21/2: Vatican Summit on Clergy Sex Abuse – Mere Window Dressing?

Today, the Vatican summit begins, called supposedly to address the avalanche of scandals caused by priests and bishops abusing minors (or covering up abuse of minors.)

Trouble is, it’s not only minors who are being abused, but young men, including seminarians, and the conference organisers include Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago who is, shall we say, not to overstate the case, not the kind of person you’d leave in a room alone with a five pound/dollar note.   Archbishop Vigano – in his devastating testimony about the cover-up in the McCarrick case – writes of Cupich:  “…one cannot fail to note his ostentatious arrogance, and the insolence with which he denies the evidence that is now obvious to all: that 80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims. ” 

Let’s pray for a breakthrough at this summit over the next few days.  It really will take a miracle to penetrate the dark souls of those who are responsible, whether directly or indirectly, for this unthinkable physical and sexual abuse by priests and bishops.  Certainly, Archbishop Vigano believes that the Vatican is not genuinely seeking to end clerical child abuse and is, instead, determined to continue to cover up the real issue, which is the problem of  homosexual priests

Our Lady of Good Success pray for us!  Our Lady of Fatima pray for us!   

America: Cardinal McCarrick Laicised

Pope Defrocks Theodore McCarrick, Ex-Cardinal Accused of Sexual Abuse

Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, was expelled from the priesthood after he was found guilty of sexual abuse.

Pope Francis has expelled Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, from the priesthood, after an expedited canonical process that found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians over decades, the Vatican said on Saturday.

It appears to be the first time that a cardinal or bishop in the United States has been defrocked, or laicized, from the Catholic Church, and the first time any cardinal has been laicized for sexual abuse. Laicization, which strips a person of all priestly identity, also revokes church-sponsored resources like housing and financial benefits.

While the Vatican has laicized hundreds of priests for sexual abuse of minors, few of the church’s leaders have faced severe discipline. The move to defrock Mr. McCarrick is “almost revolutionary,” said Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America.

“Now you will see that bishops are also treated like their priests,” Mr. Martens said in a phone interview. “Bishops and former cardinals are no longer immune to punishment. The reverence that was shown in the past to bishops no longer applies.” 

Mr. McCarrick, now 88, was accused of sexually abusing three minors and harassing adult seminarians and priests. A New York Times investigation last summer detailed settlements paid to men who had complained of abuse when Mr. McCarrick was a bishop in New Jersey in the 1980s, and revealed that some church leaders had long known of the accusations.

Francis accepted Mr. McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July and suspended him from all priestly duties. He was first removed from ministry in June, after a church panel substantiated a claim that he had abused an altar boy almost 50 years ago.

Mr. McCarrick was long a prominent Catholic voice on international and public policy issues, and a champion for progressive Catholics active in social justice causes.

The move is the most serious sign to date that Pope Francis is addressing the clerical sex abuse crisis in the United States. In October, the pope laicized two retired Chilean bishops accused of sexually abusing minors. In December, Pope Francis removed two top cardinals from his powerful advisory council after they were implicated in sexual abuse cases.

In the statement on Saturday, the Vatican said that the prelate had been dismissed from a clerical state after he was tried and found guilty of several crimes: “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”   Read original New York Times report here

Comment: 

Is this laicisation of a “Prince of the Church” a sign of things to come?  Is the tide turning?  Is this an indication that the liberal stranglehold on the Church is coming to an end?  Will it help to rein in dissenters and abusers? Share your thoughts… 

Scots RE Teacher: why lack of teaching on purity & sin in Catholic Schools? 

Pauline Gallagher, an RE teacher in Glasgow Archdiocese, argues that LGBT guidelines make it difficult to keep teaching true to the Gospel

AS a dedicated RE teacher in a Catholic school in Glasgow Archdiocese, I want to share fully the Church’s teaching and the Gospel with my pupils.

In Scotland today, as the authorities prepare to embed LGBT-inclusive education across the curriculum, those who disagree with the unquestioned promotion of the LGBT agenda have lost confidence.

We are marginalised and branded as old-fashioned. Injustice towards marginalised groups, such as LGBT people, is real. I know this. I witnessed and abhorred it as a teenager in Glasgow in the 1970s.

However, the old voiceless, intimidated groups have been replaced by new ones; faithful Catholics for example.

I am concerned about the legacy of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign and the new LGBT materials which will be delivered in Scottish Catholic schools early in 2019.

I support inclusion, yes, but not without open debate and a full encounter with Gospel values and of the Youth Catechism on this issue. However, protecting and promoting Church teaching in its entirety is easier said than done.

Catholic schools have a distinct character and duty. This distinction has Gospel values as its cornerstone.

I have been an RE teacher for 30 years. Maintaining this spirit has been both a privilege and a challenge.

Catholic RE teachers propose rather than impose the Gospel. This is what Jesus did. God is love and love does not force.

When pupils ask their RE teacher a question about morality, including sexual morality, we should be free to share with them Catholic teaching even if it is not politically correct.

Pupils love engaging in the marketplace, or battlefield, of ideas. They may not agree with us but they respect our right to speak. They are happy when a strong set of Gospel values is witnessed to.

They prefer this to woolliness. They understand that difficult truths, shared out of genuine concern, are a sign of love. Children feel secure with clear boundaries. Rebellious teenagers are no different.

In Catholic schools this should mean responding to pupils’ questions as a faithful follower of Christ.

However fidelity to the Gospel has been growing steadily more difficult in recent years.

Many topics concerning human sexuality are considered too risky to engage with. LGBT issues, in particular, are off-limits. Meaningful dialogue is stifled to avoid ‘triggering’ anyone.

This is frustrating; pupils keep asking questions and, sometimes, we have to avoid giving them the answers we would like to give. At a time when they need us most we are spectacularly failing them.

Why is purity a bad word? Why is sin a banned word?  

The Catechism teaches that homosexual feelings are not sinful but like all sexual attraction are subject to the call to chastity inherent in the sixth commandment. The new LGBT materials are extensive, scriptural, quote the Catechism and, as their point is anti-bullying, emphasise Catholic social teaching.

Church teaching on sexual morality, on the other hand, is minimised and unclear in these materials.

This is a missed opportunity since the Youth Catechism alone deals comprehensively and eloquently with the sixth commandment.

RE teachers in Catholic schools in Scotland no longer have freedom of conscience. To be politically correct, we have to be compliant or vague.

Jesus was never vague. He was passionately inclusive yet crystal clear when pointing out sin.

The Catechism is like this. Teachers and pupils have no need to fear or avoid it any more than we need to fear Christ himself as long as we have honest hearts.

Jesus was gentle with sinners because everybody sins, everybody makes mistakes. This is why he told us not to judge each other.

The Church in Scotland is full of men and women of integrity and valour struggling to deliver the Gospel while trying not to offend anyone.

Their task is rendered even more difficult due to a priesthood made fragile by scandal. This is truly a cross of great weight for our bishops, priests and all those in the Scottish Catholic Education Service.

Many priests are exceptional in their fidelity to Christ and his doctrine. But they need support.

All Catholics, and those of us involved in Catholic education in particular, need to stand with them.

We are leaving our clergy ever more alone; we should wake up and stop walking on PC eggshells.

It could cost us dearly to rebel. Do we fear the loss of Catholic schools?

Yes! But I would argue that we are en route to that destination anyway if we take the path of further dilution of Gospel values. Our distinctive character is growing faint.

Scottish Catholics need to take a sgian-dubh and cut the fetters with which our bishops, priests, and RE teachers are bound.  Source – Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO)  [emphases added]

—The author can be contacted at: paulinemarygallagher@gmail.com

Comment: 

Congratulations to Pauline Gallagher for her courageous article.  Catholic teachers challenging the modernist stranglehold in Catholic schools have been known to suffer, even finding themselves visiting the local jobcentre.  So, we must pray that Pauline’s right – indeed her duty –  to bring her perfectly legitimate concerns to the attention of the wider Catholic community without fear of reprisal, is respected.  Her SCO article reflects the concerns expressed in the Catholic Truth article published on page 4 of the current, January newsletter, LGBTI Issues in Catholic Schools,  which you can read by clicking here

One key point of discussion for this thread might focus on the following comment from the above article: “Catholic RE teachers propose rather than impose the Gospel. This is what Jesus did. God is love and love does not force.”

This idea of “not imposing” Catholic teaching/the Gospel, seems now to be rooted in the contemporary philosophy of Catholic education – I first heard it formally stated in a newspaper article by the then new (now former) Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission, Michael McGrath.  However, this way of thinking stands in stark contradiction to the traditional purpose of Catholic schools which was to pass on the Faith, to nurture the Catholic religion in pupils;  parents were required to take their children to Mass, inculcate devotions, while Catholic dogma and morals were systematically taught at school, just as every academic subject is taught.  The Faith was to be taught across the curriculum so that pupils would leave school with a Catholic world-view.  Catholic home-schooling programmes continue to pursue the traditional method, with much success. 

The modern, rather apologetic attitude, this reassurance of “not imposing” the Faith suggests that it is optional, that the Catholic Church is not God’s means of salvation. The ecumenical times in which we live, the fact that we have both teachers and pupils from non-Catholic backgrounds in attendance at our schools partly explains this major omission, although it must be noted that from the beginning, certainly in Scotland, Catholic schools could not even have been established without the help of non-Catholic staff. And, in my own experience at Open Evenings with prospective non-Catholic students  (including Muslims) visiting, those parents understand that their child will be exposed to Catholicism;  as one Muslim parent told me, that was why she had chosen that particular school!  

Pauline adds that Jesus Himself did this – i.e. He “proposed not imposed” the Faith, because “love does not force”.  But, surely, it’s not about “forcing” – nobody speaks of proposing to give family and friends gifts and cards at Christmas. It’s not an imposition to offer gifts.  The gift may not be accepted – the recipient may choose to return the gift, buy something else with that gift receipt, but few would consider the offer as an imposition, of being forced to accept a gift. And the Faith IS a gift – from God.  He has given us free will in the expectation that we will accept this great gift.  There really is no right to refuse.  And that is because, in fact, Our Lord did NOT simply “propose” the Faith – his very last words on this earth were a clear instruction to His apostles:  “All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Certainly, we cannot “force” the Faith on anyone, in the sense of coercion; but we must avoid the sin of omission by failing to teach the elementary dogma that – as the Fathers of the Church have taught from the beginning – outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation (Catechism of the Catholic Church #846).  One famous educational psychologist, whose name escapes me at the moment, said that children can be taught anything, as long as the teacher has thought it through carefully.  In other words, this dogma CAN be taught, without “offending” anyone – the current (and perhaps only) mortal sin! 

Of course, given the weakness of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission for many years now, it is extremely difficult for any Catholic school to truly offer an authentic Catholic education in the sense traditionally understood.  Goodness, as Pauline indicates, it is almost impossible for Catholic schools to teach  purity and the abhorrence of sin, let alone imbue young people with a Catholic world-view.  

For now, though, congratulations to Pauline Gallagher – I will email her the link to this blog so let’s assure her of our prayers and support, with gratitude for her courageous article,  sincerely hoping that she will be able to make a real difference in the work of restoring authentic Catholic education in our schools.  

England: Is Cardinal Nichols “Gay”?

Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated on January 13 in London a Gay Eucharist organized by the club of homosexuals “LGBT Catholics Westminster”.

Cardinal Nichols

Nichols is a repeat offender. Already in May 2015 he presided a Novus Ordo Eucharist for the same group, specifically aimed at homosexuals.

The London Gay Eucharists were initiated in 1999, opposed by Catholics but backed by the anti-Catholic archdiocese.

According to IndCatholicNews.com (January 16), Nichols claimed after Mass that LGBT Catholics Westminster are “an important sign of welcome and inclusion” within his archdiocese as an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church.” In reality, LGBT Catholics Westminster promote homosexual fornication which, according to the Bible cries for vengeance to heaven.

Nichols was always known as heterodox prelate. Nevertheless Benedict XVI appointed him to Westminster, knowing that he would eventually become a Cardinal.  Source

Comment

Now, not to mislead –  I, personally, doubt very much if the Cardinal is actively homosexual, although, of course, I don’t know.  I did meet him some years ago, when I could pass muster in the “slim, glamorous, fashionable etc” category and I recall thinking that he was quite a ladies’ man at that time, but, hey, things have moved on and it’s now clear that the crisis in the Church boils down to the dominance of homosexual priests and bishops. Indeed, not so long ago we read this on a thread about the homosexual scandals within the episcopate and in seminaries: “In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.”   See Priest’s Open Letter To UK Bishops… 

So, the very least any priest or bishops should be doing at this stage, as the mounting scandals reveal a truly decadent clergy and complicit episcopate, is to distance themselves from appearing to condone this unnatural behaviour, let alone conducting “services” where “blessings” are bestowed on those engaging in it.  And the desire is unconscionable for the “LGBT Catholics Westminster”  to be an “identifiable community which is at home within the Church,”  indicating that there is no need for repentance, no need to turn away from that gravely sinful behaviour. 

Whether or not, then, Cardinal Nichols is “gay”, we are surely entitled to ask the question.  Or, maybe you disagree?  If so, let’s hear a sound theological and biblical justification for the Cardinal’s promotion of homosexuality. Catholic Tradition is rooted in Scripture and the teaching of the Fathers of the Church from the beginning so, here’s the challenge: demonstrate to us, using these primary sources, that the teaching of the Church is wrong, does not reflect God’s natural moral law, and that, therefore, the Cardinal is right (along with all the other LGBT etc prelates) to promote , effectively as a virtue, these “acts of grave depravity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357).  

   

Question Time Or The Fiona Bruce & Emily Thornberry Show? Your Verdict…

 

Fiona Bruce’s took over the chair of Question Time for the first time last night, Thursday, 10 January, 2019.  Don’t ask me why, because the BBC bias is nowhere as predictable, but I do try to watch it every week, either live or recorded.  Last night, I watched it broadcast right after the news, and I found it very frustrating viewing, indeed.

There were only two topics:  Brexit and knife crime in London.

Only Melanie Phillips’ contributions on both topics were meaningful, in my view.  Yet, Fiona Bruce allowed her to speak only once on Brexit – notice she is not called on to join in the toing and froing between the other members of the panel when controversy arose – while the Labour politician, Emily Thornberry is given free rein to say what she wanted, as often as she wanted, more or less unchecked. 

I’m also puzzled as to why the Tory politician, James Cleverly MP, appears so frequently on Question Time and other programmes where Brexit is the hot topic.  He is a weak “LEAVER”… oops!”  Just answered my own question.  There’s the reason he’s invited onto these shows and not Jacob Rees-Mogg or Owen Paterson.  

In any event, this thread comes in the wake of the call from the Bishop of Galloway (south of Scotland) to Catholics to become more involved in politics. 

Watching the media bias in matters political, the prevailing (and worsening) political correctness, is there really any point in Catholics becoming more involved in politics – and what, precisely does that mean?  Joining Parties which promote the evils of homosexuality and abortion? 

Finally,  IS it fair to describe last night’s Question Time as the Fiona Bruce & Emily Thornberry Show?  Your verdict, please! 

English College in Rome: Scene of Latest Seminary/Homosexual Scandal? 

From the Editor…

Some time ago, I was contacted by an English reader who was concerned about a seminarian from an Archdiocese in England who, on social media outlets, has shown support for the “gay culture”. I received evidence of this “support” for the “so-called gay culture” and – given that the Vatican prohibition on the acceptance into seminary and ordination of homosexuals includes not only those who are homosexually active or with deep-seated homosexual tendencies but also those who “support the so-called gay culture” – the material did ring an alarm bell.
However, I didn’t act on the information immediately, but waited a bit before contacting the Rector at the Venerable English College in Rome to ask for an email address for the seminarian in question. I decided that the first, and fair, thing to do was to give the seminarian the opportunity to reflect on the Church’s prohibition on ordaining homosexuals, and to inform him of the fact that, despite his involvement in the “gay culture” having been scrubbed from his internet history, the evidence is still held on file by concerned Catholics.

Promptly, the Rector, Monsignor Whitmore, replied to provide an email address and I contacted the young man on 26 July 2018 explaining that “…a reader in England sent me some Facebook screen shots of you, ‘liking’ ‘gay’ clubs and stating that you were on ‘Pride’ committees – stuff like that -which led me to believe that you – at least at that time – didn’t fully and unequivocally accept Catholic teaching on homosexuality as laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You appeared also, on Twitter, to support a pro-gay ‘marriage’ article in the Telegraph… Since you are on your way to ordination to the priesthood, it would be reassuring to know that the above is all in the past and that you now, fully and unequivocally, accept Church teaching on homosexuality.”

[Name] replied promptly, to assure me that he did now fully and unequivocally accept the Church’s teaching on this matter…” [emphasis added]. I decided that I was obliged to take him at his word, and reassured him on this point.

Then the veritable tsunami of homosexual scandals broke, with shocking insights into the normalising of homo-sexual life in Catholic seminaries, published across the internet. Bishops, not merely tolerating homosexual couplings  (bad enough as that would be) but actually approving such activity within seminaries.

After further consultation with our source in England, I wrote again to the seminarian, my email dated 20 October, 2018,  as follows, but this time, received no reply:

Dear [Name],

Further to our brief email exchange in July, when I was pleased to accept your assurance that you now accept the teaching of the Church on homosexuality, I hope you appreciate that, in the light of the tsunami of homosexual scandals involving priests and bishops which followed our correspondence, given the Church’s prohibition on the ordination of homosexual men or even those with “deep seated tendencies” or who “support the so-called gay culture”, I am unable to remain silent in the face of the evidence of your participation of the “gay” scene, and even support for same-sex marriage.

We are discussing, on our blog, the sacking of a sound priest from both Maynooth seminary in Ireland and St Mary’s Oscott in Birmingham, simply because he sought to apply the prohibition required by the Church. You can follow that conversation here

As you will see, if you read Father Marsden’s Open Letter to the UK Bishops, and contributions from our bloggers, on that thread, I must, on reflection, offer you another opportunity to re-consider your position.

My intention is not to upset you. I hope you understand that, and that I do, in conscience, believe that I was wrong to so readily dismiss the Church’s ruling on refusing homosexual candidates for seminary, in your case. That I was wrong to do so, has been driven home to me by the flood of revelations now in the public domain, and the shocking role of many bishops, themselves homosexually compromised, in the cover-up of homosexual abuse of vulnerable young people – including seminarians.

I look forward to your reply, in the hope that you have, in fact, realised yourself, in the light of the ongoing scandals, that the Church is wise to refuse ordination to those who are actively homosexual, have deep seated tendencies towards homosexuality and/or who support the so-called gay culture, and that you will, consequently, re-consider your own vocation. [Signed…] Ends.

When it became clear that the seminarian was going to sit it out, I felt I had no alternative but to contact the seminary Rector, Monsignor Philip Whitmore, Archdiocese of Westminster, copying into that email, the Vice Rector, Fr John Flynn, Diocese of Salford, Pastoral Director, Fr John Metcalfe, Diocese of Hallam, Academic Tutor, Fr James McAuley, Diocese of Portsmouth and Spiritual Director, Fr Anthony Doe, Archdiocese of Westminster. Thus, nobody at the seminary can claim ignorance of the fact that a seminarian with a public homosexual profile is to be ordained for an English archdiocese. My email – dated 24 October, 2018 – to the Rector, copies to the above-named senior staff, follows:

Dear Monsignor Whitmore,

Some months ago, I wrote to you to request an email address for [Name]. I repeat my gratitude for your speedy response to my request, and I apologise for the length of this email, which, I hope you will come to see, is lengthy only out of necessity. The following is the pertinent extract from my first email to [Name] which explains why I had decided to write to him:

“…a reader in England sent me some Facebook screen shots of you, ‘liking’ ‘gay’ clubs and stating that you were on ‘Pride’ committees – stuff like that -which led me to believe that you – at least at that time – didn’t fully and unequivocally accept Catholic teaching on homosexuality as laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You appeared also, on Twitter, to support a pro-gay ‘marriage’ article in the Telegraph… Since you are on your way to ordination to the priesthood, it would be reassuring to know that the above is all in the past and that you now, fully and unequivocally, accept Church teaching on homosexuality.”

[Name] replied promptly, to assure me that he did “now fully and unequivocally accept the Church’s teaching on this matter…”

Despite the Church’s prohibition on accepting homosexuals into seminary and ordaining homosexuals to the priesthood, I felt I could, in conscience, let the matter rest there.

However, in the light of the subsequent tsunami of scandals involving homosexual seminarians, priests and bishops, not least the persecution of priests such as Father David Marsden SCJ during his work as a seminary formator in not one, but two seminaries (Maynooth and Oscott), I now feel that I am conscience bound to inform you of my concerns about the prospect of [Name] going forward to ordination. Indeed, although I’m sure that you will be aware of the case of Father David Marsden SCJ, you can read about his situation and the attendant growing concern among the laity regarding the failure to apply the Church’s prohibition on accepting homosexuals into seminary, and, subsequently, ordaining them, on our blog here

My own conscience is now troubling me, not least because I am reminded of the detail of the Church’s concerns about homosexuality within the priesthood: “In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”.” [emphasis added – Source]

Further, to bring the issue right up to date, I have, only this morning, received the following news from a friend in England:

“At today’s press briefing, Veteran Vaticanist Sandro Magister also asked a question on the Church’s acceptance of homosexuals. Magister asked Cardinal Tagle:

“You have said that the synod has been insistent on the welcome and accompaniment and integration of homosexual young people. So I ask you: In the seminaries throughout the world, we know that the welcome of homosexual young men as candidates to the priesthood is very strong and also very generous, with the effect that Pope Francis has spoken about it in alarming words.”

Last May, Pope Francis spoke behind closed doors to Italian bishops gathered for their plenary assembly, telling them: “The seminaries are welcoming too many homosexuals” and “we need to put the brakes on it.” Ends.

I wrote again to [Name] on Saturday, but, to date, I have not received any reply.

[Ed: at this point I reproduced here, my latest email to the seminarian, dated 20th October – see above].

If, Monsignor, you have any doubts about my concerns, I will readily email you the screen shots from [Name’s] Facebook which show that he – at the very least – “supports the so-called gay culture.” 

Be assured, I take no pleasure in writing any of this but I feel duty bound to place the matter in your hands, leaving it with your conscience and the consciences of the staff copied into this email. [Signed, Editor, Catholic Truth] Ends.

Receiving no reply from the Rector, or any of the priests at the Venerable English College in Rome copied into my email, and since publicity is genuinely our last resort, I wrote one last time to the seminarian as follows:


Dear [Name],

When you failed to respond to my email dated 20 October, I decided that I ought to contact the Rector and other senior staff at your seminary. It occurs to me that I should have copied you into that email, so, with apologies for that oversight, better late than never, please find below, my email to them.

As a friend has just said, when even Pope Francis expresses the view that something has to be done about the rampant homosexuality in seminaries, it’s clear that there is a problem!   Quite!

Thus, I repeat my exhortation to you to reconsider your position; perhaps you would reply to this email by Thursday, November 1, Feast of All Saints, latest, to let me know if you agree.

Since I have not had any reply from your Rector (not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement), then, absent the above requested assurance from you, I will be duty bound to place the information in my possession, into the public domain. That does not mean that I will name you – I won’t do that, but with the available data, it should not be too difficult for informed English Catholics to work out your identity. Obviously, that is not desirable, so I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your position, if not as a result of my email(s) then as a result of reminding yourself of the Church’s prohibition on the ordination of those with homosexual tendencies, or even who “support the so-called gay culture”…

[My above email to Mgr. Whitmore et al appended here, in original email – Ed.]

Kind regards – God bless you.
[Signed]… Ends.

Conclusion…

So, what do we learn from the above correspondence? Do we learn that Oscott is not the only English seminary with a serious homosexual problem? Is the English College in Rome also implicated? Well, we certainly learn this:  that there is a seminarian in the English College in Rome who is going forward to ordination despite his documented support for the so-called “gay culture” – and we learn that each of his superiors, knowing this, apparently refuses to apply the Church’s prohibition on his ordination. 

The Church has good reason for refusing ordination to homosexuals. It’s not about “bigotry” or “discrimination” in the pejorative sense. Below, the pertinent section from the Vatican document Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders…

“From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter,

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.  Source   [Ed: emphases added].

Clearly, there is no excuse whatsoever for seminary Rectors to continue to accept and ordain young men with homosexual tendencies or who are supportive of the culture that nourishes this tendency – which is, in fact, a vice.

We have asked the seminarian in question to re-consider his position – that is, to withdraw from seminary and refuse ordination in an act of humble submission to the teaching and discipline of the Church. Failing this, his superiors should refuse him ordination.

Given the flood of recent scandals, and the ongoing scandals at the Irish and English seminaries, Maynooth and Oscott respectively, the senior seminary staff – together with their bishops/archbishops – bear a very heavy responsibility before God for their defiance in refusing to apply the crucial criteria for the discernment of priestly vocations. The crisis in the Church today is essentially a crisis in the priesthood and that crisis is hallmarked by the widespread infestation of homosexual activity and mentality, into the once glorious Catholic priesthood: “This Congregation reaffirms the need for Bishops, major superiors and all relevant authorities to carry out an attentive discernment concerning the suitability of candidates for holy orders, from the time of admission to the seminary until ordination. This discernment must be done in light of a conception of the ministerial priesthood that is in accordance with the teaching of the Church. Let Bishops, episcopal conferences and major superiors look to see that the constant norms of this Instruction be faithfully observed for the good of the candidates themselves, and to guarantee that the Church always has suitable priests who are true shepherds according to the Heart of Christ.”

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, on 31 August 2005, approved this present Instruction and ordered its publication.

Rome, 4 November 2005, Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminaries.

Comment: 

Presumably, our approaches to both the seminarian and senior seminary staff will continue to be ignored.  Hopefully, bloggers and readers will feel rightly outraged at this blatant disregard for the Church’s prohibition on accepting into seminary and ordaining homosexuals, including men who – like the seminarian referred to above – support the “gay” culture.  Given the flood of scandals which are continuing to shock the world, then, hopefully you, too, will contact the senior seminary staff at the Venerable English College in Rome – click here for email addresses. Let them know that you have read about this scandal on this blog and they’ll perhaps realise that rudely ignoring the genuine concerns of the Catholic people, isn’t going to work. 

Is there anything else, then, that we can do,  beyond the above calling to account of those with responsibility to deal with this situation, and the obvious prayer and penance?  Let’s hear it!   But first, an important note…

Important Note…

Please do not speculate, in the comments, as to the identity of the seminarian reported in this article.  or name any seminarians at the English College in Rome.   If you have information pertinent to this situation, please contact the Rector directly, and if you think Catholic Truth can help in any way, email editor@catholictruthscotland.com   Indeed, it would be useful for us to be able to include in any future reports the fact that the identity of this seminarian has been reported to the Rector by others, independently of our approaches.  However, here, on the blog, no names, no pack drill… Anyone flouting this instruction will be blocked from participating in the discussion.