For Catholics, A Clarifying Scandal

My faith has never been in any bishop or priest, but in Christ Jesus, and He still reigns.

By Jennifer Hartline Published on August 13, 2018

Scandal has a way of clarifying things.

It cuts right through both the fluff and the dross and reduces things down to their essence.

The Catholic Church is currently mired in the most revolting filth. It’s hard to find words to express how much grief, discouragement and rage this is causing among the faithful. I know I’ve never felt such sorrow in my heart for my Church.

There’s no sugar-coating this. It’s perverted, disgusting and vile. Hell is having a heyday. And so far, the bishops still do not get it. They’re issuing lawyer-approved statements that waste a lot of pixels saying just about nothing that means anything. It reads like an awful lot of CYA.

Cardinal Wuerl recently had a bizarre interview with Fr. Rosica in which they were both rather light-hearted about the whole thing, calling it a time of “new beginnings.” Then Wuerl began talking about how well the 2002 Dallas Charter has worked, in his estimation. Why? Because any allegations you hear about these days happened decades ago, so clearly the bishops’ “strong stand” has been effective.

Uh huh. The “strong stand” from which they conveniently exempted themselves.

So now Wuerl says all we need is a mechanism by which people can report a complaint against a bishop. In a staggeringly euphemistic turn of phrase, he said this mechanism he’s proposing would help “when a bishop isn’t as faithful as he needs to be.”

Isn’t as faithful as he needs to be? When he’s preying on seminarians or altar boys, or ruining the lives of faithful priests who dared confront him with the sexual sin being enabled right under his nose? That’s just “not being as faithful as he needs to be”?

With one or two worthy exceptions, the statements I’ve read from those bishops who have offered one have been pathetically lacking in courage, integrity and comprehension. These men are blind, either willfully or stupidly.

It’s the Sin, Stupid

The faithful are justifiably furious and disgusted by the perversion and lies. The sense of betrayal runs bone-deep. It’s the realization of a child who finally sees he’s been had by his own father. We’ve been made a chump. Abused and lied to by smiling wolves in white collars.

That is what our bishops still fail to understand. They want us to be soothed by platitudes about policies and reforms, and the faithful are bleeding from the wounds of sin. Sin that our prelates still won’t even name or confess. It’s pure evil, yet they will not call it evil. Truly, there seems to be little or no fear of hell.

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Their remorse seems to be only for the suffering they are now going through because their filthy scandal is public and they cannot hide from it. Their sorrow seems more for the cover they have lost, not for the violence their sin has caused the Body of Christ or the souls they have endangered.

If and when they finally start publicly acknowledging the truth that the Lavender Mafia has thoroughly infested and taken over the Church at the highest levels, and then publicly repent of that sexual sin and their own complicity, and then actively work to dismantle the homosexual networks, then perhaps some credibility will begin to be restored. Unless and until they do that, all their words are utterly wasted.

They must get it through their heads that trust is gone. Totally shattered. They’ve given the faithful no reason whatsoever to take them seriously. Indeed, we’d be the most laughable fools at this point to think that our prelates merit any confidence at all.

I Still Love the Church

I’m a daughter of the Church. I’m Catholic, and I’m not going anywhere. As I said, scandal has a way of clarifying things. My faith has never been in any bishop or priest, but in Christ Jesus, and He still reigns. My love for the Church has grown, not lessened, as I witness how She has been sullied and betrayed.

It brings into sharp relief how absolutely, unalterably true are the teachings of the Church regarding the human person, human sexuality, marriage, chastity and holiness, because we have all around us the smoldering wreckage from those who have violated those teachings.

This mess isn’t the result of Catholic clergy doing Catholicism badly, but of clergy not being Catholic at all.

The Church is bound up in filthy chains today not because Church teaching is unrealistic or unkind or irrelevant, but because too many have traded in that sound teaching for the ear-tickling lies of the world.

There are still many good and holy priests and bishops in the Church. We need them more than ever. I thank God for them, and they have my unwavering support. I am angry on their behalf as well, for they will suffer because of the sins of their brother priests.

Nothing less than a complete purging of the homosexual networks from every diocese, every chancery, every seminary, every parish and every ministry will suffice. Cardinals and bishops who enable the sexual corruption should not rest easy any longer.

That’s called zero-tolerance, guys.

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  • Fyodor D

    Outstanding essay…thank you. My sentiments as well.

    I am disgusted when I think back about the comment uttered by my parish priest when my family had him over for dinner about a decade ago. He insisted, in very strong terms, that priests took a vow of celibacy (not to marry), but not of chastity (to abstain from sex). The meaning of this has become clear with the McCarrick scandal.

    • Louie Shee Lung

      Wow. This is like Bill Clinton talking about “is”.

      • Vincent J.

        Exactly! Good catch; I missed that one completely.

    • Lisa

      Wow. What did you say? It’s tricky when you hear your pastor, who is held in high regard, say something that raises a red flag. My Protestant pastor talked about being progressive and I asked him what he meant by that. Then he backpedaled. In that same conversation, he bemoaned Bible translations calling homosexuality an abomination. I was speechless.

  • Jim

    Lavender mafia? Are you kidding? Your church is chock full of pedos.

    • MRL123

      80% of the abuse was found to be to post adolescent males and females. While still heinous, it is a much smaller % of abuse against children.

    • WithHisGrace

      Please don’t repeat that misinformation. The current crisis is one of active HOMOSEXUALITY – men who KNEW that they were not eligible to be priests, but did not give a darn – the rules did not apply to them – so they lied, became ordained, encouraged other homos to follow, and the race to see who could abuse more post-pubescent males, and young men in seminary, was on. EVERY organization has the right to set rules. Had they been respected and followed, we would NOT be in this crisis right now.

  • Louie Shee Lung

    Amen, amen. I was watching a recent interview on EWTN with a priest. He just could not spit out that this scandal was caused by homosexual priests! Great essay. Thank you so much for speaking the truth. God Bless You!

  • Paul

    “Nothing less than a complete purging of the homosexual networks from every diocese, every chancery, every seminary, every parish, and every ministry will suffice. Cardinals and bishops who enable the sexual corruption should not rest easy any longer.”

    Who has the authority in the Catholic church to do this?

    • Vincent J.

      Jesus has the authority to do this. Pray to Jesus, or pray to our Father in Jesus’ name regarding this matter.

  • tz1

    Instead they include more and more intrusive and egregious “safety training” for lectors and eucharistic ministers and organists of the Laity where the priests are still ignored and the seminaries continue to be more gay than an Castro street bath house. This is like the TSA security theatre where they don’t find 95% of guns even with the porn scanners and crotch grabbing but don’t find terrorist training camps even when we know who and where.

    I’ve stopped giving in the collection plate – nor any other “Catholic” organization, but they get cash from the federal government. Must help settle Muslim refugees from Somalia instead of the Catholic poor in my own parish. Must speak out against Capital Punishment but not Sodomy or Contraception.

  • Jim Veryser

    Truly a sad state of church affairs. We’ve raised six children ( now adults) in the Catholic Church and only three of them go to Sunday mass,occasionally. This horrific scandal makes it extremely difficult for me to convince them to return to the catholic faith. May our dear Lord have mercy on us and we pray for His purging to intensify until He returns for His spotless bride. JMJ help us we pray.

  • Craig Roberts

    Zero tolerance….pfft….jah right. Even assuming I could find a Church that had “zero tolerance” for sin, I’m quite sure that they wouldn’t let me in.

  • Paul

    I’ll ask it again…. Who has the authority in the Catholic church to do this?

    • Each Bishop polices his diacese. If the Bishop needs policing, then it goes to the Pope.

      • Since policing is required, then “Why is no one in prison?”

        • I meant “policing” as a metaphor, but yes, the bishops should have reported the criminal activity of the priests under them to the police.

  • MRL123

    The Catholic church is an institution run by the Pope through cardinals and bishops around the world. The institution is rotten. Yes, there are many good men in those roles, but there has been failure of the institution and its leadership for many many years. I have often been told we as Catholics are not meant to have a one on one relationship with Christ only, but have a relationship to Christ as a community through the institution of the church. The institution needs to be cleansed. The rise in “nones” include those that still love Christ but do not want to put up with the corruption of the institution of organized religion. Then we have the moral authority to invite those people back to the church proudly.

    • Whoever told you Catholics are not supposed to have a one on one relationship with Christ is very wrong. Very wrong. Otherwise I agree with the rest of your comment

      • MRL123

        I said one on one “ONLY”. I have been told the community is more important than the individual. If the individual relationship was most important, you would not really need any church, Catholic or otherwise .

        • It’s not either or. Yes, the church community is important. That is being part of the body of Christ. But you’re also supposed to build an individual relationship with Him.

  • Una Feard

    agreed…but to do this clergy will have to preach the unvarnished gospel from the pulpit. This means condemnation of both homosexuality and contraception. The laity also have to reform if they want a reformed Church…

  • Kathy

    You are a daughter of the King, Jennifer, first and foremost. Our church affiliation is secondary and need not be fixed and permanent if there is continued apostasy infiltrating it. (Thanks for always sharing your saneness amid so much insanity)

    • WithHisGrace

      The Church’s members are the fruit of Her traditions, Her teachings, Her doctrines, Her history. I will not abandon the truth when confronted by evil.

      • Kathy

        It seems our Lord may be sifting through those that just claim to be His followers and those that truly are His, who hear His voice and have had their hearts transformed by His Spirit. They are the good fruit you speak of in all true Christian (meaning the exclusion of faiths such as JW’s and Mormons who claim Christianity) faith traditions. Their allegiance is towards God first and His Word in Scripture, loving and obeying Him above everyone and everything else.

  • Don’t take this as if I’m trying to excuse it, just trying to give it a little perspective. Some people are shocked at the vastness of the numbers. These are all allegations and so like most allegations some are true and some are not. Perhaps we can dismiss a quarter of the allegations. Second, this runs over 70 years. When you divide the numbers over 70 years and and account for the untrue allegations, the numbers are probably no different than the numbers you would tally in a 70 year period of any school board.

    Still, it is revolting. It makes me angry that the men I typically hold in such high regard would do this and the leaders who are supposed to oversee this ship have failed so miserably. May they answer not just to a civil authority but to God. It won’t be pretty.

  • Nanita Staley

    You are called to be faithful to Jesus Christ, not to a corrupt organization called the Catholic Church. It was founded based on lies, the priesthood versus “laity”. There was no such thing in Jesus! Every member of the body of Christ is called to be a priest unto his God. There are no special people to be set aside for that function. We are all priests unto our God! God is calling the true faithful out of what has always been a very corrupt, self-serving organization. When will you finally hear His urgent call. “Come out from among them and be ye separate” that means to be sanctified. You cannot be sanctified while swimming in a cesspool.

  • To remain Catholic when there are so many other great church options is to be an ENABLER! Just STOP IT!

    There is no scriptural command to remain unmarried — this is the root of the perversion!

    • WithHisGrace

      This is a HOMOSEXUAL crisis. Men who should have NEVER presented themselves for admission to seminary were ordained, promoted, and then recruited other men like themselves…only…and then the newly ordained continued the ‘tradition’, effectively barring healthy, appropriate candidates from entering seminary in many cases. Meanwhile, the orthodox clergy slowly died off. In the current crisis, the VAST majority of abuse is to post-pubescent boys, and young men in seminary. And always to those in vulnerable positions or who have a lot to lose if they do not cooperate. The current crisis is NOT one of pedophilia. It is because the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has been overrun by active homosexuals who have no fear of God. Therefore, marriage as a solution is irrelevant. Paul encourages the new followers of Christ to remain unmarried. 1Corinthians 7:8 “Now to the unmarried
      and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” There may not be a ‘command to remain unmarried’, but it IS encouraged!

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        Unfortunately for you, your own words “In the current crisis, the VAST majority of abuse is to post-pubescent boys, and young men in seminary” PROVE it’s NOT a Homosexual problem. Regardless of how much you emphasize “VAST” it was NOT exclusively a Homosexual issue.

        It is an intrinsic systematic immorality that is a natural by-product of a false gospel which is exacerbated by a religious system of Hierarchy culminating in a position that actually claims to be the Vicar of Christ Himself and of doctrines that teach anyone who belongs to the RCC may have to spend some time paying off their sins but ultimately they’ll get there. There’s a lot more than goes into that but I’ll leave it there.

        Now to your citing Scripture. Twist not Scripture lest you be like Satan who quoted Scripture to Jesus for his own purposes too. Since you actually cited the chapter & verse it leaves little doubt that you don’t know the next verse:

        “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they SHOULD marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1Co 7:9) Furthermore, Paul is not talking to church leaders there. He’s talking to the church as a whole. This is evidenced by Verse 2:

        “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man SHOULD have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1Co 7:2)

        It’s also interesting that you would go to 1st Cor. 7 instead of 1st Tim. 3 & Titus 1 which actually talk about the offices of Elder & Deacon in which there can be NO doubt that God says they can be married.

  • Vincent J.

    ” Abused and lied to by smiling wolves in white collars.”

    Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

  • Vincent J.

    Kinda reminds me of the spiritual corruption which crept into the Israelite community after King David died.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Jennifer, you know I respect you and have thoroughly appreciated and enjoy many of your no-holds barred, hard-hitting articles. So I hope you’ll take this as it’s intended.

    How is it that you do not see the contradiction in your “I’m a daughter of the Church. I’m Catholic, and I’m not going anywhere. My faith has never been in any bishop or priest, but in Christ Jesus, and He still reigns.”

    You can’t be a daughter of the RCC and of the King. You’re not far from the Kingdom. This is not the first scandal in the RCC. Do some serious research & investigation into the RCC. The anathema they pronounced on folks like me in 1563 is the very standard they will be judged by. Matt. 7:2.

    • WithHisGrace

      The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus…all others were founded by a man.

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        Evidently you need a Church History lesson. Before you continue to practice telling that lie I would suggest you read Rev. 21:8 & 22:15. If you’d like to actually know the truth, I’d be happy to help you. I have many resources I can provide for you.

  • Ray

    I think they need a system that would be about as comfortable as a mill stone around their neck, but one what would offer hope and redemption by the power of the cross of Christ.

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