Respected Theologian speaks out on McCarrick
In the wake of the revelations about Cardinal McCarrick we are seeing a profusion of articles written from across the Church, suddenly acknowledging that the behaviour he has been exposed for is a reality and desperately trying to put it in to some kind of context.
Some, like Robert Mickens, seek to use it as a political tool and throws mud at his political enemies:
The first responder to this tweet provides the perfect answer to my mind:What is going to happen when one or more of the cardinal-darlings of traditionalist Catholics are credibly accused of sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual behavior?— Robert Mickens (@robinrome) July 31, 2018
The notorious pro-homosexualist Jesuit priest, papal tailgater and prominent advocate of heresy of all kinds, James Martin, jumped straight on the band wagon, killing irony stone-dead!Here is the thing Bobby. Those of us who accept the teaching of the Church, want it applied to everyone. We don’t care if the wicked are “on our side”. We want the wickedness dealt with. We want an end to the cover ups.— Pétrus (@MenAreLikeWine_) August 1, 2018
As "editor at large" of America Magazine, one of the most prominent Catholic publications in America, one wonders why Fr. Martin et al never thought to investigate all these rumours he was so aware of? Isn't this just what enables abuse?Based on many conversations over the years and my own personal experiences: https://t.co/7bAp7KqC0z— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) July 30, 2018
Highly respected theologian and professor Ralph Martin has written an outstanding letter which makes no bones about the real crisis or laying it firmly at the feet of the man who's responsibility it is: Pope Francis.
What has been so disturbing to so many people is the fact that there had been numerous warnings to various church officials that he was a homosexual predator, harassing many seminarians, priests, and young boys, for many years, but nothing had ever been done about it, and he was continually promoted. Even after a delegation of priests and lay people went to Rome to warn the Vatican about the situation, he was promoted. Even after a leading Dominican priest wrote a letter to Cardinal O'Malley, nothing was done. Even after lawsuits accusing him of homosexual sexual harassment in two of his previous dioceses had been settled with financial awards, he was still promoted. And not only that, he became a key advisor to Pope Francis and offered advice on whom to appoint as bishops in the United States!What is incredible is, when you see it written down, how many links the Pope has to all this. Martin explains it like this:
And what are we to make of the fact that so many of those advising the pope have questionable fidelity to the truth? How can we have confidence in Cardinal Maradiaga as the head of his Council of Cardinals when he is accused of financial impropriety (which he denies); he chose an active homosexual as his auxiliary bishop; and he allowed a homosexual network to grow up in his seminary, dismissing attempts to appeal to him to clean up the mess as unsubstantiated gossip? How can we have confidence in the pope's main theological advisor, a theologian from Argentina who is most known for his book, The Art of the Kiss , or the pope's main Italian theological advisor, who is known for his subtle dissent from the Church's teaching in the area of sexuality and who tried to insert texts in the synods on the family that pushed the document in a permissive direction? And how can we have confidence in the recently appointed head of the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family-an archbishop who commissioned a mural in his former cathedral in an Italian diocese from a homosexual artist who included homo-erotic themes in the mural, including a portrait of the archbishop in an ambiguous pose?One of the saddest elements of the whole Papacy of Francis for me is those who continually support him and the priests and bishops who, for the sake of some misplaced loyalty or an outward appearance of unity, continue to promote the Pope, quote him (where it is possible to do so without corrupting your flock) and pretend that all is well. Martin makes it clear that anyone schooled in the faith who isn't pushing a heretical agenda has a problem with this pontificate:
I didn't plan to discuss this whole situation, but it came up this summer when the thirty priests in my class at the seminary wanted to discuss Pope Francis' leadership and the McCarrick scandal. We all agreed that Pope Francis has said and done some wonderful things (I teach his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel in one of my classes), but he also has said and done some things that are confusing and seem to have led to a growth of confusion and disunity in the Church. How can German and Polish bishops approach the question of whether divorced and remarried couples can receive Communion without getting an annulment in opposite ways, and the Church still retain an ability to speak to the contemporary culture with one voice? It can't. And how long can Church officials speak about the "positive values" of "irregular relationships" until the average Catholic comes to believe that we no longer believe the words of Jesus that fornicators, adulterers, and those who actively practice homosexuality will not enter the kingdom of God unless they repent? How many still believe that there is really a hell and that, unless we repent from such serious sins before we die, we will go there? Have we ever heard from leading churchmen, even in Rome, in recent years, that adultery, fornication and homosexual relations are not only "irregular," but gravely sinful? Has the creeping "universalism" (the belief that virtually everyone will be saved) so undermined the holy fear of God and belief in His clear word, which has been transmitted faithfully all these centuries and is found intact in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that people have become "understanding" about persisting in grave sin with no fear of God or of hell? Has false compassion and presumption on God's mercy replaced true love, which is based on truth, and the only appropriate response to God's mercy-faith and repentance?
He also, correctly, links what we see here to what we see internationally in the Church, with reference to Ireland for example:
Unfortunately, the rot is wide and deep and years of covering up abuse (and the concomitant reluctance to really preach the Gospel and call people to faith and repentance) and its ultimate exposure have injured the faith of millions. How shocking and tragic was it to see tens of thousands of Irish people in the streets of Dublin wildly celebrating that they could now legally kill babies!!!! Just when the Irish bishops needed to speak most strongly on fundamental moral issues, their credibility was destroyed when it was finally exposed that they had covered up abuse for decades. Satan is indeed like that wild boar Scripture talks about that rampages though the vineyard of the Lord because the hedges of protection have been destroyed (Ps 80:12-13). The corruption, ineptitude, and cowardice runs wide and deep, and its effects on the eternal salvation of millions, and the destiny of nations, is devastating.Read the whole article here.
Once again I want to draw attention to the fact that proper responses to this seem to be coming mostly from the laity. I have long celebrated the power and beauty of our Catholic faith and wondered at the lack of teaching of that power and beauty by those assigned to that function: our bishops. Into the vacuum they have left, frustrated, faithful Catholics who are generally sneered at by the men who are supposed to stand for the faith, are forming their own groups, supporting and teaching each other as I reported here. Recently the Humanum Institute held a much needed and lay led conference on sex and gender at St. Mary's University and the Chesterton Society held their annual pilgrimage (read more here). We active Catholics are supported by good clergy, but these initiatives are lay led and well supported. Meanwhile, the bishop's Eucharistic Conference is desperate for support I hear. I won't be going, having attended numerous similar occasions in the past and feeling like they're promoting something other than the Catholic faith I hold and teach my children.
Professor Martin also has some great advice for concerned Catholics, so please do share with anyone who is particularly troubled with what is going on in the Church under Pope Francis. Similarly, I found this very helpful this week: