The Root Cause of the Catholic Scandals

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While the USA is entangled in a Catholic sex abuse scandal similar events are being revealed in other nations.  “Of all the countries where sexual-abuse revelations have scandalized the Roman Catholic Church, Ireland has been among the hardest hit.  In the past decade, this predominantly Roman Catholic nation of 3.8 million people—which has exported priests worldwide from its now largely closed network of seminaries—has seen more than 100 priests convicted for molesting children and church-state relations torn apart.  Bishops have admitted they frequently knew of abuse claims but transferred pedophile priests to new parishes rather than notify police, as they now concede should have happened.  One of the earliest public cases triggered a government collapse in 1994.”[1]  While the case in the USA has engendered the most attention, this has actually been a global scandal, with incidents documented in many countries around the world. The highest number of occurrences takes place in the strongest Catholic countries where the Church is held in the highest veneration, such as in Latin American countries. 

Many Catholics are quite irate concerning child abuse by their Priests and call for the removal of corrupt Bishops, reform, and redress and compensation.  There are many of such groups,[2] one of these demands, “that Corrupt Bishops must go!”[3]  While Catholics call for the exposure of the facts, the Vatican has for many years ordered strictest secret in child abuse cover-up cases.The order, written in Latin, was sent from the Vatican in 1962 and is marked with the seal of Pope John XXIII….The document states: ‘Matters should be pursued in a most secretive way … they are to be restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone pertaining to the tribunal in any … is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.’”[4] While the grave concerns of ordinary Catholics are quite commendable, they are just a genuine humanistic response to depraved behavior.

The Hand of God in Providence

It is necessary to see the whole crisis in the light of the sovereignty of God, and to discern the root cause of what has become a persistent agonizing and revealing wound.  The doctrine of God’s sovereignty in the Scriptures gives us an exalted view of His purposes.  By understanding the nature of God we gain wisdom and understanding because, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.[5]   God is the Father and fountain of all good.  He is not and cannot be, the author or advocate of anything that is evil.  He is acknowledged as the cause and spring of every thing that is good, in the words of Scripture, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.[6]  However, since God controls all things, this means that evil is also under the control of God, He has, in His good judgment, decreed that the evil of Apostasy would have full dominion throughout history for His own purposes and to His glory!  Apostasy and its evil fruits are included among God’s eternal decrees, made known to us in His Word of truth in the Scriptures.[7] 

In our own day however, it appears that Christ Jesus is beginning His end time judgment, upon the apostate Vatican Church.  There has come upon that Church an evil… which you will not know how to charm away.[8]  A wound has come upon the Church of Rome that she just does not have the charisma to overcome.  So therefore, “the Lord reigneth; let the people tremble![9]   The Lord God rules the world by His providence, governs true believers by His grace, and administers and judges apostate systems in His righteousness, even unto repentance.  We are not only to believe that the Lord lives, but that the Lord reigns even through the Catholic scandals and their origins!

The Root of the Crisis

The true nature of the crisis in the Catholic Church is not pedophilia, but homosexuality.  The root cause of the predicament is however much deeper.  The starting place is the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding overcoming evil.  To deal with sin the Church of Rome proposes for her Priests and her people a looking within to find their destiny, thus she states, 

“This is the reason why this sacred Synod, in proclaiming the noble destiny of man and affirming an element of the divine in him, offers to co-operate unreservedly with mankind in fostering a sense of brotherhood to correspond to this destiny of theirs.”[10]

This is one of the basic concepts of Pagan religions, which hold that there is a spark of the divine within each human being. Thus, in Hinduism it is held, “By understanding your true Self, by coming to know one’s own undying soul, one then arrives at the knowledge of Brahman itself…”[11]  Rome persists in maintaining this Pagan teaching of “an element of the divine” within man, and brings such a concept to its logical conclusion in attempting to deal with sin and evil inclinations.

“…Nevertheless man has been wounded by sin.  He finds by experience that his body is in revolt.  His very dignity therefore requires that he should glorify God in his body, and not allow it to serve the evil inclinations of his heart.  …When he is drawn to think about his real self he turns to those deep recesses of his being where God who probes the heart awaits him, and where he himself decides his own destiny in the sight of God.”[12]

For a sinner to attempt to be right with God by deciding “his own destiny in the sight of God” is to degrade the person of God, and His written Word.  The Scripture makes known God’s character and the means of salvation is proclaimed as “not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.[13]  Such a glorious portrayal of the nature of G
od may drive sinners to despair of self.  This is exactly how it should be.  It is not until the sinner loses hope of any help from within himself that he will depend solely on God’s mercy and grace.  Once the Holy Spirit convicts that person that there is no help from within, he will recognize that he is lost, and cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner.[14] The God of infinite mercy be merciful to such a one.  The sinner however who “decides his own destiny in the sight of God,” will be ever undone, forever lost, as we see in the lives of those Priests involved in child abuse.

 Self-Salvation Leaves the Priest Hopeless

What Catholic priests have learnt, and the doctrine to which they look for help with moral problems, is such as the following official teaching,

“It is, however, only in freedom that man can turn himself towards what is good.  … For God willed that man should ‘be left in the hand of his own counsel’ so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.  Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint.”[15] 

To those who believe Rome’s teaching regarding man’s dignity and his ability to choose God, we pose the Lord’s question, “how can ye believe, which receive honour one of another?[16]  Water cannot flow uphill, nor can a sinner act contrary to his corrupt nature.  What then can one do?  One must first acknowledge that he is spiritually dead, and cry out for help.  It is the Holy Spirit that awakens a sense of need.  We hear and learn from the Father by the Holy Spirit through His written Word.  God’s Word shows forth the mind of God “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.[17]  It is exactly opposite to what Rome proclaims, man, as “left in the hand of his own counsel.”  This concept of self-salvation however is ingrained in Catholicism, together with its dependence on its seven physical sacraments to obtain grace.[18]  Man “left in the hand of his own counsel” and to his “dignity and freedom” is the red wine of deceptive pride.  This teaching is a thousand light years away from the conviction of the Holy Spirit that comes from God alone, through His written Word.  This type of teaching is the basic cause of the moral crisis within the Catholic Church.  For decades Archbishops and bishops have kept dreadful accounts of child abuse out of the public eye through an elaborate code of secrecy, deception, and intimidation.  Under it strictest penalty that of pain of excommunication Rome has since 1962 warned the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops to keep the clergy sexual abuse secret.  The press has exposed this clandestine legislation.[19]  The many homosexuals within the priesthood are also a most serious cause of the crisis.  Homosexuality can be ranked, after an incorrect method of dealing with sin, as the second major reason behind the present calamity.  

Homosexuality in Catholic Seminaries                                                                                            

Were it not documented in Catholic books[20] one would hardly believe the utter decadence in seminaries and in colleges that train for the priesthood.  The subculture of homosexuality is rampant right across the U.S.A.  Page after page of ‘Goodbye, Good Men’ tells of the horrific influence of homosexuality, which has permeated the youth in the Catholic seminaries.  The ideals of the youth are replaced by unnatural lusts that have become prevalent in major seminaries and colleges training for the priesthood in the U.S.A.[21]

Donnell Cozzens, a leading Catholic priest and rector of St. Mary’s in Cleveland Ohio (one of the leading U.S. Seminaries) states in his book on the priesthood that: “An NBC report on celibacy and the clergy found that ‘anywhere from 23 percent to 58 percent’ of the Catholic clergy have a homosexual orientation.[22]

Other studies find that approximately half of American priests and seminarians are homosexually oriented…  Moreover, the percentage of gay men among religious congregations of priests is believed to be even higher.”[23]  Then nonchalantly he states, “At issue at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the growing perception—one seldom contested by those who know the priesthood well—that the priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession.  And to the point is the question: Does it matter?  Does not the question reveal still another form of homophobia?”[24]

Then under the heading “The Gay Crisis” Cozzens states, “Gay seminarians are likely to feel at home and at ease in a seminary with a significant gay population.  They feel they belong and their need for meaningful, deep relationships with other gay man is easily met, and because they instinctively recognize other gay seminarians, circles of support and camaraderie are quickly formed… The straight seminarian meanwhile, feels out of place and may interpret his inner destabilization as a sign that he does not have a vocation to the priesthood”[25]  In the concluding sentence of the book Cozzens says, “Behind the changing face of the priesthood remains the saving face of Jesus the Christ.”[26]

The Unthinkable Has Happened

The doctrine of self-salvation, and the tolerance of homosexuality[27] in the priesthood, has been the root evil behind the present ignominy.  While the unthinkable has happened the Vatican has been unashamed and has continued to declare that her teachings and tradition are
not the cause.  Thus, she officially declares, 

 “In any case, the [Catholic] church of the West cannot weaken her faithful observance of her own tradition.  And it is unthinkable that for centuries she has followed a path which, instead of favouring the spiritual richness of individual souls and of the People of God, has in some way compromised it, or that she has with arbitrary juridical prescriptions stifled the free expansion of the most profound realities of nature and of grace.”[28]

The unimaginable is now in front of men’s faces, both tradition in doctrine, and celibacy in practice, have failed.  First again looking at the traditional way of dealing with the “slavery to the passions.”  The audacity to teach that God is willing to do His part if you “freely choose what is good,” is a God insulting denial of the Gospel.  This is exactly what Rome teaches; we give another official quote from Vatican documents,

 “Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward towards his goal by freely choosing what is good, and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end.  Since human freedom has been weakened by sin it is only by the help of God’s grace that man can give his actions their full and proper relationship to God.”[29]

This tradition repudiates one of the most precious truths taught in the Bible, namely, that God helps those who are incapable of helping themselves, those who have tried again and again only to fail. 

The Gospel of the Sovereign Lord

If there is to be a real answer to the horrific crimes, it is necessary that Catholic Priests and people be convicted that they are made right with the all-Holy God by grace alone through faith alone, and in Christ alone and all glory and praise is to God alone.  To come to Christ Jesus for life, is for the sinner to recognize that he is utterly destitute of any claim upon God’s grace. It is to see that in ones own power he is lost and hopeless.  It is to come clean with God and admit that he is deserving of nothing in himself but eternal death and punishment.  To come to Christ for life, is for the sinner to abandon his own imagined dignity, and so-called ability to overcome passions.  To know eternal life is to disown man made self-salvation and to unreservedly believe only on the Lord Jesus as Savior and Lord.  “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.”[30]  Looking to personal dignity and ability, and to rid oneself of “all slavery to the passions” is worse than foolishness, it is soul damning.  Catholic Priests and people are responsible to use the means of that the Lord God’s has appointed.  The Sovereign Lord has shown His hand in the midst of crisis!  Forgiveness of sin, including homosexuality is God’s gift to the believer.  It is granted to the believer, based on Christ’s finished work on the cross.[31]

God’s action in Christ Jesus shows His graciousness to believers so that their eyes of faith are fixed on Him alone.  “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.[32]

As the Sovereign Lord judges in time, we pray it will result in true repentance and true belief.  Since we are dealing with Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, we boldly pray that the Lord’s own words will be fulfilled as never before!  “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live… Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.[33]  The end design of Sovereign Lord is the giving of renewing grace enabling sinners to be a kind of first fruits of His creatures, that sinners should be God’s portion and treasure.  In the words of Scripture, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.[34]  In history past, the Sovereign Lord has often displayed His renewing grace in the midst of great evil, that this would be so again is our heartfelt prayer.  The resurrection of souls from the depravity of sin to life Christ Jesus is the Gospel of good news, which we proclaim!

 

 

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[1] www.whdh.com/news/articles/world/C16454  8/22/03

[2] Survivors Network of those Abused by Priestswww.survivorsnetwork.org Advocate Web www.advocateweb.org

Survivors of Clergy Abuse www.thelinkup.com Support victims of clergy sexual abuse. www.survivorsfirst.org

[3] STTOP www.sttop.org/

[4] www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/08/18/wvat18.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/08/18/ixnewstop.html 8/21/03

[5] Proverbs 9:10

[6] James 1:17

[7] John 14:30, John 5:43, I John 2:18, II Thessalonians 2:3-12, Revelation 17,18, Matthew 7:15, Matthew 7:15, Matthew 24:5,11,24, 1 John 4:1 Timothy 4:1-2 Acts 20:29

[8] Isaiah 47:11 NASU

[9] Psalm 99:1

[10] Vatican 11 Documents Gaudium et Spes, 7 Dec. 1965, Vol. I, Sec 3 p 904-5

[11] Atman and Brahman as explained on www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GLOSSARY/BRAHMAN.HTM12/2/2002

[12] Vatican 11 Documents Gaudium et Spes, 7 Dec. 1965, Vol. I, Sec. 14, p. 915 

[13] Romans 9:16

[14]  Luke 18:13

[15] Vatican 11 Documents Gaudium et Spes, 7 Dec. 1965, Vol. I Sec. 17, p. 917 

[16] John 5:44

[17] Ephesians 1:11

[18] Catechism Para 1129 “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.”  See Salvation and the Sacramental System on our Webpage: www.bereanbeacon.org

[19] www.telegram.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage 7/29/03

www.bishop-accountability.org/downloads/CrimenSollicitationes-Unprotected.pdf   8/19/03

[20] Goodbye, Good Men, How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church by Michael S. Ross and The Changing Face of the Priesthood by Father Donnell Cozzens

[21] This is documented in chapter 4 called The Gay Subculture How Homosexual Politics Discriminates against healthy Heterosexual Seminarians in the book ‘Goodbye, Good Men.’ published by Regency Gateway Washington, D.C. 2002

[22] Timothy Unsworth, The Last Priests in America (New York:  Crossroad, 1991) p. 248.

[23] The Changing Face of the Priesthood a Reflection of the Priest’s Crisis of Soul by Donald B. Cozzens to The Liturgical Press Collegeville MN, 2002 p. 99

[24] Ibid., p. 107

[25] The Changing Face of the Priesthood p. 135

[26] Ibid., p.143

[27] The tolerance of homosexuality is represented in Catholicism by the wide acceptance of the Dignity

Movement. Dignity/USA is the largest movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics. See www.dignityusa.org/whatis.html

[28] Vatican Council II Documents No. 95, Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, 24 June 1967, Vatican Council II: More Post Conciliar Documents, Austin P. Flannery, Ed. First Edition (Northport, NY:  Costello Publ. Co., 1982) Vol. II, Sec. 41, p. 297

[29] Vatican 11 Documents Gaudium et Spes, 7 Dec. 1965, Vol. I,  Sec. 17, p. 917 

[30] Hebrews 3:7, 8

[31] Romans 4:5-8, II Corinthians 5:19-21, Romans 3:21-28, Titus 3:5-7, Ephesians 1:7, Jeremiah 23:6, I Corinthians 1:30-31, Romans 5:17-19

[32] Romans 5.17

[33] Ezekiel 37:9, 23

[34] James 1:18