Who Is to Blame for the Scandal of Rome’s Priests (OR: What Else Would One Expect?)
In the wake of Rome’s sex-abuse scandal the U.S. conference of Catholic bishops undertook an investigation into the allegations against its priests and the irresponsible response of its Bishops. The results have recently been published. According to the study, the bishops concluded that 4,392 priests allegedly have abused more than 10,000 victims over a 50-year time span. [You may be sure this is the most favorable estimation (and spin) possible.]
What is noteworthy is that the study was honest enough to acknowledge that the molesting priests were by and large homosexual. This is one of the dirty little secrets of the homosexual lifestyle. From the homosexual population come the predators of young teenage boys. And it has nothing to do with consent. The gay-liberation movement (with its supporting politicians) has not welcomed such press. The liberal news media has acted equally ignorant that such might be the case. Truth is not what such folks are looking for. Now, however, in response to Rome’s bishops’ study, a book has been written by an openly homosexual author, David France. It is entitled Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal. In this book, in a surprising admission, France acknowledges that the offending priests were homosexual after all. He had little choice in the matter. He interviewed a number of the priests involved, and they all informed him that they were gay. Um-m-m-m…. Imagine that! Now what?
What should not surprise us is where Mr. France has decided to put the blame. It is not on the offenders themselves, of course. In an article entitled “‘Homophobia’ Blamed for Priests’ Abuse” (Agape Press), reporters Ed Vitagliono and Sherrie Black inform us just where Mr. France thinks the blame should be. In an interview by a pro-gay magazine, France stated
“[W]e now know from talking to these priests [who molested teenagers]: they’re gay,” France told The Advocate, a magazine targeted to the homosexual community, adding, “And if they were gay men, we should ask ourselves why that was happening. What caused it?”
What is France’s explanation in Our Fathers? “What I argue is that these guys represent homosexuality in pure and total repression,” he said. “This is what successful repression looks like: men so alienated from their own sense of self that their sexual expression came out in explosive ways.”
So, it is all due to “homophobia.” The “real” offenders are not the priests who did the molesting. Rather, they themselves, like those upon whom they preyed, are to be numbered amongst the victims. The real “perps” are those in society and church “guilty” of condemning homosexuality and calling such behavior a forbidden thing. This means, of course, that those really to blame for this whole sordid mess are those who had nothing to do with the scandalous behavior and those with whom adolescent boys would be perfectly safe. Why of course! Who else?
Unbelievable! The brazenness and illogicalness of the reasoning leaves one gasping. But we live in an age when such reasoning is more and more considered compelling and sound. An intellectual madness rules.
The question that begs to be asked of France and his cronies is, “So what are you implying? If I understand you right, it is this—the desire for adolescent boys is due to the repression of homosexual desires. Therefore we should let such men pursue their desires (just be themselves), and, if society and church would simply give these men free rein to pursue their cravings, then suddenly young boys would be safe. In other words, the only way to make sure your adolescent boys are safe from such men, is to let such men loose amongst your adolescent boys.” Amazing. Who has heard of anything quite so “insane.” Yet, today this makes perfect sense.
Fortunately, not everyone as yet has bought into such “reasoning.” The article also points out
That explanation is rejected by pro-family groups. “So France’s solution would be for the Catholic Church to embrace homosexuality and allow practicing homosexuals to serve as priests? And then the abuse would stop?” asked Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. “That’s ridiculous fantasy denied by history and the undercurrents within gay culture. The real solution is to make sure that homosexuals aren’t in the priesthood.”
How true. The trouble is, as the article goes on to say, Rome continues to reassign priests charged with such behavior to other parishes “incognito,” and so the cycle continues. Ever true to herself, Rome really admits to very little and essentially changes nothing about itself in this area either.
Where This Is All Heading
In the end, what the laws and the judges that are granting the homosexual lifestyle legal protection and recognition are aiming at is no secret. It’s the freedom of the pulpit. An article entitled “Hate-Crime Law Worries Pastors: Some consider liability insurance to cover pulpit remarks” (Worldnet Daily) makes this very plain.
Pennsylvania (not exactly known as a hotbed for the liberal movement) now has laws against “hate-crimes” on its books. It just recently approved of amendments to these laws that make the interpretation of what constitutes a “hate-crime” very broad indeed. As of June, “harassment by communication” now constitutes a “hate-crime.” No wonder churches and pastors in the Quaker state are beginning to shake a bit.
A religious liberty group is trying to reassure Pennsylvania pastors who fear they could face prosecution under a new law if they preach against homosexuality.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty sent a letter to 9,000 houses of worship across the state June 18 after a hate-crimes law was amended to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as motives that trigger heavier penalties for the crimes of “harassment.”
“It is a measure of our times that religious leaders have lately considered taking out liability insurance to cover remarks made from the pulpit,” said Becket Fund President Kevin J. Hasson.
Of particular concern to pastors is the amendment’s expansion of the definition of “harassment” to include “harassment by communication”—which means one could be convicted on the basis of spoken words alone.
“Although legislators expressly disavowed the motive at the time, one might be forgiven the impression that one purpose of this legislation was to generate a fear of prosecution among those who would preach and teach in favor of the traditional prohibition on homosexual behavior—a teaching so common to so many faiths/’ Hasson noted.
However, the Becket Fund’s letter explained to clergy that the new law should not deter them from preaching against homosexual conduct.
The group says that although the language of the law appears to cover preaching from the pulpit, it is unlikely to be applied that way.
The Becket Fund also offered to help ministers threatened with such prosecution. “We will defend, free of charge, anything said from the pulpit, conservative or liberal, wisdom or nonsense, so long as it is a religious message given in good faith,” Hasson declared.
Will such a law be used against the pulpit, churches, and preachers who speak out against homosexuality? You had better believe it will. We do not doubt that Mr. Hasson says what he says in good faith. He simply cannot bring himself to believe anybody would stoop so low as to use this law to charge preachers (who condemned the homosexual lifestyle as displeasing to God) with being guilty of “hate-crimes.” Legislators assured him this was not their intention.
Brother Hasson is mistaken. He may be sure that the one main purpose of those promoting the Pennsylvania legislation is exactly “…to generate fear of prosecution among those who would preach and teach in favor of the traditional prohibition on homosexual behavior.” Supporters of the gay-move- ment are convinced that the primary generator of hate and prejudice against homosexuality (by calling it sin and deviant behavior) is the Christian church and its pulpits. They intend to get at such. This legislation, all pious blandishments aside, simply gives them the legal club with which to do it down the road.
And Pennsylvania’s legislation is an indicator of the coming wave.
“When Ball Becomes Baal”
The above heading is within JL quotation marks. I cannot take credit for it. It is another man’s phrase—a certain Jim Elliff, writing an article for the Baptist Press. It is timely. It hits home.
Sports has become much of Christianity’s new “god.” Those of us living in West Michigan can verify that. Last month the Grand Rapids Press ran a three part series on Christians (of the Reformed community in particular) getting more and more involved in Sunday sports in every way—as fans, as participants, as professionals earning their living [desecrating] the Lord’s Day. The Grand Rapids community has noticed this development. The Grand Rapids Press thought it high time for the Christian community, its Reformed section in particular, to explain (and justify) itself after so long having condemned those who played on the Lord’s Day.
The same Christian churches that so recently condemned sports and recreation as a transgression of the Lord’s Holy Day, now have members out there hitting a pitching wedge to the green and trying to leg out a double with the best (worst?) of them. Professing Christians lead the Sunday hit parade. What gives? What changed? The community wonders.
The Christian “apologists” did their best to explain. According to the “apologists,” the new “freedom” to “violate” the Lord’s Day has to do with Christian maturity, that is, Christians finally growing up and learning not to be so legalistic, that is, judging others by one’s own personal preference as to what one may or may not do on the Lord’s Day. Spiritual maturity means each has the right to determine for oneself what’s the best use of the Lord’s Day for one’s spiritual growth. Some evidently find arguing with an umpire over another blown call another step in their spiritual development.
In short, it appears to me what comes to light is a new insight into the Bible, in particular a passage we evidently have misinterpreted for all too long: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, (and spiritually mature), I embraced with even greater fervor childish things and refused to put them away even on the Lord’s Day.” I am sure that is what I Corinthians 13:11 really must have meant to say.
Evidently the Baptist community where Jim Elliff lives is dealing with the same sports craze our Reformed community is dealing with here in West Michigan. He writes as one who knows.
I love to watch my kids play sports. In fact they need to play—some.
But it’s not as easy as handing over 70 bucks and saying, “Sign up Johnny and Susie this year.” Making that decision means that you may be out four to five times each week during the season. Sports soon becomes all about calendarization [sic] and control of your life—especially if you have more than one kid. Perhaps nothing outside of a change in your job has so much potential to turn the family schedule upside down.
“This man understands,” you say.
Now comes the part you won’t like: “Behold, I say unto you, you have made sports the household god.” Too strong? Okay, not everyone has done this. But the deification of sports is happening to many.
How does ball become Baal? Answer: When it controls you, and you give it devoted worship.
It is around your god that you order your life—and you can almost never say ‘no’ to it.
Like athlete’s foot on the hygienically challenged teenager, sports has taken over more and more of the life of believers. Almost overnight we have awakened to the sad fact that, in many communities, sports has even usurped the hours believers meet on the Lord’s Day.
All too often members are saying to church leaders, “We’ll be gone next Sunday because of the soccer tournament.” In turn, leaders are supposed to acquiesce humbly. After all, we can’t afford to appear “legalistic”; everyone knows that the greatest crime a church can commit is to demand something of someone.
You’ll hear, “But the team needs all the players. We can’t let the team down.” It never occurs to them that the church body is being deprived of a necessary body part, or that God is marginalized and disobeyed. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, God states in Hebrews 10:25.
Devotion is the operative word. When the team says, “We need you,” we sacrifice to do it. But when it crosses the time allotted to spiritual edification and worship, the Ruler of the universe is often sent to the bench. In the process, we teach our children that devotion to sports is more important than both devotion to God and loyalty to our spiritual family. Have you considered that you may be teaching your kids to worship sports?
The Olympics are past, and fall sports loom on the horizon, both school and professional. Has ball become Baal with us? Don’t say it is not there.
And what is happening in our homes on Sundays?
Do we really think watching on our televisions Sammy Sosa take another mighty cut or Phil Mickelson go for another major or the Lions take on the Bears on Sunday afternoon is any different than watching in the stadium itself? Do we really think one Apostle would join us and commend such “Christianity”?
To what extent is ball becoming Baal in our family rooms on Sunday afternoons? The angels must weep.