Vatican theologian: ‘Clericalism’ is ‘smokescreen’ hiding homosexuality as abuse crisis’ real cause
March 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Homosexuality, not clericalism, is at the root of the abuse crisis the Catholic Church is facing, and especially the “Obama-era” style of thought that adult homosexual relations are not sinful: this is the gist of an interview given by a prominent Vatican theologian, Monsignor Nicola Bux, to the Italian daily La Verità.
The lively exchange between journalist Alessandro Rico and Don Nicola Bux was published in La Verità's February 25 edition. Monsignor Bux is a consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and a professor of liturgy and sacramental theology at the Theology Institute of Bari, Italy. Bux has been particularly outspoken over the last years regarding controversial statements and actions of the Pope.
In his most recent interview, Monsignor Bux insisted upon the specifically homosexual nature of a large proportion – 80 percent – of abuse cases in the Church: “Speaking about clericalism and pedophilia amounts to putting up a smokescreen,” he said.
Stating that “the number of homosexual clerics is much lower than people believe” – “less than 2 percent of the total” according to a study by the Congregation for the Clergy – Bux added that the inflated figures put forward in the press are “propaganda for the normalization of homosexuality.”
“Therapy” is necessary for homosexual clerics, he argued, suggesting that the problem today is not presenting the homosexual tendency itself as disordered, even in within the Church.
He also explained why in view of the truth of human nature — as created by God and proclaimed by the Church —, “sexual orientation does not exist.”
Bux added that true clericalism today lies in “the avoidance of confrontation and debate” with those cardinals who “guard the Catholic faith handed down by the apostles.”
Read a LifeSite translation of the full interview with Msgr. Bux below.
La Verità (LV): Don Bux, the interpretation given by the Pope regarding abuse is clear: it is not the fault of homosexual priests, but of clericalism. What do you think of that?
Monsignor Nicola Bux (Bux): Clericalism is a term that is inadequate to explain the issue of abuse.
Bux: The Center for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University has explained that one should not speak of pedophilia, that is, an unhealthy attraction towards pre-pubescent children, but of ephebophilia, an attraction towards youngsters who have reached puberty or have passed puberty.
LV: What does homosexuality have to do with this?
Bux: The authors of the study add that this type of attraction regards homosexual persons in 80 percent of the cases. Therefore, speaking about clericalism and pedophilia amounts to putting up a smokescreen.
LV: But if so, why doesn't the word “homosexuality” appear among the 21 points for reflection that were distributed at the Vatican Summit?
Bux: Consider that the present pontificate started in the era of Barack Obama, the era of love is love, of homosexuals free to love each other as they wish, and in front of whom it is prohibited to speak about therapy…
LV: I beg your pardon: do homosexual priests need therapy?
Bux: At the press conference last Thursday, Bishop Charles Scicluna said that generalizing about a certain category, like that of the homosexuals, is not legitimate. And that homosexuality does not predispose to sin; rather, concupiscence takes on the inclination.
LV: What does that have to do with it?
Bux: Concupiscence is the inclination towards evil [an inclination we experience in our] human nature. Because of this, love uses the other for its own pleasure.
LV: Right. And so?
Bux: In the case of homosexuality, the person who is the object of that type of love is not truly loved, but desired according to the love that the subject feels for himself. That is where the moral problem lies.
LV: Is homosexual love not love?
Bux: It is disordered love.
LV: Then I will return to the first question: how should one act regarding a homosexual priest or seminarian?
Bux: It is necessary to assess the stage of what the Catechism defines as a “disorder.” In all cases, admitting persons with such a tendency in a seminary is forbidden.
LV: Tell me whether I heard correctly: should the psychological test proposed at the Vatican Summit be used to identify homosexual seminarians in order to exclude them?
Bux: At least on the basis of the Ratio for seminaries of 2016…
LV: In his book Sodoma, Frédéric Martel maintains that in the Church the gay lobby is so pervasive that homosexuality is now tolerated, at least as long it does not lead to pedophilia.
Bux: Based on a number of studies, for example those of the Dutch psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg, there are a lot fewer homosexual persons than is claimed by propaganda for the normalization of homosexuality claims.
LV: Are there fewer homosexuals than we believe?
Bux: Yes. And therefore, even the number of homosexual clerics is much lower than people believe. A few years ago, the Congregation for the Clergy considered that the proportion of homosexual clerics was less than 2 percent of the total.
LV: Is Martel wrong?
Bux: Martel’s thesis is profoundly wrong, but he has a definite goal: to prove that homosexuality is so widespread that it is useless to fight against it. On the contrary, it should be legitimized, somewhat like they are trying to do with drugs.
LV: One of the watchwords at the Vatican Summit was “zero tolerance”. Isn't there a risk that the pressure of public opinion will lead to summary judgments?
Bux: The expression “zero tolerance” is anti-evangelical. If the Lord were to have used this criterion towards humanity, humanity would have disappeared from the face of the earth.
LV: Are you saying it's bad to be too harsh with abusers?
Bux: “Zero tolerance” is a politically correct slogan that is repeated, parrot-like – under the pressure of public opinion – in order to prove that the Church has seized the sword and is cleaning up.
LV: So what should the Church be doing?
Bux: The Church should be patient and prudent. It should not evade the truth. Both the Old and the New Testament depict homosexual relations as grave depravity, because they are against nature. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange used to say that one has to be uncompromising as regards doctrine, because one believes, but also understanding, in just proportion, because one loves. And he would add, ironically: “The Church absolves sinners, the Church’s enemies absolve sins.”
LV: Do you think it’s possible to show understanding to abusers?
Bux: They use so many expressions today like “welcoming”, “accompanying”… What does that mean? It means saving the person from the disorder in which he or she has been living, and if that person has committed crimes, to mete out a just punishment. That is why therapy is important…
LV: Ah, so therapy did have something to do with it?
Bux: Yes. I’m surprised that therapy isn’t ever being talked about. That is because if Obama’s agenda has been accepted, then homosexuality has been normalized.
LV: Nevertheless, on the one hand they want to normalize homosexuality, which is the breeding ground of abuse. On the other, severe penalties are being asked for the abusers themselves.
Bux: Exactly. Mgr Scicluna should explain why, if homosexual relations are not sinful, the Vatican has been so harsh with ex-archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick.
LV: McCarrick was punished after the investigation by the New York Times.
Bux: That’s a fact.
LV: Does the Pope move in the same direction as media winds blow?
Bux: He seems to me to be at the mercy of the conflicting pressures of public opinion which on the one side is horrified – who knows for how long still – when something is done to children, but which on the other side does not want to consider homosexual tendencies immoral.
LV: Meanwhile, at the same time McCarrick was being reduced to the lay state, Pope Francis named a protégé of his, Kevin Farrell, as the new Camerlengo. He is very close to the pro-LGBT Jesuit, James Martin.
Bux: Many have pointed at this contradiction. The point is that a number of pastors of the Church have abandoned the truth of the Gospel, perhaps out of fear. This is the root of the crisis.
LV: Will the Pope really clean things up?
Bux: One shouldn’t be imputing motives. But I don’t understand [how] a confrontation hasn’t been opened with that part of the Catholic world which, regarding the question, intervened by hitting the nail on the head. This is where true clericalism is to be found.
LV: In what sense?
Bux: In the avoidance of confrontation and debate. In acting like ostriches, who put their heads in the sand.
LV: Are you referring to the confrontation with conservative cardinals, who attributed the cause of the abuse to homosexuality?
Bux: They are not conservative cardinals, but those who “guard the Catholic faith handed down by the apostles,” holding together, in a Catholic way, doctrine, morals and praxis, without giving in to fashion. Something comes to mind…
LV: Tell me.
Bux: You think that, referring to homosexuality, the word “orientation” is fashionable even in the Church.
LV: Is that a mistake?
Bux: It is not an expression of Catholic morals! It’s an expression of the homosexualist lobby!
LV: What do you mean?
Bux: Sexual orientation does not exist.
LV: It doesn’t exist?
Bux: God created man and woman. Either God is the supreme establisher of order in creation, while man’s sin creates disorder, or objective order does not exist and all are free to construe it as they see fit. If in the Church, the teaching that God has created a clearly defined nature, made of the masculine and the feminine, were to be given up, and if it reduced itself to speaking about “orientation,” a fundamental principle of the Catholic truth would fall.
LV: What do you think of the “political” Francis, the one who had himself photographed with the badge “Let’s open the doors”?
Bux: That’s folklore. The true question is different.
LV: What is it?
Bux: It’s about knowing which should prevail in the Church: politics or faith. If the faith should prevail, then the Church must also accept being persecuted, in order to reaffirm the truth of the Gospel.
LV: So the Pope is mistaken in asking for everyone to be welcomed?
Bux: In reality, if you take all his statements into account, you won’t find an invitation to indiscriminate welcoming. Let’s say his comments are a bit peronist.
Bux: Yes. You know that peronism is the capacity to put together one thing and its opposite, according to circumstances.
LV: Playing both sides of the fence.
Bux: Always regarding the consensus on not losing. The point is to know up to what point this approach is still winning. If you look at what’s happening in Italy, in Europe, in Latin America, I’d say it’s not.
LV: And what do you think about the environmentalist turn of the Church?
Bux: It’s another one of those functional items of the Obama agenda. As things are going, the Church will find itself in a Galileo affair in reverse. Scientists are divided. And the Church has no competence in the case.
LV: Father Antonio Spadaro says we need “democratic catholicism.”
Bux: Putting catholicism and democracy together is an oxymoron.
LV: No less?
Bux: Certainly. What does democratic catholicism mean? When you speak of the Catholic Church, you’re speaking of the people of God, hierarchically arranged. The Church isn’t a democracy in the least!