Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.


Historic Summit Rips Mask from the Lies of the Sexual Revolution

Finally, Victims and Survivors of the Sexual Revolution will get their turn at the microphone!

History will be made in Lake Charles, LA, on April 27, when the Ruth Institute holds its first annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution.

Ruth Institute Founder and President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. stated:

“The Summit is historic because:

  • The false promises of the Sexual Revolution are unraveling all around us.
  • Its supporters are doubling-down defending their outrageous policies.
  • No one but the Ruth Institute has the guts to challenge the whole rotten ideology.”

The Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution is unique because it features top experts on the impact of divorce and the gay life-style on individuals and society. In addition, the Summit also includes “Survivor Panels” featuring people who have suffered from the lies of the Sexual Revolution.

Dr Morse charges: “Far from liberating, the Sexual Revolution has left millions of ruined lives in its wake. Casualties of one of history’s most destructive revolutions keep piling up:

  • 45 million children of divorce
  • 70% of divorces include a “reluctant partner” who’d like to stay married
  • 900,000 refugees from the gay lifestyle
  • 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted disease every year."

“The Summit will rip the mask off the Sexual Revolution,” Morse promised.

Expert Keynote Speakers will include:

Dr. Stephen Baskerville (Professor of Government, Patrick Henry College, author of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties and the Expansion of Government Power) “How No-Fault Divorce Empowers the State.”

Mrs. Leila Miller (Catholic blogger, mother of eight and author of Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak) “The Lifelong Impact of Divorce on Children”

Dr. Robert Gagnon (Professor of New Testament, Houston Baptist University, author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics) “What the Church Really Teaches About Homosexual Activity: Refuting Common Pro-Homosexual Scriptural Misinterpretations.”

Fr. D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D. (author of The Ruth Institute’s Clergy Sex Abuse Report) “The Impact of Same-Sex Parenting on Children, and the Impact of the Homosexual Sub-Culture on Clergy Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church.”

There will also be panels by Adult Children of Divorce and Abandoned Spouses, as well as refugees from the gay lifestyle, presenting first-hand testimony.

The evening before the Summit, there will be an Awards Dinner where scholars, leaders and activists will be honored for their contributions to the pro-family cause.

For more information on the Summit’s program, go to http://www.ruthinstitute.org/upcoming-events/survivors-summit

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse: media@ruthinstitute.org.


What Did Frederic Martel Hope to Accomplish With ‘Closet of the Vatican’?

by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was published March 18, 2019, at National Catholic Register.

(Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

The reception of Frederic Martel’s widely anticipated book In the Closet of the Vatican has been surprising. The tantalizing hints dropped before the “bombshell,” “salacious” book’s release exclaimed, “80% of Vatican priests gay.” After an initial international media flurry, the book has dropped out of sight. Two questions arise in my mind. First, what, if anything, can we infer from this deeply flawed book? Second, what did Martel believe he was accomplishing?

The author, Frederic Martel, is a self-described “French gay atheist.” His overarching theme is that the Church’s stance on homosexuality is hypocritical and harmful. Many priests are living “double lives,” professing Church teaching by day and seeking homosexual sex by night.


The solution, in Martel’s mind, is to change Church teaching so that these clergy can live openly homosexually active lives. In this, he, no doubt, has many supporters, both inside and outside the Church.

But all sides of the Catholic debate over moral issues have panned Martel’s book. They make essentially the same critique: Martel trades in stereotypes, gossip and innuendo. He is grossly unfair to prelates he (evidently) does not like.

To answer the first question, I infer beyond any shadow of a doubt that Cardinals Raymond Burke and Müller and Pope Benedict are not homosexual. Not that I ever thought they were. But Martel makes a great deal of suggestive noise on this topic, without a shred of proof. Jesuit Father James Martin objects, saying flatly, “Pope Benedict, Cardinals Burke and Mueller are treated unfairly.”

If Martel had the slightest shred of actual evidence, he would have provided it. Instead, he goes on about their choice of clerical vestments.

Therefore, we can reasonably conclude: These men are not “gay” in any morally relevant sense. Tripping Martel’s “gaydar” doesn’t prove a darn thing.

Second, we can infer from In the Closet of the Vatican that Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s charge that Pope Francis knew about then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s misdeeds is substantially correct. Martel states that “the pope’s entourage indicated to me that Francis ‘was initially informed by Viganò that McCarrick had had homosexual relations with adult seminarians, which was not enough in his eyes to condemn him.’ In 2018, when he learned for certain that he had also, apart from his homosexual relations, sexually abused minors, ‘he immediately punished the cardinal.’”

In other words, Martel’s implied defense of Pope Francis and his unnamed “entourage” is that homosexual activity with seminarians is not problematic in any way worthy of serious correction.

Thirdly, we can conclude that two synods on the family were deliberately steered toward changing the ancient teachings of the Church on marriage, divorce and the Eucharist, with the added goal of changing the teaching on homosexual practice.

In the chapter entitled “The Synod,” Martel’s highly-placed sources, including Cardinals Lorenzo Baldisseri and Walter Kasper, confirm this. Whether they intended to reveal as much as they did, I cannot say. I feel certain, though, that Martel does not realize that his chapter confirms the worst suspicions of defenders of traditional teaching. Pope Francis deputized a “war machine,” a “gang” of “fast workers.”

I followed the synods closely and even participated in a conference designed to encourage and equip the minds of prelates who would be participating in its deliberations. I remember when Ignatius Press published Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a collection of essays by prominent cardinals defending the traditional teaching. Ignatius mailed it to the synod participants. None of them received it. The book “disappeared.” We were all suspicious, but nothing could be proven at the time.

But Martel reports that Cardinal Baldisseri “had the pamphlet seized!” Martel does not seem to realize the significance of what he has said.

This brings me to my second question: What exactly did Martel believe he was accomplishing?

I think he thought that demonstrating hypocrisy and double lives would be a “slam-dunk” argument in favor of changing Church teaching. By painting “conservatives” as closeted and not-very-nice homosexuals, he seems to have thought he would discredit them personally, and by extension, discredit their views.

But proving someone does not live up to his professed beliefs doesn’t actually prove much. The hypocrite is unattractive; that is for sure. But we cannot automatically conclude that he should change his beliefs. Perhaps his professed beliefs are correct and his behavior is wrong. Piling up examples of hypocrisy, even if they were all true, (which, in this book, they certainly are not) does not tell us whether the hypocrite should change his beliefs or his behavior.

To answer that question, we have to look elsewhere.

What is Martel’s underlying belief system about human sexuality and its place in our lives? He does not explicitly say. But his “Rules of the Closet” give us clues. In a chapter on Roman clergy who use male prostitutes, Martel tells us:

“In prostitution in Rome between priests and Arab escorts, two sexual poverties come together: the profound sexual frustration of Catholic priests is echoed in the constraints of Islam, which make heterosexual acts outside of marriage difficult for a young Muslim.”

Confining sex to marriage is “poverty” for young Muslim men, and, we would suppose, non-Muslim men, as well. Keeping sex inside marriage is an unreasonable, even unbearable, burden to place on young men: Martel evidently thinks that people cannot live without sex.

His belief has this one virtue: It is easy to live up to a standard that says there are no standards. There will be no conflict between that belief and any possible set of behavior. When sex is an entitlement, there are no hypocrites.

This is exactly the belief that has caused so much trouble in the past 50-plus years. We now know (or should know) that “consent” is not an adequate standard for judging the worthiness of sexual behavior. We now know (or should know) that people who think they are entitled to sex cause a lot of problems for other people.

The more powerful they are, the more problems their power allows them to cause. We now know that sex within marriage protects the legitimate interests of children to a relationship with both of their parents. And we know beyond any shadow of a doubt that children need their parents.

In other words, the evidence of the past 50-plus years tells us that the Church’s teaching is correct. We can eliminate hypocrisy, but not in the way Martel supposes. We, the members of the Body of Christ, need to change our behavior to conform to the Church’s teaching.


Weaponized Self-Pity, Part I: Divorce

The children of divorce, even as adults, have become accustomed to being silenced.

 

by Jennifer Roback Morse 
This article was first published February 25, 2019, at NCRegister.com.


Recently, I noticed my friend Leila Miller repeating online that she does not insist that people remain living with an abusive spouse. My inclination was to say, “Stop! You don’t need to say it again!”

Around the same time, I noticed that I was about to repeat myself on a seemingly unrelated topic. I started thinking, “What exactly is going on here?” My answer: We are dealing with weaponized self-pity, not a good-faith question.

 


 

Miller is the author of Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak. She gives voice to the adult children whose lives were disrupted by their parents’ divorces. This is the context in which people continually challenge her about abusive marriages. “Why,” Miller asks herself in frustration, “do I have to keep assuring people that no one is required to remain living in abusive situations?”

I’ve had this experience myself. Like Miller, I point out how difficult divorce can be for children. Our focus is on the children, their lifelong suffering and what we can do about it, as individuals and as a society.

The children of divorce, even as adults, have become accustomed to being silenced. As children, they were expected to go along with whatever the adults decided to do. Their parents’ love often seems uncertain and fragile. Challenging the parents’ interpretation of events risks that love.

Even as adults and even outside their families, children of divorce often hesitate to speak up. When they state that divorce was hard for them, people regularly shut them down. In fact, some children of divorce sardonically take bets among themselves in online discussions. “When we talk about how hard divorce was for us, how long will it be before someone says, ‘But what about abusive marriages?’ Counting down, 3-2-1 …”

Do you see that bringing up abusive marriages in this context is changing the subject? The subject is the child and the impact divorce had on him or her. Whether the marriage was abusive or the divorce was justified: These are subjects for another time.

The children of divorce deserve to have at least a few minutes where their experience is the primary subject. “What about abuse?” shuts down the child and his or her perspective.

 

It is true, however, that sometimes people bring up the question of abuse as a justification for divorce in good faith. Perhaps those asking the question want to know what public policy should be on the issue. Or maybe they want to know how to think about an abuse situation they’ve encountered in which divorce otherwise may not be an option.

I’ve noticed that the person asking a good-faith question is generally satisfied with a good-faith answer. “No, in a truly abusive situation, a woman may have a responsibility to herself and her children to create physical separation between herself and her husband. That may ultimately include civil divorce.”

But some people are not satisfied with such an answer — or with any answer, really. In such cases, the woman (and it is almost always a woman) will desperately recount the abuse. She will urgently tell me more than I wanted to know. She ratchets up her description of the horrors of her marriage, although it doesn’t usually come to physical danger. The final blow is: “You don’t understand! How dare you judge me?!”

I also have another sort of experience of women telling me about their abusive husbands: Often times the husband is a sex addict committing multiple infidelities, violent to the point of throwing furniture through walls, or the spouses’ daughters feel creeped out by their fathers’ pornography addictions. These women don’t need my assurance on the right or prudent thing to do, although I gladly give it.

These same women don’t flip out when I say, “Divorce is hard on children.” They already know that. That is why they worked so hard to preserve the marriage. But, given the circumstances, they are at peace with themselves and their decision.

What is the difference between these two types of responses — the one irrational and angry, the other calm and reflective?

My working assumption is that the first group has unfinished business with their divorce. Maybe they are not really sure it was abusive. Maybe they had a new boyfriend waiting in the wings, whose significance they diminish by shouting, “Abuse!”

Somehow, in some way, their conscience is bothering them. They don’t want to believe they inflicted unnecessary pain on their children. No matter how many times Leila Miller or I assure them that abused spouses can remove themselves, they can’t hear it.

Honestly, I don’t care how they treat me. I bet Miller doesn’t either. What bothers me is that these parents cannot hear what their children want to say to them, need to say to them and have every right to say to them.

These parents have grown deaf to their children by feeling sorry for themselves and by not thinking about the impact of their behavior on others — especially their children. They weaponize self-pity, using it as both a shield and a projectile. Argue with them and you will get blasted with the sad story of their lives.

Divorced parents, if your adult children are trying to talk to you about a long-ago divorce, I’m begging you: Set self-pity aside. Whatever problems you may have in your lives, self-pity will not help you solve them. You will be happier without it. And you will be more available to listen to your children, who may really need you.

The weaponizing of self-pity is on high display in another arena of recent public discourse when priests come out as “gay” and tell a sad story about life “in the closet.” Part 2 will discuss that in greater detail.

 

 


"Pathetic:" Ruth Inst. to LA Archdiocese, reporters

Ruth Institute President Calls Response to Request That Cardinal Mahony Withdraw from Education Conference “Pathetic”

“Pathetic.” That’s how Ruth Institute President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. characterized the response from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the Institute’s petition calling on Cardinal Roger Mahony to withdraw as a speaker at the L.A. Religious Education Congress (March 22-24).

“The Cardinal has become a symbol of the mishandling of sex abuse complaints,” said Morse. “For him to address a Catholic education conference at this time is wildly in appropriate.”


Morse notes that, as head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, “Cardinal Mahony had a terrible record of covering up sex abuse, to such an extent that the Archdiocese was forced to pay $660 million in damages – the largest such settlement in the Church’s history.”

In response to a request from America magazine, Carolina G. Guevara, archdiocesan communications director, stated that Mahony “apologized for mistakes of the past” and “met personally with victims and established a Victims Assistance Office to ensure that they would receive the support to help them through the healing process.”

Said Morse, “To call the horror of clerical sex abuse, and the Cardinal’s role in covering it up, ‘mistakes of the past’ is an understatement of epic proportions.”

“It’s good that Cardinal Mahony met with some victims of crimes he may have helped to cover up,” Morse observed. “But, if he’d acted responsibly when he was in a position of authority, there wouldn’t be as many victims in need of healing. Guevara’s statement is a weak rationalization for inexcusable conduct that diminishes the suffering of victims. Imagine how they will feel when he speaks at a conference where he will, in part, interact with youth.”

Morse added: “For the sake of victims, and the pain that never goes away, the Cardinal should do the decent thing and withdraw from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to fighting the Sexual Revolution and helping survivors to heal. It defends the family at home and in the public square and equips others to do the same.

To sign the petition asking that Cardinal Mahony withdraw from the L.A. Congress go to https://citizengo.org/en-us/fm/168278-ask-cardinal-mahony-withdraw-participating-religious-education-congress

To schedule an interview with Dr. Morse media@ruthinstitute.org

 

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