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Roots of Catholic anger

The “narrative” of an ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed rape culture in the Catholic Church in the United States is false.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is seen June 13, 2018 at the opening of the bishops' annual spring assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

After a month out of the country, working in Rome at Synod-2018 and helping mark the 40th anniversary of John Paul II’s election at events in Brussels and Warsaw, I came home to find Catholic anger over the latest phase of the abuse crisis unabated and  intensified in some quarters. That this crisis is not acknowledged for what it is by the highest authorities in Rome is a subject for another reflection at another time. The question today is: What are the roots of today’s Catholic anger and disgust?

Part of the answer to that, surely, is exhaustion. Why must we go through this again? Wasn’t the Long Lent of 2002 enough? Weren’t things fixed then?

Those whose anger is stoked by these understandable questions might have a look at a recent and thoughtful article by Kenneth Woodward in Commonweal. Woodward understands that ripping the cover off the serial sexual predations of the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, triggered a gag-reflex among the Catholic laity that seems to have been bred out of at least some Catholic clergy, both here in the United States and in Rome.

But the longtime religion editor of Newsweek also identifies another factor in today’s Catholic rage that ought to cause all of us to pause and think for a moment. Writing about the Pennsylvania grand jury report that sent Catholic anger through the roof this summer, my friend Woodward made a crucial point:

…the way Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro presented the report — and the way it was often described in the press — made it easy to assume that the grand jury had unearthed three hundred new clerical abusers, when in fact most of the abuse covered in the report occurred in the last century and roughly eight out of ten of the alleged abusers are dead. It was easy to overlook the good news in an otherwise disheartening report — namely, that since the U.S. bishops established stringent new procedures for handling allegations of sexual abuse in 2003, only two priests from the seven dioceses studied have been accused.

The “narrative” of an ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed rape culture in the Catholic Church in the United States is false. There are still abusive Catholic clergy in America; they must be rooted out and dismissed from the ministry. There are still bishops who don’t get it and they, too, must go. But as one state attorney general after another finds political hay to be made by investigating the Catholic past, it is essential that Catholics understand that a lot of the awfulness that is going to keep coming out — both in terms of abusive clergy and malfeasant bishops — was in the past. Effective anger today will focus on the present. And it will not be limited to local situations but will include the obtuseness (and worse) of officials in Rome.

Digging deeper, one hits another question: Why were so many Catholics, who don’t believe much else they read in the papers or see on TV, so ready to believe the misrepresentations of the Pennsylvania grand jury report? Part of the answer, I suspect, has to do with pent-up Catholic anger with clerical narcissism.

A priest or bishop who messes with the Missal and re-writes it to his taste as he celebrates Mass is a narcissist. The priest or bishop who rambles on aimlessly during a daily Mass homily, abusing the time of his people, is a narcissist. A bishop who behaves as if he were hereditary nobility, but absent the gentlemanly noblesse oblige that characterizes the truly noble man, is a narcissist. And Catholics are fed up with clerical narcissism. The angers of the present have been stoked by that narcissism for decades; the deadly combination of McCarrick and Josh Shapiro blew the boiler’s lid off. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this is not going to be much help in fixing what’s broken.

At the same time, it must be remembered that most priests and bishops in the United States are not narcissists: rather, they’re men with a deep sense of vocation who know they’re earthen vessels through whom flows unmerited but superabundant divine grace. Those men deserve our support, affection, and gratitude as they, like the rest of us, deal with the fallout of this season of humiliation and purification.

As for the narcissists, they need help — and disciplining.

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About George Weigel 478 Articles
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (1999), The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (2010), and The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform. His most recent books are The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission (2020), Not Forgotten: Elegies for, and Reminiscences of, a Diverse Cast of Characters, Most of Them Admirable (Ignatius, 2021), and To Sanctify the World: The Vital Legacy of Vatican II (Basic Books, 2022).


  1. WHAT? Maybe have Fr. James Martin come and preach in Mr. Weigel’s parish with wife and children present, OR, have the Pope come to his parish for a QUESTION & A-N-S-W-E-R session, and I think Weigel would write a completely different piece. Maybe.

    • What should we do about this issue? Be hateful to any … ALL Catholics who work with children and young people? Exhume the bodies of the guilty ore penalize the relatives of those accused? We have changed the vetting process of the lay volunteers and non-religious educators and administrators. The investigations continue but the interpretations and distribution of the evidence accumulated is widely misrepresented. I wager the presentation of an equivalent scandal would be quite different if these sand and harmful events had happened in the Islamic or Protestant realms. Did the whole of Hollywood get accused when these allysere made known?

      • D. Geil Gustafson…..maybe Fr. Peter Morello can explain for you the problem, as can any of the numerous other comments below, TO WIT:
        Fr Peter Morello
        November 7, 2018 at 10:39 am

        Neither Narcissism, self adulation that is common to virtually all with exception of the saints, nor Clericalism, the presumption of moral superiority is equivalent to homosexual behavior. Both terms are used to avoid the real issue. Homosexuality. In either case indicative of the unwillingness to face the hard facts of responsibility for clergy purification.

    • As much as I admire and respect George Weigel, I suggest he really looks into the problem of homosexual priests still active in our Church. Last month in Chicago to priests, one from the Archdiocese and another from Columbia, SA who was serving Hispanic ministry in the Archdiocese were arrested for having oral sex with each other in a Volkswagen by a policeman passing by. There is a whole study on the reality that at least one third of our seminarians are attracted to same sex feelings. The problem is not the attraction as much as it is with the reality that how a priest or bishop can, by the grace of God, confect the Holy Eucharist in the morning after having acted out a sexual act the night before with a man or a woman saying “This is the body I want for myself.” Where is the loss of Faith. And I will venture that none of these called men spent time in adoration of Jesus each day in simply prayer of thanksgiving before the Living Eucharist. Eucharistic Adoration is the first step for anyone of us to remain faithful to the Real Presence of Jesus in His Word and in His action by the Spirit dwelling within him. Look at the examples of the Cure of Ars, of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, or St. John Paul II. How many parishes have even First Friday Adoration, day and into the evening..promoted by their priests?

      • Deacon John we have the largest parish in the diocese of Pittsburgh … we are people who span three generations, hard-working but thankful for the gifts and many many of us contribute as much as we can to every need brought forth at Mass. It is a matter of our hearts desire and personal honor. NOW we are seeing that years of giving to the diocese were met by shepherds dispersing money to lawyers on BOTH sides and the payments to settle sexualmisconduct cases … AT THE SAME TIME (!) churches must closed in our old neighborhoods–spectacular and beautiful churches built by the hands and alms of
        our immigrant forebearers–necessary we were told because of the diocese could not afford to keep the structures open. and the schools where young peolple were formed (!) were also closed!! this author and others like him miss THIS FACTOR entirely! THAT is why we are angry…NO MORE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ???!!! Shame on our Bishops!

        • Michael Krebs, you find the parishoners to attend Mass at those “spectacular and beautiful churches” of yours, to support the parish with their giving–including giving of their volunteer time, then your bishop will keep the buildings open. Otherwise…

          The same goes for the schools you shouted about. Find the teachers who will work for peanuts and the parents who will put out to fill the school with children then your bishop will keep the school buildings open. Otherwise…

          Yes, the “payments to settle sexualmisconduct(sic) cases” have impaired the finances of many a diocese but the long-term decay in faithfulness, Mass attendance, and support of our parishes is the real cause of parish and school closures.

  2. Bingo! Thank you! Clerical narcissism is definitely at the root of laity anger. Long homilies? Glad to know it wasn’t just my parish where even daily homilies can run 30 minutes. It’s not about the message, but about the Eucharist. We are not protestants. Priests and bishops need to step aside and give an example of humble worship and not carry on with callous statements about how the Church has always had difficult times.. basically we need to move on. It’s all very insulting. But their narcissism prevents them from hearing the laity!

    • Obviously, a 30 minute homily for a weekday Mass is too long, I doubt , however, this is a frequent occurrence. I take exception to your inference that preaching the word of God is somehow protestant. Apparently, you have never heard of the great scriptural homilies of the early Fathers of the Church. I grew up when the daily Mass was often rushed, pro functionary, lasting no more than 15 or 20 minutes. If a person does not have time for a properly celebrated daily mass with a decent homily, he should stay home and pray his devotions.

      • It isn’t that we don’t want long daily liturgies, these priests make it impossible for working stiffs like yours truly to be a daily communicant. The low masses were not rushed but we’re reverently offered without extras. My former pastor showed his sensitivity to working people who wanted to be strengthened by the Eucharist in order to serve the community. Your harsh reaction is not warranted. In the rubrics for a daily Mass no sermon or homily is required.

  3. Others besides Woodward, notably Bill Donohue Catholic League, myself in a recent comment here had agreed with George Weigel’s premise that the ‘discovered’ allegations of clergy abuse by attorney generals are old and mostly uncorroborated – made to appear shockingly new. Opportunists “making hay” enhancing their careers and ingratiating themselves with constituents who hate what Catholicism stands for. Furthermore attorney generals are not equipped to morally cleanse the Church. The scandal to the Laity is great if only due to the inaction of Hierarchy. And the Vatican. Only the Pontiff is positioned to remove, demand repentance. As Weigel also alludes.
    Insofar as Narcissism many of us are drowning in our fancied self image, a self infliction not exclusive to clergy.

  4. I respectfully disagree with this analysis of why the Catholic faithful are angry. I think most of us are intelligent to know that the news media is not to be trusted. I also believe most of us are intelligent to know that Attorney Shapiro did not mean they had come up with 300 NEW allegations. I haven’t met anyone who thinks that the allegations were new ones, we all understand perfectly what the report said and meant. In my opinion, we are angry because of the ongoing problem of homosexuality among the clergy and in some seminaries which is not being addressed! We are angry because we read statements from our bishops and priests which talk ONLY about the past child abuse scandals, instead of focusing on the issue of WHY so many priest and bishops have abused children over the years. My priest actually said when someone asked him about the first Vigano letter, “Oh, that letter, well, everyone is getting up in arms over nothing, we need to not focus on that.”
    Focusing on clericalism and child abuse is deflecting the very real and serious disease plaguing our Church right now, which is homosexuality. We would just appreciate some honestly from our bishops and priests and a true resolve to root out this sin in the clergy…even if it means losing priests and revenue!

    • Yes Elizabeth. You have it. Thank you. Its the acceptance of homosexuality by the clergy. “We’re all sinners”. That seems to be,the response from the clergy.

    • Strongly agree with you in your respectful disagreement. Prayer and penance by all, yes, but when will the Church reckon with the persistent homosexual subculture existing within the Catholic priesthood, from which most of the crimes were committed? Who let those men into our seminaries?
      Further, do those men not feel guilty about what their “brothers” perpetrated, causing shame to our Church and the bankruptcies of many of our archdioceses?

  5. Betrayal. That word describes a lot. The fact that the concerns of laity are so frequently ignored or turned around and used against them. In some ways, trying to live as a faithful catholic is like trying to stay in a troubled marriage. The lack of honesty, the defensive coverups of infidelity, the heartbreaking damage to trust, the financial mess, the good parent vs. the lax manipulative parent being played out with doctrinal questions. The challenge for faithful Catholics is to live faithfully and with love even though they are being “cheated on” by some of those who should be faithful.

  6. Nov. 7th: I find that Mr. Weigel is becoming more and more self absorbed. He name drops to show he is intimate with the ‘higher ups’ – “…my friend Woodward” and letting us know that he was ‘working in Rome at Synod-2018’ – I do agree that the majority of sexual abuse cases are from decades ago and most of the perpetrators are dead. However, he says nothing about the presence of homosexual men in the Priesthood and being admitted to seminaries. He says nothing about the ‘lavendar mafia’ which has been reported on for decades and is, I truly believe, true…the fact that Cdl. McCarrick was consistingly elevated to higher ranks in the Church even after his exploits were known speaks volumes. I used to look forward eagerly to Weigel’s articles…no more. They’re too full of his own sense of his importance in the grand scheme of things. The presence of active homosexuals in the clergy needs to be addressed as well as the presence of those who continue to cover up this active presence in our seminaries.

  7. Though the “political hay” may be overdone, perhaps we see Sacramental hay in need. The Sacraments so important to us and future young and old people are very much what need, the truth. We don’t need comedy from the pulpit or straw arguments about unleashing. We simply need the truth about our main homosexualist problem, and it’s not only the abuse of older youth or the very often wrongly used pedophilia word. The Sacraments need truth to survive.

  8. Thank you Mr. Weigel. You are one of a handful of sane Catholic commentators. Another factor in the anger is the general level of anger in American society.

  9. Thank you for putting it into perspective. Another hot point in this: The church does not know how to react/or ACT. In one diocese, a 13 year old case has been reopened by the Archbishop and made public. The first ruling of investigation all those years ago, was it was unsubstantiated. So why reopen? CYA. It is a gross injustice to the parties to publicize the long closed case. There was no reason or point to it. Who are these men in leadership today? I would also like to say the next scandal should be the way the USCCB spends the funds the beg for. Example is supporting abortion agencies and writing letters as a body, to the congress supporting any means contraceptives and abortions in 3rd world countries. Check it out.

  10. As usual, Weigel misses almost everything. Of course, there is no ongoing “rape culture,” in the sense that only a small fraction of abuse cases are from the present and concern defenseless minors. Weigel studiously avoids naming the overwhelming problem in the Catholic Church today: the homosexual culture problem. THAT is the root of the clerical narcissism that spills over into everything else: the distorted, perverted liturgies, the emphasis on liberal politics instead of the Gospel, the corruption of Catholic education, the corruption of religious orders and seminaries. Homosexuality is not the ONLY cause of all this, but it is a PRIMARY cause. And it is still not being addressed in any significant way.

    • Your reaction and mine are identical. “As usual, Weigel misses almost everything.” I had to laugh when I read what you wrote. “What are the roots of today’s Catholic anger and disgust?” asks the bien pensant savant Weigel. Certainly not his fictive rape culture “narrative” which exists nowhere except in his own mind. The primary and overwhelming cause is the real “ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed” culture of homosexuality that has permeated the Church from the gutter of McCarrick and Martin to the self-anointed “successor of Jesus” Bishop of Rome.

      What Weigel never misses, though, is his uncontrollable narcissistic compulsion to remind us ignorant and unwashed peasants that he is the ultimate Vatican insider, “working in Rome at Synod-2018 and helping mark the 40th anniversary of John Paul II’s election at events in Brussels and Warsaw” and so close to “my friend Woodward” who as another ultimate Vatican insider is the “longtime religion editor of Newsweek”. Truly nauseating.

    • I would add, not only blatant homosexuality, but effeminacy and cowardliness in otherwise heterosexual clergy and religious. A certain recipe for compromise with evil, or its ‘re-naming’.

  11. George, love your work, but here I think the righteous “anger”, at least for me and I suspect others, is aimed squarely at our hierarchy’s inability to manage, control and prevent the active homosexual takeover of the most sacred. This horrid behavior has jeopardized our church and profaned our Lord .. not to mention victimized too many young and adults.

    • Precisely right, DWill. We are not stupid and somehow unable to see Weigel’s fictional “rape culture”. Our rage is rooted in the “ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed” homosexuality throughout the Church, all the way up to the pope.

  12. NOOOO, George, we’re not fed up with “clerical narcissism”. We’re fed up with a pervasive homosexual culture among priests and bishops. Until this rot is eliminated, people will be leaving the Church in droves and the abuse of minors who are males will never end. Why can’t you and the bishops admit this?

  13. Prof. Wiegel keeps avoiding the issue, which is odd since he seems to be perceptive.

    The issue is this: Bishops like Cardinal Wuerl and Cardinal Mahony and Cardinal McCarrick etc etc etc were and are running a sex abuse coverup operation, lying to the faithful not only before the 2002 scandal broke, but lying and stonewalling and covering up to stymie and undermine the Lay Review Board and all the faithful from 2002 until this very day…and all of these decades of lying were done to protect themselves from accountability and to maintain the power of sex offending Bishops and clergy in the sex offense and double-Life beach house mafia.

    All of these 3 and others like them helped elect a Pope who has helped them prevent justice and helped keep themselves in power and wealth…and in position to elect another pope who will continue the lies and coverup and corruption.

    Prof. Wiegel just won’t admit that reality is what matters..,not happy-talk narratives to start preyending everything is fine at the Bishop level.

    Judge Anne Burke and Gov. Keating are facing the reality of Bishops’ corruption. They both served on the sex abuse Review Board. In 2003 Governor Keating publicly resigned from the Board to warn us of the corruption of lying Bishops. Anne Burke just publicly resigned from the Knights of Malta to give witness against the silence being orchestrated by the Popes d his Bishop friends like the 3 above.

    Prof. Wiegel doesn’t grasp how bad this crisis is.

  14. This is a red herring, and if it is not ignorance by Prof. Wiegel, then it is deliberate “gaslighting” of the faithful.

    This essay sounds like McCarrick talking…

  15. Read the story of Fr Paul Kalchik persecuted by Cardinal Cupich over a LGBT flag.
    That make me angry. How many good priests have bean put under the buss? and abandonned
    by their bishop!

  16. Neither Narcissism, self adulation that is common to virtually all with exception of the saints, nor Clericalism, the presumption of moral superiority is equivalent to homosexual behavior. Both terms are used to avoid the real issue. Homosexuality. In either case indicative of the unwillingness to face the hard facts of responsibility for clergy purification.

  17. ‘Sacrilege’ by Leon Poodles should be required reading. Apologetics about the abuse crisis being old news mislead. The problem is deeper and culturally pervasive in the structure and thinking of the church.

  18. Yes, clericalism is narcissistic, and unfortunately this has been my lifelong experience with Catholicism. I love the Lord and the Mass, but I cannot deal with priests who talk down their noses “at” me (confession). I don’t know any who have ever taken time to talk to me outside of confession. Once one jokingly said “hide the silver” when he found out I was in foster care (teen). He didn’t know I was standing behind him .

  19. It isn’t in the past, though. Drug fuelled homosexual orgies happened in the Vatican just a couple of years ago (in 2017 even?).
    And the Ruth Institute published a report by a priest sociologist who indicated there could be a new wave coming.

  20. Guess what? Clerical Narcissism is being taught in seminaries today in terms of how they are treated as well as the entitled leadership who stress privilege and downplay service, unless it is strictly on their terms.

  21. As horrible as the Pennsylvania stories are, I am actually angry about the McCarrick case and the lack of credible response to the testimonies of Abp. Vigano. I am disappointed that Mr. Weigel does not address the Abp. Vigano allegations. I don’t have access to the evidence, but when I compare the straight-forward testimony given by Vigano with the evasive, ad-hominem responses given by the likes of Fr. James Martin, Cardinal Cupich, and Cardinal Oulette, I find Vigano to be very credible. Vigano sounds like someone who is telling the truth, while his detractors sound like they are hiding something. The silence from the Holy Father does not give me confidence, either.

    • Yes! Like many here I am aware that much of the Pennsylvania report is old news. However, it got my attention and I started paying more attention to the Catholic press and the Vigano letter started me doing my own research concerning some of the people Vigano named. I am angry to find the Vatican has many people close to Pope Francis with either an active homosexual past (or possibly present) or strong homosexual friendly attitudes. I am angry that the Church has not studied what is involved in “gay culture” which can include the grooming of teenage men. The recently Oscar nominated movie “Call Me By Your Name” makes this pretty clear – and it was not criticized for abuse, but hailed as a coming of age movie. Men formerly involved in the gay culture have called it out for its lack of monogamy, its tendency for sexual addiction and its overall unhealthy lifestyle. There is nothing about it that comes close to Catholic sacramental marriage. I feel my children are safe at a Catholic school. I would not feel my son would be safe in a Catholic seminary. Mr Weigle needs to spend some time talking to us angry Catholics to find out why we feel the way we do.

  22. What Weigel did not speak about was the attitude of the mass goers who do not correct or attempt to correct the narcissist. While most are complicit by silence many suggest their own meaningful (to them) deviations. What today’s Catholics need to ponder is the reality that in the context of the New Testament the majority of believers are mentally as capable of deciding between right and wrong as the priests and rich men of the days when the scriptures were written. The Liturgy is the one place where ones real personal relationship with God is test d out against ones public relationship.

  23. Weigel should have said the reasons for our anger are 1.) homosexual infiltration, 2.) refusal to deal with it, 3.) cover up, 4.) traceability to the Vatican 5.) persecution of faithful seminarians and priests, 6.) destruction of the Mass as tactical strategy, and finally 7.) what Weigel said. Taken together, Weigel has missed the forest over a single tree.

    • Terrace – very well stated. But, if as others said, that Weigel is attached to his status among the Church hierarchy, wouldn’t it take courage to admit that the real problem is active and predatory homosexuality among the clerics and within the Vatican? Wouldn’t that mean a lose of admissions into the inner circle, from which Weigel has derived his living which he so proudly puts on display and reminds others that he possesses?

      Seems like he is struggling to chose between telling the truth, or repressing the truth by refocusing the attention to criticisms of how the masses are said, and the tensions between boring homilies filled with displays of narcissism. It seems that Weigel is failing to address the actual problem that the current ranks of the clerics are the offspring of McCarrick’s seminaries where only the sexually active homosexuals were allowed to advance into the priesthood and within the ranks of Bishops, Cardinals, and Pope. All during the papacy of JPII, which Weigel claims to be an authority on. How could he has missed this? Unless he too is part of a cover-up? If he missed it, then he was not really the confident of Church authorities that he claims he is when writing about JPII. So which is it?

  24. Mr. Weigel doesn’t get it its not anger its not something the laity are doing or feeling its what the “hierarchy” aren’t and are currently doing. To explain it thoroughly check out A Cry of the Heart to Our Bishops: Please Restore Order to the Church! by Msgr. Charles Pope Nov 5th on National Catholic Register

  25. Two-thirds of so-called Catholic sex-ed in parochial schools is explicit instruction in anal/oral sodomy, giving and receiving, from start to finish. Back in the late 1960’s, pedophile priests who backed such sex-ed were quite prepared to back off the proposed program because they feared Catholic parents would protest their children being debauched of their innocence, purity, modesty and chastity by this frankly obscene material. However, most teaching nuns, who shamelessly cared nothing about breaking their vows of chastity, pushed the priests to go forward with sex ed, saying all 50 States had recently granted to sex ed teachers, and related school personnel, total exemption from arrest/prosecution for child molestation crimes generally designated as ”dissemination of pornography to a child” and ”indecent liberties with a child”. Why would such exemptions for sex ed instructors from these child molestation laws be necessary unless pornography is indeed the main content of the sex ed curriculum? In a short while, the pedophile priests were amazed and emboldened by parental acquiescence to sex ed for their children as an act of obedience to Church authority represented by those corrupt priests and nuns. The parents didn’t realize the forms they signed which gave their consent to ”Catholic sex ed” for their children was considered by pedophile priests as tacit permission for them to molest their children. If you graphically show and tell children exactly what is involved in sodomy, then you mentally and emotionally condition children to accept sodomy, without the least sense of its gross sinfulness. Thus are Catholic children groomed in Catholic schools to participate in sodomy, whether with other children or adults. The victimization of children by pedophile priests could not have reached such a terrible extent without the pernicious effect of mandatory, necessarily pornographic sex ed inflicted on Catholic students in each one of the 12 grades. Catholic sex ed is integral to the pedophile priests’ agenda. Child molestation will continue as a fixture of institutional Catholicism until sex ed is exorcised out.

  26. Can we please be clear here. Sexual abuse of children and homosexuality are two different aspects. Being homosexual alone does NOT incline a person to child abuse. People who chose to live a life without sexual gratification, Straight or Gay should not be turned away because of their sexual orientation. The focus is to find/teach people to serve others, not themselves.

    • This attitude is EACTLY why we are in this mess in the first place. What you maintain is demonstrably false. It is primarily a homosexual problem, period. To knowingly ordain anyone with a homosexual inclination is madness, and we continue to pay the enormous cost of this insanity.

  27. Yes. Cathy. there is the Truth along with Fr. Wienandy. Mr. Weigel more and more sounds like a company man covering for his boss. Narcissim might be his issue but the laity are way past that. 60 years of spiritual wasteland are what most parishes offer. we are tired of being fed sand and see the real cause of empty pews are bishops and priests are not even converted and possibly compromised is why they can’t preach or teach anything of substance. they have nothing to give us. by their fruits you will know them(who are God’s) He sounds like Francis with Clericalism excuse. Out of touch both of them.

  28. Bishop Mahoney in Los Angeles, who oversaw some of the biggest scandals and coverups in the U.S., continues as a priest in good standing and is treated like royalty when he preaches at the parish I attend. So, don’t tell me this is all history and “nothing new to see here”.

  29. There is not one institution in America which commands trust of its citizens. We have learned over the last generation of scum who sit at the highest levels, in law, science, academia, politics and in this century, the clergy. It is an abuse by an Attorney General and Grand Jury to indict dead people. Cadavers can not be convicted or judged on this earth, although most theologians judge many are roasting at this moment, and will for the next billion years. The Pennsylvania report documented the gross sexual sins of priests since WWII. Its prime purpose was to force legislators to vote to abolish the Statute of Limitations on such crimes. It may be a worthy topic of debate but indistinguishable from other far more numerous crimes, e.g. sexual slavery, the MeToo crimes.

    What we have learned, in 2018, is that the bishops lowered the boom, circa 2002, the Dallas Report, on every Catholic employee, from the janitor to the pastor. But did nothing binding themselves. Cardinal Archbishop Theodore (Greek – God’s Gift) Edgar McCarrick saw to that and we now know why.

    This is not new. Sexual corruption of the hierarchy, and demonic hypocrisy were prime motivators for the Protestant Reformation. Vomit is not new. Rage is not new. What is new is the collapse of trust, a loss of faith, now, in the integrity of the organization by many baptized Catholics. What is missing it the bedrock realization that the church is composed of sinners and God. Really. There is a ongoing war between evil and good, God’s church is under fierce attack.

    Pray. Use common sense; God gave it to you. He will win, maybe in double over time.

  30. The plague of catamitic concupiscence is not easily forgotten only 18 years into the 21st Century. This has cost the Church in name,followers, time, and money. Into a babbling World the sheep roam as Alinskyite influence and a cavalier attitude toward abuse chipped away at the Rock of Ages.
    If reforms have been effective since 2003, of course that good news needs to be proclaimed, but, having attended Mccarrick’s elevation, the news of his antics and lack of discipline lowered the image of the Church leadership considerably.

  31. The issue is homosexuality. We are still hearing accounts of homosexual men in the priesthood. These men need to be removed from the priesthood. And the Church needs to say the real scandal is that the sacraments they administrator are not valid.

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