Showing posts with label Abuse Scandal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abuse Scandal. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2023

2 paths to save the immoral culture

What will solve the immoral madness that has seized the world today? The Western world is largely responsible for fostering various sexual deviance, abortion, sterilizations, child predation, anti-marriage and family, fatherless homes, drug overdose, and various other immoralities.

There are at least two key fronts by which this hellish trajectory can be altered.

#1: The Church restores moral authority

Abortion and various sexual, economic, and societal indecencies have infected the world, in a particular way, the West (predominantly North America, Western Europe, and Australia). The primary and non-negotiable path to save the moral decadence in the West must come from the Church. The current generation of papacy and bishops is largely infected with a secular bent hostile to truth and tradition.

Our Lady of Akita in 1973, fifty years ago, prophesied:

The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres.

In recent days, we’ve seen no less. One archbishop called out a Cardinal’s acceptance of sexual perversion at the divine liturgy, another archbishop called out a Cardinal’s heresy on sexuality, another Cardinal called out the bishops of Germany for openly embracing heresy, and holy priests remain persecuted and removed unjustly from ministry by their own bishops. Even the Pope is in contradiction to his predecessors and Vatican council fathers on the liturgy and otherwise. Cardinal Zen this week called to the attention of bishops the revolutionary sexual deviance promoted by the German bishops, allowed by the Pope to persist to date, and warning that a goal of some at the “Synod on Synodality” is “sexual morality different from that of Catholic Tradition.”

The sex abuse scandal, predominantly victimizing young males, continues to come to light. Liturgical abuses are all too common.  Pagan influence permeates the current hierarchy. The secrecy of the sex abuse scandal has moved to secrecy in “cancelling” good priests. And there are other scandals throughout the Church hierarchy, sadly too numerous to enumerate.

Meanwhile, a supermajority of “Catholics” are apparently contracepting against the moral order. Only a small minority agree fully with the Church on abortion. Suicides are hitting record highs. Teen depression is spiking. In the past several years, youth have been conditioned to embrace heterodox sexuality to the point that 20% of Gen Z thinks they are “nonbinary.”

Such tragically off-course results coincide with a Church hierarchy too silent on orthodoxy, morality and the meaning of the human person, marriage, life, sexuality, and humility. Instead of feeding the flock a foundation for virtues, they largely act as “a disciple of the world,” as Msgr. Charles Pope recently described the suspect “Synod on Synodality.”

As long as all these scandals and improprieties are permitted or endorsed by the Pope and hierarchy, the entire world will suffocate and decay under their poisons. The sanctification of the world is dependent on the sanctity of the Church.

“The world and the church are in a mess because we priests have failed to be as holy as we are called to be,” said Father John Corapi in 1997 at a retreat for priests and seminarians.

Dr. Edward Feser, professor of philosophy and scholastic, recently observed (emphasis added):

A mark of the diabolical disorder of our times is that we face grave problems (in Church, state, education, etc.) which can be solved only by those with the relevant authority, while at the same time largely having the worst possible people occupying those positions of authority.

Finally, restoration of the Latin may be a lynchpin to restoring sanity in the world. The Traditional Latin Mass’s promotion of family and anthropological realities are especially what today’s world not only lacks but often abhors.

Exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger F.S.S.P. stated:

It is safe to say that, objectively speaking, with respect to the ritual itself, the old rite of Mass has an ability to merit more than the new rite of Mass. While this merit is accidental, since the essential or intrinsic merit of the Mass, which is the Sacrifice of Christ, is the same in both rites, it is nevertheless something serious. Since the faithful are the beneficiaries of the fruits derived from this aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we have a grave obligation to consider the impact that this factor may be having on the life of the Church.

The Mass of St. Gregory
Spanish anonymous, ca 1490

A parallel change in rites also occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, namely the rite of exorcism. While some exorcists deny a difference in efficacy of the older or new exorcism rites, the late Fr. Gabriel Amorth, exorcist of Rome, decried the new exorcism rite and obtained a dispensation to perform the rite rooted in antiquity from 1614.

On the new rite of exorcism, Fr. Amorth said, “Efficacious prayers, prayers that had been in existence for twelve centuries, were suppressed and replaced by new ineffective prayers.” Another anonymous exorcist stated of the new rite: “The new rite will one day itself be subject to a true restoration, which will restore to the obligatory texts of the exorcist the true nature of his office.”

These changes in liturgical and exorcism rites coincide both with the aftermath of the Council and immoral norms of the cultural and sexual revolution from the 1960s and 1970s. The evidence shows that a restoration to Latin in liturgy and exorcism will restrict the current hold the devil and his minions have on the world today.

Ultimately, moral decadence will persist until the Church leads the way back to sanity.

 

#2: The East and Global South move the West to reverse course

Related to the Church dimension is a secondary political one. In the U.S., the current Administration is using a form of financial terrorism against states that do not submit to “LGBT” ideology by withholding school lunch funding that is available to states that do submit.

Western nations also use economic penalties (or even military penalties) to obtain their social demands as an international policy. While Eastern or Southern nations are not immune to corruption, the West had traditionally operated with a brand of freedom and human prosperity. Those days have vanished. The East and South at least appear to have a greater aversion to the degree of moral depravity in the West.

The West’s accelerating deterioration has been noticed around the world. The following is a small sample of countries condemning Western economic and social immorality.

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party) recently issued a statement: “A valid marriage is only between a biological male and biological woman… any equality offered to same-sex couples goes against religious values and seriously affects the interests of every citizen.” Indian citizens also reject the idea to modernize by “follow[ing] Western culture.”
  • The group of countries forming what is known as BRICS are allying in large part to insulate themselves from Western sanctions by way of “de-dollarization.” These sanctions are often imposed against countries that do not embrace the West’s sexual proclivities. The West openly admits this, citing a nation’s “climate of intolerance” as grounds for “financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.” The U.S. currently even has a bill, HR4422, with the intention “To impose sanctions on foreign persons responsible for violations of internationally recognized human rights against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals, and for other purposes.”
  • In June,130 African signatories wrote to the U.S. Congress warning against funding immorality in Africa. They wrote:

[W]e want to express our concerns and suspicions that this funding is supporting so-called family planning and reproductive health principles and practices, including abortion, that violate our core beliefs concerning life, family, and religion.

Nations represented included: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • Japanese citizens are opposing so-called LGBT politics because “thanks to” the West, they have seen its “horror.”
  • On the current U.S. government’s abuse of the Department of Justice, the President of El Salvador observed: “Sadly, it’ll be very hard for US Foreign Policy to use arguments such as ‘democracy’ and ‘free and fair elections’, or try to condemn ‘political persecution’ in other countries, from now on”.
  • At the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill stated there was a link between Western moral values and the war. “For eight years there have been attempts to destroy what exists in Donbas. And in Donbas there is a rejection, a fundamental rejection of the so-called values that are offered today by those who claim world power.” He added that having “pride parades” showed a “test of loyalty” to Western sexual propaganda. “[I]n order to join the club of those countries, you have to have a gay pride parade.”
  • In November, Russia passed a law criminalizing, among other things, propaganda for “promoting non-traditional sexual relations,” sex-change operations, and pedophilia. Vyacheslav Volodin, deputy of the Russian State Duma, commented: “This decision will protect our children and the future of the country from the darkness spread by the United States and European states. We have our own traditions and values.”
  • In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech that proved internationally popular, emphasizing Western notability’s sexual predation of children.

Look what [the Western elite] are doing to their own people. It is all about the destruction of the family, of cultural and national identity, perversion and abuse of children, including pedophilia, all of which are declared normal in their life. They are forcing the priests to bless same-sex marriages. Millions of people in the West realize that they are being led to a spiritual disaster. Frankly, the elite appear to have gone crazy, and it looks like there is no cure for that. But like I said, these are their problems, while we must protect our children, which we will do. We will protect our children from degradation and degeneration.

Meanwhile, Western leaders specifically state that “lgbt” issues are a primary factor in Western opposition to Russia in Ukraine. Four days after Putin’s speech, the Chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Robert Moore said: “With the tragedy and destruction unfolding so distressingly in Ukraine, we should remember the values and hard won freedoms that distinguish us from Putin, none more than LGBT+ rights.”

  • Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov also cited the West’s exportation of its sexual requirements.

“[T]he [West’s] “rules” concept also manifests itself in attempts to encroach on the very human nature. In a number of Western countries, students learn at school that Jesus Christ was bisexual. Attempts by reasonable politicians to shield the younger generation from aggressive LGBT propaganda are met with bellicose protests from the ‘enlightened Europe.’ All world religions, the genetic code of the planet’s key civilizations, are under attack. The United States is at the forefront of state interference in church affairs, openly seeking to drive a wedge into the Orthodox world, whose values are viewed as a powerful spiritual obstacle for the liberal concept of boundless permissiveness.

  • In March, a Western ambassador from Germany traveled to the African nation of Namibia to criticize them on their growing Chinese population. The Namibian Head of State, Hage Geingob, responded sternly. “Why has this become your problem?” He contrasted the way Namibians are treated poorly in Germany versus how their relations with the Chinese are faring. “[O]ur people are being bullied in Germany. … Talk about Germans. How do you treat us there? The Chinese don’t treat us like this.”
  • In September, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also spoke of turning attention to China as a result of Western economic sanctions: “[M]ost countries in the world are looking forward to the Chinese yuan transforming into an international currency, since the dollar is the West’s weapon against developing countries.”
  • In a November 2021 interview with British media, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko issued strong condemnation of the West’s tactics. “I really don’t care what they think of me in England or in the USA or EU. Because the whole world has seen what you’re really like.” And, referring to Western interference in Belarus 2020 elections and possibly an alleged attempted assassination attempt in 2021, he added, “What business of yours are our elections? We don’t interfere in the UK or America, in your home, why did you come to ours and start to smash it up?”
  • In March, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni finished a speech on economic policy with a comment on Western interference: “On the issue of homosexuals, we shall get time and discuss it thoroughly… The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other peoples.”
  • Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva explicitly condemned the United States’ role in fueling the Ukraine conflict. “It is necessary that the U.S. stops stimulating the war and talk about peace,” he said in April. Leaked documents pertaining to Russia and Brazil apparently refer to an “the West’s ‘aggressor-victim’ paradigm,” which echoes a sentiment that the West is the aggressor in many international conflicts while claiming to be on defense.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recognized both the West’s interference in elections and propagandization of its sexual distortions. He said “the [EU] federalists are trying to squeeze us out. They openly wanted a change in government in Hungary.” He added: “The EU rejects Christian heritage, carries out a replacement of its population via migration ... and conducts an LGBTQ offensive.”
  • A member of Poland’s parliament, Kacper Plazynski, rejected Britain’s criticism of Poland’s efforts to promote the traditional family. “I am enormously disappointed in the unit of the UK’s Home Office which fell for propaganda of a trivial radical left activist about alleged Polish discrimination of gays.” Hinting at Britain’s interference, he added. “It is up to Polish people to decide the shape and form of the Polish constitution.”
  • “This is the path of Venezuela and the path of a free economy where currencies are not used to punish countries and impose sanctions,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in May, promising to abandon the U.S. dollar.  “The de-dollarization of global trade is an unavoidable reality that we are currently witnessing. The era of unjust sanctions and economic manipulations that harm the people is coming to an end.”
  • The concept of gay “marriage” is overwhelmingly rooted in Western governments as this map illustrates.
  • In April, a dignitary from the Bahamas vehemently decried England’s effort to push perversion in schools:

You can't come in my country teaching my children foolishness. Don't come in this country. Now you want to be in England, you can teach them all the boogery things you want to teach them in England. But not in the Bahamas. Don't bring that around here. And I also want to say to all you parents, all you parents who have been emailing me, texting me, listen, you all get ready. Because the time will come when all of us are going to have to stand up to protect our children. I think we have to show this government. Because what this government is doing is testing the water to see if we pass it, if we're benign and going to let it slide. We will not let it slide. Not one filthy book will be let in our classrooms and our libraries. I'm going to lead the charge. When I say let's go, I need you all to let's go. Because I ain't letting it happen.

Examples could go on and on. But this is a flavor for the global resistance to Western immoralities.

Jeffrey Sachs, economist and former UN advisor, recently commented on the West’s dangerous path:

The US is seen for what it is, which is, you know, most of the world saying we don't want to be led by you. Thank you. We'd like to trade with you, would like to cooperate. We don't want to be bombed by you. Thank you. … But we don't want to follow you or have your sanctions regime and so on. … I do think that the weight of the world opinion really coming together to say, come on stop already, is actually going to, one way or another, make the difference. I hope it makes the difference.

If the East and global South are sincere in their rejection of Western immorality, this could pose a problem for those immoralities to persist, even in the West. The current BRICS nations have surpassed the Western-led G20 nations in global GDP. BRICS also stands to control 80% of the world’s oil production. The West may well have to back off their insane immoral propaganda and child abuse if they want any part of commerce that will otherwise be insulated from their control. Or the West can stay the course and be king of the ashes gathering underfoot.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

When Bishops embrace politics over pastoring

In January 2019, the diocese of Covington Kentucky, under direction of Archbishop Roger Joseph Foys, issued a condemnation one day after a viral video appeared to show high school boys harassing an older man at the March for Life in Washington. The archdiocese called the students' behavior "opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person" and issued an apology to the actual aggressor. The media had already politicized the issue, emphasizing race, and showing only a specious snippet of video that belied the story. The light-speed reaction of the archdiocese has left them embarrassed as subsequent footage of the incident revealed the older man to have been the aggressor. Even though the archdiocese openly condemned the students absent of further investigation, their most recent statement said it is "important for us to gather the facts that will allow us to determine what corrective actions, if any, are appropriate." Lexington Bishop Stowe originally called the students a, "contradiction of the very reverence for human life that the march is supposed to manifest." Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz tweeted a condemnation of what he claimed were "the shameful actions of the Covington Catholic High School students." Other bishops made similar premature condemnations. They wittingly or not worked in concert with an unethical media, hostile to the Church and the pro-life movement. And, once again, they showed themselves perfectly capable of crying out in unison when politically popular, but painfully mute when needing to champion unpopular, but true, teachings of the faith.

In February 2018, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich responded in a week to publicly condemn and sanction a priest who burned a flag promoting homosexuality that once hung in his parish. Meanwhile, after two priests in Cupich's archdiocese were arrested for committing a public sexual act with each other, Cupich said he would wait for an investigation. Neither originally, nor over four months later, has any public condemnation come from Cupich. Cupich is also the Archbishop who responded within 48 hours to the first Viganó letter about clergy abuse by say saying the Pope should focus on "other things" and that addressing the letter was to go down a "rabbit hole." Vexingly, the Pope still appointed Cupich to the organizing committee of the February abuse synod.

In June 2018, news media drew attention to the temporary separation of family members crossing the southern U.S. border while screening occurred. Although these detainments were temporary and complicated by such matters as child sex traffickers often posing as a child's parents, multiple bishops, in a unified, simultaneous voice, condemned the policy in the harshest language. Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger referred to the practice "In light of the canonical penalties that are there for life issues" and suggested the hierarchy consider "canonical penalties for Catholics who are involved in this". San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller said, "To steal children from their parents is a grave sin, immoral (and) evil."  Brownsville Archbishop Daniel Flores said, "separating immigrant parents and children as a supposed deterrent to immigration is a cruel and reprehensible policy." Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said, "The forced separation of children from their parents, which is underway now at our southern border, is an unconscionable violation of human dignity." Chicago Archbishop Cupich also spoke out immediately (He did not wait for further investigation as with his priests in Feb. 2018), stating the policy was "nothing remotely Christian, American, or (sic) morally defensible..." These are just a small sample. But whatever one thinks of these detainment policies (the policy was since deauthorized), if the bishops were truly concerned about damage to families, where is their massive condemnation about ongoing issues that are destroying legions of families, in numbers no border detainments will ever approach? Where are the bishops' unified and sobering statements about family destroyers such as divorce, cohabitation, pre-marital sex, or contraception? These things have created a hemorrhage of destruction in the institution of the family. Obviously, the bishops have shown they have the ability to issue strong condemnations in a unified voice. Why not conduct a communication blitz on these other matters instead of something politically charged that does not even constitute objective immorality?

Jesus Chasing the Merchants from the Temple by Quentin Matsys, 16th cent.
Public domain image acquired from Wikimedia Commons.
These incidents are some among many examples. Meanwhile, scandals among the hierarchy themselves persist. The faithful are left vexed. Stories of infiltration abound. Neither Pope Francis nor any other named bishops have been able to rebut the content of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó's letters detailing cover-up of sexual deviance within the Church. Pope Francis has neither replied to the 2016 dubia issued by four cardinals on the matter of Communion. Stories of priests teaching heterodoxy from the pulpit persist. Bishops consistently react fast when making popular political condemnations, but react glacially slow or altogether silently when upholding Church teaching or when condemning ills coming from their own ranks. The current state of bishops is unacceptable.

What are the faithful to do? Foremost, there is prayer. Another consideration some Catholics have suggested is withholding Sunday giving in favor of other faithful Catholic and non-profit organizations. In this scenario, dioceses are withheld funds until the true doctrines of the faith are promoted and opponents from within the Church are silenced or expelled. However, there is opposition to that view, such as from Catholic radio host Al Kresta from November 2018. Phillip Lawler, who has been instrumental in journaling scandal within the Church, also has suggestions in his recent book, The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful...and What Can Be Done About It.





Further resources:
Divorce Hurts Children, Even Grown Ones, Psychology Today (2011)
Unprotected movie, Don Johnson Evangelistic Ministries (2018)
Children falling short in school? Blame parental break-ups, Nicole M. King and Bryce J. Christensen (2018)
Kresta in the Afternoon, Jan. 25, 2019, hour 1, interview with Phil Lawler (on Covington Catholic incident)
The Patrick Madrid Show, Jan. 21, 2019, hour 1 (on Covington Catholic incident)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Revisiting Fr. John Corapi in light of current Church scandal

Detail of Fr. John Corapi from
his "Heaven & Hell" CD collection
THE CURRENT SCANDAL
Fr. John Corapi was considered among the greatest Catholic preachers of the 1990s and early 2000s. He left public ministry in June 2011.1 I blogged about his departure back then, including this timeline of events. A statement from a priest in his order claimed his behavior was "unbecoming of a priest." Rumors abounded that he engaged in improprieties with one or more women and possibly returned to drugs, from which he escaped decades ago. Fr. Corapi argued the canonical process was flawed, stating that his canonical and other attorneys concluded he "cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process."

Today, the Church faces a renewed look at the modern sex abuse scandal. More prominently figuring in coverage is that 80% of victims have been male and post-pubescent.  This is consistent with data reported in 2004. Although this does not mean simply being "gay" makes one a predator, it does mean those who are gay and predatorial are active in the Church.

Reigniting the current attention to the scandal was the August 22, 2018 letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. In the letter, he describes a network of pro-homosexual and/or heterodox clergy having risen to key positions in the Church throughout the decades.

Viganó's account is striking because of the high position within the Church from which it comes. But it is not unique among clergy itself. A scathing exposition on the homosexual subculture and powerful clergy blocking faithful clergy was written in 2012 by Fr. Dariusz Oko. In June, journalist Rod Dreher recounted his efforts to break the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal as far back as 2002, but those with information would not go on record. A popular homily on August 26 by Fr. Robert Altier expounded on infiltration dating back to the early 20th century, as described in such places as the famous book AA-1025.

There are many other accounts describing the scandalous behavior of infiltrating culprits, roadblocks encountered throughout the decades by orthodox priests, and more. Heterodox clergy are at the highest levels. Faithful clergy are persecuted and threatened. With all this in mind, let's return to Fr. Corapi.

I recently listened again to a number of Fr. Corapi's talks from the 90s and early 00s. Whatever the truth about his departure, his talks were among the most popular the Church has heard in recent memory. They were candid, typically delivered passionately, truthful, and backed firmly by magisterial teaching. If you have old CDs or MP3s, I would recommend giving them a listen again. His messages from back then are largely just as relevant today.

FATHER CORAPI'S WORDS
Let's review several excerpts from Fr. Corapi's talks in light of what has been described about Church scandal today. Emphasis mine:
I sat in a meeting not that long ago with a number of bishops and theologians. I sat between two bishops. The one on my left said, “Well, we’re wasting our time in this meeting.” It was on moral theology. I said, “Why is that, Bishop?” He said, “Well, until we come out and publicly denounce Pope Paul VI and Humanae Vitae, we’re wasting our time.” Yeah, the Bishop said that. To my face. I didn’t read it on the front page of The Wanderer. He said it! My hearing was fine. I made him repeat it three times to make sure. The one on my right said, “I don’t think we can talk much about formation of conscience, you know, it’s in the catechism, but, you know, we have to tell our people they have to form their conscience to the world around them.” What? What do you mean by that? “Well, we’re not the only ones with a good idea. We have to be up to date and people of our times.” “What do you mean, that if the culture says that it’s all right to commit mortal sin, we should form our conscience in accord with that?” He said, “Oh, mortal sin, I doubt there is such a thing.” Now if you’d ever confront one of them with this, they’d deny it to your face. We tolerate evil men! And watch out, the consequences are about to come home to roost.  ...  (MP3)
Those self-styled apostles, who are nothing of the sort, you found that they don’t really teach what the Church teaches, however clever their language, however subtle their heresies. Let me tell you something, and I’m saying it straight out. There are two Churches right now. The right one and the wrong one — God’s Church and Satan’s assembly. (Apocalypse Now #2 of 4, 1994) (MP3)
A religious sister I knew for years, forty-some years professed in an active order, marginalized because she was faithful to the Church. Still wore her religious habit. Thought it was odd that the only novice they’d had in years was about to be professed, and she wasn’t invited. She also thought it odd that the ceremony was to take place on what she thought was the vigil of All Saints Day—midnight, Halloween in other words. She hid in the choir loft. What she saw can’t be repeated. It involved witchcraft and lesbianism. She confronted the superior the next day and was told “If you ever say a word, we’ll put you in a mental hospital. And it will be your word against ours, and you won’t win.” She came back from the school she had taught in for thirty years to find her suitcases in the parking lot and the locks changed. Her reward for forty-some years of religious profession. And a good lay woman had to come and take her to live with her. (Apocalypse Now #3 of 4, 1994) (MP3)
I sat in a room having dinner with a group of 10 priests two months ago. After dinner, one of my brothers said, “What do you think of the new encyclical on moral theology?” [probably Veritatis Splendor from August 1993] They didn’t know me. I was a stranger there. One of the priests responded, “He’s got some nerve trying to tell us what to do.” And it escalated. Like sharks smelling blood working themselves up into a frenzy. And the hatred that radiated out of that room would frighten you. And I’ve seen it for years. ... (MP3)
At a recent convocation of priests in a diocese in the northeast, [to] get together to discuss the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the main speaker, who had 90% of the time, said in a nutshell, “Don’t pay too much attention to it, boys.” And the bishop sat there. “Don’t believe it literally. Because we don’t believe that anymore. The parts on moral theology—ugh! They talk about sin! Never talk about sin. Talk about immature behavior. Talk about a psychological deficiency, but never mention sin. We don’t want to give anyone a guilt complex.” This is what’s going on in your Church and mine, the Bride of Christ. But the Bride of Christ is indefectibly holy and beautiful. But at the moment, She’s being attacked—in a sense raped. That is not alright with me, nor should it be with you. (To Love the Church is to Love the Lord, 1993) (MP3)
I know many places right now where a lie is being taught that there is no such thing as original sin. That is a heresy. In case you didn’t know it, you’re hearing it here. Heresy. Jesus Christ is divine without any question. That’s an old heresy that’s been recycled—Arianism. He is not merely human. He is fully God and fully man, true God and true man. The Blessed Virgin Mary is immaculately conceived, preserved without sin from all eternity in virtue of her son’s passion, death, and resurrection. Virgin before, during, and after birth. Dogma. Doctrine. Without faith in that it is impossible to please God. Why? Because He’s revealed it to us. We have a better idea than God? I think not. We smarter than God’s Church? I think not. And it is nothing but unmitigated callous arrogance to think that we know more than what’s been revealed. And there are millions, possibly, who fall into that category. And you can go in many diocese and see it taught at the highest levels, from the chancery office down, including in our seminaries. And then you wonder why Father has a problem. Then you wonder why Father has a moral problem. Then you wonder why Father isn’t feeding you with the substantive doctrine of truth. (The Truth is a Matter of Life and Death, 1993) (MP3)
Very often a moral problem is behind a doctrinal problem. Why is it that they can’t see that artificial contraception, homosexual behavior, just isn’t right? In some cases, part of their life. And how are you going to preach against it, unless you convert, change your life? (Attack on Truth, ca 2004) (MP3)
OBSERVATIONS
Notice in the first story about the meeting with bishops, the bishops condemn the papal encyclical on human sexuality, Humanae Vitae. Fr. Corapi proceeds to then describe something like a competing subculture when he refers to "God's Church and Satan's assembly." Notice how Fr. Corapi describes teachers in the Church who try to make "conscience" the primary driver of "morality" instead of Church teaching.

We still see this. For example, in February 2018, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich stated in February 2018 that conscience must be the primary driver of morality instead of universal Church precepts. His statements remind us of the idea of the "dictatorship of relativism" then-Cardinal Ratzinger warned about in 2005. In September, Cupich swiftly sanctioned a priest for burning a flag promoting homosexuality that once hung at his parish. Of Viganó's letter on Church sex scandal (which named Cupich), Cupich quickly called the allegations going down a "rabbit hole," made accusations of racism, and insisted the Church has a "bigger agenda" to worry about. Cupich also endorsed the book of and invited to speak a Jesuit priest who regularly promotes homosexual behavior, has referred to a man's same-sex partner as "husband," and hopes so-called "married" same-sex couples will kiss at the sign of peace in the same way married couples do. These are just examples of many occasions in which Archbishops, bishops, and priests deviate from Church teaching and deceive the laity.

Notice Fr. Corapi describe how a heterodox priest said to "never talk about sin." In Cupich's entire February talk, sin is mentioned once only when he quotes Pope Francis dismissing the idea that people in "irregular" relationships are necessarily in mortal sin. The concept of sin is supplanted with the notion of "accompaniment," which is mentioned in some form 18 times. He describes what includes sinful arrangements only as different types of "situations" some 10 times.

Notice in Fr. Corapi's story about the nuns and witchcraft, the faithful sister was threatened with mental rehab. A September 25 blog post by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf describes the frequency of this same ploy used against orthodox priests.

Notice in the other stories the attack on authentic doctrine that often comes with corruption and moral problems. According to Viganó's now-famous report, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was instrumental in Cupich's ascension to Archbishop. And McCarrick, as is now well-known, has been a central figure and culprit in the Church's sexual scandal for decades. Doctrinal and moral corruption, as Fr. Corapi described, often work in concert. Exceptions are not strong objections. If a doctrinal error is deliberately perpetrated by a clergyman who has not committed sexual scandal directly, he still, by virtue of diluting the truth of the faith, fosters the belief that Church morals are malleable.

REVISITING THE DEPARTURE
Many voices have now risen to describe the devil's vicious tactics to silence orthodoxy and promote immorality in the Church. It is not publicly known what was the true fate of Fr. John Corapi and why he ended his ministry. We know his popularity and willingness to call out heterodox bishops no doubt made him a thorn in the sides of infiltrating powers. We know in his younger years he lived a sinful life, including cocaine use and spending a year in a mental hospital. What happened with him in 2011 could range anywhere from him relapsing into sin or an infiltrating subculture of enemies plotting his demise. He could have succumbed to his old ways, or, in light of his past stay at a mental hospital, he could have been threatened by an infiltrating subculture with mental rehab as were many other priests.

He did start a website, since closed, under the name John Corapi minus his "Father" title for a brief period after departure. Criticism abounded even among faithful Catholics that he acted in disobedience no matter what happened. The entire affair seemed chaotic. It is my opinion that the quality of his talks particularly lost some sense of candidness and zeal somewhere in the mid-later 2000s. But, before that, he was arguably the best preacher of his time.

In June 2011 the Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Rene Henry Gracida, stated: "I believe that he is justified in not seeking to clear his name through a canonical process; at the present time such processes are very flawed in most dioceses." In July 2011, a since-deleted post from the webmaster of Fr. Corapi's order, SOLT, cautioned against believing Fr. Corapi and that "Church authorities ... have been trying to bring him in for years."

What we do know is that Fr. Corapi's earlier talks often spoke candidly of a poisoned Church, including the hierarchy. We know that his theology was firmly grounded in orthodox truth. In re-listening to his stories, we can see that they are consistent with many others who have since come forward to describe improprieties, heterodoxy, and infiltration in the Church.

STAY VIGILANT
What we can learn from Fr. Corapi's and others' accounts from years past are clues to what attention we should give to what warning signs. He warned of an overlap of doctrinal and moral deviance. We must be alert to linguistic snakery that gives way to doctrinal and moral corruption. It may be necessary to intensify sanctions regardless of whether a clergyman deviates even slightly from a dogma or commits grave sin. In another talk, Attack on Unity, Fr. Corapi proposed the notion that a lack of understanding in Thomistic metaphysics and philosophy has resulted in a "downhill" trend in theology, because many teachers fail to understand the meaning of "being," for example. Many are calling for a return to a more traditional liturgy and traditional Church decor and iconography. If doctrinal and moral faults are as intertwined as they appear, then the Church's solution to this crisis must include doctrinal correction in addition to a systemic correction of checks and balances. If it takes a soft inquisition to purge any defiant, unbelieving clergy, so be it.

Remember the famous quote from then Cardinal Ratzinger in 1969:
The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. ... As the number of her adherents diminishes...she will lose many of her social privileges. ... But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. (Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, Faith and Future, 1969)
Time will tell if the Spirit wills such a purgation to shrink the Church and raise it again to "great power." We must pray for wisdom and invoke Our Lady, the angels, and saints.

Decades have passed while several voices have cried out in the wilderness as did Isaiah or Jeremiah during tumultuous times for God's people. The time for purification of this scandal is overdue.



1Fr. Corapi's current whereabouts and status are difficult to ascertain. I sent an inquiring message to his former order, SOLT, on Monday, Sept. 24, but have not received correspondence as of Oct. 3, 2018.

Related reading:
St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
Dr. Ryan T. Anderson's Truth Overruled on marriage between a man and woman.
Austin Ruse on the science of fatherless or motherless children.
Dr. Jeff Mirus: In denial about not ordaining homosexuals?
Phil Lawler: The McCarrick scandal & the gay lobby: a problem the bishops won’t address
Dr. Janet E. Smith: McCarrick, dissent from ‘Humanae vitae’, and the ‘sensus fidelium’.
Rod Dreher: Voice of Conscience = Voice of God, a critique of Arch. Cupich
The Catholic Voyager: Psychology of a pedophile

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Psychology of a Pedophile

We have seen over the years various responses to the Church's pedophila abuse scandal, which largely broke in the media in 2002. These have included greater scrutiny and openness among bishops and clergy with regards to reporting, stricter sanctions, the implementation of various third party investigations, and even calls from dissenting Church affiliates for married priests or women priests or a shakeup of Church sexual teaching. There are valid responses to these issues, whether they be implementation, rebuttal, or explanation of the truth of Church doctrine on faith and morals (see for example 10 Myths About Priestly Pedophilia from Crisis Magazine or anything by Philip Lawler on the matter (see CatholicCulture or his book The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture).

For the purposes of this post, I'd like to draw attention to a dimension of the matter perhaps forgotten, unknown, or ignored.

THE PATTERN
In 2004, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned Professor Charol Shakeshaft, on staff with Hofstra University and Virginia Commonwealth University, conducted a study revealing widespread child sexual abuse statistics among the nation's educators and school staff.  Citing several different researchers, the study states:
As a group, these studies present a wide range of estimates of the percentage of U.S. students subject to sexual misconduct by school staff and vary from 3.7 to 50.3 percent.   Because of its carefully drawn sample and survey methodology, the AAUW [American Association of University Women] report that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career presents the most accurate data available at this time.
Last year, the high profile case of Jerry Sandusky, arrested for sexual molestation, centered around the non-profit he founded––The Second Mile, a charity ministering to at-risk youth.

Also last year, the Boy Scouts of America released 20 years of data regarding sexual abuse occurring within its boundaries. Studies regarding the Girl Scouts are hard to find, although it is, unfortunately, easy to find cases of abuse occurring by Girl Scout leaders in only a few minutes of searching.

A characteristic common to persons in these professions––priests, educators, youth volunteers, scout leaders, or related professions––is their proximity to children in the very line of work.

ADMISSION OF A CONVICTED PEDOPHILE
Not long after the 2002 Church scandal broke, I came across the August 2003 issue of Psychology Today. In that issue is an article called The Mind of a Child Molester (PDF here).


The first-person confession is adapted from the book Conversations With a Pedophile by Amy Hammel-Zabin. The perpetrator, referenced only as the imprisoned "Alan X," describes the temptation toward molesting other boys even when he was very young himself. In his teen years, he eyed a 10 year old neighbor. In order to gain access to the boy, he volunteered to mow the neighbor's lawn and worked his way to baby-sitting. Aware of the disorder, Alan admits:
After high school I joined the military for a couple of years in the hopes I could alter my path away from pedophilia.
Notice when Alan desired to act out his disorder, he worked his way toward the place where he could find a victim. When he tried to avoid his disorder, he went toward a place where he could not access his preferred victims. Soon after, he returned to his deviance and returned from the military. He writes:
One of the first things I did in my efforts to get established was to associate myself with a local church, one that, of course, sponsored a small Boy Scouts troop. Two months after I joined...[t]he elders asked me to take over [as scoutmaster], and I declined. I desperately wanted to once again be in a position where I was surrounded by young boys but I did not want to take that step until I had the entire congregation convinced that I was doing this with extreme reluctance.
Alan proceeded to build trust among victims and subsequently abused them.

One thing pertinent in this account is the perpetrator's deviance was not borne of his association with the church or the Boy Scouts. Rather, his disorder existed prior to joining those organizations. He brought the disorder to the venue in which he could live out his disorder. And he faked various attitudes to give the impression of his sincerity. He pretended to be a legitimate scout master, when in fact, his motive was ill-rooted.

BEING ALERT TO THE PHENOMENON
The ministerial priesthood, education, youth volunteer groups, scouts, and other related groups fit the desired profile for such a disordered pedophile. Thus, those whom criticize such organizations as themselves the cause for the disorder may be well off the mark, such as in the case of Alan X.

This seems to be an extension of the psychological condition of a wish fulfillment, medically defined thusly: "In psychoanalytic theory, the satisfaction of a desire, need, or impulse through a dream or other exercise of the imagination." However, in the case of some deviants, the satisfaction of the disorder goes beyond the imagination, and into reality, as in the above case study.

Several years ago, the Church moved to implement psychological screening for pedophilia in seminaries. The Church, and the other organizations, should at least be aware of how they might be viewed by a potential pedophile, how they might be viewed as utilitarian for a perpetrator's disorder. Being alert to this phenomenon, and working with psychological professionals, could prove beneficial in preventing abuse and helping those with the disorder.