“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” writes Madison Bishop Robert C. Morlino on Saturday in a sharply worded letter to the faithful.
“For too long we have diminished the reality of sin — we have refused to call a sin a sin — and we have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy,” the bishop writes in the Catholic Herald.
To be clear, in the specific situations at hand, “we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics,” he states, referring to a recent report from a Pennsylvania grand jury as well as scandals involving a Honduran seminary, Chilean clergy and bishops, and a prominent U.S. cardinal.
“We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals,” Bishop Morlino writes. “We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all.”
“To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further,” he writes.
The bishop also addresses disingenuous attempts by LGBT activists as well as mainstream media to diminish the homosexual nature of the vast majority of clerical sex abuse.
“There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia,” he states.
“That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary,” he adds.
“To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority,” he says.
Turning to the widely reported reports on homosexual abuse by former-cardinal McCarrick, Bishop Morlino denounces them, while insisting that they are merely the tip of the iceberg.
“While recent credible accusations of child sexual abuse by Archbishop McCarrick have brought a whole slew of issues to light, long-ignored was the issue of abuse of his power for the sake of homosexual gratification,” he writes.
The homosexual subculture afflicting the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is wreaking great devastation among the faithful, he notes.
While the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, “it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest,” he says.
Moreover, the decision to act upon the homosexual inclination “is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable,” he writes.
The crisis we face is not limited to the McCarrick affair, or the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, or anything else that may come, Morlino notes, since the deeper crisis is a license for sin to have a home in individuals at every level of the Church.
“There is a certain comfort level with sin that has come to pervade our teaching, our preaching, our decision making, and our very way of living,” he says.
The bishop says he adds his name “to those calling for real and sustained reform in the episcopate, priesthood, our parishes, schools, universities, and seminaries that would root out and hold accountable any would-be sexual predator or accomplice.”
“We as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out sin from our own lives and run toward holiness,” he writes. “We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors — myself included — that they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness.”
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