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Vatican Investigation of US Seminaries to be Led by Strongly Pro-Life Bishop

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WASHINGTON, August 23, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Catholic News Service has announced that Rome is set to start its long-awaited “apostolic visitation,” or systematic investigation and evaluation of the formation offered to prospective priests in seminaries. With many bishops studiously ignoring what has become the ecclesiastical equivalent of the elephant in the drawing room, Rome may be planning to force the issue at last.
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  The last Vatican-led visitation was seven years in duration beginning in 1981. The report given to Pope John Paul II, according to some observers, amounted to a whitewash in which the theological and moral dissent being taught was deliberately ignored or hidden.
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  This time, after years of mounting sexual abuse scandals in which certain bishops were implicated in a massive cover-up, and after some dioceses have declared bankruptcy and closed parishes to pay off settlements, Catholics may be hopeful that the real issuesÂwill at last be addressed. The Vatican has named Edwin F. O’Brien Archbishop for the Military Services as the coordinator for the project.
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  O’Brien’s may be a familiar name to pro-life Catholics, especially those in the military, for his letter of 2000 that forcefully upheld the Church’s teaching that the right to life has primacy over other social concerns. Writing on the priorities for Catholic voters, he said, “One subject stands out as preeminent—foundational to every other. And that is the sacred dignity of human life and the right to life itself !” (emphasis in the original).
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“Nowhere,” wrote O’Brien, “is the disregard for human life more heinous than in abortion and the increasing acceptance of euthanasia… abortion and euthanasia strike at the foundation of every other human right.”
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“Laws that promote the right to kill innocent human life are unjust, not to be obeyed and, surely, not to be promoted by any elected official who holds human life sacred,” he wrote.
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  Rome has also specified that the visitation will be carried out in the light of John Paul’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor which highlighted the necessity of adherence to the fullness of Catholic moral teaching.
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  Faithful Catholics in the US have said for years that the sex abuse scandals have been caused or seriously exacerbated by the laxity in formation of priests in seminaries which, in the 1960’s adopted a more secularist and psychological approach to moral formation.
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  The problem of accepting homosexuals into the priesthood has become so common that it is now widely and openly considered a “gay profession.” The USCCB’s own report on the sex abuse crisis showed that since 1950 over 80% of victims of clerical sexual abuse were male.
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  Read Catholic News Service coverage:
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0504795.htm
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  Read Archbishop O’Brien’s letter:
http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/001001archdiocesemilitaryservices.htm

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