SSPX Puzzling Response to Abuse Crisis

From The Remnant

On September 15, an article quietly appeared on the Society of St. Pius X website which acknowledged, for the first time, what some are calling the Scandal of the Century—new and devastating revelations of the full extent of the clerical sex crisis which has been rocking the Church for decades.

Though this article commented in depth on the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, oddly enough it makes no mention of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s bombshell 11-page testimony which in many ways stole the thunder of the Pennsylvania report, and I can’t figure out why they omitted this.

On the Vatican’s reaction to the revelations in Pennsylvania, the Society report quotes Greg Burke’s defense of Francis, claiming that, “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.”

To my knowledge, the author of this Society brief is among only a handful who still take the affidavits and assurances of the Vatican’s damage control agent, Greg Burke, at all seriously.

The Society report is useful since it collates the reactions of others to this biggest crisis since the promulgation of the New Mass. For example, it mentions that “in the US, over 140 theologians, educators and lay directors called for all the American bishops to resign” in an open letter of provocation. But then it also highlights Pope Francis’ (the “Sovereign Pontiff”) words in his Letter to the People of God:

“In his letter, the successor of Peter considered that one of the sources of these ‘ecclesial wounds’ is a ‘peculiar way of understanding the Church’s authority.’ ‘Clericalism’, he accused, ‘supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today,’ such as ‘the thirst for power and possessions’ and spiritual corruption.’” (Whether or not the SSPX concurs with this papal diversionary tactic is not obvious to the reader.)
The report moves on into the general reaction to the Pope’s letter, citing the issues raised by journalist Aldo Maria Valli, LifeSiteNews, unavox.it, and Carlos Esteban, a Spanish journalist. But the report does not here add any of its own critique, which I find frustrating since the Society should be in a position to hold a hard line on this. Confusion and ambiguity are tools of the Vatican. Let’s not do that.

In the final section, entitled: The Hypocrisy of the World and the Statistical Reality, the Society report states: “The fact that men invested with the priestly dignity could have committed such acts is indeed a shame.” And then moves on to suggest that much of this is the work of anti-Catholic media:

“The media attacks the Church furiously while pretending to forget that these cases, as scandalous as they may be, are only a tiny minority compared to the abuse committed by adults on children in schools, sports activities, or stepfamilies, not to mention the shady circles of fashion, the show business and the media.”

The report then lists stats which appear to show a higher number of abuse cases in families and among peers than those which originate from priests and religious. No doubt, this may be the case. But what is the Society report getting at?

To my thinking, for even just one Catholic priest to abuse a child or engage in homosexual acts is infinitely worse than for a hundred pagans who don’t know better to do something similar. And the fact that so many dioceses have lost lawsuits and had to pay out millions of dollars is itself proof that this problem cannot be dismissed as mostly the concoction of Catholic-bashing media.  Click here to read entire Remnant article…

Comment:

Since the SSPX holds claim to being the “lifeboat” sent by God to see us through this horrendous time of crisis and scandal, surely the Society Superiors, bishops and priests should be right at the forefront of exposing and correcting everything to do with this crisis? Providing the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments is crucially important, of course, but nobody, absolutely nobody can remain silent – or appear to makes excuses for – any aspect of this crisis, least of all the homosexual activities of priests, including the sexual abuse of children and young people.  I’m afraid my own first thoughts on reading the above Remnant report was not just “too little, too late” but “not remotely enough, and FAR too late.”

Or am I over-stating the case?  Is the Society right to have maintained silence, and remain non-confrontational in the face of the increasing horror at the questions being raised about Pope Francis’ response(s)  to abuse cases – what he knew, what actions he took/did not take, denials, etc.  Surely Catholics have a right to expect a tad more in the way of leadership from the Society, if it really is a Heaven-sent “lifeboat”?   Surely, certainly for anyone wielding moral authority,  it is itself a form of abuse to fail to call to account all concerned – and that publicly.   Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)  

English Bishop to Pope Francis on Child Abuse: Accountability & Supervision Required For Priests… 

Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis

22nd August 2018

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City


Most Holy Father,


I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.

I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it by developing its own Directory for Clergy.

As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.

Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.

In Corde Iesu

+Philip

Bishop of Portsmouth

Read report appending the above letter here

Comment

Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed.  At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people.  Will the Pope take up his suggestion though?  And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests?  How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle.  They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment.  How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or,  as the saying goes, is it never too late?  

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,      pray for us! 

Morality: Cohen Plea – What SHOULD Trump Do Now? 

Comment: 

Well, the knives are out for The Donald, no question about it – at least, judging by the reporting of the Michael Cohen guilty plea here in the UK, with reporters and presenters hardly able to conceal their delight at the possibility that President Trump will find himself either impeached in the near future, or in prison after he has left office. You could almost hear the champagne corks popping in the TV news studios today…

I may be wide of the mark here, and for goodness sake don’t take what I’m about to say as justification for either extra-marital affairs or ‘hush’ payments, but I can imagine a businessman like Trump thinking nothing of paying off some female blackmailers for the sake of avoiding the predictable publicity their stories, true or false, would bring – a distraction, to put it mildly, during a campaign to win the presidential election. After all, his reputation was not exactly squeaky clean, was it?  So, assuming the payments were made from his personal bank account, I’m not sure they’re as significant as his enemies are implying. But then, I could be wrong. Bound to happen some day.  What do you think – is Donald Trump implicated in criminal activity as a result of the Cohen guilty plea, and if so, what is the right thing, the moral thing, for him to do now – resign? Apologise and move on? What, then?  

Preaching “Hate Speech”…

Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered,

Preaching “Hate Speech” is the first of our Catholic Conversation videos which will be posted from time to time, with commentary on a variety of topics, presented in interview format.  In the above video, Patricia McKeever, Editor is interviewed.     

Is the UK no longer free? 

The treatment of Tommy Robinson, coupled with the contrived outrage over Boris Johnson’s ‘burka’ remarks this week, do beg the question: is Tucker Carlson right to question whether, in fact, the UK really is a free land?   And why are the Catholic bishops not asking the same question? 

Comments invited…   

Hate Speech: Former Irish President Calls Catholic Teaching “Evil”…

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has described the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality as “evil”.

But McAleese also said that she was hopeful that the Pope Francis will eventually change the Church’s homophobic attitudes.

She said that Pope Francis “exploded that myth” that the Church can’t be changed and she believed he could now rid the Church of its “homophobic messages”.

The former Irish President also accused the Pope of having “bad manners” and being “disrespectful” for failing to reply to a letter she recently wrote to him. She had penned him a letter after an attempt was made to exclude her from an international women’s conference in Rome.

“I had faith in this pope and it would be wrong to say anything other than I am disappointed,” she said.

McAleese made her comments when receiving the inaugural Vanguard award for her support for the LGBT community.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Sarah Williams, chairperson of the Board of the GAZE LGBT Film Festival said: “Dr McAleese’s unwavering support for the advancement of the LGBT+ community has been widely acknowledged and praised, and we felt very strongly that we wanted to present her with this award this evening to mark her achievements.”
And Filmmaker John Butler said: “It’s an honour to present this award to a life-long hero of mine, what an inspiration and what a contribution to Irish life!”  Source

Comment: 

Just imagine for a second if Mary McAleese had described the teaching of Islam on homosexuality as “evil”  or the teaching of Judaism on homosexuality as “evil” – can you just imagine the ruckus?  But the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality (or anything else) well, that’s fair game.  No hate speech here, move along. 

You must not say a word out of place about Islam or Judaism, on pain of being labelled Islamophobic or Anti-Semitic, and finding yourself the subject of a police complaint.  But anti-Catholic? Bring it on…

Is there any point in lodging an official complaint about Mary McAleese’s bigotry, her attack on the Church which, if applied to any other religion would fall foul of ‘hate crime’ laws – or will Catholics simply do what we’ve always done, turn the other cheek, make every attempt to “love our enemy” – and, believe me, McAleese is an enemy of the Catholic Faith.  Mind you, so is Pope Francis, whom she applauds for his attempts to change Catholic teaching.  Now that he’s undermined traditional teaching on capital punishment, is the ultra-feminist/pro-“gay”  former Irish President likely to see a similar change to the Catechism paragraphs on homosexuality?  Don’t get me wrong; no pope has the authority to change the moral law, and when good order is restored to the Church, the damage done by this disgraceful pontiff will be put right. No question about it. Still, given that he has form on “revising” the Catechism, might he re-write the prohibition of homosexual activity, just for the hell of it (so to speak…) 

Share your thoughts – which is worse: the bigoted, hate-filled Mary McAleese, or her sometime idol, Papa Francis? Or, is it a case of “you pays your money and you takes your pick…”?  

Pope Changes Teaching On Death Penalty – Exceeds Papal Authority…

From Rorate Caeli… 

What was black is now white: Pope “changes Catechism” to declare death penalty “inadmissible in all cases”.

The Church was wrong in a major issue literally of life and death.

Is the Pope a kind of “Prophet”, as the “First President” of the Mormons, receiving new teachings that contradict completely teachings that the Magisterium had taught since Apostolic Times?

That is what seems to come from the “alteration” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1992 promoted by the current Pope and published today:

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in an audience granted on May 11, 2018, to the undersigned Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved the following new text of the n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ordering its translation in the various languages and inserted in all editions of the mentioned Catechism:

The death penalty

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

_______________________

[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

The anachronistic boldness in this decision is astounding: what is merely a modern view of a secularized Europe becomes a completely new teaching, without even the consideration that the current situation of the world will remain the same for all time — as if the secular European present of stable peace would remain forever the same, as if what was common in the past and since the dawn of time would never be possible anymore. The boldness of a personal opinion becoming a completely new and unprecedented “teaching” of the Church.

If such a certain doctrine of the Church (of the possibility of the death penalty at least in some situations), affirmed by Christ Himself in Scripture — when, confronted by Pilate who affirmed his right to inflict capital punishment, told him, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above”, affirming that it is a power granted to the State in its authority, even if, as all governmental powers, it can be exercised illegitimately and unjustly — can be changed, then anything can be changed. A “development” of doctrine may bring about anything: from the end of the “intrinsic disordered” nature of homosexuality to the priestly ordination of women, from the possibility of contraception in “some” cases to the acceptance of the Lutheran understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist as a possible interpretation of what the Church has always believed — and so on.

The current Pope has far exceeded his authority: his authority is to guard and protect the doctrine that was received from Christ and the Apostles, not to alter it according to his personal views. [Ed: emphasis added]

We are reaping the rewards of an unchecked hyper-clericalism: the same hyper-clericalism that allowed for abuses of people like Theodore McCarrick to go ignored and unpunished and now allows for the recklessness of the alteration of established doctrine received from Christ and the Apostles.  Ends.

Update: If it were possible to have an even more ridiculous excuse for this change, it comes from the “Letter to Bishops” by Cardinal Ladaria, the CDF prefect:

10. The new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church desires to give energy to a movement towards a decisive commitment to favor a mentality that recognizes the dignity of every human life and, in respectful dialogue with civil authorities, to encourage the creation of conditions that allow for the elimination of the death penalty where it is still in effect.

That is absolutely ridiculous, and a shameful and pathetic excuse: the Catechism is not a lobbying tool to modify laws: it is supposed to be a collection of the everlasting teachings of the Church.  Source – Rorate Caeli

Comment: 

What should happen now?  Is there anything that the rest of the upper hierarchy can do?  What about Catholics in the USA and other countries where the death penalty is permitted – are they now duty bound to work for its elimination?  Do they commit a sin if they refuse to do so and, instead, adhere to the traditional belief that the State is permitted to use the death penalty in certain cases? If it’s a sin, at what level? Venial? Mortal? What then?  And what about other teachings in the Catechism? Do we watch, even more closely, for this Pope’s personal opinion on this or that issue, in order to prepare ourselves for the next new teaching?