Wednesday, August 1, 2018

We all know what the problem is

First of all, just read these words:
In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a 1.8 million dollar study, popularly known as the “John Jay study,” to uncover the patterns and causes of the sex abuse crisis since 1950. The National Review Board—the entity designated to implement the study—gave the first John Jay report in 2004. In this report, which describes the “Nature and Scope” of clergy sexual abuse, the board pointed out that more than 80 percent of the victims were teenage boys and young men. 
This conclusion, in itself, should have been a solid roadmap for truly correcting the sex abuse problem. [...] 
This statistic paints a vivid picture: the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy targeting young males as their victims. This fact suggests one reform that has yet to be addressed: the Church must screen out clergy candidates with same-sex attractions. 
At first, this reform appeared to be on the radar. In 2004, the National Review Board stated that while the sex abuse crisis had no single cause, “an understanding of the crisis is not possible” without reference to “the presence of homosexually oriented priests.” The board cited the data: “eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.” 
Dr. Paul McHugh, a former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a member of the National Review Board, put it more strongly. Quoted in an August 25, 2006 National Catholic Register editorial, he observed that the John Jay study had revealed a crisis of “homosexual predation on American Catholic youth.” 
But that warning soon disappeared from the public perception. The John Jay conclusions began to be explained as an “environment” problem. This new interpretation was made official in a 2011 John Jay report, “Causes and Context.” [...] 
The question is: will objective data, like the John Jay study, be interpreted by Church standards, or by other standards? 
So far, the answer is unsettled. Unfortunately, what should be the Church’s primary concern seems to be currently off the table. Instead, the study’s new direction and warning about “access to boys,” carries a subtle, but troubling, challenge to the Christian formation of young men—including the male-only priesthood. 
When it comes to “access to boys,” the Church should have only one goal: to protect every young man who has discerned a call to religious life, and any male who sees, in priests and deacons, worthy role models of Christian values. For now, this vast demographic of human souls is still vulnerable to sexual targeting within the very walls of the Church. 
We must face facts. The data overwhelmingly identifies the main victims of the sex abuse crisis as young men. Furthermore, what critics call “access to boys” is a natural consequence of Church life, and the male priesthood. Therefore, true reform should not be to question “access to boys,” but to reconsider, with compassion and wisdom, whether clergy roles are appropriate for any man who finds “access to boys” a sexual temptation. 
Until this human problem is addressed, we cannot expect a complete solution to sexual predation within the Church.

Why?

Because it was written by Father Regis Scanlon, OFMCAP, in August of 2012.

2012.

Six years ago.
I think it's important to note that there have been same-sex attracted men who have served the Church faithfully in the past among the clergy, and there will likely be such men again in the future. But in our present cultural condition, where many in the Church have apparently embraced the idea that "homophobia" is somehow a greater sin than actual acts of sodomy, it may simply be the case that it is extremely unwise, even wicked, to put men who are struggling with same-sex attraction and trying to live according to the demands of celibacy into an organization which has shown that it cannot be trusted to foster their maturity, safeguard their purity, or help them grown closer to Christ and away fro the temptation to commit grave sins with other men. I speak of the priesthood in general, though in specific I speak of the priesthood as it is lived in twenty-first century America; and it should go without saying that only the most careless, heartless, and soulless person would put a same-sex attracted man into the office of bishops in the United States, when it is blindingly obvious post-McCarrick that an active homosexual bishop will not only receive no rebuke whatsoever, but will be openly facilitated in his wicked sexual conduct by other bishops who for whatever reason are willing to participate in the cover-up.

How many bishops have signed on to the most blatantly pro-LGBT agenda items in their dioceses? How many turn a blind eye to priests and deacons and parish representatives marching in gay pride parades--or, worse, tacitly encourage them to do so? How many have fostered and supported programs to be "welcoming" and "inclusive" not merely of individuals seeking truth whose personal lives are a bit of a mess but who are willing to learn and attempt to live by Church teaching (which would be one thing) but of the very ideology that seeks to dismantle the Catholic Church's serious moral prohibitions against same-sex relationships and sexual conduct? How many faithless Catholic bishops in the United States have already decided in their hearts that gay sex really isn't sinful, and that therefore it isn't any bigger deal when Father Thusandso or Bishop Whatshisface has a string of gay lovers than it would be for the average Catholic parishioner to have just as many (particularly the parishioner who is well-off and happily supports diocesan fundraising appeals in exchange for that "welcoming" and "inclusive" environment into which he can introduce his gay "spouse" and the children they have exploited some reproductive Handmaid into growing in her womb and selling to them)?

And how many bishops, while living lives of more-or-less celibacy themselves, have so abandoned their roles as shepherds of souls and become instead faithless promoters of the most trendy political causes, left or right, which they can espouse, choosing to trample the salvation of the faithful underfoot on their way to issue another milquetoast statement which nobody reads and frequently showing themselves to be a house so divided that they seem no longer even to remember what their mission actually is?

We all know what the problem is, why the Scandal keeps rearing new heads like the indestructible hydra it appears to be. We all know that it stems from infidelity--sexual and otherwise--among the bishops at the very heart of the Church in the United States, and that this is a problem that has been slowly festering for a long, long time.