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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Guest Post: Call the Crisis What It Is: Pederasty!

Editor's comment: As the Rome meeting on the sex abuse crisis begins tomorrow, it's important to emphasize that the bishops must properly address the foundational root of the problem. They plan to focus solely on the abuse of minors. Why? Because ignoring the abuse of non-minors sweeps the homosexual nature of the problem under the rug. The language emphasized throughout the abuse crisis has been "pedophilia" when, in fact, most of the abuse involved older adolescents and legal adult seminarians. Catholics will know the meeting is a smokescreen if this continues, that the hierarchy are spinning a tale "told by an idiot full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." What a tragedy for the Church, especially the Church in the United States. No honesty, no transparency, no solution.

Dr. Phil Girardi worked in religious education for over three decades with his wife, Sally. He calls for real reform which begins with telling the truth about what the problem is. Please pray for those bishops participating in the Rome meeting and watch carefully to see what is said and what is left unsaid. Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. liberal spinner, is already echoing the pope's call for low expectations. If you want to be nauseated read his opinion. Bishop Vigano recently participated in the National Catholic Register's symposium preparing for this weeks' meeting (Abuse and the Way to Healing). Vigano's testimony included questioning whether the Vatican has a "genuine willingness" to address the problem. His opinion is no! “Almost nothing has been said about sexual misconduct with adults, which is itself a grave abuse of pastoral authority, whether or not the relationship was ‘consensual.'" He also wrote, "I pray that they [the bishops participating] will not return to their countries without proper answers to these questions, for to fail in this regard would mean abandoning their own flocks to the wolves and allowing the entire Church to suffer dreadful consequence.” No matter what happens we must continue to hope in Lord who will never abandon His Church! (more here)

It is Time to Call the Crisis What It Is and Do Something About it

By Dr. Phil Girardi

As a lifetime faithful Catholic who has worked in parishes for 32 years, I am moved ----no, compelled -- to present my thoughts, opinions and personal observations about the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church While I served on my Bishop’s Pastoral Council, and even now, I hear the Catholic hierarchy’s verbal manipulation describing clergy sex abuse in terms that disguise the major abuse problem -- pederasty. If the hierarchy is serious about solving the problem (I pray that they are!), the first step is to call the behavior what it is. Otherwise verbal manipulation and policies that do not solve the problem will continue. The sinful behavior by clergy will go on hurting many innocent people. Young adults and children will be physically and psychologically damaged or destroyed and their faith lost. Additionally, many Catholic faithful are likely to lose their faith as well.

Terms such as “sexual abuse by catholic priests”, “pedophile priests”, “child abuse scandal”, “the Church’s sexual abuse crisis”, “predator priests”, etc. all blur the behavior of Catholic sinful clergy including deacons, priests and bishops. These terms offend me because they hide the specific behavior prevalent in the crisis.

The fact is, we know from the John Jay report, commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2011, that 81% of the victims were male, mostly teens. Since the predators were all male, we know this is primarily a male-on-male crime, mostly with teens ages 14 to 17. In addition, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report (July 27, 2018) highlighted that many of the victims were seminarians mostly over the age of consent. This is pederasty, i.e., homosexual activity. Any reasonable person would conclude that pederasty is practiced by many catholic clergy at all levels. The blurred descriptions by the Catholic Bishops and the Catholic press masks this fundamental truth.

Rooting out the clerics who are known predators would significantly diminish the problem now facing the Catholic Church. However, the bishops’ “no tolerance policy” must specifically and directly address pederast behavior. Have the Bishops of the Catholic Church become so politically correct that they cannot, in one voice, expose homosexual activity among the clergy as the root of the scandal? Can they not follow the lead of Bishop Morlino of Madison Wisconsin who died last November? On August 18th he wrote to Catholics in his diocese saying, “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.”

The blatant hypocrisy of clerics who practice pederasty, then preach the church’s orthodoxy wreaks havoc on the Church. They scandalize many Catholics whose faith may not be strong enough to endure. Theologically speaking, the priest acts as Christ (in persona Christi) when he administers the sacraments. To engage in homosexual activity and then celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments affronts Christ and His bride, the Church.

By allowing pederast priests to continue in ministry, bishops clearly endanger the flock. These men interact with other men and young boys and have many opportunities to abuse them. Waiting and hoping they will be caught in a crime or “credibly” accused so the bishops’ process can deal with them jeopardizes the innocent. It is a grave dereliction of duty! Bishops must remove from ministry any priests known to practice pederasty and not wait for media exposure before taking action. Bishops should also police their own ranks particularly given Cardinal McCarrick’s practice of pederasty for many years which was clearly common knowledge. We need proactive corrective action. Bishops must confront their homosexual brother bishops (I believe many know who they are.) and urge them to act out of personal integrity and for the good of the church, i.e, resign from ministry and devote their remaining years to penance.

Michael Rose’s book “Goodbye Good Men” describes how homosexuality infiltrated the priesthood through the seminaries. Many seminary rectors are homosexuals who welcome young homosexual men and screen out “straights” especially if they are orthodox. These rectors themselves often become Bishops.

Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 has addressed the seminary issue by prohibiting homosexuals from the priesthood. Is this enforced today? Do we know? Why would Pope Benedict do that unless he understood the Church has a homosexual problem, not just a sexual predator problem?

But even this does not address the finding in the recent Philadelphia Grand Jury report that
Francis continues to surround himself with
McCarrick's boys. Is he really serious about
cleaning up the pederast mess in the Church?
seminarians over the age of consent are also victims of pederasty during their formation. The Bishops must stop this immoral practice in the seminaries by removing the perpetrators. Young men who are the victims of pederasty during their formation may not report it for fear of retaliation and being asked to leave the seminary. Victims who remain silent and are psychologically damaged for the rest of their lives and bring their psychological problems to their ministry if ordained. They themselves may become predators perpetuating the homosexual activity.

To say that the church today is different than in the 1960s through 1980’s when this scandal first came to light is an attempt to minimize the current state of the Church. If pederasty accusations seem to have subsided, the underlying problem still remains. I wonder how many priests and clerics who were active pederasts then, and still remain in active ministry, have bonded together to continue homosexual activity with each other. Consider the two Chicago priests arrested in Miami Beach on September 4, 2018 for engaging in sodomy in their car. How many others are not caught and remain in the church where they may prey on young seminarians assigned to parishes, not to mention teenage boys in the parish. These men are a serious threat.

So how are predator pederasts in the clergy identified, and are these accusations credible? Unless our bishops can figure this out, correcting the Church from within and regaining their moral authority in society, the civil actions against the Church addressing serious crimes will continue.

One thing comes to mind that may shed light on identifying the pederasts.

While employed for 32 years working in parishes in my diocese, I realized that priests who practice pederasty are either suspected or known by their Bishops. I reached this conclusion by noting that when priests are moved from parish to parish, pastors and parochial vicars are often paired together who appear to have the same mindset. From a Bishop’s perspective these pairings minimize friction resulting in more harmony in the rectory. Note which priests have been removed for sexual crimes and look back at who they served with in the parishes to which they were assigned. Who did they socialize with over the years? It’s not a foolproof method since some good priests suffered persecution and even destruction under homosexual pastors. Fr. James Haley comes to mind. It is, however, a bishops’ duty to know his priests and which of his sons have problems that make them a threat to their flocks.

We who work in the church observe suspicious behavior of certain priests, but are reluctant to speak out for fear of being accused of detraction or being personally persecuted for even suggesting there may be a problem. This certainly is what I have experienced. The clergy “circle their wagons” and banish you. Any meeting with the Bishop achieves nothing but a patronizing exchange and then he promotes the men involved. In my opinion, the “straight’ priests of each Diocese know who the homosexuals are and so does the Bishop.

Dioceses also keep private files, “secret archives,” for which only the Bishop has the keys. Under the Code of Cannon Law, each diocese must maintain these files which describe priests’ behavior and any problematic incidents. A Bishop assigned to a new diocese can read the files and remove from ministry any man documented as a perpetrator engaging in pederasty.

There are a few “straight” Bishops like Bishop Morlino whose voices seem not to be heard while many others remain silent or chant, “Let’s all pray.” (which goes without saying), and continue to manipulate the language to disguise the real problem.

Frankly, I have little confidence that the Bishops as a whole will take any significant action. This means that federal and state government and civil authority will fill the gap. They can exercise subpoena power to obtain evidence from the “secret archives” to investigate suspected crimes of priests and bishop This includes confidentially agreements the church may have signed with victims to cover up criminal activity.

In October 2018 the Department of Justice in Washington DC requested every one of the 264 Catholic Dioceses across the country to preserve their private internal documents as a federal investigation into the Catholic church appears to be getting underway. These civil actions, while addressing the criminality of clerics that the Bishops have covered up for so long, are likely to escalate investigations into the Catholic Church which could lead to persecution in the decades to come. The Bishop of each Diocese can minimize this possibility by “cleaning house” before a civil investigation uncovers further crimes.

For your sake and for the sake of our Church---BISHOPS, BECOME WHAT YOU ARE!

We the Sensus Fidei must remain faithful to the church and the sacraments, have the courage to respectfully make our voices heard, and be persistent in prayer bringing this tragedy to the one who dwells in the Tabernacle; because it is He who can truly do something about it.

Dr. Girardi and his wife of 52 years, Sally, have lived in the Diocese of Arlington since 1976 and are parents of three children and grandparents of six. Phil has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He also has the Advanced Apostolic Catechetical Diploma from the Holy See, Rome. Phil and Sally have served the Diocese of Arlington as Catholic educators for 32 years.


Chriss Rainey said...

Thank you, Phil. Your insight and experience adds credibility to the cries of the people in the pews who deserve far better than they have gotten.

While homosexuals should never have been admitted in the first place, the only cure for the infection plagued Church at this point is a radical ejection of every last one of them celebate or not.

As you point out, these men live with other men and their disordered mind makes rectory life difficult to say the least. The fact a bishop has to "pair" certain individuals in assignments to keep everybody happy is an angle to this story many never think about.

If clergy were all REAL MEN they and we would have nothing to worry about.

elpine flower said...

Agreed 150% !

Coming from NJ , a dear friend's Godson is a priest. According to her last conversation with me he went to Rome to study for his second PhD planning to apply for a position as a seminary instructor. He returned to finish in the US, complaining to his mother the "...politics are much worse in Rome." By "politics", she explained that he meant the homosexual clerical concentration of the population in the seminaries.
He reported that many seminarians in Rome were intoxicated by noon and at night warned by their Superiors not to get caught with another male in public in a compromising situation because the photogs were always around. Remaining chaste and sober was not cautioned.
My friend told me her Godson priest decided long ago he would never work in a Diocese ,"..because of the politics." How sad.
Real men avoid these types of living arrangements in a rectory and are naturally repulsed and we the laity are left wanting while being told to pray for vocations.
Praying for Bishops, Seminary Rectors and Order Superiors to get their fatherly Christian priorities straight might be a better plan, not to forget the same intentions for the current occupant of Peter's Chair.