Whose team are you on?
Artist: Angel Zarraga
And there is a pattern of silencing those who call it out.
Case in point, the Honduran seminary scandal. Like Pope Francis first did in the Chilean scandal, Cardinal Maradiaga and fellow critics condemn the seminarians as gossipers and being homophobic, dismissing their claims of homosexual corruption in the seminary. In other words, blaming the victim and shooting the messenger. This sort of denial and cover-up for the sake of preserving the Church from scandal is what perpetuates the culture of corruption and cover-up.
The Register has obtained the text of the unsigned letter, which was a joint effort undertaken by 48 seminarians (of the 180 who are enrolled there) who stated they could not “hide any more the magnitude of this problem in the seminary.”
“We are living and experiencing a time of tension in our house because of gravely immoral situations, above all of an active homosexuality inside the seminary that has been a taboo all this time,” the seminarians wrote, “and by covering up and penalizing this situation, the problem has grown in strength, turning into, as one priest said not so long ago, an ‘epidemic in the seminary.’”
The letter called on seminary formators to follow what the Church teaches about such conduct and requested a new “formative process” that is more up to date and represents a “holistic” and “prophetic” vision. And it asserted that any seminarian who engages in homosexual activity should be removed from the seminary, even if he is a friend of the formators, because such a person clearly is “not suitable for pastoral ministry” and will “cause pain to the Church sooner or later.”
“Not everyone who wants to can be a priest!” the letter stated. “The ministry is a gift that should be lived and received from the conviction of the Gospel and radical and jealous love.”
The seminarians insisted their letter was not carrying out a “persecution” or exemplifying “homophobia,” accusations that some local Church leaders have leveled when seminarians raised similar concerns on earlier occasions. “Neither is it gossip or a lack of manliness,” they said.
And, the seminarians noted in the letter’s concluding paragraph, their submission was not the product of merely a single concerned party, but instead was written “by a group of seminarians” who had been urged by spiritual directors and other priests at the seminary to make their concerns known. - NCRegister
Cardinal Maradiaga has not responded publicly to the allegations regarding his archdiocesan seminary.
Many of us know how that feels. Ever been snubbed by your pastor? I have a friend who always gets the run around whenever she seeks some guidance or clarity about spiritual difficulties, or just questions. Father is much too busy. Another friend had the misfortune to seek direction and support from priests who were living a double life - one of them still in jail for sexual abuse. When I have approached bishops about gay issues, I too have been shamed and criticized for being disrespectful, a gossip, and so on.
I love telling the story about the bishop, now a cardinal, who complained that a member of the faithful went over his head to report that he permitted a transgender man to become a religious sister. He said the whistle blower should have approached him first. Experience informs us that priests, bishops, cardinals, and chanceries are not always receptive to faithful Catholics who are willing to call out abuses. Nor are the bishops always faithful to Catholic teaching ... as they interpret it, that is. Bishops, spiritual directors, rectors, priors - even Cardinals freely offer dispensations and letters of recommendation to admit this or that person with 'same sex attraction' (the neutered term for 'gay') to religious life or seminary. I guess they have that their prerogative, to freely ignore, or discern the weight out of any instructions from the Holy See they happen to disagree with:
The Church “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”
Yeah Blanche, but you do.
Not to worry.
In the end, it comes back to bite a guy in his clerical ass.
A little bit of history repeating ... Remember Miami Vice?
Song for this post here.