Fidelity, fidelity, fidelity
By Alisa Craddock
In a recent article, Bishop Victor Galeone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine expressed his hope and desire for harmonious union of the various parishes of his diocese. Using the analogy of a choir, he wrote "a choir does not invent its own melody and lyrics as it proceeds. Rather, it's the duty of the conductor and the choir members to adhere to the score produced by the genius of the composer, perhaps long since deceased…the bishop--like a skilled conductor-- leads the faithful to profess in mutual harmony the truths revealed by our Divine Composer [the Word of God revealed through Christ]. If some members should attempt to skew the faith by changing or denying key elements, their discordant notes turn what was once a harmony into a cacophony." [my emphasis.]
When the sexual abuse crisis broke out in the Church in this country almost a decade ago, I remember Fr. Richard John Neuhaus sizing up the problem with three words: "Fidelity, fidelity, fidelity." The Church had, since Vatican II, gone astray from the established doctrine and teaching of the Church. The evidence in the abuse crisis pointed to a problem almost exclusively homosexual in nature, with approximately 85% of the child victims being post-pubescent boys. Despite all evidence suggesting this link, a recent "finding" by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice claimed that the molestations were mostly perpetrated by priests who attended seminary during what they referred to as the "blighted seminary environment" of the 1940s and 50s, that the priests, according to the report, were "emotionally underdeveloped". The seminaries, Karen Terry of the John Jay College stated, didn't detect an increase in homosexual candidates until the 1970s, so she concluded that "the sex-abuse crisis emanated mainly from socially maladjusted pre-Vatican II priests." They concluded that " the idea of sexual identity [should] be separated from the idea of sexual abuse."
A priest friend of mine described to me the transition that took place during that transition period. He had gone to seminary, left for a time, and returned. As best I can paraphrase it, here is what he described:
When he first began attending seminary, none of the young men had cars. They lived in the seminaries, they did their own housekeeping and groundskeeping, every minute of their day was accounted for. In addition to their academic studies, spirituality and service were emphasized.
It was a controlled and disciplined environment, designed to winnow out those who did not have a true vocation to the priesthood, and to train those who did for a life of self-sacrifice and service. Then my friend left the seminary for two years. During that time, something happened. Something disturbing and, dare I say, evil.
When he came back to the seminary, everything had changed. There was a new Rector, all the boys had cars and were going out at night. Some were seen in bars, some in gay bars, some brought girls into the seminary dorm from the nearby women's college, and the girls stayed overnight with them in the seminary. The emphasis had shifted from "spiritual growth" to "psychological wellbeing", among other problems. When he reported this to the rector, he was told "Well, the boys need to be allowed to make their mistakes."
The seminaries in America emptied out practically overnight, and a priest shortage ensued. Only in recent years have they begun to flourish again. Ironically, the seminaries that are drawing the most young men are the ones that teach the Latin Mass (you know, the one they used to teach during the "blighted era").
The John Jay College report completely ignores the rise of the "Lavendar Mafia", (the homosexual underground) as it came to be known in the seminaries in the post Vatican II era, nor does it acknowledge such studies as that in the Journal of Sex Research, which noted that " . . . the proportion of sex offenders against male children among homosexual men is substantially larger than the proportion of sex offenders against female children among heterosexual men . . . the development of pedophilia is more closely linked with homosexuality than with heterosexuality." Kurt Freund, Robin Watson and Douglas Rienzo. "Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Erotic Age Preference." Journal of Sex Research, February 1989 [Volume 26, Number 1], pages 107 to 117. These findings are corroborated repeatedly by other studies. To deny that link among the clergy is irresponsible.
Be that as it may, my purpose here is not to rehash this issue, but to note that this, and many other problems in the Church, arose out of an invasion of subversive and hostile elements, and many in high places, who had as their intention to remake the Church. This transition didn't just happen suddenly. As early as 1864, Pope Pius IX issued the "Syllabus of Errors" correcting some of the modernist tendencies in the Church. John XXIII's predecessors had fervently resisted a Vatican Council, anticipating the undercurrent of progressivism driving it. But Vatican II happened, and suddenly the progressives came out from hiding. As una voce (one voice) became many with disperate and contradictory notions of Catholicism, disunity was inevitable, and the greater the disunity, the faster and wider the breakdown of the Catholic Church in America. This problem still exists, at least in some measure today. But it is on the wane, because many of the most "progressive" bishops are retiring, and they are being replaced with faithful, orthodox bishops. Too often, though, it is the orthodox priest and not the "progressive" priest, who is treated like a pariah.
Bishop Galeone's analogy above applies equally well to our national situation. It seems redundant to keep repeating this over and over, but the U.S. Constitution is our music, and we must be faithful to the genius of its composers if we are to cease sounding like a cacophony, or worse. This brilliant document is the foundation upon which our society was built, and it produced the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world. But just as so-called Progressives in the Church have confused and scattered the faithful, sewing dissention and disunity among the rank and file Catholics, so also have Progressives in our government confused and scattered us by taking control of the schools and teaching a new creed: diversity, global citizenship, secular humanism, sexual liberation, social democracy. By allowing ourselves to become ignorant of our history and our ideals, all kinds of mischief has been allowed to take root and flower. Our nation of laws (the Constitution) and Judeo-Christian moral foundation have been gradually transformed, and we are in danger of complete moral, social, and indeed, legal, collapse. It is not the first time it has happened in the world, but the result is always the same--tyranny. When we abandon law based on objective moral truths (which is the foundation of just law) we are left with the tyrannical, self-serving, and arbitrarily wielded laws of the powerful. Each time they trample on the Constitution, and it goes unanswered, it becomes easier for those whose intent is to supplant that "music" with a song of their own composition, gradually drowning out the original melody, until they now stand bold-faced and say "Oh, we haven't been singing that song for a long time. This is the song we are singing now. You have to sing along with us."
The Republican Party also needs to recognize this disease within its own ranks. You see, the Republican Party has voices saying "Fidelity, fidelity, fidelity" while others are saying "Economy, economy, economy." While it may be true that most Americans have the economy foremost in their mind (whatever the greatest danger is at the moment, that is always foremost in the minds of voters), nevertheless, there is that faction of the party that are globalists also, and who want a party washed of all social conservatism, concerned only with promoting economic prosperity in a global government. But social conservatism is a part of who we are. Morality must be part of who we are, or tyranny will be our destiny, no matter which party prevails. The RNC would, I believe, love to shed its pro-life pro-family plank, so I believe it embraces these things in name only, the way democrats embrace "equality" in name only. (If the progressives were really interested in equality, they wouldn't have cancelled the successful District of Columbia school voucher program for underprivileged kids, especially when the dropout rate for blacks in public schools is as high as 70% in some cities in America.)
I am quite sure that the Republican Party will not do anything to reverse the onerous social agenda that is being imposed by the current administration. And yet, it is necessary that they do, to reestablish a culture that respects and promotes Judeo-Christian social teaching, if we are going to revive our culture and reclaim our freedom. We cannot be a people without virtue and expect to flourish. Virtue is not defined by Progessives. They have their own agenda. Virtue is defined by God. Do we really think we can mock, deride, and shun moral law and hope to sustain our free republic? It is quite impossible. We must be on the same page, and we cannot be so if some are obeying the law written upon their hearts by a loving God, while others are trying to impose new "virtues", new "morals" to redefine our existence and serve some purpose known only to those "principalities and powers" who lord it over us. We can only banish them by embracing virtue, first in our own lives, and in our leaders. We cannot have a double standard of morality—one for ourselves and one for our leaders. We must remember what true freedom is, the freedom we have in Christ: and that is, first of all, freedom to reject what is evil. If you don't know what virtue is anymore, let me recommend a good book. It's called the Holy Bible. It's the best selling book of all time.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at alisa.craddock at hushmail.com.
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