August 29, 2018 (Rorate Caeli) – “I will not say a single word about this”.
With this sentence, uttered August 26th 2018, on his return flight from Dublin to Rome, Pope Francis responded to the shocking revelations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, which involve him directly. To the journalist Anna Matranga (NBC) who had asked him whether the things the former Nunzio to the United States had written were true, the Pope in fact replied: “I read that statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested: Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment, I will not say a single word on this. I believe that the communiqué speaks for itself, and you have enough journalistic skills to draw the conclusions. It's an act of trust (confidence): after a while when you have drawn your conclusions, perhaps I will speak. But I'd like your professional maturity to do this work: it will be good for you, truly. Fine like that.”
A bishop demolishes the atmosphere of conspiratorial silence and connivance, naming names and giving precise circumstances of a “pro-homosexual current in favor of subverting the Catholic doctrine regarding homosexuality” and the presence of “homosexual networks, now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders etc.,” that “act covered by secrets and lies with the tentacle-like power of an octopus crushing innocent victims, priestly vocations and strangling the entire Church.”
Confronted with this courageous voice which breaks the silence, Pope Francis remains silent and entrusts the mass-media with the task of judging it, according to their political and worldly criteria, so very different from that of the religious and moral judgment of the Church. A silence which appears even graver than the scandals brought to light by Archbishop Viganò.
This leprosy developed after the Second Vatican Council, as the consequence of the new moral theology which denied absolute morals and claimed the role of sexuality both heterosexual and homosexual, thought of as a factor in the growth and realization of the human person. The homosexualization of the Church started to spread in the 1970s and 1980s, as the meticulously documented book by Father Enrique Rueda reveals: The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policy, published in 1982.
In order to understand the situation at that time, it is essential to read the study (PDF) dedicated to Homosexuality and the Priesthood. The Gordian Knot – of Catholics? by Professor Andrzej Kobyliński of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw. Kobyliński cites a book entitled The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul, by Donald Cozzens, Rector of the Cleveland Seminary in Ohio, wherein the author states that at the beginning of the 21st century the priesthood became a “profession”, exercised predominantly by homosexuals and we can even talk about “a heterosexual exodus from the priesthood.”
Kobyliński reports an emblematic case: that concerning the Archbishop of Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Rembert Weakland, acclaimed exponent of the American progressive and “liberal” current. “Weakland has, for decades, covered up cases of sexual abuse by priests, sustaining a vision of homosexuality contrary to that of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. At the end of his tenure, he effected a gigantic embezzlement of about half a million dollars from the funds of his archdiocese, to pay his former-partner who was accusing him of sexual molestations. In 2009, Weakland had his “coming out”, by publishing his autobiography entitled: A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church, wherein he himself admitted to being homosexual and of having had, for decades, continuative sexual relationships with many partners. In 2011, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was constrained to declare bankruptcy, for the high profile of compensations due to the victims of pedophile priests.”
In 2004 The John Jay Report appeared, a document prepared at the request of the American Episcopal Conference, in which all the cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons, from 1950 to 2002, were analyzed. This document of almost 300 pages is of extraordinary informative value – writes Kobyliński. The John Jay Report “demonstrated the link between homosexuality and sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. According to the report of 2004, in the overwhelming majority of cases of sexual abuse it is not about pedophilia, but ephebophilia, that is, a degeneration that consists not only of sexual attraction towards children, but towards adolescent boys, at the age of puberty. The John Jay Report demonstrated that about 90% of the priests condemned for sexual abuse with minors are homosexual priests.”
The McCarrick scandal is therefore not the last act in a crisis that goes way, way back. Yet, in the “Letter of the Pope to the People of God, and throughout his trip in Ireland, Pope Francis has not once denounced this moral disorder. The Pope retains that the main problem in sexual abuse by the clergy is not homosexuality but clericalism. Referring to these abuses, the progressive historian Alberto Melloni, writes that “Francis finally deals with the crime on the ecclesiastical level: and he entrusts it to that theological subject – the people of God. To the people Francis says without mincing words, that it is “clericalism” which has incubated these atrocities, not an excess or lack of morality” (La Repubblica , August 21, 2018).
«Le cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi!». “Behold the enemy – clericalism,” The famous phrase pronounced on May 4th 1876 in the French Chamber of Deputies by Léon Gambetta (1838-1882), leading exponent of The Grand Orient of France, could easily have been made Pope Francis. This phrase, however, was considered the watchword by the Masonic secularism of the 19th century, and by applying it, the governments of the French Third Republic, carried out in the following years, an “anti-clerical” political program which had its stages in the secularization of the school, the expulsion of religious orders from the national territory, divorce and the abolition of the concordat between France and the Holy See. The clericalism Pope Francis speaks of is apparently different, but deep down he identifies it with that traditional conception of the Church which over the centuries was fought against by the Gallicans, the Liberals, the Freemasons and the Modernists.
To reform the Church and purify Her of clericalism, the Italian sociologist Marco Marzano suggests the following to Pope Francis: “For example, a start might be to remove parish priests completely from the running of the parishes, depriving them of those monocratic and absolute governing functions (financial and pastoral) of which they benefit today. It might be possible to introduce an important element of democracy, making bishops electable [by popular vote]. It might be possible, by replacing them with open and transparent structures, to close the seminaries, institutions of the counter-reform in which clericalism as a “spirit of caste” is still exalted and cultivated today. It might above all, be possible to cancel the norm upon which clericalism is today mostly based (and which is also the basis for the overwhelming majority of sexual crimes by the clergy) and that is, – obligatory celibacy. It is precisely the chastity presumed in the clergy, with all the consequences of the purity, the sacredness and superhuman [aspects] that go along with it, which establish the main basis of clericalism”. (Il Fatto Quotidiano, August 25th 2018).
Those who wish to demolish clericalism, want to destroy the Church. And if instead clericalism is meant as an abuse of power that the clergy exercise when they abandon the spirit of the Gospel, then there is no worse clericalism than that of those who forsake stigmatizing extremely grave sins like sodomy and forget that the Christian life must necessarily attain Heaven or Hell. In the years following Vatican II a great part of the clergy abandoned the idea of the Social Reign of Christ and accepted the postulate of secularization as an irreversible phenomenon. But when Christianity is subordinate to secularism, the Kingdom of Christ is transformed into a worldly kingdom and reduced to structures of power. The militant spirit is replaced by the spirit of the world, And the spirit of the world imposes silence on the drama the Church is living through right now.
Translated by Rorate Caeli contributor Francesca Romana and published with permission from Rorate Caeli.