This article was originally published in Polish in Fronda 63 (2012), pp. 128-160
See LifeSiteNews summary article of this document.
For several weeks now Poland has witnessed a heated discussion on the “huge homosexual underground in the Church”, provoked by the most recent book by F. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski entitled Chodzi mi tylko o prawdę (Truth Is All That Matters).
Some deny any such underground exists, and put forward theses profoundly inconsistent with the teaching of the Church, both being at odds with truth. The problem is serious to the extent I feel I must join in the discussion as well, because I also care about truth, and first of all about good, the fundamental wellbeing of man and of the Church – the basic community in which he lives.
Any discussion should have as its starting point the basic, axiomatic assumption that any one of us can know with certainty only a part, and that part is likely to be partially wrong. That should result in any opinions being presented with humility, and the arguments of partners or opponents being listened to with attention. That way we may best benefit from the parts of knowledge each of us has, and correct them. They will always remain only parts, but they will be bigger and purified from errors to a greater extent. That is the blessing of an honest dialogue, and it is in this spirit that I want to proceed.
My feeling of duty to take a stance results from my involvement in the philosophical criticism of homosexual ideology and homosexual propaganda (abbreviated to homoideology and homopropaganda), which I have dealt with for several years now to the order and with encouragement from many cardinals and bishops. In doing that, I have accumulated what is probably the biggest Polish collection of writings on the topic, one of the largest collections of data. This has been accomplished with the help of many friends and allies, both lay people and clergymen, university professors and practicing physicians, as well as a large number of people I had not known before, but who, encouraged by the opinions I have expressed and having read my articles, wished to add to and correct my knowledge. Thus, I have received news, results of scientific studies, and official documents from both around Poland and various regions of the world, particularly the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Holland and Italy, first of all from the Holy See.
I began my work as a struggle against a deadly, external threat to Christianity, but then gradually discovered that the division is not that simple. The enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it as well, sometimes perfectly camouflaged, like the Trojan Horse. We are dealing not only with the problem of homoideology and a homolobby outside the Church, but with an analogous problem within it as well, where homoideology takes the form of homoheresy. One does not even need to study the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance, which is only one of many sources. These facts are self-evident also in those countries which have not heard of any such Institute at all. It is enough to collect reliable information from lay and Catholic media concerning the recent years, and add to it the knowledge of human nature, some logical thinking, put two and two together and study documents which present the Church’s response to these facts.
A GLOBAL PHENOMENON
We should first expose the common lie presented by the media. They keep talking about paedophilia among clergymen, while it is most often the case that the problem is ephebophilia, which is a perversion consisting in adult, homosexual men being attracted not to children, but to pubescent and adolescent boys. It is a typical deviation related to homosexuality. Basic knowledge about that reality includes the fact that more than 80 percent of cases involving sexual abuse by clergymen reported in the U.S.A. were cases of ephebophilia, not paedophilia! That fact has been carefully hidden and ignored, as it reveals particularly well the hypocrisy of the homolobby in both the world and the Church. It is all the more important that it be exposed.
In other countries, the situation is similar, it is therefore important to note that scandals involving sexual abuse which have shaken the global Church were mostly the work of homosexual clergymen. The Church has paid a very painful price for the tremendous offences which have been exposed, losing much of its credibility. This has caused dramatic difficulties both in spiritual and material terms in many dioceses, monasteries and seminars, with churches becoming empty in entire provinces of the Church. It is estimated that the Church in the U.S.A. has had to pay more than one and a half billion dollars in damages so far. None of that would have been possible without the existence of a significant underground, of which prosecutors usually reveal only a small part, the tip of the iceberg.
The scandals have also involved those holding the highest offices. In Poland, for instance, Archbishop Juliusz Paetz was dismissed from his office as Bishop of Poznań in 2002. In Ireland, so similar to Poland in spiritual and historical terms, so Catholic, several bishops have been removed from office in the recent years, including John Magee, Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne, dismissed in 2010 on the grounds of molestation and covering up the offences of paedophilia and ephebophilia committed by 19 priests in his diocese. Before that, Fathers Paetz and Magee had worked together in Vatican for many years as part of the closest, most influential associates of the last three Popes.
The lengths to which militant homosexuals in cassocks can go can be observed in the behaviour of the particularly “liberal” and “open-minded” Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who ruled the diocese of Milwaukee, U.S.A., in the years 1977-2002. He openly admitted to being gay and to having had many partners in life. Throughout the term of his office – for 25 years – he continuously opposed the Pope and the Holy See on many issues, particularly criticizing and rejecting the teaching of the Magisterium on homosexuality. He supported and protected active gays in his diocese, helping them avoid liability for sexual offences they repeatedly committed. At leaving his office, he defrauded about a half million dollars to support his ex-partner.
One of the most influential people in the Church of his time, Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ, turned out to be bisexual and to have perpetrated serious sexual offences against many members and underage students in his own congregation, including even his own son…
All four went entirely unpunished for a long time, despite many complaints and charges against them sent to Rome for years. Only direct contact with the Pope or publications in the media finally helped. Otherwise, everything was blocked at lower levels of local or Vatican hierarchy.
It was similar in many other cases. For instance, several years passed before Bishops Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa in California (1999), Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero in Argentina (2005), Georg Georg Müller of Trondheim and Oslo in Norway (2009), Raymond John Lahey of Antigonish in Canada (2009), Roger Vangheluw of Brughia in Belgium (2010), John C. Favalora of Miami (2010) and Anthony J. O'Connell of Palm Beach in Florida (2010) were removed from office for active engagement in homosexual paedophilia or ephebophilia.
Similar steps had to be taken with respect to many other bishops who concealed or covered up such offences. The same applied to many, sometimes very influential priests. Not only the number of serious sexual offences proves the power of that underground, but also – to an ever greater extent – the degree to which the process of selecting candidate bishops has been disturbed, who were allowed to make a great “career” in the Church despite their having perpetrated such offences, despite leading a double life. This is further confirmed by the efficiency with which such cases were covered up and concealed, the often insurmountable blockade of all attempts made within the Church to protect the wronged, to strive for elementary truth and justice.
It has been so difficult at times to take appropriate, self-evident measures against homosexuals, so many strange difficulties have arisen, and even any success in that area is limited, partial and temporary. We witness a terrible phenomenon – it turns out the comfort of homosexual offenders is more important than the fate of children and youth, the fate of the whole Church. If that was done deliberately, that would be high treason, the Church would be guilty of betraying the youth!
This can also be seen in the fear and confusion of the clergy, particularly in certain dioceses and congregations, when faced with that topic – they escape into silence, unable to articulate even elementary statements on the teaching of the Church on the subject. What are they afraid of? Where does that fear in entire groups of mature, adult men come from? And where do the neuroses, heart diseases and other complaints come from in priests who nevertheless try to oppose such phenomena, especially to protect children and youth? They must be afraid of some influential lobby which wields its power and which they may fall into disfavour with.
In order for such evil to be concealed and tolerated, it is necessary that the right people hold key positions, and that not only a homolobby, but a homoclique or a homomafia is created. Indeed, that is what the present Polish Minister of Justice, Jarosław Gowin, called that group when referring to the scandal of homosexual abuses perpetrated by priests in the Diocese of Płock, the offences of molestation against young people and seminarians, and the covering up of such facts. He said that when he intervened in the Church in the case of Archbishop Paetz, he had the impression he was dealing with a mafia, brutally negating even the most obvious principles and facts.
Indeed, that is what the present Polish Minister of Justice, Jarosław Gowin, called that group when referring to the scandal of homosexual abuses perpetrated by priests in the Diocese of Płock, the offences of molestation against young people and seminarians, and the covering up of such facts. He said that when he intervened in the Church in the case of Archbishop Paetz, he had the impression he was dealing with a mafia, brutally negating even the most obvious principles and facts.
Similar references to mafia have recently been made by F. Charles Scicluna, the main person responsible for sorting out such cases in the Church, a “prosecutor” in the Disciplinary Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He spoke during the symposium entitled “Towards Healing and Renewal” held in February 2012 in Rome, devoted to the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. On behalf of Benedict XVI, he strongly condemned not only the perpetrators, but also their superiors in the Church who covered up their deeds, and called for a strong opposition to such behaviour, open cooperation with the police, taking the path of cleansing set out by the Holy See.
The more organized offenders are successful in protecting their own interests, the more successful they are in bringing harm to others and in destroying the credibility of the Church. This way, a powerful impulse towards dechristianization comes forward from within the Church itself.
A particularly valuable comment in the discussion has been made by F. Professor Józef Augustyn SJ, who said: “The problem, in my opinion, is not “in them” but in our reaction “to them”. How do we, ordinary priests and superiors, react to their behaviour? Do we yield to fear, step back, call for silence, pretend the problem does not exist? Or do we face the problem, are explicit about it, take away their influential positions, remove them from their offices? They should not work in seminars or hold any important positions. If the homosexual lobby exists and has anything to say in the structures of the Church, it is because we give in, withdraw, pretend, and so on. …
The Holy See … has given us a clear sign, a direction on how such problems should be solved. Concealing the behaviour of dishonest persons, which will sooner or later be exposed anyway, destroys the authority of the Church. The faithful spontaneously ask about the reliability of a community which tolerates such arrangements. If we make an a priori assumption that no lobby of homosexual priests has ever existed, exists now or will exist in the future, we actually support the phenomenon. The homosexual lobby of the clergy get off scot-free and become a serious threat“.
THE FORMATION MECHANISM OF HOMO-COMMUNITY
As can be seen from the above examples, that lobby must have been allowed to have its way for a long time for such a situation to have been (and still be) possible. But the normal majority should not be intimidated by a disturbed minority. It is therefore necessary to understand the mechanism allowing that lobby to become so influential.
Everything begins with the fact that it is much more difficult for a seminarian with homosexual tendencies or an established homosexual orientation to become a decent priest. On the one hand, priesthood may appear attractive, seeming an ideal biotope, since he can stay here in his preferred manly company without the need to explain the absence of women in his life. On the contrary, this is, after all, seen as a great sacrifice for the Heavenly Kingdom, giving up the greatest value of marriage (even though he is not marriageable anyway). The situation appears to be very comfortable. Consequently, if no requirements are made of such young men, in particular congregations or dioceses there may be many times more of them than in the world on the average, i.e. many times more than 1.5 percent. Their exact number will depend on how dominating the position they have already achieved is, and how much other clergymen are intimidated or unaware of the significance of the problem.
On the other hand, homosexuality is a wound on the personality which may impair many other functions. Such impairments include distorted relationships with other men, women and children; the habit of constantly pretending, hiding something important in their lives; the pattern of playing a game which prevents honest, deep, emotionally fair relationships with peers and tutors. It also hampers proper understanding and respect for the nature of femininity and marriage as the mystery of the love between a man and a woman. Besides, if a homosexual feels similar desires towards men as a man who is undisturbed in that regard feels towards women, these desires will be constantly aroused in him by the permanent, close presence of the objects of his desire. He finds himself in a situation analogous to that of a normal man who were to live for several years (or for the whole life) under one roof, using the same dormitory and common bathrooms with many attractive women. The likelihood of maintaining chastity in such a situation would rapidly decline. We should respect and try to understand our homosexual brothers to the same extent we respect and try to understand any human being. They often do their best, try, and some of them succeed, live a decent or even a holy life. Objectively, however, it is much, much harder for them, and so they fail much more often.
If, however, they are unable to control their tendencies, and succeed in passing through the sieves of seminarian control, real trouble begins in priesthood or monastic life. They no longer benefit from the presence and control of their supervisors, their freedom is much greater. If they yield to temptation and go down the road of active homosexuality, their situation becomes desperate.
On the one hand, they administer the sacraments, celebrate the Holy Mass every day, deal with the holiest of holy objects; and on the other hand they keep doing the exact opposite, that which is particularly deplorable. This way they “become immune” to that which is higher, that which is holy, their moral life yields to atrophy, going steadily downhill towards fall. The more of that which is higher dies in them, the more room there is for that which is lower – the desire for material, sensual things – money, power, career, luxury and sex. They can hardly be helped, since the highest means of formation, faith and grace have failed.
They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding of a clique or even mafia, aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money. When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds, hardly displaying the spiritual level expected of their office; people who have given themselves away to hypocrisy and are especially prone to blackmailing by the enemies of Christianity. People who never “speak from the heart”, never revealing it for fear of being brought to shame. Instead, they repeat what they have learned by heart, copy that which has been said by others.
Often an atmosphere of hypocrisy and lifelessness can be sensed around them. Pharisaism in its pure form. Even if they do not actively practice homosexuality, as a rule they try to shield and promote even those who do, with much solidarity, ready to “dig in their heels” together with them. This way they prefer their own well-being to the well-being of the community, according to the rule which says: “Let the Church be disgraced, ridiculed and humiliated, as long as myself and “mine” are well-set for life, as long as there is always enough to satisfy us”. “Omerta” in its pure form. This way, however, they may actually achieve a dominating position in many areas of church hierarchy, become a “backroom elite” which actually has tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church. Indeed, they may even prove to be too powerful for honest, well-meaning bishops.
The situation then becomes quite desperate for other priests. New clerical students may, for instance, include the younger partners of such homo-priests. When the vice-chancellor or another superior tries to remove them, they may end up being removed themselves instead of the homo-seminarians. Or, when a vicar tries to protect youth from the parish priest who molests them, it is the vicar and not the parish priest that is disciplined, ostracized and moved elsewhere. He goes through an ordeal for courageously fulfilling his fundamental duty. He may even be blackmailed, humiliated and slandered in the parish or among other priests as a victim of an organized campaign. And when a priest or a religious is molested by a peer or a superior and applies for help and protection to a higher instance, he often finds the office occupied by an even more ardent homosexual.
Along the road, members of the homo-clique can achieve such positions and influence that they come to believe they have extraordinary powers and will go unpunished forever. Their life often becomes a diabolic caricature of priesthood, just like homosexual relationships are a caricature of marriage. As can be learned from the media, for instance, they act like homosexual addicts, becoming more and more unbridled, resorting to violence. They start to molest and abuse even minors. A grievous wrong may result, including murder and suicide.
I learned about Bishop Paetz by accident, from a seminarian who told me, all trembling from emotions and terror, about his having been molested by his own ordinary. He was at a brink of losing faith as well as mental and spiritual integrity. It was not an easy job to convince him that one man is not the whole Church, that such case is yet another reason to become a priest so that something as wonderful as that is not left in the hands of such people. I have heard many similar stories from priests from Łomża and Poznań (where he served as an ordinary) I met during national and international academic symposia. Our interventions at various levels of Church hierarchy were of no avail, however; we encountered a wall that could not be overcome, even in a case as self-evident as that. In the case of a vicar or a catechist, a small part of such revelations would be enough to cause some reaction. In that case, a tremendous commotion in the media and reaching the Pope himself was necessary.
To quote F. Józef Augustyn once again: “The Church does not generate homosexuality, but falls victim to dishonest men with homosexual tendencies, who take advantage of its structures to follow their lowest instincts. Active homosexual priests are masters of camouflage. They are often exposed by accident. … The real threat to the Church are cynical homosexual priests who take advantage of their functions on their own behalf, sometimes in an extraordinarily devious way. Such situations cause great suffering to the Church, the priestly community, the superiors. The problem is indeed a very difficult one.”
THE STRUGGLE OF BENEDICT XVI
Benedict XVI has come to know that type of clergymen well during his long years of work in Vatican. He has repeatedly stressed how shocked he was to learn the extent of the plague of homosexual abuses in the Church, the size of that underground and the terrible damage caused to youth and the Church as a whole. He recalls: “Yes, it is a great crisis, we have to say that. It was upsetting for all of us. Suddenly so much filth. It was really almost like the crater of a volcano, out of which suddenly a tremendous cloud of filth came, darkening and soiling everything, so that above all the priesthood suddenly seemed to be a place of shame and every priest was under the suspicion of being one like that too.”
It was mostly about such clergymen that he referred to while still a Cardinal during the famous Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in 2005, shortly before the death of John Paul II and his own election as Pope: “Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? … how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! … We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25)”.
The Pope also said: “The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church”. He knew what task was awaiting him, and taking office on April 24, 2005, said: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves”.
The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church.
And that is why he took resolute and fast action as Pope. He made cleansing the Church from homosexual abuse and preventing its reoccurrence in the future one of the priorities of his pontificate. He removed compromised clergymen from their offices with much energy. In the very first months following his election, still in 2005, he had an instruction issued to strictly forbid ordaining untreated homosexuals. The instruction was preceded by a letter sent from the Holy See to bishops around the world, ordering that priests with homosexual tendencies be immediately removed from any educational functions at seminars.
A letter from the Congregation for Catholic Education issued in 2008 prohibited their admission to seminars. It says explicitly they may only be admitted after they have been permanently healed. These principles were confirmed in 2010 by a Note from the Vicariate of Rome for the Successor of Saint Peter – a standard for the entire Church. A model to be followed in such cases was also provided by the Pope’s pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland, also in 2010, on serious sins against defenceless children. Just like the current President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, carried out a successful, model inspection in the former GDR, his fellow countryman in the Vatican has been carrying out a thorough, honest, Christian cleansing of the Church. The Pope is also trying not to allow for a similar disaster to happen again in the future by strictly prohibiting the ordaining of homosexually-oriented persons, by preventing the rebirth of that community.
That should be stressed, because in the Polish Church the issue of the relationship between homosexuality and priesthood has been underestimated. It appears that the breakthrough in that matter accomplished by Benedict XVI and the Holy See is not sufficiently understood here. Its results could be summarized as follows:
Instead of a division into active and passive homosexuality, in his official documents the Holy Father introduces a division into temporary homosexual tendencies which occur during puberty, and tendencies which have become deeply rooted. Both forms are an obstacle which precludes holy orders, so the requirements is not merely (usually temporary) freedom from active homosexuality.
Homosexuality is irreconcilable with priestly vocation. Consequently, it is strictly forbidden not only to ordain men having any homosexual tendencies (be it temporary), but even to admit them in seminars.
Temporary homosexual tendencies must be cured even before admission to the first year of studies or the novitiate.
Seminars and monasteries, presbyteries and diocesan curias must be completely free from any forms of homosexuality.
Men with homosexual tendencies who have already been ordained as deacons, priests or bishops remain to be validly ordained, but are called to keep all commandments given by God and the Church. Just like other priests, they should live in purity and desist from any activities harmful to man and the Church, in particular from any rebellion against the Holy Father and the Holy See, or any mafia-like activities.
- Clergymen who suffer from such disorders are strongly encouraged to immediately commence appropriate therapy.
In Benedict XVI’s Light of the World of 2010, we find as an afterword a very important passage about homosexuality and priesthood. These words of the Holy Father are, in a way, a comment on the earlier documents of the Holy See. It seems he is speaking “from the heart”, and is quite explicit:
“Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway. For, in the end, their attitude toward man and woman is somehow distorted, off centre, and, in any case, is not within the direction of creation of which we have spoken.
The Congregation for Education issued a decision a few years ago to the effect that homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity, from the intrinsic nature of priestly being. The selection of candidates to the priesthood must therefore be very careful. The greatest attention is needed here in order to prevent the intrusion of this kind of ambiguity and to head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality”.
The importance of the matter for the Pope and the Holy See is emphasized by the fact that despite a great shortage of priests and new vocations in Western Europe and America, the Church does not want to admit such candidates in its seminars; the grave abuses of homosexual clergymen have already caused too much evil, too many disasters, and have cost too much.
HOMOHERESY IN THE CHURCH
Not everyone wants to accept the above rules. There is resistance to what is taught by the Pope. The homosexual community in the Church defends itself and is on the attack. It also needs an intellectual tool, a justification, and that is why homoideology takes in their minds, words and writings the form of homoheresy.
The most open revolt against the Pope and the Church is headed by some Jesuits in the United States, who openly oppose them and announce that despite the above decisions, they will keep admitting homosexually-oriented seminarians, who are, indeed, especially welcome. They have a long tradition in that vein, for years being the mainstay of homoideology and homoheresy. They take many views of the heretical moral theologian, ex-priest Charles Curran, for their own. They are also under the overwhelming influence of their former fellow friar, F. John McNeill SJ, who founded the pro-homosexual movement called Dignity, and published a book entitled The Church and the Homosexual, where he explicitly rejects the teaching of the Church and adopts homoideology. The book was given an imprimatur by his provincial from New York, and has been republished several times despite being banned by the Vatican. This way, it has become a homosexual bible for many American Jesuits.
McNeill seems to mean more for them than Jesus or Saint Paul, much less the Pope. TheTheological Studies and America papers they publish still uphold and promote pro-homosexual ideas. Consequently, it is estimated they have achieved the highest saturation with homosexuals, way above 30 percent. Gays feel more comfortable with them than ever, while other priests find the specific atmosphere less and less bearable.
It appears as though the Jesuits have replaced their traditional, fourth vow of obedience to the Pope with a fourth vow of arch-disobedience. We should not be particularly surprised or shocked, though, knowing that the clergy is submitted to all influences of their times, including the worst ones. If they are intellectually or morally weak, they are not only subject, but succumb to them. That is one of the basic sources of heresy in the Church, which has already seen so many of them that needed to be exposed and overcome so many times. In the age of fascist ideologies and Marxism, we also had fascist priests and Marxist priests in the Church. Now that the extreme leftists promote homoideology in turn, we naturally have homoideologist, and sometimes even homoheretic priests in the Church.
In Poland, their best known representative is F. Jacek Prusak, SJ, who had been trained by American Jesuits, after all. For eight years now he has taken on the role of a spokesman of the homolobby in the Church, fighting uncompromisingly to defend its interests. His vocabulary and his arguments sometimes seem to be literal quotations from handbooks on homoideology, copied from gay websites. His writings suffer from numerous defects both as to the contents and to logic, but their main goal is always the same: the ultimate apology of homosexuality in general, and homosexual priesthood in particular – no matter how much manipulation is needed to achieve that goal.
Whenever a priest or a lay person talks about what the Church teaches on homosexuality, when they defend and explain it and call for it to be followed, they should expect an immediate, brutal attack from Father Prusak – sometimes even on the pages of particularly anti-Christian papers. In this great struggle fought by the Church against homoideology, he explicitly takes sides with the enemy and excels in it. He was once supported by Father Tadeusz Bartoś OP, even though in a much less aggressive way. Since F. Bartoś left priesthood and his congregation in 2007, he has remained alone in that role. He is the tried-and-tested commentator for the media particularly hostile to the Church in that regard.
In 2005, right after the instruction prohibiting the ordaining of homosexuals was announced, F. J. Prusak published a devastating criticism in a paper whose editors are known for their fanatic propagation of homoideology. Similarly, in his article entitled The Lavender History of the Church, precisely contravening the statements of the Magisterium quoted above, he claims that homosexual orientation does not preclude a candidate for priesthood. He questions the existence of a homolobby in the Church, even though he and his activities are particularly convincing evidence to the contrary. Thus, he continues in the long line of priests who presented views contrary to the teaching of the Church, for which they were promoted in leftist, antichristian media, e.g. F. Michał Czajkowski, ex-Jesuit Stanisław Obirek, and ex-Dominican Tadeusz Bartoś.
One can easily see that, comparing his opinions with those expressed by the Pope quoted above and the documents of the Church mentioned here. One cannot allow, however, for a homoideologist priest to continue his attacks on the teaching of the Church and on the priests and lay people who defend that teaching, for homoideological minority to dominate the normal majority. The way in which Father J. Prusak opposes the Holy Father is inadmissible and scandalous.
This is about the very existence of the Church. Ideology and manipulation must be nipped in the bud, for if more clergymen like Father Prusak appear, it may be too late. The Church may destroy itself from within – just as has already been the case in many places in the West. A Church which contradicts itself, rejects its own teaching, becomes useless and dies – like the Church in Holland. Anything that is self-contradictory is bound to disappear.
Bad theology is deadly dangerous. An incompetent theologian may reduce faith, theology and philosophy to psychology, may infect the organism of the Church with viruses of the enemy’s sick ideas, may pick up and pass on somebody else’s illnesses. That was, for example, the case with the ex-priest Eugene Drewmann, who began as a professor of dogmatic theology in Paderborn, and through a reduction of theology to psychology ended up with New Age and Buddhism. For him, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung became more important than Jesus and Saint Paul.
The consequences were already waiting around the corner. If such theories are allowed to spread, their consequences may be destructive for the entire Church – as it was in Holland. It was there that the sick theology of Edward Schillebeecks contributed to the disintegration and near destruction of the Church which was once so full of life. Within a dozen or so years, it almost made it disappear. It was like a mine planted under a building. We should defend ourselves with all resolution against such “Dutch theology”. This is about the Church’s to be or not to be. If homolobbyists are allowed to act freely, in a dozen or so years they may destroy entire congregations and dioceses – like in the USA, where the priestly vocation is more and more now called gayprofession (particularly with reference to American Jesuits), or like in Ireland, where men are hesitant about joining the emptying seminaries for fear of being suspected of suffering from some disorders.
The situation is a bit like that in the beginning of the Reformation, when entire countries and nations left the Church, and when one of the fundamental reasons for that state of affairs was the unprecedented decline in morality and libertinism of some clergymen, including Pope Alexander VI himself. Just like the Council of Trent tried to save the Church first of all through repentance and discipline, Benedict XVI tries to save it by limiting the size and the influence of the homolobby within the Church. This shows his prophetic and scientific genius, and emphasizes his importance as one of the greatest theologians of our time, capable of participating in spiritual warfare. This can be seen particularly in a longer perspective, when we think about how many other theologians flirted with fashionable ideologies, or even succumbed to them. As theologian and bishop, Ratzinger was always high-principled and made excellent, accurate decisions. He never came under such illusions, never went either into “newspaper theology” or “postmodern theology” with their utmost irresponsibility, making it is easy to put forward claims which profoundly contradict Christianity. Now, he has nothing to be ashamed about. And yet, it is for that accuracy of opinion that he is so vehemently opposed, or even hated by some in the Church, especially by members of the homolobby which represents the very centre of internal opposition against the Pope.
The greatness of Benedict XVI can also be seen in the way he suffers all that, peaceful, trustful and patient, when he humbly remains silent in reply to the most primitive attacks – from those who are “in the same camp”. He does not defend himself, what he cares about is first of all Christ and the wellbeing of man. He is a great scientist and a faithful witness to the Revelation. He is indeed not only the most outstanding intellectual, but also a “good shepherd who does not abandon the sheep or run away when he sees the wolf coming, but lays down his life for the sheep” (cf. John 10;12.15).
He cannot do it all by himself, however. He needs each and everyone of us. He needs support and healthy preaching in every local Church. It is a matter of remaining faithful to one’s conscience: defending the truth of salvation, no matter how much it should cost us. In this context the greatness and holiness of the Church can be seen particularly well. Homoideology seems to be so powerful and is being as aggressively promoted as Marxism or fascism used to be in the past. Its victory seems unavoidable to many (just like with those other ideologies). In that situation, it is first of all the Church that openly defends elementary truth, defends that which is reasonable. When the demons of ideology rage, faith must, paradoxically, become a special guardian and defender of reason. The Church has survived through difficulties and heresies greater than this. That which is absurd must ultimately collapse, exhaust and devour itself. One cannot live in contradiction forever. We cannot always live against reason, against nature, against commandments, just like we cannot stand on our head forever. We must finally either repent or fall.
The greatness of the Catholic Church is revealed also in that it can admit to being wrong, acknowledge the faults of its members, apologize for them, embark on the road of repentance and cleansing. Other communities are capable of doing that to a much lesser extent, even though their faults are much greater. The media, which could at times be called CHC – Centres of Hatred against Christianity, present the situation as though that was the main or the only problem of the Catholic Church, as though ephebophiles were only found among priests and every priest should be suspected of the same thing. Exactly in the same way Catholic clergy was presented by Goebbels’ propaganda in the times of Hitler, with the same methods of generalization applied to individual cases. Honest journalists, however, say: “We can see the Catholic Church is the only institution to be doing anything with paedophilia. The paedophilia which is a common problem in all communities and educational institutions”.
One could ask, then, when will journalists start investigating the scale of the problem among themselves, including the owners of the newspapers they work for, among those who set the tone for manipulations and witch-hunts in the media? It may be hard – as for example in Belgium or Lithuania, where even people at the topmost levels in the hierarchy of various authorities are involved in paedophilia. But where is the courage and enthusiasm of those journalists who have been so willing to attack the Church? Reliable studies show that the problem is the least widespread in the Catholic Church. Why, then, it is the only thing we hear? According to researchers, only one for a thousand cases of pedo- or ephebophilia is related to the sphere of the Catholic Church, in the USA only one to five Catholic priests are involved in that problem per ten thousand people. Statistically, much greater risk exists e.g. with married Protestant clergymen or teachers, particularly sports teachers.
There is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia.
It is not celibacy, then, that is to blame here, contrary to what is sometimes suggested. This has been pointed out, among others, by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (the second most important person in the Vatican), who said that “many psychologists and psychiatrists have proved that there is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia, while many others have shown that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia”. He also points to the fact that “80 percent of paedophiles convicted in the USA are homosexuals. Among priests convicted for paedophilia, they represent 90 percent”. These data show that “the Catholic Church has had a problem with homosexuals rather than paedophiles”. He is backed up by Itrovigne Massimo, an Italian sociologist, who reminds us that “there is no relationship between celibacy and paedophilia, as there are more paedophiles among married clergymen than among Catholic priests … . In the USA, nearly one thousand priests have been charged with sexual abuse against minors, and only about fifty were found guilty. Meanwhile, there were as many as six thousand sports teachers and coaches, most of them married, convicted for the same abuse”.
Isn’t that a perfect scoop for the media? Why do they hardly talk about it? It appears their intentions are not so much to protect children and youth as to destroy the Church. If their intentions were honest, they would first strike at those who commit the greatest number of such crimes. But their shortage of “just men” is much greater than here, however, they lack people who would be willing to do something about the problem, to take the risk. Such incidents among those who are “one of us” are covered up and justified much more than was the case in the Church (e.g. the behaviour of Roman Polanski in Hollywood in 1978, which apparently was a standard in that community then). They seem to be saying: “if this is done by ‘one of us’, we will not lift a finger, let the children be tormented, we do not care, as long as we are fine”. Here is the hypocrisy and cynicism of the “brave” journalists and their employers.
It is important to understand the reasons for which the Church has been unable to deal with the problem of the homolobby for so long. It is not only about the influences of the homolobby itself, where complaints about one homosexual wearing a cassock end up on the desk of another, then in the dustbin or, worse even, in the hands of the wrongdoer himself – so that he can freely take revenge on his victims. It is not only the evil kind of group solidarity, defending those who are “one of us”, no matter how guilty they are.
There is yet another reason, and that is ignorance, failure to understand the weight of the problem. For a normal priest, it is inconceivable for such terrible evil to be taking place behind his back. Moreover, decent, well-meaning clergymen are usually burdened with so much work they feel unable to deal with yet another problem. Who would want to deal with such filth, unless they were forced to, anyway? That is why until a really huge scandal erupts, people tend to act like “it’s rickety, it’s wobbly, but at least it’s moving”. After all, we are at times dealing here with criminal activity, and the Church is not the police, it does not have the tools necessary to deal with organized crime.
If a priest has caused a car accident or committed an economic crime, he must first be dealt with by the police or the prosecutor, not the bishop or provincial. And acts of paedophilia and ephebophilia belong to the most serious offences against the bodies, psyche and souls of children and youth. What a great disturbance in clergymen who repeatedly do things like that for a moment’s pleasure! They ruin the lives of their neighbours. It was first of all about paedophiles and ephebophiles that Jesus said: “Woe to you”. He said that for anyone who “causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (cf. Matthew 18:6-11 and Luke 17:1-2). S
Such abuse is the most abominable, terrible harm for a normal boy, it is like killing his soul. Sometimes the victim of an ephebophile is unable to get over such an abuse for his entire life, to trust others, to respect himself or to obey any moral norms. If such brutal evil is done by a clergyman, the issue becomes even more painful, because harm is inflicted by the one who has preached beautiful ideas, whom the boy trusted, from whom he had the right to expect all that is good and noble. Abused boys then say: “I will never go to church anymore”, “all priests are bastards”. Sometimes, they loose faith altogether or join some sect, and sometimes they really never come back to the Church. Even though they used to be part of the young group closest to the priest, particularly involved in their religion, most of them coming from families of believers; they used to be altar boys, lectors, went to summer camps, retreats, pilgrimages, they were the treasure and future of the Church. The ardent work of a multitude of decent parents, religious sisters, catechists, priests, bishops, is destroyed by the crimes of a group of vile men. In that situation, those wronged may be helped especially if defended by another priest. That is the most effective way of restoring their trust in the Church, to have another priest defend the victim from a perverted fellow priest, and take them to the police. That is faithfulness to man and to Christ. It is necessary, because an act of paedophilia or ephebophilia is usually one in a whole series, and needs to be stopped immediately.
In such matter, there is no room for hesitation, no matter how much there is to risk, no matter whom we might fall into disfavour with, no matter what there is to lose. Just like a father has the duty to die to defend his child if necessary, so a priest has the duty to die to defend each and every one of the little ones, who are God’s children. In Poland, the situation is particularly dangerous because some elderly gays and ephebophiles in cassocks may have connections with the former Security Service and other special services. Many secret collaborators recruited from them, since they were especially prone to blackmail. Sometimes, they are still blackmailed today. If their vile acts are exposed, the officers of such services will have nothing to blackmail them with, and thus their source of regular income will run dry. That is why a priest who stands up in defence of youth and opposes an influential paedophile or ephebophile may undergo an ordeal. He may find himself standing up against not only the homomafia in the local Church, but also the old structures of special services. And they are proficient in maltreating and murdering clergymen, as was the case not so long ago not only with Blessed F. Jerzy Popiełuszko, but also with F. Zych, F. Niedzielak, F. Suchowolec, and others.
Therefore, homomafia in the Church must be dealt with in a very professional way – we must act like a prosecutor or an officer in the battlefield. We must be aware that the other party may have become internally degenerated by decades of living in sin and hypocrisy, that they may have gone downhill to the level of ordinary criminals, that they are prepared to do even the worst things, both in words and acts, to defend their interests and position.
We must be prepared, and not be surprised even if we are insulted with the worst curses, if we are accused of the worst things, for it is “out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks” (cf. Matthew 12:34). Someone who has committed great iniquities for dozens of years is ready to do things at least equally vile to conceal evil and avoid responsibility. It is much easier to lie and say they have not done anything wrong than to beat or kill someone.
It is important that we find a possibly large group of people of goodwill to protect us and support what we do. That group should include clergymen, as high in the hierarchy as possible, experts in various fields, archive records specialists, lawyers, policemen, journalists, and as may believers as possible. It is good to exchange information, documents, evidence. The global network of homolobbies and homomafias must be counterbalanced by a network of honest people. An excellent tool that can be used here is the Internet, which makes it possible to create a global community of people concerned about the fate of the Church, who have resolved to oppose homoideology and homoheresy. The more we know, the more we can do. We need to remember that in these matters we are like “sheep sent among wolves”, and so we must be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). We must have the courage to stand up against evildoers, as Christ had the courage to stand up against the Pharisees of his times. We cannot build our lives on sweet illusions, for only “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32), and that is why “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
The global network of homolobbies and homomafias must be counterbalanced by a global network of decent people.
All interventions should be made with utmost respect and love for every person, including the abusers. The essence of Christianity is reflected in the will to save everyone, and the worst criminals are especially at risk of losing both their earthly and their eternal life, so they need an especially abundant portion of concern and prayer. The greatness and beauty of Christianity resides also in the fact that Abel here should try not only to save himself, but everybody else too, including Cain.
LOVE AND TRUTH OF THE CHURCH
In our struggle for the Church of Jesus Christ, we must not be mislead by arguments like: “The Church is our mother, and one must not say bad things about one’s mother”. Such words are often heard from those who have hurt their mother the most, who have made her seriously ill, and now refuse to begin the treatment. If the best mother of all is sick, to treat her effectively we need the best possible tools and the best, most accurate diagnosis possible. Thus, we must know about the illness and talk about it. If the Church in Poland is now heading for harder times, if it must prepare itself for persecution, if it must resist and fight, its organism must be healthy and strong, and any gangrene must be removed. President Joachim Hauck said that in the former GDR the process of cleansing and compensation was opposed most strongly by those who had the most to weigh on their conscience, who had hurt their brothers and sisters the most, who betrayed them the most.
Similar charges of disloyalty could be brought against the Evangelists themselves, because they reported on the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial of Jesus, his being rebuked by Jesus, on Thomas’s incredulity, on the careerism of James and John. One might ask why they did not hide that shameful truth – especially in the times of the initial weakness of the first Church, in the times of the first bloody persecutions, when both the Apostles and other Christians were being killed, one by one? And in the end, similar charges could be brought against Lord Jesus himself – why did he criticize the Pharisees so radically, why did he publicly expose their inequity, their falsehood, their hypocrisy and lies? He was, after all, attacking the religious and national elites of his time, the public form of a religion as valuable, as deserving as that of the Chosen People. And not only did the Evangelists write it all down, but then they described the way priests, Sadducees and Pharisees dealt with Jesus during the Passover. This way greatly undermining the highest religious and moral authorities of their nation – and all of that was done during the dark night of Roman occupation!
It was indeed the public fight against the social structures of sin, against Pharisees, that was one of the most important areas of Christ’s activity. We should follow in his footsteps as well – in his courage, in his determination to fight against evil, in the precision of his arguments in exposing evildoers. Whatever Christ did is a model to be followed in any age. But we need knowledge to make sure our struggle against evil is effective. And so, remembering to “recognize them by their fruit” (cf. Matthew 7:16), based on the publicly known events of the last quarter of the century, the reaction of the Holy See and the documents it issued, we must clearly, explicitly and resolvedly say: yes, there is a strong homosexual underground in the Church (just like in many other places), which – depending on the degree of involvement of its members, depending on their words and deeds – may be referred to as homoheresy, homolobby, homoclique or even homomafia.
Such circles in the Church strongly oppose truth, morality and Revelation, cooperate with the enemies of the Church, incite a revolt against the Peter of our times, the Holy See and the entire Church. Members of that lobby in the Church are a relatively small group, but often hold key positions (which they are very anxious to achieve), create a close network of relationships and support one another, which is what makes them dangerous. They are dangerous especially to the youth, who are threatened by sexual abuse. They are dangerous to themselves, as, more and more hardened in evil, they may finally “die in their sins” (John 8:23), as Christ warned. They are dangerous to honest lay people and clergymen who oppose them. Finally, they are dangerous to the Church at large, because when their iniquities are finally exposed, when they become a topic for media coverage, the faith of millions of people is weakened or destroyed.
Many say then: “No, in a Church like that there is no place either for me, or my children or grandchildren”. And so, homosexual depravers and abusers scandalize millions of people, putting a huge obstacle on their road to faith, to Christ, to salvation. And all of that just for several dozen years of a comfortable life of sin. Can there be a greater sin? The Church has been created as the most wonderful, most beautiful community of love and kindness, of believers living in peace with the Lord and with one another. We must not allow our greatest treasure to be destroyed. Let us be confident and peaceful. Normal, honest people are the overwhelming majority. They only need to be properly informed, mobilized and unified in action.
It was indeed the public fight against the social structures of sin, against Pharisees, that was one of the most important areas of Christ’s activity.
Every truth, even that which is the most difficult, should lead us to work for the better, to struggle for the wellbeing of man and the Church. Despite all sin and weakness, the best, the most beautiful thing we have is the Church. Evil, including homosexual evil, is present to a much greater degree outside the Church, in other communities. Those who criticize us are often like hypocrites who cannot see “the plank in their own eye” (cf. Matthew 7:1-5). That is why the Church is now hated so much and attacked with such vehemence – because its very existence is a constant prick of conscience, a constant admonition for those who live in sins which are much, much greater than those of some people in the Church. Let us keep the right proportions. There have always been and will most likely be baptized people in the Church who live like Cain or Judas, but we must not condemn Abel because of Cain, or reject the other eleven Apostles and Christ himself because of Judas. That would be a fundamental mistake,
Judas represents only about 8% of the Twelve Apostles. But neither should we allow Judas to dominate and rule in the Church. His influence must not be greater than that of John or Paul. It is the Peter of our times that is the most important person in the Church, and he should be listened to. Benedict XVI is a great gift of the Providence, just like his honourable predecessor, John Paul II. Let us stand together on Benedict XVI’s side, just as we would have stood on the side of Blessed John Paul the Great. They were such a wonderful, wise and courageous duet of apostles. They agreed and supported each other so much – also on this matter.
To say “I am leaving the Church because it is too evil for me, and too sinful” is to say that apparently “I am too good for it”, to say, in a way, that “I am a better, a more valuable person than Mother Theresa, or even Our Lady or Lord Jesus himself”, since for them that Church is good enough to stay in, to love and protect.
The Church is like the people who make it up, and that is why it is always sinful, but always holy as well. Among more then a billion of its members, there are thousands of people who commit vile and base acts, but there are also hundreds of millions of Catholic men and women who are honest and holy. More than half of them are women – persons who are particularly sensitive to the wellbeing of man, to the fate of children and youth, to pure love. There are hundreds of millions of people who take up the great effort of work, marriage, family, bearing and rearing children. There are thousands of missionary men and women (more than two thousand from Poland alone) who devote all of their lives in the most difficult conditions, the greatest poverty. There are about 700,000 religious sisters who try to live their lives as unsparingly and evangelically as they can. There is Mother Theresa and several thousand of her sisters. To say “I am leaving the Church because it is too evil for me, and too sinful” is to say that apparently “I am too good for it”, to say, in a way, that “I am a better, a more valuable person than Mother Theresa, or even Our Lady or Lord Jesus himself”, since for them that Church is good enough to stay in, to love and protect. For it is that Church that has the most of God in it, and thus the most of truth, goodness and beauty. That is why being part of it and growing in it, one may reach the topmost heights of Christianity and humanity – like Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, like Blessed John Paul the Great, like Benedict XVI – the most beautiful people of our times.
We are all invited to become holy in the Church of Lord Jesus Christ through grace and our own work – no matter at which phase of development and what place in the Church we are in now. All we need to do is “arise and go” (John 14:31).
Krakow, Easter, April 8, 2012
F. Dariusz Oko, born in 1960 in Auschwitz, ordained in 1985, priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow, Ph.D. in philosophy and theology, Assistant Professor at John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow. The main areas of his academic study include metaphysics, the philosophy of God, modern theology, areas on the borderline of philosophy and theology, criticism of atheist ideologies. He has studied for six years at universities in Germany, Italy and the United Sates. Since he took holy orders, apart from his academic pursuits he has also been involved in pastoral work as resident of various European and American parishes. For sixteen years worked as a university chaplain, and since 1998 has been the chaplain of physicians in his diocese. During his studies, scientific congresses and physicians’ pilgrimages, he has visited nearly forty countries on six continents. In Poland, he is also known as a publicist whose articles have won much recognition and initiated widespread, nation-wide discussions.
The article’s reception so far
This is a translation of the article entitled “Z papieżem przeciw homoherezji”, published in Polish in Fronda 63 (2012), pp. 128-160 (https://www.fronda.pl/news/czytaj/tytul/z_papiezem_przeciw_homoherezji_(cz.i)_22079/strona/2). Both in Poland and abroad the article has won much recognition and initiated an animated discussion.
The article has also been published in the German “Theologisches” monthly, one of the most important theological publications. The periodical is held in high esteem by Pope Benedict XVI, who has personally subscribed to it for several dozen years (previously as priest and then Cardinal Ratzinger), and published articles in it a number of times. The contributors have also included other cardinals -Hans Urs von Balthasar, Avery Dulles SJ, Leo Scheffczyk, as well as a whole array of other leading Catholic theologians and philosophers. Cf. D. Oko, Mit dem Papst gegen Homohäresie, “Theologisches” 9/10 (2012) pp. 403-426.
It was immediately translated into Czech and broadcast in July 2012 in a series of Wednesday programmes (July 4, 11, 18, 25 and 31) by the Czech Section of the Vatican Radio (instead of reports of the Pope’s audiences which are suspended during holidays). It caused much discussion in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, as it helped partially explain the situation of Archbishop Robert Bezak from Trnava who had been removed from office shortly before. Cf.: “S Pape&