Seasonal Reflections

Whatever Happened to Easter?

Part II

3 August 2010


(Click here for Part I)

Is it truly the one holy and apostolic Catholic Church that Benedict heads?

Here lies the crux of the matter, which the latest scandals help to put in perspective.  How can any valid pope of the true Church say and do what Benedict does regarding these?  Take the shocking words quoted in April by the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano and repeated throughout the world: Jeffrey Brown echoed them in introducing the NewsHour segment that featured Gwyn Green.  While celebrating his fifth anniversary as “pope” at a private lunch with the cardinals, Brown reported, Benedict in reference to the current scandals called the church a “wounded sinner.”


The Vatican daily itself said the “pope” spoke to his followers about the “sins of the church, reminding them that it, wounded and sinner, is experiencing, ever more, the consolation of God.”


Do we dare ask how the defiled church that Ratzinger leads can be the same Immaculate Spouse of Christ we heard about as kids in catechism class?  Does not such holiness endure forever?  There is indeed a discrepancy here, and in noting it, we are not totally alone.  While the media in general avoids dogmatic detail, there are a few hints here and there.  Writing for the Times Online in late April, Catherine Nixey, the child of former religious, a monk and a nun, for instance, tells how the congregation for a recent Sunday morning Mass at the Brompton Oratory in Kensington, recited the Nicene Creed in unison.  For her, however, this “statement of belief” now presents a problem because of the clerical sex abuses and Benedict’s reaction.  How, she asks, can the faithful be convinced that their “wounded, sinner Church” is “still, as the creed calls it, the ‘holy Church’ for which one can, in the literal and the metaphorical sense, stand?”


Exactly how the Church turned bad she does not say; nor how the current state of affairs can be reconciled with Christ’s saying He would be with us forever.  But then, Nixey does not seem to be well-versed in dogma.  Her own Catholic upbringing was, as she puts it, “mild and non-doctrinal.”  Her brother, she says, became “an atheist and devoted apostle” of Richard Dawkins, who, along with the equally notorious Christopher Hitchens has called for Benedict’s arrest should he dare come to England.  Noting how Catholic attendance there has dwindled from about two million in 1979 to one million today, Nixey cites surveys that blame the clerical stand on contraception –– and the handling of the sex scandals.  At the same time, however, she notes Benedict’s many defenders and “fans” –– over 120,000 on his Facebook page alone –– as well as those who actually view the current situation in a positive light.  Oddly enough, her own father, the former monk who is now a non-believer, also appears optimistic, seeing in the crisis “an excellent chance for the Church to open its windows, to cleanse itself.”


You don’t say!


Haven’t we heard that song before?  Wasn’t Vatican II all about “opening windows” to the world?  Look where that led us!  Traditionally the Church has espoused the strictest code of sexual morality on record.  Sure, there were offenders, even among the clergy, high and low, but nobody, but nobody, had the gall to justify his own sinfulness in theory or in principle.  Deny culpability for individual acts, and whitewash an overall record, yes, many did that.  What no cleric in good standing dared do was change the ground rules by trying to redefine what was a sin and what was not.  That started only after the modernists at Vatican II started opening all those windows.


Before they took over, the Church had always accepted sodomy as one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, reserving the harshest of penalties for those who solicited for such purposes.  In his book Vatican II, Homosexuality & Pedophilia, Atila Sinke Guimaraes notes how St. Basil, back in the fourth century, wrote:

The cleric or monk who molests youths or boys, or is caught kissing or committing some depravity with them, let him be whipped in public, deprived of his crown (tonsure) and, after having his head shaved, let his face be covered with spittle and let him be bound in iron chains, condemned to six months in prison, reduced to eating rye bread once a day in the evening three times per week.  After these six months of living in a separate cell under the custody of a wise elder advanced in the spiritual life, let him make prayers, vigils and manual work, always under the watch of two spiritual brothers, without being allowed to have any relationship . . . with young people.”

Other severe strictures against the practice of sodomy were passed on down through the ages, from the time of Saints Augustine and John Chrysostom in the fifth and sixth centuries to that of St. Peter Damian in the eleventh century to Pope St. Pius V in the sixteenth.  In The Rite of Sodomy, her tome on the topic, Randy Engel notes how the latter pontiff ruled that sodomites of all classes, including clerics, should be stripped of their posts, dignities and income, handed over to secular authorities –– and executed according to the law.  Even the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which was technically in force until 1983, ordered that deacons, priests and bishops found guilty of sodomy, debauchery, bestiality, incest, or of engaging in sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor be “declared infamous and deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, responsibility, if they have such, whatsoever, and in more serious cases, they are to be deposed.” (can. 2359).


Contrast all this with the mild approach of Vatican II, which in an effort to adapt to the modern word, paid homage in its texts to modern psychology and psychiatry, fields dominated by anti-Christian atheists who view the human soul as being a mass of crude desires.  For them eternal life does not enter the picture.  Yet, the Constitution Gaudium et spes dares to give credence to these so-called sciences.  In his book Guimaraes cites the following excerpts:

Advances in…psychology and the social sciences not only lead man to greater self-awareness but provide him with the technical means of molding the lives of whole peoples as well.” (5b)

Recent psychological advances furnish deeper insights into human behavior. (54a)

Let the faithful incorporate the findings of new sciences and teachings and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and thought, so that their practice of religion and their moral behavior may keep abreast of their acquaintance with science and of the relentless progress of technology. (62f)

In pastoral care, sufficient use should be made, not only of theological principles, but also of the findings of secular sciences, especially psychology and sociology. (62b)

To be sure, such a conciliatory approach departs from that of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, who as recently as 1949 had challenged a book published two years previously by Dr. Joshua Liebman.  In his essay “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen—Author, Orator and Missionary,” Fr. John Hardon tells how Rabbi Liebman in Peace of Mind had extolled the virtues of Freudianism, which holds an incestuous form of sex to be the main human motivator.  Sin, guilt and any mention of God are seen as the primitive relics of a bygone era.  All religion does is cause anxiety.  Thus spake the rabbi, who, having abandoned the Bible, believed the modern age could find salvation in Marx and Einstein, as well as in Freud.  The fact that the latter might have grossly misinterpreted an ancient Greek play, with his theory regarding the Oedipus complex, was apparently beyond him.


But not to Bishop Sheen, whose own book, Peace of Soul, not only renounced Freud, but also argued there could be “no world peace” without “soul peace.”  As Father Hardon notes, Sheen attributed the various tensions treated by psychology to a “deeper metaphysical tension, inherent in every human being, between his contingent and limited being and the Infinite and Absolute Being” of God.”  The basic cause of our anxiety, he said is a “restlessness within time, which comes because we are made for eternity.” And if you think Sheen’s words are too profound for the general public, let us note that this book of his became a best seller and led to the production of his popular television series Life is Worth Living.  Of this Hardon writes:

On Tuesday evenings, from 6 to 6:30, an estimated audience of two to five million heard and saw a Roman Catholic Bishop, chalk in hand, in front of a blackboard, explain the purpose of man’s life in this world; how because of the fall of Adam, sin and concupiscence have entered into our lives; how through the help of God’s grace and the use of our reason, we may resist the drag of concupiscence and avoid the pitfalls of sin; and how if we are faithful in resisting temptation until death, we shall be happy with God for all eternity.

Conversions attributed to Sheen include those of violinist Fritz Kreisler, author and ambassador Clare Booth Luce, columnist and freethinker Heywood Broun, industrialist Henry Ford II, and communist activists Elizabeth Bentley and Louis Budenz.  But did the conciliar Church take heed and strive to imitate Sheen’s method of presenting the faith to individuals or massive audiences?  No, defying tradition, they instead adopted a new approach to morality that focused on the dictates of psychiatrists and social scientists in such a way as to downplay those of the ancient Church.


Thus the document Persona Humana, a “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics,” issued by Cardinal Franjo Seper with Paul VI’s approval in December, 1976, begins as follows:

According to contemporary scientific research, the human person is so profoundly affected by sexuality that it must be considered as one of the factors which give to each individual’s life the principal traits that distinguish it. In fact it is from sex that the human person receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological and spiritual levels, make that persona a man or a woman, and thereby largely condition his or her progress towards maturity and insertion into society. Hence sexual matters, as is obvious to everyone, today constitute a theme frequently and openly dealt with in books, reviews, magazines and other means of social communication.

There is nothing here that would offend a Freudian—or a Pavlovian, for that matter.  Missing is any mention of a soul, sin, or grace, much less of divinity.  None of that stuff is important enough for the first paragraph.  To be sure, the text goes on to decry the “corruption of morals” and note that at the same time “certain educators, teachers and moralists have been able to contribute to a better understanding and integration into life of the values proper to each of the sexes.”  Who these experts are, however, and how they operate it doesn’t say.  We are left to wonder: Are they Catholics? Protestants? Psychotherapists? Behaviorists?


Ambiguity abounds.


What emerges in this Declaration is a hodgepodge of psychobabble interspersed with dollops of Catholic dogma.  Thus we read next how people today try to discover by themselves the “values innate in their own nature” in order to achieve an ever greater development.”  In moral matters, however, we are told that “man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim.”  No, he should detect in his conscience “a law written by God.”  According to this he will be judged.  The next paragraph goes on to note how God has made known to Christians His plan of salvation through Christ, whose teaching is our “supreme and immutable Law of life.”  How non-Christians, or Protestants, for that matter, fit into the picture is not explained.  Nor are there any strong imperatives to convert.  Instead, after a brief episode of theological orthodoxy, we are thrust back into modernist lingo:

Therefore there can be no true promotion of man’s dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected.  Of course, in the history of civilization many of the concrete conditions and needs of human life have changed and will continue to change.  But all evolution of morals and every type of life must be kept within the limits imposed by the immutable principles based upon every human person’s constitutive elements and essential relations — elements and relations which transcend historical contingency.

The key words here are “evolution of morals”, for putting such a radical notion in context we have a kind of “relative evolution.”  Darwin would love it!  According to this, the evolutionists, relativists and religionists of a modernist bent are all correct!  Morals do in fact evolve, though only relatively, within limits imposed by immutable principles that vary according to each person’s limits and circumstances.  Or something like that. To be sure, it’s a masterpiece of absolute relativism — or relative absolutism.  Take your pick.


The next paragraph says the aforementioned “fundamental principles” are to be found in “the Divine Law — eternal, objective and universal — whereby God orders, directs and governs the entire universe and all the ways of the human community, by a plan conceived in wisdom and love.”  The exact nature and limits of this community, however, are not given.  Reading on, we learn that “man has been made by God to participate in this law, with the result that, under the gentle disposition of Divine Providence, he can come to perceive ever increasingly the unchanging truth.”


Talk about convoluted!


If man in general participates in producing this law, does that mean he can, under divine guidance, of course, alter it ever so gradually as circumstances change and he comes “increasingly” to discern the truth?  Does it mean we collectively become wiser as time passes?  If so, who gets to define the particulars, especially as things change?  There is no mention of the Church here, nor of any governmental body.  So who decides?  Who has the authority?  Is it a matter of decisions being made behind the scenes?  Or does it all happen automatically?


It is all very confusing, and reading on we find Section VIII of the Declaration to be more so.  The topic prior to this has been that of sexual ethics for heterosexuals; now we turn to homosexuals.  The old term “sodomy”, along with strong words like “depraved” and “deposed” associated with clerics who indulge in such a sin under the 1917 Code of Canon Law, is not to be found.  Instead we learn that there are two kinds of “homosexuals,” one whose tendency is transitory and not incurable, the other who is “definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.”  In regard to the latter, the text says, “some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.”


While not going so far as to agree with the latter view, neither does the text see fit to condemn those who indulge in homosexual acts.  Instead it insists “these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society.  Their culpability will be judged with prudence.”  While admitting that Sacred Scripture depicts their actions as depraved, this “does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of.”


Here we have the basis for a new diagnosis.  Homosexual acts no longer signify moral depravity, but, rather, a disorder.  It’s like an illness, or handicap.  The poor people simply can’t help it.  Overlooked in the process is the fact that the old moral code forbids not only sinful acts, but also willful assent to such thoughts and desires.  If a person indulges in these to the extent that they erode his sexual identity, can he still be said not to be culpable?


While the 1976 Declaration did not get into the matter, it was hinted at ten years later in a letter put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under then-Cardinal Ratzinger.  Significantly this notes how “increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity.”  Some of these groups actually claim that homosexuality is completely harmless, even good, and that any criticism of such a lifestyle constitutes a form of unjust discrimination.


While calling it “deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or action,” the letter goes on to call their condition “disordered.”  It further challenges the argument that because the “homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice,” such a “homosexual person” would have “no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion,” meaning if he were to engage in homosexual activity, he would not be “culpable.”


Warning against such “generalizations in judging individual cases,” the letter states that “while circumstances may exist which reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance, other circumstances may increase it.”  Consequently it cannot be assumed that the “sexual behavior of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable.”


In other words, they might be guilty of sin, but not necessarily.


In reference to the “homosexual” identity, the Letter says: “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”  Further on it notes that the human person, “made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionists reference to his or her sexual orientation.”  Consequently the Church today “provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a ‘heterosexual’ or a ‘homosexual’, but insists instead on his fundamental identity as a child of God.”


If this be the case, is it wrong to take on a deviant orientation?  Does a person have no choice in the matter?  The Letter does not say.  While questioning to some extent the notion of “homosexual identity,” or “orientation”, it does not go so far as to forbid this outright.  In condemning homosexual acts, it continues to call the orientation a “disorder” but not immoral.  It discusses the culpability of homosexual acts but ignores the significance of sinful thoughts and desires.  But would not these be involved in assuming the homosexual orientation?  Could not willful assent ever be implied, even if the person goes public?  And what about the mannerisms, dress or vocalisms associated with the role?  Has a “gay” person no control over these?  Elsewhere in a document published in 1992, Cardinal Ratzinger defends the rights of homosexuals against violence and unjust discrimination, but . . . How far should this go?  He notes their rights to work and housing, for instance.  How should we interpret this?  Should I feel obliged to rent rooms to a man who goes around in drag with his friends — or lovers?


All in all, Ratzinger’s documents, signed by John Paul II, while continuing to fault “homosexual acts,” fail to refute the modernist approach towards the problem that was initiated by Vatican II and articulated in more detail by Cardinal Seper during Paul VI’s pontificate.  Considering Ratzinger’s history, this is not surprising.  Readers of our essay Sense and Nonsense will recall how the future prelate — and “pope” –– was exposed to modernist theologians during his seminary training in post-war Germany and was at one point accused of promoting “a subjectivist concept of revelation” wherein tradition is seen as a “living process.”  According to this, truth is in the eyes of the beholder; it changes, or evolves in time.  And if this be the case, should not morals change accordingly, if psychologists and sociologists so rule?
 With them in charge, who needs the Church?


For a commentary on the basis for such ideas, let us return to the essay by Fr. John Hardon, who quotes Bishops Sheen as saying:

Modern philosophy has seen the birth of a new notion of God.  It is God in evolution.  God is not, He becomes.  In the beginning was not the Lord, but in the beginning was Movement.  From this movement God is born by successive creations.  As the world progresses, He progresses; as the world acquires perfection, He acquires perfection.

While Sheen fought the trend, modernist theologians did not.  They promoted a subtle change in outlook, and given their predominance during Vatican II, no wonder gullible Catholics went wild.  Thinking like them, even a priest or nun could pay lip service to the old dogmas while experimenting with new ways.  While two-faced in a sense, this outlook, being oh-so sophisticated in its duplicity, had endorsement from Rome, so it had to be legitimate.  Or so most assumed.  To be sure, the new morals, sexual and otherwise, that proliferated after two world wars posed problems.  Ordinarily Catholics, clerics especially, faced with such challenges at a time of crisis would be told to withdraw from secular life and contemplate the eternal truths, but not now.


No, the new Vatican Council had called for the opening of windows to the world with all the latest fads, and for most there was no going back.  So what if thousands of priests decided to renounce their vows and marry?  Wasn’t that their right?  And if others chose to read and heed the research of renowned sexologists like Alfred Kinsey, why be surprised that a number of those living in communities, all of the same sex, of course, partook in sensitivity training and found they were truly gay?  And if some of the more rabid of these went on to recruit among the young, well. . .


Kinsey indulged in such deviancy and he is held up as an icon!


Not all went along with the trend, however.  In his essay Pop psychology and the Gospel, Father Andrew Greeley derides the rage for pseudo science that engulfed the Catholic world during the 1960s.  Even for that liberal author and sociologist in clerical garb it was all too much.  He writes:

We are no longer told that something is sinful but that it will impede our growth, that it is a turning in on ourselves, that it is a flawed encounter.  We don’t do penance anymore, rather we “understand what we are doing”; we are not reborn again through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we rather renew our commitment to our life project.  “Authenticity” substitutes for justification, we “confront” one another or “respect one another’s freedom”; we “respond” to interpersonal needs, we “nurture” or “stroke” one another instead of loving one another.  Therapy groups replace worship, encounter weekends substitute for retreats, sensitivity training replaces contemplation; and in some of the prayer houses of Catholic Pentecostalism, the techniques of behavior modification replace the holy rule and canon law as the glue that holds the community together.  Freud has not substituted for Jesus, but Jesus begins to sound very much like Freud.

A priest with a mission who did balk at such nonsense was Father Gerald Fitzgerald.  Back in 1947 he started the Paracletes, an order dedicated to rehabilitating wayward priests.  At the time the main thing was alcoholism, but soon he began to encounter a new one: priests with sexual problems, including those who abused the young.  Of these he wrote in a 1952 letter to Bishop Dwyer of Reno:

“As a class they expect to bounce back like tennis balls on to the court of priestly activity.  I myself would be inclined to favor laicization for any priest, upon objective evidence, for tampering with the virtue of the young, my argument being, from this point onward the charity to the Mystical Body should take precedence to the individual and when a man has so fallen away from the purpose of the priesthood the very best that should be offered him is Mass in the seclusion of a monastery.  Moreover, in practice, real conversions will be extremely rare. . .

By 1957 his opinion of abusive priests had sunk further.  In a letter to an unnamed archbishop quoted in an article posted on AOL News, he said: “These men, Your Excellency, are devils and the wrath of God is upon them and if I were a bishop I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization.”  Rather than keep them at his retreat he proposed isolating them on a Caribbean island where there would be no danger of their harming children.


“It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished the island retreat — but even an island is too good for these vipers of whom the Gentle Master said it were better they had not been born — this is an indirect way of saying damned, is it not?” Fitzgerald also wrote.


In 1963 he met with Paul VI, whom he warned that pedophile priests were generally incorrigible and should be removed from active duty, if not defrocked.  The following year he wrote to another prelate in Rome a letter in which he analyzes in detail the growing problem.  Posted online recently by the New York Times, this tells how when he became a priest 43 years ago “homosexuality was a practically unknown rarity.  Today it is — in the wake of World War II — rampant among men.”  Even 17 years ago (i.e., in 1946), 8 out of 10 problems among priests were related to alcohol, but now the growing problem centers on sex.  While some of these involve women, twice as many center on what he calls “aberrations involving homosexuality.”  It is especially alarming to him that two out of three of these cases have involved younger priests. He goes on to say:

I mention this because it would seem in America at least this type of problem is more devastating to the good standing of the priesthood than anything else. It is very infectious and the prognosis for recovery is extremely unfavorable.

Bishop, do not quote me because this is given you in strictest confidence, but we know of several seminaries that have been deeply infected and this of course leads to a wide infection. Therefore there should be a very strict discipline of dismissal and a very clear and printed teaching in the moral theology. . .

Although Father Fitzgerald put money down on the island, his plans for the Caribbean retreat never fully materialized.  After his bishop died, the latter’s replacement put an end to it.  Indeed, Fitzgerald’s religious order was in due course taken over by those pushing the soft psychological approach he had opposed.  In an article in the National Catholic Reporter, Tom Roberts cites Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, President and CEO of St. Luke Institute, a facility that treats problem priests, as saying Fitzgerald was ignored because his reaction to the abuse was “emotional,” not “scientifically sound.”  At the time, Rossetti says, the bishops were listening to the psychologists.


And, we might add, to the politically correct.  A 2002 article by Toby Westerman posted on World Net Daily cites the testimony of the late Rev. Charles Fiore, another priest involved in the fight to expose the true issues.  Originally ordained a Dominican, he taught at various Catholic institutions in the U.S., as well as at the Angelicum in Rome.  Later, with clinical training at Menninger’s and the State Hospital at Topeka, Kan., he came to witness the results of homosexual abuse by priests.  He highly condemned these, while counseling the victims.


In the article Fiore also criticizes the way the problem is publicized, noting that it is not a matter of clerical “pedophilia” but, rather, of “homosexuality.”  Whereas the former term refers to the abuse of pre-pubescent children of either sex, “the overriding problem” of the day “is the abuse of older children from 12 to 18.”  While true “pedophilia” is practiced by “an aberrant few,” more than “90 percent of the cases” that actually occur “involve the clerical molestation of teenage young men.”


The term for this is “pederasty.”


The trouble with such reporting, however, is that, as Fiore put it, “the grand taboo in U.S. culture is to focus on homosexuality.”  Society today likes to think of “homosexuality as an alternate way of life,” not an aberration.  Thus the problem of reporting the truth about clerical abuse.  Whoever reports the whole story in context risks being called “homophobic,” because it is not cool, i.e., politically correct to cast aspersions on the gay agenda.


Hence the post-conciliar proliferation of homosexuality in the Church at all levels, from seminary to parish rectory to the bishops’ palace — even to the Vatican.  Considering this, is it surprising that poor Father Fitzgerald made such little headway with Paul VI, whom, you will recall, he visited in Rome?  From Franco Bellegrandi, a former member of the Vatican Noble Guard, and correspondent for L’Osservatore Romano, whose shocker Nichitaroncalli — Controvita di un Papa was published in 1994, we learn many revealing, if sordid, details.  The book exposes Montini as a clandestine pervert with a nasty habit of soliciting young male prostitutes that led to his being picked up one night by the police in Milan.  As the word spread he became increasingly vulnerable to blackmail.  Bellegrandi says that when he became Paul VI the Freemasons were able to pressure him into doing away with the Church’s condemnation of cremation.


But that wasn’t all.  Readers may recall a previous essay wherein we reported Dr. Alice von Hildebrand’s story about Don Luigi Villa.  As directed by Padre Pio, he had investigated the infiltration of Freemasons and Communists into the Church. In his book Villa tells about the discovery of a Red mole, Alighiero Tondi, S.J., who had betrayed to Stalin the names of priests working clandestinely behind the Iron Curtain.  All these were consequently arrested and executed or sent to the gulag.  It seems Tondi was a “close advisor” to Bishop Montini, then Secretary of State to Pius XII.  According to von Hildebrand, the incident caused a “rift” between the Pope and Montini.


A later story in the September, 15, 1984 edition of the Italian newsletter Sě Sě No No, however, asserts that Montini himself was the prime contact with Stalin, Tondi being his underling.  Although Pius XII had forbidden overtures to the Communists, Montini made them, even during World War II.  After the Lutheran bishop of Uppsala informed Pius XII of the situation, Montini lost his position as Secretary of State, while Tondi was laicized.


Towards the end of her tome The Rite of Sodomy, Randy Engel reports that “an elderly gentleman from Paris who worked as an official interpreter for high-level clerics at the Vatican in the early 1950s” told her that the Soviets had blackmailed Montini into revealing the names of the priests who were subsequently killed or imprisoned.  Given his “affinity for the Left,” however, she thinks it difficult to determine to what extent, if any, blackmail had to be used on him.


And this was the so-called “pope” who promulgated the revolutionary changes in the Mass –– and the new invalid rites of ordination and consecration of priests and bishops!  To be sure, this is significant.  It stands to reason that priests who say invalid masses will not receive the graces necessary to maintain their celibate state.  And the shrinking number of validly ordained priests only compounds the problem.  Given the depleting supply of sanctifying grace, is it any wonder that so many of those who depend on it should sink into sin?


“By their fruits shall ye know them. . .”


Thus Randy Engel notes that “Pope Paul VI played a decisive role in the selection and advancement of many homosexual members of the American hierarchy including Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Terence Cardinal Cooke, John Cardinal Wright and Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Bishops George H. Guilfoyle, Francis Mugavero, Joseph Hart, Joseph Ferrario, James Rausch and their heirs.”


Let us also note that this group as a whole was, to put it mildly, theologically liberal.  Indeed, as Michael Rose reports in Goodbye Good Men, orthodoxy tends to be suppressed in those seminaries where sexual permissiveness, especially in its homosexual form, is promoted.  There is an inverse relationship between the two.  Considering the old moral strictures regarding sex, of course, such a trend is hardly surprising.  Nor should we be shocked to hear how so many normal men of a traditional bent have been pressured — indeed forced — out of studying for the priesthood.


Not that such an analysis is given in public by either Novus Ordo prelates or the liberal media.  No, when asked about the clerical scandals on the PBS NewsHour this past April, Cardinal Levada gave answers that were both evasive and downright lame, if not dishonest.  For one thing, he said that before 1983, when he became a bishop, he had never heard of a “priest abusing a child.”  Secondly, he traced the causes of the crisis to “changes in society that the church and priests were not prepared for, particularly changes involving how to be a celibate person in a time of sexual revolution. . .”


Here he reveals the modernist tinge that also affects his boss, the former Cardinal Ratzinger, whose formal letters — and other writings –– upheld the mode of thought that prevailed under both John XXIII and Paul VI, as well as their successors.  This was of course revolutionary in than it undermined the foundations of Catholic thought.  Those who put up with the lies without exposing them only help to perpetrate the fraud.  For the clues are out there.  When Benedict says he heads a “sinner church” he is, oddly enough, giving us a hint that in a roundabout way can lead us to the truth.  For the organization he heads does abound in sin; the fact that it does, however, means it cannot be what it pretends to be, the true Catholic Church.  By definition that Church is the pure immaculate Spouse of Christ.


As Pius XII wrote in Mystici Corporis:

13. If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ” — an expression which springs from and is as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.


…if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the shepherds no less than of the flocks. . .

Elsewhere the encyclical does say that schism, heresy or apostasy do in fact cause one to be cut off from the Mystical Body.  So can we help but wonder about the organization that passes as the Church today?  Is it really an apostate fraud?  Does it not preach a perverted theology and persecute orthodoxy?  Are its rites not depleted in substance?  If so, how can it dare try to pass as a valid institution in the Catholic sense?  Moreover, is it not corrupt to the core in more ways than one?  Has this condition indeed caused such an overwhelming rot and severing of parts that only a remnant is left, hidden and remote, though still alive, still visible?  To be sure it is a difficult question.  Without modern prophets to pave the way, all we can do is wonder, while attending to those words from the gospel:


“By their fruits shall ye know them.”

Copyright by Judith M. Gordon 2010