I watched a good deal of the live stream of the presentation of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania yesterday. Overall I give him high marks and given the specifics he knows about how victims were abused I can understand and appreciate his righteous anger and rage at miscreant priests and their enabling hierarchies. I understand better too, the similar feelings of reporters and lawyers.
However the Attorney General made it sound like the hierarchy hasn’t done anything since the 1940’s to change the institutional response to these miscreant priests. There has been a huge change beginning in the 1980’s and made nationwide after 2002:
1. We talk about in the open and train both clergy and laity through various ongoing programs to be pro actively vigilant about anyone who could be using a minor or grooming them to be abused. This is huge cultural change for the Church. The topic is no longer taboo.
2. Every diocese I know requires those who know, clergy or laity, to report crimes to law enforcement.
3. Bishops have adopted zero tolerance within the clergy.
4. There is more diligent screening of candidates for the seminary and once there a more alert atmosphere to weed out.
5. The attorney general stated the days of secrecy are now over as though we have not as an institution attempted to change that culture of secrecy. Every bishop I know have asked victims to come forward and be heard.
Typical response -- a little lip service for the victims, a little hand-wringing, then go on attack against those who are bringing the abuse to light. How predictable was thi?
So how were these things handled before 1960?
As for grandstanding: if you make yourself vulnerable to mockery, you get mocked. Lots of psalms about that. What hurts and angers me is the Church being mocked and millions of people now passing on salvation and the gifts of the Church because of this. How we deal with this going to be very important for many generations.
Does the following constitute "grandstanding?" Or is the follow claim from Rorate Caeli valid?
(Rorate Caeli has promoted itself as a very influential, as well as "most-read traditional website in the world.")
Rorate Caeli today has employed the "Pennsylvania Report" to declare the following:
"The Pennsylvania Truth: John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II were no saints"
"How could John XXIII and John Paul II have been canonized? Their systematic failures in the naming of bishops were monstrous.
"How can Francis dare beatify and now canonize Paul VI, one of the worst popes in history, whose nominations throughout the world, and in the United States, managed to make what was bad truly awful?"
In addition, Rorate Caeli declared in regard to John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul Ii that "their express-rite canonizations are shown, with each passing week, to have been horrible mistakes."
I knew that the world would employ the "Pennsylvania Report" to trash Holy Mother Church. The trashing of the Church by the world, although a given, is horrific.
But even more horrific to me, I knew that the leading "traditional" Catholic blogger/Twitter folks would employ the Pennsylvania Report to trash Holy Mother Church.
Rorate Caeli has led the way in that regard. They have hit the ground running.
But "traditionalists" could have employed the Pennsylvania Report in rational fashion to help Holy Mother Church...at least to some extent (filth will always exist within the Church, but the filth is not of the Church).
But it is awful of "traditionalists" to utilize the Pennsylvania Report to denounce Saints...to spur Catholics to doubt Holy Mother Church's canonizations.
I believe that the manner in which "traditional" Catholics, at least certain "traditional" Catholics have employed the Pennsylvania Report is beyond grandstanding.
Said "traditionalists" have employed the Pennsylvania Report in satanic fashion to denounce certain Saints. Said "traditionalists" have also undermined the Church via the suggestion that She lacks discernment in regard to canonizations.
Satan works overtime to spur people to attack Holy Mother Church, as well as Her Holy Popes. It is disgraceful in particular that certain "traditional" Catholics fall for Satan's tricks.
It is time to rally around Holy Mother Church. It is time to rally around Pope Francis.
I refuse to permit the Pennsylvania Report to knock me down spiritually and emotionally.
I refuse to follow the world's lead, as well as the collective lead of certain Catholics who've jumped aboard the Pennsylvania Report, to attack Holy Mother Church's canonization process, as well as Her holy Popes (in particular, Popes Saint John XIII, Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II, and Pope Francis).
When I was teaching CCD back in the late 1980's, a new DRE was hired (a religious sister) and she required us to sign a release document that not only allowed the Archdiocese to do a back ground check, but was so broadly worded it allowed a complete search of anything in an area they wanted to look into, including financial records, housing records (our rental history or purchase of a house) and who knows what else. We were told it was to make sure we had no prior involvement abusing children.
I thought it was too broad and invasive, and I decided I was not going to sign such a thing, and so no longer taught CCD. I have to laugh at the Church straining the gnat and swallowing the camel....scrutinizing middle aged women volunteers for sexual abuse and closing their eyes and ears to suspect behavior of the clergy, including bishops.
Let's face it Father, the hierarchy is corrupt and made up of company men who are just selling a product and posturing to appear to care about a problem they've known about for many decades. They are no different than any other corporation that finds out their product is harming people, and hunker down to minimize the bad press and mitigate lawsuits. But they are not going to change their morality.
They ARE the problem.
I'll tell you what: if the problem was 301 priests stole millions of dollars from the collection plate or a Cardinal stole millions, the hierarchy's action would be swift and merciless. Just goes to show where their hearts really are.
Father McDonald permitting, I would like to add the following:
When I first read Rorate Caeli's attacks, based upon the Pennsylvania Report, against Saints John XIII, John Paul II, Blessed Paul VI, Pope Francis, as well as the Church's discernment in regard to canonizations, I noted the following passing reference:
Rorate Caeli said: "The greatest part of the horrid episodes documented by the Grand Jury report happened in the pontificates of John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II. Some happened before."
"Some happened before."
Translation: During the reign of Pope Venerable Pius XII.
I just scanned the Pennsylvania Report. One abuse case after another...one transfer of an abusive priest after another...occurred during Pope Venerable Pius' reign.
Only cryptically did Rorate Caeli touch upon that fact. Why, in clear terms, did Rorate Caeli not broadcast that fact?
Why is Rorate Caeli keen to link in clear fashion predator priests only to Popes John XIII, Paul VI, John Paul II...and to attack Pope Francis?
Hmmm...in fairness, if, as the result of the Pennsylvania Report, Popes John III, Paul VI, and John Paul II are not Saints, as Rorate Caeli has insisted, then that applies also to Pius XII.
Once again, we have encountered the two-faced, ax-to-grind, deception/misrepresentation that Rorate Caeli practices under the guise of "traditional" Catholicism/supposed serious commentary.
You disordered excuse making on behalf of the evil, satanic prelates who abused and /or covered up the filth (Pope Benedict XVI's term) in their dioceses is totally reprehensible. Your false sense of loyalty to those who cause irreparable harm to the victims first, and to the Church second makes no sense what so ever. Yes, santo subito was a mistake for all 3 popes named and should be reversed/suspended until the time when the history of their pontificates will be much better known and understood.
You are untethered from reality and you continue to insult the intelligence of well trained and well informed Catholics who post here. You go far beyond ultra-montanism and are into idol worship.
My only complaint in the way this terrible story is being reported is the repeated use of "Secret Archives."
"Secret" makes it sound like an attempt is made from day one to hide the facts. But, it's a translation problem.
Most every organization has a "secret," meaning private, not open to the public, archive. It is called a Personnel File.
Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum may well contain salacious tidbits about how Queen X was seduced by Cardinal Y, or how Prince A was duped by Pope B. Maybe one day researchers will discover these and other facts.
Diocesan "secret" archives are merely non-public personnel records.
Well, the widespread and universally assumed sexual perversions of the Priesthood have certainly given us a lot of great jokes over the years...but, on a more serious note...I am still nominally Catholic, but am attending a Methodist Church right now. I thought I would re-visit protestantism and see how it looks from ten years as a Catholic. I actually believe that all denominations have fallen so far away from preaching the Gospel and mediating Christ's presence on earth that it is almost a coin toss as to where you go to Church. My basic criteria are that the church must be 1) Trinitarian, 2) believe and say the Creeds of the Church (Nicene, Apostle's, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian) 3) preach Baptism for the remission of sins, 4) observe Holy Communion, and actually engage in Biblical preaching, not social service promotion or political arguments.
Gene, God bless you on this pilgrimage and I am praying for you.
But I would like for you to give us your "Protestant" ordained minister take on this question, which I know in some ways is impossible:
Let's say you could combine all of Protestantism in the USA into one big tent with a hierarchical structure and "secret" archives (personnel file) on all ministers ordained from 1940 till the present. What percentage of those ministers would have abused minors, male or female, and how would Protestantism managed these ministers once those in management found out.
So disheartening to hear that a fine man like you is wavering, but given PF, and his looney lackies, it is understandable. I remain Catholic because I shut out the noise from this pontificate and look ahead to better days. God bless you.
"Well, the widespread and universally assumed sexual perversions of the Priesthood have certainly given us a lot of great jokes over the years..."
Bunk. Utter self-serving bunk.
The same "universally assumed sexual perversions" were, at many and various times, held regarding 1) Jews, 2) Italians, 3) African-Americans, 4) Muslims, 5) et alia.
Or it might be the "Lazy" Mexicans, the "Drunk" Irishmen, the "Stupid" Pollocks, the "Cowardly" French, etc.
These bigoted ideas speak volumes about the ignorance and fear of those who hold them, not about the racial, ethnic, or religious groups they reportedly describe.
"If you find the perfect church, don't join it because you'll ruin it."
True, progress has been made but, is the problem solved? Evidently, it is not as there are cases coming to light in Pennsylvania that have occurred within the last 10 years. Is it realistic to expect the problem to be solved in an institution of this size? Perhaps not, that is why internally, steps are taken to proactively mitigate the known scenarios and reasonably anticipate that which is not yet known. Basic risk management.
As for grandstanding, I don't think it matters how the Attorney General delivered this report, someone, somewhere, would draw this conclusion. The fact of the matter is, similar to what rcg said, if the Roman Catholic Church was effectively self-policing, the state would not have felt compelled to step in. As that was not and, perhaps, is still not the case, the Church should not be long in the mouth about the appallingly bad yet, deserved publicity it has received. The near universal focus on institutional preservation at the expense of the victimized - what, honestly, do those who float accusations of grandstanding really expect to have happened to an institution that is resident within a society and state that is governed by civil laws?
It saddens me to hear your news. The institution is perfect even if some/many of her stewards are not. I too find the Roman Church to be a difficult pill to swallow anymore. I am therefore grateful for my heritage which has led me home to the East.
As you continue your journey, be assured of my prayers.
Mark Thomas -
You know, reasonable people would look at the PA Attorney General's Report, see the incredible damage that was done, the institutional breakdown and the complicitness of the hierarchy with respect to addressing these matters....no, these crimes and be profoundly sad, compassionate towards the victims and wondering, reasonably, where does it end. What I struggle to understand is your instant need to play blog wars, provide quotes and hyperlinks and to put on your varsity letter sweater and start cheering "Pope Francis", "Pope Francis", Pope Francis". While I don't advocate abandoning ship, I do not think many in the leadership are deserving of accolades either.
I live in Pennsylvania and, the effect this has had on the Church, attendance, trust, vocations etc. is not insignificant. Pennsylvania is a microcosm for what is happening elsewhere, just with much more state involvement though, perhaps, this report could serve to change that. Whether the Roman Church can adequately control and police itself to the point of regaining the trust of the faithful and the public at-large remains to be seen. Increasingly, I have my doubts.
Anon @ 1:52, No, it isn't bunk...homos, and pederastos in the priesthood have given us tons of great jokes. Lesbo nuns, too. I'll tell you some if you promise to keep your hands to yourself...
It serves your self-righteousness. "See, we KNEW all along that the Catholic clergy was corrupt!" And you laugh...
Well, check out the numbers in Methodism before you crow any more.
"The UK's Methodist Church has made a public apology after an investigation uncovered reports of nearly 2,000 alleged abusers - including 914 allegations involving sexual abuse. An independent inquiry looked at the Church's response to complaints and allegations dating back to 1950. General secretary, the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, said abuse was "a deep source of grief and shame to the Church".
- BBC, May 28, 2915.
"Resolution - Response Team Ministry for Sexual Misconduct - 2016 Book of Resolutions, #2043 - The United Methodist Church averages between 140 and 500 known cases of clergy sexual misconduct annually in the US alone (Sally Badgley Dolch, Healing the Breach: Response Team Intervention in United Methodist Congregations, Doctor of Ministry, Wesley Theological Seminary, 2010, pp. 131-32)." - https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/response-team-ministry-for-sexual-misconduct-58
Anon, What has all that got to do with the great jokes about Priests and nuns and choir boys? That Methodist stuff is boring. Now, the Episcopalians can give you guys (and gals and whatevers) a run for your money...they have had some most entertaining scandals over the years. But, Methodists...we can't list those amateurs with you professionals.
Rorate Caeli, employing the Report to attack Popes, said: "How could John XXIII and John Paul II have been canonized? Their systematic failures in the naming of bishops were monstrous."
Ummm...wasn't it Pope Venerable Pius XII who appointed one supposed "modernist" Cardinal and bishop after another who, in turn, gave us "modernist" Vatican II.
Pope Venerable Pius XII advanced the ecclesial career of the future Pope Blessed Paul VI (Montini.)
Pope Venerable Pius XII gave us Cardinal Roncalli (John XXIII), as well as Auxiliary Bishop Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II).
Rorate Caeli isn't keen to broadcast the above facts in regard to Pope Venerable Pius XII.
You've thrown your hat in the Methodists because there is such moral turpitude among Catholic clergy and religious.
Yet, when confronted with the same sinful reality among the Methodists, you joke, calling them boring amateurs.
Mark Thomas said:
"Rorate Caeli isn't keen to broadcast the above facts in regard to Pope Venerable Pius XII."
So what? Don't read it. It's a blog. Use your intellect to identify sources in which you have confidence. Last, perhaps consider channeling some of your energies into thinking about the victims as well as those who were likely spiritually neglected by these deviants. In your endless quest to prove God-knows-what, never do we hear other than Francis PR out of you.
Gene, Come to Mass for the Eucharist and frequent Confession. Satan does all he can to drive all who seek holiness out of the Church. We need to be spending more time in church, not less, to drive the demons out. We already know the ending- Christ wins.
Now is the time for saints. Much of the hierarchy is corrupt, and to defend their actions, or lack of it, is equally corrupt. We need to stand up for faith and tradition. We need to stand up for Truth. We need to stand up for Christ and His Bride, the Church. Pray for good and holy priests. Pray and fast to drive the demons out. Read the early Fathers of the Church if you need something hearty to chew on, but please do not walk away from the Church when she needs you most.
Anon, No one is denying the sinful reality among all the denominations. It is just that the Catholic Church has raised it to a fine art...with the Episcopalians close behind (no pun intended).
The problem with protestantism is that I usually leave the service feeling like I have not worshipped. As a Calvinist minister for 18 years, I always tried to make the service as reverent and Christ-centered as possible, with the Creeds, prayers of the Church (not endless spontaneous prayer), theologically correct hymns, and a brief Biblical homily. Most protestant services leave me feeling like I have just been to a Toastmasters convention or a Rotary Club meeting. I always left most (not all) Catholic Masses feeling like I had worshipped. Although I am a TULIP protestant, most Catholic doctrine is compatible with my theology. I'm not crazy about Rome and the papacy (feeling a bit like Luther, especially nowadays), but I can live with it. So, I am likely to be back. The sad thing is that so many are like me and searching for a Church that is Christ-centered and reverent. I mean, most of these prot churches have drums and keyboards in the choir area. I cannot abide these so-called "contemporary" worship services. Somebody of Da Vinci quality ought to paint a Risen Christ with a pillow over his head to hang in these churches.
You deny it with your church-hopping.
When you focus on the sinfulness of members of the Catholic Church and then turn around and make light of sinfulness in members of the Methodist Church, you reveal for all the world to see that you are not seeking holiness, but validation of your prejudices and preferences.
You want a church where everyone agrees with you and where no one tells you that you are wrong. Good luck. Keep warm and well-fed.
The Remnant promoted on its web site Rorate Caeli's hateful, anti-Catholic attack today against Saints John XXIII, John Paul II, Blessed Paul VI, and Pope Francis.
The "traditional" Catholic blogosphere has again revealed its true colors.
Hatred for the Holy Popes in question abounds throughout the "traditional" Catholic blogosphere/Twitter realm.
The Remnant, in praise of Rorate Caeli's satanic attack against Saints John XXIII, John Paul II, Blessed Paul VI, and the Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, declared:
"RORATE NAILS IT:"
As a reminder, this is what Rorate Caeli declared...and what promoters of Rorate Caeli's attack today against Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church support:
"The Pennsylvania Truth: John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II were no saints"
"How could John XXIII and John Paul II have been canonized? Their systematic failures in the naming of bishops were monstrous.
In regard to John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II: "...their express-rite canonizations are shown, with each passing week, to have been horrible mistakes."
What kind of "Catholic" would speak in such fashion against Holy Mother Church...against Holy Mother Church's Saints (and Blessed Pope Paul VI)?
The vile, anti-Catholic attacks today from rigjt-wing, "traditional" Catholic bloggers/Twitter folks who've employed the Pennsylvania Report to attack Holy Mother Church is disgraceful...but not surprising to anyone familiar with the folks who comprise the "traditional" Catholic blogosphere.
As Father McDonald said in 2017 A.D.
"But the same is true about some right wing Catholic blogs who report hearsay and malicious gossip about Pope Francis and others in the hierarchy, but particularly Pope Francis.
"I would say that in days gone by this could have led to excommunication of Catholics. Perhaps it should return and with a vengeance."
Rorate Caeli, The Remnant, who promoted today's anti-Catholic attack by Rorate Caeli, and additional right-wing, "traditional" Catholics who've thrown in today with Rorate Caeli's attack in question, have, once and for all, shown their true colors.
Said folks — and the following has never been a secret — despise Saints John XXII, John Paul II, Blessed Paul VI, and Pope Francis.
Said folks despise the "Novus Ordo Church"...the "Vatican II Church"...
They spew hatred against the Church. They mock and berate Holy Popes, Cardinals, bishops, priests...anybody who doesn't share their right-wing fanaticism.
I assisted tonight at Novus Ordo Mass. I have spoken with the priest, deacon, and various brothers and sisters in Christ who were there tonight.
They are humble worshipers of God. Their holiness is far beyond mine.
They would never...ever...bash and trash Holy Mother Church, Her holy Popes...in the manner in of "traditional" Catholics.
"Although I am a TULIP protestant, most Catholic doctrine is compatible with my theology."
There it is!
Better, "Although I am a TULIP protestant, I believe that the Catholic Church teaches and believes the fullness of Divine Revelation and want "my theology" to be corrected and reformed by the Catholic Church."
MT I suppose it has never occurred to you that when these bloggers complain about specific evil actions of specific individuals, they are NOT bashing the Church. They are actually upset at how these men are treating the Holy Mother Chirch.
Dan, Rorate Caeli declared yesterday (and received support from additional "traditional" Catholics) that Saints John XXIII and John Paul II are not Saints.
Rorate Caeli denounced Pope Paul VI's title as "Blessed" (and made it clear that he's not a Saint).
Rorate Caeli declared that having elevated the above to the altars constituted horrible mistakes.
Dan, Rorate Caeli, and their supporters, attacked the Body of Christ via denunciations of above Saints.
The True Church elevated the Popes in question to the altars. Rorate Caeli denounced Holy Mother Church when they attacked Her authority to canonize those whom She has recognized as Saints.
Anon, Calvin taught and believed the fulness of Divine Revelation, as well. So did Luther and Karl Barth. But, there are important theological issues on which they disagree to a greater or lesser extent. All are still Trinitarian, Creedal, and Christocentric. Each one could well be informed/reformed by the other's theology. The interpretation and understanding of Imago Dei is still the basis for the fundamental differences in Catholic/Protestant theology. I believe all the other disagreements flow from this. I took a course from Wilhelm Pauck in theology graduate school called, "In His Image and Likeness." It was an in depth study of this very issue. He trotted out Augustine, the early Church Fathers, Aquinas, Melancthon, Luther, Calvin, Barth plus a few modern NT scholars. It was a good semester because it was a Divinity school with people from many different denominations in the class. We even had several nuns and Catholic grad students. Some really interesting discussion. Of course, everyone left the course more fully convinced of their original position but, at least, the issue was hashed out in detail. I miss those days.
Perhaps you ought to stop reading that blog then Mark. They don't allow comments as far as I know.
Mark Thomas -
I'll ask again, why do you care what Rorate Caeli says, what they "declare" and who they "denounce"? Recent news should make it obvious that the Roman Church will do as the Roman Church pleases. If you don't care for Rorate's opinions, don't read it. Reasonably speaking, however, their concerns regarding who is being canonized and the inadequacy of the timing (to allow for reasoned/rational decisions not driven by emotion) isn't wholly unfounded. Certainly, how accelerated these processes have been is a departure from the norm.
All of these hasty canonizations are just a diversion to turn attention away from the disastrous last 50 plus years of Church "leadership."
Dan, I encounter often Rorate Caeli posts on various web sites and Twitter pages.
Beyond that, as Catholics, we don't remain silent in the face of evil.
When, of all folks, a supposed leading "traditional" Catholic declares that Saints John XXIII and John Paul II are not Saints, then it's our duty as faithful Catholics to set the record straight.
When a leading "traditional" Catholic has declared that Blessed Paul VI isn't worthy of canonization, then faithful Catholics need to set the record straight.
Rorate Caeli yesterday attacked God and His Holy Catholic Church.
In my lowly way, I wish to defend God and His Holy Catholic Church against Rorate Caeli's satanic attack in question.
So be it should others decide to remain silent in the face of evil.
Canonized popes are a rarity. Canonization was reserved to the Apostolic See from about 1200 onwards, and between then and the 16th century only one pope was canonized, the saintly but ineffectual Celestine V, who abdicated in 1294 after a mere five months in office. Pius V (1566-1572) was beatified exactly one hundred years after his death and canonized in 1712.
The next pope to be canonized was Pius X (1903-1914) only 40 years after his death. He was beatified three years earlier. In retrospect Pius XII set an unfortunate precedent; the timescale regarding Paul VI is almost identical, and John XXIII was canonized within 51 years of his death. John Paul II's canonization was rushed through in a mere nine years.
It is said that JP II made more saints than all his predecessors put together. However, in doing so he inevitably devalued the product. An analogy would be what has happened to the British honours system. In 1917 George V was persuaded to make it more democratic. The result was a new order of chivalry, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, with five grades. This has now become so democratic that knighthoods are handed out more or less indiscriminately to popular celebrities in sport and entertainment. As a result we have (to name but a few) 'Sir' Chris Hoy and 'Sir' Bradley Wiggins (cyclists); 'Sir' Mick Jagger and 'Sir' Elton John (pop stars). The last-named has married his same-sex partner, who can presumably style himself 'Lady John'. God knows what Americans make of all this.
The former reluctance of popes to canonize their predecessors was sound. Apart from anything else popes are not normally chosen for their personal sanctity, and the authority they wield (spiritual and political) is considerable, giving them ample opportunity to make questionable decisions or follow unwise policies. Pius X is a case in point and Paul VI's papacy is arguably the most controversial in modern times. Declaring him to be a saint will not end the controversy.
We Americans make of it what it is, all things English—not to be understood, but just interesting to hear about on a slow news day.
MT - so those gay sex and drug parties in the Vatican aren't evil? What has PF done about them?
I am thankful that the Holy Ghost inspired the canonizations of Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, and the soon-to-be canonization of Pope Blessed Paul VI.
The holiness of the above Popes, as recognized by the True Church, has been, and will will continue to be of great inspiration to countless Catholics...as well as all men of good will.
Rorate Caeli's trashing of the above holy Popes..the shaking of Rorate Caeli's fist at Holy Mother Church...speaks volumes about Rorate Caeli.
The Holy Ghost did NOT inspire them, at all. If so, why has the Holy Ghost not "inspired" the canonization of countless other popes throughout history with better claims to sainthood?
Also, you ignored my point about your Golden Calf doing nothing about the gay sex and drug parties at the Vatican. A holy pope would have dealth with that, tres vite.
You are a broken record and not a very entertaining or interesting one at that. The folks at Rorate Caeli love the Faith, are far better formed in the Faith than you, and are prepared to defend it from the wolves, including your Golden Calf. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a Baltimore Catechism.
MT, no refootal? No Wikepedia drivel?
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