Francis: Uncovering sins of Bishops is work of Satan. UPDATED!


I don’t pay daily attention to the Novus Ordo readings.  However, here is what the 1st reading was for Mass today in the Novus Ordo, which Francis would have had.

I’m not making this up!

Reading 1 COR 6:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones?
Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world?
If the world is to be judged by you,
are you unqualified for the lowest law courts?
Do you not know that we will judge angels?
Then why not everyday matters?
If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the Church?
I say this to shame you.
Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers?
But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers?

Now indeed then it is, in any case,
a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another.
Why not rather put up with injustice?
Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?
Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.
Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God.
That is what some of you used to be;
but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

At the Catholic Herald I read interesting account of Francis’ fervorino.

Pope Francis: the Great Accuser is trying to uncover sins to cause scandal
by Staff ReporterTuesday, 11 Sep 2018

‘In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops,’ the Pope said [I think “accuser” is from the root for “satan”]

The Great Accuser is trying to uncover bishops’ sins in order to scandalise the people, Pope Francis has said. [I’m thinking that that must be incomplete.]

In a homily at Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, the Pope told bishops that they seem to be under attack from the devil. [It would be peculiar if they were not!]

The best way for bishops to fight this, he added, is by being men of prayer who remain close to the people and who have the humility to remember they were chosen by God, Vatican News reports.

The Pope said that prayer is “a bishop’s consolation in difficult times,” because “Jesus is praying for me and for all bishops.”

Referring to the devil, Pope Francis said: “In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops.”

“True, we are all sinners, we bishops,” he added. “He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. [Ummmm…. uncovering sins is the work of the Devil to “scandalize”, by which he means “to shock” rather than to lead into committing sins. Probably.]

“The Great Accuser, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’.

“A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction.
[I’m not entirely convinced that living like an aristocrat removes the anointing that bishops receive in their consecration. As a matter of of fact I know it doesn’t. It’s indelible. Perhaps he means some other anointing?]
“Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”

Bishops must remain humble, he added, because they were chosen by God.

“The bishop who loves Jesus is not trying to climb a ladder, advancing his vocation as if it were a mere task or seeking a better placement or promotion. No. A bishop feels chosen, and has the certainty of being chosen.

“This drives him to speak with the Lord: ‘You chose me, of little importance, a sinner.’ He is humble, because he feels chosen and feels Jesus’ gaze upon his whole being. This gives him strength.”

A good bishop also does not “try to find refuge with the powerful of elite,” Pope Francis said.

“The ‘elites’ criticise bishops, while the people has an attitude of love towards the bishop. [I’m not sure what he is talking about. If you criticize a bishop you are an “elite”, which is apparently not a good thing to be. But if you love the bishop you don’t criticize. So… never criticize bishop?]

“This is almost a special unction that confirms the bishop in his vocation.”. [So there is an “anointing” that come from El Pueblo? Maybe that is why in 2013 he asked for people to bless him? I’m not sure about this sort of “unction”. But, apparently, if you criticize a bishop – for whatever reason it seems – then you are not part of the “anti-elite” who anoint the bishop. You are the devil. I think i got that right.]

I need to think about this more.

Meanwhile, the reading today…

Did @JamesMartinSJ comment on the reading today?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. This is getting sickening to the point that it makes a person want to throw up. I think the pope has it wrong about the accuser trying to scandalize people by exposing sins of bishops, priests, cardinals and even popes. I think this is how God is exposing those who are evil in the Church. Cleaning up the mess has to start somewhere. This pope seems to want to shut people up by saying these kinds of things. I am not an elite I am just a people and I will expose anything that harms the Church when I can.

    Maybe the pope should read the Maxims of St. Francis de Sales? As I have quote from his Maxims before, “It is an act of charity to cry out against the wolf when he is among the sheep.”

  2. Ultrarunner says:

    The Great Accuser being unchained to expose the sins of bishops’ is a pretty sorry metaphor for Attorney Generals seeking to prosecute crimes. What a pathetic attempt to demonize Justice and those who seek it.

  3. Malta says:

    I guess I should stop reading my favorite writer, Dante, because he criticized Bishops and Popes in his Inferno! This pope is trying to double-speak in re: to the Vigano revelation.

  4. chantgirl says:

    First reactions to this:

    Vigano is clearly being cast as Satan in this narrative, and what is to be done with Satan? Cast him out. Is Vigano going to be cast out- excommunicated, laicized?

    Bishops are chosen by the Pope in collaboration with other clerics. Is the Pope infallible in the appointment of bishops? Are the decisions of a Pope beyond criticism? He says that bishops are picked by God. Does that mean that Francis’ decisions are beyond reproach, no matter what they are, because he has a direct pipeline to God’s wishes? Does that mean that Bishops can do what they want, without reproach, because God picked them?

    If bishops are directly chosen by God, is the pope also chosen directly by God?

    If bishops are chosen by God, can the Pope really remove them? Punish them?

    Is it clericalism to believe that bishops and popes are above the law, above accusation, above reproach.

    What is more elite than having to answer to no one for your crimes because you are above the laws that bind the common people?

    I’m no psychologist, but this homily sounds like Francis justifying his silence and protection of compromised men, while vilifying any who would question his actions. His perceived enemies are literally demonized. This smacks of the clericalism we keep hearing about. This insinuation that popes have a direct line to the will of God, in that a pope’s will becomes the will of God, sounds papolatrous, like a new form of idolatry. If various popes disagree on a subject, whose view is really in line with God’s will. Does God change His mind?

    In a nutshell, this homily screams “I am above reproach, and those whose dare to question my decisions are in league with the devil.” I see this as a veiled threat to potential whistleblowers and those who support them. Is there a purge coming of the perceived enemies of Francis?

    Finally, are Francis and the bishops really the persecuted ones here, or are the victims of abuse the ones who have really been persecuted by the Church?

    Again, I’m no psychologist, but this line of thought reeks of narcissism and power obsession to me.

  5. teomatteo says:

    Lu. Sing. It.

  6. Ivan says:

    Just look at that picture which must be carefully chosen by the ‘staff member’ of Catholic Herald!
    It speaks more than a thousands words!
    Who have eyes, he may see it.

  7. chantgirl says:

    And really, according to this line of thought, is not Francis acting as the Great Accuser, hunting down to punish one of God’s handpicked bishops? Should not Vigano feel secure in prayer that he is chosen by God?

  8. Peco says:

    It appears that the pope takes the sheep to be fools! Attack the messenger when you don’t want to respond to the substance.
    Sorry, I don’t see it the way His Holiness does. Seems to me that he’s got it backwards. Archbishop Vigano is exposing the work of “The Great Accuser”. Thank God someone is. The rot, filth and darkness must be exposed to the light.

  9. GregB says:

    In the Old Testament God sent prophets to hold the Israelites to account for their faithlessness. They were God’s drill instructors sent to whip the troops into line. St John the Baptist was more of the same. In Luke 11 Christ blasted the religious leadership with His woes. St Stephen was taking the Council to task when he was stoned to death. People always like to bring up the attempted stoning of the woman taken in adultery. They seem oddly silent about all of God’s prophets who were killed in the line of duty. The real blood letting in the Bible was more in the line of Cain and Abel, who was referred to by name in Christ’s woes.

  10. FrAnt says:

    Pope Francis was not elected to be the “Servant of the servants of God.” Pope Francis was elected to advance an ideology. Now if everyone will keep silent and join Jesus in praying for all bishops, then all will be fine. “Nothing to see here, move on! I have. — Franciscus P.P.

  11. scotus says:

    How long before we hear Cupich, Tobin, Spadaro, etc saying the same thing. This just adds to the litany of attempts at trying to avoid dealing with the massive crisis in the Church. Silence. Pretending that there are bigger issues. Now accusing those who seek to root out the evil of being agents of the Devil. What next?

  12. Ipsitilla says:

    So, is the prophet Nathan is now on the wrong side of history for having dared to point an accusing finger at the Lord’s anointed one (who also committed grave sins to cover up sexual misconduct)? Some of the current bishops could stand to learn from King David’s model of repentance…

  13. majuscule says:

    When semperficatholic said, “I am not an elite I am just a people and I will expose anything that harms the Church when I can“ it brought to my mind the ordinary people who went up the line to their bishops crying for help when abused by a priest.

    What of these people who were put off or ignored? Would a “prayerful” bishop who is “close to the people” do such a thing? No, I guess people were ignored by bishops because the Great Accuser made them do it. Poor guys.

  14. ususantiquor says:

    If the pope means by this that those who seek to expose the corruption in the episcopate of the Church are doing the work of the devil (and I think from the context it is what he means), then this is a very serious escalation of the whole affair. To expose the homosexual networks within the Church (clearly the work of the Devil, and those complicit in conceal the cannot be the work of the Devil. As Jesus says in the Gospel when accused of driving out demons by the power of demons, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    Ironically the epistle in the Novus Order yesterday ( I Cor. 5.1-8) is wonderfully apropos and contradicts what I think the pope is saying in his homily:

    It is widely reported that there is immorality among you,
    and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–
    a man living with his father’s wife [homosexual behavior might also qualify]
    And you are inflated with pride.
    Should you not rather have been sorrowful?
    The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
    I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit,
    have already, as if present,
    pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed,
    in the name of our Lord Jesus:
    when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit
    with the power of the Lord Jesus,
    you are to deliver this man to Satan
    for the destruction of his flesh,
    so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

    Paul is not doing the work of the Devil!

  15. ususantiquor says:

    Sorry for the typos. Should read: To expose the homosexual networks within the Church (clearly the work of the Devil) and those complicit in concealing them, cannot be the work of the Devil.

  16. HvonBlumenthal says:

    During hos Papacy Francis has never shrunk from accusing people of things, sometimes using quite colourful language. His defenders have always said that it is in fact part of his role to point out people’s faults so that they can repent and make amends.

    Are we to understand that it is for him, and him alone, to accuse others of sin? And that Bishops are entitled to immunity from such accusations? If so, is this not the very extreme of the “clericalism” which he blames for the abuse?

  17. rtjl says:

    I wonder if the people who claim that this whole crisis is a matter of clericalism and who are defending the Pope and those bishops implicated most deeply in this crisis get the irony in all this. This “anti-clericalist” Pope is spouting clericalism of the rankest kind, the notion that clergy and bishops should not be held accountable for even the gravest sins, crimes even, and that some how they should be considered immune to accusation and even above suspicion simply by virtue of their office. It seems to me that those who are most loudly decrying clericalism are relying on clericalism for their defense.

  18. Fallibilissimo says:

    The degree to which we, laity, are allowed to criticize our clerical leaders is something I’ve been perplexed about for a really long time. Everybody quotes me canon 212, but I don’t find it satisfactory since it seems pretty vague to me.
    I don’t know what the answer is and it really doesn’t help that, to date, I can’t find any saint that really went after clerics. Instead, ironically, in the Dialogues of St Catherine of Siena, I see severe reprimands from God the Father for those who would judge or scold “bad priests”.
    I really wish there were some clarity on the matter, one way or another.

  19. Ivan says:

    ” The Pope said that prayer is “a bishop’s consolation in difficult times,” because “Jesus is praying for me and for all bishops.” ” – also this is very strange to my ears. It really is. I never ask Our God the Lord to pray for me. I also never say, that Our God the Lord is or maybe/should be praying for me…
    Because HE IS GOD!
    And yes, I know. Luke 22,31-32.
    But that was before. When Son of God our Lord walked on earth.
    Our God the Lord who is in Heaven is not praying for nothing. He is the Messiah, the Savior, the Judge, the King .
    For now it can be said as apostle St. Paul said to Romans 8,34, “Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

    I am meditating/reflecting here also on Mark 16,19, Psalm 110 (109), Ephesians 1,17-23, Hebrews 1,3-4, 1 Peter 3,22

  20. richiedel says:

    Recent history has shown us that even if other members of the Church – those who might second guess themselves in the face of the pope’s words – don’t reveal the sins of the bishops, then civil bodies like grand juries will do that for us. What will be a cause for even greater scandal when even more sins are revealed is whether people know that no one in the Church and especially in the hierarchy are doing anything to rectify the situation, starting with replacing those bishops who are digging their heals in amid personal responsibility for maintaining the culture of cover up is revealed.

    People are justifiably indignant about the fact that a bishop has been allowed to rise the ranks to cardinal amid open secrets of sexually abusing seminarians, and at the end of the day still having remarkable influence with the Pope for a matter of years.

    At the same time, a bishop has endemically covered for priests who have sexually abused children, and then risen through the ranks to the position of another influential cardinal.

    These aren’t private sins for which the bishops have otherwise been repentant and over which tried to reform their lives. This sins have had far reaching consequences in damaging the body of Christ for which the bishops have displayed few signs of willingness to do anything to ensure that the culture of cover-up which has allowed the sexual abuse of children by to priests to persist for decades. Left to themselves, we can see to what extent the bishops have tried rectifying the damage done by the sins. They are digging their heals in and obfuscating the matter to make it appear as if the people who need to change are those who demand the bishops do anything to fix the situation.

    Faced with such a situation, revealing these sins of the bishops which, left unfixed, will continue to damage, wound, and weaken the Church, is the ONLY way of ensuring the situation is fixed the the Church can heal.

    People are following the good and just willingness to heal and resuscitate the Body of Christ, and ensure which the culture of cover up within the hierarchy is no more. If revealing the sins of the bishops against the little ones is a necessary part of this process, then the scandal caused by doing so is far less a cost then doing NOTHING, which is a sure sign that the culture of cover up isn’t going anywhere and, very likely, will grow itself by appointing more and more members of its own to more and greater positions of power, ensuring its longevity for many more decades to come. The benefit that people know that something is being done to fix this situation – despite the scandal of knowing the bishop’s sins – will itself be a source of confidence and strength to remain sure in their faith in the face of such scandal.

  21. Unwilling says:

    Even though or even because Job was a just man, living an innocent life pleasing to God, God allowed the Accuser to test him. The Accuser afflicted Job, first taking away everything Job loved and then even his physical health. Job groaned and queried God (Jb 13:24 cf. “lama sabachthani?” Ps 22, Mt 27). Yet Job remained steadfastly faithful to God and to God’s justice.

    But here we are speaking not of just men, but of bishops and other clerics, whose perverted sins crying out to Heaven for vengeance, Francis pleads not to uncover, much less to rebuke or punish. McCarrick is no Job! Such bishops accused snarl at the “Satanic” accusers and wantonly deny the discovery of actual wickedness that might ruin themselves.

    Other bishops, more Job-like, call out to be examined (Jb 13:13ff) to save the integrity of Holy Orders.

    Jn 3:19-21 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

    [Yes, without “but”, I feel the fragility of my own hidden faults and tremble at their inevitable exposure before all the saints.]

  22. Fallibilissimo: canon 212

    This is what the canon says:

    Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

    §2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

    §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

  23. dropper says:

    …and BOOM…attendance at SSPX chapels just increased.

  24. Matt says:

    I have a simile that the Holy Father might appreciate. Let’s compare the Church to, say, a field hospital. Now, it often happens in field hospitals that a temporary dressing or bandage has to be removed — ripped away from the flesh it has adhered to, in some cases. This is painful for the patient and ugly for the bystander. But it’s not the work of the Great Infector. On the contrary, it’s done so that the exposed wound can be properly assessed and treated by those desirous of healing the patient. When this is not done, gangrene sets in.

  25. Ivan says:

    Also this, as the bright side, happens:
    “Bishop Egan creates UK’s first ‘personal parish’ for Traditional Latin Mass”

  26. Elizabeth D says:

    It is not fun making known to people more powerful than oneself what is awry. It can make one want to sit down under a broom tree and pray to die. “Get up, Elijah…”

  27. Mike says:

    without seeking an aristocratic life

    Such as, say, Cardinal Wuerl’s multi-million-dollar penthouse on Embassy Row? Granted, I don’t know what kind of birthday parties he has.

  28. AveMariaGratiaPlena says:

    I have been sick to my stomach since I read the pope’s comments. It’s devastating. But then again, neither Christ nor any of Christ’s apostles nor any saints ever said living out the faith in truth would be easy or pleasant. Perhaps I’m being melodramatic but it feels as though we are in for not a Season of Healing a la Cardinal Wuerl, but a Season of Godly Admonition & Purification.

  29. maternalView says:

    Or as some would describe it changing the narrative.
    It quite common for an abuser to claim to be a victim. And that the true victim is wrong. It’s a tactic that often works because then the victim second guesses himself and can get sidetracked defending himself.

    It’s important to stay on point. Some committed atrocious acts upon others, some covered it up and some benefited from the coverup to rise through the ranks. Most of the abuse was homosexual.

    The Pope could have easily acknowledged that there were bishops who did wrong and they must be dealt with AND then said something to comfort the innocent but beleaguered innocent bishops.No he treated the whole issue as if it’s an attack on all bishops for no reason.

    Another thing abusers like to use is others’ kindness, good intentions and desire to be good Christians against them. That’s happening here–by claiming that criticizing a bishop is somehow a sinful or a bad thing when we are discussing a sinful subculture in the Church. This isn’t gossip. We know these events happened and we want accountability. We aren’t trying to make a bishop look bad –he already was bad and he needs to be accountable. As do all the ones who helped cover up.

  30. Lurker 59 says:

    It needs to be said that anyone who has dealt with a physical/verbal/emotional abuser, either directly as the one receiving the abuse or one trying to intervene, that such abusers all act in the same way — making themselves the victim, exhorting the one abused to be silent, casting blame on the one abused and “making it all their fault”.

    It is the same pattern again over and over again and it is very much a blind spot in an abuser’s psychological makeup that they fall into this pattern.

    It is one of the reasons why it is so terribly hard for one abused to talk about it and bring things to other people’s attention and why, when the pattern is seen, it is best to get trained authorities involved because the abuser doesn’t think that they are doing anything wrong and are seeking to convince others, including the one so abused, that there is nothing wrong and that all is “normal and as God wills”.

  31. fmsb78 says:

    The Pope is using the “devil” just as a rhetoric vehicle since he has denied the very existence of hell on several occasions…

  32. arga says:

    The most outrageous thing about this pathetic homily is the proposition that exposing the sins of bishops is somehow out of bounds, or diabolical, while (by implication) exposing the sins of non-bishops is appropriate. Isn’t this one of the best definitions of clericalism you’ve ever heard?

  33. ex seaxe says:

    Ivan: I do not regard the creation of a personal parish for the FSSP as entirely good news. I much prefer the situation at St Walburge in Preston where the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest operates a shrine. Mass and all the other sacraments are available in the traditional rite to anyone, it is not an exclusive club confined to those who are members of that parish. There are several other churches around E&W which offer similar pastoral care.
    On the main issue: Pope Francis has spoken often of the need for bishops to ‘have the smell of the sheep’. Reflecting on the St Fancis de Sales quote above “Of the enemies of God and His Church we must speak openly, since in charity we are bound to give the alarm whenever the wolf is found among the sheep”, I am moved to remark that some of the bishops we now have smell rather more of the sheep’s blood.

  34. Benedict Joseph says:

    Bergoglian tossed salad with some “panic” dressing…

  35. AveMariaGratiaPlena says:

    @Lurker59 you are spot on. As Simcha Fischer has pointed out twice now (I actually agree with her on this!), Francis is acting like an abuser. I second your observation that this is an all-too-familiar pattern. Abusers are expert gaslighters.

  36. crjs1 says:

    I am looking forward to the clarification that the Council of Cardinals stated was coming from the Vatican. Hopefully it will be more clear than the Pope’s homily. I do think it’s disheartening that everyone seems to jumping to the most negative interpretation of the homily. I just really can’t imagine the Pope is referring to Viganò as a devil or that abusers should be protected. I would rather give the Holy Father the benefit of doubt until facts are more clear.

  37. The Astronomer says:

    The words and actions of various churchmen in Pope Francis’ corner are the tactic of gaslighting the faithful. Until you realize what ‘gaslighting’ entails and truly means, it is difficult to get to the root of the problem here. Look it up.

    The root cause is sodomy among the clergy and their self-protective network covering it up. Stalin said that all you had to do to convince people of a huge lie was to endlessly repeat it until the population accepted it. So boys and girls…let’s repeat it all together: “its not sodomy, it’s clericalism…its not sodomy, it’s clericalism…its not sodomy, it’s clericalism…”

    I mentioned my anger at this in confession to a priest recently and he tried to convince me that “sodomy being a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance” is something apocryphal made up by nuns prior to Vatican Two to scare repressed Catholics about those who had an LGBT orientation. So now we have GASLIGHTING in the confessional.

    I just waited for him to end his mini-rant, accepted my penance & absolution and left.

  38. Joy65 says:

    I realized at Mass this morning that the reading this morning was RIGHT ON TARGET!

  39. mburn16 says:

    “I just really can’t imagine the Pope is referring to Viganò as a devil or that abusers should be protected. I would rather give the Holy Father the benefit of doubt until facts are more clear”

    I don’t think the Pope is referring to Vigano as a devil, I think he’s saying that THE devil is working his ill in creating this scandal and unrest. The Holy Father, for his many and severe faults, has frequently invoked Satan. Interestingly, for one who seems so unconcerned with sin, he has possibly placed more focus on the Devil than either of his two predecessors.

    But Francis has worn out my ability to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  40. AveMariaGratiaPlena says:

    I’m sorry to comment here for the third time, but this is just too much. Having read today’s letter from St. Paul which Fr. Z posted, I’m more and more convinced – as others here have stated – that the Holy Father is indeed straight-up gaslighting us. Since he’s not a stupid man, nor a naive man, I can’t think of any other credible explanation.

  41. irishromancatholic says:

    Revelation of homosexuality and Satanism has been going on for some time. Studying “Windswept House” on page 492 and 493 I found one of Fr. M. Martin’s many references to homosexual and Satanic activity in the Church. It is noteworthy that a well known author/priest repeatedly brought this issue up over twenty years ago.
    Windswept House: “Suddenly it became unarguable that now during this papacy, the Roman Catholic organization carried a permanent presence of clerics who worshiped Satan and liked it; of bishops and priests who sodomized boys and each other; of nuns who performed the “Black Rites” of Wicca, and who lived in lesbian relationships . . . every day, including Sundays and Holy Days, acts of heresy and blasphemy and outrage and indifference were committed and permitted at holy Altars by men who had been called to be priests. Sacrilegious actions and rites were not only performed on Christ’s Altars, but had the connivance or at least the tacit permission of certain Cardinals, archbishops, and bishops. . . In total number they were a minority—anything from one to ten percent of Church personnel. But of that minority, many occupied astoundingly high positions or rank…. The facts that brought the Pope to a new level of suffering were mainly two: The systematic organizational links—the network, in other words that had been established between certain clerical homosexual groups and Satanist covens. And the inordinate power and influence of that network. ”

    Here is another reference to the homosexual/Satanist network from way back: Venerable John Hardon, considered to be the most reputable theologian in the Americas, as well as many other fine priests have been diligently working on exposing this moral rot for many years.

    I thought Father M Martin a couple fries short of a happy meal. Until Francis came along. Now many Catholics have begun reading his work and learning much about the corruption at the top of the Church. Archbishop Vigano gives credence and high ranking authority to information or “secrets” revealed long ago by faithful priests.

  42. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Well, St. Paul is… um, fairly clear that “boy prostitutes nor sodomites” “will inherit the Kingdom of God”, but I am sure if you asked Fr. James Martin, LGBTSJ, he would tell you that they most certainly should be allowed to go to Holy Mass, be welcomed and made to feel they are in a safe space, then go and receive Holy Communion – yes?

  43. Kathleen10 says:

    He has the unmitigated GALL to ask us to pity the poor bishops. It is beyond tone deaf, it is abusive. No one with a shred of goodwill would say such a thing to a population that has had to see and endure what Catholics have. He knows bishops are responsible for much of it and are rightly on the receiving end right now. What crust to appeal to people to what, pity them? Or is he saying in his verbose, roundabout way, if you tell the truth about what this priest or that bishop did to you, you are Satan? In this context, it is just another outrageous statement by a deranged person. I don’t know the nature of his disorder, perhaps there are many, but only that they are there. What manner of person is this…one can reasonably expect a baggage handler to have more insight than this man does. No, it is no accident, nor is it unintentional. It is malevolence.

  44. Actually, this was a sermon to the newly consecrated bishops in Rome for the “Baby Bishop School” (I know one of them.) This context might suggest a different reading.

    As the sermon was addressed to bishops themselves, the warning that Satan is out to reveal their sins might be understood more as a warning to the new bishops about their own behavior than a condemnation of “whistle-blowers” as agents of Satan.

    As Fr. Z said, Satan is certainly out to discredit bishops (and priests, and religious, and faithful Catholics).

  45. trekkie4christ says:

    Oddly enough, the legal situation Paul was criticizing the Corinthians for using was one in which the lower classes had no ability to accuse the upper classes, resulting in an unjust justice system. It seems that the pope is picking up on some of that while ignoring the image he presents of being above criticism from “lower classes” of the hierarchy.

    Also worth a read from CNS:
    A relevant quote: “Fear often causes people to remain silent in the face of other’s suffering and marginalize the sick and those most in need, Pope Francis said.” Is Pope Francis intimating that his silence is motivated by fear?

  46. Charivari Rob says:

    hmmm… Didn’t he tell the journalists to “go ahead and do their job”?

    Besides that, I’ve just been afraid he (and we) will get some sort of result reminiscent* we got all those years ago with… whatshisname… (Gary Hart, maybe?) – who dared the press to find out what he was doing.

    * not saying adultery in this case, just the general circumstance – daring those not kindly disposed to you and them taking you up on it.

  47. Charivari Rob says:

    The Pope, fmsb78, or Scalfari?

  48. maternalView says:

    I think we can do better than Simcha Fisher to understand the psychology of those we are dealing with in this scandal. I brought it up on this blog (when we got the Pope’s non-response) that he was acting like an abuser (and I felt bad even suggesting the possibility) because I’m not a trained expert but just a person who’s had to deal with such people. I’m sure there’s a good Catholic psychologist familiar with narcissistic abusers who can shed more insight into the minds of such people.

    We need to understand how abusers think and respond. They do not think and respond like normal people. Being nice and reasonable does not work. Yes, we need to adhere to our teachings on how to treat people but I don’t believe God expects us to be stupid either. That doesn’t help anyone.

    These men including Pope Francis aren’t going to just decide to come clean. They will be forced to but until then, and even in the face of overwhelming evidence, they will fight to maintain their way of life.

  49. JabbaPapa says:

    The whole thing seems detached from reality :

    Insomma, il vescovo è «uomo di preghiera, uomo che si sente scelto da Gesù». E poi come terzo elemento, ha aggiunto Francesco, è «uomo che non ha paura di scendere in un luogo pianeggiante ed essere vicino al popolo: è proprio il vescovo che non si allontana dal popolo; anzi, sa che nel popolo c’è una unzione per il suo mestiere e trova nel popolo la realtà di essere apostolo di Gesù». Ecco «il vescovo che non rimane distante dal popolo — ha affermato il Pontefice — che non usa atteggiamenti che lo portano a essere distante dal popolo; il vescovo tocca il popolo e si lascia toccare dal popolo. Non va a cercare rifugio dai potenti, dalle élite, no. Saranno le élite a criticare il vescovo; il popolo ha questo atteggiamento di amore verso il vescovo, e ha questa, come fosse, unzione speciale: conferma il vescovo nella vocazione».

    «Uomo in mezzo al popolo, uomo che si sente scelto da Dio e uomo di preghiera: questa è la forza del vescovo» ha ripetuto il Papa, suggerendo che «fa bene ricordarlo, in questi tempi in cui sembra che il Grande Accusatore si sia sciolto e ce l’abbia con i vescovi. È vero, ci sono, tutti siamo peccatori, noi vescovi». Il Grande Accusatore, ha affermato il Pontefice, «cerca di svelare i peccati, che si vedano, per scandalizzare il popolo. Il Grande Accusatore che, come lui stesso dice a Dio nel primo capitolo del Libro di Giobbe, “gira per il mondo cercando come accusare”. La forza del vescovo contro il Grande Accusatore è la preghiera, quella di Gesù su di lui e quella propria; e l’umiltà di sentirsi scelto e rimanere vicino al popolo di Dio, senza andare verso una vita aristocratica che gli toglie questa unzione».

    Among other things, the Pope seems to be suggesting that the remedy for the revealing in public of the sins of a Bishop is for the Bishop to pray — nothing about the need of Bishops to go to Confession !!

    No advice to flee from Sin to avoid being revealed as a sinner, but rather “stop behaving like aristocrats, and then you will be able to avoid accusations”.

    The theology here is extraordinarily dubious.

  50. John Grammaticus says:

    Well if the Bishops hadn’t committed such egregious sins in the first place there would nothing for them to be accused of……

  51. JesusFreak84 says:

    “Bishops must remain humble, he added, because they were chosen by God.” And he actually said that with a straight face…my word… I haven’t seen Narcissistic Personality Disorder on such flagrant display since Obama was elected to the US Senate.

    “… a few fries short of a happy meal…” did make me laugh, though XD

  52. Throughout Scripture, seems to me that it is the Holy Spirit who uncovers sin. The devil merely accuses.
    Moreover, our own experience agrees with this. God’s uncovering of sin prompts us to repent and to seek our Redeemer.

  53. snegopad says:

    The first and strong and only impression , that I got after reading that homily of PF was:

    severe reality loss because of heavy disorder, mental, spiritual, moral,
    ( in character of course , thats already known for a long time ).

  54. Fr. Kelly says:

    Luke 12: 1-5
    At that time Jesus began to speak, first to His disciples, “Beware of the leaven—that is, the hypocrisy—of the Pharisees. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna;* yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.

  55. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    It seems 1 Corinthians 6 is the answer to all this.
    But it flies in the face “who am I to judge”?

  56. Pingback: Clergy & Hierarchy Scandal: VVednesday Edition – Big Pulpit

  57. defenderofTruth says:

    Crjs1: you rightly want clarity from the Holy Father, but unfortunately, prior precedent tells us that you wont get any.

  58. Geoffrey says:

    Perhaps the new Roman Lectionary isn’t so bad…

  59. Those are interesting and thought provoking comments about gaslighting and abuse.
    It is so absolute sad and evil the way that type causes one to question reality and their own judgement. Especially from those who know better and or those in a position to stop the abuse.

    Extremely cruel at best. What, in all sincerity does this evil acted out and manifested in the lives of those whom we should trust, call for? There is no explaining away this evil. Only acknowledging the sin/s and repentance. Fasting and penance and deep humility can combat this evil. Our Lord commanded this from us.

  60. un-ionized says:

    I spent several years fighting gaslighting by some priests at my former parish. They were deeply closeted and hiding behind an affected orthodoxy and catering to people who love altar rails and incense.

    Part of my problem there was being told to shut up by people quoting the infamous page in the Pieta prayer book that says it’s a mortal sin to say anything against a priest even if it’s true. That’s how the Boston coverup started with Cardinal Medeiros.

    The problem isn’t with just the heirarchy, it’s absolutely everywhere. There needs to be a major examination of conscience by every Catholic regarding sins of omission. Did I look the other way? Did I ignore a complaint? Did I take part in the abuse by shunning and isolating someone? Am I getting special treatment for being a sycophant or for large donations to the parish?

    “They never did that to me,” is no excuse. Gaslighters target certain people such as single women who don’t have a husband who would go up and beat these malignant narcissists to death with a tire iron.

    Finally, a complaint to the bishop and prior provincial got the priest transferred but now he’s in charge of formation, which is also how this works.

  61. LarryW2LJ says:

    The Great Accuser revealing sin? Isn’t that a bit on order of “a house divided against itself cannot stand?” Seems to me that Satan would never uncover sin – even if that worked towards his own purpose. I always thought that it was the Holy Spirit, Who works to uncover sin, so thereby sinners can see their misdeeds and repent.

  62. Tom Kaye says:

    I think a box of plastic straws mailed to Cdl. Cupich by each one of us is a swell idea.

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