Is Jack Chick Running the Catholic Church?
By now you’ve likely read the reports that Pope Francis told a gay man that God made him that way, and doesn’t mind his orientation. The Stream published a characteristically thoughtful and cautious column by Joseph Sciambra on it. (A convert back to Christianity after years spent in the gay lifestyle, Sciambra is one of the most important and brave apostles today. Follow his blog. Also see The Stream contributor Robert Oscar Lopez’s reflections.)
Reading the Papal Auspices
Given the track record of dubious, partial, or garbled papal statements, and reports on the same, there seem to be three logical possibilities here:
a) The pope never said it. The young man who reported it, Juan Carlos Cruz, was lying, perhaps to get revenge on the Church. He’d entered a charismatic Catholic movement, whose leader turned out to be a sociopathic sex abuser, left in place for years by bishops. Or the reporter for the respected Spanish newspaper, El Pais, was making it up, risking his career.
b) The pope said it. He will stand behind it, and the Church will soon see a change in its Catechism or policies to reflect this belief. That will challenge the teaching of 2,000 (really 6,000) years. It will further erode the confidence of faithful Catholics in this papacy.
c) The pope said it as a trial balloon, behind the veil of plausible deniability, to see how Catholics react. If we raise too much of a ruckus, some bland denial will appear from an obscure Vatican office. That will be enough to smooth the feathers of those desperate to believe the best of Francis. Meanwhile, the radicals pushing for Rome to go Mainline Protestant will feel empowered and hopeful.
So far the discussion of this latest papal hoax/bombshell/trial balloon among Catholics has ranged from a) through c). Find some evidence for c) in this latest photo from a gay rights parade in Rome.
A scene from the “Gay pride” parade in Rome. Resulting from the pope’s latest statement… Someone dressed like this: pic.twitter.com/bDT0viZcSY
— John Stone (@Johnthemadmonk) May 21, 2018
The Jack Chick Hypothesis
But I have a fourth possibility. I admit that it’s unlikely. But I just can’t rule it out, so I’d like to share it here. (Consider this a trial balloon. Press me too hard on it, and I’ll arrange for the Vatican Press Office to deny I really wrote it.)
d) Harshly anti-Catholic tract author Jack Chick has seized control of the Church from beyond the grave. He is directing papal statements, actions, and appointments — and influencing many local bishops as well.
As I said, it’s an outlier theory. But consider some recent events:
- A posh, campy gala at New York’s Met Museum, which borrowed sacred vestments from the Vatican itself. Blessed chasubles that saints such as John Paul II wore while celebrating Mass thus “blessed” an event where half-clad actresses dressed up as bishops. And the guests were serenaded by the Sistine Chapel Boys choir. Papal communications advisor Fr. James Martin, SJ, boasted that an onlooker had praised his “sexy priest” costume.
- The pope’s point man for Catholic social teaching has cited Communist China as a better model of living out that teaching than the U.S.
- Pope Francis’ statements on divorce and remarriage manufactured a crisis of doctrine and practice inside the Church. Now cross the Elbe River from Germany into Poland, and the rules for who may receive Holy Communion are starkly different. Isn’t “communion” supposed to include doctrinal unity?
The “Perfect” Anti-Catholic Anecdote
But this latest event is the one that really has Jack Chick’s inkstained fingerprints all over it. Let’s say you believed that the Catholic priesthood was really a neo-pagan invention. An institution that allowed legions of homosexuals to hide behind a gauzy veil of “celibacy.” Even in some places a conspiracy to provide those gay men with helpless young victims.
Leave aside the total lack of scientific evidence that homosexuality is inborn. We know in at least this case that it isn’t true. A young man whose sexual impulses were probably normal, but unformed and plastic, saw them stamped by the act of a predator. A priest
Then you couldn’t do better than this. A young man on fire for Christ joins a vital movement of faithful Catholics in Chile. He devotes himself to it, and sees its founder, Rev. Fernando Karadima, as a true apostle of Jesus. Maybe a living saint.
Karadima molests him. No doubt he smoothed the path and squelched the guilt with the kind of sacrilegious sophistries used by other abusers. (Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, told teen boys that he had a medical condition, and papal permission to “relieve his symptoms” this way.)
Thanks to a sexual experience at a formative age, the young man labels himself as “gay.” As Joseph Sciambra points out, this is very common. He noted: “In a highly significant study, 46% of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation.” One might see molestation as a mode by which some homosexuals reproduce — well, not themselves, but their tragic “orientation.”
Next step: The pope botches the handling of the Karadima scandal, appointing as bishop a man who helped cover it up. He insults the victims of the abuse, and denies knowing their stories. This despite a personal letter to Francis from one victim which Cardinal O’Malley of Boston swore he’d delivered to the Vatican.
Thanks to a sexual experience at a formative age, the young man labels himself as “gay.”
Doing damage control, Pope Francis changes course, and compels every bishop in Chile to submit his resignation. That will give Francis a “clean slate,” if he wants it, to remake the Church in that country. Francis then meets with abuse victims, and tells Mr. Cruz that “God made him gay.”
Father James “Sexy Priest” Martin, SJ Weighs In
Leave aside the total lack of scientific evidence that homosexuality is inborn. We know in at least this case that it isn’t true. A young man whose sexual impulses were probably normal, but unformed and plastic, saw them stamped by the act of a predator. A priest. Who likely told him, as part of excusing this act of statutory rape, that God makes people gay. And now the victim hears it again, but from the pope.
And Father James “Sexy Priest” Martin, still a Vatican communications advisor, lights up social media trumpeting this statement by the pope.
If Jack Chick isn’t in charge, I’d like a better explanation.
I ask all your prayers for the poor young man whose repeated victimization by father figures, priests meant to stand in the “person of Christ,” is now international news.
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