Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Truth Will Set Us Free - If It Doesn't Drive Us to Despair

OK, kids, I need your help here.

Dr. Eric commented on my latest post (which is about a priest addicted to gay child porn and other priests and bishops who protect him and give him access to children), and my reply follows ...

How do these guys make into the seminary? How do they end up getting ordained?

Dr. Eric
October 8, 2013 at 4:24 AM
Blogger Kevin O'Brien said...
Eric, the only answer I can come up with is any actual belief in God has been abandoned [in the Church]; the empty shell of an unmarried all-male culture that exists to serve a God that no one believes in anymore serves only as a cover for this kind of behavior. The false culture these men assert becomes a mask that protects the real culture of homosexual license and sex with children. I really think, in many cases, it's literally that bad.

This is not to say that no priest or bishop is sincerely Christian, but a pretend culture now protects a true culture of unbelievable depravity.

This also explains liturgical abuse and lay Catholics who don't know who Jesus Christ is in any except the most superficial of ways. A true Catholic culture would not bear such fruit. Hypocrisy rotten to the core would.

Is it really that bad?  Or am I being cynical?

My mind keeps going back to this (from an upcoming prayer post that has been written but not published) ...


Here you can read about The Battle of Lepanto, and how by means of the Holy Rosary and Mary's intercession, the Christian fleet won their first victory against the Muslims, saving all of Europe.

To me the most amazing thing in the whole article is not the miraculous victory, the blessings of the Rosary, or the miraculous vision of victory given to Pope Pius V, but this.  Before the Christian fleet left ...

The Pope ordered the admirals and generals to disband 1) all soldiers and seamen who were interested in fighting not for preservation of Christendom but only for plunder; 2) all scandalizing and rioting men who might bring indignation down from heaven by their misdeeds. 

"But ... but ... but ... we might not win!"


If Pope St. Pius V can ask for military men with that degree of sanctity, why can bishops not ask for priests who at a bare minimum don't view child porn and fantasize about sex with boys?

In what kind of Bizarro-Catholic world can that question even seriously be asked???


Anonymous said...

Then, aren't we truly in the last days, and not the general last days after. Pentecost? If most of the priests and bishops no longer believe what they teach, if they teach it?

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." -CCC 675

Dr. Eric

Tom Leith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Leith said...

> why can bishops not ask for
> priests who at a bare minimum
> don't view child porn and
> fantasize about sex with boys?

They can and do (almost) all of them. But that's not who shows up at the door.

The priesthood appears a good place for a man afflicted with Same Sex Attraction Disorder who wants to live a decent life to sort of hide out. But it isn't true.

SSA Disorder truly is a personality disorder and the life of a priest today is very lonely, so disorders of any kind can get magnified. They fall, and hard, even if they weren't fantasizing about sodomy with boys when they were ordained.

I don't know whether these men lie about the extent of their disorder during the discernment process or whether the process itself is badly deficient, or whether the vocation directors have an over-optimistic view about what can be overcome. I haven't got any idea.

What I do know is that this has been going on a very long time, and that back in 1961 a letter was sent to all the bishops of the world warning them thusly "Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers." Note that it does not say "because they're unworthy". There's a reason for that, identification of which is left as an exercise. This instruction had evidently been in the works for ten years before it was published.

St. John Bosco I think it was thought about 1 in 4 people have a vocation to the religious life: today many, many fewer answer the call. So who's answering? Estimates run between 25 and 50% of today's clergy are afflicted with SSAD in some degree -- they're vastly overrepresented versus the general population: likely between 2 & 5%. This, of course, makes the priesthood or religious life much less attractive to normal men and you get sort of a death-spiral.

I don't know whether it is getting any better. I just don't. I hope so.

Kevin Tierney said...

Todays' younger seminarians and priests are a source of hope. But there's still a lot of waking up Catholics have to do about the abuse crisis. It was a classic case of hope triumphing over all available evidence (that it was a good idea to place those with SSA in a very lonely vocation with children.)

It was a case of people looking to hold onto power above all else, a cespool of filth rivaling the Borgias, but at least the Borgias were mostly confined to Italy.

I'd like to say traditionalism is the answer, but quite frankly, most traditionalists I know aren't going to paint a very inspiring picture.

We've got a long time prepared ahead of us, great opportunities for grace, but alongside that, a lot of suffering which will require a very creative Church to navigate.

A lot of people are still lying to themselves that if we change a few things at the margins all will be okay.

Its why I like Kevin's stuff. He realizes the gravity of the crisis, but he hasn't given into despair. at least, not yet. ;)

Kevin O'Brien said...

Despair is certainly tempting, and I would answer Dr. Eric, who is wondering if he should even encourage his son to consider the priesthood, that the way to reform something is not to abandon it, but to change it from within.

And I have to remind myself, and all of us, of what I saw only a month ago in Fargo, North Dakota. Good bishops and priests have produced a vibrant Catholic community that's orthodox yet sane. Indeed, we see this sort of stuff with Theater of the Word all the time - there are vibrant and wonderful parishes and solid, devout sane Catholics all over this country.

The problem, too, is not really a problem with the clergy only. The problem is a cultural abandonment of the Faith. This turns the priesthood into something "Unreal", and it tends to attract men with affectations who like to play dress up and whose mothers will love that they're priests and will never ask them why they've never married.

In show biz, we see this kind of guy a lot. If up to 50% of priests have SSA, in some theatrical communities it's higher than that; though frankly, I'd guess in theater across the board you'll find maybe 20% tops, which is still far above the general population.

And I think what we all find most troubling is not that there are SSA guys in the priesthood (indeed, many of them may be leading chaste lives), but that protection and enabling of them and their acting out on their lusts has become institutionalized; that even addiction to gay porn is not the red flag it ought to be.

Meanwhile, now that independent evidence exists from Fr. Shelley's computer (see my latest post), this thing may blow up big time. If the discs copied 9 years ago do not match the discs the chancery provided to the cops last year, charges of Obstruction of Justice may be forthcoming - and they'll likely stick.

Or maybe there never was anything but "borderline" child porn. Still, it's not reassuring.

Harry said...

Again I would just advise you to get a good history of the Catholic Church (or just Christianity in general) and see how the problems we have now can be seen again and again and again throughout history.
You talk about unreality a lot, and to be frank there's quite a bit of it in the Catholic sub-culture's approach to history. It's always Glorious Christendom against the Moslem hordes, or the hideous heretics, or the conniving Protestants - you know, cartoon history. Always a glorious, airbrushed past we're struggling to get back to. That article you linked to would never get into the nitty-gritty of slaughtering other human beings at close range - that would rather spoil the image, wouldn't it?
Have a gander at Crisis Magazine's latest article on the Spanish Civil War- wherein we learn that the murderous, pals-around-with-Nazis General Franco was actually a Catholic hero in a great Crusade. Unreality at work.
For my Uni work I've been immersed in records of the medieval Church, and you would be horrified by some of the behaviour back then that was common and well know. Our main problem - apart from the fallout from the abuse crisis - is catechesis, at least in the West. Now the Faith is taught badly - back then it was barely taught at all.
As for the nauseating behaviour of todays priests and bishops - does it ever make you pause for thought that once upon a time a Catholic could take part in the ritual burning of an Anabaptist, say, and be positively happy that he was doing his part to cut a cancer out of Christendom? Or forcing Jews to live in ghettos- and generally belittling and baiting them - was a neccesary duty, laid on Catholics by Holy Mother Church? Would you credit it that Catholics could still have faith in Christ and yet rationalise these horrible acts?
Also, on a more hopeful note, you need to realise that in actual fact the Church is exploding in members right about now - in places like Africa and China. Technically the Church is doing better in evangelisation than it has in centuries - in the academic literature our age is seen as a kind of Golden one for the Faith, believe it or not.
Granted, in Wales we have been removed from the worst of the scandals, so I can't imagine what it must be like to face such filth up close and personal. But you have to keep in mind that such horrors should not be entirely unexpected - it is the nature of the world we live in.
Sorry for the length and if the last bit seems weak - but I can't think of anything else to say.

Anonymous said...


I've heard that orthodox, intelligent men are prevented from entering the seminary. My vocation director for the Archdiocese of St. Louis was last seen on Channel Five news. I've seen the way that the hierarchy in America constantly does the exact opposite thing they are supposed to do.

My son is a good boy, maybe even holy. He's twelve and is in advanced math, has always had very good grades, only a few Bs here and there. He has always been intelligent, ever since he began to talk at about 9 months. He has great promise. I have prayed that he could be a new St. Dominic. That's why I gave him the name.

My wife and I are still encouraging him for the time being.

Dr. Eric

Kevin O'Brien said...

Dr. Eric, what do you mean your vocations director was last seen on Channel 5 News?

Harry, today someone just brought my attention to Peter Damian writing about homosexual activity among the clergy - which he wrote a thousand years ago.

Anonymous said...


Although I was 23-25 at the time I knew him and if he had tried anything it would have been me on Channel Five for assault and battery.

Dr. Eric

Anonymous said...

When the 2002 scandal broke some orthodox bloggers posted the writings of St. Peter Damian on the perversions among the clergy.

Dr. Eric



Anonymous said...

"If Pope St. Pius V can ask for military men with that degree of sanctity, why can bishops not ask for priests who at a bare minimum don't view child porn and fantasize about sex with boys?"

You would think. Imagine if we could actually expect to have priests routinely living out their vows. Most courageously do, but when we cannot have a reasonable expectation that those who cannot are removed, we will always wonder about even the best of them. Our good priests deserve better than that. CLEAN HOUSE.