Monday, August 11, 2014

What's Never Mentioned in the Sex Scandal Cases

Has anyone ever commented on the fact that, not only is it shocking that bishops have been covering for, lying for, and enabling abusive priests - but that when a priest is sexually active at all (even with consenting adults), this seems to be no big deal to bishops?

In the case of Fr. LaVan in St. Paul, who was kept in ministry until very recently (in violation of the Dallas Charter), not only was he (by the admission of the archdiocese) "credibly accused" of raping two teenage girls and yet allowed to serve in parishes for 25 years after these rapes, but over that period of time, he also had a series of affairs with adults - who were married parishioners.  

As early as 1986, LaVan admitted to having affairs with at least four married women (up to that time) who were parishioners of his.  He bragged to the woman whose husband he threatened to murder that he had several "woman lovers" from his parishes that he kept in contact with even after he would be sent to a new parish.

Now, it's bad enough that LaVan was allowed to continue to function as a priest, even after the archdiocese was convinced he had raped two teenage girls.

But put that horror aside for a moment.  Why on earth did the bishops of St. Paul, from the mid-1980's until December of 2013 allow a priest to continue to function when this priest was destroying the sanctity of marriage by committing adultery with the women who called him "Father"?  Yes, the girls LaVan raped have suffered tremendously, I'm sure.  But what of the husbands and children of the wives who consented to allow LaVan to have sex them?  What about the women themselves?

And yet a priest engaging in consensual sex with an adult, even if such sex constitutes adultery and destroys entire families is never an issue.  And when we hear about priests like Fr. Wehmeyer, who molested two boys on church property, we find that his bishops had long known that he was an active homosexual, cruising and picking up young men.  But this was apparently simply winked at.

So how is it that these men are allowed to put themselves forth as spiritual leaders?  And when the truth begins to come out, bishops simply lie and advise one another to lie so that parishioners don't find out what's really going on and so that things don't "blow up".

Why on earth should we listen to anyone who's trying to sleep with our wives or pick up men and have anonymous sex with them on the weekends?  An adulterous priest can administer valid sacraments, but an adulterous priest has no moral authority and should be removed from any parish work before he does unimaginable harm.  Especially in a Church that preaches about the "sanctity of marriage"!

Why do we allow this to go on?

In my home town of St. Louis, riots are breaking out because of perceived police brutality.  This is a terrible thing, but the rioters are at least (from their point of view) getting noticed.  Meanwhile, Catholics pray, pay and obey while bishops allow some of their priests to do untold damage in their parishes - and then boldly lie to us about it.

Again, why do we allow this to go on?


Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding conspiratorial, I think there has been a network of priests and bishops who are in the Church simply to work the system and live according to their whims. They're faithless men who put on their costume for Mass (for that's all it is for them, if they don't believe, right?) and recite Shakespeare (for what they read is poetic and beautiful, but somewhat distant and foreign to them). The enemy has advertised this free lunch since the beginning of the Church, so it is so surprising? Thankfully, Jesus addressed this with his parable of the Weeds and the Wheat. Remember, the particular weed mentioned, as the Pharisee of then and today, had the appearance of golden wheat.

Gloria Sullivan said...

Why do Catholics allow this disgusting behavior to g o on for over 10 years?

Because they have been generationally brain washed, just as we were. It took years for us to see the "writing on the wall" In the San Diego News Paper to make us realize every thing they had heard & wouldn't believe was true! We left the rcc immediately!Have never turned back!

Gloria Sullivan said...


Kevin Tierney said...

And this is why I could never take the "We are in a renewal!" stuff seriously. Many of the same guys who were doing this stuff were talking about renewal.

We are very much like the Church of the "Reformation." Catholics tend to say pious bromides about how "there were issues", but a more accurate description was the popes and clergy were such hypocrties obsessed with temporal power and wealthy they flung the church into an existensial crisis. Without any good leadership, people started believing all sorts of crazy things.

This was just like the Saeculum Obscurum , in which clergy (but mainly the papacy) lived more like temporal rulers than religious authorities (in the case of the papacy they were more or less political puppets) that they threw the Church in the West into a dark age lasting centuries, and had there been modern communication, would certainly have thrown the Church into an existensial crisis.

We are facing such a crisis now. And people don't want to admit that, due to a highly romanticized version of what the Catholic Church has been throughout history, and what can fix it. Hint: the only way these putrid ages were cleaned up was through pretty strict discipline lasting centuries.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Kevin, please don't post this as what I saw may have been a scam, and I don't want to start a silly rumor. I am single and subscribe to match. That dating site tries to match subscribers up with people that have, more of less, mutual interests. A few days ago I looked at the matches sent to me. One man, for his profile photo was pictured in the collar of a priest. Under religion he listed himself as Catholic. He was in is mid-60s. Like I said, this could be a scam to lure in older ladies with religious leanings, and then whoever it really is will convince them that he is in need of funds. The awful part is that if this is a ruse, it is a clever one as with the behavior that is sometimes exhibited by our priests, it does not appear to be beyond the realm of possibility that this is a legit profile!

Anonymous said...

We would be better off without priests who refuse to even try to live a moral life. Not having been credibly accused of abusing children is way too low a criterion. Better to have fewer priests who actually try to live a moral life, even if that means we are really short of priests. At least those remaining would have something to teach about Christian living. Can we clean house?

jvc said...

Ditto what Kevin Tierney said. We have a lot of Catholics with an amazing case of perception bias, where "everybody I know is Catholic!" and goes to Catholic bible camp, etc., or whatever.

For schmucks like myself out in the real world, things are a bit more bleak.