Seven Years Later
It has been nearly eighty-four months since Stephen G. Brady, the founder and President of Roman Catholic Faith, Inc., held a press conference at the Springfield Hilton to level very serious charges of personal immorality against the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, the Most Reverend Daniel Ryan. The charges are so salacious that to reprint them again would be an occasion of sin.
Although members of the secular press were in attendance at that press conference, no mention of the event ever appeared in the local newspaper, the Springfield Journal State-Register. No mention of the event was made on the local television stations. It fell to this reporter, who was then associated with The Wanderer, to write the only story about that particular press conference. The failure of the secular press to take seriously the charges made by Stephen Brady helped to prolong Daniel Ryan's episcopal reign and helped to keep him as a bishop in good standing after he was forced to retire in December of 1999, some twenty-two months after that initial press conference. Indeed, it would not be until two months ago that an "independent" committee came to conclusions about Bishop Ryan that forced him into seclusion, at least for the moment.
The secular press has had a veritable field day reporting the explosion of stories about sodomite behavior on the part of priests. The secular press, which is rabidly anti-Catholic, has been able to have such a field day because of the network of sodomites within the hierarchy of the Church in this country, a network exposed by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., in an explosive issue of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam published three years ago and because of the culture of deceit and clericalism that led other bishops and chancery officials to minimize the problems and to actually try to browbeat the victims and their families. Priests such as the murdered Father Alfred Kunz, whose murder remains an unsolved mystery, the late Father Charles Fiore, Father Enrique Rueda, and countless laymen tried, without any success at all, to alert officials in this country and Rome about the extent of the problems. Those problems did not just "explode" overnight. They had been reported for years in The Remnant and The Wanderer and Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Almost no one in the "mainstream" media took them seriously, which is why they bear almost as much blame as the bishops and their chancery factotums for the situation facing the Church in this country and the world at present.
If anything has been proved by the spate of news stories since January of 2002, though, it is that the fear of bad publicity has been the principal factor motivating the Holy See and the bishops in this country to make it appear as though they were doing something to address a problem that could have been resolved years before if sodomites had been excluded from the priesthood and not promoted to the hierarchy. Sadly, a concern for the salvation of souls has not been prominent among the factors that have motivated the Holy See and the bishops of this country when dealing with instances of persistent sodomite behavior on the part of those who have Holy Orders.
The case of Bishop Daniel Ryan is prototypical of how the bishops of this country circled the wagons and attempted to marginalize his principal accuser, Stephen Brady and Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. What is atypical in the Ryan case, however, is the degree to which he was protected not only by his brother bishops but by the local newspaper, which raises several questions to be posed at the conclusion of this report. Thus, a basic review of the Ryan case is appropriate, especially since it appears possible that he might be permitted to function once more as a retired bishop after a period of "treatment."
A Synopsis of the Ryan Case
Stephen Brady indicated in his 1997 press conference that he started the organization because of problems he was experiencing in his own community, Petersburg, Ill., where a member of the local parish council was teaching his son in a public school how to use a certain form of contraception. Another person, an extraordinary minister who taught at the same school, publicly endorsed the agenda of Planned Parenthood. Efforts to reach Bishop Ryan on these matters proved fruitless. No action was taken against the individuals who defied Church teaching in their careers as public school teachers.
The growth of Roman Catholic Faithful prompted several priests to contact Brady about problems they had been having with Bishop Ryan. Two priests, whose identities have not been revealed publicly, gave Brady detailed information concerning alleged incidents of having been sexually harassed by the bishop. One of the priests, who gave an exclusive, detailed telephone interview to this reporter shortly after the press conference, provided this reporter with extensive corroboration of the charges Brady has made against Bishop Ryan. The interview, which contained horrid details, was conducted in order to permit Father John Hardon to pursue leads with the Holy See.
After having gathered statements from these priests, Brady wrote Ryan a letter. Dated Nov. 8, 1996, it stated in part:
"While working with these Illinois priests we have come to learn that some of them have suffered abuse and persecution. One form of this abuse has been the sexual harassment of these priests. In other cases, we have learned that you have had consensual sex with priests. This is a scandal of the highest order and an affront to God." Brady then demanded the bishop's resignation by Nov. 13, 1996. Failing that, Brady wrote, he would have to make the allegations public knowledge. An attorney for the bishop wrote to attorney James Bendell, who serves on the Board of Directors of Roman Catholic Faithful, that Brady would be subjecting himself to a lawsuit if he made the allegations-which Ryan vehemently and categorically denied at the time-public.
Brady, however, did not go public with his accusations. He sought the counsel of many individuals, including leading canonists and a bishop. At the urging of one priest, the documentation of these allegations was provided to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, in November 1996. A meeting about these allegations was held at the nunciature on Nov. 15, 1996. Unbeknownst to anyone, however, Cacciavillan had provided all the documentation that had been given to him concerning these allegations to Bishop Ryan, including a detailed four-page statement by one of the priests (who had been promised strict confidentiality in the matter). Ryan thus had all of the evidence against him, including the names of his accusers. Cacciavillan never once contacted either of the two priests involved in this case at this juncture.
Brady went on to state at the press conference that Cacciavillan considered the case "closed," even though no investigation had been conducted. He said that this was a terrible betrayal of the trust that the priests had placed in the papal nuncio, as well as a breach of all propriety in the conduct of investigations of this nature. A woman who answered the phone at the nunciature in Washington told this reporter on the day of that press conference in 1997 that the archbishop, whom she consulted before responding to me, had "no comment" on the entire story. When told that the nuncio would be criticized for his betrayal of the priests, an action which helped to precipitate the public revelation of these accusations, the woman said that she would relay that message to him. Brady also said that the press conference held on Feb. 11 had been scheduled originally for Jan. 22. After consultation with a number of individuals, however, he decided to postpone it in order to allow individuals at the Sacred Congregation for Bishops to review material sent to them on Jan. 13, 1997. Given the actions of the papal nuncio, though, Brady believed that he had no choice but to go public with these allegations, if for no other reason than to let Bishop Ryan know that he is going to be held accountable for them even if the nuncio has decided that the case is closed.
Brady spent a good deal of time in that press conference to outline the problems extant in the Diocese of Springfield. He noted that a prominent priest in the diocese had written an article in The Catholic Times, the diocesan newspaper, which dissented from the clear teaching of Christ forbidding the admission of women to Holy Orders. Nothing was said or done to contradict the article. Furthermore, Brady explained to the secular press in attendance that Catholics have the obligation to use the faith as the basis of how they act outside of Sunday Mass, that a practicing Catholic cannot be engaged in activity which is directly opposed to unchanging moral truths. He said that the allegations made against Bishop Ryan come in the context of a long history of support within the diocese for theological "opinions" which are at variance with what is taught by the Church's Magisterium.
Furthermore, a priest has no authority to function without the direct permission of a bishop (or of a religious superior). A priest without faculties from his bishop cannot say Mass publicly-and he cannot hear Confessions except in emergency situations. The priests making the allegations against Bishop Ryan fear that they will be punished for: a) not responding to the bishop's alleged romantic advances; and b) for bringing these allegations out into the open. Brady expressed the belief that the full facts of the case may not be known publicly unless action is brought in civil court at which time the bishop and his accusers each would be deposed in the discovery process. Brady said in 1997 that he was not certain whether the priests would bring an action of their own. However, he said that all avenues, including that of using the Signatura in Rome, remained open to exploration. The fact, though, that the priests did not make these allegations themselves in public was given as the reason that the story did not receive coverage in the secular press, although anonymous sources are quoted in the secular press every day
The late Father John A. Hardon, S.J., actually went to Rome in February of 1997 with one of the priests, the one interviewed by this reporter, who had made the accusations against Bishop Ryan. Officials in the Holy See found the priest to be so credible that he was permitted to leave the Diocese of Springfield and work elsewhere in the country under the tutelage of Father Hardon. Bishop Ryan was told by the Holy See to have no contact with his accuser, and there were reports that the Holy Father had thrice requested Ryan's resignation, which Ryan thrice ignored. Although this was an encouraging sign, nothing happened to Bishop Ryan, who continued to deny the charges through his Director of Communications, Kathleen A. Sass, and whose attorneys threatened to bring legal action against Roman Catholic Faithful (which legal action was never undertaken). This effort at intimidation was typical of the modus operandi used by the bishops and their attorneys over the decades.
Things came to a head in December of 1997, however. A priest in Lincoln, Illinois, which is located in the Diocese of Peoria, was accused of having molested several young men over the course of a twenty-year period. The secular press, which had buried the Ryan story, mentioned the charges against Ryan while running accounts of the Lincoln story.
When asked to comment on Stephen Brady's accusations about Ryan's personal and ecclesiastical conduct, Kathleen Sass, Ryan's spokeswoman, told The Daily Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) that Brady's comments "are based in ignorance of good church teachings." Those comments caught the eye of a woman named Sandra, a resident of Springfield who had never met Stephen Brady. A student at Springfield College who worked at a laundromat in Springfield, [Sandra] had been a prostitute in the Illinois capital until 1990. She was thoroughly familiar with the street life of that city, and telephoned Brady to inform him that she had been in a car with two male hustlers on several occasions when they were picked up by "the bish," that is, Bishop Daniel Ryan.
She provided Brady with extensive information in an audio-taped interview with him on Friday, December 12, 1997. [Sandra] named Frank "B" and Kent "L." as two of the male prostitutes who had been hired by Ryan to provide him with sexual favors for money. The information Sandra, who was taking instructions in the Catholic faith at the time, provided about the bishop's sexual trysts corroborated the stories by the two priests interviewed by this reporter in early 1997. It also substantiated the information that Brady had received from a number of independent sources, including an anonymous letter he received in 1997 which listed a number of male hustlers who were known to be consorts of Bishop Ryan. A private investigator in 1999 corroborated most of the information in that anonymous letter, which had been sent also to a reporter for the Springfield State Journal Register, Ralph Loos.
[Sandra] did not know where to find Frank "B.," but believed that he could be found in an Illinois correctional facility, which turned out to be the case. He agreed to cooperate with Brady on one condition: that Brady find him an orthodox Catholic priest to hear his confession.
Armed with this new information, Brady sent out a press release to announce a press conference to be held in Springfield on Tuesday, December 30, 1997. He notified both the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Cacciavillan, and the Archbishop of Chicago, the Most Reverend Francis George, of the pending press conference. To Brady's surprise, a representative of Archbishop George contacted him, requesting him to postpone the December 30 press conference. The representative, Jimmy Lago, said that the archdiocese would conduct a thorough investigation of the matter. Brady, who had postponed a press conference in January of 1997 so as to provide the Vatican with more time to digest the information he had sent them about the priest-accusers, was more than a little skeptical. However, he agreed to postpone the press conference after Lago assured him that a serious investigation of the matter would be conducted by the archdiocese. The press conference was scheduled to deal with the new evidence of Ryan's homosexual behavior, as well as developments in the Lincoln case. Brady was receptive to not discussing the Ryan situation at that conference if Lago attested in writing that he represented Archbishop George, and that the archdiocese was conducting an investigation into the matter. Brady says that he made it clear to Lago that he would distribute the statement to members of Roman Catholic Faithful and to members of the press as a means of explaining why the new evidence would not be presented at the press conference. Brady kept his part of the bargain and did not mention the evidence possessed by Sandra or Frank.
Lago, however, appeared to double-cross Brady and James Bendell, RCF's attorney. He made a statement to The Daily Pantagraph, published on January 6, 1998, that "There's a lot of allegations, but no proof. Nobody is willing or able to even step forward at this point." Lago knew that two priests had made accusations in 1997, and he was aware of evidence possessed by Sandra and Frank. Lago had even spoken to Sandra personally. Brady and Bendell considered Lago's remarks to be evidence of bad faith. Bendell wrote Lago a letter that same day, January 6, 1998, telling him that "RCF must now consider relations between us as totally broken, and we are proceeding with our campaign to remove Ryan, including the rescheduling of the press conference with the woman mentioned above."
Lago told this reporter on January 7, 1998 that he did not give permission to Brady to distribute his statement to the press. He said that he stood by his statement to the Pantagraph, that he personally knew of no one who had evidence who was willing to come forward at that point. When confronted with the fact that there are people who have come forward with first-hand information, Lago stuck to his published comments. He insisted that his investigation was a serious one and that he would make no further comments to the press. He did not respond when asked why he could not have given a simple "no comment" or "this matter is under investigation" when questioned by the secular press.
Brady told this reporter that he did tell Lago that his statement attesting to the seriousness of the Archdiocese of Chicago's investigation would be given to the press. He believed that Lago was not serving as an honest broker in the matter, and therefore rescheduled the press conference to reveal the [Sandra] and [Frank] charges on Thursday, January 15, 1998. Entreaties were made by high-ranking ecclesiastical officials to convince Brady to cancel the press conference. One such official admitted that the Vatican had known all about Ryan's homosexual activity for many years. He said that it would take time to remove Ryan, but assured Brady that Ryan would be removed.
Brady listened to all of the entreaties. However, it was his judgment that the information had to be revealed publicly, especially in light of the fact that the Vatican had known about Ryan's activities all the time. Too much harm had been done to the state of the church in Springfield to permit this new evidence to languish in the Vatican bureaucracy for another five or six years. The press conference, therefore, went on as scheduled on Thursday evening, January 15, 1998.
Attended by over seventy people, including four reporters from the secular media, the press conference began with a moving statement by Jo Ann Brady. Mrs. Brady made a point-by-point rebuttal of the accusations leveled against RCF by a prominent priest who had telephoned her the day before. Her comments were echoed by Pamela Bultmann, a board member of RCF. Stephen Brady then read a letter sent to him by Frank "B." The letter stated the nature of the charges he was making against Bishop Ryan and three other priests, one of whom has been dead for several years. The charges were identical in nature to those made the previous year by the two priests.
The letter described described his illicit activities with Ryan and with other priests. And he wrote that Ryan heard his confession and absolved him of his sins each and every time he had a sexual encounter with him. If this is so, Ryan had excommunicated himself. And it is reserved to the Holy See alone to remove such an excommunication. [Frank], who is dying of AIDS, wrote, "The only reason I came forward was to stop the abuse of position by this man and others, and to finally once and for all clear my conscience. Before making this statement I was able to find a priest who heard my confession so I could say this with a clean heart. I hope the church of central Illinois strengthens itself out of all this. I was not paid, forced or coerced into making this statement. I am also not the only one who did this, there are at least 6-10 other people I know by name who dated Bishop Ryan too. To them I say please come forward and stop what's happening. Some of these were also minors.
"In my background you will find that I was an addict and a convicted felon. Please don't let this cloud you as this is the truth. I say this with my right hand to God and affirm with my dying breath. To Bishop Ryan and the others, I'm sorry I had to do this, but it has to stop for the good of all. For those that wish to slander me and to cover this up or plain don't want to believe this could ever happen, we are all human with all its problems. Sometimes a wolf does come in sheep's clothing."
Brady then introduced Sandra, who explained why she had come forward to present her evidence against Bishop Ryan (a typed transcript of her December 12, 1997, interview with Brady was provided to the press). Once again, however, the secular media buried the story, although a reporter for the Springfield State Journal Register did interview Frank "B." in the Jacksonville, Illinois, Correctional Facility shortly after the press conference. No published story followed, however.
More and more evidence was amassed by Brady throughout 1998 and into 1999. Brady tracked down Ryan's then "boyfriend," obtaining from his ex-wife proof that Ryan had paid the man's utility bills. An investigator for RCF actually tracked Ryan and his then boyfriend to a seedy motel in Bloomington, Illinois, about 60 miles northeast of Springfield, where they watched pornographic movies together. The Bishop Daniel Ryan case was not about a repentant sinner who had had a fall or two and then reformed. It was about a man who continued to engage in perverted activities even after he had been publicly exposed as a pervert. It is thus no wonder that Bishop Ryan permitted all manner of liturgical deviations and doctrinal heresies to abound in his diocese. A man steeped unrepentantly in that kind of conduct cannot believe in and adhere to the Deposit of Faith.
As mentioned at the beginning of this report, Ryan resigned in 1999. He was replaced in December of that year by Bishop George Lucas, who came from the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Missouri. Bishop Lucas ignored Roman Catholic Faithful's demands that Ryan be suspended from episcopal functions. Ryan continued to confirm children, had an office in the diocesan "pastoral center," and was even a co-consecrator of an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Joliet in March of 2002. It was not until January of this year that he was forced to take a "leave" following the report of the aforementioned "independent" committee.
The Springfield State Journal Register ran a brief story about the fact that the results of the independent committee's findings had been forwarded to the Vatican. As the report had been written by a Kris Wernowsky, this reporter thought it appropriate to pose the following questions to her via e-mail on February 24, 2003. As of the date of this writing, March 7, 2003, there has been no response to the following questions:
"1. A reporter for your newspaper attended several press conferences held by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., in 1997 and 1998 concering Bishop Daniel Ryan. No story was ever run in your newspaper about the press conferences. Why?
"2. In light of the investigative reporting done by the Boston Globe and other newspapers, isn't clear that your paper chose to protect Bishop Ryan, thereby making it more possible for him to continue his perverted activities? Does this not indicate that your newspaper bears some culpability for shielding Bishop Ryan from a full journalistic investigation by a major newspaper with the resources to conduct such an investigation?
"3. One of your reporters interviewed an accuser of Bishop Ryan, a Mr. Francis Bergen, while he was in prison in Jacksonville, Illinois. The interview was thorough. Bergen gave detailed information, although some of it was contradictory. Why has there never been any public reference to this interview in the ? In light of the "independent committee" that investigated Bishop Ryan, why has not your newspaper exhibited the journalistic integrity to revisit the whole Ryan matter with a thorough report (as opposed to your brief, relatively uninformative report that made it appear Ryan had only been under investigation within the last year or so).
"4. Does not your newpspaer owe Stephen G. Brady and Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., and its readers an apology for failing to even to acknowledge that the Ryan matter that was reported so scantily recently first came to light as a result of the activities of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc.?
"5. Is your newspaper aware of the fact that the late Father John A. Hardon, one of the late Mother Teresa's confessors, took one of Bishop Ryan's priest-confessors to Rome in 1997, where officials found the allegations so credible that they provided a safe haven for the priest? Why have facts such as these been ignored consistently by your newspaper?
"6. In light of all of the allegations made against Bishop Ryan, why did not your newspaper raise any questions about Bishop Daniel Ryan's continued high profile as a retired bishop? Did no one at your newspaper believe that young people might be at risk if they came into contact with Bishop Ryan? Was there no thought of doing what Roman Catholic Faithful actually did, that is, to hire a private investigator to track Ryan and his male companions to motels in the Bloomington-Normal area?
"7. Is your newspaper going to investigate the network of priest-homosexuals in the Chicago-Joliet-Springfield-St. Louis corridor? Or does the newspaper consider such behavior to be legitimate and therefore beyond the scope of investigation?
"8. Why has no effort been made by your newspaper to hold Bishop George Lucas and Mrs. Kathleen Sass, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Springfield, to account for their acting as though the allegations made against Bishop Ryan were not credible when in fact they knew that people had gone on record with their names to make serious accusations?"
I concluded my e-mail by writing, "Your answers will be included in The Remnant newspaper. I will share them also with major media, such as Bill O'Reilly, to explain that some in the secular media share responsibility with Catholic Church leaders for failing to inform and protect the public properly about the scandals brought to light by Roman Catholic Faithful and many lay people throughout the country."
Reporter Wernowsky is not the only one dodging e-mails, however. Kathleen Sass, who is still the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Springfield, despite the role she played in seeking to denounce and discredit Roman Catholic Faithful while protecting an unrepentant pervert, has refused to respond to e-mails to her on February 24, 2003, and to two attempts to reach her via telephone. Starting with my introduction, these are the questions Mrs. Sass has refused to answer:
"It was just a little over six years ago that you related to me Bishop Daniel Ryan's categorical denial of the charges that had been made against him by Stephen G. Brady in a press conference in Springfield in February of 1997. In light of the fact that you are no longer repeating this denial publicly following the independent committe that investigated Bishop Ryan, I have the following questions to ask of you for a news story I am doing on the Bishop Ryan matter and how it was handled by the personnel of the Diocese of Springfield:
"1. Do you now admit that Stephen G. Brady and Roman Catholic Faithiful, Inc., were correct to make their charges against Bishop Ryan public following the latter's refusal to acknowledge their veracity and the failure of ecclesiastical officials in 1997 to fully investigate those charges?
"2. Do you not personally owe Mr. Brady an apology for the manner in which you disparaged his efforts to expose Bishop Ryan's activities, which were still on-going in 1997 and 1998, to the public, thereby serving to help to cover-up the truth of the matter?
"3. Do you not personally owe the people of the Diocese of Springfield an apology for helping to perpetuate the episcopal reign of a man who was steeped in unrepentant immorality and who engaged in efforts to intimidate witnesses who had knowledge of that immorality?
"4. Given the credibility established by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., over the years, should not the Diocese of Springfield give public credit to the work done by Stephen Brady to help expose the corruption extant in the Diocese of Springfield and elsewhere?
"5. Could not the extent and nature of the scandals that have been reported by the secular media in the last two years have been attenuated if chancery officials had taken seriously the work of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., and the reports that were published in The Wanderer?
"6. Is there not a connection between the doctrinal heterodoxy rife within the Diocese of Springfield (support for women's ordination, contraception, divorce and remarriage without a valid decree of nullity, rampant liturgical abuses) and the immoral leadership of Bishop Ryan, who permitted articles that placed in question the absolute received teaching of the Divine Redeemer?
"7. Given the fact that the American bishops have been said to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy for priests accused of sexual molestation, why did Bishop George Lucas permit his predecessor, Bishop Daniel Ryan, to function openly and publicly, especially with the young. Bishop Ryan continued to function openly even after the independent committee began its investigations, which was at least five years after the initial allegations were made by Roman Cathoilc Faithful (and after the late Father John Hardon had taken one of Bishop Ryan's victims to Rome, where officials found the allegations so credible that they found a safe haven for the priest)? Why did Bishop Lucas not take measures to prevent Bishop Ryan from having contact with the young?
"8. Why did not Bishop Ryan utter one word of criticism about the pro-abortion Senator Richard Durbin? Your office criticized Roman Catholic Faithful for simply informing Catholics about the corruption of their bishop. Neither your office or Bishop Ryan have seen fit to criticize a man who believes in the mystical destruction of Our Lord in the persons of unborn children in their mothers' wombs. Why?
"9. Do you not owe an apology to the victims of Bishop Ryan for serving unapologetically as his spin-doctor while individuals came forth to put their names on the record?
"10. Would you continue to act again in the same manner as you did in the Bishop Ryan case if a similar situation were to arise? Or would you take the allegations made by Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., more seriously?"
Yes, we know that the Church is divinely founded and maintained. We know that she will last until the end of time and that the jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. We know that each one of us is a sinner who is in constant need of the mercy won for us by the shedding of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and extended to us in the hospital of divine mercy that is the confessional.
Nevertheless, although the Church is established firmly on the rock of Peter, the Pope, and although each of us is a sinner, we do have the obligation to seek from our ecclesiastical officials a redress of situations of grievous scandal, which are almost inevitably linked to situations of doctrinal heresy and liturgical abuse. It is not be "absorbed" in these sordid problems to seek-after much prayer and spiritual direction-to seek to be of assistance in ridding the Church of pests in Holy Orders who are actually menaces to the salvation of souls and the passing on of the faith whole and undiluted. This is what Stephen Brady and James Bendell and those associated with Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., have done with great courage and determination. It is truly tragic that the Church herself continues to ignore them.
As the Third Lateran Council (1179) taught: "Anyone caught in the practice of sin against nature, on account of which the wrath of God was unleashed upon the children of disobedience, if he is a cleric, let him be demoted from his state and kept in reclusion in a monastery to do penance; if he is a layman, let him be excommunicated and kept rigorously distant from the communion of the faithful."
I guess, however, it is no accident that the Church is ignoring Steve Brady and Jim Bendell. If those who compose the hierarchy today can ignore the Church's living patrimony, such as the Third Lateran Council, and everything else before 1958, then it is relatively easy to dismiss seekers of truth as "ignorant irritants" who will not accept the promotion and exaltation of sin in the ranks of those who possess Holy Orders. The abandonment of common sense by many within the hierarchy is the result of the abandonment of the sensus Catholicus in the past forty years.