Catholic Church in Crisis: Pedophile cardinal; Pennsylvania priests abused 1k children; homoerotic church service

by Dr. Eowyn

Mark Taylor, the Florida fireman who predicted the presidency of Donald John Trump on April 28, 2011, wrote in “All Roads Lead to Rome,” January 25, 2018:

The Spirit of God says, “The Pope and the Vatican…are not furthering my kingdom but are aiding the kingdom of darkness…. This will be the last Pope, for what I the Lord God am about to do. I will expose this Pope and all those under his command for all the corruption he and the Vatican have been involved in for centuries…. This Pope, the Vatican and all its leadership, will come crumbling down. I will pull back the veil to show how deep and dark the deception has been. You whisper in your inner chambers ‘we answer to no one. No one is above us; No one can hold us accountable.’ I the Lord God see it all and the time has come when I will now hold you accountable for your darkness. This exposure will be of such magnitude that the people will say. ‘What do we do now? Where do we go now? We want nothing to do with this. We have no religion now.’ Millions will walk away from their religion, as this will affect other religions as well.”

“The church is facing a crisis that it hasn’t faced perhaps since the Middle Ages,” said Joan Mann Thomas, chair of the parish council at St. Anselm Parish in Ross, California.

Thomas was not exaggerating.

On August 22, 2018, Archbishop Carlo Viganòformer Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican’s ambassador) to the United States, called for the resignation of Pope Francis for protecting pedophile Cardinal and former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick.

McCarrick is but one of the triggers of the Catholic Church in crisis. The subjects of this post, the first of a series of posts on the crisis of the Catholic Church, are:

  1. Cardinal McCarrick.
  2. Pennsylvania pedophile priests.
  3. Homoerotic church service in Germany.

(1) THE PEDOPHILE CARDINAL

On July 28, 2018, after shielding Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis “accepted” the former Archbishop of Washington, DC’s offer to resign from the College of Cardinals, and ordered the cardinal’s suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, pending “accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

Although McCarrick’s pedophilia had been known for some time, Pope Francis  covered up for McCarrick, ignored the sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on McCarrick, and even made McCarrick a trusted counselor in U.S. clerical appointments, including the promotion of far-Left bishops such as Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark to the College of Cardinals. (The Remnant)

Accusations of 88-year-old Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse include:

  • Fondling an 11-year-old boy over 40 years ago when McCarrick was a priest in Manhattan, New York. The victim, now a mature man, says the sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. (NY Post)
  • Groping and having sex with seminarians: Six priests of the Archdiocese of Newark said that when then-Archbishop of Newark McCarrick visited the seminary, he “would often place his hand on seminarians while talking with them, or on their thighs while seated near them.” One of the priests said McCarrick “had a type: tall, slim, intelligent – but no smokers” and that McCarrick would invite young men to stay at his house on the shore or spend the night in the cathedral rectory in central Newark. Another priest, who was an aide to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke in the early 1970s, said McCarrick’s “reputation” was already well-established by that time, and that a classmate of McCarrick, the dean of a theology school, knew about the rumors and spoke about them with the other faculty and theologians very openly.” So well-known was McCarrick’s reputation that when he was a “standing joke” that when McCarrick visited the seminary, they had to “hide the handsome ones” before he arrived. Another priest, who worked in close proximity to then-Archbishop McCarrick in the chancery, said “Priests would tell me ‘he’s sleeping with them’ all the time, but I couldn’t believe it – they seemed like perfectly normal guys.” Seminarians and priests from ordination classes spanning 30 years during the terms of McCarrick and his successor, Archbishop John Myers, said there was an active homosexual subculture of priest and seminarians within Newark’s Immaculate Conception Seminary. (Catholic News Agency)

Despite McCarrick’s well-known reputation of groping and “sleeping with” seminarians, the Vatican promoted him to the cardinalate and to archbishop of Washington, DC, in 2001.

Two other cardinals have also be accused of sexual misconduct: Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers; and Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is accused by former seminarians in 2013 of sexual misconduct. Two years after the first revelations came out, Francis accepted O’Brien’s resignation after the Vatican’s top abuse prosecutor conducted a full investigation.

(2) PENNSYLVANIA PEDOPHILE PRIESTS AND THE BISHOPS WHO ENABLED THEM

In 2016, Pennsylvania’s 40th Statewide Grand Jury began an investigation into allegations of child sex crimes by Catholic priests across the dioceses of Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton and Greensburg. The six dioceses account for 54 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

In June 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that large portions of the grand jury’s report would be released to the public. But about two dozen current and former clergy named in the report succeeded in blocking its release, claiming it would violate their rights to due process and reputation. On July 27, Pa. Chief Justice Thomas Saylor ordered an interim report be released, with identifying information about those clergy petitioners redacted. (Penn Live)

On August 14, 2018, the 1,356-page, redacted version of the long-awaited grand jury report was released. You can read the report here. Below is a summary of the grand jury’s findings:

  • The grand jury heard the testimony of dozens of witnesses, and subpoenaed and reviewed half a million pages of internal diocesan documents.
  • The grand jury found “credible allegations” against over 300 predator priests, and identified more than 1,000 child victims from the church’s own records. “We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands.
  • Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.
  • Secrecy: In every diocese, abuse complaints were kept locked up in a “secret archive” because the church’s Code of Canon Law specifically requires the diocese to maintain such an archive.

Every diocese adopted the same strategy on pedophile priests:

  1. Use evasive euphemisms to describe the sexual assaults in diocese documents, e.g., “inappropriate contact” and “boundary issues” instead of  “rape”.
  2. Don’t conduct genuine investigations with properly trained personnel, but assign fellow clergy members to ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.
  3. Send priests for “evaluation” at church-run, wholly-inadequate psychiatric treatment centers where experts “diagnose” whether the priest was a pedophile based largely on the priest’s “self-reports,” but ignore whether the priest had actually engaged in sexual contact with a child.
  4. When a priest does have to be removed, don’t say why. Instead, tell his parishioners that he is on “sick leave,” or suffering from “nervous exhaustion,” or say nothing at all.
  5. Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses.
  6. If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, instead of removing him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimized, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a pedophile.
  7. Above all, don’t tell the police. Although child sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is a crime, don’t treat it as a crime. Instead, handle it “in house” as a personnel matter.

Some especially egregious cases:

  • In the Diocese of Allentown, confronted about an abuse complaint, a priest admitted, “Please help me. I sexually molested a boy.” But the diocese concluded that “the experience will not necessarily be a horrendous trauma” for the victim, and that the boy’s family should just be given “an opportunity to ventilate.” The priest was left in unrestricted ministry for several more years.
  • In the Diocese of Erie, despite a priest’s admission to assaulting at least a dozen young boys, the bishop wrote to thank him for “all that you have done for God’s people…. The Lord, who sees in private, will reward.”
  • Another priest confessed to anal and oral rape of at least 15 boys, as young as seven years old. The bishop later met with the abuser to commend him as “a person of candor and sincerity,” and to compliment him “for the progress he has made” in controlling his “addiction.” When the abuser was finally removed from the priesthood years later, the bishop ordered the parish not to say why.
  • Another priest, grooming his middle school students for oral sex, taught them how Mary had to “bite off the cord” and “lick” Jesus clean after he was born. The diocese finally removed him from ministry after 15 years and numerous additional reports of abuse.
  • One priest raped a seven-year -old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils out.
  • Another priest made a nine-year -old give him oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water “to purify him.”
  • One boy drank some “juice” at his priest’s house, and woke up the next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything from the night before.
  • Another priest, who finally decided to quit after years of child abuse complaints, asked for, and received, a letter of reference for his next job — at Walt Disney World.

Although, because of the church’s coverup, almost every instance of abuse the grand jury found is too old to be prosecuted and many of the priests are dead, “presentments” — written notices that a crime occurred — have been issued against two priests in the Greensburg and Erie dioceses, respectively, who sexually assaulted children within the last decade. There may be more indictments in the future because the grand jury is continuing its investigation.

(3) PRIEST HOSTS HOMOEROTIC SERVICE IN CHURCH

LifeSiteNews reports, July 23, 2018, that a newly ordained priest, Fr. Fabian Ploneczka, 33, of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese, celebrated his first Mass on Sunday at his home church of St. Moritz in Augsburg, featuring a homoerotic dance.

According to the Augsburger Allgemeine, the worship service included the premiere of a ballet entitled “Jeremiah: Passion of the Prophet”, featuring ballet dancer Clemens Fröhlich of Munich and a narrated libretto written by Ploneczka himself. Observers said the dancer performed dressed only in tight, skin-colored underpants.

According to an account in Kath.net:

The whole church became a dance floor, even the altar area. There the dancer took the Gospel in his hand, stepped almost naked to the ambo, and lolled suggestively in front of the altar.

A young man, naked to his waist, interrupted the service by shouting that everyone should undress. Some of the attendees, among whom were children, left early. Worshipers told kath.net the service in a consecrated church was clearly homophile and homoerotic.

Afterwards, Fr. Thomas Steiger of Tübingen, a pastor and radio personality, gave a talk on the “eroticism of the faith,” speaking of “a sensual love for Jesus.”

This series on Catholic Church in Crisis will continue tomorrow.

~Eowyn

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