Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shh... It's a Secret!

Secrecy is a morally neutral concept. Like fire it can effect great good or, on the contrary, can advance great evil. Secrecy can protect a person's good name from gossip or it can allow gossip to rage unchecked by hiding the truth. It all depends on the circumstances and the motives of those keeping the secret. As Thomas More pointed out during his trial, in law silence indicates consent, so keeping something secret implies agreement with it. And, in the case of the sex abuse scandals, the secrecy and silence was magnified by actions that enabled the immoral/illegal behavior.

Leon Podles in his book Sacrilege exposes the horrifying ways secrecy was used to manipulate the innocent and protect the guilty.

During the homosexual abuse scandals, churchmen embraced secrecy to cover up the most vile and evil crimes against the young. The homosexual priests themselves threatened the children they molested with terrible things if they failed to keep their abuse secret. One young victim of serial mega-abuser Fr. John Geoghan told his mother later that the priest said, "You'd [the mom] hate me and that you'd never love me again because you love the Church more than you love me." (page 147) He used the child's love for his mother against him. That is just plain diabolical, but not uncommon.

Not only the children were threatened however. Geoghan and the others could never have engaged in their systematic abuse (Geoghan's for thirty-six years) without the corrupt assistance of his superiors. Let me repeat that in case you missed it. John Geoghan spent 36 years molesting fatherless boys whom he selected and groomed carefully. "He took them out, became close to them, put them to bed, masturbated them, and performed oral sex on them." (p. 145)

Podles goes on to ask, "Did the diocese have any idea of what was going on at Blessed Sacrament? Rev. Anthony Benzevich, who had been stationed at that parish with Geoghan, at first told Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the plaintiffs, that he had reported to the archdiocese that Geoghan was taking boys to his bedroom, but he (Benzevich) was threatened with assignment to South America if he opened his mouth." (p. 145-46) (This is particularly interesting in light of what happened to Fr. Haley because one of the things he reported to the bishop about Fr. Verrecchia was his taking a four-year-old boy to spend the night with him in his bedroom at the rectory. Stupid parents!! Fr. Haley confronted Verrecchia and called the parents to come pick up the child.)

A consistent pattern in most bishops' dealing with the crisis was that complaining parents of molested children and complaining priests with knowledge of molesting confreres were threatened and manipulated into keeping the secrets. Like Geoghan who used a child's love for his mother against him, many bishops used the faithful's love for the Church and the priests' vows of obedience to bully them into silence. After allowing the abuse of the children, they abused the parents and their spiritual sons as well. The pattern and scope of the lying coverup can hardly be imagined which is why I, once again, recommend Leon Podles' book. And yet, with rare exception, most bishops who enabled abuse through secrecy retain their ecclesial positions. Can liars be trusted, especially those with a consistent pattern of lies over a long period of time?

And have things really changed? Is the secrecy over? I'd like to think so, but I can't. How many priests are living double lives while their bishops look the other way? Who knows? St. Luke's Institute in Silver Spring has been notorious for years, with allegations that they tell homosexual priests to have "age appropriate" partners.

In 2002, commenting on the sex abuse crisis Fr. Charles Fiore, stressed that it wasn't about pedophiles (those who molest pre-pubescent little children) but mostly about homosexual abuse of adolescent and teenage boys. "The grand taboo in U.S. culture," he told World Net Daily, "is to focus on homosexuality... [which is considered] an alternate way of life." He warned that there was a "gay subculture" in the Church and spent most of his priesthood fighting it. Fiore said acceptance of homosexuality in the Church should be "zero percent." It isn't, as Fr. Enrique Rueda warned in his 1982 magnum opus, The Homosexual Network. How many priests are living double lives? How many scandals will continue to rock the Church? Will the recent murder of the Austin priest in Mexico turn out to be, as the murderer claims, a homosexual lover's quarrel gone wrong? If true, did the bishop of Austin know about this priest's double life?

The Church must establish canon laws that FORBID homosexuals from ordination to the priesthood. Rulings from congregations don't cut it. Until Canon Law bans homosexuals from the priesthood and from holding positions of authority as pastors, bishops, heads of tribunals, etc the scandals will go on. At present, the enablers are still making the rules. When will it stop?


  1. Who would make this call? How would YOU tell who to ban? Homosexual tendencies? Homosexual thoughts? Celebate Homosexuals? Affeminate men? Men who are too neat? Men who like to dress up. Men who know the words to musicals? Men who love movies? Men whose best friends are men? Maybe men who are too emotional, too sensitive?

  2. Are you joking? Was the sex abuse problem caused by men who are too neat or knew the words to musicals? Let's at least address this problem seriously because it's a serious problem.

    Obviously the Church believes homosexuality can be addressed because it already has a document that says men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not be ordained. But the document has no teeth and it does not rise to the level of Canon Law. So what good is it?

    One would hope that men with same-sex attraction would exclude themselves from ordination, but clearly they have not and there is plenty of evidence that the priesthood has become a gay enclave for homosexuals to hide and enjoy the good life sometimes by embezzling from their parishioners. (Like Fr. Michael Jude Fay from Bridgeport, CT.)

    With regard to who should be banned, how hard is it to decide on situations like the ones below?

    --guys acting out homosexually in the seminary - unfit, dismissed from the seminary (instead of the heterosexuals who oppose women's ordination - See Good-bye! Good Men by Michael Rose.)

    --two priests having sex with each other -- immediately removed (In Arlington the bishop was given proof of this. Both priests are still pastors.)

    --all the priests on the Sebastians Angels website - immediately removed including Cardinal Reginald Cawcutt of Australia

    --priests who advertise for homosexual partners on the internet -- immediately removed (Fr. Jean-Michael Lastiri who did exactly that is still a priest in good standing in Fresno under Bishop Steinbock and in charge of a parish. His homosexual friend molested the nephew of another priest. He is an imminent danger to children.)

    --any priest who "comes out" like Fr. Geoffrey Farrow who left voluntarily, but should have been suspended if he didn't. He was shilling for the homosexual agenda as a closeted gay. Now at least he's not doing it in a roman collar. More info at

    --Any priest promoting the homosexual agenda - They are in violation of Church doctrine and a public scandal. Actually Canon 915 also applies to them. But there is a high probability that they are homosexual as well. Fr. Steve Meriwether of Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco is in this category. His public scandals are legion.

    Canon Law would give a good bishop the necessary authority to deal with these situations. Of course, many bishops don't want to deal with them as the sex abuse scandals illustrate. And the question remains, how many bishops are themselves gay who would never invoke Canon Law against their erring priests because they are in the same boat and may even be the targets of blackmail.

    Those shepherds who love the Church and wish to protect the souls of their flocks would have the necessary canonical authority to act and at least a few probably would. Actually, however, they might not have to because the homosexuals would no doubt go to the gay-friendly dioceses and stay away from the good ones where they were unwelcomed.