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« Pornography's Death Grip: An Interview with Bishop Robert Finn | Main | Gay Catholic Couple Raising 2 Kids, Prides Itself as Being Devout »

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Comments

James


"Do they realize that Catholics have an obligation to lead others to the truth and away from error?"

---

Thank you for this post, Thomistic.

You know - over the years - I have known many, many Catholics who will sit silently by while a priest engages in heresy, or come to his defense when he is caught stealing, or found to be sinning sexually. I've even seen it to a great degree with molestor priests. ("Oh, Father Bill is just so nice on Sunday.") A teenage boy got molested, but many, many will actually vote to allow things to go on normally (and for the priest to have continued access to teenage boys). Sometimes I think many have lost their minds - and conflated love with 'niceness.'

Folks - All Christians (Catholics included) are to condemn sin forthrightly - both with regard to themselves and with regard to others. If we cannot rebuke others with regard to sin - then sin and evil take over the world.

In today's society - this is by far one of its worst problems - many would like to teach us not to make 'judgments' about others' behavior. Where did that come from? Well, from people who don't want to have their actions judged of course!

Now - in politically correct society - people have come to believe that making a judgment about anything is wrong! That's how messed up we are as a society.

We are not allowed to judge a person as a whole, or with regard to their soul - for we know not what state we'd being in if we'd led that person's life. But we are to forthrightly name sin and condemn it, and to condemn people's sinful actions.

If we do not do this with priests - we will assuredly end up (and often have) with priests who believe they can sin and scandalize with impunity.

You always get more of what you tolerate.

James

MJ

Great post! Thank you so much! I'll be cross-posting it on my blog later today, with a link back here.

Terry

Wonderful post - I linked to it. Thanks for researching the subject so very well!

Rita

Thomistic,
Your post is excellent! Very illuminating. Even decent people get confused and think that being "nice" and "quiet" is charity. Let your post remind us all of that part of the Gospel which requires Catholics to defend their Faith not only with prayer, but by standing up to evil no matter where it comes from. The Church would not prevail if all were cloistered, and evil doesn't just go away when politely asked to.

David1

I agree completely that we may properly call attention to the sins of others, clergy included. We, of course, must do it from a heart of love and healing. If we rebuke from a heart of self-righteousness and ego, then we sin ourselves and we lead others to sin (this is especially powerful given the reach of the Internet). We must look inside to see our own imperfection and then, with humility, move forward.

If we choose to do this, then we have a responsibility to be skilled at leading others who sin to Christ. We must learn and discern the best method for any given person (or cause). Is it effective to write and speak loud denunciations? I’ll give you an example. In our Church we had a standard denunciation of abortion in one of the prayers of the faithful, but we added a phrase praying for the healing of those women who’d had an abortion and were frozen in guilt. As a result, one of the women came forward to go through our healing program. If we had simply denounced her, then she would have withdrawn further.

This was an example of a sin after the fact. In the case of abortion, our responsibility is to prevent it as well. What is the most effective way to prevent it? Do loud denunciations work? Do they bear fruit? Perhaps to some extent. But if we stop there, then I contend we are ineffective. Do our loud and angry denunciations of politicians change a single vote? What would be a more effective way of leading them to the truth?

Some will now accuse me of being soft. I’m not talking about being soft or being harsh. I trying to promote the idea of being effective.

The way Jesus interacted with the Samaritan woman at the well is a good model.

Bob

I have rebuked priests several times in my life. The look of complete shock on their faces told me I was doing the right thing.

I often think that the lack of challenging priests have led to sex scandals that never seem to go away.

MJ

I don't think that the never-ending sex scandals were caused or even lengthened by priests not being challenged.

Rather, I think our priesthood has been infiltrated.

Good priests (candidates) just don't DO stuff like that as a result of not being rebuked...

James


"I don't think that the never-ending sex scandals were caused or even lengthened by priests not being challenged.

Rather, I think our priesthood has been infiltrated."

---

It's both, MJ. The priesthood has been infiltrated by: homosexuals, sodomites, and priests and bishops virulently opposed to God's moral rules on sex.

Tons of priests (including many who would never sin sexually) - knew about and saw what was going on - and did nothing - because they were afraid.

Many bishops were afraid to rebuke and take action - because they were afraid of skeletons in their own closets.

Finally, most day-to-day Catholics couldn't rebuke priests on the homomolestation scandal, because they had no idea what was going on.

Sadly, the laity is now going to have to keep real close tabs on their priests - because the church hierarchy is not at all responsible enough to do so.

First step - run a google check on any priest you or your kids come in contact with.

James

James


Oh - and bottom line -

The Church will only be cured of its molestatory problem by refusing to ordain those with disordered sexual inclinations, and also - by ensuring that it ordains real men. Any real man (and any father) is nauseated and horrified by the idea of the molestation of youth. That normal reaction to such seems to be totally lacking among many priests and bishops. There is something profoundly and sickeningly wrong there.

James

A Simple Sinner

Catholics aren't, contrary to the machinations of some fundamentalists, practicioners of "presbyterolatry". They have sacred orders, they are not sacred cows.

The sacred nature of the priest as a recipient of Holy Orders demands respect to be sure, but no one ought to take this as giving the clergy "carte blanche" to do as they please without rebuke, correction or even gentle guiding suggestion.

David1

"Sacred cows"

Indeed, ordination should make one more of a servant. However, being human beings, it’s easy to see how egos can be stroked as parishioners give our priests respect and , in some cases, idolization. Deacons have less of a problem because their wives and kids keep them humble.

Being a priest is a very hard vocation. In the midst of running a small business (finance, real estate, personnel, etc.), ministering to people with all kinds of problems, being called out in the middle of the night to administer anointing, dealing with the criticism that comes after every homily, writing homilies every week, doing 6 Masses a Sunday, etc, etc – they have to somehow maintain their inner spiritual life. All of this without the treasure of a family. And in addition, they are tarred with the priests who have molested.

And so, when we find a good priest, we should double our time of support and prayer. And yes, deal with their mistakes and drifting as is appropriate.

Jamie

Of course Catholics should definately NOT remain silent, but instead of bashing these people, its better to do something about it and report it to a higher authority, than to just spread around ' how bad ' someone is.

Another thing which needs to be done is for us as faithful orthodox Catholics to show these people who go to confrences (such as the one 2 blog posts below) what a Mass should really consist of, and how the Catholic Church is supposed to be different from any other Church.

People are craving reverence and holiness, its obvious in the way different dioceses have young people interested in vocations. In the very orthodox dioceses, vocations are blooming like crazy! I wish it could be said for mine also.

God bless, and take CARE, Jamie


"Take C.A.R.E. of your soul! Confession, Adoration, Rosary and Eucharist!"

Jessica

Perhaps both sides are right and wrong on some things. I, however, must side with the reader. You can't deny that she quoted the EXACT WORDS of our Lord and God.

Even the bible verse which was posted:

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17)

As the reader said... take it to a higher authority; namely, GOD. If I call my friend and complain about how someone is bothering me, is anyone going to be helped? JESUS wants to hear our complaints and problems. The greatest LOVE cares about us so much, that although He knows everything, He still wants to hear what is hidden so deeply in our hearts. Our prayers to Him are not simply mindless complaints, they are a plead for help. Can we honestly believe that if we come to the altar with a problem, that the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary will NOT help us overcome it?


Yes, perhaps Cardinal Mahony has done some bad things. But what is going to be done about it if we just spread it around the internet? The Catholic Church certainly dones have a right to state their opinion, but not to talk of others in mindless gossip.
Let us go about our ways, as long as they do NOT interfere with the Holy Will of our God.

"Keep yourselves therefore from murmuring, which profiteth nothing, and refrain your tongue from detraction, for an obscure speech shall not go for nought: and the mouth that belieth, killeth the soul." -Wisdom 1:11

James


"Let us go about our ways, as long as they do NOT interfere with the Holy Will of our God."

---

Oh, please, Jessica. Do you think Cardinal Mahoney is not interfering with the holy will of God? He is a known and proved liar; he encourages people to believe sexual perversion is good and acceptable to God; he has housed molestors; he is heavily involved in moving molestors around, etc. etc.

As for talking about this stuff on the internet - I think it's great. It alerts more and more of the faithful of the ROT in the Church. It shows people that they are not alone in their horror and disgust. It also embarrasses those in the hierarchy - because they begin to realize that others are onto their machinations.

James

Robert Kumpel

I agree that the laity have a duty to question and even correct errant priests, but be forewarned. Some priests can be VERY vindictive. I know from personal experience.

O

Some fantastic thoughts in this thread. For me the best one is this "Take C.A.R.E. of your soul! Confession, Adoration, Rosary and Eucharist!"

The other gem for me was about Holy Orders not Sacred Cows.

Michael Teissere

Robert Kumpel, I agree also from personal experience! God Bless you Robert.

Jimbo

I don't think it's a sin to confront a priest or bishop if the situation warrants it; but I have been uncomfortable a few times at the degree of vitriol and gossip expressed at and about Bishop Brown. I think I distinguish between objective and personal attacks. Most of the time most people stay within what I deem proper limits.

Thomistic

I become uncomfortable with allegations that a a bishop or priest is homosexual when there isn't solid evidence to support such claims. I don't consider liberalism or dissent valid reasons for telling people with certainty that a priest or a bishop (or a pope!) has strong homosexual tendencies or engages in homosexual activity.

People should stick to what is known. If they teach heresy, you can say they teach heresy. If they teach heresy about homosexuality, you can say they teach heresy about homosexuality.

However, unless you have certain knowledge about someone's activities, you can't go around announcing that you suspect a person is a homosexual or a pederast, etc.

It is not wrong to point out the large number of bishops and priests caught in homosexual scandals or pederast scandals and help people connect the dots that there may be more unknown instances of this, but to run around naming names without concrete evidence violates the Eighth Commandment.

Pax,

Thomistic

Jessica

"Oh, please, Jessica. Do you think Cardinal Mahoney is not interfering with the holy will of God? He is a known and proved liar; he encourages people to believe sexual perversion is good and acceptable to God; he has housed molestors; he is heavily involved in moving molestors around, etc. etc. As for talking about this stuff on the internet - I think it's great. It alerts more and more of the faithful of the ROT in the Church... It also embarrasses those in the hierarchy - because they begin to realize that others are onto their machinations."
_____________________

Please re-read what I posted above:
Yes, perhaps Cardinal Mahony has done some bad things. But what is going to be done about it if we just spread it around the internet? The Catholic Church certainly does have a right to state their opinion, but not to talk of others in mindless gossip.

About what you said on the things Cardinal Mahony has/may have done; what is going to be accomplished if nobody speaks directly to him about it? Perhaps he will be influenced by seeing members of his diocese (and others) talking and rebuking his actions, but if he hasn't changed his ways by now, will he ever? Will he want to change for a Church that constantly gossips about how horrible a bishop he is?

The clergy may be having a hard time, but where does this problem originate? I don't know, maybe it's from the faithful telling them what 'not to do' rather than 'what to do'. Many Catholics today probably spend more time ranting on and on about the scandal in the Church rather than taking it to the altar and praying about it, turning us into nothing but hypocrites.

We have become so quick to judge others. No, let us not remain silent about our actions or theirs, but seek repentance for sins in prayer and sacrifice.


"Let us not therefore judge one another any more. But judge this rather, that you put not a stumblingblock or a scandal in your brother's way." -Romans 14:13

Thomistic

Jessica,

I have yet to see anyone here judging Cardinal Mahony. Judging him would mean saying that he is objectively in the state of mortal sin and is going to hell if he dies without repentance.

People are judging Cardinal Mahony's actions, not his soul.

St. Paul was talking about judging people's souls in the verse you cited.

You asked what benefit there is in exposing Cardinal Mahony's actions (and inactions) on the Internet.

Have you seen the footage from his Religious Education Congress this year and in years past?

Did you see the throngs of people applauding him and applauding the people who put the Congress together?

Are you aware that many speakers at that Congress are known dissenters who lead people astray from Church teaching on various matters of faith and morals?

Cardinal Mahony is confusing a lot of people at those functions.

Many people seem unaware of the fact that the Cardinal's actions and inaction are causing confusion.

Perhaps they think that since he is a Cardinal and has not been disciplined by the Holy See, that the Holy See is fine with the speakers he allows and the liturgical aberrations and abuses he encourages during his Masses (which violate repeated statements from Rome that such activities are to be reprobated).

People are confused. They may not be hearing the truth. We are supposed to tell them the truth. We are supposed to explain to them that even though he is a Cardinal and even though he has not been publicly disciplined or called out by name, the things he is doing and allowing violate Church liturgical norms and even Church teaching on matters of faith and morals.

Souls are being led astray, Jessica.

You need to help them see the truth.

You seem to have no problem correcting what you perceive to be our error.

Study the truth and help others not to be misled by Cardinal Mahony's actions and inaction.

One last thing: Cardinal Mahony has heard from people. He is well aware that people understand that he violates liturgical norms and that he allows speakers who are not in union with the Holy See at his religious Education Congress each year.

He was asked about it at this year's Congress. He shifted the blame to his subordinates and walked away.

He knows people have written to the Holy See about him. He has also received many letters from well meaning Catholics over the years.

I think you are right to say he may never change, although, we can hope he will have a conversion.

However, the goal isn't simply his conversion. The goal is to expose the things he does and let people know they are wrong. That may help some people not to be confused.

Here's something else to think about: if he does all these things even with people exposing them, how much further would he push the envelope if people said nothing?

Pax,

Thomistic

Aaron

Jessica:

The purpose of complaining about Cardinal Mahoney's behavior is to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible.

You say "perhaps [he] has done some bad things." Perhaps? Some bad things? The guy is engaged in a criminal conspiracy to protect child molesters. He has maliciously lied to his flock. He has squandered untold millions of dollars to protect himself from culpability.

This is not "mindless gossip." It is voiced outrage over despicable, criminal behavior by a human being--a man who is responsible for the spiritual lives of milions.

Furthermore, no one has been "quick" to judge Cardinal Mahoney. The history of his malfeasance is decades old. The Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese have exahusted their patience. His actions must be made known and he must go--now.

James

Sure Jessica. Let me answer your questions.

Telling the truth of what is going on in the Church over the internet helps to get people to know about and oppose evils that have infected the Church. Sunshine, as always, is the best disinfectant.

The whole homomolestation atrocity would be going on right now if not for the free and independent press.

And we are not talking about mindless gossip. The abuses of Mahoney's cardinalship (and priesthood) are well documented and rife. If you want to know about them - you can find out about them.

I WOULD hope that people speak to him directly about it, though I suspect that he limits access to himself. (Heck, I've written tons of letters to abusive bishops, and hardly ever received a reply.) Many people (I've seen on TV) have rebuked Mahoney; he ignores them. In other words, he has deliberately chosen evil and insists on it.

From where does the problem originate, you ask?

It's the same old, same old - which you can know from reading your Bible - starting right out with Adam and Eve. People are fallen, and they want to have their sin condoned - and they don't trust or love God enough to stop. Worse, many are infected by Satan, and seek to do evil on purpose and to get others to do so.

As for 'ranting' on about the scandal - TEN THOUSAND BOYS HAVE BEEN SODOMIZED AND RAPED AND HOMOMOLESTED BY PRIESTS AND BISHOPS IN THIS CHURCH (just in America - not to mention the tens of thousands in other countries). And the evil which allowed this to happen has NOT been fully expunged from the Church.

To name evil, and to condemn it is NOT hypocrisy. Nor is it ranting. It is the statement of the truth, with the purpose and the desire to expunge that evil.

I do try very hard to repent of my own sins.

We are not to judge others' souls; only their actions and thoughts. That is what is going on here.

Mahoney is an abusive and evilly-infected bishop. He needs to be removed, so that he does not spread his evil to even more people. By not removing him, the leaders of the Church become complicit in his evil.

James

James


The teen boy who decides to engage in homosodomy will, 50% of the time, have AIDs by the time he is 25 years of age. He will, on average, lose 25 years of his life - because of that decision.

If even one teen boy decided that it was OK to engage in such perversion - because Cardinal Mahoney and his minions told him such is OK, then Mahoney would be a murderer.

I would not be at all surprised if this has happened, many times over.

James

Luis

It's time to clean house with a clean cloth and not with a soiled one. If we are to allow the same bishops who allowed their clergy to take the innocence from so many children to decide what actions should be taken to move forward from this, we are fooling ourselves. A soiled cloth only spreads the dirt around giving the illusion that it is cleaning while a clean cloth will take dirt not even noticable to the naked eye. Its time Rome does their part in replacing bishops who have deeply hurt our Church. There are many priests who have lived holy, worthy lives who can be raised to the leadership positions of our Church so the true healing can begin.

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