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.


A Sex-Abuse Story Catholics Need to Hear

COMMENTARY: Healing the crippling wounds abused people suffer.

This article by Sue Ellen Browder was first published at NCRegister.com on August 16, 2019.
 
I met my beloved husband, Walter, in 1966 at the University of Missouri, where he was studying to be a chemical engineer and I was enrolled in the School of Journalism, hoping to earn a living as a magazine writer. Almost from the moment we met, Walter and I were fast friends.
 
After our marriage, he left engineering to become a struggling novelist, and we both freelanced from home, working, playing and raising our children side by side.

 

Yet for all our intimacy, Walter contained within his heart a dark secret he didn’t share even with me. As a little boy growing up on a farm in Missouri, he’d been sexually abused by his sadistic older brother Bob, who frequently threatened to kill him. Only after we converted to Catholicism did this unspeakable secret from his tortured past at last come to light.
Walter first began to reveal the truth about his childhood horrors one Monday morning after Mass. It was about three years after we became Catholics. Approaching our pastor, Father Bruce, Walter said, “There’s something I’ve never told you.”

 

Seeing Walter’s sober face, Father Bruce took him immediately into the rectory. I stood alone in the church parking lot and waited, as Walter revealed secrets to Father Bruce that even I had never heard.

After 45 minutes, the two finally emerged from the rectory, and Father Bruce said to me: “Sue, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to ask Walter to tell you what happened when he was 7 years old. He may not want to talk about it. If he doesn’t volunteer to talk about it every two or three days, I want you to ask him about it. Just listen. Get all the details. But don’t get all emotional. Remember Joe Friday on Dragnet? I want you to be like that: ‘Just the facts, Ma’am.’”

For the next month, as we sat side by side sipping our morning coffee, we talked daily about what happened when Walter was 7. Bob held loaded guns to Walter’s head and giggled as he toyed with the trigger. He sat on the bank of a pond laughing as little Walt, who couldn’t swim, almost drowned. But the worst was that he repeatedly raped Walter in the barn and in the root cellar and threatened to kill him if he told anyone. Walter had every reason to believe Bob would carry through on this threat. The abuse was so severe that for most of Walter’s life, unknown to me, he had been suffering five or six flashbacks a day.

After 38 years of marriage, I was at last able to understand the strange anxieties and explosive anger attacks I’d witnessed, which seemed to come out of nowhere and which I’d found inexplicable in a man who was otherwise so deeply loving and sweet.

Father Bruce counseled Walter to forgive Bob (who had died years earlier) and even to pray for his immortal soul. Many non-Catholics might find such advice an outrage, as if forgiveness somehow means letting an evildoer off the hook. But trusting God, Walter listened. And in the process of praying for Bob, Walter himself was transformed: No longer a helpless victim, he became an ennobled intercessor.

On Jan. 13, 2006, Walter wrote in his personal journal:

“Sue and I had a lovely talk this morning. We talked about the problems I had with Bob. But this time we didn’t talk about just what happened. We talked about how it has affected me now. I said I was still angry with God, because Bob may have had the free will to do all that to me, but God should have stopped him somehow. No matter what, that should not have been allowed to happen. God is able to bring good things out of bad, but the bad still happened. I began thinking about that, and I decided I was still angry with God, angry enough that I would not become creative. That’s what I was doing. I was sabotaging my creativity. Every time I would get creative with my writing or my art, I would ruin it. That’s how mad I was at God. What can I do to get rid of this permanently? I don’t know. But this realization, coupled with the understanding Father Bruce gave me that I was still obeying Bob by not wanting to talk about what he did to me, has been a big relief. I now feel like I’ve had a harness taken off of me.”

After this entry in his journal, I don’t know exactly when it happened, but Walter was no longer angry at God — nor at Bob. Christ had healed him. Brimming with gratitude and joy, he announced to me the violent flashbacks that had tormented him for nearly 60 years were suddenly gone.

When Christ, the timeless One, enters into time, he makes “all things new.” It is to the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit that we receive the peace that passes all understanding.

It is certainly necessary to expose sex scandals in the Church. Evil flourishes in darkness and must be exposed to the light. But the continual mainstream media emphasis only on sex-abuse problems within the Church tends to obscure the reality that, within her sacred walls, the Church simultaneously contains the power of God to solve those problems and to heal the crippling wounds sexually abused people like Walter suffer.

Faced with horrifying sex-abuse scandals, many Catholics understandably ask, “Where is our Lord Jesus Christ in all this?” The answer is this: He’s hidden at the center of it all, taking our suffering into himself on the cross, recreating the world, and transfiguring all our pain into joy.

Sue Ellen Browder is author of Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement.

 

 



Courageous Voices: Victims of Abuse Speak Out

A review by Jennifer Roback Morse of the book, ABUSE OF TRUST: Healing from Clerical Sex Abuse by Allen A. Hebert

This review was first published at NCRegister.com on August 19, 2019.

Allen Hebert is a devout practicing Catholic. He and his wife Denae have nine children. They are active in numerous Catholic apostolates, including the Your Holy Family Ministries, which they founded. Allen is also a survivor of childhood clergy sexual abuse.

Scott Peyton is a deacon in the Catholic Church. He and his wife Letitia have six children whom they homeschool. Letitia leads women’s Bible studies. One of their sons was sexually abused by a priest — a friend of their family with whom Deacon Scott had served at the altar.

Jessica McGuire is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and teaches religious education. She is a trauma and rape hotline volunteer. She was abused by clergy starting from age 4. When she became pregnant at age 13, a powerful prelate participated in arranging for an early induced labor, which, she was assured, did not count as an abortion. She gave birth in a sacristy in a church near the medical district. Priests buried the remains of her child in a church courtyard, near a statue of the Blessed Mother.


 

These men and women are some of the contributors to Abuse of Trust: Healing from Clerical Sexual Abuse, recently published under the Heberts’ imprint, Your Holy Family Publishing. This collection of essays marks a new beginning in the public discussion of clergy sexual abuse. As these examples indicate, the authors continue to be devoted members of the Catholic Church, in spite of the evil and injustice they experienced at the hands of some Church representatives. Unlike the assortment of lapsed and dissenting Catholics who so often dominated earlier discussions of clerical sexual abuse, these authors do not want the Church to change her teaching or be destroyed. Instead, Allen Hebert has assembled a group of authors who want the Church to become more of who she ought to be — what she should have been from the beginning.

In today’s climate, that message is more likely to get a hearing than it might have in 2002. Back then, Pope John Paul II reigned. Catholics who embrace Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body loved and revered him and wanted to shield his reputation along with his teaching. I know. I was one who just wanted the whole clergy sex abuse issue to go away. Like a lot of people, I was relieved when the bishops enacted the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. I told myself that the problem was handled and we could move on.

I speak for myself when I say: I was wrong then to avert my eyes so quickly. I plan not to make that mistake again.

By contrast, some of those, inside and outside the Church, who disagree with the Church’s magisterial teaching on human sexuality despised Pope John Paul. Such people saw the sex abuse scandals as an opportunity to lobby for a more “relaxed” approach toward sexual matters. They argued, “If only the Church would allow married priests, if only the Church would lighten up on homosexuality, the clergy would be better behaved.”

There are still those inside the Church trying to make those arguments. But the cascading scandals, the revelations of widespread cover-up, the knowledge that our entire society is rife with sexual abuse — all these factors make the “just lighten up” position far less plausible than it was in 2002.

At the same time, the pontificate of Pope Francis has shuffled the ecclesial-political deck. Defending the Church’s ancient teachings on marriage, family and human sexuality no longer means defending the pope and his appointees. The very sort of person who might have once minimized clergy sexual abuse is less inclined to do so today. Defending the Church’s teaching may well mean that the reputations of certain clerics, including ones we love and revere, may suffer. We are more inclined to say, “so be it.”

That is why the testimonies and perspective of Abuse of Trust are so important. This book allows the reader a window into the impact of clergy sexual abuse on people’s lives. The survivors and the family members tell their stories. The impact of childhood sexual abuse is profound and long-lasting, sometimes spanning generations. People don’t just “get over it.”

These are real people. They are more than ideological objects that can be moved into place to score points in some political or ecclesial debate. The only point that all these stories make is an authentically Catholic point: Healing is possible with the love of Jesus Christ.

Pediatrician Deborah Rodriguez contributes chapters on recognizing signs and symptoms of abuse, and on creating ministries that are appropriately sensitive to trauma survivors. Herself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, Dr. Rodriguez is a shining example of how a person can be transformed by the love of Jesus. The worst things that have happened to her have become the basis for a lifetime’s work of help and healing for others.

I have no doubt that God has big plans for all of us in the Church today. But for God’s plans to be realized, we must allow him to work through us, and surrender our petty agendas. This is not about us and how embarrassed we are. This is not about losing our buildings and our contributions. Yes, I know it is awful to watch loved ones walk away from the Church in disgust. Yes, I know it is horrible to recall the generations of immigrant Catholics whose blood and sweat built our beautiful churches and schools. I don’t deny this. But I am persuaded that the more we stay focused on the victims who are right here, right now, the more likely we are to succeed in keeping our children in the Church and preserving what is left of the Catholic heritage in America.

Both healing and justice are possible with the love of Jesus Christ and the people He enlists to do his work. That would be you and me. We have been chosen to live in this time and place. We have been chosen to speak for the victims, to support the victims, to treat them with the respect and love they deserve.

That is why Abuse of Trust is a great contribution to the most important Catholic issue of our time.


Catholic Culture Has Changed Forever: And That’s a Good Thing

St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo, New York
St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo, New York (via St. Joseph Cathedral-Buffalo Facebook page)
 
by Jennifer Roback Morse May 8, 2019, at National Catholic Register.
 
COMMENTARY: The sex-abuse scandal has given ordinary laypeople the ability to facilitate real change. Case in point: the Diocese of Buffalo, New York.

 

The clergy sex-abuse scandal has irrevocably changed Catholic culture. Ordinary Catholics are comfortable today doing and saying things that would have been unthinkable to them just a few short years ago. And this is a good thing.


More than changes to Church governance, the policies and procedures, changes in what ordinary Catholics expect of themselves have the potential to improve the health of the Church. We have the potential to help the victims find healing and justice. And our new sense of what is acceptable behavior has the potential to pressure the clergy themselves into better behavior.

The ongoing drama in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, illustrates these points. Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone has come under fire for covering up clergy sexual abuse. The diocese released a list of 42 credibly accused priests. However, the local TV station found more than 100 names. The FBI is investigating the diocese. A federal grand jury has subpoenaed two retired judges who are overseeing a diocesan program to compensate abuse victims. The usual mess.

In a slightly new and different twist, the diocese recently placed several priests on administrative leave for issues not directly related to sexual abuse of minors.

A local news source reports:

“According to the diocese, ‘unsuitable, inappropriate and insensitive conversations’ took place during a social gathering of seminarians and priests on April 11 that some seminarians found to be offensive.”

Five priests and 14 seminarians were present at this pizza party at a local rectory. Three priests were placed on administrative leave. The other two priests were reprimanded for not doing enough to stop the inappropriate conversation.

Of the 14 seminarians present, five have been interviewed as of this writing. They tell a mutually consistent story of (very) crude conversation that most Catholics would regard as (really) inappropriate for clergy.

To say that the diocese has “trust issues” would be an understatement. Many local Catholics don’t trust anything that comes out of the chancery or Christ the King Seminary. This cloud of suspicion is a basic fact of our current Catholic culture, and it affects how people respond.

When the pizza-party story broke, I saw people defending one of the priests on Facebook. They were sure Bishop Malone was trying to get rid of this priest, whom they regarded as good and orthodox. Eventually, more evidence came out confirming the seminarians’ story that the priest in fact made the inappropriate comments. But the original reaction shows how little trust people have in the Catholic establishment in Buffalo.

I also saw people connecting the dots between priests’ sexually explicit talk in the presence of seminarians, a priest having a “romantic interest” in a seminarian and clergy sexual abuse of minors. In the public mind, tolerance of one issue leads to tolerance of the other issues and to an environment of clergy covering for each other.

Do we, as members of the general public, have all the facts? No, of course not.

In the nature of things, we cannot have all the facts about a private gathering. This is obviously not the healthiest environment for getting to the truth of important matters. But the diocese has only itself to blame. Its pattern of nontransparency induces people to project the worst possible interpretation onto uncertain situations.

This a noteworthy change in Catholic culture. Once upon a time in post-World War II America, Catholics revered their priests. Bing Crosby’s Father Charles O’Malley would never harm anyone or tell a lie. Catholics and non-Catholics alike trusted Bishop Fulton Sheen. Even in the post-Vatican II theological free-for-all, dissenting and faithful Catholics alike would have been uneasy with the assumption that a bishop was lying to them.

Those days are long gone. Questioning clergy and their motives is no longer a marker for disrespect, dissent or anti-Catholicism. We are light-years away even from the scandals of 2002. Back then, some of the best investigative reporting was done by news outlets that also pushed for heterodox changes in Church teaching. Back then, people who loved the Church’s magisterium tried to minimize the scandals. But now, in the post-McCarrick era, Catholic laity across the theological board believe it is socially acceptable, and even praiseworthy, to blow the whistle.

Bishop Malone’s personal secretary, Siobhan O’Connor, was fond of him. Yet she was the person who released incriminating documents. Why? She listened to the victims. She was never the same afterward. She concluded that standing with the victims was serving Christ and his bride, the Church.

A local news reporter, Charlie Specht, has conducted extensive, relentless investigations of the diocese. (Type his name into the search bar of WKBW News along with “clergy sex abuse” and you’ll see what I mean.) Unlike the crew of lapsed Catholics and atheists at The Boston Globe who revealed Cardinal Bernard Law’s malfeasance, Specht is a devout practicing Catholic. He loves and respects the Church. He wants her to be what she ought to be.

One more, unambiguously good sign: The seminarians did not cower. They spoke out. They may get kicked around by their formators. We don’t really know what is going on internally. But these men knew that they would have support from the Catholic community and the general public.

I don’t know if the Pope or the U.S. bishops are going to come up with changes to canon law or new policies and procedures. Personally, I think the old policy was good. Obey the Ten Commandments, especially Nos. 6 (Do not commit adultery) and 8 (Do not bear false witness.) As Buffalo whistleblower O’Connor said, “There’s nothing wrong with the code of conduct. It needs to be enforced.”

Catholic culture is changing. Clergy, priests and bishops, you’re on notice: We are watching. We aren’t leaving the Church. Neither are we staying and going back to “business as usual.” Deal with it, gentlemen. This is the new reality of Catholic culture.

And ordinary practicing Catholics, take heart. Your vigilance is making a difference.


Justice for the Victims Demands Priest Should Serve Out His Full Sentence for Sexual Assault

Published July 18, 2019 at The Daily Surge.

Daily Surge Summary: Fr. Michael Guidry, convicted of sexual assault, should not have his prison sentence reduced by any amount.

In April, Fr. Michael Guidry pleaded guilty in Opelousas, Louisiana, to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. Guidry was sentenced to 7 years in prison, out of the ten-year maximum sentence.


 

Fr. Guidry has requested, and been granted, a hearing to reconsider his sentence. The hearing will take place on July 18 at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas. [Note: Updated information below].

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., President of the Ruth Institute, will attend the hearing. Dr. Morse is an outspoken critic of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. She is also a passionate advocate for the victims of the sexual revolution, including victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Morse believes the sentence should not be reconsidered. “The family and other victims had achieved some degree of closure and relief from the April 30th sentencing of Fr. Guidry. Going back into court undoes the sense of finality, and revictimizes those who have already been through so much,” Morse said.

Morse explained: “When I say ‘victims’ — plural — I include Oliver Peyton, the immediate victim, who woke up to find Fr. Guidry performing a sex act on him. I also include Oliver’s family and the members of the community, who were shocked and disheartened by the revelation that the abuser, a priest in his 70s, had betrayed their trust.”

“Lastly, I’m talking about the victims of child sex abuse everywhere who have been watching this case. Every new case, such as Fr. Guidry’s, can be a traumatic and ‘triggering’ event, especially for those who suffer PTSD symptoms. Every slap-on-the-wrist sentence revictimizes the victims. If the judge wishes to reconsider this sentence, I sincerely hope he will resentence Fr. Guidry to the 10-year maximum permitted by law. “

Morse noted: “No new facts have emerged. Fr Guidry is still as guilty as he was in April when Judge Harris originally sentenced him.”

She pledged, “I will drive from Lake Charles, LA, where I live, to say so in the presence of Oliver Peyton’s family, and anyone else who cares to listen. “

The Ruth Institute works to empower victims and survivors of the sexual revolution – including victims of divorce, abuse and the LGBT culture. In April, the Institute held the first-ever Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the Ruth Institute has its international headquarters.

Update! Shortly after sending this press release, we learned that the re-sentencing hearing for Fr. Michael Guidry has been postponed until September 19. We are appalled by this delay, which only prolongs the suffering of Guidry’s victims. We call for a speedy resolution of this issue: the maximum sentence allowable by law for Fr. Michael Guidry.


Ruth Inst. president calls for stricter sentencing for convicted s*x offender

Update! Shortly after sending this press release, we learned that the re-sentencing hearing for Fr. Michael Guidry has been postponed until September 19. We are appalled by this delay, which only prolongs the suffering of Guidry’s victims. We call for a speedy resolution of this issue: the maximum sentence allowable by law for Fr. Michael Guidry.

In April, Fr. Michael Guidry pleaded guilty in Opelousas, Louisiana, to sexually assaulting a 15-year -old boy. Guidry was sentenced to seven years in prison, out of the ten-year maximum sentence.

Fr. Guidry has requested, and been granted, a hearing to reconsider his sentence. The hearing will take place July 18.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., President of the Ruth Institute, will attend the hearing. Dr. Morse is an outspoken critic of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. She is also a passionate advocate for the victims of the sexual revolution, including victims of clergy sexual abuse.


Morse believes the sentence should not be reconsidered. “The family and other victims had achieved some degree of closure and relief from the April 30th sentencing of Fr. Guidry. Going back into court undoes the sense of finality, and revictimizes those who have already been through so much,” Morse said.

Morse explained: “When I say ‘victims’ -- plural -- I include Oliver Peyton, the immediate victim, who woke up to find Fr. Guidry performing a sex act on him. I also include Oliver’s family and the members of the community, who were shocked and disheartened by the revelation that the abuser, a priest in his 70s, had betrayed their trust.”

“Lastly, I’m talking about the victims of child sex abuse everywhere who have been watching this case. Every new case, such as Fr. Guidry’s, can be a traumatic and ‘triggering’ event, especially for those who suffer PTSD symptoms. Every slap-on-the-wrist sentence revictimizes the victims. If the judge wishes to reconsider this sentence, I sincerely hope he will resentence Fr. Guidry to the 10-year maximum permitted by law."

Morse noted: “No new facts have emerged. Fr Guidry is still as guilty as he was in April when Judge Harris originally sentenced him. I will drive to Opelousas to say so in the presence of Oliver Peyton’s family, and anyone else who cares to listen.”

The Ruth Institute works to empower victims and survivors of the sexual revolution – including victims of divorce, abuse and the LGBT culture. In April, the Institute held the first-ever Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the Ruth Institute has its international headquarters.

Dr. Morse’s latest book is The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives (and how the Church was Right All Along).

For more information on the Ruth Institute: http://www.ruthinstitute.org/.

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


“Sexual Revolution Enables Abusers like Epstein and McCarrick”: Ruth Institute

“The Sexual Revolution says we’re all entitled to sex. But who actually believes such a thing? The rapist, that’s who!” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute.

Ruth Institute Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D. said that Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick were all enabled by society’s acceptance of the ideology of the sexual revolution.

Writing in the July 10th National Catholic Register, Morse noted that all three were aided by “a belief system that claims that sex is an entitlement. They operated according to the tenets of the most powerful ideology in the world: the ideology of the sexual revolution.”


Morse urged us to reject the rationalization that, “The rich and powerful have always been able to buy their way out of problems.”

Yes, wealth, fame and power aided predators like Epstein. But the tenets of the sexual revolution softened up their victims. These tenets include: Sex is no more than a physical act. What are you ashamed of? And everyone is entitled to do whatever they can get away with.

“This toxic belief system is destroying individual lives and leading to social chaos,” Morse observed.

The Ruth Institute opposes this with “The Catholic belief system which tells us no one is entitled to sex. Children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents. Women and men are entitled to the love and loyalty of their spouses.”

“Our belief system of traditional Christian sexual ethics has made us Public Enemy No. 1 of the sexual revolutionaries,” Morse added.

The Ruth Institute works to empower survivors of the sexual revolution – including victims of divorce, abuse and the LGBT culture. In April, the Institute held the first-ever Survivors’ Summit in Lake Charles, LA.

The Institute has been particularly effective in researching the crisis of clerical sex abuse, with its reports on homosexuality and the priesthood being cited around the world. In a June 10 story, The Washington Post quoted Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the importance of the Institute’s research.

Since the beginning of 2019, Dr. Morse has addressed leaders and activists at the Family Research Council and been interviewed on the Mike Huckabee Show on TBN and “The World Over” with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN.

Her latest book is “The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives (and how the Church was Right All Along).”

For more information on the Ruth Institute http://www.ruthinstitute.org/

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

 

 



What Do Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Theodore McCarrick Have in Common?

 

FROM L TO R: Jeffrey Epstein (New York State Sex Offender Registry/AP; Theodore McCarrick (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Harvey Weinstein (David Shankbone/CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia Commons
FROM L TO R: Jeffrey Epstein (New York State Sex Offender Registry/AP; Theodore McCarrick (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Harvey Weinstein (David Shankbone/CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

 

COMMENTARY: To an unprecedented extent, the reigning secular religion of our time enables sexual abuse, disarms victims and empowers predators.
 
by Jennifer Roback Morse

This article was first published July 10, 2019, at National Catholic Register.

Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Theodore McCarrick operate(d) in different sectors of society, have different marital statuses and sexual preferences and profess different religions. What do these disparate men have in common? A belief system that claims that sex is an entitlement. They operate according to the tenets of the most powerful ideology currently at work in the world: the ideology of the sexual revolution.


Epstein, the millionaire financier and admitted sex offender who pleaded not guilty July 9 to charges of sexual trafficking, allegedly got away with sickening crimes for a long time. But it would be a serious mistake to succumb to cynicism. “What do you expect? Wealthy guys like him have always gotten to do what they want. It is not fair to blame the sexual revolution for their abuses.”

That is, at best, a partial truth. The rich and powerful have always been able to buy their way out of problems that would crush an ordinary person. But the widespread acceptance of the sexual revolutionary ideology smooths their path. To an unprecedented extent, the reigning secular religion of our time enables sexual abuse, disarms victims and empowers predators.

“You don’t want to be a prude, do you?”

“You want to be ‘sex positive,’ don’t you?”

“Sex is nothing to feel guilty about.”

“You just have to take off your clothes and let him look at you. It is nothing be ashamed of.” (That’s one of Epstein’s contributions to the pick-up-line genre.)

“You were born this way.”

“God made you gay.”

Of course, the rich and powerful have always been able make promises to entice a sex partner into giving “consent.”

Hollywood mogul Weinstein promised his victims that he’d make them stars. Epstein offered modeling careers. McCarrick promised advancement in the Church. The sexual revolutionary ideology provides the predator added advantages, including aborting unwanted pregnancy and undermining nosy neighbors and other witnesses.

Epstein’s alleged network spanned the globe. It must have been supported and propped up by numerous people, some who actively participated and benefited. Others looked the other way, such as the superintendent of the apartment building where he housed his teenage “models” and the “modeling agency” staff and the pilots who flew his private jets that were fully decked out for his orgies.

The sexual revolution conveys the unmistakable message that everyone is entitled to do whatever they can get away with. Prosecutors say Epstein has three active U.S. passports and owns multiple jets and houses around the world, including his own private island. Witnesses and victims feared Epstein’s retaliation and blackmail. This is a man who appears to get away with a lot.

This ideology relieves people of nagging consciences. Epstein’s conscience is malformed, to put it mildly.

In 2011, he told the New York Post, “I’m not a sexual predator; I’m an ‘offender.’ It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.” He once allegedly received three 12-year-old girls as a birthday present. He doesn’t need an ideology that justifies or excuses his actions.

However, the sexual revolutionary ideology weakens the already vulnerable. The Miami Herald’s investigative report into Epstein’s activities showed:

Most of the girls came from disadvantaged families, single-parent homes or foster care. Some had experienced troubles that belied their ages: They had parents and friends who committed suicide; mothers abused by husbands and boyfriends; fathers who molested and beat them. One girl had watched her stepfather strangle her 8-year-old stepbrother.

One of Epstein’s victims who was 14 when she was first recruited said, “We were stupid, poor children. We just wanted money for school clothes, for shoes. I remember wearing shoes too tight for three years in a row. We had no family and no guidance.”

Yes, rich and powerful men love this concept that sex is an entitlement.

The magisterium of the Catholic Church stands in direct opposition to the sexual revolution. The secular #MeToo movement is trying to combat sexual abuse. But the movement’s advocates do not seem to want to surrender the intellectual framework that enables it. They seem to be counting on a combination of legal action and periodic public shaming to stop predatory behavior. I believe this will never be enough. The power imbalances are too many and too severe.

The Catholic belief system tells us no one is entitled to sex. Children are entitled to a relationship with both of their parents. Women and men are entitled to the love and loyalty of their spouses.

Every human person is entitled to be born as the result of an act of love between their mother and father. This act of love is an icon of the love of God and that God’s love is the ultimate source of everything that exists. All of Catholicism’s caveats (for which we are ridiculed) are aimed at protecting these positive values.

Yes, our belief system makes us Public Enemy No. 1 of the sexual revolutionaries. We are a big problem for those who believe they are entitled to unlimited child-free, problem-free, guilt-free sex. Not only do we tell them they are wrong, but also our belief system equalizes people. The poorest girl from an unknown family is encouraged and supported in refusing sex to any man of any station, in the same way a daughter of a billionaire would be encouraged likewise.

Faithful Catholics despise clerical sex abusers not only for their crimes, which are bad enough. We hold them in contempt because they disgrace the one philosophical system that has a prayer of finally combating this toxic ideological soup in which we are all swimming.

The Epstein Network, surrounded by enablers or those who turned a blind eye, sounds all too much like the network of clergy abusers. Society does not yet have a full accounting of either system. As faithful Catholics, we want the same kind of reckoning for both kinds of abuse. We want a full investigation of both Epstein and clerical abusers. We want punishment for the guilty and restitution for the victims. We want protection for the innocent and the whistle blowers.

Be not afraid, believers! We are on the right side of history on this issue.

 

 



Archbishop Viganò Criticizes Pope Francis’ Handling of McCarrick Case

This article was first posted at NCRegister.com June 11, 2019.

By Edward Pentin

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò addresses the Rome Life Forum, May 18, 2018.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò addresses the Rome Life Forum, May 18, 2018. (Edward Pentin Photo)

In a new Washington Post interview, the former nuncio calls on the Holy Father to “acknowledge and end the coverups” over McCarrick and other abuse cases.

ROME — In comments sent via email to The Washington Post, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has accused Pope Francis of “deliberately concealing” evidence on Theodore McCarrick, “blatantly lying” to cover up his own actions and doing “absolutely nothing” to expose cover-up and wrongdoing because it would be “disastrous for the current papacy.”

But in his first lengthy interview since his testimony last year, the former nuncio to the United States told the newspaper June 10 that nothing would make him “happier” than for Francis to “acknowledge and end the coverups” over McCarrick and other abuse cases and to “reconcile himself with God.”


“I am grateful to the Lord because He has protected me from having any sentiments of anger or resentment against Pope Francis, or any desire for revenge,” he said. “I pray for his conversion every day.”

The retired Holy See diplomat also said he is “not fighting against Pope Francis, nor have I offended him” but “simply spoken the truth.” The Holy Father, he said, “needs to reconcile himself with God.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the former nuncio called for McCarrick to be excommunicated to help bring him to repentance, said he believes McCarrick’s laicization was timed “to manipulate public opinion,” and reiterated his belief that a largely homosexual “mafia” is primarily responsible for this “truly dark moment for the universal Church.”

Archbishop Viganò also admitted his own mistakes, saying “in retrospect” that “certain points” of his own testimony, such as his call on the Pope to resign, “could have been better stated” and made dependent on the Pope not admitting his errors and asking for forgiveness.

The Washington Post interview began with an assessment of the four-day Vatican summit in February on protection of minors in the Church. Archbishop Viganò said he was “praying intensely” for its success but that it turned out to be “pure ostentation” as he did not see any “genuine willingness” to deal with the “real causes of the present crisis.”

He criticized the choice of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago as the event leader, especially in light of the U.S. cardinal’s earlier comments that the Pope had a “bigger agenda” to address. Archbishop Viganò also said the summit press conferences were “discouraging” and that an “especially serious problem” was that the summit focused on exclusively on abuse of minors and did not include abuse of young adults and seminarians. Nor did it “properly” address the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood, he said.

Archbishop Viganò spoke of “truly ominous” signs, saying he believes the Pope is doing “close to nothing” to punish abuses and “absolutely nothing” to expose and bring abusers to justice. He pointed out that Francis praised Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., for his “nobility” when he resigned last fall, even though Cardinal Wuerl had, according to Archbishop Viganò, “covered up the abuses” of McCarrick for “decades.”.

McCarrick’s laicization in February, shortly before the Vatican summit began, was “as far as it goes, a just punishment,” Archbishop Viganò told The Post, but he said the procedures and timing were “designed to manipulate public opinion” and give the appearance the Pope was “determined to fight” against clerical sex abuse.

Also, by the Pope making the laicization “definitive,” the Holy Father was able to rule out any “further investigation” that could have exposed the guilt of others, the archbishop said. “The bottom line is this,” he said. “Pope Francis is deliberately concealing the McCarrick evidence.”

He added that from the “far more important spiritual dimension,” laicization is “completely inadequate” as it fails to consider the “salvation of McCarrick’s soul.” He said he thought he was not alone in thinking that excommunication would be appropriate as it would “induce him to take responsibility for his sins,” repent and be reconciled with God.

Asked about the Vatican’s intervention at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting last November, stopping bishops from voting on measures to hold bishops more responsible on overseeing abuse cases, Archbishop Viganò said such a measure was “wholly unjustified.” Without that intervention, he believes unquestionably episcopal corruption, abuse and other misconduct would have been examined that would “intolerably implicate and embarrass the Holy See.”

Pleading the Fifth?

Turning to his own earlier testimony from August 2018, Archbishop Viganò told the Post that “no one has plausibly denied the facts,” some of which “have been independently confirmed.” He also said the prelates he named in his testimony as being involved in, or having knowledge about the McCarrick mishandling are lying low, and he wondered why journalists are “letting them get away with this.”

On the Pope’s response to remain silent, he said: “Is it not what you Americans call ‘taking the fifth’? By responding as he did, the Pope is essentially admitting that he is unwilling to be transparent.”

Francis knew of McCarrick’s crimes, “yet rehabilitated him” and made him a trusted adviser, he added, but by not discussing this the Pope was showing “contempt” for both victims and those wanting an end to cover-ups, he said. Archbishop Viganò said later in the Post interview that he believes the Vatican’s archival investigation into McCarrick, announced last October, was an “empty promise.”

Referring to the Pope’s most recent interview, in which Francis said he’d replied “many times” about the McCarrick affair, knew nothing about McCarrick’s abuses, and couldn’t recall a 2013 conversation with Archbishop Viganò about McCarrick, the former nuncio asked: “How may these claims be affirmed and sustained together at the same time? All these three are blatant lies.”

In particular, he repeated his allegation that Francis asked him specifically about McCarrick during that conversation, and that he told the newly elected Pope about the existence of a “huge dossier” on McCarrick’s abuses. “How could anybody, especially a pope, forget this?”

“We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church,” the archbishop added. “The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds! But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal Wuerl.”

Archbishop Viganò, who said he has been receiving an “incredible outpouring of support,” rejected the accusation, made in an open letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet last October, that he was motivated by bitterness from thwarted ambition. In any case, he said, “motivation is not the point,” but “whether my testimony is true.” He said those who “impugn my motives” have been unwilling to “conduct open and thorough investigations.”

He went on to say he was “saddened” that news media are not insisting that the Holy Father and other prelates “answer my charges” and believes it is because they favor Francis’ “more liberal agenda.” He asked why no media have searched the archives themselves, interviewing victims, following money trails, and investigating corrupt networks.

As one of “so many cases to go after,” he referred to a new book by Martha Alegria Reichmann about the “misdeeds” of Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Alegria discussed the contents of her book with Register in April). “Have you thought of interviewing her? Of investigating her claims?” he asked the Post.

Turning to homosexuality, and drawing on a recent studies including by Father Paul Sullins of the Ruth Institute, he said it is “mind-boggling” how the Vatican has avoided bringing it up at the February summit and recent synods, when the evidence of its preponderance in sexual abuse is “overwhelming.”

He said a “gay mafia” is bound together not by “shared sexual intimacy” but through protection and advancement, the “homosexual cliques” Benedict XVI mentioned in his “notes” compiled for the Vatican abuse summit. The archbishop then reproduced relevant passages on homosexuality from the Catechism.

Some Regrets

Archbishop Viganò told the Post he regretted not publicly speaking up earlier about McCarrick, but thought the Church “could reform itself from within.” He said when it became clear the Pope was one of those covering up the crimes, “I had no doubt the Lord was calling me to speak up, as I have done and will continue to do.”

He said he believes a formal schism is unlikely, but that a “de facto schism based on acceptance or rejection of the sexual revolution” already exists.

He also admitted his testimony could have been handled better. “I am far from perfect,” he said, and would have reworded his initial statement to urge the Holy Father to “face up to his commitments,” pointed out St. Peter’s denials of Christ and subsequent repentance, and call on the Pope to resign only if he failed to imitate St. Peter by refusing to repent.

Asked how he feels in his conscience, Archbishop Viganò said he did what he believed needed to be done, knowing he would soon meet the “Good Judge.” He also did not want falsehoods to go unchallenged and “harm my soul and the souls of others.” His conscience “has always been clear,” he said, and that the “truth makes us free.”

Referring to how he was pushed out of his curial position in 2011 because he was uncovering corruption, Archbishop Viganò said, “Little did they know that the Lord was using them to put me in a position to speak out about the McCarrick scandal.”

He hinted that he is holding relevant documentation but said “the time has not yet come for me to release anything,” and suggested journalists ask the Pope and the prelates he mentioned in his testimony to “release the relevant documentation, some of which is quite incriminating, assuming they have not yet destroyed it.”

He concluded by observing that this crisis “is causing an institutional paralysis that is immensely demoralizing for the faithful,” but “we should be neither entirely surprised nor overly disturbed by this desperate state of affairs, given the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s promise to come again and establish his definitive kingdom.”

Archbishop Viganò, who began the interview by saying the Church is “going through one of the most turbulent moments in her history,” ended it by quoting paragraph 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The paragraph states the Church must pass through a “final trial that will shake the faith of many believers” and that the persecution that “accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.”


Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò gives his first extended interview since calling on the pope to resign

This article was first published on The Washington Post June 10, 2019. In the article, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò quotes the Ruth Institute's special report by Fr. Paul Sullins, Ph.D. The report is called "Receding Waves: Child Sex Abuse and Homosexual Priests since 2000" and can be found here.

The part of the article where Fr. Sullins' report is quoted is here: (The WP reporter's question is in bold.)

Your testimony makes it clear that you feel that homosexuality — and the failure of the Vatican to respond to it — is a core part of the Church's current problem in dealing with abuse. Can you explain, with as much clarity as possible, how homosexuality as you view it is correlated with abuse?

Let’s keep two arenas distinct: (1) crimes of sexual abuse and (2) criminal coverup of crimes of sexual abuse. In most cases in the Church today, both have a homosexual component — usually downplayed — that is key to the crisis.

As to the first, heterosexual men obviously do not choose boys and young men as sexual partners of preference, and approximately 80 percent of the victims are males, the vast majority of which are post-pubescent males. Statistics from many different countries regarding sexual abuses committed by clergy leave no doubt. Horrific as the cases of abuse by true pedophiles are, the percentage is far smaller. It is not pedophiles but gay priests preying on post-pubertal boys who have bankrupted the U.S. dioceses. One of the most recent and reliable studies, “Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests,” was conducted by Father Paul Sullins, PhD, of the Ruth Institute. In its executive summary, the Sullins study reports, among other things, the following:


● “The share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.”

● “Estimates from these findings predict that, had the proportion of homosexual priests remained at the 1950s level, at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse.”

The preponderance of these cases of abuse is overwhelming. I do not think anyone can dispute this. That homosexuality is a major cause of the sexual abuse crisis has also been stated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in his recent essay, “The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse.” From his long experience as president of the CDF, he recalls how “in various seminaries homosexual cliques were established, which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in the seminaries.”


Participants Praise Ruth Institute’s Survivors of Sexual Revolution Summit

The Ruth Institute’s first annual Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution (April 26-27, in Lake Charles, Louisiana) was highly praised by participants. All agreed that the caliber of speakers and content (which covered Survivors of Divorce and Survivors of the LGBT subculture) were exceptional.

Here are a few of the comments from speakers and participants:

“The Summit revealed to me many different survival stories which involved deep pain. However, their stories all ended in hope because they turned to God. It also gives me hope to see everyone that attended was united to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Al Chlupacek -- Chemical Engineer, Indianapolis


“Thank you all. It was incredible, and a real shot in the arm. Now we all have work to do. But I feel like at least we know our fellow soldiers in this battle! It’s a rough world out there, and sadly, many of our ‘enemies’ are fellow Christians… It’s a battle from within and without. But I’m so pleased at the depth of intelligence and holiness on display this weekend! God bless you all! And thank you, Dr. Morse! You are a true solider for Christ!” Leila Miller – Catholic author, Phoenix

“This was a very meaningful conference. I enjoyed the scholarship, the personal testimonies, and all the informal conversations and relationship-building in between. I look forward to ongoing conversations with many of the wonderful people I met this weekend. The experience was powerful and inspiring.” Matt F. Johnson – humanitarian and disaster relief, Washington, D.C.

“Thank you Mr. And Dr. Morse plus your team for putting together such a conference. I learned a lot. Thanks also to you all that took time to do papers and share with us your stories. It gives me hope as an African to see the good side of America. You people are amazing. Hopefully we do this in Africa, too? God bless you all.” Ann Kioko, CitizenGO Campaigns Manager for Africa, Nairobi

“I just want to tell you all how very honored I am to have had the pleasure to work with all of you this weekend in this critical endeavor! Mr. & Dr. Morse, you are both tireless in your efforts and I have great respect for you both. Thank you - and the Ruth Institute's extremely capable staff and volunteers -- for showing us all such genuine kindness and hospitality. This weekend will go down in my memory as one of great blessings and fellowship. To be gathered with so many others who recognize the beauty, goodness and critical importance of marriage and the traditional family was a such a true honor and pleasure.” Christy Fitzgerald – Registered Nurse, Case Manager, Hickory, N.C.

“This Summit was a bright moment for recovering from a toxic family culture and beginning to build something better. I want to add my thanks to everyone as well, for sharing your stories and journeys and scholarship and standing for marriage, life and children. Patti and I were both deeply touched by the accounts of struggle and overcoming and finding new life and sanctity in the pain of marriage and parental loss. For me, one of the most fruitful times was also breakfast at the hotel, when I was blessed to, and saw others too, encourage one another and build friendships and mutual support and plot ministry strategies in a fellowship free-for-all. There are not many other places something like that could happen.” Fr. D Paul Sullins, Senior Research Associate of the Ruth Institute

“I hope everyone realizes just how innovative this was. For all the many ‘pro-family’ groups out there, almost none of them seriously confronts the divorce system, connected issues, and the government machinery behind it. I also noticed other ways in which the various speakers were ‘pushing the envelope,’ and I for one think that we have nothing to lose, and much to gain, from continuing and even increasing the push.” Stephen K. Baskerville, Purcellville, Virginia

To get the inside scoop on the extraordinary Survivors Summit, be sure to check out the various presentations at the Ruth Institute’s website, and on its Facebook page. Be forewarned that the truth about these problems is not easy to handle. However, the truth shall set you free.” C. Preston Noell, American Society for Tradition, Family and Property, Washington, D.C.

“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Now that you understand the devastation caused by the Sexual Revolution, help us to fight for the family and cultural sanity.” Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute

The entire Summit will be available on podcast and on the Ruth Institute YouTube channel. Some videos of the Summit are currently posted on our Facebook page.

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