Saturday, September 15, 2018

Speak of the Devil: The Weakland Memoir


I cam across the 2009 NYTimes interview with Archbishop Weakland, evidently updated.  I was thinking of him in connection to the McCarrick scandal.  McCarrick was acting out as a young priest, Weakland, being a monk, didn't act out until he became Archbishop.

If for no other reason, the following statement seems to me reason enough why the Church should not ordain gay men:

[Weakland] "He said he had been aware of his homosexual orientation since he was a teenager and suppressed it until he became archbishop, when he had relationships with several men because of “loneliness that became very strong.” - NYT


It's all about language and always has been.  Weakland says gay - I know the arguments for and against it.  I don't care.  The very real problem is how dissidents really want to change Catholic teaching.  Weakland says the Church is wrong, and that 'objectively disordered' is a pejorative term.  Fr. Martin praises Weakland as gifted and brilliant, and so on.  Really?  When an Archbishop tells people he thinks a term from moral theology to express  objective immoral behavior as objectively disordered is pejorative?  We are in big trouble.
Archbishop Weakland, 82, said he was probably the first bishop to come out of the closet voluntarily. He said he was doing so not to excuse his actions but to give an honest account of why it happened and to raise questions about the church’s teaching that homosexuality is “objectively disordered.” 
“Those are bad words because they are pejorative,” he said. - NYT
Actually, the Archbishop does speak to excuse his actions, because as he states in the interview after saying the Church is wrong, he explains:

“If we say our God is an all-loving god,” he said, “how do you explain that at any given time probably 400 million living on the planet at one time would be gay? Are the religions of the world, as does Catholicism, saying to those hundreds of millions of people, you have to pass your whole life without any physical, genital expression of that love?” - Weakland
Clerical change agents.

One thing useful about the Weakland interview is that he also speaks to the difference of peadophilia and abuser priests and the issue of homosexuality. "Archbishop Weakland is still pained that his scandal, involving a man in his 30s, became intertwined with the larger church scandal over child sexual abuse." As we all know everyone freaks out if one even suggests that just being gay disposes one to seek out teens for sex, and or, prepubescent boys for sex.  Weakland speaks disparagingly about how bishops trusted therapists advice and were more concerned for the priests than the victims:
In the interview, he blamed psychologists for advising bishops that perpetrators could be treated and returned to work, and he blamed the Vatican’s tribunals for spending years debating whether to remove abusers from the priesthood. - Weakland
As one friend remarked, "This idea that homosexuality has nothing to do with it... or that people are saying all gay people or all gay priests are potential pedophiles - it’s deliberately glossing over things and conflating things to hide an agenda.  It also makes the assumption that it is wrong according to Catholic teaching, research, and common sense that homosexual sexuality is the same as heterosexuality."

Gay clericalism.

That's what Weakland and Fr. Martin are saying.  So if you spend a lot of time correcting language, just be aware of how much you are doing exactly what the apostles of equality want you to do. Talk about ontological terms all you want,  Weakland already considered himself as gay and was instructed by Rome not to say that.  It didn't stop him from advocating for change in Catholic teaching.  The real language they are concerned about is telling people homosexual acts are sinful, and the disposition towards same sex activity is objectively disordered.  You know what I'm saying.

As my friend noted: "This refusal though to see that there really is an effort to overturn church teaching on sexual issues - especially gay sexual issues - and that it is in some way related to clericalism and the abuse crisis is bonkers."

Unless McCarrick himself speaks,
we may never know how and why
he ascended the ranks despite his sexual misconduct.
As in Weakland's case it may be deemed to be
more “of a private order,” 
And strictly an “administrative affair."

Friday, September 14, 2018

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Since 'they' insist that icons are 'written', I do not need to write anything today.  Read your icons, class.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Standing with the Pope.

I am not ashamed to stand with the Pope and remain faithful to the Holy Catholic Church.

O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.
That said, with the help of grace, I will embrace the confusion, the temptation to discouragement and doubt, and every fear, confident in the promises of Christ and the protection of the Mother of God.

I read an essay from Emmett O'Reagan who writes Unveiling the Apocalypse.  It's very long but quite helpful - to me at least - in putting things in perspective.  A huge, immense perspective, if you will.  I copied a section to share here:

Emmett begins this particular selection, writing:  As I have already explained in the post Pope Benedict XVI on the Chronology of Apocalyptic Events ...

In the vision of Saint Hildegard, the face of the Church is stained with dust, and this is how we have seen it. Her garment is torn – by the sins of priests. The way she saw and expressed it is the way we have experienced it this year. We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal.
Now notice the similarities here between the words of the Holy Father and those of Sr. Lucia during her interview with Fr. Fuentes:
Sister Lucy also told me: "Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that offends God the most, and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God, because in this way the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them." 
"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God."
A connection between these words of Sr. Lucia and St. Hildegard's vision of "filth" within the Church clearly seems to have been on Pope Benedict's mind here, since he uses basically the same themes and symbolism during his visit to Fatima in 2010:
"As for the new things which we can find in this message today, there is also the fact that attacks on the Pope and the Church come not only from without, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin existing within the Church. This too is something that we have always known, but today we are seeing it in a really terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church, and that the Church thus has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness on the one hand, but also the need for justice."
Cardinal Ratzinger again alluded to St. Hildegard's writings describing the current state of the Church as a woman whose garments are soiled in his famous Way of the Cross sermon in 2005, just before he ascended the papacy:
"Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of His Presence abused, 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!" 
"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church... You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all." - OL of Knock, Jacob's Ladder, and the Short Time of Satan

The very worst is upon us right now - people within the Church are violently attacking the Holy Father - especially online.  Many people are calling for his resignation and so on.  He needs our prayers and sacrifices even more now than ever.  If he has made mistakes, Our Lord will correct him.  How worldly interpretations of the crisis distract us from a supernatural perspective is frightening to me.  The section quoted from Sr. Lucia helped me understand a bit better, that the proper response for me is deeper prayer and penance - renouncing pleasures - and to accept purification-chastisements in a spirit of sacrifice - at least to try.

"That which afflicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus is the fall of religious and priestly souls. The devil knows that religious and priests who fall away from their beautiful vocation drag numerous souls to hell. The devil wishes to take possession of consecrated souls. He tries to corrupt them in order to lull to sleep the souls of laypeople and thereby lead them to final impenitence. He employs all tricks, even going so far as to suggest the delay of entrance into religious life. Resulting from this is the sterility of the interior life, and among the laypeople, coldness (lack of enthusiasm) regarding the subject of renouncing pleasures and the total dedication of themselves to God." - O'Reagan

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Will the truth about Archbishop McCarrick ever be revealed?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

I was reading an article about what Pope Francis can and can not clarify about the Vigano accusations.  I was reminded of a local case involving a gay priest which brought down the reign of Archbishop Nienstedt and the local curia in the Archdiocese of StP/MPLS.

It appears to me the general stance in the Church these days is that there is nothing wrong with being gay ... and that it is not an impediment to ordination.  (Dispensations freely made.)  I say that because in the case of former priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, the reports of homosexual behavior received by the archdiocese were initially dismissed and posed little or no problem to his promotion as pastor of a local parish.  The same parish he was arrested at for having sexually abused teen boys.  Before this, he was caught cruising in parks, trying to pick up young men in a bookstore, and so on.  He's gay.  He's a gay man who likes young guys.*

After his arrest I recall our former vicar general, Fr. Laird, said something to the effect that diocesan officials simply believed Wehmeyer had a gay problem with chastity.  In other words, officials didn't think he posed a problem for minors.  At least that is the impression I got.  Laird has since left the priesthood.

I mention this because, as an NPR article detailing the history of this case reveals, Church officials can and do know about the sexual misconduct of priests and bishops, but will cover it up if it isn't criminal or doesn't involve minors: 
Top archdiocese leaders knew of Wehmeyer's sexual compulsions for nearly a decade but kept him in ministry and failed to warn parishioners, according to canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who resigned in April, and dozens of other interviews and documents. - NPR*
I'm not revisiting this story except to make some parallels on the silence and cover-up surrounding Theodore McCarrick's elevation in the Church.  Informants weren't believed.  If it didn't involve minors, it was apparently okay, and so on.  Look at the history of Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee - a male lover was apparently not a problem.  There are other situations I could list, but the upshot seems to be, gay is okay - gay is neutral - gay is good.

Yet that goes against Church teaching.  Being SSA is okay though.  Suffering from SSA is even better.  Maybe that's how it was with Wehmeyer - troubled childhood, suffered from SSA, but posed no threat.  McCarrick maybe suffers from SSA, posed no threat to kids, but slept with young priests and seminarians to console himself.
Accounts of McCarrick’s immoral behavior with seminarians and priests, while certainly sinful, may not necessarily have been enough to launch a full-scale canonical prosecution. But in cases where a person is suspected of having done something immoral, or of posing a future risk, a precept is often issued. A precept is essentially an authoritative canonical instruction to do or not do something; it often includes direction on where a cleric must live. - CWR

So we may never know the truth.  The only thing he might have done wrong in the eyes of the finance committee and lawyers is touched a couple of altar boys inappropriately and did something with an 11 year old boy.  Compromising the vocations of seminarians and having a club of gay priests and bishops is not a crime.  Corrupt as hell, but not a crime.  Maybe it is all about money then after all?
“When he would visit Rome, Cardinal McCarrick was well-known for handing out envelopes of money to different bishops and cardinals around the curia to thank them for their work,” a curial cardinal recently told CNA. “Where these ‘honoraria’ came from or what they were for, exactly, was never clear – but many accepted them anyway.” - CWR

Money and power corrupts.  One wouldn't even have to be gay to be involved in a homosexual network, they could be SSA, or just like the money.

Hopefully the Holy Father will clean house and come clean.  Prayers for the Pope.


It isn't a problem of pedophilia when the minors are teen boys or young men.  Two years ago I posted on a local situation which ended in a husband and husband team committing suicide - they liked teen boys and young men - just like McCarrick and company - it was indeed gay - nothing to do with power or control - just sex:
"Mr. Babbitt was a popular teacher.
He liked boys and young men. Teen boys. He and his husband Matthew both liked them. In some ways, Mr. Babbitt, popular teacher, may have kind of groomed some boys? I wonder? One teen told police Mr. Babbitt was his teacher in grade school, then later, he was his mentor. The teen was gay. I'm sure Mr. Babbitt didn't make him gay - but he took a special interest in him because he is gay ...
Here's the story, Mr. Babbitt and Mr. Deyo killed themselves after police found out they were involved in sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy and at least two other boys. They felt they had 'no way out' in the investigation. That's an unfortunate decision on their part. Murder suicide is a tragic end.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Vatican is preparing a response to Vigano ...

Grand silence.

The Cardinals, that is.

I can't wait.  (Trying not to be cynical.)

The C-9.

The six present for the September meeting were: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Sean P. O’Malley of Boston; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; and Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State.
The three who were absent were: 85-year-old Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile, who is facing questioning over his handling of abuse allegations; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, who turns 79 in early October; and 77-year-old Australian Cardinal George Pell, who currently is on trial in Australia on sex abuse charges. - Catholic Herald

I wonder if Maradiaga will have anything to say about his seminarian scandal?  What a group.

Like I said, I'm trying hard not to be cynical.

In an interview, Cardinal O’Malley, speaking about sexual abuse survivors stated: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”  He was talking about listening to abuse survivors and how the Church wants to insure it doesn't happen again, and so on.  Hopefully they will begin with the proper formation of priests and who is admitted to seminary.  With Maradiaga on the Council of Cardinals, I wonder how that will go?  The focus on issues of abuse and survivors is one thing, hopefully they won't use it to deflect attention away from the corruption, which has been exposed by the McCarrick revelations, not to ignore the seminary scandals in Honduras and elsewhere over the years.

The Holy Father wants us to be silent and pray. I will try.

As John of the Cross said, "Controlling the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water."