While everyone feigns shock at the revelations out of Pennsylvania this past week, this isn’t news to the faithful in the pews.  We have been calling for accountability for years.  We all either know someone or of someone who has been a victim of abuse or targeted for such abuse.  When confronted, prelates turned a deaf ear and a blind eye.  Even when the evidence was clear that a priest was targeting who he thought was a 16 year-old, it was excused because there was no evidence he had been able to fulfill those desires… yet.  The abuse that came to light almost 15 years ago was an opportunity to cleanse the Church.  The Dallas Charter was a superficial cleaning that didn’t touch the root problems, make amends with victims, nor administer appropriate penalties for all offenders.

The Church (in large part) is still failing to address the root problems in the current crisis.  I think Bishop Morlino of Madison had the best response I have seen so far in his pastoral letter.  Cardinal Burke was very forthright in his interview with Raymond Burke on EWTN’s The World Over. Most other responses seem more concerned with the embarrassment to the clergy and making promises to do better… without identifying the root problem.  The root problem is the homosexual subculture that has taken hold in the Church.  Any letter that fails to recognize this truth is continuing to fail in correction.  The first step in the cure of any disease is an accurate diagnosis.  The Body of Christ is infected with unrepentant sin.

I have noted for years that the liberal mindset is the most closed-minded of ideologies. They use our open-mindedness against us. While we invite all viewpoints into our midst, liberals recruit and promote only those of the same mind. You can see this playing out dramatically on college campuses today where conservative speakers are violentlyrejected and only the liberal side is embraced. The media and academia are both measurably over 90% liberal due to this phenomenon of only embracing their own side. As liberals gain authority, they only hire those who agree with their orthodoxy. The diversity which brought them into the fold is eschewed in favor of ideological purity to a liberal agenda and worldview. This is the same process that has brought us where we are today in the Church.  Our leaders have sought to display tolerance to the intolerant and have been repaid by a growing subculture, hostile to our teachings.

At Mass last weekend, the celebrant priest made the comment, “we tried to rehabilitate offending priests but have only recently learned pedophilia is incurable.”  This is more obfuscation.  The problems of pedophilia have been known for more than three decades. There were even promises made regarding the Dallas Charter that pedophile priests would be out of ministry and away from children. Creating safe environments for children was one of the highest proprieties. That promise wasn’t kept and we are here again. Comments like this suggest we will continue on the same road with band aids for symptoms that don’t address the true malady. The incurability of criminal pedophilia isn’t a recent discovery. It’s a convenient excuse for past inaction.

I heard a story from someone close to me recently that puts this situation into a clearer focus. He had attended a retreat where the abuse was discussed. He was told the accused asked for prayers as they deal with these disordered desires and offenses. My friend asked whether the offenders had called for prayers for the victims and their families…  No. Sexual disorders are selfish in nature. This response demonstrates that the selfishness of the abuser continues through the so-called rehabilitation and there is no internal transformation. In many ways, the abusers are treated as prodigal children returning to the fold. Yet, they acknowledge no true repentance for their crimes, only regret at their own suffering. Criminal pedophilia is the crime with the highest rate of recidivism and it should be treated as such among offending clergy.

There are bad actors in every walk of life.  They do bad things.  When this happens, those in authority must deal justice in the aftermath.  That is what the bishops have failed to do for a long time and it is worse than the abuse itself.  In many cases, the power of the Church has been wielded against the accusers rather than the abusers. This must be addressed and corrected. Actions like this protect the guilty, punish the victims, and scandalize the faithful

The main body of bishops and priests is still in CYA mode rather than taking offensive action to root out the offenders in their midst. The modern Church in this country is following the secular culture in their sin rather than aggressively opposing sin. We are a “go-along-to-get-along” Church. We accept what is unacceptable to appear “reasonable” and “non-judgmental” rather than simply standing for the higher truths. Where we should simply preach the truth, we water it down by making it personal. When it’s personal, the truth is a two-edged sword most are not prepared to wield. Truth isn’t personal. It is either preached or ignored. We have been embracing the sin with the sinner and confirming the sinner’s identification with his sin.

We fail in both justice and mercy.  When we show mercy without justice to the accused, we do greater harm to accuser and victim together.  The victim continues in their temporal pain which may be a millstone to their faith.  The accuser is confirmed in his sin and a lack of real repentance may condemn him for eternity.  Certainly, both situations are scandals of infinite magnitude.

Our Church has been embracing homosexuality rather than confronting it for decades.  I offer these few examples (among thousands possible) to prove my words:

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it? 

New Ways Ministry:LGBT-Friendly Parishes

New Ways Ministry: Building bridges between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church since 1977

Any resolution that dances around the problem isn’t a resolution.  If the Church doesn’t stand for truth (especially difficult truths) then it doesn’t stand with Christ, Who is Truth personified.  I heard a parishioner after Mass today say that the only thing to be done is to pray.  I respectfully disagree.  In a way, that is a little like the Protestant understanding of faith… one must only believe in one’s heart to be saved.  Faith without works is a dead faith (James 2:26).  Prayer without a firm resolve to do what must be done is an empty prayer.  Where amends must be made, they should be made.  Where the truth must be said, it should be said.

The homosexual subculture problem in the Church is related to my effort to encourage the bishops to speak out against the Democratic Party for their advocacy of abortion and homosexual marriage.  Both are sins that cry out to God in Heaven (Gen 4:10 & Gen 19:13).  Both are in Democratic Party platforms at all levels… and yet our bishops have been mostly silent in condemnation.  Are they silent because they sympathize with the Democrats on social issues or has their silence been coerced by a ruthless party which threatened to expose the unfolding scandal? Neither situation is flattering for our bishops. The time is now to speak all truth and come clean for the scandalized faithful. The culture of death must be defeated by the Church standing resolutely for the way, the truth, and the life.

“The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,” said St Athanasius.  As a husband and father, I am responsible for the souls in my home.  Priests are responsible for the souls in their parish.  You are responsible for the souls in your diocese or archdiocese.  You have been blessed with great power and authority in the Kingdom of God.  You have been cursed with great responsibility to stand against evil.  Rather than forcefully condemn the culture of death, you have allowed it to metastasize within the hierarchy of the Church.  The task of removing this cancer will likely be the greatest challenge of our generation.  Failure has eternal consequences for laity and clergy alike.

 If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die—and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade the wicked from their evil conduct in order to save their lives—then they shall die for their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their blood.”

– Ezekiel 3:18

I pray for all of the ministers of the Church in these dark times.  Your challenge is to undo the decades of decay and neglect that have hurt your authority and message.  Faithful Catholics everywhere stand with you as you stand for the truths of the Church.  We know right from wrong and we know the Catechism of our Church.  We will hear the truth when you preach it… and be disappointed when you fail.  We know you are as human as we are.  We know you have a most difficult job.  We also know you are the ones commissioned to do what must be done.  We will stand with you as you rise.

I offer myself to you in service as you work through this and welcome the opportunity to discuss with you as your schedule permits.  You will remain in my family’s prayers.


In the Jewish tradition, there are three ways in which we are all tempted to sin: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. We see this understanding reflected in 1 John 2:16. The lust of the flesh represents the desires of our appetites (ie: gluttony and sexual pleasure). The lust of the eyes represents our desire for all we want (ie: greed and envy). The pride of life is our disordered desire to be greater than we are (ie: pride and vainglory). These are the temptations the world throws at all of us.

Where do we first encounter this in human history? In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were tempted by the Devil to disobey God. He tempted Eve with the promise that she would be like God if she ate of the fruit. When Eve considered her actions, Genesis 3:6 records that she “saw that the tree was good for food (Lust of the Flesh), and a delight to the eyes (Lust of the Eyes), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (Pride of Life)…”. In other words, from a Jewish perspective, they were tempted in every way…and the Bible records their joint failure as Adam was with her.

Our first parents failed so Christ came to restore in obedience what had been lost in disobedience.

In preparation for His earthly ministry, Our Lord spent 40 days in the desert. Luke 4 tells us He was led there by the Spirit and was tempted by the Devil. Jesus fasted for that whole period. When the Bible says He was hungry at the end of this time, note that he wasn’t just ready for a meal. There comes a time without food where the body begins to consume what it can of itself. After 40 days, His Body was ravenous. Enter the Devil.

Satan’s first temptation is for Christ to turn rocks into bread. Here, he is playing on the Lust of the Flesh…and he knows Jesus is VERY hungry. Our Lord answered this temptation with the truth that man lives not by bread alone but by the Word of God.

In the second temptation, the Devil took Jesus to a high mountain and offered Him all of the kingdoms of the world in return for Christ’s worship. This temptation is challenging Jesus through the Lust of the Eyes as Christ came to call all people to Himself–but definitely not this way. In fact, in the Garden of Gethsemane, we see that Jesus doesn’t want to die. His only desire is to do the Will of His Father in Heaven. God alone deserves our worship… even if we see before us the very goal we think we were made to do.

In the third temptation, Jesus is taken to the pinnacle of the Temple and told to throw Himself down since the angels will rescue Him from harm. This is the temptation of the Pride of Life by tempting Jesus to reveal His Glory to all before His hour had come. Consider that what the Devil promised here is true… the angels will rescue Him. Jesus knows, though, that His Father plans to raise Him up in sacrifice, not in personal glory. Though we trust that God will protect us, that doesn’t mean we should test His resolve.

Luke 4:13 tells us that “all temptation” was ended after the third one. From our limited perspective, we are inclined to point out all of the other ways we feel tempted in life. Again, Christ suffered temptation in all ways possible, though not in every variation of the same temptations… and He succeeded where Adam and Eve failed.

Where Our Lord led, we are to follow. We will be tempted in life and He has given us tools to help us on our journey. What can we do to control temptation and the occasions of sin? We can focus our efforts on the opposite of the temptations mentioned here. In fact, outside of the two Great Commandments to love God and our neighbor, Jesus told us to do three things: fasting, alms-giving, and prayer. It is so important that He taught us how to do all three in Matt 6:1-18 where He said, “When you fast… give alms… pray…”. He didn’t say, “If you fast.” This is our life in the Church, especially during this time of Lent.

When we focus on self-denial in fasting and abstinence, we can’t be focused on the Lust of the Flesh… seeking to satisfy these same desires.

When we focus on alms-giving, it would be hard to also focus on thoughts of greed and envy in the Lust of the Eyes.

When we turn our hearts to God in humble prayer, we acknowledge our lowliness and leave behind the Pride of Life.

So, in following Christ, listen to the Church, His Bride, as She exhorts us to lives of fasting, alms-giving and prayer. She is leading us to deeper faith and closer communion with Her Bridegroom through self-denial, supplication and sacrifice.

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