The Conclave and the matter of handling of clerical sexual abuse of minors

On 20 February I wrote an entry called Wherein Fr. Z makes a suggestion to Cardinal Electors

I wrote:

I propose to Their Eminences that it could be better to elect someone whose record on clerical sexual abuse we know a lot about.

Otherwise, in this media age, the next Pope’s pontificate could be hobbled from the starting gate.

In some countries, such as these USA, Ireland, Canada, a little bit in some European countries, the press has been crawling all over diocesan bishops for years and a great deal has been exposed to the light of day.

This has not yet occurred in the “emerging” Churches, such as in The Philippines or Brazil.

In fact, has it happened yet even in Italy?

It will.

If a cardinal from one of these places is elected, it will happen a lot faster wherever they have served.

Today I read a couple stories which have to do with this matter.

At the Catholic News Agency:

Cardinal O’Malley Lists Sex Abuse, Curia Reform as Priorities

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley listed clerical sex abuse, reforming the Church’s administration and Christian persecution as some of the issues he thinks the next Pope will have to tackle.

“The new Pope will also need to face the sexual abuse crisis that is really worrying our people,” he stated in a March 4 interview with CNA.


He lists other priorities, too.

At the Catholic News Service, Cardinal George: Next pope must embrace zero tolerance for sex abuse

The next pope must be “very aware” of the need for vigilance in preventing clergy sex abuse and accept a policy of “zero tolerance” as the universal law of the church, said Chicago’s Cardinal Francis E. George.

Asked if he would consider a candidate’s approach to “sexual misconduct by clergy” when choosing the next pope, Cardinal George said “that will be an important issue” because sex abuse is a “terrible wound on the body of the church.

“Whoever’s elected pope,” the cardinal said, “obviously has to accept the universal code of the church now, which is zero tolerance for anyone who has ever abused a minor child, (who) therefore may not remain in public ministry in the church. So that has to be accepted.”

“I think that will not be a problem,” he added. “There’s a deep-seated conviction, certainly on the part of anyone who’s a pastor in a diocese, that this has to be continually addressed.”

The cardinal noted that U.S. bishops lobbied to make their own zero-tolerance policy part of the church’s canon law and convinced bishops’ conferences in other countries, such as India, to adopt similar norms.

Although the “incidence of abuse is practically zero right now as far as we can tell,” the cardinal said, “there are still the victims. And the wound, therefore, is deep in their hearts and minds very often, and as long as it’s with them it’s with all of us, and that will last for a long time. So the next pope has to be very aware of this.”


This will surely be a matter of discussion in the congregations, sitting rooms, and the conclave.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. shepherd says:

    This brings up another and related problem which was a concern of the former Pope – the lack of exorcists in the world. [Good point!] One late and well-known exorcist remarked a few years ago, “if child abuse is not a sign of the presence of evil in the world, I don’t know what is!” Exorcists often have to deal with people who have been abused and are now seriously troubled, even to the extent of possession. There is also evidence (from at least one source) that some of those committing acts of abuse (especially priests) may also need deliverance and (in one documented case) exorcism. The former Pope asked for exorcist in every diocese. Many bishops have failed to answer this plea. Reliance on psychotherapy is not enough (I was once part of a group of psychiatric social workers and psychiatrists who were openly considering the place of exorcism in their work). This is a priority. Bishops need to wake up the to fact of spiritual warfare and at last listen to the appeals of the Pope Emeritus. I know more about this matter than I can say since a source from Rome spoke to me in confidence, but I can say this, the former Pope was very concerned about this matter.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. Raymond says:

    Speaking from experience, in the Philippines it’s more common for misbehaving priests there to have affairs with women–sometimes conceiving children with them–than to molest young boys. I believe this is also the case in Latin America.

  3. cwillia1 says:

    The problem is much bigger than sexual abuse of minors. The integrity of a celibate clergy requires that homosexuals not be ordained and that men with homosexual inclinations never exercise authority over others in the Church. Consider the case of Cardinal O’Brien who, I think, admits to having made advances to seminarians in the 1980s. No doubt he has confessed these sins and is repentant. But absolution in such cases should require the penitent to resign from any office of authority over others and never assume such an office in the future.

  4. OrthodoxChick says:

    Off-topic alert (my apologies). This is about children, but not sexual abuse.

    My kids visited this blog this morning to feed Basil before heading off to school, but we can’t find him. Help!! Where’s Basil??!!!!

    [On 28 February Basil retired to a quiet page of his own, where he can run in peace. HERE.]

  5. Peter G says:

    You could have included Australia in the list Fr.We are having a nationwide judicial inquiry into child abuse this year.The inquiry is a result of the situation in the Catholic Church here but does include all churches,education departments,government agencies and organisations such as the scouts.There is however,little doubt that we are the main target.

  6. Andy Lucy says:

    OrthodoxChick- Basil is apparently, as of 28 February, 2013, Siberian Hamster Emeritus. He has his own page… if you scroll down, look carefully just below “Support the US Military Archdiocese,” you will see the announcement. Apparently, Basil’s announcement didn’t get quite the amount of press coverage as Pontiff Emeritus Benedict’s announcement received. ;)

  7. Traductora says:

    I don’t think it would be difficult to get approval of a tough policy with respect to children. The problem is, of course, that this still doesn’t deal with the lax sexual morality of the clergy or even lay Catholics, for that matter, which is what permitted the whole child abuse thing to get going. Adult homosexuals in the clergy who may have pursued only other adults were drawn into the circle of consent in order to protect and defend their own behavior, and this certainly provided coverage to the very small number of actual pedophiles (and much larger number of gay priests interested in teenage boys) and always will unless it is dealt with firmly.

    But in order to do this we’ve got to get back to the concept of sin and completely dump the legalistic, psychological approach which says that the only thing that is wrong is something that is prosecutable under civil criminal law. There have always been morally corrupt clergy, but because the concept of sin existed, it was possible at some point to call them to account. Once the Church was freed from sin by the Spirit of Vatican II, which announced that what was formerly considered sinful behavior was simply a difficulty in psychological adjustment and had to be not only tolerated but respected, there was no defense left. Bring back sin!

  8. lydia says:

    IMHO Cardinal Burke would be an excellent choice to cleanup the mess and lead Catholics back to their roots. He’d be a nightmare for the modernists and those who seek to destroy the One True Church. I’m praying for him.

  9. frjim4321 says:

    Are there any cardinals who have not been ordinaries?

    That could be one work-around for this.

    Adult homosexuals in the clergy who may have pursued only other adults were drawn into the circle of consent in order to protect and defend their own behavior… – Traductora

    I thought the practice of scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis went out of fashion right around the time of John Jay II.

  10. Juergensen says:

    “The cardinal noted that U.S. bishops lobbied to make their own zero-tolerance policy part of the church’s canon law”
    My understanding is that the U.S. bishops exempted THEMSELVES from their own sex abuse policies. If so, how can those policies be considered “zero tolerance”?

  11. OrthodoxChick says:

    Andy Lucy,
    Thank you fr pointing that out to me. Don’t know how I missed it – duh!

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco will fill the bill if he is elected.

  13. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Off-topic alert (my apologies). This is about children, but not sexual abuse.

    My kids visited this blog this morning to feed Basil before heading off to school, but we can’t find him. Help!! Where’s Basil??!!!!”

    Will there be a conclave to elect a successor to Basil? I’m thinkin’ it should be a chicken, hmm…

    The Chicken

  14. acardnal says:

    Hopefully the thinking you are reporting on, Fr. Z, also involves removing complicit or incompetent bishops; correcting seminary curriculum and selecting better seminarians not just any candidate; and putting in place outstanding seminary rectors.

  15. acardnal says: The Biological Solution is at work.

    Frankly, there has been huge improvement, amazing improvement over the last few years.

  16. frjim4321 says:

    acardnal says: The Biological Solution is at work.

    Well, whatever metric this “biological solution” refers to must be considered in relationship to the overall attrition rate of Catholics.

  17. frjim4321 says: in relationship to the overall attrition rate of Catholics


    We are heading toward a leaner Church.

  18. acardnal says:

    Leaner and purer.

  19. Andrew says:

    Salvator nihil medium amat. Et sicuti frigidum non refugiens, calidis delectatur, ita tepidos in Apocalypsi evomere se loquitur. (S. Hieron. Ep. 31)

  20. MarcAnthony says:

    Zero tolerance policy for Priests?

    No, no, no, no, NO! Terrible idea! Just look at Fr. Gordon McRae as an example. Zero Tolerance policies are always terrible ideas and it remains a terrible idea in regards to Priests. Not all scandals are created equal. Don’t pretend that they are lest you get more Fr. McRaes in the world.

  21. Jason Keener says:


    I also think Raymond Cardinal Burke would be the best man for the task of dealing with the sexual abuse crisis. Cardinal Burke is, of course, from the United States where the crisis has already been blown fully open. It would also seem that Cardinal Burke is fully aware of the crisis and actually has the fortitude to really enforce a zero tolerance type of policy from the Vatican when it comes to this sort of evil. Moreover, Cardinal Burke, being an eminent canonist and having been the head of the Apostolic Signatura is also especially familiar with the rights that accused priests have under canon law, etc. Sometimes, we must remember, priests are falsely accused by those looking to destroy Mother Church or get some sort of payout. These reasons, among many, many others, are why I hope that Cardinal Burke will be quickly elevated to the Throne of St. Peter.

    [I’ll add a comment. The next Pope doesn’t not have to be a canonist to deal properly with the situation that is going to emerge in may more places over the next years. The next Pope can have many good canonists nearby at the snap of his fingers. The next Pope needs a) to have a good record or at least not a stained record in this matter and b) iron will to see it through, while protecting the rights of the accused, c) iron will to remove bishops, if necessary, from governance of dioceses.]

  22. catholicmidwest says:

    frjim4321, you said, “I thought the practice of scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis went out of fashion right around the time of John Jay II.”

    Only if you didn’t actually read the report or care what was in it. 81% of the victims were male-on-male and most were *not* small children, but rather, teenagers. Hello. That’s neither heterosexual sexual abuse nor pedophilia.

  23. Hidden One says:

    MarcAnthony, zero-tolerance does not of itself entail zero support or pre-trial condemnation, both of which nonetheless happened to Fr. MacRae.

  24. I cannot comment on how the hierarchies of Asia, Latin America, Africa and much of Europe are responding to clerical sexual abuse but I wouldn’t be surprised if only some of them are paying attention. If heterosexual priests are engaging in fornication and/or adultery then there will probably be a hidden coterie of homosexual priests active as well – protected by the latter. There are no homosexual-free zones.

    My provincial commented on our General Chapter in Rome last September that it was tough getting a Order-wide policy on child protection because the Indians and the Italians denied they might have a problem. I would not be surprised if the same attitude were found among the bishops. Where there are sinners there will be sin and a tendency to justify oneself by being indulgent to others. Alternatively sinners will use blackmail to protect themselves – already alleged to be happening in Rome!

    I do hope the cardinals in Rome are reading this blog and taking Fr. Z’s sage advice – elect someone who has been well scrutinised!

  25. Mary T says:

    “I thought the practice of scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis went out of fashion right around the time of John Jay II.”
    I take it this is a sardonic remark about the John Jay College’s coverup of the fact that over 80% of the cases were in fact homosexual (involving post-pubescent boys, not children, and hence not pedophilia).

    I wish the lamestream media would not keep covering up the fact that the Church was VICTIMIZED by these homosexual predators, both priests and bishops, who saw the Church as a place to HIDE, giving them an explanation – celibacy – for not marrying, plus giving them social standing, and FUNDS. In more than one state these “priests” were discovered dipping into the till to pay for apartments and vacations for their gay lovers. Again, the CHURCH AND THE PEOPLE IN THE PEWS WERE VICTIMS, not perpetrators! Yes, we have to do everything in our power to see that nothing like this ever happens again, and yes, the Pope is right that many share the blame for the coverup, etc. We also share the blame for the MINISCULE number of ACTUAL pedophiles, the tiny, tiny percentage that molested children.

    But why, or why, do we allow the media to set the terms of the problem??? The Church was infiltrated by evil people and is not evil itself.

  26. norancor says:

    I have to second MarcAnthony.

    Zero tolerance results in guilty until proven innocent. The canonical issue of priests having a right to their good name, and the indefinite shelving of a priest upon an allegation with “administrative leave” has to be dealt with. It is a crime of injustice that cries to Heaven for an answer.

    frjim4321 seems to be rather unaware of facts on the ground. The large majority of clerical abuse cases involve pederasty, not true pedophilia. A small bookshelf of books have been written on this subject. Have you not read any of them? Or are they simply an inconvenient truth?

    The homosexual mafiosi that run many seminaries and entire dioceses around the western world are well documented by laity, seminarians and priests who have seen the rampant buggery. I myself, during my vocational discernment years ago, saw active homosexual “couples” in more than one diocesan seminary. So preoccupied with their lifestyle are they that they don’t even bother to hide it even when strangers are around. I also know personally more than two dozen former seminarians and priests who witnessed the behavior in their own seminaries before abandoning their vocation or moving to a new seminary to finish formation.

    Your laissez-faire dismissiveness of the reality of homosexual rot in the clergy is rather troubling, Father, as is your lack of awareness that fruitless heretics, the venal and worldly, and the deviant eventually have to grow old and die… the biological solution.

    Darwinianism is actually at work now in the Church. Those who retain the Faith and obey the Church’s doctrines and traditions have better families, more children, are better priests and religious, do not abuse people or lead them astray, and bear fruit in their own ways. This is a time of environmental stress, and only the spiritually fit are surviving, because the fitness comes not from people, or evolution, but from our God, Who fortifies and strengthens the souls of those who desire to follow Him faithfully. Those who do not die from spiritual rot and a lack of fitness.

    So the biological solution works amongst the priests and religious and laity as well. Those who clean to tradition and orthodoxy tend to make better priests and better bishops, have a lower tolerance for error and sin, and the laity who do so tend to have more children who have more religious vocations and children who actually accept and live their faith.

    What is required now is perseverance. If you can’t persevere in the Faith, you won’t last. You will be tepid, will want to compromise, and eventually you will lapse, or if you don’t, your children will.

    Both hands on the plow, for our God is a jealous God, and we must put Him before all else.

  27. acardnal says:

    MarcAnthony wrote, “Zero tolerance policy for Priests? No, no, no, no, NO! Terrible idea! “

    We are not speaking about unsupported accusations but credible allegations – those where there is evidence that requires further investigation – and after which guilt has been determined. Then zero tolerance applies. No second chances for sex abuse offenders (which happened too often in the past!) because it is not a treatable condition in the offenders.

    No one wants to see an innocent cleric be falsely accused and removed from service.

  28. It sounds like the U.S. cardinals are working together on this. Or is that reading too much into this?

  29. avecrux says:

    I’m not sure there is anyone I would trust more than Cardinal Burke to do the right thing… with the sexual abuse cases and also with other abuses in the Church. Obviously the sexual abuse scandal is horrific and it gets incredible media coverage. But the psychological and spiritual abuse many have been subjected to in the Church can be utterly crushing and damaging as well. For example – the tolerance of “Catholic” politicians who openly advocate the murder of pre-born children has very seriously damaged the credibility of the Church in the United States. If we are going to talk about the need for exorcism, let us not ignore the rampant progress the Culture of Death has made in recent years and the fact that it is (literally) hell bent on destroying the Church. Such politicians here in Illinois have crushed Catholic Charities and stand poised to legislate same-sex marriage (having already legalized homosexual civil unions a couple of years ago). I don’t need to detail what those “Catholics” have done on the national scene to threaten the Church in the United States with the HHS Mandate and what that might do to the formerly constitutionally protected right to religious freedom. So where does Cardinal O’Malley stand on the abuse perpetrated by such politicians on the Church in the United States? Zero tolerance???

  30. PostCatholic says:

    I wish to offer a friendly amendment to your statement: c) iron will to remove bishops, if necessary, from governance of dioceses and dicasteries.

  31. Supertradmum says:

    I personally know of three seminaries which are still accepting men with SSA. Why?

    The biological solution will not end this problem. Knowing there are differences between all the types of sexual abuse of children, pre-and post-pubescent males, and the difference between this type of abuse and homosexuality, it still does not make sense to allow SSA men into the seminaries.

    Until this self-selection by those at the top, choosing men like themselves, ends, nothing will change. As to certain cardinals making statements, there has been plenty of time to clean out the ranks of priests who are homosexuals or paedophiles before public outcry; but this has not been done. The damage done in Chicago by Benardin was not corrected under George.

    Sorry, but this is the truth. No one wants to do the really hard thing and that is remove all the homosexual priests from their parishes.

    Not one cardinal or bishop has systematically removed the numbers needed to protect the Church from further scandal. Now, if a person has repented and is not longer active, that is one thing. But, if a priest has committed a crime, that is another thing and he must be removed. And, if a priest is active sexually and not following his vow of celibacy, he needs to be removed. This does not happen.

    The bishops and cardinals all wait for a scandal to arise. The new rules in place are good if followed. The new screenings are good, if followed. We need a Pope and strict Cardinals and bishops who will truly deal with the problems. Otherwise, the problem will seep down into the next generations of priests.

  32. Imrahil says:

    Zero tolerance results in guilty until proven innocent.

    That it is called “tolerance” to not punish one not proven guilty is itself a sign of a problem.

    However, I should think there is (at least in literal reading) another interpretation of “zero tolerance”, viz. “all envisable punishment for those proven guilty, unless the punishment is proven certainly unneccessary or probably counterproductive”.

    In this sense, “zero tolerance” is not necessarily what to do, but certainly a defensible proposal of what to do.

    In my view, “administrative leave” should be used in very rare circumstances (such as a proven offense against a public-but-not-canonical minor, or some reasonable time with a fixed limit, say four weeks, until canonical judgment is passed). Penal law exists for use. Also, the penal law is (and should be) as always a safeguard for the defendant, in that he cannot be punished save according to it.

  33. PatB says:

    Perhaps the incidence of abuse is almost nil elsewhere, but there is a heinous new case in western Oregon. Not surprising, as some parishes march in the gay pride parade.

  34. Magash says:

    I think that whoever the next pope is that Rome must take a stronger hand in cleaning out the diocese. They obviously can’t do that until they themselves are purified. So the next pope must clean up the mess in the Curia. He must then appoint good men to clean up both sides of the mess in the diocese. That means rooting out the purple mafia in the seminaries and diocesan offices and vetting those men falsely accused so they can return to ministry.

  35. Stumbler but trying says:

    “We are heading toward a leaner Church.”
    Amen…let the pruning continue until all the dead foliage is gone. Let smug attitudes be among the first rot that falls to the ground then tossed into the fire.
    Praying for all.

  36. Daniel says:

    While Cardinal O’Malley seems to have a reputation of being sent to dioceses to clean-up sex abuse problems, I don’t know that I’ve seen that his record matches the reputation. From what I can tell, he quickly reaches financial settlements with those making accusations. The fact that he wears his Capuchin habit seems to instill a sense of humility and simplicity, along with gestures like selling the bishop’s residence and moving into simpler quarters. Is that as far as it goes, or does he have an actual record of cleaning up a diocese?

  37. PostCatholic says:

    Wasn’t a gesture, Daniel–the Archdiocese of Boston lost that huge campus and the “Residence” as it was known because it had to settle with an enormous amount of victims for the harm done to them.

  38. AvantiBev says:

    Although the “incidence of abuse is practically zero right now as far as we can tell,” the cardinal said, “there are still the victims. And the wound, therefore, is deep in their hearts and minds very often, and as long as it’s with them it’s with all of us, and that will last for a long time. So the next pope has to be very aware of this.”

    As long as we have greater and greater numbers of FATHERLESS kids in the Western world, we will have a fresh crop of prey for homosexual ephebophiles and paedophiles. Don’t just focus on one or two evil fruits of the Sexual Revolution i.e., abortion and same sex unions; aim for the trunk of whole darn poison tree – the crop of sired rather than fathered children grew due to shack-ups, hook ups, and no-fault divorce. If not targets for sexual predators they are fodder for gangs and violence. I pray the coming Pope challenges women of the world but especially of the West to reclaim their dignity and stage a counter-revolution.

  39. MarcAnthony says:

    “We are not speaking about unsupported accusations but credible allegations – those where there is evidence that requires further investigation – and after which guilt has been determined. Then zero tolerance applies. No second chances for sex abuse offenders (which happened too often in the past!) because it is not a treatable condition in the offenders.

    No one wants to see an innocent cleric be falsely accused and removed from service.”

    That’s not how it’s going to work in practice. With “zero tolerance” what’s going to happen is that every time a Priest is accused, even on trumped up charges or fifty year old charges, they’re going to be publicly outed and jailed to roaring public approval, at the expense of innocent men, *just in case* they committed a crime, because, hey, zero tolerance!

    If they’re accused, due process is going to go out the window because every crime will be treated equally. But that’s not how the real world works. Even with sex abuse crimes, some are clearly worse than others.

    Let’s not have more Fr. McRae’s.

  40. acricketchirps says:

    I predict that by the time the Church finally gets a handle on this and roots out and eliminates the vast majority of the remaining sex offenders and complicit bishops in a leaner, purer Church, the World will once again be in favor of homo-sex with minors and the issue will be used to bash the Church.

  41. The Astronomer says:

    frjim4321 says:
    5 March 2013 at 7:08 am

    I thought the practice of scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis went out of fashion right around the time of John Jay II.

    Nice try… Identifying by name the spiritual rot, damage to immortal souls and psychiatric damage caused by the Lavender Mafia and their VERY well-entrenched, viciously self-protective network in North America and Western Europe can only be called ‘scapegoating’ if one is willing to engage in quite a bit of cognitive dissonance. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin and his perverse proteges did their Luciferian work exceedingly well. The majority of the problem in the Western RCC has been homosexual activity on the part of priests, bishops and yes, cardinals directed towards each other, seminarians and post-pubescent teen boys over the past several decades. Here in NJ, it was common knowledge that a certain progressive senior clergyman in the 80s & 90s had a vacation house down the Shore where he would often invite handsome seminarians and priests for ‘weekends of reflection.’ A good number of these have since left the priesthood.

    Growing up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the 70s & 80s, my family got to know first hand the insidious damage these homosexual predators wrought. Don’t be fooled…the Lavender Mafia still exists and they are just as viciously self-protective (refer to the two recent reports by the 3 cardinals and the Polish priest, Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D). We will need a saintly pontiff with a iron constitution and fearless faith in Our Blessed Lord and His Mother to prune the Lord’s vineyard. Whether or not we get one depends on storming Heaven with prayers, as the Lavender Mafia has its own malefic ‘benefactors’ in the Powers and Principalities of This World.

    St. Padre Pio and St. Michael the Archangel, PRAY FOR US!

  42. acardnal says:

    Zero tolerance policies do not put clerics in prison. The legal system does that.

  43. MarcAnthony says:

    “Zero tolerance policies do not put clerics in prison. The legal system does that.”

    They certainly don’t help, and they do their part in blackballing and slandering Priests.

  44. Cantor says:

    Supertradmum wrote:
    I personally know of three seminaries which are still accepting men with SSA. Why?

    With respect, madam, I would suggest that a part of the problem is those who, like yourself, “know” about these places but do not name them and present their evidence. Lacking that, it is only a form of gossip that hurts the Church all the worse because it comes from within.

    If you have presented your evidence to the authorities, once on your own and once with others who share the same knowledge, and nothing has been done, it’s time to proclaim it in public. Isn’t that Paul?

    If you have not, then why cry to us and webland with the accusations?

  45. RJHighland says:

    I am very tired of hearing of this biological solution stuff, I will from here on refer to its BS. True leadership does not wait for abusers or those that protect them to die off so they can be replaced to cover face. [You have misunderstood, it seems, at a fundamental level, what I am referring to with the “Biological Solution”. The “Biological Solution” is simply a fact. Everyone eventually ages and either dies or retires, thus making way for the next wave of leaders. When I bring up the Biological Solution, I have NEVER suggested that all we have to do is wait them out.] These people need to be tried and if found guilty removed. Our Lord would not wait on a BS, he called a spade a spade. He required repentance and penance immediately. I don’t remember our Lord saying go on sin at some point you will be too old to sin anymore then you can repent. I too now many men that were called to discern Holy Orders but upon entering a Seminary were repulsed by the open homosexuality present. We need real men to take over the Church. I am so tired of these pansies in the clergy and bishoprics. The Lord did not call sissies to be his Apostles, the men he called were working men, He himself labored as a tradesman. So many artists depict St. John the Evangelist as a girlish boy. He was a fisherman, hauled in nets loaded with fish every day, he had to have lats like a sculling crew member and hands and forearms of steel. Same goes for Peter, James and Andrew. We need a Peter to grasp the wheel of this Church and remove all the buggerers and be the example of what caliber of men we need in the seminaries. Our new Pope needs sent people into these seminaries and do as Jesus did to the money changers that defiled the Temple, kick them all out if they are not worthy. I rather have a few good priests than a lot of dysfunctional ones. Same thing goes for Catholic Universities and Parochial Schools either get in line or drop the name. I rather have four solid Catholic Universities than 100 that cause more people to lose their faith rather than develop it. We need a Rock, not a little sissie to command this ship. We have had sand for to many years I pray for a Rock that will carry the sword of Justice and calls apon St. Michael. These men came into control of our Church, Universites and Seminaries under the Pontificates of John XXIII-Benedict XVI, it is time for a new order of religious men because we are in a heated battle with the Evil One. [Okay… If that is your hope for the Church, GET OUT THERE AND FOUND ONE!] Pope Benedict XVI has done much to repair some of the damage but we are still closer to sinking then running at full sail. Bring on the warriors for Christ. At this point I would rather see a Pope come out in chain mail, armor and a sword than papel vestments and red shoes. Maybe some red combat boots to go with the armor, just saying. Something to tell the world play time is over it is time to get to work and we are not playing around anymore. If our Pope runs he doesn’t deserve to be Pope, I rather have a Pope that stands in the arena that we can stand behind, like in the TLM he leads us to God who will lead us to victory. I never understood that prophecy about the Pope running, no Pope should fear death unless he has no faith and is not doing the will of God. Death would be victory because ultimately it was God’s plan.

  46. sbvarenne says:

    Given all that has come to light recently about “homoheresy,” the “lavender mafia,” and the gay crowd in the Curia (see Homosexuality on, [Remember: all of that is just hearsay. Take it with a grain of salt.] and the fact that most of us haven’t heard a sermon about sin, confession, repentance, or Catholic sexual morality since before Vatican II, it is fully time for the next pope to declare to the universal Church the Catholic teaching on sexual morality and ethics. [That teaching has already been declared. It isn’t a secret. What we need is better preaching about it.] This should be a big theme in the New Evangelization. The focus on sexual pleasure will take over all other concerns, so there is a good reason why we all need discipline in this area. Secularized Catholics are, of course, in defiance, with the usual protest: “The Church can stay out of my personal business.” Hans Kung, who wants married priests, married gay priests, married lesbian priests, and endorses the homosexual life style, obviously wants a Church based on all sex all the time for all people. It is so obvious that unregulated sexual activity is dangerous. The Church needs the courage to step up and help people out here.

  47. catholicmidwest says:


    The reason that doesn’t happen is that the Church is founded not on an ideal, but on a person. It’s not primarily a therapeutic morals society, let alone one with a focus on sexual behavior. It’s about whole persons; it’s about Salvation history. It’s about God’s intervention in the world that he made. The difficulty here is that we have a very puny notion of what that is nowadays, and that has occurred for a lot of reasons.

    About morals: Yes, growth in holiness, prayer and union with the Church and with God invariably involves growth in virtue, including the virtues of chastity, temperance, diligence and humility. This is what we should be worrying about: when a few priests have so little virtue that they would abuse children, what’s wrong with the way they are trained and managed? What are their lives like that this could happen? When a few bishops have so little virtue that they’d stand by, move priests around to avoid detection and then deny what’s happened, what’s wrong with the way they are selected, trained and matured?

    What everyone seems to have lost sight of is that abusing other people sexually is NOT consistent and coherent with holiness, in any way shape or form. It’s a solid indicator that there’s something really, really, really wrong, and should not be tolerated on even a very basic level. But conversely, constantly emphasizing sexual behavior, instead of solid balanced growth in virtue, is not the cure; rather, it only perpetuates the problem of not understanding the entire Christian message, which perpetuates a lack in the growth of union and virtue.

  48. AvantiBev says:

    Re Comment by “The Astronomer”
    Here in Chi town I call them the Lavender I.R.A. (Irish repub army). I got my reasons.

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