Saturday, June 23, 2012



I was in Augusta when the sex abuse scandal broke in Boston in 2002. Of course everyone blamed it on the Catholic Church and our so-called repression of healthy sexuality. Of course we all know that if we go to our local prison and keep up with court cases there are a huge number of cases concerning child sexual abuse, from inappropriate touching to the most egregious forms of rape. In Augusta, I learned that at the Medical Prison there at one time there was a Jewish Rabbi and about 14 protestant ministers incarcerated there for child endangerment and sex abuse. None of them made the press for some odd reason and there were no Catholic priests in prison there for the same reasons.

Two cases yesterday remind us of the nature of this horrible sin and crime perpetrated against young people. The first has to do with a very famous Penn State Coach, Jerry Sandusky and the other with a Catholic priest convicted of child endangerment in the same state. In both convictions we see the intersection of what goes on in Church and state.

First you have people who are not usually suspects in such heinous crimes and sins, fathers, mothers, uncles, coaches, doctors, priests, rabbis, ministers and the like who take advantage of their status and others who look away, like wives, siblings, co-workers, and supervisors.

Then you have Monsignor William Lynn who worked for the Cardinal of Philadelphia who following orders of his superior shuffled abusing priests around to unsuspecting parishes and children who became victims.

Our Catholic Culture in the past, which in fact is our human culture and transcends the Church itself, has preferred to deal with crimes of abuse against children in secret ways and usually without calling in the law. Italian justice apart from the judicial system can be quite brutal toward the abuser. But normally things were handled quietly and brushed under the carpet in family life, or just ignored, a form of psychological denial.

I have had many women who were abused when they were children by their fathers tell be that they felt their own mother knew what was happening but the mother blamed it on them! I think this is very common. But most families including the Church family did not want their dirty laundry aired out in public and would do everything to avoid tarnishing the institution, be it the family or the Church by involving law enforcement.

The Church up until the 1980's dealt with sex abuse by priests in a similar fashion and law enforcement usually looked the other way or participated in the cover-up and were glad to see criminal priests transferred to other jurisdictions if they were aware of the crimes. Bishops and parishes were more than happy to keep the police out of the picture. Parishioners who knew that a priest was an abuser were quite content to keep things quiet and have the priest reassigned. Usually they hoped he would get over his sin.

Parents were more than happy to reach a settlement with the Church if it prevented the crime from being made public and their children being known as victims and in the press and court system.

And that's the way it was and that is what has led to this unending sex abuse scandal in the Church and in society (you can't separate the two, try as they do, those who hate the Church all the while winking and nodding at what goes on in society) not so much that there are abusers, but abusers were given a pass and allowed to molest over and over again. The Penn State example of Jerry Sandusky who was known to be an abuser but allowed to continue is precisely what happened in the Church. It was an institutional failure built upon a societal failure.

Monsignor William Lynn is a lacky who is guilty of the crime with which he is charged and found guilty. He will have to do his time. But in fact there are many others in the Church and much higher who did the same thing and there are many in law enforcement, including lawyers and judges, not to mention police, who are co-conspirators.

It is all a part of a secret culture in regard to child sex abuse that is being purified and hanged out for judgement. IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE CHURCH, TRY AS LIBERAL SECULARISTS AND BETRAYING CATHOLIC PROGRESSIVES TRY TO PAINT IT.

It all reminds me of what our personal judgment will be like and what the final judgment will be like, something progressive Catholics have failed to embrace and often neglect, especially the horror of sin and its effects on the soul and on those who are harmed.

At the final judgment, Jesus will lay bare for all to see not only the failures of individuals in terms of sin but of institutions and the Church primarily being held up to such awful scrutiny.

But we don't have to wait to the Second Coming for either our personal judgment or the final judgment. It's happening now; but now is the time to repent.

So it all goes back to the sacramental system of the Church and our actual beliefs about us poor miserable sinners which progressives in the Church have neglected and abused.

It's time for the reform of the reform and to put it in high gear.

The Church is slowly but surely dealing with its own institutional failure as is society. As painful as this judgement day is, it is important and purifying, like fires of purgatory!

Traditional Catholicism minus its secrecy and self-policing is the wave of the future, not progressive Catholicism which play a huge part in this scandal which is a miserable failure on all fronts, especially orthodoxy.

Finally, The Diocese of Savannah under our former Bishop Raymond Lessard formulated a diocesan sex abuse policy in the late 1980's which included the reporting of these crimes to the police.

This reporting of sex abuse crimes to the police is now standard policy in every diocese in the country.

Call the police if you suspect a child is being abuse in any way, especially sexually and by anyone even if that anyone is the one you would least expect.


Kitchener Waterloo Traditional Catholic said...

There isn't a more disturbing subject but unfortunately we have to discuss it.

There's no excuse for an adult that attacks a child. None. They should get far more jail time then our legal systems currently prescribe.

As Fr states there was an Italian style method of dealing with such incidences prior to the 90's. It was re-enforced by the psychology profession which insisted sex abuse was the result of stress - it was curable. All the offender needed was a six month retreat, their counselling, and a transfer.

The Enemy uses this subject to attack God and His Church. The myth of the pedophile priest is all too prevalent in the mainstream media, entertainment industry, anti-Catholics, and sadly amongst the ignorant. We have a duty to explain what happened in the Church within societal perspective.

The Center for Disease Control reports one in five adults were sexually abused as children. This is not a Church issue, there is no pedophilia crisis, celebacy is not a cause.

The Church did have a homosexual problem but hopefully that's been resolved. This too requires understanding and the ability to explain. Homosexual priests are not a problem - practicing homosexual priests are.

The pope has stated those with deep seated homosexual tendencies should not be admitted to the seminary. The same is true for heterosexuals. If someone can't live a celebate life then there are other jobs more suitable than the priesthood.

Apparently Sandusky is appealing his conviction. We should pray for the victims, their families, and all those involved.

Anonymous said...

Msgr Lynn could have at any time called the authorities and reported crimes. The reason there were 14 Protestant ministers and a Jewish rabbi in prison is because some people put child welfare over clerical stability and scandal. You can be militant when talking about the ritual aspects of the Mass as you see it, but if I dare find to justice in the conviction of this priest for his wrong doing, you label me vindictive. We are going to find out many things in the Final Judgement. I await those surprises.

Anonymous said...

"in high gear"...quickly please!

"Traditional Cathoicism without secrecy and self policing)...quickly please!

the prgressives threw out the baby with the bathwater...went too far...should've stopped when they got it right:
It seems that the good fruit of the crazy sixties and seventies is the aspect that brought horrible sins of society out into light; The aspect of those times that recognized how people are hurt and thewave of bringing those things to light.
In a sense they did a service to the dignity of the human person. No longer do the powerless have to hide in shame and learn to cope in secret. But the progressives went to far.
Fortunately the Traditionalists got the point, understood the lesson to be learned (as a good Traditionalist would do!) and in a spirit of humility improved (and continues to improve) conditions in the Church and thereby affecting the whole of society.

Wrong is wrong, and the powerless are now empowered to stand up for what is right and not allow Satan to use his favorite tool of secrecy.

"Secrecy is the devil's workshop."


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

To the second commenter, this is a tragedy and as one pundit who was present for Sandusky's conviction last night exclaimed, he found it surreal that the crowds outside were jubilant. This is a tragedy on many, many levels, first being children who were exploited and abused, but also those who did it and those enabled by their instittuions so dependent upon them and the otherwise good things they accomplished and by the fact that all of us are diminished by the crimes of others. Catholics and people of good will also know that we must pray for criminals and sinners and visit them in prison and help to bring them to God. Punishment is good when it is about justice not when it is about vindictiveness and revenge. The fires of purgatory is all about justice and temporal punishment due forgiven sins. Do you know that and teach that or do you obfuscate it?

Anonymous said...

Extradite Bernard Cardinal Law....then we can say the Cathlic Church hierarchy has learned its lesson.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It seems that you are making civil law up as you go, which is very typical of progressives. Has Cardinal Law been charged with any civil or ecclesiastical crime? If not, especially the civil crime, on what grounds do you suggest he needs to be extradited? You assertion is very odd to say the least. Now if there is an impending charge against him from the civil authorities then yes, I would agree. Keep in mind that a bishop in France was charged with failure to protect a child/children or child endangerment and he was convicted and served the suspended sentence as the state determined.
I fail to see what you point is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous' point is that bishops have gotten off the hook too many times.

I have no doubt that any statute of limitations on Law's criminal failure to protect children has expired. No, there is no indictment pending, but that does not lessen his moral culpability.

Nor does it lessen the outrage felt by many against the Church for giving him a cushy Roman job with an exalted title and a $5,000 a month stipend.

Marc said...

I feel like I should respond to this in some sort of meaningful way given that I am a criminal defense lawyer who has previously and does currently represent several people charged with precisely these sorts of crimes against children --

My position on this is that these priests were pedophiles long before they were priests. That is to say, they put themselves in a position in which they would be able to abuse. So, the world at large needs to understand that priests don't become pedophiles: pedophiles become priests.

With regard to the hierarchy, there is simply no excuse for the behavior except to point out that many bishops of that particular generation forgot about sin. Generally speaking, many people, not just bishops, were beginning to use psychology (or perhaps a sort of pop psychology or faux-psychology) to examine human failings. They were utterly wrong in their assessment of pedophiles in that regard as this is a psychological condition that appears to have no cure.

That doesn't justify these bishops' actions: In fact, it condemns them on numerous fronts. They forgot the meaning of sin in the Church both for themselves and their flocks. They forgot their mission entirely with regard to these children.

I do not believe they were trying to cover up for the Church, though. Many of the bishops of that generation hate the Church and would love to see her collapse. My guess is they were falling into their own sins - pride and presumption.

At any rate, as Fr. McDonald pointed out, this is a tragedy at many levels.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Now that's a shift in the argument, righteous anger, but it has nothing to do with civil or ecclesiastical law. I'm angry that Michael Jackson is still hailed as a celebrity hero even in death despite what many believe about his own culpablity in child sex abuse. I'm more angry though at the media and their duplicity. So I see your point when it comes to the Church, but I hope it is not just the Church you are angry at.
Rob Lowe was convicted of sex with a minor, he's adored in Hollywood to this day. Interesting the selective outrage toward those in power in the media and the Church.

Anonymous said...

I don't go to Michael Jackson for communion or Rob Lowe for confession. Cardinal Law is in Rome picking new bisbops and secretly investigating American nuns. Doesn't pass smell or optics tests. And we'll never know about any ecceliastical charge against him....will we?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't go to any lay person or priest, bishop, cardinal or pope for Holy Communion, I go for Christ and for the salvation of my immortal soul--a little bit too much horizontal theology placed on this poor miserable Church of our I detect! Focus on Christ and pray the serenity prayer--it will help you in your life, your family and your church especially with everything you can't control. It helps me immensely. Focus on Christ present in the sinful Church redeeming her and making her His spotless Bride.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I should also suggest that when you receive Holy Communion, which is a sign of the Church in heaven and the "meal" of the redeemed, that you recognize that every forgiven sinner, no matter how heinous their sins and crimes, if they are forgiven (and I suspect I will spend some time in purgatory for mine) will be at that heavenly table and you will not be seeking retributive justice from them, you will love Cardinal Law and every sick pedophile who by the grace of God makes it to heaven--so start preparing now for the Kingdom is here now, but not yet fully realized.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - You do not go directly to Christ for communion or your salvation. As a priest you are yourself an embodiment of the Church's incarnational theology. People who confess come to the priest, through whom Christ forgives sins. People who receive His Body and Blood do so, necessarily, through the priest, through whom Christ's saving mysteries are made present.

As long as you are on this side of the tombstone you have no choice but to receive the Sacraments at the hands of men. Their ministry cannot be skipped or discounted, overlooked or set aside.

As long as you are on this side of the tombstone, you HAVE to rely on the Church Militant, and the people that make it up, for everything you have, know, understand, and sense of salvation.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Oh, good PI, I am sorry that my inarticulate words confused what I actually believe and with the Church and precisely what you have enunciated. I go to God's human, frail, sinful instruments, poor miserable sinners like me for the sacraments of the Church and I gladly do. Others come to me, this poor miserable sin for the same.
In fact, I would go the any defrocked priest in an emergency and request absolution as well as anointing of the sick and last rites if I needed them in an emergency including John Geoghan, God rest his soul.

Henry said...

Marc: "My position on this is that these priests were pedophiles long before they were priests."

My understanding is that precious few priests have been found to be pedophiles, and that no institution in America is a safer place for children than the Catholic Church.

Whereas the preponderant majority of clerical abuse cases have involved not children but post-pubescent boys. In which case the offending priests were homosexuals rather than pedophiles.

The prevalent use of the word "pedophile" in this thread (as elsewhere) shows how successful has been the campaign to prevent correct identification of the elephant in the living room.

Henry said...

anonymous @ 8:10 am: "You can be militant when talking about the ritual aspects of the Mass as you see it, but if I dare find to justice in the conviction of this priest for his wrong doing, you label me vindictive."

I went back and re-read the full post, and could not find any remark in it to which you could be responding. Perhaps you were thinking of something said by somebody elsewhere about these matters?

Pater Ignotus said...

You left out "worm" in your self-description.

Gene said...

Ignotus, He was reserving "worm" for a description of you...LOL!

Anonymous 2 said...


Just on a point of information, I believe Anonymous' comment was in response to something Father said in the previous post on "We are Catholics."

This is just for information. I am not addressing the merits at all.

Marc said...

Henry: You make an important point. Although, I'm not sure it changes too much in the context of this discussion. Presumably, the homosexual priests were still taking advantage of young men.

My point was that the sorts of people who commit these crimes are not those who randomly see the opportunity and strike (like an armed robber or something). They deliberately put themselves into situations that are conducive to finding and silencing victims - clergy, teachers, etc.

Marc said...

I like the idea of Pater Ignotus criticizing someone for using imprecise words. That's rich!

That's the pot calling the kettle some dark-ish color, a bit beyond gray, but really, you know, not exactly "black" per se, something close like gray - maybe the absence of white, but not really... you know, whatever you see, that's the color it is...

Charles in CenCA said...

This little commentary is ancillary to the magnitude of the Lynn/Sandusky, but I'm pleased to even hear someone mention the personal and general judgments.
If corrections departments can articulate relationships with public schools and county juvenile court institutions that result in "Scared Straight" programs and Charter School Boot Camps, one would think that were the concepts of misdeed/consequence/punishment would have more teeth if delivered consistently and earlier in grade appropriate curricula.
In loco parentis is the saddest and most impotent cliche in public school education. And guess what, it's becoming somewhat passe in RC parochial systems in this current generation. Not good prognosis.

Anonymous said...

A creepy urge to power over others...can anyone else also see this as the root of the problem?

Is it ever right to desire to power over others?

I think not.

P.S. Am I the only one who got a little chuckle at the 'worm' joke(s)?

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - I did not call Good Father out for "using imprecise words." I called him out for being wrong.

What he describes as "inarticulate" is properly described as "erroneous."

Sloppy theological thinking usually underlies sloppy theological writing.

Quo Primum, anyone?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Actually, good PI, your erroneous interpretation of my very articulate thoughts, done so in an intentional way to divert attention from the articulation to something altogether different, a consistent hermeneutic that you use to avoid the questions that you must answer, is what is at stake and you honestly answering questions posed to you in good faith, one of which is, why you don't promote an EF Mass in your parish when in fact on Sunday you only have one Mass and could easily accommodate an EF community and each Sunday? Now that needs an honest answer.

Gene said...

Ignotus, It is absolutely hilarious for you to criticize anyone for "sloppy theological thinking."

Heck, Fr. MacDonald, let Ignotus go and do his "feel-good" liturgy and Catholic-lite nonsense. That may attract all the whining, griping people from St. Jo's. I would not want to suffer through an EF done by him, anyway...can you imagine...LOL!

Bill Meyer said...

That anyone could be jubilant at the conviction of a sinner is disturbing. Clearly, they fail to comprehend that we are all sinners. As 85% of Americans self-identify as Christian, we may assume that there was a similar demographic among the jubilant. I shall pray for them to consider whether they should cast the first stone.

That we prosecute, convict, and imprison such a sinner, on the other hand, is the sane action of a society scandalized by the acts of that sinner.

2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."97

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.87

We may discern that justice has been done, and that the sinner has been removed from the possibility of molesting more minors. We may not, however, make a celebration of this event. Rather, we should sorrow for the sinner, and pray for him.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - First you say, " inarticulate words confused what I actually believe..."

Now you say, " very articulate thoughts..."

Silly, and typically inconsistent.

Carol H. said...

The first recorded incident of twisting of words was the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Something to think about.

qwikness said...

Pater Ignotious,
I think you know what Father Mac is trying to express In Persona Christi when he says "I go for Christ and for the salvation" He may have been "inarticulate" in not being explicit in this regard but not all things can be. He is articulating frailty of man and rock solid nature of Our Lord. He is not contradicting himself when he says he was inarticulate in words but articulate in meaning. And to call him "silly" and a "worm" whether in jest or not is offensive and supercilious. oh and add another Mass on Sunday.

qwikness said...

BTW Father Mac. I got the humor behind "your erroneous interpretation of my very articulate thoughts" as if Pater Ignotius can read minds and interpret what has not been uttered.

Pater Ignotus said...

qwik - Theology is a science and words and phrases are its weights and measures.

Get the number of grams of one substance wrong in a formula in the lab, and the experiment fails. Add an extra "iota" to the word "homoousios" and the theology fails.

Good Father McDonald was simply wrong in his assertion. His error came, I suspect, from his haste in responding to Anonymous, but it was an error nonetheless. He did not "express In persona Christi;" in fact, he denied it. No, he does not believe this, but his statement was sloppy and cried out for the correction which I was happy to provide.

qwikness said...

You like to correct people, don't you? You should have added the "trying to" when you quoted me. No he does not express it but I understood the implication when I read it. He can't restate every theological point in every sentence. And to characterize his writing on this blog as "sloppy" is condescending. I think that should be left to be discussed in private and not publicly. You could have handled that a lot better. Finally none of this has anything to do with the subject of the post: of which you have nothing to say.

qwikness said...

Pater Ignotious,
I'm going to start calling Apollo 9.
I have a song for ya.

Pater Ignotus said...

qwik - OK - Fr. McDonald was "trying to express In Persona Christi" and he failed.

The correction stands.

William Meyer said...

Marc, Henry's point is not merely important, but essential. The media continue to use the term pedophilia because to refer to homosexuals and ephebophiles would be to undermine their love affair with the quite small "gay" community.

qwikness said...

He didn't fail. He said, "I don't go to any lay person or priest, bishop, cardinal or pope for Holy Communion, I go for Christ and for the salvation of my immortal soul"
So he isn't saved by the men he saved by Christ, which is correct. He is going to Christ, (and this is where Father McDonald implies In Persona Christi) for salvation. This not a denial of In Persona Christi, it may be taking for granted that readers will understand it. Now you have to be nit picky in correcting him. He does offer a correction, although unnecessary, in a most humble way, only to be called a worm, sloppy and silly.

Templar said...

Qwikness, the nice thing about banging your head against the wall is it feels so good when you stop.

Feeding the troll only encourages it.

Gene said...

I am still trying to process Ignotus acting all righteous about imprecise theological language. I can't count the sloppy theological statements he has made or the many theological caveats I have put forth only to have him ignore them or change the subject. He is a typical liberal...insist you are right, even when you are wrong, long enough and loud enough and just maybe someone will believe you. And, of course, when difficult questions are asked (like why he does not offer the EF) just ignore them and go on the attack again. LOL! The term "loser" keeps coming to mind, but I'm sure Fr. would not want me to use I won't.

Gene said...

Well, well... I notice in today's headlines that the high-profile San Francisco qu...uh, gay activist, Larry Brinkin, was arrested on child porn charges. Increasingly, we find that these harmless, misunderstand, well-meaning homosexuals are actually deviates in every way...

Pater Ignotus said...

qwik - It is hard for you to acknowledge Good Fr. McDonald's error, I know. I am not "nit-picking" when I point out that when he said "I don't go to any lay person or priest, bishop, cardinal or pope for Holy Communion, I go for Christ and for the salvation of my immortal soul"
he was in error.

The Mystery of the Incarnation means that the salvation of our immortal souls is mediated through the Church, through the humans (lay persons, priests,bishops, cardinals, popes) that make up the Church, and even through the material elements used by the Church to proclaim and effect salvation. (You would have no Holy Communion were there no ordinary bread and wine.)

We do not side-step lay persons, priests, bishops, cardinals, popes and go directly to Christ because this is not the plan of salvation given to the Church by God. "But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law..."

You can't talk about salvation by Christ and exclude the very elements God has given to mediate that salvation to us.

I am pleased that Good Fr. McDonald recognized his error and corrected his imprecision.

qwikness said...

"I am pleased that Good Fr. McDonald recognized his error and corrected his imprecision."
That was the nicest thing you said so far.

"We do not side-step lay persons, priests, bishops, cardinals, popes and go directly to Christ because this is not the plan of salvation given to the Church by God."
Correct, but in the context in which Father is speaking, one does not go to these fellows in and of themselves. but God through them.
Which I believe was implied.

You say imprecise which I guess you could say is not precise but still not wrong because it was implied.

Gene said...

Oh..My..God!! Ignotus, you wanna' go read the story about the beam and the mote in the eye again? You are perseverating about a silly misstatement that anyone who knows Fr. would simply let slide and understand that it was nothing. What is this bit about your need for Fr. MacDonald's approval? And, before you go off about how you don't need his approval, read a little psychodynamics regarding who we choose as antagonists and why. "Choose your enemies well; they are who you'll end up most like." Would that this were true in your case. Sheesh!

Adlai said...

"We do not side-step lay persons, priests, bishops, cardinals, popes and go directly to Christ because this is not the plan of salvation given to the Church by God."-Pater Ignotus

But you do side-step His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, when you don't allow or deny the faithful the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in your parish.

I'm still patiently waiting and praying for your "clear" answer to my question.


Pater Ignotus said...

Adlai - And I am still waiting for a copy of your letter to Bishop Hartmayer accusing me of heresy. We are patient people, aren't we?

Pin - I have the bishop's approval, so, no, I don't need Good Father McDonald's, nor he mine.

And Pin, you'd be all over me for making the error Good Father McDonald did, so your assertion that "it was nothing" is entirely self-serving.