Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University. His writing, speaking engagements, and appearances on countless television and radio programs see him addressing many issues from a Catholic perspective, as well as through the lens of sociology. His recent books include Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century (Image, 2018) and Common Sense Catholicism: How to Resolve Our Cultural Crisis (Ignatius Press, 2019).
His latest book is The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes (Ignatius Press, 2021). In it, he brings to bear his background as a sociologist, a faithful and observant Catholic, and his decades of experience in analysis of issues in the Church and the world. He tackles one of the most difficult to discuss issues, that of clerical sexual abuse.
“Donohue writes with a combination of penetrating intellect and relentless pugnacity,” says Fr. Paul Sullins, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Catholic University of America. “A great strength of the book,” notes Fr. Sullins, “is that it advances its arguments with competent social science analysis. Facts and claims are extensively cited and judiciously evaluated, attaining high standards for scholarship and sourcing.”
Donohue spoke recently with Catholic World Report about his latest book, and how Catholics can approach the scandal of clergy sexual abuse with clarity, context, and purpose.
Catholic World Report: What was the genesis of the book, and how did it come to fruition?
Bill Donohue: I’ve been working on this issue of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church for about a quarter of a century. I’ve been involved personally with different issues and been interviewed by the media. We have a huge file here at the Catholic League, so I decided the time has come for me to kind of set the record straight.
So much of the conventional wisdom out there is wrong. You know, sometimes it’s just misinformation. People make a mistake. Other times it’s disinformation. In other words, it’s distortion. It’s intentional. There’ve been some pretty good books out there on the subject, but not by a social scientist clearly … trying to look at the breadth of the entire issue and not just who was responsible for it. So I thought the time had come. I’ve been wanting to say something. It was inside of me and I decided, “Let’s go.” The timing is right.
CWR: The subtitle is “Clarifying the facts and causes of the abuse scandal”. So do you discuss that misinformation, disinformation, misunderstanding? What is it exactly that needs clarified?
Donohue: There’s no question that the media has convinced the public. I call it the poisoning of the public mind. They’ve convinced the public, and many Catholics as well, that the scandal is ongoing. In fact, the scandal is largely over and it’s been over for about a half a century. The worst damage that was done in the Catholic Church by molesting priests, almost all of whom were homosexual, was done between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s.
We still have cases of it here and there. What you’ll typically see in the media are reports of an old case, but a lot of times, people won’t read past the headline. And if you do, you find out this is back in 1963, 1971, 1985. And, by the way, they don’t bother to tell you almost all the molesting priests are either dead or they’ve been thrown out of ministry. The idea that the priests are walking around looking for kids is simply a lie, and it’s a vicious lie. So I wanted to set that straight.
The other thing is, we’ve made tremendous progress. We are down to single digits now in terms of the average number of substantiated accusations made against approximately 50,000 members of the clergy. There is no organization in the United States, secular or religious, which has a better record today in maintaining the safety of minors than the Catholic Church.
Yes, we dropped our guard—particularly in the 1970s. It was a terrible, terrible decade. And the Church deserves criticism for what happened then. But also, if we’re going to be fair about it, we have to give credit where credit is due: the Dallas reforms, as well as many other reforms that were taking place. We’ve made tremendous progress and I’m very proud of that. The Catholic Church has largely turned the corner on this issue.
CWR: Why do you think public perception is that the problem of sexual abuse of minors lies primarily within the Catholic Church? People hear about child sexual abuse and they think of priests. Why is that?
Donohue: That’s the perception. Well, it’s really not hard for me to figure out at this point. As someone who has a doctorate in sociology, the Catholic Church is hated by secular militants within the activist organizations, many of them legal organizations, non-profits, and large segments of the media, in large segments of education (particularly in higher education), as well as in other quarters.
And the reason for that is because we live in a society obsessed with sex. It’s not the Catholic Church which is obsessed with sex. It’s the secular militants who are. They don’t want any restrictions on anything they do, no matter how many people have wound up with STDs and in the grave as a result of practicing liberty-ism (liberty with license, without any restraints). They never seem to learn.
The Catholic Church—like our Jewish friends, and for that matter, Mormons and Muslims, evangelical Protestants—we all agree to an idea of sexual reticence, of a sexual ethics which emphasizes restraint. And marriage and sexuality should be entered into by a man and a woman—a biological man and a biological woman. And that other forms of sexuality are not really well-accepted. We live in a society today where the three most dreaded words in the English language are “Thou shalt not…”
So when they see bad news about the Catholic Church, they’re going to drum it up. They don’t want to let it go. They want to convince the public that the scandal will never end because they want to weaken the moral voice of the Catholic Church. And after they do that, they’ll go after the Orthodox Jews, evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Muslims and everybody else who agrees to a more traditional understanding of sexual morality. That’s why this is happening.
CWR: The public, for the most part, seems to ignore or deny the role that homosexuality and the sexual revolution in general have played in the abuse crisis, in the Church and across society. Why do you think that is?
Donohue: Well, the denial is in the Catholic Church as well. The denial is in the Vatican. Let me be very explicit about it: in the book, I talk about the Vatican summit in 2019. Everyone from the Pope on down, all the Cardinals: all they talked about was clericalism as the driving force of sexual abuse.
Clericalism, or a sense of elitism, certainly may have something to do with why some bishops were enablers, but has absolutely zero to do with why a priest would molest a minor. Nothing. They don’t want to talk about homosexuality.
Now, in fairness, the Pope and many of the Cardinals have talked about the necessity of making sure we don’t have men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies joining the Catholic priesthood. But at the Vatican Summit, they didn’t go that way. Now gays are one of the most protected, perhaps the most protected, class in America today, and people are afraid to tell the truth. When I tell my Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish friends that from my research, it’s clear that homosexuals accounted for over eighty percent of the sexual abuse of minors, they just look at me, say, “Of course, we know that. We don’t know the studies. We don’t read anything. But everybody knows it’s homosexuals.”
Pedophiles are about three and a half percent. When a man has sex with a post-pubescent—an adolescent or above—man, that’s homosexuality. I am not saying that all homosexuals are molesters. That would be gay bashing. What I’m saying is that gays, more so than heterosexuals, are more likely to abuse minors. And this is clearly the case in the Catholic Church.
Why? Because of the emotional and sexual immaturity that marks so many homosexuals—not all of them, but so many of them. And it is immaturity—sexual and emotional immaturity—that leads to this kind of sexual abuse, because these guys are stunted, and their psycho-sexual development hits a plateau. They can’t identify with anybody beyond adolescent age, which is why they associate with them. And, in some cases, molest them. That’s the God’s honest truth.
CWR: How would you assess the Church’s response to the problem of abuse by clergy?
Donohue: The Church certainly dropped its guard in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The ideas of the sexual revolution took fruition in the 60s and behaviorally the acting out was done in the 70s, inside and outside of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI deserves most of the credit here because he has been gutsy enough and smart enough to pinpoint the sexual revolution. What’s happened? I vigorously defend him on this because sociologically he’s on his game more than anybody else. And quite frankly, for other people not to acknowledge that, they simply don’t know what they’re talking about. We’re not saying that the sexual revolution exculpates or takes the burden off of people in the Church—but that’s what drove it.
But we also have to give credit where credit is due. The bishops, the priests in general, and the seminaries by and large have done a magnificent job in getting to the root of this problem. And that’s why you see so little of new cases of abuse that are taking place today. So, yes, I want to be fair about it. Criticize the Church where it was wrong and praise the Church today, where it’s done things mostly the right way.
CWR: Seminary application review processes have been changed, in order to better identify men who are good candidates for the priesthood, and weed out people who might who might have, for example, problems with abuse. Do you see hope in that? Or hope for other reasons?
Donohue: I see hope in that. And I see that instead of having the good men driven out of the seminary back in the 1970s—many of them were straight guys who couldn’t take living with so many gays who were promiscuous and got away with it. No, there’s a big change. The textbooks are changing. The formation has been changing. They’re following canon law. There have been all kinds of reforms and the guys are going in with the right attitude. They’re going in there now, knowing it’s a much better place for people to be. It’s a much more holy place than it was back 50 years ago.
And so I’m hopeful about the future. We always have to keep our guard up because if we slipped before, we could slip again, right? But I am optimistic about the future, at least in the near term.
CWR: What do you hope readers will take away from the book? What do you think the long-lasting effect of the book will be?
Donohue: I hope people will come to the conclusion that they’ve been given a lot of bad information, that the conventional wisdom has been wrong, that they’ll feel a sigh of relief, knowing that, yes, we know that we had a scandal, but that we don’t own this issue. We’ve been lied to.
Sexual abuse takes place all over. I want them to realize that the tremendous progress we’ve made and why it’s not recognized because the media have a vested ideological interest, as the lawyers do as well in keeping this thing going in people’s minds. And I want them to learn that were it not for the homosexual molesters, we wouldn’t have had this problem in the first place.
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Deflect, deny, minimize. That’s what pedophiles do when they get caught.
I agree wholeheartedly with Donohue’s assessment that the media has lied to us about an “ongoing” problem of abuse of minors by clergy in the Catholic Church. I also agree that the underlying cause was emotionally stunted homosexual men who perpetrated the vast majority of the abuse from the mid-60’s forward. However, we still have an elephant in the room that is largely being ignored.
There are still large numbers of homosexual priests and bishops (some acting on their homosexual impulses and most not) who are still damaging the fabric of the Catholic Church. These men, perhaps in psychological conflict over their homosexuality and the teachings of the Church, don’t miss an opportunity to whittle away at the basic teachings of the faith with regard to sexuality, marriage, family, abortion, Communion to abortion-promoting politicians, and other moral teachings. This connection between homosexuality and chipping away at the moral fabric of Church teaching has been largely ignored. I, for one, happen to believe that all the synodal nonsense coming out of the Church in Germany is an expression of an underlying problem of homosexuality among their clergy. Their resolve to support the moral teachings of the Church has been seriously weakened.
So, yes, the abuse crisis has seemingly receded in the Church and much credit must be given for it to many who resolved to speak the Truth. However, an underlying problem remains which is that far too many priests and bishops struggle with their homosexuality which then is reflected in their lukewarm defense of the faith in some very important areas of Church life.
To many priests are pedophiles. They need to be exposed! Priests should be allowed to marry like the Orthodox and Protestants, it would solve a lot of problems. Obviously after going thru seminar for seven years it should be figured out who is a pedophile! So what is the problem, the instructors are allowing it. Now hold them accountable!
Orthodox priests are NOT allowed to marry. And the rate of sexual abusers is and has been equal if not higher in churches which allow married men to become priests and pdiests to marry.
The overwhelming majority of sexual abusers of minors are married or in sexual relationships with other adults.
Allowing Catholic priests to marry would if anything make the problem worse.
Marriage is no more the solution to pedophilia than it is to homosexuality. Priestly celibacy has nothing to do with the desire to exploit and harm young people.
The problem of pedophilia is a much smaller part of the problem. The main problem, found by the 2003-04 US Report, and also the very recent German Report, is over 80% homosexual predation of teen boys by predatory homosexual priests.
Its not pedophilia.
In Orthodoxy, priests are not permitted to marry. However, married men are permitted to be ordained to the priesthood. It is incorrect to say “Orthodox priests are permitted to marry.”
Less and less men are signing up for the priesthood, that is one reason this church allows homosexuals in their church……check out Kenrick seminary in St. Louis.
Imagine you’re a fly on the wall in a college dormitory in the late 60’s and there’s a group of gay guys “sittin’ around talkin’.” The topic is what they’re going to do after graduation. Their needs are different from straight men. They want to earn well, but since wife and children are not in the picture they don’t have to gear their careers towards the demands of mortgage, the cost of raising kids, college funds etc. They want to make enough to pay for a nice pad, travel, wardrobe. And having a job with some prestige is good, but it’s not like they’re looking to put in 80 hours a week for years to make partner or the like. So, what to do? Jokingly, one of them pipes up: “Well, we could enter the priesthood! We’d get to live in an all male environment, wear a lot of silk, and if we go into teaching just think of all that chicken (boys between the ages of 13 to 16)! They all laugh. But one of them says: “That’s not a bad idea.” What, are you nuts? Who wants to live poor in a drafty monastery? Now, the guy who said it wasn’t a bad idea knows a thing or two about the priesthood and tells them there are two kinds of priests, the ones who enter Orders and the ones who become diocesan priest, and the difference is that with Orders they take 3 vows, poverty, chastity and obedience. But Diocesan only take 2 vows, chastity and obedience, not poverty. They get paid, they live either alone or with one other priest in a rectory, and although they don’t get paid much what do they need to spend it on? In five years they can save enough for a down payment on a beach house or country cottage to invite the “chicken” to. The others cry: “But what about chastity and obedience?” and are reminded that vows only matter if sincere, and how many straight men stand at the altar and vow to never sleep with another woman for the rest of their lives with their fingers crossed behind their backs? And obedience basically means accepting a transfer without complaint, so sell one country cottage and buy another. And it would be easy to pull off because the Church is in a terrible vocations crisis and standards for admission have been lowered. And what seals the deal is this: “Not only do we get to live in an all male environment, wear a lot of silk, and have all that chicken, but best of all we get to destroy a church we hate from within!”
Once a few succeeded in getting in they told friends and the word spread. It seems that most of the analysis of the co-called priest sex scandal focuses on the sexual culture of the times. Perhaps it’s time to consider how it was strategic?
I was run out of a parish by priests in an Order who acted like fifth grade girls, which is how gay men act when they are in a group. They gang up on single women and gossip about them and slander them until they have to leave. I am not the only one. The problem isn’t only sex, it is behavior. During one priests’s tenure as pastor the parish lost 40% of its membership and 50% of its giving.
What about the Acta of the Dominican Order from Calaruega many years ago, which explicitly referred to same sex attraction as not being a barrier? Unfortunately I’ve become an expert in this whole subject.
The stigma is awful. Donohue is right. Most of these damaging abuse cases were by homosexual priests [that’s indicated by multiple statistical surveys] decades past the offenders gone. Still the fear of laity having a priest around their kids, it’s hurtful understandable remains but mainly due to Bill Donohue’s on the mark description of media continued vilification of Catholic clergy today.
I would add two other factors. One is the strident investigations by States’ AG’s of diocesan records and their publication, the other bishops who turned a blind eye toward priest candidates who showed clear signs of effeminacy, and or predatory behavior. Many bishops had little to do with first hand examination of their morals. Bill Donohue, thorough sociologist that he is has mentioned both of these factors elsewhere in interviews.
What I’m concerned of today is the change in attitude toward men, clerics with same sex attraction. Initially, when the scandal broke, I believe it was under John Paul II that same sex attraction was a marker for refusal of priest candidacy. Later, it was changed to acceptance under presumed viable conditions. That’s an obvious mistake. Change is occurring at the Vatican with notorious homosexual advocate James Martin SJ appointed by the Vatican as special consultant to Vat communications. And, of course, Cardinal Hollerich identical in his views to Fr Martin appointed by His holiness as Synod on Synodality relator, the person who sets the agenda.
Donohue correctly points out that homosexual abusers are present everywhere in every profession, although especially in all male environments. He also is very well equipped as a resource for the Vatican on this issue in the Church, for example he exposes the canard of clericalism as the issue when homosexuality is the issue. If the Vatican were serious about this matter it would request Bill Donohue to form a dycastery or type of to efficiently address adult male homosexuality. Unfortunately, a serious attempt to address that in the American Church by then Archbishop DiNardo was quashed by the Pontiff, DiNardo humiliated as pres of the USCCB the Pontiff’s Cardinal Cupich effectively replacing DiNardo, the subject becoming child abuse, a subject previously well addressed. More than one prominent prelate is concerned with what seems a purposeful effort by this Vatican to change Church doctrine on adult male homosexuality.
Ive lived it, seen it all. you’re , sadly enough, bang on. Despite this most cruel abuse of our young people this pontiff protects abusers. Im deeply ashamed. Denying is the first big sin; facing it is compassion to the victims.
The long standing ban on the admittance to seminary let alone ordination of homosexuals was reaffirmed during the pontificate of Pope Saint John XXIII on 2 February 1961. Too bad it was ignored and those who did will have to answer for it during their particular judgments.
“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
CAREFUL SELECTION AND TRAINING OF CANDIDATES FOR THE STATES OF PERFECTION AND SACRED ORDERS
Sacred Congregation for Religious
February 2, 1961
As a former seminarian who was forced out due to resisting the pressure of a pro-homosexual spiritual director who was forced upon me in violation of canon law I strongly disagree.
Ironically this was at a seminary highly regarded for its “orthodoxy.” Sadly, the standards have fallen so low that saying the right thing in front of potential donors and doing the opposite behind the scenes is considered a sign of “holiness” in many clerical circles these days.
Unfortunately I was not the only one. I personally know of at least one other man during my time that was explicitly faulted for resisting the pressure of the homosexual crowd in the diocese of that seminary. He was wiser than I and just walked away when they made their hatred of God and their support of homosexuality obvious.
For all this talk of an increase in holiness in the formation process I have not seen it. They constantly talked about it in public but behind the scenes they had a very different attitude. They also kept claiming the abuse crisis is long over…
I also knew of men who were forced out due to bizarre bogus/ trumped up accusations that were incredibly trivial in nature (ie wearing a black coat when cold- a coat approved by the dress code, the list goes on). If they want you gone and they can’t find a valid reason they have no hesitation in manufacturing ones. They can be trivial/ bizarre but they act as if it is major. All the time they let their favored ones get away with serious violations. The seminary didn’t actually care if the men were guilty either. They just used it as an excuse to force them out. I know these false accusations are frequently used by certain seminaries to get rid of men who are insufficiently supportive of the homosexual lifestyle as well. Its easier to explain the rejection/ resignation to potential donors that way without providing the real reason.
In my case the rector came out and told me my “formation fault” when I pressed him. I have another faculty member on tape faulting me for resisting that homosexual spiritual director. In my case there was no doubt why I was forced out. It was obvious they do not like men who resist this pressure/ agenda and target such men first. No doubt they view such men a a potential threat to their lifestyle/ culture if ordained.
The only reason that many clergy/ diocese have become more circumspect about reigning in their sodomites is due to the the possibility of law suits, loss of prestige and the subsequent loss of financial support from the laity. Sadly it is not a pursuit of holiness.
I have seen men ordained, who in the presence of the external faculty, openly spoke in a lustful manner about lay women they encountered. Pretty much all of them were ordained. To view women lustfully was apparently not regarded as a formation issue. The slippery slope will become ever more slippery for these men since they have given Satan such a powerful hold upon them.
I will concede that a good portion of those ordained lately are not personally invested in sodomy. It is not really due to an appreciation of the virtue of chastity. Rather the simple fact is they are not “asthetically” attracted to sodomy for the most part. The sad thing is the targeting of young girls is on the rise according to: https://ruthinstitute.org/ruth-speaks-out/clergy-sex-abuse-has-changed-since-2000-and-why-it-matters/
My experience among many of the men of my seminary validate this tendency. They might not be sodomites but the higher rates of pedophiles who target young girls is not a serious sign of improvement in the level of holiness. This aversion is not based on a genuine love of holiness by a large number. They have not learned to love chastity nor how to act like mature holy men. Without a love of chastity and the attendant virtues of discipline and love of Truth above their own life/ desires this abuse crisis will never end.
From my experience of formation there is virtually no appreciation for this truth by many formentators since it is not regarded to financially support the seminary/ diocese sufficiently. Aside from the talk of many of the faculty members of my seminary about the virtues they seemed to regard them as optional to the priesthood.
I began seminary very naive- I believed most priests speak what they believe. Experience is a hard teacher but I know much better now.
I have personally known probably over 100 priests in my time in over 3 dioceses. Most of the ones worth their salt have passed on to their reward. I can use my fingers to count the good ones. Possibly on one hand. The same goes for diocesan seminarians I have known who somehow made it to ordination- maybe I’d have to use my 2nd hand.
Mr Donohue is just plain wrong. Having attended a seminary until 2018 I can say my experience is very much in line with the study I cited. There is a genuine lack of holiness that pervades seminary formation these days. The veneer is better but that is about all.
Has it improved since the 70s? No doubt… but not as much as many seem to want to believe. Much of the sickness has instead gone underground and puts on a pious facade. Call that an improvement if you will.
If the “good men” were actually good they would actively/ openly oppose the wolves instead of sharing their repast.
Robert. Several ranking prelates have referred to entrenched ‘homosexual networks’ within the Church. My own long experience is the evidence seems to support this. At the time then Archbishop DiNardo president USCCB sought to address the issue within the Am Church I note in my comment how he was immediately rebuked by Pope Francis and virtually relieved of his commission as USCCB president, authority effectively shifted to Cardinal Cupich who favors reevaluation of adult male relationships, as do several notable hierarchy [Cardinal Willem Eijk, Bishop Athanasius Schneider].
It’s no small matter that Francis appointed Cardinal Hollerich as Synod on Synodality relator among several key appointments of like minded prelates. Since the papal election in 2013, Pope Francis has appointed or promoted a number of self proclaimed pro-LGBT prelates, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Washington Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, Lexington Bishop John Stowe, Cheyenne Bishop Steven Biegler, Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Northampton Bishop David Oakley, and others. Similarly, Francis has surrounded himself with others who are either directly exposed as homosexual or are in favor of adult male relations, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, Bishop Oscar Zanchetta, Monsignor Battista Ricca [Ricca the priest who has been a notoriously active homosexual the subject of the Pope’s comment, Who am I to judge?].
The great danger regarding the institution of adult male homosexual relations as morally acceptible may well be the Synod on Synodality with Cardinal Hollerich expected to refer the issue for open discussion, that in itself a marker for the public to assume the Church is not in principle prohibitive of such relations, and a form of affirmation for its existence within the Church [Our Lord would not permit a pontiff to formally pronounce such an Antichrist doctrine]. Our loyalty to Christ’s revelation demands that we resist.
Correction. Utrecht Archbishop Cardinal Willem Eijk, and Astana Bishop Athanasius Schneider are outspokenly against homosexuality. I intended to state this in a separate sentence.
People where I am always say Fr. So and So must be very holy because he wears a cassock or a habit. No, it means he knows how to dress to appear holy.
Robert, your post is well said. It reminds me of things in a new article that just came out over on Homiletics and Pastoral Review. Have you seen it?
With respect to priests who were identified as pedophiles, there has always been the nagging question, “Are they truly priests ?
A condition that the sacrament be conferred validly is the correct and proper intention of the one receiving the sacrament. If the recipient has a flawed intention for receiving the sacrament, then the sacrament has not been conferred.
If those presenting themselves for ordination had the intention of using the priesthood as cover for exercising a malevolent life style, then one must wonder if such ordinandi actually received the indelible character of the priesthood.
The intention is fulfilled in the correct enunciation of consecration, thus speaking with the mind of the Church, despite a priest’s lack of faith. Otherwise, through the centuries there putatively have been many priests who weren’t properly disposed interiorly and many invalid sacraments. The Church in this way protects the integrity of the sacraments as well as the recipient.
Gary Lockhart is correct. In answer to Amos’ question about a malevolent desire for ordination it would be valid but unlawful [for the recipient of holy orders]. If the bishop weren’t aware due to pronounced negligence he would also be subject to an unlawful act, and I believe, under the canons grave penalty laetae sententiae [at least in the previous codex]. If he were aware, as it seems some were it would be a grave sin. Also, Judas Iscariot was bursar for the Apostles and stole from it. He likely long planned to abandon, perhaps betray Christ. Nevertheless he traveled with the others, and we may assume he performed exorcisms, healed the sick. If he didn’t retain these charisma the others would have known.
Did Christ know? Yes. He knew “who his betrayer would be”. The mystery of the Incarnation are the two natures one divine with full knowledge the other human. There’s interplay between the two natures in the Gospels that remarkably appear natural.
An ordination while valid is not necessarily licit, particularly when the ordinand has deceived his superiors and attempted to deceive Almighty God.
The textbooks are changing, all right. I know of one seminary that requires “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.”
What is needed now is foresighted notice, in 2023 and 2025, how synodality might well be used to falsify even what happened at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.
In that case, the consensus (80 percent of bishops were Arian) was overturned, not endorsed, when Arius was outed as not being consistent with what the Church had always believed–about the UNITY OF GOD, with the Second Person not less-than-equal to the Father.
The 2023 Synod on Synodality will likely bleed into the 1700th anniversary of Nicaea in 2025. And the real Church then will be challenged to notice, again, that rather than ideological inclusiveness (of the homosexual lifestyle), what is needed is clarity about the UNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON, body and soul, consistent with inborn natural law.
In the “field hospital church”, instead of Nicaea’s amputation of Arian gangrene, or instead of real medication, watch for the double-speak verbiage of “consensus” VERSUS clarity about the moral norm, about which the Church is “neither the author nor the arbiter” (Veritatis Splendor, VS, 1993, n. 95).
Instead of directly overturning Church teaching on homosexuality (a decoy pontificated through the media by Marx, Batzing and Hollerich), the REAL PLOY of the termites will be cleverly posed as a middle-ground—on the one hand affirming the perennial teaching, but while also signaling that this teaching does not apply in practice to many sexual sins and now especially to the exempted homosexual lifestyle. No medication, just what has become the status quo within the “endless journey.” The Big Lie.
But, Pope St. John Paul II ANTICIPATED this demonic deception, just as the deacon Athanasius inoculated the Church with his reflections on what had always been believed, in “The Incarnation,” written in 318 immediately prior to both Arius and Nicaea (319 and then 325, respectively). This, from John Paul of recent memory, presumably:
“A separation, or even an opposition, is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid and general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision [not moral judgment] about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept [thou shalt not]” (VS, n. 56).
Under the fluid, boring and Arian-like “leadership” of Hollerich & Co., whatever comes out of the Synod on Synodality (and the approaching years 2023 and 2025) now must be compared to the steadfast and precise CLARITY of Veritatis Splendor regarding the UNITY of divine revelation and the natural law, which now is explicitly part of the Magisterium (VS, n. 115).
The Holy Spirit has been at work! The long-awaited response to the dubia is already on the books!
“The bishops, the priests in general, and the seminaries by and large have done a magnificent job in getting to the root of this problem. And that’s why you see so little of new cases of abuse that are taking place today.”
In all due respect I think the above comment is extremely naive. We may not be seeing as many cases today because the ones who are being abused are still too young and frightened to come forward. Just as kids from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s did not come forward until twenty or thirty years later.
You may want to read “Grindr, blackmail and confession: The life of a gay seminarian” by By Frédéric Martel in order to get an honest look at the problem. It’s an eye opener.
In one statement, it’s said the sexual abuse crisis was over with 50 years ago, which would be the early 1970’s.In other areas, it’s said the 1970’s was the height of the abuse crisis and it lasted into the 1980’s. Which is it? Also, where is the data supporting the assertions?
Good question, Mike. Further, there’s the competing claims that either gay men are immature, so they go for adolescents OR the problem is the sexual revolution.
Sadly this well researched book will likrly be ignored by professional Church bashers in the media and elsewhere.
Excellent point Amos. It is something I have wondered about for a long time, and, I have not seen it previously addressed. Some years ago Jesuit Father Paul Mankouski wrote an article in which he stated that he estimated that 50 – 60 percent of the men who entered the seminary with him in the mid 70’s were homosexual and entered the seminary to hide that fact.
We know that when a married couple enter a marriage without the proper intention there is no sacrament. I have not seen the same thing addressed with regard to ordination. Maybe a theologian or canon lawyer could address this in an article on this site.
Donohue has no credibility. He is a political hack for the bishops, who failed us. He is a poor representative to speak for the Catholic Church. To think someone of this ilk pays himself close to a million dollars a year to spew such tripe. It is people like Donohue that allowed the abuse to be swept under the rug for years.
I’ve been reading Donohue’s columns for many years, and he has never shied from identifying and castigating those within and without the Church for their actions and inactions contributing to the sexual abuse scandal. Nobody was spared, from pope to pauper.
SRL: Donohue has been fighting a courageous fight on behalf of the Catholic Church against primarily the secular world/culture for more than 30 years, and because of his work, his organization recently earned/received some $4 million dollars for a particular year, and from this he paid himself close to 25% or nearly $1 million for his services. If you check his Catholic League website and the work he has done over the years that is quite prolific, you will soon come to see that he does the lion’s share of the work (75% or more) that could easily justify paying himself another million or even more. Since people freely support his ministry with their donations and other purchases, there is Absolutely Nothing Wrong with paying himself the 25% salary.
Of course, socialistic-type envy complains about the salaries of some people, and without anything other than malice toward any person earning a particular salary, they self-righteously declare “how dare he earn (or pay himself) X?” They merely assume the salary is unearned without checking the work that is actually done to earn the salary.
Now, however, I do believe that Donohue is a bit too optimistic regarding powerful elements of the scandal still in operation, but his overall analysis is correct for the most part, and note the following from his book regarding a Vatican Summit on sex abuse from just 3 years ago in 2019 that criticizes priests, bishops, and the Pope:
“The subsequent Vatican summit was a spectacular failure: it addressed only the enabling bishops, saying nothing about the molesting priests. This is like blaming drug lords for drug addiction and never mentioning drug users. To be sure, the drug lords are a guilty party, but were it not for drug users, they would be out of business. Similarly, the origins of clergy sexual abuse must begin with the abusers, not with their superiors.
What was most disappointing was the position of Pope Francis. He knew that homosexual priests were the real problem, which is why he said they did not belong in the priesthood. Yet at the summit, he identified clericalism as the root problem. Meanwhile, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, one of the key organizers of the event, said it was wrong to talk about the role of homosexuals because, ‘to generalize about categories of persons is never legitimate. We have individual cases, we don’t have categories of people.’
Scicluna’s claim is nonsense. Most street crime is committed by young men from fatherless families. Fatherless families are a category of people; not to discuss their role in accounting for violent crimes would be delinquent. Similarly, since homosexual priests commit most of the sexual abuse of minors, to refuse to discuss their role in a summit on sexual abuse is just as inexcusable.” (See “The Truth About Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes, p. 129).
I agree with what mivenho set forth in his response to you, but check out Donohue’s work for yourself instead of jumping to false conclusions, perhaps because you accepted the trashing of Donohue by some others with an ax to grind instead of doing the necessary research into what Donohue has done and continues to do on behalf of the Church.
The fact that Donohoe still speaks for the church after decades of saying ‘nothing to see here’ shows the true colors of a wealthy cult built on silly, ancient superstitious mumbo jumbo. There is a special place in y’all’s hell
Most men who commit pedophilia are hetrosexual. This whole article is nothing more than gay bashing. It’s very clear that the guilty don’t seem able to take responsibility and are trying to blame the innocent for unchristian acts.
Repeating this bald-faced falsehood is a large part of the problem. Pedophilia is almost exclusively homosexual in nature. Now and then someone contrives data of what is technically statutory rape from statistics of frequent hetero sex between eighteen year olds, legal age, and seventeen year olds, underage, to falsify statistics and apply such data to pedophilia statistics to manipulate the political debate, but the reality is otherwise.
The overwhelming majority of pedophiles – abuse of pre-pubescent children – are married men who end up abusing their own children. The overwhelming majority of abusers masquerading as Catholic Priests are homosexual ephebophiles – abuse of post-pubescent adolescent males.
Thank you for stating this, God’s Child. Yes: what about the priests who have fathered children? I don’t believe that predator priests are or were all Gay. I think that Conservatives like to blame gays and shift responsibility onto them, but the problem is really due to structures within churches. Now as the Baptist Church abuse cases become more out in the open, we will able to see if they, too, blame the problem on homosexuals. BTW, I am a Catholic.
Men raping teen boys is homosexual predation.
And Bruce Jenner is a man.
You may want to check a lack of fact by looking at the John Jay report. Wikipedia reports the JJ Report main findings with charts containing numbers. Boys were abused at a much higher rate than girls. To conclude that most abusers (according to the John Jay Report) were hetrosexual [sic] is to fail a test of reason.
Pope Francis has maintained Church teaching on homosexuals individuals with “deep-seated tendencies” or who practice “homosexual acts” which is: ‘the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”.'”
He told those in charge of seminaries, “if you have even the slightest doubt it’s better not to let them enter.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/38486/report-pope-francis-affirms-church-practice-against-admitting-gay-men-to-seminary
As some have stated, these abuses mainly go back to an earlier period.
I would like to add that it is possible that some of them were not homosexual but rather sex perverts. They might have assaulted girls if they had been in charge of girls’ schools, or had them as altar servers, in the fifties, sixties and seventies.
Mal that’s somewhat over-simplified, I think.
One Jesuit priest has noted that during his time in seminary, I think it was in the 60’s, it was recommended that he and the other seminarians go out on “dates”. The idea being to either get it out of your system or go with it.
Well, here they were not risking paedophilia. But it can have no weight, you’re not in seminary “to date” and if you have “to date” you should be made to leave. The authorities have no business intentionally shepherding you through “dating”.
Some seminarian who would not be thought of as a pervert would potentially be having adult non-marital consensual sex as part of a mutualized teaching experience for which he would then be forgiven because it was anticipated. That could never be the way of seminary.
On another level, sexual penchant among heterosexual individuals very often can reach a normal outcome during authentic spiritual direction without involving paedophilia or the abusing of the Church.
Then there is the aspect of personal responsibility. In the issue at hand, not only does the paedophile intend to over-ride the the institution’s ethics, he also takes it upon himself to adapt the institution to his own intellectualized purpose and not merely live for his erotic impulses.
Similarly, if the seminaries are used for organized “ordinary dating” but the seminarian who refuses to condone it is labeled as “rigid”.
Going on, someone with a genuine call to priesthood might accept a life of reclusive penance and this would not be incompatible with the call to conversion.
Might Fr. Benedict have developed this area for the Church -in place of a total and absolute slap-down ban which is what seems to be happening?
Actually, on this point, Merton would not be a SAINTED example. Thomas Merton would be the Pelagian manifestation and not an inspiration except to avoid the dualism.
Finally, the facts indicate that there is a specific history to do with homosexuality and paedophilia in the Church. It does not help the understanding of THAT and coming to grips, to run sexual proclivities into one another.
Furthermore, the experience of the Church reflects a wider sociological problem. To get at THIS problem, as it is within the secular purview, means identifying and sorting through its characteristics and its diversities with clarity.
50% of the those ordained in the 1950’s; 1960;s; 1970’s and early 1980’s left the priesthood to marry women. Sexual abuse in that era was largely adult males with adult females. Many of these former Catholic priests (Richard Sipe) formed organizations to attempt to do ministry that didn’t seem to go anywhere (Corpus). The Church’s response to this was to establish the deaconate to allow the ordination of married men to do ministry. This seems to have been a good solution.
Unfortunately, the remaining priests who didn’t just die, consisted of a high percentage of homosexuals (50% active) and pedophiles who had gained high ranking positions in the church, (McCarrick) and who seemed to be actively recruiting homosexuals to the priesthood (James Martin). The problem of heterosexual priests preying upon women seems to have self-corrected with the diaconate, but the problem of active homosexuals wanting to advance their agenda remains.
The order of permanent diaconate was reinstituted during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI after being dissolved beginning in the fifth century in the Latin Rite.
priest molesting women paritioners seems to have moved to africa and chicago during the 2ooo’s
“Some of them were not homosexual but rather sex perverts.” There’;s something wrong with that sentence. Can’t seem to put my finger on it…
A sexual pervert has no particular bent. He will satisfy his urge no matter how and with whom.
On the contrary, a sexual pervert always has a particular bent. That’s why we can distinguish between this kind of pervert and that, and give names to their individual perversions. Thus, a pervert who prefers dead people is called a necrophiliac, and a pervert who prefers a member his own sex is called a homosexual.
The pedophilia is only a part of the scandal. The fact that people who claim to represent god covered it up for so long instead of helping the victims is what bringing the Catholic church down.
You can make all the assertions about homosexuals you want, you can claim you lowered your guard but you’re missing the point of that the sin of the Church truly is.
One assertion that we can make about homosexuals is that when they occupied episcopal offices, they covered up for their fellow homosexuals. If this were any more obvious, we might stand some slight chance of actually seeing it.
I believe Robert is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about seminaries now.
I do not believe the narrative that Bill Donohue asserts about seminaries now.
I believe it is pure narrative with no evidence, and what matters is evidence, and Robert’s comment gives evidence.
Likewise the ongoing lawsuit filed against the “ministers” of the North American College in Rome (including accusations against now-Cardinal Dolan) by the former seminarian (I believe his name is Gorgias) is current evidence akin to Robert’s.
And the recent public fraudulent smear of Father Perrone by the sitting vice-president of the USCCB, Bishop Vigneron, and his Detroit chancery thugocracy, are also evidence contradicting the Bill Donohue seminary narrative, as it is well known that (aside from the now proven deceitful testimony orchestrated by “His Excellency” Vigneron and his character assassin “Msgr” Bugarin, which was thrown out on its (lack of) merits by the presiding judge), Vigneron went after Father Perrone because Perrone outed Vigneron’s seminary as a gay amusement park.
I get the strong sense that Bill Donohue wants what McCarrick constantly talked about in “managing” the sex abuse crisis: the objective being “to get this all behind us.”
Well, that’s never going to happen.
Because we are fallen men and women, and in our generation, we are celebrating vice as virtue, and we have agents of the Pontiff Francis selling it right now, including “His Eminence” Hollerich SJw, et al.
The bigger lie now is the lie that the Church is telling to itself.
Just remember this: when Pontiff Francis had his anonymous agents in the Secretariat of State publish their so-called “McCarrick Report,” not a single one of them, including the Pontiff, would sully their names by signing it. And the reasons why are signaled by the faithful Catholic psychiatrist Mr. Fitzgibbons, who was among the first to report on McCarrick’s predatory behavior (reporting in person to the Congregation for Bishops), and whose testimony was taken by the Vatican’s attorney “JL” (himself of LA Archdiocese notoriety); when the report was issued, he said it was stocked with “fabrications and falsehoods” and “ommissions.”
That is the reality our Church is floundering in now, our very own untruthfulnesss.
The larger scandal is the vigorous coverup, which peaked only recently.
Celibacy is the obsession of the Catholic Church.
The correct term is “child abuser” whether homosexual or not.
These priests are obsessed with the vulnerability of children.
This obsession is greatly amplified by the enormous power differential vested in the so-called “Man of God.”
As asserted by the laymen who assembled “the abuse report for the US Church,” over 80% of the abuse was homosexual abuse of teenage boys.
Virtually the same percentage in the recently published German Church Abuse report.
So the correct term for the main Church problem os homosexual abuse of teen boys.
And in the same voice I fully trust the findings of the Ruth Institute, linked above by Robert, which now indicate a resurgence of sex abuse of teen girls.
So the msin prob
Fake news. The Jay Study found 50% of victims were males older than 13. Predation is a crime of opportunity, and all-male altar server cadres of previous generations, plus priests assigned to boys-only schools seems a lot like opportunity.
With no malice intended, I sm remarking on another commenter’s post, but not attacking the person who made it.
The post suggests that sodomy is not a perverted sex act.
I have a dear friend attests, after escaping 2 decades of what he calls the living hell of the G and B portions of the LBGT “life-style;” he says this about sodomy: “It is insanity for adults to teach [anyone] that it is normal for a man to inseminate the intestines of another man.”
What a hateful view of gay people Donahue espouses! Disgusting, bigoted, undignified, and most importantly: profoundly un-Christ-like.
No Christian anywhere hates gay people. What is hated by true Christians is the sin of sodomy. Get it straight.
Can’t believe that the civil statute of limitaions is applied here when the innocent children must live with the horror for the rest of their lives. No statute of limitaions for them!
We have become CINOs. We pray for the day that there is a vetting process that eliminates pedophile Priests before they strike.
We pray for the Priests who honor the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Dear Deacon. “No Christian anywhere hates gay people” paints with a broad brush. My Mom told me not to use “never and always”.
Yeah, we all know that Jesus would have celebrated faggotry and marched in gay pride parades. Delusional.
Bill Donohue is selling something. I am not buying it. Humans are humans and have been making human mistakes for thousands of years. News flash, priest are humans. We need to defend priest, but it is imperative that we be honest and transparent. I remember a young priest Gordon McCray who my parents had over for dinner. In a very short time he accumulated a great number of boys and girls as victims. My parents tried to very privately inform Bishops, and were treated like rats betraying omerta. 1960 is not a magic date. There is a lot of evidence, incidents of predation were a lot higher before 1960. Vatican II and liberalism did not alter the nature of humans. Donohue is not protecting priests, bishops, Vatican or the Catholic Church as a whole. We must face the music and rise above. If we try to lie and blame our problems on gays and liberalism we betray God and ourselves. Hidden in Vatican II are structural supports that ward off the weakness of Fascism. Fascism and Communism are both based on Napoleon Bonaparte. His quote “Religion’s only purpose is to prevent the poor from killing the rich”. Marx’s answer was “Religion is the opiate of the people”. Fascism’s response was in the opposite direction, side with religion and use them to help push your propaganda. Is it any surprise that Fox News, EWTN and other practitioners of propaganda embrace the rich and quietly denigrate the poor.
How, exactly, is EWTN “quietly denigrating the poor”?
Bill is full of it. All you need to do is look on the site Bishopaccountability.org and find out that there is a consistent issue with pedophilia and homosexuality in the Church. It is ludicrous to think that Bill is going to change public opinion by reading his book. I will give him one point though and that is there is more pedophilia in society than there is in the Church particularly in other non-Catholic denominations. I’m with Church Militant on this matter, there is more homosexuality in the Church than any time before now.
As much as I Love, Respect, and Admire Bill Donohue, I disagree on a few things: Yes, some of the abusers died, some have been thrown out. However some went on to become teachers and BISHOPS. So abuse is continuing. The Seminaries still have many homosexuals and they are being Ordained. It’s still ongoing.
It’s remarkable the way the subject attempts to speak with such authority despite having no apparent training in the medical or psychiatric professions. Any peer reviewed study I have ever come across refutes the false claim that LGBTQ people are any more prone to commit sexual abuse than heterosexuals. It’s especially perplexing to see him broadly refer to male on male sexual abuse as “homosexuality” without characterizing male on female sexual abuse as “heterosexuality.” Then again, based several of his media appearances I have seen, logic and consistency have never been his strong points.
Overly sympathetic towards a wayward priest and far less sympathetic to the cries of the victim. The church means guidance and rectitude. If the guides are blind, the light of truth has no bearing on them.
This small bit is fake news:
“The worst damage that was done in the Catholic Church by molesting priests, almost all of whom were homosexual, was done between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s.”
It is contrary to the findings of the Jay Study, which itself was limited in two ways. It didn’t assess misbehavior and crimes with adults, only minors. It also didn’t (and couldn’t) assess predation of people who had died before the study commenced.
Jay Study lead Dr Karen Terry herself admitted as much:
“(W)e were mandated to study the problem from 1950 onward. It would have been prohibitive to study abuse prior to this time for practical and methodological reasons.”
When the only people surveyed were alive as children in the years 1950-2000, one would expect the peak to be right in the middle. We might posit that the downturn of the past few decades has been the application of better screening methods for seminarians, more vigilance by adults, despite the reality that abused people are somewhat more believed these days than, say, before 1950.
I think one can harp on homosexuality, but the reality that 22% of victims were age ten and under suggests we still had and perhaps have a significant problem with pedophilia.
Whatever the problem of the predators might have been and still is, the deeper scandal was the cover-up by bishops. That wasn’t a sin of sexuality, but of hiding, lying, and squeezing victims and survivors as groomed allies of abusers. Bishops of the 60s, 70s, and 80s didn’t report to the police. They reassigned accused clerics to other parishes. The bishops didn’t listen in the 80s and 90s because the challenge was coming from progressive and liberal Catholics. They struggled in the 00s because it is very hard to admit when one is wrong to the point of having enabled needless suffering. The bishops are only human. But they served at a time when the Church needed heroes. It stings some Catholics, but the truth is that journalists were heroes.