Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Get The Hell Out of The Church"

     I've been reluctant to blog about the current crisis in the Catholic Church for a number of reasons. Basically, it has worn me out and I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me . The only way I can describe it is as if a giant vacuum cleaner has violently sucked the wind from my sails. I am not a victim of the abuse scandal so I have little right to complain compared to the soul-destroying yoke that has been placed on the survivors of clerical sexual abuse.
   A little background before I begin. My wife desired to return to the Catholic faith in the midst of the Boston clerical sex abuse disaster in 2002. Every morning, our local newspaper would announce yet another scandal using bold print on the front page. I told her most vociferously, "Jesus would never be the head of a Church of pedophiles!" Through a long chain of events detailed in my conversion story on this blog, I returned to the Catholic faith in 2004 after more than thirty years spent worshiping God in Protestant evangelical non-denominational churches.
   Ironically, all the fears and suspicions I harbored at the beginning of my journey across the Tiber have now been validated. It does appear that many and perhaps the majority of priests have same sex attraction (are homosexual in their sexual orientation) and recent surveys reveal that many are not celibate. It appears that the seminaries have been run by rectors with predilections for taking sexual advantage of young seminarians, even screening out the heterosexuals who resisted their advances. Bishops have been covering for and even promoting priests with known sexual abuse in their records. My bishop's name was mentioned multiple times in the August Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that showed how over 300 priests had systematically abused more than 1000 individuals,  the abuses being mostly of a homosexual nature. He was aware and likely complicit in the covering up and re-location of priest abusers, based on the report. In my own parish, the silence from the pulpit has been deafening. Are the priests thinking that if they don't bring it up, the faithful will forget and move on?
    Shortly after the  Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released my wife and I planned a prayer vigil ouside the Cathedral in our diocese. We were told by the bishops's office to not inform the media of the event. Despite us promoting the event in our diocese on social media and email, only one priest attended the vigil.
      In diocese after diocese, the bishops, didn't report the abuse and even promoted or quietly retired the abusers affording them full health and retirement pensions! An American prelate, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been proven to have abused adult seminarians as well as a child and was well known to have sleep-overs in his vacation get-away on the beach. During these sleep-overs, the seminarians were pressured to share his bed. Despite his activities and proclivities being widely known, he was promoted like a rock-star to the highest positions in the Church to the point where he was Pope Francis' trusted adviser and instrumental in the choosing of American bishops.
   Ten years ago,  I became aware of the stories of "Uncle Ted's" immoral behavior at his beach house.  Yet, Cardinal Wuerl, a close associate, as well as McCarrick's roomate, Bishop Farell, completely denied any knowledge of this.  How did a nobody Catholic blogger , such as myself, know about McCarrick, but high ranking officials in the American Catholic Church did not?  It's obvious that they did know.
   Most unsettling in all of this, our Holy Father has been reluctant to address the issue and has publicly reprimanded those in the Church for bringing this abuse to light. He insisted that the American bishops shelve their agenda to address the scandal which was the main point of the November 2018 USCCB conference in Baltimore. He has planned for a meeting in February to address the issues.   Ted McCarrick is outed in June,  the PA Grand Jury report comes out in August and our pope schedules a gathering of bishops more than half a year away from the time that the McCarrick scandal was reported. Could the fact that some of his closest Vatican advisors have ties to homosexual priests in Vatican city perhaps influence the speed of his action on this crisis? Is it odd that the issue of homosexuality in the priesthood and episcopate has been downplayed, while clericalism and materialism are being brought up as the root of the scandal?
   Our Lord promised us that the gates of Hell will not prevail against this Church and ultimately Satan won't triumph, however, we have gotten a lot of Hell in the Church over the past 60 years. Hell has weaseled its way into the Church via corrrupt bishops, hetero and homosexually active and abusive priests with complete disregard for the tenets of our faith.  The gates of Hell will not prevail if we can "Get the Hell out of the Church."  I trust in the Lord's promises and have no plans to ever leave the source and summit of my faith, the Eucharist, but will continue to pray for the cleansing of the Church and for all the victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

In an upcoming post I will propose my ideas  how to Get the Hell Out of The Church. Stay tuned.