Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

A “Word” on the Crisis: The Bishops’ Response

August 21st, 2018, Promulgated by SamanthaGillenson

“Truth is singular. Lies are words, words, and words.” – Doctor Who, copyright BBC, 2012.


While the preceding quote happens to come from a television show based in the realm of science fiction, this author happens to think that it is particularly applicable to the times that we Catholics are finding ourselves struggling through in our daily reality. We desperately search for and cling to words for comfort, hoping to find some solace in the letters on a page or the speech issued forth from lips of authority. When we finally do receive those words though, are they truly our panacea to the sickness of these horrendous, sinful crimes that have been committed in our diocese and throughout our beloved country? Or are they merely a placebo?


To know for sure, first we have to identify the root cause of the crisis. The easiest way to do that is to look at the statistics of the crimes committed, and then work backwards and find a clear pattern. (This also happens to be the way that the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe conducted their research prior to releasing their expose on the clerical sex abuse crisis that shook the Church in 2002.)


In the PA Grand Jury Report, there were 257 identified cases of predator priest activity. These cases are further broken down by the sex of the victim, which is then broken down by the age of the victim. Provided below is a graphic breakdown of all the gathered information according to these specifications (sourced from LifeSiteNews), after which I will break it down for clarity:




For the sake of organization, we will start with the first category presented, “Total Heterosexual Predation.” Of all 257 total cases documented, 58 cases consisted of priests preying on female victims. Of these 58 cases:

  • 15 cases (6% of total cases documented) were “pedophile” in nature (the victim is a pre-pubescent child).
  • 41 cases (16% of total cases) were “pederast” in nature (the victim is a pubescent, sexually developed child).
  • 2 cases (1% of total cases) were committed against adult female victims.

In total, we find that these 58 cases of priests preying on female victims to represent 23% of total cases documented.


Moving on, we come to the category of “Total Homosexual Predation.” This category accounts for 189 documented cases of priests preying on male victims. Of these 189 cases:

  • 29 cases (11% of total cases) were “pedophile” in nature (the victim is a pre-pubescent child).
  • 155 cases (60% of total cases) were “pederast” in nature (the victim is a pubescent, sexually developed child).
  • 5 cases (2% of total cases) were committed against adult male victims.

In total, we find that these 189 cases of priests preying on male victims to represent 74% of total cases documented.


The remaining 10 cases can be broken down into 9 cases of priests having or producing child pornography, and a singular case involving a priest with a male foot fetish.


The data clearly shows that the vast majority of cases are HOMOSEXUAL in nature, and most of those against sexually mature pubescent BOYS. So, with all of this data at hand, why are we not hearing these words from the letters and speeches of our bishops and cardinals?


Having collected a sample of Bishops and Cardinals letters and verbal responses to the PA Grand Jury Report, we can see what words they use in common, and more importantly, what words they do NOT use. (Please note that many prelates have not commented on the current crisis, or that this author is unable to find a reliable account of their words at this time. If you do not see a particular prelate listed, that is why.)


The following prelates’ words were used towards this sample:

  • Pope Francis (Using his letter addressing the crisis dated August 20th, 2018).
  • Cardinal Blase J. Cupich (Archdiocese of Chicago).
  • Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (Archdiocese of Philadelphia).
  • Archbishop Alexander K. Sample (Archdiocese of Portland, OR).
  • Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger (Diocese of Albany).
  • Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila (Archdiocese of Denver).
  • Bishop David J. Walkowiak (Diocese of Grand Rapids).
  • Bishop Robert C. Morlino (Diocese of Madison).
  • Bishop Salvatore R. Matano (Bishop of Rochester).


Using a simple find and search option in scanning the written documents, we can easily see the commonality of the words that these prelates use to describe the current crisis, and what they plan to do about it. The following are the number of times any particular word appears within their text, if at all:

word chart

  • Of all of the prelates, only TWO mention “homosexual” in their words, and of those, only Bishop Morlino uses it in the context of abuse by homosexual priests being the problem of the crisis. He also is the only prelate to use the words “pedophile” or “pedophilia” in ANY context. Pope Francis notably does not use ANY of these words in his letter.
  • Most of the prelates’ use “child” or “children” multiple times under multiple contexts, with only Bishop Scharfenberger not using them at all. Pope Francis only uses the word twice, both in the context of protecting children, ensuring their safety, and listening to their pain.
  • Surprisingly, HALF of the prelates sampled do not use the word “prayer” at all, with Archbishop Sample leading the pack with 10 uses. (Some of these came from citations of applicable prayers.) Pope Francis is the second most prolific user of the word, coming in with 7 uses, all in the context of offering prayer.
  • “Penance” is only used by three prelates, and then only sparingly: Archbishop Sample, Bishop Morlino, and Pope Francis. The Pope notably uses this word always in conjunction with the word “prayer,” i.e. offering prayer and penance.
  • Finally, the usage of the words “investigate(s)” and “investigation(s)” was used by a little over half of the prelates, with most of the context of those words being cooperation with current investigations by the USCCB. (Bishop Walkowiak is the ONLY prelate to use the word in the context of an investigation by his own diocese and cooperation with local authorities.) Pope Francis used these words ZERO times in his letter.


This analysis of words is not only brutal, but also damning. This author was frankly aghast as she researched and read through all of these documents to bring this information to you readers. If any of you would like for this author to send you the original documents so you can read them for yourselves, you are more than welcome to email me at, and they will be happily provided for you.


Most of the prelates call us to prayer in unity with Pope Francis, citing his recent letter to that effect dated August 20th, 2018. However, what is prayer without concrete action? We cannot expect to see change if we ourselves are not willing to act towards that change!


Sadly, most of the prelates sampled do not give concrete plans for what they will do to correct this widespread problem of homosexuality in the priesthood, with only Bishop Morlino outright stating that it is the cause of our current crisis.


Perhaps most damningly, Pope Francis himself gives NO reassurance that concrete plans and actions will be taken in the face of this crisis. Neither does he identify the root of the problem as homosexuality in the priesthood. Rather, he says this:


“Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today.”


This is a disgrace coming from the mouth of the Vicar of Christ. (Notably, Cardinal Cupich also seems to be espousing the above claim.)


Dear readers, this author begs you to contact the bishops and cardinals (yes, even the Pope), and to tell them that they have your support to call out the crisis for what it truly is: a homosexual infiltration of the priesthood, preying upon innocents and actively being covered up by complicit clergy. This must be done PUBLICLY. Anything less would be a farce in the face of this terrible sin. Those guilty of such crimes (or those guilty of being complicit by help, covering up, or being knowingly silent) must be removed IMMEDIATELY and face canonical punishment as well as a civil trial by the local authorities. These predators, no matter how lowly or elevated they may be in the hierarchy in the Church, must be exposed and brought to justice. Such evils are NEVER to be tolerated, and we must shout from the pews, NO MORE.


In conclusion, dear readers, it is up to us, the laity to hold our authority figures accountable, and to make the future that we wish to see in our beloved Church. Christ our Savior is the Word made Flesh, and we must always proclaim that Word for all to hear. That includes standing up and taking action to see that his Church is well defended from those who would harm her, both from without and from within.


If we and the prelates don’t speak in defense of those who were victimized, we become complicit ourselves.


We must speak the Truth, the words of the Word made Flesh… or else we are left with little more than “words, words, and words.”


4 Responses to “A “Word” on the Crisis: The Bishops’ Response”

  1. militia says:

    Thank you Samantha for extracting all this meaningful data from the PA report and from bishops letters. It’s awful, but serves to show it isn’t all rants and rumor — no, it is as real as it gets. Thing is, the dioceses themselves must have had all the data, so why weren’t they open about it? I have to think its bcause they like it that way, the secrecy, the web, the intrigue, the sex, the sin.

  2. TL says:

    Brilliant examination of the responses and I agree it is quite telling what words the bishops have chosen. I’m reminded of the sound of adult speakers in the Peanuts cartoons: — that’s all I hear in my mind when I read most of the bishops’ communications, especially from Pope Francis, who doesn’t seem to actually SAY anything but words, words, words.

    I was likewise disappointed in Bp. Matano’s letter, which I thought was uncharacteristically void of substance (I wonder who actually wrote it) since we all know that Rochester has had a terrible homosexual infiltration problem for decades and many of our priests attended the “pink palace” ( I believe that now is the time for our beloved Bishop to talk about the problem openly so that together, in the daylight of truth, we can rout it out of our diocese.

    Perhaps the nation’s bishops are shying away from the source of the problem of homosexual clergy because they already know how many of their priests are afflicted with this illness; if investigated and addressed correctly, bishops might face dismissing so many priests their diocesan empires would collapse. Likewise, the Pope would have to dismiss many bishops which would be a monumental task. It will take a lot of courage and true faith on their part to accomplish the work that needs to be done. Do any of them have this courage? Or are they all cowards hiding behind words? Just a thought.

  3. Mary-Kathleen says:

    Fr. Kevin M. Cusick, who writes for The Wanderer and is also on Twitter, states:
    “Any bishop who refuses to account for the role of homosexuality in the clerical sexual abuse scandal is thereby discredited and his statements about it meaningless.”

  4. Mary-Kathleen says:

    No reason for the question mark in my above post. Ignore it.

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