Friday, July 27, 2018

Like I said, the corruption is institutional and systemic.

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 Letter 
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.


  1. "Over the past two decades, even as the U.S. bishops sought to remove priests facing credible accusations of sexual abuse involving minors, there has been a tacit acceptance of sexual misconduct involving “adults” in many dioceses. This pattern reflects the corrosive impact of secular norms that tolerate nonmarital sexual behavior as long as it is “consensual.”

    Smith and others in similar positions have heard plenty of stories from young priests that stir sympathy for Cardinal McCarrick’s alleged victims.

    In one case, a recently ordained priest told Smith that he reported his pastor’s “sexual advances” to his superiors “and was told to be quiet since the pastor could ruin him.”

    What the subtle seed of disobedience does ... destroy credibility, integrity, dignity. The more the bishops open their mouths and say what they think people want to hear, the more I turn them off because they are not addressing the truth.

    Sadly, Pope Francis is silent too . Why? I thought he was a robust, "no-holds-barred" kinda fellow.

    Like I said, the more they talk around the issue the more I will just turn a deaf ear and hope against hope someone with courage and faith in Christ Jesus will take up the cause and speak up so that every heart is laid bare and we are all purified,

    I remain disgusted by this travesty of their patting each other's back ... prove me wrong and I will be glad ...

    1. It's disheartening for me as well.
      Of course you knew that. Prayed my rosary for the guys in charge tonight.

  2. "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."

    It's not just bishops. Catholic stalwart Mark Shea loves to use this example to...beat up on his favourite target: "conservatives" who had the temerity to question the bishop's judgement in this particular case. And yes, we all know that bishop went on to become a darling of the conservatives.

    1. Did Mark write about that case? Some of the conservative pro-lifers I discounted deserve an apology from me. I can disagree with their politics and style, but it looks as if they knew what was going on while I floated down that river in Egypt.


      Citing you!

      He referred to the Reactionary Pharisees who blew the whistle blaming them for "hating the mission of the church."

    3. And for the record, I am one of those dastardly conservatives, and I am generally in sympathy with Burke on most things. But he fumbled the ball on this one.

    4. The transgendered man is bitter about this and careful to imply that it was a bishop in a different locale. The story I got from the transgendered man in question implied that after laboring for the diocese for many years as a religious sister, working in rehab for many years, with no explanation, the bishop shut down the program he had poured his heart and soul into.

      Also, the religious order he had founded with two others was quashed, simply because one of the others had died. No final vows had been made, the decision was final.

      Also he said that there were those spreading the rumor he was a man and laughed. That was when I started looking for information. He looks like a man so it seemed to be misdirection.

    5. I shouldn't have brought the matter up again.

    6. I disagree, you should have mentioned it. Sure, this is a very unique and difficult case. But the larger point remains: a layperson with deep concerns voiced those concerns, and was critiqued by a bishop for not following polite protocol, and attacked by a prominent apologist for being a pharisee and reactionary. Shea accused the person in question for wanting to maintain a "fortress", while he (unwittingly of course) contributes to the fortress/bunker mentality that shields bishops from criticism.

      Citing the example was spot on.

      However, I'll drop it now, as there is no need to belabour the point, and it's obviously a painful example from many perspectives.

    7. Michael - thanks - that helps me deal with the issue as well - the layperson does have the right to voice concerns. Thanks!

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  4. To spread more light and knowledge, faithful Catholics should also know that in 1967, then Rev. McCarrick, as President of the U. of a Puerto Rico, helped craft and co-signed the infamous Land of Lakes Statement (along with reps from Notre Dame (Hesburg) and several SJ universities, such as Georgetown and Fordham), whereby these universities declared that they were not bound to teach (theology or otherwise) according to the teaching of the Church.

    This explains why, today, the Chairman of Theology at Fordham is a non-catholic man, Prof. Hornbeck, who is “married to another man.”

    This also explains why Prof. Benny Liew at the College of the Holy Cross lectures on the homo-erotic imagery of Jesus’ crucifixion.

    And by the way - as to other Bishops response to Land of Lakes - it was largely silent cooperation. Pope John Paul II wrote Ex Corde Ecclesiae to counter the “Land of Lakes” statement, asking Bishops to issue “mandatums” for people teaching theology at Catholic colleges, so that parents and students could be assured that the school would teach to strengthen young people in their faith. Most bishops completely ignored JP2’s direction.

    I write this in solidarity with all who have suffered sexual abuse, family and friends alike, and the disintegration of sexual identity intended by The Lord.


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