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By Gregory Shapiro
It's a mixed bag of Catholics in the Washington, D.C. archdiocese. It includes some of the most sincere, devout, strong, faithful Catholics — lay and religious. It also includes pro-abortion, pro-LGBT, globalist, modernist Catholics who have decided status means more than God's will. We see this from the likes of some politicians, your everyday layman and even prelates.
I have encountered some claiming that women's ordination would be a solution to the problem. One protester I spoke to as I was walking into Mass insisted this very thing. When I challenged her on this and asked why Our Lady was never put in place as a bishop, she insisted that "we had many female bishops in the early Church" (oddly enough, not one seemed to have made the cut in being beatified).
I also encounter the narrative that homosexuality is not the issue, that we must not go on any "witch hunts" or blame priests with same-sex attraction. Not only do I hear this from media, but even some of Cdl. Donald Wuerl's own critics. The message is clear: This is only a pedophilia problem — pay no attention to the homosexuality behind the curtain.
With Cdl. Wuerl's critics in the archdiocese pleased with his resignation but also demanding that homosexuality be left out of the equation, would we but putting a mere band-aid over an enormous gash?
After praying, I was compelled to speak at the listening session held at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle last fall. I said the following:
Last week's session was a blessing, and I found hope in it, but I did notice a void in the discussion. We talked about the child victims — good! They are the most vulnerable of the victims. That said, they aren't the only victims. We've forgotten the victimized young men which has been a large part of this crisis.
Pope Francis, Cdl. Cupich of Chicago and other prelates have rightly regarded this problem as clericalism — clerics using their position as a means to abuse. But it isn't just clericalism ... it's homoclericalism.
The 2005 Vatican instruction on the question of homosexuality and the priesthood states this clearly: "The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.'"
This doesn't mean there aren't good priests with same-sex attraction. I'm not scapegoating these people. But recognizing the overwhelming role that homosexuality has played in so many of our past and present scandals is not scapegoating. It's the Church confronting the truth.
Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago in the '90s made for the gay agenda to be more welcomed within the Church and seminaries. Many of the bishops have carried on this effort. We have other well-known priests like Fr. James Martin who have subtly been trying to change Church teaching on sexual morality all in the name of "building a bridge."
We should absolutely build a bridge, but that bridge must be made from Christian charity and truth, not sanctimonious lies and appeasement. Our Lady said the final battle would be over marriage and the family. Sexual immorality has plagued our world and has found its way into the Church.
With all due respect to the priests and catechists, the official Church teachings on the dangers of homosexuality and contraception have largely been silent. This is why so many Catholics — both lay and religious — see no problem with either.
We've offended Mother Mary. We've decided that it's better to offend her than to offend each other with the truth. We need to return to the hard teachings of the Faith if we want to fix this problem. We all love the Church, and she's too precious to dismiss this.
Lastly, I beg you all not to leave the feet of Jesus as He hangs on the cross all because of the crimes of Judas.
After reading this, I was met with some applause and some jeers. By the end of the meeting, one gentleman introduced himself to me and shook my hand.
"The homosexual crisis has been left out so much, and we have to think of the seminarians, too," he said.
I couldn't agree more. If we really love the Church and want to express compassion toward the victims, no one can be left out. If the Church is facing a specific crisis pertaining to sexual morality, including homosexuality, then we need to be sincere. Keeping the curtain closed — or even presenting half-truths — is what got us into this mess in the first place.
Stay woke. Pray, do penance, persevere and remain totally truthful.
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