The Catholic Church’s Continuing Cover-up
Sexual abuse of minors by priests has been erroneously referred to as “pedophilia.” It’s pederasty.
Hillsdale College history professor Paul A. Rahe has written an extremely important analysis of the Catholic Church’s current — and self-inflicted — dilemma. His conclusion? One of the world’s foremost religious institutions is headed for civil war.
Rahe begins by clarifying what he considers a media-orchestrated cover-up of the crisis, explaining that sexual abuse of minors by priests has been erroneously referred to as “pedophilia.” Not exactly. As a 2004 report commissioned and issued by the National Review Board of the American Catholic bishops revealed, “something like 81 percent of the victims were boys, and very few of them were, in the strictest sense, children,” he writes. “They were nearly all what we euphemistically call young adults. They were male adolescents on the younger side — at the age when boys as they mature can briefly be downright pretty.”
Hence, he asserts, what has really been going on is “pederasty,” as in a “sexual relationship between a grown man who serves as a mentor and a boy who is under his care or simply admires or stands in awe of him.”
The difference is critical. While there may be near unanimity in condemning pedophilia, pederasty is another story. The website of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) insists that such a relationship “is not what you view on television or read in newspapers. It’s not what you hear on Oprah or Geraldo, nor is it the propaganda put out by police and politicians. It’s the love of a man for a boy, and of a boy for a man. Enjoyable, consensual, beautiful.” Furthermore, the website adds, “Our society is beginning to recognize the value and richness of human diversity.”
Rahe notes the Catholic Church has provided a home for pederasts for quite some time. He cites a priest named Gerald Fitzgerald, who began counseling priests for their problems with alcoholism, substance abuse, and celibacy in 1947. Fitzgerald also spent a decade trying to alert American bishops and officials in the Vatican that pederasty was a growing problem.
He was ignored. So was a 1984 report compiled by Dominican priest Thomas P. O'Doyle, Louisiana attorney F. Ray Mouton Jr., and priest/psychiatrist Michael Peterson, who sent their troubling findings to “every bishop in the country in 1985.” Rahe surmised that the Church’s failure to act was only possible if there were some complicity on the part of the Vatican.
He believes the intervening years have proven that to be the case, noting there “have been scandals identical to the American scandal in Canada, Australia, Belgium, Bavaria, Ireland, Honduras, Chile, and elsewhere,” that a “host of high-level figures in the Curia were being blackmailed by their male lovers,” and that a Parkinson’s-afflicted Pope Benedict XVI resigned rather than deal with a secret 300-page Vatican dossier revealing the Church was afflicted with a “high-ranking gay clergy,” as Yahoo News put it. Moreover, in the interim between Benedict and the Church’s current Pope Francis, the years-long pederastic proclivities of Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, a cardinal and archbishop who was the Primate of Scotland, had also been ignored until the Vatican exiled him in 2013.
Pope Francis, formerly known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is now at the center of the storm. On Monday he called for “silence and prayer” as a response to those seeking “scandal and division,” following assertions he ignored allegations levied at U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned in July after being accused of sexually abusing a minor 47 years ago.
Rahe offers a plausible but highly troubling explanation for the pope’s seeming indifference. “Bergoglio’s candidacy was promoted by the St. Gallen Group, a part of what Catholics call ‘the Lavender Mafia,’” he writes. Moreover, he believes this faction of high-powered clerics enabled not only Pittsburgh bishop Donald Wuerl’s cover-up of a pederasty ring but his promotion to archbishop of Washington, DC, and being made a cardinal.
Wuerl’s predecessor in DC? McCarrick.
On Aug. 25, the scandal reached metastatic proportions. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio (ecclesiastical diplomat) in DC from 2011 to 2016, released an 11-page written testament declaring that several prelates were involved in covering up McCarrick’s sexual abuse, and that Pope Francis repealed sanctions imposed by Pope Benedict XVI on McCarrick when he was a cardinal. Archbishop Viganò ultimately asserted that “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” and he urged Pope Francis to resign.
Monsignor Jean-Francois Lantheaume, former first counsellor at the apostolic nunciature in DC, has confirmed Viganò’s account, which included the names of those Vatican higher-ups who obstructed an investigation of McCarrick. Since then, Viganò has come forward with additional accusations.
Pope Francis’ response to Viganò? “I will not say a single word about this,” he told reporters while returning from his trip to Ireland. “I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have the journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions. It’s an act of faith. When some time passes and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak.”
That’s a remarkable non-statement from a man who has seen fit to make any number of statements with regard to a host of political topics, including wealth redistribution, global warming, and immigration, all of which align themselves with progressive dogma. As such, it is hardly surprising that many mainstream media outlets are reticent to cover this burgeoning scandal. Irish writer John Waters describes Francis’ aforementioned exchange with reporters as “one of the strangest episodes of mutual avoidance in the history of journalism.”
Waters further notes that “Viganò’s intervention is being treated by the Irish media as some kind of outrageous exercise in party-pooping, revealing — if anyone was in any doubt — that the abuse scandals have chiefly been regarded by media people as an opportunity to prosecute an agenda rooted in other matters.”
Powerline’s John Hinderaker illuminates media malfeasance even better: “Why was Viganò not portrayed as a heroic whistleblower? Because he blew the whistle on a leftist pope, whose views on homosexuality, and many other issues, are shared by pretty much all reporters.”
So is it time for Francis to resign? As columnist Robert P. George asserts, there are a number of documents and letters, including a 2000 report by Nuncio Gabriel Montalvo’s and Archbishop Viganò’s 2006 and 2008 memos, both pertaining to Cardinal McCarrick’s misdeeds, Pope Benedict’s sanction instructions, and letters regarding same exchanged between the Vatican and papal ambassadors.
All Pope Francis has to do is order their release.
Rahe remains pessimistic. “The Lavender Mafia controls the Papacy and the Vatican overall, and Pope Francis is packing the College of Cardinals, who will elect the next Pope, with sympathizers,” he warns. Unless they are purged from the hierarchy, the Church will remain an institution run by those “who for decades have sheltered and promoted the pederasts and those who regard their abuse of minors as a matter indifferent.”
On its 50th anniversary in 2012, religious columnist Andrew Brown asserted that Vatican II was undertaken to “reinvent the church for the modern age.” Who could have imagined the Church’s hierarchy would do such a disturbingly masterful job of it?
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