The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, hints recently at the malice directed against us. He urges that we respond with repentance when, as today, the world reminds the Church of her sins.
Most of the attention in the media has been on our sins of commission. But let me focus here on repentance in the Church for particular sins of omission. We have good reason to be sorry for responding weakly and naively to the malice directed at Christians generally, and at Catholic clergy in particular. With a wimpy defense we have emulated Neville Chamberlain at Munich, rather than deliver robust counterpunches a la Winston Churchill.
Scripture tells us to fight the good fight with the wisdom of a serpent. Instead we have gone tiptoeing around the militant homosexuality movement, confusing timidity with the virtue of being guileless as doves.
At last, hopefully, things are changing as per St. Paul’s admonition (Titus 2:15), “let no one despise thee.” Much to the chagrin and outrage of influential people in the so-called advanced nations (like the French Foreign Ministry), the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has decided to call a spade a spade, or rather to identify abusers of adolescent boys as homosexuals – a common sense association unmentionable in polite society.
So much for polite society. As Admiral David Farragut put it at Mobile Bay, “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” This is exactly the correct contradiction to infiltration, especially infiltrators into the priesthood. Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines the word, infiltrate, as follows: “To move into an organization… surreptitiously and gradually, esp. with hostile intent.” Surely we have the right and duty to defend the sacred ranks of the clergy against the entry of practicing sodomites. Relevant here is St. Paul’s admonition (1 Corinthians 5:13), “expel the evil man from your midst.”
St. Paul had no qualms about calling out seducers who infiltrate households, to “capture silly women” (2 Timothy 3:6). Or as Matthew 23:14 quotes Jesus, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”
The influx of practicing homosexuals into Catholic seminaries too involved a sin of omission. Lowing our guard against the intrusion allowed gay “comrades in harms” to become priests who preyed on vulnerable people, including children.
Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, are besieged for being too slow in defrocking pedophiles after the fact. (I’m not sure we can do anything about the stubborn ignorance of the media insisting that a priest has to be “defrocked” in order for his active ministry to come to an end.) But the critics of the Catholic Church say little about our guarding the gates with vigilance beforehand. What about preventing homosexual rakes from infiltrating the clergy in the first place?
The infiltrators are guiltiest of committing abominations against adults and children. To them the principal blame is due. Humanly speaking, they are the chief culprits. And yet whenever the Church applies just discrimination against practicing homosexuals (in adoptions, for example), it gets labeled “bigotry.”
Our cultural commissars urge us to worship at the altar of a much-touted triune ethic – tolerance, diversity and choice. This secular trinity militates against the influence of righteous indignation. It demands that people who express disgust at sexual sins be reprogrammed. Teach them to reconsider their negative attitudes. Show them that a tendency to look down on homosexual sex is wrong in itself. Brow beat them with the notion that such a critical attitude is condescending and judgmental.
Of those who would thus revamp our spiritual instincts, the Sermon on the Mount warns: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). In the spirit of St. Paul (Titus 2:15), let us “speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority. Nemo te contemnat.”