Without truth there is no trust, and without trust…

This is not a time for silence, mediocrity, or fear for the laity or the bishops. The rot and corruption must be outed; the truth must be stated; trust must be renewed and restored.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago presents the Spirit of Francis Award to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, at an awards dinner on Oct. 27, 2016 in New York. (CNS photo/ courtesy Catholic Extension)

“Trust in a faithless man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.” (Prov 25:19)

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” (1 Cor 4:1-2)

My wife and I entered the Catholic Church in 1997, not long before the news about clergy sexual abuse started coming out of Dallas. I recall having a conversation with a life-long Catholic who expressed some amazement that my wife and I—both former Evangelical Protestants—had made the journey into the Church. “Things are really a mess,” he lamented, referring to the sex abuse stories. “How could you overcome that and still become Catholic?”

I’ve thought of that conversation a few times in recent weeks, as details of reports about Cardinal McCarrick—the lecherous “Uncle Ted” who groped, fondled, and abused seminarians and others as he steadily climbed the episcopal ranks—have emerged like rotten sewage bubbling up through cracks in a suddenly hollow and ugly house. Social media erupted with anger, pain, and disgust. One question is repeated, like a swelling drumbeat: “Who knew?” (After all, reports of McCarrick’s known and alleged actions—some dating back to the 1960s and early 1970s—have been around for many years.)

Some Catholics have said they can no longer support the Church; a few have indicated they are thinking of walking away altogether.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Catholic Church—I was 28 years old when I entered—and I can say three things with certainty and honestly: I have never regretted becoming Catholic, I sympathized deeply with the frustrations expressed by so many, and I think we are at a precarious and potentially disastrous moment in the life of the Church here in the United States (if not also beyond our borders).

I became Catholic because, first, I believe in Jesus Christ and believe he founded the Catholic Church; I remain Catholic despite the many failings of her members because I, of course, am a sinner in need of God’s mercy and grace, but also because I know the Church has endured many dark travails—even deaths, as Chesterton wrote about in The Everlasting Man—over the centuries. The gates of hell will not prevail, but that doesn’t mean that sin, evil, corruption, and rot must not be constantly confronted, addressed, and denounced. Quite the contrary.

It is true, without doubt, that many of the bishops and cardinals are good men who are trying to do the right thing. But the rot in the Church cannot be covered by good intentions, the corruption in the Body of Christ cannot be treated like a PR problem, and the righteous anger of the laity cannot be placated by soothing sound bites. Put simply, the current course—which has all too often been a wearying combination of tweaks, spins, deflections, and obfuscations—has deeply damaged trust in the leadership of the Church. Not in the Church—One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic—but in her current leadership as a whole, which often seems to think the laity are either stupid or not able to handle the truth.

But, in fact, the one thing the Catholic faithful want and deserve is the truth. The whole truth. The ugly, even nasty truth. The dark and difficult truth. Indeed, all the Christian faithful and all people everywhere, who have a right to the Gospel, deserve the truth.

Speaking of the Church and of holiness, the Catechism states:

“Christ, ‘holy, innocent, and undefiled,’ knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.” All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. (par 827)

And yet, as of this writing, McCarrick has not publicly acknowledged his sin; on the contrary, he has denied any wrongdoing. Very little has been said by the USCCB. Perhaps something substantial is in the works. But I’m not at all convinced that the bureaucracy of the USCCB is interested in really taking on the wolves, to borrow a term from Benedict XVI.

While distinctions, of course, must be made between consensual adult relationships and non-consensual adult-child relationships, the two are not unrelated, as Fr. Thomas V. Berg argues in this First Things essay:

We can’t prevent the sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by clergy while habitual and widespread failures in celibacy are left unchecked. Most experts who have studied the phenomenon of sexual activity by clerics agree that the offenders do not constitute a large percentage of priests—though the incidence is difficult to measure with any accuracy, given the success with which sexually active clerics, especially those who pursue a gay lifestyle, are able to cover their tracks. Nevertheless, most priests I know would estimate, as I do, that in dioceses in the United States, at least 5 percent of the clergy in a given diocese are or have been sexually active with consenting adults since their ordination. Most of us would venture that the majority of sexually active clergy participate in networks of gay priests, networks that maintain a code of silence out of mutual fear of being discovered.

“Silence” is a key word. Consider that fifty years ago this week Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, which exhorted priests (par 28) in this way: “In the performance of your ministry you must be the first to give an example of that sincere obedience, inward as well as outward, which is due to the magisterium of the Church. For, as you know, the pastors of the Church enjoy a special light of the Holy Spirit in teaching the truth.”

The sad irony is that numerous priests not only openly dissented from the encyclical, far too many bishops shrank away from addressing the dissent and defending the prophetic words of Paul VI. That silence, combined with cultural revolution and other challenges, had a devastating effect (hence the title of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s 1973 book: The Devastated Vineyard). It is true that the Catholic Church has continued to teach the truth about marriage, sexuality, and related matters; it is also true that huge numbers of Catholics ignore those teachings and embrace the use of contraceptives, have no issue with cohabitation, feel that homosexuality is perfectly normal, and even give a nod to gender ideology.

As John Paul II explained twenty-five years ago in Veritatis Splendor, more than a few Catholics—and he was specifically addressing certain moral theologians—believe that “man, as a rational being, not only can but actually must freely determine the meaning of his behaviour” (par 47). Not only does such an approach sound reasonable, it has the benefit of being far easier than holding to the teachings of Christ. But, as John Paul II stated at the very beginning of that essential encyclical:

Called to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, “the true light that enlightens everyone” (Jn 1:9), people become “light in the Lord” and “children of light” (Eph 5:8), and are made holy by “obedience to the truth” (1 Pet 1:22). This obedience is not always easy. (par 1; emphasis added)

The Catholic faithful do not want “easy”; they want the hard truth. They do not want therapists and counsellors; they want faithful men of God. They do not pine for happy talk, but for the joy found in the word of God, preached by servants of Christ in and out of season. And they do not easily trust those who do not vigorously proclaim and live the truth. As John Paul II stated twenty years ago in his encyclical on Faith and Reason, “To bear witness to the truth is therefore a task entrusted to us Bishops; we cannot renounce this task without failing in the ministry which we have received” (Fides et ratio, 6).

Meanwhile, the fathers of Vatican II stated, “Each individual layman must stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God” (Lumen Gentium, 38). This is not a time for silence, mediocrity, or fear for the laity or the bishops. The rot and corruption must be outed; the truth must be stated; trust must be renewed and restored.

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About Carl E. Olson 1207 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.


  1. Throughout history reform in the Church has started at the bottom – with the laity. I think that it will be the same way this time, and it WILL come.

  2. The only path to freedom in The Lord is the path of truth.

    There must be an end to the prison of the lie and the sexual destruction of people, enabled by the nightmare of incardination to unaccountable, treacherous Bishops.

  3. I wonder if some of this is because for many years mercy has been emphasized and justice denigrated (by people who don’t seem to realize that without justice there’d be no need of mercy). We are all so terrified of seeming to be “judgmental” (the only sin that a lot of people recognize these days) that we won’t speak out and condemn evil actions, or call to account people who are doing terrible things, because it might hurt their tender little feelings.

    • It’s not so much that there would be no need of mercy, it’s that mercy could not exist. Take, for example, the case of someone who commits a crime, is apprehended and convicted, but is subsequently pardoned. This outcome is (at least potentially) both just and merciful. If, on the other hand, the police had decided simply to look the other way, that would be neither justice nor mercy, it would be dereliction of duty. Too many bishops and priests have concentrated only on whether there is any punishment at all, and if so, is it hard to bear; but they have taken the easy, lazy route of ignoring sins rather than the hard path of forgiving them.

    • EXACTLY. I think more damage has been done within the Church by those who recite the great mantra from the 60’s and 70’s: “God is love.”. That’s an incomplete sentence for all the reasons you cited. It’s as if many Catholics believe that because God is love, they will be saved. “God is love” is trite and meaningless but appealing to our human emotions. God’s love for us always exceeds the furthest expectation of our own human longing, because God’s love is greater than the human heart.

      Imagine if a wise Bishop back then had stood up and said “The Crucifiction is love.”. Imagine that. Yes indeed…

    • I believe pastors was not truthful to the teaching of Church in that they didn’t call sinful action by people as sin, since these days people don’t know what is sin, consequently, our conscience is not formed in the light of Truth, teaching of Jesus.
      People only selectively accept Church’s teaching according to their own desires. This is not faith. Church’s teaching is Jesus’ teaching.

      I also believe it was recent tendancy that God’s mercy has been misunderstood or emphasized without proper context. It is only when we recognize the depth of our misery and sinfulness that we fully understand the depth of God’s mercy and we are embraced by God’s mercy. We cannot manipulate God by way of our thinking, God is the one who will lavish his mercy on the sinner when he/she recognizes his/her own sin. We are recipient of His Mercy. Many things went wrong maybe even before Second Vatican Council, or the release of Humanae Vitae since there were so many rebellious pastors and bishops against it. I believe that was the sign of time that showed how much Church’s members including priests became secular and unfaithful to the light of Truth. Those priests and bishops directly or indrectly (by cover-up) involved in sex abuse completely lost sense of faithfulness to the Lord, maybe even sense of the guilty. Otherwise how could they still remain as priest after breaching vow of celibacy? If they cannot live up to the vow they made when they were ordained, they voluntarily should leave priesthood. If they want to live like secular person, they shouldn’t become priest. When those people deceive themselves and others and prey on the flock, they become wolves closed on lambs inside Church, they will cause souls to be lost instead of saving. This is why such immorality committed inside Church we are witnessing now is more grave than any crimes committed outside Church.

      But we, lay people should stay awake by praying for the reform of Church in midst of shock, anger, frustration, feeling betrayed and lost trust in our bishops because from spiritual point of view, this is all Devil’s work. We all let in Devil deep in the heart of Church. While he’s working very hard without ceasing to sneak in sinful ideas to the people’s mind, regardless of laity or priest, we are not watchful enough what comes into our mind and our senses.

      Jesus won’t let His Church collapse until He comes again. He promised. Also Blessed Mother Mary, through Fatima Messages, predicted this immorality and she said eventually Her Immaculate Heart will win the Victory! This is our hope we have to hold on now.

    • One of the great modern weaknesses of the Church, is her failure to punish the wicked, if not sufficiently, then at least properly; unless one is rather low in the food chain. She is excessively humane – and that means that her attitude to punishing the wicked is pagan, not Christian, A righteous king – & Christ is the most Righteous King of all – punishes the wicked. To do so, is a part of the righteousness which characterises a just ruler. And all the wicked will be punished for their wickedness at the Last Day, even if not in this life. That is no excuse for criminals to go unpunished in this life, and the Church never used to think it was.

      The Church never speaks of the Wrath of God; yet the Gospels often mention it. Christianity has a severe side, and, if this was apt to be over-emphasised in the past, now it is hardly ever mentioned. A Christianity that lacks the steel to punish the wicked severely, by that fact also lacks the steel that enables men to become Saints, and to be fearless and resolute against heresy & heathenism. A Church of overly humane members produces persecuting liberals, & persecuting semi-heathens, and apologists for its corruptions, and bureaucrats; but it produces no missionaries, Saints, or Martyrs. As Tacitus might have said, “They make a desert, and they call it renewal”.

    • Yes, this must happen! I pray everyday that a “high ranking” official will take it upon themselves to step forth, confess what they know and resign themselves to a lifetime of prayer and penance. I am afraid for the church. I am at the point wondering does anything matter anymore?

  4. “But I’m not at all convinced that the bureaucracy of the USCCB is interested in really taking on the wolves…”

    And why would they? The bureaucracy of the USCCB is part of “the wolves.”

    • Thank you for pointing out the obvious. (I don’t mean that as a criticism of you. It is just surprising you need to state that, as it should have been obvious).

  5. Von Hildebrand should be read by every Catholic, especially the Trojan Horse in the City of God. It is like an antidote for poison. Thank you for mentioning him.

  6. Christ founded a Church with imperfect men, the Apostles. And Peter, his chosen leader was perhaps the most imperfect of all. Why should we be so shocked at imperfect men leading the Church today? It’s the way Christ set it up knowing that many will disappoint terribly, sinfully and some will
    achieve holy and glorious things. It’s the way he set it up. He could have done it differently but he did it with culpable human beings.

    • None of us are surprised to know that bishops are imperfect and sinful. But none of us should be resigned to looking the other way for years and decades while bishops and cardinals sexually molest or assault men in their charge–and then act as if they are the foremost defenders of the Church and her teachings.

    • Stan,
      You mis the main point completely. Yes, our Lord, Jesus Christ established the Church with imperfect men, rightly because of that, because we are imperfect. But He did it not because we should have fun with our imperfections, or just to have great time, without doing any effort to (keep trying to) change that. Precisely that, our imperfections, keeps us away from the sainthood, for which we are created in the first place. The sainthood which is, humanly speaking, our own perfection.
      And there are many examples, many saints from past, who are given to us as examples to follow.
      If we should be (stay) satisfied with our imperfection, each of us with our own, our personal shortcoming, then what’s the point of the Church? What’s the point of the sending His only Son to us, of His sacrifice, of the redemption with which God gave us an unique, great, most valuable chance to be saved. Saved for eternal life that can be achieved only if we reach the perfection, in human sense of word, and surely, only with the help of God himself and His Holy Church. The Catholic Church to which He gave the Spirit, the Paraklet who will lead and help us until the end of the time. If, and only if we willingly choose for IT!
      If not, well,… then we can say ‘we are imperfect’, and doing nothing (or not enough) we could say that almighty God should deal with us, as we are, that He should accept us as we are, that He should save as as we are.
      But that is false teaching!
      When Jesus Christ said to us: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5,48) – He was not making things up. He was telling us that we should and must exert ourself to become perfect in all possible things.
      Which is not because we have any strength to do that, but because of Him who is now in us, if we truly are children of God.

      As apostle Paul says:
      “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.” (Galatians 2,20)

      And our Lord Himself promised to us:
      “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
      As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
      This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.” (John 6,57-59)

  7. Thank you of for this.

    Years ago, prior to my conversion, I attended a Mass where the priest reminded people that of the 12 apostles, one was Judas. That was a good 15 + years ago, and we are here. But it is not the scandal, but the Church’s apparently extended reaction to it that strains faith. From NRO, these lines:

    “Tobin’s [tweeted] reaction would be appropriate if it had just come to light that an archbishop had been a scofflaw on his parking tickets. It is utterly perverse when applied to the revelation that his nation’s leading Catholic official — the public face of the Church’s response to the abuse crisis — turns out to have been a pederast well-known within the Church as a serial sexual harasser and groomer of seminarians. Bishops should not be fearing and tamping down the feeling of scandal and anger among the laity; they should be promising to boldly and angrily confront the injustice, immorality, and crime in their own ranks. Tobin’s tweets read as the shrug of a man who long since gave up on the idea of actually protecting the flock from the wolves, and has taken to telling the surviving sheep not to be too disheartened that their friends and children continue to be devoured by his colleagues.

    The lack of courage is everywhere corrupting. Even in the defense of orthodoxy, I’ve heard of Catholic bishops encouraging the more obstreperous journalists like myself to continue the fight, while excusing themselves from more dramatic or risky maneuvers by saying, ‘I’m just a simple country bishop. All I can do is pray.’ Actually, successors to the Apostles can and ought to act as well as pray. The Church calls its priests to be celibates, not eunuchs.”


  8. Your reasons for entering the Church identify the essence of Faith in Christ, knowledge and conviction that many born Catholic do not possess. It is providential that God called many into the faith with the same courage and conviction sorely need precisely at this time of increased error and dissolution. That providential call is evidenced in your witness to the great benefit of the faithful.

    • I am one of those who entered the Church from a history of Protestantism and atheism. I did not then, nor do I now, have any regrets, nor does my cradle Catholic husband, who is currently studying for the diaconate. We will keep the faith, oppose corruption and love our enemies as long as we draw breath.

  9. Christ and the hard sayings. How many of His disciples abandoned Him?

    And Peter’s answer when Christ asked if he too would leave…

    The sorrow and pain is overwhelming. But where would one go?

    The Deposit of Faith and the Holy Eucharist reside in the Church. Amid the treacherous sinning and betrayal among the clergy.

    Christ predicted the sinfulness of His Church. Did He not also say those that persevered until the end would be saved…

    • He has ears but does not hear.
      Eyes but does not see.
      Witness the “dubia.”
      Should one rise from the dead they would not believe.
      The problem here is “strange gods” — most often met in the mirror — substituting for Almighty God — the Most Holy Trinity, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob supremely revealed in Jesus Christ.
      The episcopate is composed of many ego addicts accustomed to being accountable to no one — God or man –except whatever “superior” can impact their personal comfort zone.

  10. Homosexual acts are disordered and are always sinful and immoral. There is no place in the human experience that those acts are acceptable. I need to hear this from the USCCB.

  11. Those faithful priests, bishops, and cardinals who know what goes on within their ranks should speak out. But who do they inform and in what manner? The lack of trust in higher Church authorities these faithful clerics face must be horrendous and oppressive. Imagine the criticism they would face if they declare homosexuality as the root cause of the problem. The emphasis, correctly, has been on abuse and molestation. But consenting homosexual behavior by and between clerics should be called out too. Again, who do the faithful clerics trust? Could an accusation/”outing” result in legal action against the “outer”? And who is to say that accusations will be properly dealt with by the higher Church authorities? I am sure many within the Church are struggling with these questions.

  12. Thought experiment: Picture McCarrick in ordinary clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt perhaps. All of a sudden he’s just a sad, pathetic old man. It’s time we see our leaders as they really are. Don’t let their titles, offices or episcopal finery fool or dazzle you. It’s my belief that these people have been able to hide behind outward trappings of authority and holiness. Notice how these “progressives” revel in their authority and office when it comes to advancing their agenda. They speak of “empowering the laity” until the laity question them. What they reall mean is “empowering” certain laity; the ones who agree with them. It’s all a sham with these people.

    My obedience and respect are now based on a particular clergyman’s actions. My obedience is contingent on his obedience to the Gospel, the orthodox teachings of the Church as outlined in the Catechism and basic human decency. Until that’s been proven these people are just dudes in strange clothes to me. Look past the churchy facade. Look to what they DO and then you will know what they really stand for. As Our Lord said: by their fruits you shall know them.

    • The American Bishops need a “wake up call!” The time for pious platitudes, empty expressions of ” shock and concern” and of prayerful support for the victims is over. The bishops have lost all credibility, and no one believes them . The corruption in the hierarchy must be eliminated. McCarrick needs to be removed not only from public ministry, but defrocked and returned to the lay state. None of this “life of prayer and penance” nonsense. The bishops should know that the same fate awaits them, unless they conform to the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith, teach them and most importantly live them!

  13. My first reactions on learning of the long-term, oft-repeated sinful behaviour of Cardinal McCarrick were astonishment, disgust and dismay. I was astonished that many, many people in numerous jurisdictions and walks of life knew of his predatory and abusive acts, disgusted by those same acts, and dismayed that those same people put their own interests ahead of the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of anyone else, never mind of the Church herself.

    What I did not experience was surprise. As the multiple revelations of depraved indifference to their victims evinced by clergymen at all levels, and the cowardice of the vast majority of shepherds to address publicly and head-on the destruction these individuals have wrought on those directly harmed, their fellow clergy, laypeople in the Church and all people of good will, I now simply wait for the next tale of callous and twisted acts by an ordained minister to be unleashed on the world.

    I do not feel discouraged and, as much as I would like to find a satisfying means to rebuke Church leadership, such as walking away or keeping my wallet closed, I will continue to live my life as a Catholic. I will pray for those leaders who have gravely sinned and who continue to imperil their immortal souls with their sins. I am grateful to God for giving them the opportunity to get themselves right with Him before they depart this vale of tears.

  14. Money talks. For too long we’ve been supporting bishops and dioceses that are supporting wrong beliefs. This has been going on since the sixties and should have been stopped then when theologians and Bishops openly defied Church’s teachings. I for one will not donate to any organization the USSB supports. Until they clean up their act I will personally donate to my parish and organizations not supporting a same sex or pro abortion agenda, and Catholic groups like Courage and pro life organizations. If we all do this perhaps they’ll reconsider exactly what their obligations are as Shephards. And yes, we also need to begin at the top where there’s rot at the Vativan itself. It would be wise for the US bishops to make a statement condemning homosexual behavior but I’m not holding my breath but rather praying an extra Roaary. If they won’t clean it up, God will in His own way.

  15. I deeply admire people who are determined to stay the course and live the catholic faith. For my part, however, the secularization of the church at every level, the ever-growing distance distance between official teaching and actual practice, and the hypocrisy, denials and double talk coming from all of the “company men” has convinced me to think seriously about leaving. I know that there are countless numbers of the faithful who are in a similar position.

      • You made your promises to Christ, Virgil, not men, not princes, and not even a Prince of Apostles. Since becoming an Orthodox Catholic, I have had zero regrets. The beautiful liturgies and close-knit communities of the Antiochians, Greeks, and Russians have convinced me that Rome merely offered a dry, propositional foretaste of the lived reality of the true faith. As strange as it sounds, and though many people will contest it, you are not currently within the visible bounds of the Catholic Church. If at all possible, please visit several Orthodox Christian parishes or missions and talk to the priests.

      • Virgil, don’t leave the person who loves you, Jesus. He will never leave you. So, pray for all priests and bishops, and spend time in adoration with God. Tell Him what bothers you about all of this and let Him take care of it, and be at peace. Gates of Hell will not prevail….

    • Virgil, when the personnel in your immediate parish church do not help you nurture your faith nor do they welcome your help, and you cannot find another parish, take comfort in the Real Presence in the Tabernacle, even if it is from the parking lot outside the locked church. Pray for the pastor, the parish and yourself. And, to quote Dale Ahlquist, “Read more Chesterton,”…and Scripture and other good things to nourish your faith. Maybe you can read and discuss these things with some friends while sharing a meal. Please don’t let the faithlessness of some men cost you your faith and your spiritual home.

    • Virgil,

      I don’t mean to sound to harsh but…if you leave the One True Church thinking you will get away from the corrupt & wicked clergy well you won’t. If anything you greatly risk being with those clergy for all eternity. Yeh I went there.

      Virgil you must stay and fight. Those Priests and Bishops who sinned and enable sin walked away from the True Church in their hearts. Don’t walk away in fact or you are no better then they. You should be better.

      I will pray for you.


  16. Since you’re throwing out the Catechism, the following sections also come to mind:

    675 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 the place of God and his Messiah who has come in the flesh

    676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope that can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism.

    677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his bride to come down from heaven. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of a the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.

  17. But as usual, other priests knew what was going on and did little or nothing. They are the reason, I think even more than the predators, that I do not trust our priests.

  18. “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
    St Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325
    “ I don’t think there are many among bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”
    St. John Chrysostom, Homily III on Acts 1:12

    • I have to admit I had a good laugh from the first quote, but it really is not humorous. There are many prophecies from Our Lady of La Salette, France in 1846 that have warned of and predicted this sexual abuse crisis that we are now in. Also, Our Lady of Good Success in the early 1600s, at Quito, Ecuador predicted many crises for the latter part of the 20th century and to the present. Pope John Paul II experienced visions of the future while he was convalescing in 1981. He saw, “Precisely at the end of the second millennium, there accumulates on the horizon of all mankind enormously threatening clouds, and darkness falls upon mankind.” The book, “After The Warning To 2038” contains many more Catholic prophecies of future events that are going to unfold soon.

  19. “Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone.” How can trust be restored after so many years and revelations of this stuff? I can no longer trust the actions of clerics, but only in the Word of God. I go to Mass to hear this Word and to receive Christ. Unfortunately, I feel that I must go to the next town over because our local church has been impacted by this sin and I have great difficulty attending there because of it. This local church that I had attended for 30 years, been a Religious Educator, Eucharistic Minister, and Lector for many of those years. I thought I knew this man, thought he was trustworthy. Such was not the case and now we are where we are with all the questions. Why are questions of the eternity of their own soul not considered by these people? How can they even perform their duties as clerics? “Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone.” So many questions, so much hurt. Sin is so vicious.

  20. My husband and I were baptized and came into the Catholic Church in 2006; that’s only one year after John Paul II’s witness in suffering and death, and only a few years after the 2002 “abuse crisis.” We had only overwhelming joy at finally discovering Truth in the Church. We made it, we found our heart’s desire! Yet it has been a slow agony since to see Christ’s church so betrayed. However, persevering to the end we must. I may pray that a bold Pope will clean house, but accept I will not live to see it.

  21. It appears that it is more than theologians who, these days, believe that “man, as a rational being not only can but actually must freely determine the meaning of his behavior” (Veritatis Splendor, paragraph 47. For example, “Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” Amoris Laetitia, paragraph 303.

    • “It appears that it is more than theologians who, these days, believe that “man, as a rational being not only can but actually must freely determine the meaning of his behavior” (Veritatis Splendor, paragraph 47).

      That is pagan and atheism. The Pope was *not* teaching it, but rejecting it.

      And very rightly, for it justifies SJW nonsense. If I determine that the meaning of my behaviour is, that I want to marry a man, the Church, if ever it adopted the doctrine that JP2 rejected, would have no answer. Such authors as those whose doctrine the Pope rejected, have given the go-ahead for gay marriage, paedophilia, goat-shagging, and self-marriage (that too is a thing). No Thomist could write such nonsense, because Thomism is built on a moderate Realistic metaphysic. The metaphysic that quotation reflects, is one in which one creates one’s own reality or truth. JP2 rejected this radical subjectivism, as VS 47 shows.

      For Christians, by contrast, the universe is not something man determines the meaning of – it comes as a Divinely-created given, determined in all its being and significance by God. That is why the sacramental order reflects the ordering of created things, & why sacramentality in the sacraments is based, not on wishful thinking or self-delusion, but on the obedient acceptance from God of a real and true sacramentality in the work of creation.

      If creatures had not the God-intended capacity to be elevated beyond their specific natures so as to become truthful and fruitful sacramental signs of the Presence of the Kingdom of God, there could have been no sacraments. Instead, the raising of the creature that is water to become the sign and instrumental cause of the cleansing of the soul in Baptism, would not have been an elevating & fulfilling of water, but would have been an act of Divine violence to it. The sacramentality of the universe is all of a piece with the sacramentality of the Incarnate Word, and of His Kingdom. Nothing could be more contrary to the damnable lie that ‘man, as a rational being not only can but actually must freely determine the meaning of his behavior”.

  22. Don’t worry, tech is building a “trustless” society. Google that & “blockchain”. The handwriting on the wall.

  23. What do you call it when someone who has the power to do it, threatens to make you homeless and penniless unless you perform sex acts on them?

    Rape and Slavery

    What do you call it when someone has knowledge of a felony and assists the offender to evade detection and arrest?

    Accessory after the fact.

    Here’s a policy for you Cdl. OMalley.
    Any bishop, priest or lay person that had knowledge of McCarrick’s activities should be arrested, charged with these felonies and anything else appropriate. If there is clear and convincing evidence of the person’s guilt they should be laicized, excommunicated and thrown into the street and be responsible for their own legal bills.
    18 US Code 1581 allows for life imprisonment of these notorious felons.

    Whoever holds or returns any person to a condition of peonage, or arrests any person with the intent of placing him in or returning him to a condition of peonage, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If death results from the violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or the attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, the defendant shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both.
    (b) Whoever obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, or in any way interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section, shall be liable to the penalties prescribed in subsection (a).

    • “Any bishop, priest or lay person that had knowledge of McCarrick’s activities should be arrested, charged with these felonies and anything else appropriate.”
      What if that knowledge was revealed in the Confessional? Then what?

  24. Thank you, Mr. Olson, for a well-thought-out and well-stated article. After reading and mourning over the new abuse allegations, your article has given me hope in the face of darkness. I, too, became a Catholic as an adult and cherish the Body and Blood of Christ in communion. God knows all, sees all, and we can continue to have faith that His justice and mercy will prevail.

  25. Maintaining trust calls for self-discipline, prayer, penance, transparency, honesty, fair-play, and above all intense practice of mortification, abnegation, sacrifice, and frequent fasting.

  26. Bring back the good guys and ordain the good girls, our problems would be less.
    We anguish over someone masturbating while the hierarchy is raping their minions. We lament over some loved one we think is in Purgatory. Yet, we really aren’t sure. All the while we kiss the Bishop’s ring. Bring back the good old days where I could serve as an alter boy for 5 Priests that I admired and loved.

    • Your response to sin is to engage in another sin. Brilliant.

      I’d wager that while serving at the altar, your psyche became altered.

  27. In all fairness I do hope Catholics watch what’s happening in Chile and Honduras. Both countries have lost bishops (Recently resigned Honduran bishop Pineda put McCarrick to shame.) Both countries host members of the Pope’s “Council of Nine”: Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras and

  28. The Catholic Church is a divine institution begun by Jesus Christ Himself and left in the hands of men qto run. This being the case there would be times when men messed up so badly that He would have to step in.

    This is one of those times.

    He will NOT desert us.

  29. Convert here — or “revert”, to be strictly accurate.

    Who needs a religious organization as corrupt as this?

    Maybe the Bark of Peter is out there somewhere.

  30. We need a financial boycott of the Church. If the Pastors and Bishops see a $0 collection for 2,3,4 Sundays in a row then we will see them beginning to speak the truth about this mess. Until that happens we are simply continuing to feed the mouth that is biting us.

  31. It is very hurtful what is going on. I also look at what I have learned going to the Catholic church. I feel the good I learned out weighs the bad largely. I am not perfect and try to do better. I see not very many things that are perfect in this world. I pray and try to help change our church for the better. Hopefully our leaders will do better.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Without truth there is no trust, and without trust… -
  2. The pope and the cardinal, two accusation cases | Blithe Spirit
  3. Without Truth There Is No Trust – Complicit Clergy

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