Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Support your local priests!

March 11th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

From Outside the Asylum:

by Anthony S. Layne

Indeed. At first glance, this would appear to be a serious body-blow to the morale of the Philly presbytery. But then again, there must be those among that same presbytery who regard the suspension as a good and necessary thing, who are frustrated not because so many heads have been whacked off at one time but because it took so long for the chancery to pull its finger out.

The actual damage to the priesthood wasn’t a product of the scandals themselves; that is, it wasn’t done by the public revelation of chancery efforts to hide criminous priests. In many dioceses, the priests themselves have known for years about … 

Read the entire blog posting here.


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4 Responses to “Support your local priests!”

  1. avatar Anon says:

    About your post above… I think you have a valid opinion in pointing out that along with the sexual abuse (Pedophilia)another even more damning part of the whole story is how long it took the hierarchy to take action.

    I’m not sure if I like your tag of Homosexuality. What these Priests are guilty of is pedophilia -and breaking their vows along with many other things. When you put the tag of homoxesuality it seems that you may be trying to equate homosexuality with the major problem of pedophilia.

    This only disturbs me because some officials in the Vatican tried to imply that Priest pedophilia is a product of their homosexuality. This simply is not true and I find it very dissapointing that there are those among us making such outlandish claims.

    This is just as bad as the Catholic laity who have been arguing that pedophilia is a product of priestly celibacy. Which is also simply not true either.

    Sorry if I may have read too far into those tags… maybe you wern’t implying what I am arguing against… your post simply brought this issue to the forefront of my mind and I wanted to share my opinion.

    Christ peace!

  2. avatar Ludwig says:

    Maybe rename the “homosexuality” tag to the broader, “sexual-deviancy”?

  3. avatar Abaccio says:

    Anon 9:56

    I have heard this said 1000 times over. It’s not correct. Allow me to explain:

    1) Very very very few of these priests were pedophiles. As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger). They were, rather, ephebophiles. Ephebophilia is the sexual preference of adults for mid-to-late adolescents (14-18). This is not a psychiatric disorder in the same way that pedophilia is. Throughout most of the world’s cultures and history, this was a normal age for a girl to be married. So, let’s stop pretending that these priests were by and large molesting first graders.

    2) The incredibly vast majority of these instances were HOMOSEXUAL EPHEBOPHILIA. In other words, they were largely instances of adult male-on-teenage (pubescent/post pubescent) male abuse. The issue here, psychologically, is the homosexuality.

    3) As a general rule, the priests who committed these atrocities were, themselves, heretics and apostates. That’s not to say that it never happened with ostensibly faithful priests, but rather that orthodoxy and orthopraxis are often intertwined. If someone (layperson, clergy, or religious) willfully dissents from moral teaching, it almost always points to a personal moral failing, rather than a purely philosophical/theological position.

    4) The incredibly vast majority of these cases occurred in the 70’s (give or take). The opinion of the greater psychological community at the time was that these fellows could be treated and cured of their psychological issues. Since then, the opinion of the greater psychological community has changed (For instance, homosexuality is [erroneously] no longer classified as a mental disorder, and thus, since it’s now considered acceptable, the idea of treatment sounds absurd to a large proportion of the population.)

    5) The incidence of clergy sexual abuse has been, in fact, approximately the same as the incidence of teacher, protestant minister, camp counselor, youth sports coach, etc. abuse. This is not a phenomenon unique to Catholic priests, or even more common among Catholic priests. Why has there not been the same outrage on NYS United Teachers, or the American Camps Association, or Little League, or the various protestant organizations?

    I am not defending their actions. Every guilty priest’s action was despicable insomuch as he broke his vow of celibacy, and used his position as a spiritual father for sexual deviancy. That does not mean, however, that they are guilty of exactly what the Mainstream News Media has accused.

  4. Bernie: Thanks for linking my post.

    For your readers, here’s what didn’t come across in the excerpt above: “In many dioceses, the priests themselves have known for years about ‘lavender rectories’, and have grumbled to themselves at the disparity in treatment between priests involved in heterosexual affairs (summary discipline and suspension) and those involved in gay relationships (vincible, even willful, ignorance).”

    As Abaccio points out, the crisis was (and still is) concerned with homosexual ephebophiles, partly because of this difference of treatment. But the crisis of the priesthood is not limited to the presence of priests who failed in their vow of chastity. It also concerns those who live their vow faithfully in a culture where even Catholics themselves question the value and necessity of priestly celibacy. It also concerns a heterodox tendency to de-value the Real Presence and the role of the priest as alter Christus. The problem of priests afflicted with same-sex attraction is only one component of the matter, and not even the most critical component.

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