Emerging from Scandal: The Necessary Steps Forward

The Catholic Church in America needs bishops with strong backbones, men who are not worried about their next promotion, or about the next assault from critics.

Bishops arrive for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 19
(CNS photo)

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a plethora of responses to the Cardinal (now Archbishop) McCarrick scandal. What has surprised me most is the conclusion drawn by many of these articles. They usually express outrage at McCarrick’s rise to a red hat, even as his behavior was widely known. This part is understandable. But they often conclude that the Archbishop’s sterling career is an indication of deep moral rot within the Catholic Church in general and the episcopacy in particular.

I would like to challenge the claim that the Catholic Church has been deeply infected with moral corruption. Pace William McGurn’s suggestive piece in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, this is not 1517 when, as students of history know, corruption both personal and theological was widespread in the Church. Today, seminary faculties are filled with learned and dedicated professors, both clergy and laity. Seminarians, generally, seek to be faithful and committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Moreover, during the past several decades, Catholic seminaries have been subjected to several papal visitations (i.e., investigations) to ensure doctrinal orthodoxy and moral rectitude. While there are surely significant sins committed in seminaries, as everywhere else—dimitte nobis debita nostra—it is dangerous to conclude that the Catholic Church is suffering through a period of pervasive moral corruption.

Of course, the news reports about Cardinal McCarrick are deeply disturbing, and steps must be taken to prevent this kind of behavior in the future. At the same time, I would strongly warn against a moral panic. A “panic”—and no other word accurately describes it—is what occurred in 2002 when newspapers revealed that child abuse had been widespread in certain American dioceses, particularly from the 1960s to the early 1980s. The bishops, bewildered and staggered by relentless media pressure, offered only inarticulate and bumbling responses. Fearful that events were spiraling out of control, and in the absence of theological leadership, the bishops turned to lawyers and PR flacks in order to compose their Charter for the Protection of Young People. This is a deeply flawed document—as Cardinal Avery Dulles and Fr. Richard Neuhaus tirelessly pointed out—which distorts natural justice and undermines the sacrament of holy orders. But the bishops had one principal goal: to keep the wolves from their chancery doors.

I recall this sad but instructive history to emphasize that policies written in the midst of a Chicken-Little-like panic do not produce theologically and morally astute results. On the contrary, they are often disastrous. The Charter has created a culture of fear among priests and, as Cardinal Dulles accurately predicted, has created an “adversarial relationship” between priests and bishops since all priests know that bishops are not committed to protecting either their ministry or their good reputations.

Nonetheless, the solution to the present crisis is not to place the bishops under the Dallas Charter (from which they had exempted themselves). It would be foolhardy to extend the influence of a profoundly defective document—or to regard it as a magical panacea. Rather, the Church’s current difficulties offer a God-given opportunity for the Charter to be finally junked and for a thoughtful new policy—creative, just and theologically-informed—to emerge which covers all clergy.

I propose that a national board be established, comprised of all the estates of the Church—bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity—which would serve as a reporting station for any clergyman suspected of sexual crimes. And I speak here of crimes, not consensual adult relationships which, while sinful infractions against the commandments and the promise of celibacy, can be—and for centuries have been—salutarily treated with confession, penance and spiritual direction.

Clergy would not be immediately suspended as is now the case (the judgment of “credibility” is risible in most dioceses). Rather, any accusatory complaint would be remanded (if a priest or deacon) to the diocesan bishop who would investigate the claim through his review board to determine if there might be evidentiary grounds for suspension. If such exist, the priest or deacon could be suspended until a further investigation (thorough, but expeditious, as is not currently the case) were completed.

If a bishop were accused, the case would be investigated by the national board itself, with the bishop being asked to step down temporarily if there existed actual evidence of abuse or harassment until a full investigation could be concluded.

In all cases, we should adhere to the principle that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. As the Charter presently exists, an accused priest (disregard the empty rhetoric of presumed innocence now accompanying a priest’s removal) is assumed to be, and treated as, guilty. He is disallowed from exercising his public ministry, forbidden to present himself as a priest, ordered off all diocesan property, deprived of (most) compensation and, because of the suspension, robbed of his only means of support. In truth, he is no longer a brother priest, but a contaminated pariah. With these kinds of dire consequences, the Church must make every attempt to ensure that she is acting justly—and not acting simply to prevent a bishop or diocese from receiving bad publicity.

A further step that should be considered for the future is the much greater participation of priests and laity in the selection of bishops. There are many good men in the American hierarchy. But it is also clear that bishops in this country are not chosen because they exemplify the virtues of fortitude, wisdom and theological insight. They are chosen because they exhibit loyalty to Rome, possess some mild administrative ability, have a familiarity with canon law, and have generally kept their noses clean. These traits should not be disdained, but they are hardly what is needed today.

The Catholic Church in America needs bishops with strong backbones, men who are not worried about their next promotion, or about the next assault from critics, but who are ready and able to defend the Church’s faith, her people and her ministers with courage, élan and incisive intelligence.

The Cardinal McCarrick scandal is a tragedy for Catholicism—of that there is no question. But with firm, resolute and measured steps, the Church can learn from this tragedy and move forward with undaunted confidence in her divine mission.

(Opinions expressed in articles for Catholic World Report are the authors’ alone, and do not necessarily represent the positions of other contributors or of Ignatius Press.)


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Msgr. Thomas G. Guarino 3 Articles
Rev. Msgr. Thomas G Guarino is professor of theology at Seton Hall University. His book The Disputed Teachings of Vatican II (Eerdmans) is due out in October, 2018.

52 Comments

  1. This piece is appalling! This is the same old deflection- making the issue into abuse of minors and thus making new policies/procedures, etc., to deal with it. “Consensual” homosexual relations between adults is a canonical crime, at least if it involves a cleric!!! And the homosexuality behind it fuels it all- one does not wake up one day and decide they will engage in contact with a minor. It usually begins with relations with adults and works its way down; McCarrick is a case in point. He started with priests, seminarians/college-aged men, and it is not too far of a jump from early twenties to 17, 18. The approach mentioned here is what helped to cause this mess: we don’t have to worry about consensual adult relations, as they are “only” sin, and so will be resolved through confession, etc., maybe send the priest away to “therapy” or “spiritual direction” at a place like St. Luke’s Institute, then he’ll be fine and we’ll reinstate him. Have we learned nothing?!

    • Aug. 10th: You are right – this pieces is appalling! This is NOT a McCarrick scandal – McCarrick has been dealt with; the mention of homosexuality is not even mentioned unless I missed it. And the activity of homosexual Bishops and priests leads to laxity in other areas – where is financial accountability? How is it that some Bishops and some Priests can afford luxurious homes and cars and vacations? Yes, there are more good and honorable Bishops and Priests than corrupt ones but one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch. And spiritual direction is not going to help priests who choose to prey on other Priests as sex objects; or if Bishops do the same. They should never have been admitted to the Priesthood and now it is time for them to exit and then get the help they need – if they want help. Many believe that homosexual relations are normal and natural – even some Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Nuns. So – with the laity at the helm – honorable, wholesome, good Catholic laity – let the cleansing begin. No one who hates the Church or who disagrees with her teachings should take part but only those who sincerely love the Church and want to bring about healing and healthy relationships. And every diocese should have a committee of such lay people to oversee the finances – and to help check out all reports of abuse. There is hope on the part of some in the hierarchy that this issue will just fade away … we must pray that it doesn’t or the rotting wound will go deeper and spread even more … so let us not back away but stand strong in and with Christ for the health of His Church and His flock.

      • This issue will not fade away as long as homosexuals remain in the priesthood. The solution is obvious: remove all homosexuals from the priesthood and never ordain another one.

    • Better words than the word “appalling” are hopeless and disgraceful.

      It is a disgrace to call priests, bishops and cardinals committing this type of habitual sins “consensual,” when St Catherine of Siena and St Peter Canmisuse called this sins an “abomination.”

      If this article is suppose to be part of the solution to the priest and bishop homosexual network scandal than the the situation in the American Church is hopeless.

    • Amen. It is absolutely infuriating to still read these posts — almost always from clerics — not addressing the obvious root cause of this ongoing disaster! We need homosexuals out of the Episcopacy and priesthood ….immediately! If this means we cut the ranks by 50% so be it. So many souls are being lost due to this. Lord please send us some hero saints to clean up this mess.

    • This reminds me of the Fr. G I once knew and I’m glad to see him emerging once again. It might be a little too late to make his argument to the laity, however. Judging by these comments, the failure of the church to protect young persons of whatever age or gender has caused such despair and disgust among them that emotions are flaring too high to see what’s at stake. Msgr. G sees it but stands alone- a voice crying in the wilderness, but a wilderness created by the church’s hierarchy, seminaries and the priestly culture. Msgr. G doesn’t yet get that. The laity could also be considered responsible for that wilderness if they don’t continuously grow in their faith and cultivate the minds necessary to protect them from losing sight of the big picture.

      It is not true to say that the pederasty problem is caused by homosexuals. All of these cases, whether in the church or outside the church, in schools, hospitals, businesses, families, etc., are an abuse of authority, i.e. an abuse of power. If the catholic laity confuses this issue so easily, they’re doomed to get caught up in an hysterical frenzy which will lead to a witch hunt of every effeminate man in the church.

      Msgr. G agrees that the bishops have failed and says some things about them that make me laugh with delight – so nice to hear a priest say them. By talking about the priests, by trying to make a defence for them, he is not dismissing the horrors of these crimes, even though it can sure come across that way. (Mostly because the church has underestimated the reaction of the laity which can’t go on being ignored but somehow is. If the laity felt ‘heard’, Msgr.’s point would be easier to understand.) However, an hysterical emotional response won’t save any of those children who have been abused and it certainly won’t stop the children of today or tomorrow from being damaged in the future. That has to be kept in mind. Whether what he proposes will protect them is another matter for consideration.

      Yes, he is naive in certain of his beliefs. The priests he seeks to defend are the ones who have the psychological power over the laity which they use or abuse on a daily basis. Bishops only make appearances in their lives.

      Yes, he got the canon law thing wrong, but not ultimately. This problem would still be treated the way he said. That is the practice. Usually these acts would be revealed in confession, so a priest could not publicly accuse someone of this act. Walking in on this act, witnessing an act of this kind – that’s a different matter. So he wasn’t completely wrong about that and shouldn’t be despised for a technically incorrect statement.

      But what he is right about is trying to dilate the ever-tightening lens of this crisis which is producing many distortions in perceptions. What is written here doesn’t feel right, perhaps, to a laity that wants its pound of flesh.

      The one thing he has been trying to get across and everyone has been missing is that the understanding of the nature of the priesthood is in peril and therefore the priesthood itself. The laity depend on priests and they are about to lose them – forever. Do the laity still believe they need priests? Do they not want to protect the good ones from the frenzy? Should they help the decent men remaining among the ranks, or will they abandon them to the bonfires?

      I suggest that Msgr. Guarino cultivate a friendly relationship with his local fire department and put their number on speed dial. 😉

      • “It is not true to say that the pederasty problem is caused by homosexuals. All of these cases, whether in the church or outside the church, in schools, hospitals, businesses, families, etc., are an abuse of authority, i.e. an abuse of power. If the catholic laity confuses this issue so easily, they’re doomed to get caught up in an hysterical frenzy which will lead to a witch hunt of every effeminate man in the church.

        The problem with homosexuality in the priesthood is not limited to “pederasty.” Archbishop Weakland had an adult boyfriend; his abominable conduct did not involve pederasty. Ditto for other priests and bishops. There is nothing wrong with a “witch hunt” when it’s absolutely known for a fact that there are “witches.” When a Jesuit can jet around the world and openly affirm sodomites in their conduct, without any interference from his superiors, and indeed with approbation by cardinals and bishops and even the pope, we can know without a doubt that we have arrived at the height of apostasy.

  2. Msgr.

    I don’t believe anyone is requesting the bishops to be placed under the Dallas Charter except the UCCSB. We the laity, clearly see that the UCCSB and the Dallas Charter are a sham and want these bishops gone. As a body the UCCSB seems nothing more than a self-serving organization dedicated to their own power and politics as they bleed the faithful while leading countless souls to hell behind them.

    Remove the homosexuals from the priesthood. Period.

  3. Re: moral rot

    What about the men with same-sex attraction who are still being admitted to the seminaries and not expelled when it is found out that they have SSA?

    If Roman Catholics want clerics with a backbone, then the environment of formation needs to be one that cultivates this — not one in which orthodox Catholic men have to suppress or hide their attachment to the EF, or their critical views of social justice issues. So long as Roman Catholic bishops elevate theological opinions as “Church social teaching” and demand that their seminarians fall into line, failing to leave space for licit dissent, then they create the problem.

    To all of these articles by bishops and priests, the reaction of the lay faithful here at CWR has been rather negative. “Talk is cheap.”

  4. Huge Breaking Story:

    Rod Dreher has just reported that Richard Sipe, who investigated hundreds of abuse cases, has just died, aged 85.

    He has been an expert witness in numerous sexual abuse inquiries, including as an expert in the 2002-04 investigation by the Lay Review Panel in assembling their 2004 Report on “The Crisis in the Church in the United States.”

    The story has links to a letter Sipe sent to Bishop McElroy in 2016, with a list of names of compromised and/or complicit Bishops.

    Dreher hopes there is a possibility that Sipe may have left a will instructing that the list of compromised and complicit Bishops to be published.

    • Nearly thirty years ago, I debated Sipe (ex-monk, ex-priest, and married to an ex-nun — and thus a violator of his solemn vows as a Religious) about his alleged “data” on clerical sexual misconduct. He asserted that every priest he had ever interviewed had sinned against the sixth and/or ninth commandments. When I asked him whence he had gleaned his “data,” he indicated it came from speaking with priests at various clerical gulags for problematic priests. I responded that this would be like going to a cancer ward and discovering that everyone there had cancer! Even Larry King roared!

      • Fr. Stravinskas:

        I am an old man, an altar boy of the old rite, and a committed Benedict and JP2 Catholic. In my line of work, which includes information security, I have been face-to-face with corporate cultures of corruption, and have received veiled and unveiled threats by the corrupt, including the millionaire CEO of my own former company – whose motto was – no kidding: “Truth.”

        I am now, after 20 years of this staged theater by the US Bishops, in 100% in agreement with Governor Keating that as “a conference” the Bishops of the US (and obviously in Europe) are run by Mafia enforcing their code of silence.

        And I am well aware of the critique of Richard Sipe, who is “all too human” (as am I, which audio tapes of my own confessions would disclose). But as in any court, evidence is admitted from “the all too human.”

        The Bishops are teaching us – by their negligence – to listen to the testimony of Mr. Sipe. And Gov. Keating.

        I will not pretend that Mahony and McElroy and Joseph Tobin and Cupich and Nienstedt etc etc etc are good shepherds. They are mafia.

        Your friend in Christ,

        Chris

      • And by the way Father S:

        Yes…you debated the man 30 years ago…and dismissed him as laughable.

        And in the ensuing 30 years, millions of us faithful in the Church have learned…the HARD WAY…that the counsel to “dismiss the Sipes of the world”…was a mistake.

        Yes…he broke his vow. We were told to dismiss his testimony on that basis.

        If nothing else…the ensuing 30 years has proved that such testimony should NOT have been dismissed.

        • The reason that Sipe was often dismissed is that he often went beyond the facts into stating things that were extremely odd, such as “hundreds of Popes have been murdered”. This, along with his having abandoned his priesthood, married an ex nun, arguing that celibacy had to be done away with, and that women should be ordained, caused many to dismiss him and what he had to say. The problem is that he seemed to be the classic liberal, arguing any way he could for radical changes in the priesthood. In addition, he was the darling of the National Catholic reporter.

          But as we are learning, much of what he had to say was exactly right. He was right about a lot of things, but had aspects to his story that caused people to disbelieve him or think he had ulterior motives.

          I guess the lesson from Sipe is that we need to listen more carefully to the critics, even if they seem a bit nutty. Now, of course, lots of bishops ignored him because they were hommosexual and wanted him to be discredited. And like McCarrick they were often hidden homosexuals who were very good at manipulation, so they were probably able to get the other bishops to completely ignore him.

          All the more reason to have a standing, investigative body of lay people with good forensic investigatory skills that will run down every single allegation, no matter who makes it or how nutty they seem

  5. The bishops have proved themselves unworthy of participation in any type of a solution to the sodomy problem, since, obviously, they sought to protect themselves first, rather than admit error and malfeasance.

    Also, as pointed out elsewhere by Dr. Edward Peters, the Msgr, needs to check his facts first….perhaps with a Canon Lawyer……before he identifies what is a crime and what is not: https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/advice-for-the-future-should-come-from-people-with-knowledge-of-the-present-and-the-past/

  6. I just do a word search for “homosexual” before I read the article. If it doesn’t appear, I’m not wasting my time reading it.

    These people are whistling past the graveyard.

    • To Dad of Six:
      You are absolutely right!
      Do you notice how these bishops do not use the “h” word (homosexuality, homosexual) nor the liberal news media they don’t want to offend the LGBTQ crowd or “gay Catholics”! They call it sexual abuse or inappropriate behavior. These bishops do not call sin for evil it is! They have no backbone! They do not fear God. Homosexual acts is still a sin and so is sodomy. 1 Cor. 6:9
      Where is fr. James Martin hiding now with all this mess? He is the one spreading lies about homosexuality and trying to “normalize” it. The bishops never rebuked him nor stopped him.
      We are on our own now! we no longer have bishops guiding us! We need to speak out! Don’t donate your money to your diocese, give it to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
      God have mercy on us all.

  7. Ed Peter’s response to Monsignor’s article is a ‘must read’ signalling complicity at high levels to accept homosexuality.in the clergy.

  8. Wow. Edward Peters at his Canon Law blog blasts a gigantic hole in Msgr. Guarino’s article: showing, CONTRARY to what the Msgr claimed, the Church had always held that sodomy was a crime in Church Law.

    And the Msgr insisted on how “learned” the seminary faculty are, obviously they are either not as learned as they think they are, or this is an intentional misdirection.

    And with all decent Catholic people, I utterly reject the defense of the Bishops, nmany of whom who escaped accountability for criminal negligence or worse: meaning Cardinal Mahony, and all of the LA diocesan establishment which protected you and themselves, and who now teach queer theory to our poor Catholic children in CA.

    The Msgr is desparately trying to avoid the truth about THE PERVASIVE BISHOPS’ MESS.

    Yes – protect priests rights.

    But don’t dare defend the Bishops. Those days are over.

  9. Appalling is the word.

    The author teaches at Seton Hall, which is in the diocese of Newark, where Joseph “Nighty Night, baby” Tobin is archbishop. Perhaps that explains the attempt to cover up the obvious.

    • Seton Hall is also the locus of Immaculate Conception Seminary which serves the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Paterson — at least it did just a few years back — certainly during the McCarrick epoch. In all likelihood it also serves Metuchen, Trenton and Camden.
      Father Guarino minimizes the moral corruption given widespread press — and completely ignores the theological corruption rife within the academy. I’ve never heard that Seton Hall is exempt from that, and having lived in both the Paterson and Newark territory I can say from experience that at least until I left that area after a lifetime of residency it was a post-conciliar theological cesspool.

  10. This article illustrates perfectly why the eradication of the problem is going to be so difficult. The bishops – and the monsignors, apparently – are still in total denial of the situation. Why? What conclusion can one draw other than that they are complicit, they are PASRT of the scandal.

  11. This author is insulting every catholic on the planet with his obfuscatiom. Every day i’m liking my decision to stop all $$$ to my diocese (and that which might go to Rome). Enough of your tripe.

  12. The replies to the article are prophesying a whirlwind. Better, a sandstorm to scour chanceries worldwide, let alone Vatican City, of their accumulated sexual and blackmail grime.

    Red-blooded Catholic heads of households have had enough. Blood turns red-hot if angered enough.

    Since our Lord entrusted righteous anger to us – instructing us not to take it to bed – our boiled over anger is about to burst its dam, turn into a bloody deluge.

    Homosexual priests and bishops – pack your bags; the broadway to exile is wide open.

    • Agree.

      Having bet our lives and the future of our children on Jesus and his Catholic Church, and endured bigotry in the workplace, and even being ostracized by our own family members, we are NOT going to sit around while Mafia Bishops and their chancery staffs and America Media try to herd us like cattle.

      There hour of reckoning has come.

  13. Interesting that his book will be published by Eerdmans. That publisher also published retired homosexual Archbishop Weakland’s memoirs and homosexual ex-monk Luke Timothy Johnson’s defense of homosexual sin. To my knowledge the only good Catholic authors it publishes are dead.

    • Eerdmans publishes a wide, wide range of books, from ultra-left/trendy to Catholic/Orthodox. So, for instance, it publishes books of Joseph Ratzinger, Brant Pitre, David Schindler, Jack Mulder, George Weigel, Robert Royal, D.C. Schindler, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, David Vincent Meconi, SJ, and Ralph Martin, to name just a few. All, as far as I know, are still living.

  14. This Pontificate and its overt empowerment of the Lavender Mafia has radicalized me. It has prompted me to conclude that Post-Vatican II new Mass Catholicism is, in every way that it differs from traditional Catholicism, corrupt to the core. True reform will occur when the collapse of Post-Vatican II new Mass Catholicism is complete. The good news is that the collapse seems to be accelerating.

    • I hope to high heaven you are right about the accelerated collapse.
      Cute but very flawed essays such as this tell me the bishops
      know their party is over.

  15. Ed Peters has already made short work of this article’s contention that confession, penance, and spiritual direction have sufficed for centuries, where clerical sexual misconduct involving “consenting adults” is concerned. Let’s just say, for the sake of the argument, that they have. Even if that were the case, however, such approaches could not be considered adequate any more.

    The moral rot throughout Catholicism which this article leaves out of the equation is Amoris laetitia Chapter 8. Infecting even the Confessional (meaning not the efficacy of the sacrament, of course, but the priestly advice often associated with it), the “teaching” that those violating the Sixth Commandment in the absence of a firm purpose of amendment may be pleasing in God’s sight or may even, in a certain diabolically attenuated sense, be doing His will cannot fail to cast its shadow across the present discussion of the abuse crisis as well. “In light of Amoris,” as all things are evidently to be evaluated henceforth, what type of advice would a transgressor (clerical or otherwise) be likely to receive? What would happen to any priest or spiritual director with the disloyal audacity to uphold the Commandments as long as Bergoglian thinking holds sway? Anyone who has been observing Bergoglian methodology even from a distance knows the answer to that question very well. Whether or not Richard Sipes’ statistics hold up, or victims’ lives are being ruined presently or half a century ago, there can be no resolution of the abuse crisis as long as the Dubia remain egregiously and intentionally unaddressed. Making excuses for bad behavior, and bringing that behavior to a halt, are mutually exclusive endeavors. And Amoris is the biggest excuse ever concocted since the Lord God questioned the man, the woman, and the serpent about a certain untoward incident in the Garden.

    • Helen,
      Great thinking. I would add…the non critical thinking about favorite Popes is in the way also. You can’t have intellect/author Popes…who neglect watching the frying pan…bad administrators. They should be checking on every region by large screen facetime or skype six hours a day with Bishops one by one instead of six hours a month. We shouldn’t have hook up rates in our colleges at all let alone the percents that the Newman Society reports at times. And according to a 2016 decree, there should be no permanently inclined gays in the clergy. None. We are great at writing something in a decree….disastrous at doing anything about what we just wrote.
      The advent of tv and super mass media turned Popes into celebrities performing in books, documents, in diplomatic moments good for cameras, in plane interviews….image makers. We need work loving administrators who have severity when it is needed. I don’t see that happening in the next hundred years but God is a God who works wonders.

  16. This article and the displayed comments were written after the news regarding Cardinal McCarrick. I am writing now after the news and the grand jury report in all its details have been released about the systemic rape and abuse of children across Pennsylvania by hundreds of priests in pre- and post-Vatican II times. This leader of a seminary should be horrified and willing to temporarily suspend any priest accused of such crimes. To want a trial before a trial to determine the credibility of an accuser is not going to satisfy the many people who will never set foot in a Catholic Church again because of this scandal. Today, if a surgeon was reported to operate while intoxicated, do you think any hospital would continue to allow him to do kidney transplants until the accuser’s veracity was determined? No, this monsignor (antiquated title to still be using) doesn’t get it, doesn’t show the needed enraged empathy with the hundreds of lives that have been wrecked or the suicides that have ensued. Protect brother priests’ reputation by assuring protection of the innocents immediately upon an accusation.

  17. I was a lay person studying theology during the mid 90’s and was asked on a date by another lay student who was also male! Par for the course. What the world disdains…Newark ordains. So, the Bishop of Paterson, who was ordained by McCarrick taught at the Seminary for over 20 years? What did Bishop Serratelli know and when did he know it? How about the rector of the Cathedral in Paterson, Msgr. Geno Sylva…he studied in Louvain and saw first hand the rampant homosexuality and did nothing. He, like many, just seek power, Both these me should re-read Jeremiah 23 and Ez 33-34 and step down. So many lay faithful sacrifice for the Church and these men live in palaces and are consumed with wealth. Homosexuality is not a subculture….it is the culture for these priests.

  18. It is essential to recognize that the church is not “emerging” from the sex scandal. It is thoroughly IMMERSED in it and will be for an indeterminable future. If the clergy do not address this basic fact, they will be the losers. From CNN on August 27, 2018. “Nearly a third of Americans who were raised in the denomination and left it cited the clergy sex scandal as their reason for leaving, according to a 2016 report by the Public Religion Research Institute. For some who survived sex abuse by clergy, those experiences fueled their decisions to keep their own children away from Mass, Catholic school and youth catechism classes.”

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Emerging from Scandal: The Necessary Steps Forward -
  2. Yes, “consensual adult relationships” among clergy are crimes under canon law – Catholic World Report
  3. McCarrick Watch: Saturday Edition – Big Pulpit
  4. The Elephant in the Sacristy – The American Catholic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*