Corruption is Quite an Ignoble Legacy to Seek to Follow
Thomas A. Droleskey
Pope Benedict XVI addressed Polish pilgrims in Rome on Sunday, October 16, 2005, the twenty-seventh anniversary of the election of the then Karol Cardinal Woytla, the Archbishop of Krakow, to be the Successor of Saint Peter. The Holy Father told the pilgrims that he would be not be writing much during his own pontificate, explaining that he wanted to "assimilate" and to put into practice the voluminous writings of his immediate predecessor, thus conveying the impression that no other pope prior to the late Holy Father has left us a written legacy worthy of study and assimilation. The preconciliar popes simply were not as "nuanced" in their judgments about the Church and her place in the world as was Pope John Paul II, it appears. They were paralyzed by "paradigms" that do not reflect the concrete circumstances in which modern man lives.
They had not "reconciled" themselves to the "principles of 1789," as the current Holy Father wrote, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in 1982.
Pope Benedict also said that he wanted to continue the "legacy" of Pope John Paul II. Well, there is a little problem with this: corruption is quite an ignoble legacy to follow.
That is, the late Pope John Paul II presided over the appointment of one corrupt bishop after another to head archdioceses and dioceses around the world. He maintained these corrupt men in their powers even after incontrovertible evidence concerning their personal moral degradation was presented to him. The corrupt Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, the Most Reverend Daniel Ryan, remained in power as the ordinary of the Diocese of Springfield for nearly three years after Stephen G. Brady, the President and Founder of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., presented well-documented evidence about Ryan's perversity. Ryan "retired" as a bishop in "good standing" in late 1999. And it was another three years before Ryan was removed from all "active ministry" as a retired bishop when an independent investigation finally stated what Steve Brady, whose courage in this matter was unflagging, had been stating publicly since February of 1997 (and had been confronting Ryan about as early as November of 1996). Similarly, the resignations of Patrick Ziemann as the Bishop of Santa Rosa, California, and J. Keith Symons as the Bishop of Palm Beach, Florida, came about only after their scandalous behavior had been made public by the secular media. One of the final capstones of how the late Pontiff rewarded bishops who were personally perverted or who protected perverts came when he appointed Bernard Cardinal Law, who enabled the founder of an organization with an unspeakable name, Father Paul Shanley, to maintain his "good standing" as a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, as the Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This is a legacy that Pope Benedict XVI wants to follow?
Although the list below, reported in The Washington Times on June 13, 2005, was published in article on this site, Leading the Little Ones Astray, four months ago now, it is worth reproducing again in light of our current Holy Father's continued praise of the pontificate of his predecessor:
Retired Bishop Tom Dupre of Springfield, MA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, CA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Kendrick Williams of Lexington, KY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Keith Symons of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens of Sioux City, IA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Joseph Hart of Cheyenne, WY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Retired Bishop Andrew O'Connell of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
Non-Retired Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? The papers reported his $100,000 sexual harassment pay-off to his communications flack.
Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, WI. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? His lover broke the news on Good Morning America.
Mind you, those are only the bishops whose gross personal behavior has become a matter of the public record. There are many other bishops who promote a pervert-friendly environment in their dioceses and who mandate pervert-friendly propaganda instruction for children enrolled in their schools and religious education programs. And, of course, there is the case of an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Most Reverend Thomas Gumbleton, who has sported a mitre adorned with a pink triangle, the symbol of those steeped in and who want to celebrate unrepentant perverse acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Pope John Paul II did not one blessed thing to remove any bishop who promoted the cause of perversity in general or who protected perverts in the priesthood and imposed propaganda (usually in the name of "diversity" and "tolerance") in behalf of acceptance of the "differences" that exist in the "Christian community."
Although there are countless examples of institutional support for perversion in one diocese after another (with some parishes actually sporting banners in public parades that celebrate one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance), Saint Brigid's in Westbury, Nassau County, New York, situated in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, stands out for particular attention. The parish's bulletin had for many years on its "mission statement" an open embrace of all people regardless of "orientation" (a modifying adjective has not been omitted; fill in the blank if you know the adjective). There was also an egregious Mass offered at Saint Brigid's School in October of 1997 when a man from the pervert-friendly parish of Saint Paul the Apostle in the City of New York got up to give a sermon after the distribution of Holy Communion to berate the Church for not embracing the lifestyles of those who express their "love" in ways that are not "approved" by church leaders. The pastor of the parish at that time, Monsignor Frank Gaeta, who wrote a Lenten reflection in the 1990s that included a passage for Tuesday of Holy Week stating categorically that Judas Iscariot was in Heaven and a diabolical invocation ("Saint Judas, pray for us"), applauded vigorously after the man concluded his screed in behalf of the acceptance of sin as an expression of "love" and "compassion."
Such things were reported to the Holy See over and over and over again during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Nothing happened. No bishop was removed. None. Bishop Howard Hubbard, for example, remains the Ordinary of the Diocese of Albany, New York, ten years after Catholic Charities in his diocese arranged for a female "couple" to adopt a child! Topping off that scandal is the fact that Catholic Charities of the cesspool known as the Archdiocese of Boston has been revealed to have placed thirteen children in the care of "couples" steeped in perversity. (This will be the subject of a forthcoming commentary.) Such things would have been unthinkable in the pontificate of Pope Saint Pius X. All involved in these scandals remain in "good standing."
Oh, yes, Sister Jeannine Grammick and Father Robert Nugent of New Ways Ministry were banned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then under the direction of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and with the approval of the late Pope John Paul II from any further "pastoral work" with those who find themselves steeped in lives of perverse acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Has this stopped them from appearing on the campuses of Catholic colleges and universities? Hardly. Sister Jeannine Grammick* (see note below) appeared at a "film festival" held at the University of Notre Dame eight months ago to continue her crusade for the acceptance of perversity in the Catholic "community." A "National Coming Out Day" was held at the University of Notre Dame just days ago (October 10-14), sponsored by the Notre Dame Graduate Student Union and the Department of Sociology.
The details of this ugly series of events at my Master's alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, are so stupefyingly sordid and gross as to prohibit any effort to describe them here. Has anything happened to the Fathers of the Holy Cross that run the University of Notre Dame? Is no one in the Vatican going to remind bishops and university and college officials that it is horrific to reaffirm people in their sins, that it is a grave offense to Our Lord and to His Blessed Mother to sponsor events that glorify the very thing that caused His Sacred Heart to be loaded down with opprobrium and her Immaculate Heart to be pierced through by the sword of sorrow that had been prophesied by the aged Simeon at her Purification? No, not even the Vatican action of five years ago against Sister Grammick and Father Nugent spoke in such clear terms of the horror of human sin and how each of us erring sinners must repent of our sins and do acts of penance constantly to repair the damage done to our souls by means of the sins that have been absolved by an alter Christus in the Sacrament of Penance but have darkened our intellects and weakened our wills.
Thus, the perverts in the episcopate and those friendly to them remain in power, a case study in the inability of popes caught up in the novelty of episcopal collegiality to defend the honor and glory of God and to defend the Faith from truly diabolical assaults designed to confuse the faithful and to reaffirm sinners in their lives of unrepentant sin. Those perverts and pervert-friendly bishops are in "good standing" while the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X are said by many to be "outside of the Church" as they simply teach what the Church has always taught and worship God has He was worshipped universally in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church until the 1960s.
One of the very few instances in which a bishop was removed overtly as a disciplinary measure by Pope John Paul II occurred only after a virtual revolution on the part of the laity in the Diocese of Evreux, France, erupted to oust a long-time critic of the teachings that Our Lord has entrusted to the Catholic Church, Bishop Jacques Gaillot, from his position as the ordinary of that diocese. Appointed in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, Gaillot went so far as to support the human pesticide, RU-486, the French abortion pill. Rather than excommunicate Gaillot for his numerous statements contrary to the Faith, the late Holy Father appointed him shortly after his removal as the Bishop of Evreux on January 13, 1995, to be the titular bishop of a diocese, Parthenia, in Algeria that is essentially a huge expanse of nothing other than sand. Gaillot, though, remains to this day a bishop in "good standing" despite his support of the French abortion pill and his public statements that the Catholic Church has been the source of most of the evils in the world. Does anyone see a problem with all of this? Folks, this is the legacy of Pope John Paul II: the refusal to personally supervise the appointment of bishops while he spent his time fiddling narcissistically with his efforts to cast all of the Catholic Faith in terms of phenomenology. That the laity had to undertaken any action at all to seek the ouster of a man like Jacques Gaillot is a quite telling indictment of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.
Moreover, the fact that the late Holy Father let one bishop after another remain in power despite promoting the inexorable and ever multiplying liturgical abuses in the liturgical abuse par excellence, the Novus Ordo Missae, despite their demonic hatred of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, and despite their promotion of theological dissent in their newspapers and in their schools and religious education programs and universities and colleges and seminaries, despite their coddling of public officials who promote grave evils under cover of law (almost every single one of whom remains in "good standing" within the Church at present), among many other harsh facts of life, should be enough to dispel any and all talk of canonization and labeling his pontificate as "great." How can any pope be called "great" when he personally participated in outrages against the Blessed Sacrament committed during his Papal extravaganza Masses and who issued official "apologies" for things had had been undertaken by some of his predecessors in defense of the Holy Faith. And this is to say nothing of his stubborn refusal to offend the Russian Orthodox Church, a truly schismatic and heretical church steeped in the Photian heresy, by consecrating Russia specifically to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart in total fulfillment of her Fatima Message.
Indeed, I have seen the wreckage of the alleged "springtime of the Church" in a purported "civilization of love" close-up and first-hand during my three decades as a formal classroom instructor of political science at the collegiate and university levels. Most of the students I taught from 1974-2003 were Catholics. Most of them had almost no understanding of the Catholic Faith. The little that most of them thought that they knew was wrong. One student, the graduate of a Catholic high school in Westchester County, New York, in the Archdiocese of New York, exclaimed in September of 1995 after I had lectured on the fall of man from Original Innocence in the Garden of Eden and how this necessitated the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb to redeem us on the wood of the Holy Cross, "Is this what the Faith is about? How come no one ever taught me this before?" I told him, "Because, Anthony, you have been the victim of Catholic educational fraud."
Souls were harmed, perhaps even lost, during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II because of his embrace of the Second Vatican Council and his refusal to discipline and removal bishops who were menaces to the sheep entrusted to their pastoral care unto eternity. Why is this so difficult to see? Why is it not a matter of concern when the Supreme Pontiff praises the work of a man, Abbe Paul Couturier, who was a disciple of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.., and whose writing provided a good deal of the impetus for Pope Pius XI to write and to issue Mortalium Animos on January 6, 1928?
To recite these facts is not to "curse the darkness" as some might want to contend. A recitation of these incontrovertible facts has been offered above to explain that no one, especially the current Holy Father, should aspire to continue the legacy of a pope who presided over the weakening of the Church in her human elements as he appeared with non-ordained "clergy" men and women of false religions and asked them to "bless" the people with him. A desire to follow the example and the decidedly non-Thomistic teaching and reasoning of Pope John Paul II leads one to conclude that the Vatican will continue to discipline firmly only one set of Catholics: those Catholics who resist the errors and the novelties of the Second Vatican Council and the postconciliar era, especially the Novus Ordo Missae, ecumenism and religious liberty.
Although the much-publicized document that is supposed to require men inclined to perversity to be "chaste" for three years prior to be ordained to the priesthood has yet to be released, making a specific review of its terms impossible at this time, the refusal of Vatican apparatchiks to learn the lessons of the past few years is just another indication of the total loss of the sensus Catholicus that has occurred since the late Pope John XXIII forbade the issuing of anathemas at the start of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. How much common sense, no less Catholic sense, does it take to realize that men tempted to perversity, which is unnatural and acquired behavior (contrary to what is contended by many Catholics who rely upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church as their guide in this matter), are unfit to serve in the Priesthood and Victimhood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? The lack of the sensus Catholicus is so astounding that the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Diaurmid Martin, appointed to his current position by Pope John Paul II when he was made Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin in 2003 prior to accession to the episcopal seat there the next year, said recently that being "gay" should not be an impediment to the reception of Holy Orders as long as a man can remain chaste?
Thus, men who are inclined to commit one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance can be trusted to provide a clear manly witness to the Priesthood and Victimhood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and thus serve as a positive role model to recruit manly vocations for the priesthood. No man has a "right" to be a priest. Only those whose fidelity to the totality of the Deposit of Faith and who have shown themselves to be disposed to climb the heights of personal sanctity must be called by a bishop or the superior of a religious community to be ordained for the Holy Priesthood. Since when has it ever been the case in the Catholic Church that an orientation in the direction of committing a grievous sin by means of possessing an unnatural attraction to members of one's own gender considered to be a source of human identity? Archbishop Martin, you are not thinking clearly as a Catholic bishop, say, one in the mode of Saint Patrick himself.
In other words, the new Vatican document, if its terms approximate what has been reported in the media up until this time, will simply reinforce the culture that has created and sustained perversity in the priesthood in the past forty years.
To be sure, the problem of priests committing unnatural acts antedates the Second Vatican Council and the pontificates of the recent popes. This problem transcends the divide between traditional Catholics and those who assist at the Novus Ordo Missae. There have been, sadly, well-documented cases of men in traditional communities who have caused scandal as a result of their perverse inclinations. The devil loves to tempt priests into giving bad example and into causing public scandal, knowing that this will demoralize many Catholics and cause them to commit spiritual suicide by quitting the practice of the Holy Faith and leaving the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation.
That having been noted, there is a distinction between the fall of individual priests and the systematic creation of an atmosphere that is friendly to perversion and seeks to promote and protect priests steeped in perversion to the highest levels of diocesan power. Many bishops in this country and around the world at present believe that being inclined to unnatural acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandment is not a problem in and of itself that bars a man from being ordained to the Holy Priesthood. It is the acceptance of the homosexualist propaganda campaign that is at the proximate root of efforts to create a pervert-friendly environment throughout the entirety of Catholic thought and practice, including church architecture and the way in which the "normative" Mass is offered so as to reaffirm people in their essential "goodness" without once reminding them of the reality of Hell and that there are indeed souls who go there for all eternity. It is bad enough for a priest to fall and to cause public scandal. It is worse yet for his bishop to explain away his behavior and to seek to call unnatural inclinations as anything other than diabolical disorientations that disqualify a man from serving in the Holy Priesthood. Period.
Diffidence in the wake of this problem is what characterized the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Something worse than a half-measure may be offered to address this problem by Pope Benedict XVI. It certainly does not bode well for the Church in her human elements to read how our current Holy Father desires to imitate his predecessor, which means that we, whose own sins are very responsible for the state of the Church and the world, have a special obligation to pray ever harder for him and for our bishops and priests, living more and more penitentially as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Nothing should discourage us as Catholics. Nothing should shake our Faith. This does not mean, though, that we have the right to pretend that all is well and that the only thing we need is an "authentic" interpretation of the Second Vatican Council and a few "corrections" in the offering of the Novus Ordo Missae.
We know that the Church is divinely founded and that she will last until the end of time. The jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. That does not mean that the devil is not going to win a few battles in our own lives or in the larger life of the Church in her human elements. Pope Pius XI noted this in Quas Primas eighty years ago this year:
We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before.
We remain steadfast in the Holy Faith. We keep Our Lady company at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross at the unbloody perpetuation of that one Sacrifice in the offering of Holy Mass at the hands of an alter Christus. We spend time on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. We say our Rosary with love daily. We meditate daily from the words of Sacred Scripture. We keep the Nine First Fridays and the Five First Saturdays until we die. We make a good Confession every week. We read about the lives of the saints. We remind ourselves that this is the exact moment that God has willed for all eternity for us to be alive. There is thus work for us to do to plant the seeds of the resurrection of the Church Militant on earth, which will once again know the glory of the Traditional Latin Mass throughout the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church as the Novus Ordo Missae is suppressed forever, and thus the restoration of Christendom in the world. Nothing should in the least discourage us or dampen our resolve to do the work of the Apostles themselves.
The Apostles did not see the glory of the first Christendom with their own eyes. We may not see the glory of another with our own eyes. The apostolic work that we are called to do, however, will bear an eternal reward in our immortal souls if we persevere by God's grace in a state of sanctifying grace until the moment of our dying breaths. We should not look for results. We should not look for consolation. We should, as Our Lord instructed us, do the work assigned to us and simply say, "We are useless servants. We have only done our duty."
Corruption is quite an ignoble legacy to seek to follow.
The legacy we must follow is that of the perennial Tradition of the Catholic Church. None other.
Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Hilarion, pray for us.
Saint Ursula and Companions, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
*Note on Sister Jeannine Grammick
The tireless researcher, author, speaking and pro-life activist, Mrs. Randy Engel, the President of the U.S. Coalition for Life wrote me a note following the initial posting of the commentary above. As she has written several books on the subject of the use of certain forms of explicit instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandment, the part of her note concernin Sister Jeannine Grammick is useful to reproduce here:
"[Sister Jeannine Gramick
left the Order of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and has joined the
Sisters of Loretto. These sisters are also harboring former priest [Robert] Goss
who writes that Christ and St. John were homos along with I think
Lazarus ..... The Sisters of Loretto have set up a fund for Gramick so she can tour and promote the homo/lesbian agenda that they support. Rome does nothing... following the steps of JPII."