If I had not been working for several organisations in the USA for the past six years I might have thought Archbishop Vigano’s letters referred to in the Catholic media, as way over the top, but they are not. The central point that he was making about a powerful homosexual clique in Rome and in the USA having such influence was confirmed by Cardinal Muller. It was in an interview that he gave to EWTN the biggest Catholic television station in the world, that has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. He served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 until 2017. He, with a staff of three had to deal with the many cases of sexual abuse that poured into his department each week, so he knows more than anyone else in the Church what he is talking about in this highly sensitive area. He said that eighty percent of sexual abuse cases in the Church are caused by pederasty, which is the major problem in the Church most particularly in the USA. Just search for his name and you can listen to this interview for yourself. There are of course many other forms of sexual abuse in the Church that have been going on for years that have been swept under the carpet where they remain. In the last fifty years or more one particular scandal has accounted for more sexual transgressions than all the other cases put together. They are the cases of priests and bishops having ongoing or permanent relationships with women and fathering many children.
A lesson from Edmund Burke
There have been many high profile cases in this country, but the problem here is as nothing compared with other countries where such illicit liaisons are unremarkable. Now please do not bombard me with letters insisting that there are thousands of good and holy priests in the Church because I am well aware of it, but they are not the problem, indeed it is to them that we look for the solution. And it must be said that if offenders can be counted in thousands, non-offenders can be counted in hundreds of thousands. However, it has to be said that in the last fifty years or more very few of them have spoken out about what they must have known. Remember the words of Edmund Burke. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” In their defence I must say that although many of them did know about individual cases, they had no idea that sexual deviancy in the Church by cardinals, bishops and priests has been practised on an industrial scale.
Nobody would have believed me
There is another reason why good priests have remained silent for so long and that is because, as one Montfort priest said in a podcast that has recently gone viral, “because nobody would have believed us.” I am afraid that is so true. I was not a high profile priest, but back in the nineteen-eighties when I began to become aware that there was something wrong, I did try to speak out. Even my closest friends and relations would not believe me, so how was I to be believed when I wrote to Rome? Their only response was to try to stop me speaking out. In the intervening years I have tried to explain the historical reasons that have led to the terrible sexual moral malaise that is at present destroying the Church, and how only deep radical and spiritual reform can put things right.
Back to the Faith of Our Fathers
In order to do this as effectively as possible, I have spent years studying the spiritual life of Our Lord himself that he went on to share with his first disciples and then bequeathed to the early Church, enabling it to transform a pagan empire into a Christian empire in such a short time. What happened then can happen now, if we only return as quickly as possible to the God-given spirituality that Jesus gave to his early Church. I have tried to do this in my book Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, published this January in which I have tried to do two things. Firstly, to detail this spirituality so that it can do what I believe should have been done at the Vatican Council in a document that was never written to complement the document on the liturgy. Secondly, to show how the love that was central to this spirituality was taken away four hundred years ago by a heresy that made a mockery of authentic Christian spirituality and prayer.
A lesson from St Thomas Aquinas
St Thomas Aquinas said, “Man cannot live without love. If he cannot find it in God then he will seek it elsewhere in other pursuits.” The most pernicious of all these ‘other pursuits’ has been lust. It is only in the last two months that I have begun to speak out loud and clear in this column, because ‘the cat is out of the bag’ and if I and others who are ‘in the know,’ do not speak out and tell the truth as the precursor to radical spiritual reform and renewal we will be guilty of failing to do what Christ did, and for which he was crucified. My job will be to concentrate on what Archbishop Vigano calls ‘the spiritual weapons’ that are necessary to defeat the abominations that are desecrating the Church at present. Let me call a spade a spade – there are thousands of priests in the Church to whom I have referred who say daily Mass with hands once consecrated for that purpose, that have been defiled and desecrated by the most foul sexual misdemeanours imaginable.
A lesson from Our Lady of Fatima
If these are not the terrible calamities that would engulf the Church that Our Lady of Fatima predicted then what are they? Could they become even worse if her call to prayer is still not heeded? She was not talking about just the saying of prayers or rattling through prayers of obligation, but the deep prayer that leads through mystical purification to union with Jesus Christ her son. I once used to think that I was a liberal, and what used to be called progressive after the Vatican Council, because after studying Thomism I was introduced to what was called ‘The New Biblical Theology.’ But the new liberals have gone feral and become little more than ‘Christian humanists’. This pernicious development can be traced back to one serious criticism that I have of the Second Vatican Council. This criticism is not for what it said and did, but for what it did not say and do. It reproduced perfectly the ancient liturgy for the modern Catholic, whilst at the same time incorporating all the legitimate liturgical developments over the centuries. What it failed to do however, was to produce a similar document, reproducing the daily mystical spirituality that animated the first Christians, which inspired their participation in the liturgy, particularly the Mass. The failure of the Council to do this left a gap. This gap was filled by a ‘pseudo- spirituality’ dominated by psychology and sociology that has proliferated to the present day. Instead of prayer, techniques are taught to seek self-satisfying states of self-absorption. The sadness is that those who seriously seek solace in God have been sold solace in self instead. Counterfeit prayer generates counterfeit virtues, so rather than genuine care and compassion the new secular saints take pride in their self-satisfied political correctness. If one day statues will be raised to these secular saints, they will not be holding lilies in their hands, but a narcissus, for their new ‘pseudo-spirituality’ is predominately self-centred not God-centred. They hardly ever mention the name of Jesus Christ, after all he was not nailed to the Cross for their liberal agendas, but for his truth.
Truth , transparency, accountability and reparation first.
I was talking to one of these liberals only recently, a Catholic journalist and editor who, true to form, only seemed to be interested in playing down the gross sexual horrors that are plaguing the Church, minimizing them or insisting that although they were regrettable they have now been put behind us. He described such people as Archbishop Vigano and Cardinal Muller as homophobic. Is it homophobic to criticise the two priests we all heard about who were arrested in Florida for having gay sex in a car on a public highway, or their bishop for importing them with many others from a gay seminary in South America set up for that purpose to supplement his own. Or the bishop who sent two homosexual priests to attempt to ‘detain’ a heterosexual priest to be re-educated in his mental hospital because his parishioners dared to take and burn the Gay Pride flag that had covered the crucifix behind the altar? These are only a few of many such stories. Like Nelson this Catholic journalist has turned a blind eye to what is going on in the USA quite openly, and what is going on beneath the surface in Rome and elsewhere. If he or any newspaper is not prepared to tell the truth then it is time to prepare for the receiver. All he seemed to be interested in doing was rushing on to implement the collegiality that was indeed at the heart of the Vatican Council through what is coming to be called ‘synodality’.
The whole purpose of collegiality is to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through the whole Church by what is called the ‘sensus fidei’. But the new ‘pseudo spirituality’ has no time for the true spirituality that means turning your whole life over to the Spirit – the Holy Spirit who alone can give true wisdom to all who through a radical prayer life, opens them to receive it. The whole point of collegiality is to listen to the Holy Spirit who can speak through them, as he has done in the past, not to the spirit of liberal humanism that will prevail without him. He cannot speak through men and women, who commit or who countenance the sexual crimes and misdemeanours that are at present plaguing the Church. How can the Spirit of Truth speak through those who cannot or will not face the truth. ‘Collegiality’, ‘Synodality’, or whatever you care to call it is right , good and proper, but truth, transparency, accountability and reparation must come first, for there can be no deep prayer without them, and without such prayer not even the ‘Spirit of Truth’ can speak to, and through us. By deep prayer I mean the prayer where, for years a person is purified in what St John of the Cross called ‘the Dark Night’. It is here that saints, prophets and reformers have been prepared in the past, to receive and then to speak the truth. Without this purification men and women will not be able to proclaim God’s truth, but only the latest conventional human ‘wisdom’ that is here today and gone to-morrow. First things first then, or Synods will not become the vehicles through which the Holy Spirit can speak, but through which the human spirit will speak through those who will use them as Ouija boards are used, to con the gullible. They will be deceived into accepting their own pre-prepared liberal agendas, whilst claiming they are the work of the Holy Spirit. Is this what the scriptures mean by the sin against the Holy Spirit? For it is indeed, the most heinous sin of all.
First published in The Catholic Universe