Acclaimed author says Church is ‘bleeding’ from her wounds in book featuring essays by Benedict, Cdl. Müller
COMBERMERE, Ontario, August 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― When will the clerical sexual abuse crisis end? When powerful churchmen stop enabling it, says author and artist Michael O’Brien.
O’Brien contributed an essay to the English-language release of sociologist Gabriele Kuby’s Abuse of Sexuality in the Catholic Church. Also included in the book is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's famous April 2019 letter on the abuse crisis as well as a Manifesto of Faith issued earlier this year by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“Mrs. Kuby and I have been friends and colleagues for many years now, and have closely followed each other's work,” O’Brien told LifeSiteNews via email.
“Her own work as a writer and worldwide lecturer on the destructiveness of the sexual revolution (and its latest stage the gender revolution) have paralleled portions of my own work,” he continued.
“This book on the abuse crisis was originally published in the German language, and when it came time for an English edition she thought it would be enriched by my personal experiences and insights.”
In his essay in the book, titled “The Scandals and the Shepherds”, the author of Father Elijah and over two dozen other books introduces readers to the living nightmare that was his exile, as a 13-year-old, in a residential school in the Canadian Arctic. O’Brien believes that the fact that he, unlike many of his older schoolmates, was not sexually abused by “the very fallen” supervisor of his Catholic residence, Martin Houston, was literally miraculous.
What is decidedly not miraculous is that after serving a nine-year prison sentence for abusing boys, Houston applied to a Canadian seminary and was accepted. The bishop who accepted him was fully aware of Houston’s past, as was revealed when, now ordained, Houston stood another trial for the abuse of other victims of his past.
“For the remainder of his life Houston lived in the archdiocesan chancery, and was given a glorious send-off funeral, with glowing praise from the current archbishop,” O’Brien writes.
“As far as I know, there has never been a call to prayer for Houston’s victims,” he continued.
“Clearly, in the brave new liberal church, some of us are more equal than others, to borrow a phrase from Orwell. Plenty of mercy for the abuser, silence regarding his victims.”
O’Brien described the long-term effects verbal, psychological and sexual abuse has on child victims and the hatred one of his schoolmates, now an old man, still harbours for the Catholic Church and his seducer/abuser. But O’Brien believes that opportunists are using the crisis of clerical sexual abuse to promote a liberal agenda.
“Liberal Catholics (irony of ironies) are using it to promote the cause of married priests, women’s ordination, neo-liturgical blessings of same-sex ‘marriage’ and the integration of active homosexuals into ministry,” he observes.
O’Brien sees in the Church a culture of unrepentance for sexual sin―Fr. Houston never once apologized to his victims―which is engendering new evils, and a “huge industry of public blame” that is drumming up “outrage and hatred.”
He believes the way forward can be found in the address by St. John Paul II to the cardinals of the American Church on the scandals. In this speech, the pontiff linked true pastoral care to fidelity to Church teaching on chastity.
This is key to O’Brien, who describes spiritual fatherhood as an impulse to protect children from both abuse and false teaching. O'Brien's essay leaves the reader with a sense that there existed an absence of spiritual fatherhood in too many American parishes and Canadian residential schools.
Meanwhile, the author does not ignore the findings of the John Jay report that 81% of the underage victims of Catholic priests were male. Nor does he refrain from pointing out that there is a “more widespread problem of sexual promiscuity of homosexual priests with consenting adults.”
And if clericalism is part of the ongoing scandal, it is because it is driven by homosexual clericalists and their friends.
O’Brien writes: “The current utterances from Rome about the root cause being ‘clericalism’ ring hollow to most ears, for at best this kind of response merely inflates associated dimensions into supposed first causes, deflecting close scrutiny away from the core problem.”
“Yes, remnants of clericalism exist here and there in the Church, but note that in those countries where the scandals are worst, the clericalism is driven by homosexual clericalists and their enablers,” he continued.
“Overwhelmingly, the root cause of the abuse scandal is homosexuality in the priesthood and episcopacy, which is a direct result of deliberately disobeying Canon Law’s specific directives on the matter (men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to seminaries, and not ordained to the priesthood), as well as papal reinforcement of these directives by John XXIII and Benedict XVI—and, need it be said, God’s laws.”
O’Brien told LifeSiteNews that despite Catholics’ anger with abuse and corruption in the Church, we must remember that most priests are honest and that the Church remains the Bride of Christ.
“We all must keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of priests are honorable men of true faith, who love Christ and their flocks with authentic priestly hearts, pouring out their lives for others,” he said.
“At the same time, we must understand that the Church, the Body of Christ in this world, is bleeding from grievous wounds,” he continued.
“She is the Bride being prepared for the return of the Bridegroom. Humiliated, betrayed from within, compromised in places, now is not the time to abandon her. We must love her with a profound love for her true nature—praying and fasting all the while for her purification and strengthening.”
When asked to describe how the different essays in Abuse of Sexuality in the Catholic Church complement each other, O’Brien gave a helpful summary of the book.
“Gabriele Kuby's extraordinary skills as a researcher and commentator bring an intelligent, informed approach to the crisis of sexual abuse of the young and the more widespread problem of homosexuality in the priesthood,” he replied.
“My own contribution is a combination of personal account and reflections on the crisis. Pope Benedict's approach is a profound examination of the historical roots of the crisis, in its ecclesial, theological, and social-revolutionary origins,” he continued.
“Cardinal Müller's ‘Manifesto’ is a clear proclamation of authentic Catholic teaching, cutting through the cloud of confused obfuscation that blurs the issues and contributes to the spread of evil under the guise of ‘pastoral sensitivity’ and ‘openness.’”
“In summation, each of the approaches taken by the four contributors bring a unique lens or eye to the problem, which, combined, offers a kind of depth perception.”