spokane bishop.
“An example where this was really obvious was in Massachusetts. Boston was the ground zero in ‘02 of the scandal, that lead to the resignation of Cardinal Law,” noted Daly. “The whole issue of gay marriage really flowed out of Massachusetts. The belief was the church’s moral authority to speak on moral issues was seriously compromised by the abuse scandal in Massachusetts. The people who thought the church was preventing legalization of gay marriage and abortion, suddenly, the floodgates opened up, and the church had no moral authority in people’s minds.”
Clerical sexual misconduct: weakness, evil, ‘diabolical’
Daly also addressed the “diabolical” elements of clerical sexual abuse, and other possible contributing factors to priestly misconduct.
“The sexual misconduct of the clergy, it may be caused by weakness. It may be use of drugs and alcohol and loneliness. It may be, in fact, evil and diabolical,” said Daly.
“There was a priest in California who would take kids out to his summer place, get them drunk, rape them, and then make them serve mass the next day,” he recounted. “A lawyer who was initially asked to defend him said, ‘I can’t. This man’s evil.’ I believe that case is evil.”
“There is a diabolical element to this, I think, because a church weakened is a church who cannot proclaim the Gospel,” he asserted.
Sexual orientation of priests
Perhaps the most reassuring statement from Bishop Daly – and a sure sign of our times – was not about Church teaching, but about his personal life: “If I wasn’t a priest I would have married and probably have five kids and I’d probably be a prosecuting attorney.”
Bishop Daly’s strong declaration comes at a time when many Catholics wonder about not only the sexual orientation of the priests in their parishes, schools, and ministries, but about their masculinity. He explained why priests who choose to be transparent about their same-sex attraction, even if they are chaste, do the Church, their parishes, and themselves no favors:
The belief is and the experience has been, when they speak about that from the pulpit, there’s an assumption that people make that they’re sexually active. I was talking to a priest in California, he said, a priest was in the pulpit, and he was saying, ‘When God did not give me the man of my dreams, I decided to become a priest.’ There was a security guard at the church who said, ‘I’m not Catholic, father, but I don’t know if that’s something that I want to be hearing from a priest from the pulpit.’ And if that’s his motive for becoming a priest? If that’s his motive, for becoming a priest?
A priest has to be a credible father. That’s that quality I look for. If a priest is defining himself by his sexuality, I think that’s not an integrated sexuality.
“The issue about homosexuality in the priesthood is that an individual who defines himself by his sexuality, and is not supportive of the church's teaching on the call to chastity, marriage between a man and a woman, that becomes a problem,” said Daly. “You’re asked to teach what the church believes.”
Bishop Daly is a strong defender of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, whose surprise testimony published last August blew the lid off the Vatican’s role in covering up the Theodore McCarrick sex scandal.
“To the ones [Viganò] spoke about, look at the way they never address what he said,” observed Daly. “They just try to destroy him personally. I find that very troubling. I look at those guys who focus on what he raised, and not the person of Archbishop Viganò.”
Daly said that he agrees with Archbishop Viganò that the homosexual networks operating within the Catholic Church must be eradicated.
“I know that there have been situations – and I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about this – there are certain diocese and religious communities where there is a clique that runs things,” continued Daly. “Are they defined by their sexuality? They may very well be.”
“The rector when I was in the seminary said, if there’s a gay subculture in a presbyterate or seminary, then the clandestine behavior leads to other clandestine behavior,” said Daly. “You’re secretly living a double-life. And that is a recipe for disaster.”
The Church is now called to holiness and reformation
“We have gone through a period of time – for whatever reason: weakness, moral relativism, sin, even evil – that’s not the church that Christ founded,” said Daly. “Yes, it can be sinful, because we’re weak human beings. But sin cannot drive or shame or cover-up the issue.”
“I have seen how important the Catholic faith is in the lives of people” and “how much good the church does,” yet “there’s a whole group of people who say, ‘You want me to be part of that? That group of degenerates? Who hurt our kids? Who lie about it? Who take our money?’” said Daly. “And then they never come to know Christ as savior.”
“That’s when it hits me [that] the church needs a call to holiness and a reformation.”