Clerical Sex Abuse: The Theology of the Crisis

by Dr. Alan Keyes  •  •  August 30, 2018   

Homosexuality is the problem in the Church

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Dr. Alan Keyes

Those implicated in Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò's letter bear witness against the grooming and promotion of homosexual clerics in the Catholic Church are already beginning their predictable counterattack. Cardinal Blase Cupich issued a statement disputing Abp. Viganò's memory of the circumstance of his appointment as archbishop of Chicago. But the most telling remark in his statement disputes the notion that homosexuality is the cause of clerical sex abuse:

The clinical data do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity or those who committed same-sex sexual behavior with adults are significantly more likely to sexually abuse children than those with a heterosexual orientation or behavior.

Though he purports to address Abp. Viganò's account, this statement employs rhetorical sleight of hand to redefine the issue so as not to address it. Archbishop Viganò's observations have to do with "the evidence that ... 80 percent of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims."

The clerical crisis does not pertain only to sexual abuse of children. It pertains to the abuse of authority over young adults — most of them males — by homosexuals entrusted with their religious instruction or supervision. It involves clerics who made themselves an occasion of mortal sin to such young souls, with a view to satisfying their sexual cravings. And it involves establishing cliques with other clerics who are similarly disposed to avoid exposure of their activities and to obtain more powerful positions for pursuing and safeguarding them.

In the context of Christian doctrine, the effort to normalize the individual practice of homosexuality in the first place, an attack on ancient theological and ethical teaching, rooted in the Scripture, the words of Christ and the Apostles and repeatedly affirmed in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. But beyond this, Abp. Viganò's letter has shocked many faithful Catholics because it supports the conclusion that clerics committed to homosexual behavior have colluded to garner and exercise educational and administrative power within the Church hierarchy.

They have done so to encourage young Catholics to embrace, as the basis for their identity, an understanding of human nature that exalts willful human choice, induced by passion, above the choices of God who — in creating us — wholesomely informed our nature for the good of humanity and all creation.

As Pope John Paul II points out in The Theology of the Body (Chapter 1.1, "What is Meant by the Beginning") both Christ and the words of Genesis affirm that God created humankind, in the image and likeness of God, male and female. Reject that distinction, and we reject the formal presence of God in our nature.

We reject the command of God, which it addresses — "Be fruitful and multiply" — and we reject the intention of God that we should be self-conscious individuals, distinguished from one another in fact, yet and still one in substance, by God's spirit and loving will for our preservation.

The Scripture several times reiterates the connection between the male/female dichotomy and both the substantive and formal presence of God in our human nature. When God says that "it is not good for man to be alone," He observes what He alone has the knowledge to perceive — for who except God knows, in the first instance, what it means to be like God?

In light of that knowledge, God informs the substance He withdraws from Adam, while Adam sleeps, oblivious to His performance, so Eve comes into existence. When God presents her to Adam, he all at once sees himself in her. From whence the pre-vision of himself that thus immediately informs him of himself? From whence, if not the primordial prevision of God for Adam's nature — human nature — conceived in the forethought with which the very substance of God's being prepares itself to be imprinted upon the moistened dust that represents itself unto itself, in human form.

That self-representation, reproduced in Adam, becomes our humanity. And then, the substance of human being, which God withdraws from itself, comes to itself again in Eve, so that Adam may know as he is known, completing the image of God in God that God means for all humanity, and indeed for all creation, to be.

The clerical crisis does not pertain only to sexual abuse of children. It pertains to the abuse of authority over young adults — most of them males — by homosexuals entrusted with their religious instruction or supervision.

What are we doing, then, when we reject the representation of God that's in us, and for the sake of our self-satisfaction, destroy the self-reflection that fulfills God's prevision of our relationship with Him? What indeed, except prefiguring our own annihilation — by seeking to be on our own what we even cannot know how to be except by the knowledge of God?

The Scripture (Psalm 2) speaks of those who cast away the lines of God's delineation, joining what He divides, parting with that wherewith He holds us to Himself:

"Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 'Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us?'"

Male and female are thus divided in bondage to one another, even as we are all of us divided in our bondage to God, so that we may exist in and through God's being, yet exist (stand away) in distinction from Him, nonetheless. Reject this paradoxical perfection, intended to preserve our individual existence, and we reject God with and in us, which is also Jesus Christ.

This is the choice they make who accept the idolatrous abuse of human sexuality that satisfies them by spurning the image of God apart from which there is no "them." How can the Catholic Church, or anyone who purports to live in Christ, thus reject the meaning of His humanity? How can they not see that the cause of the sex abuse crisis is the spirit that embraces and promotes this rejection, the spirit that encourages us to see "homosexual love" where God sees sin and the due recompense of sin, which is annihilation?

For God knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked perishes.

Dr. Alan Keyes served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under President Ronald Reagan, and ran for president in 1996, 2000 and 2008. He holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard, and writes at his website Loyal to Liberty.


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