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Just an "English-speaking" Problem?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

During his disastrous finger-pointing Vatican press conference on the exploding scandal of homosexual priests and their many victims, the head of the Vatican’s ever-vigilant Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, dared to suggest that, well, the scandal is limited "only" to "English speaking" countries.

First of all, the Cardinal forgot the priestly sex scandals in Germany, France, Spain and Poland. In Poland, Archbishop Paetz was forced to resign after revelations that he had used a 200-foot underground tunnel to make nocturnal visits to molest dozens of priests and seminarians. Cardinal Castrillon also forgot the widespread sexual exploitation of nuns in Africa by a number of priests who disregard their vows of celibacy. This scandal the Vatican attempted to minimize by claiming (as I noted in a previous column) that it was merely a "cultural way of living" in sub-Saharan Africa.

So, as Cardinal Castrillon would have it, we must not be overly concerned about the exploding scandals, because the homosexual priest scandal is limited to "only" the English speaking countries, whereas the sexual abuse of nuns by priests is limited "only" to sub-Saharan Africa. That this is offered as a serious defense of the Church is but one of many signs of how corrupt much of the Church’s bureaucracy has become. What an insult to the faithful. What an insult to God.

In any event, as the Associated Press has noted, the scandal of sexual predators in the priesthood is truly international in scope: "From Australia to Ireland, church leaders are under fire for protecting priests who sexually abused boys and girls. The church's moral authority has suffered and its finances made vulnerable to lawsuits." Who can deny it?

The same article also notes that: "Critics, led by victims of pedophile priests, say Catholic leaders are responding grudgingly and with the preservation of their own position principally in mind. Others say the church's response is scattershot, with too little leadership from Rome." Also quite true. Indeed, who can seriously deny that Rome would have done nothing at all if not for the media blitz of recent months?

No, Cardinal Castrillon, you are not going to sweep this mess under the rug with a wag of your finger at a press conference. We are dealing with endemic corruption in the Church - the very corruption of which the Pope spoke at Fatima on May 13, 2000, when he warned us to beware of the tail of the dragon that sweeps one third of the stars - the consecrated souls - from Heaven. The fall of consecrated souls must be precisely what the whole Third Secret concerns, for the Virgin could not have come to Fatima without saying one word about the debacle we are now witnessing. Yet Her concluding words are clearly missing from the key phrase "In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc."

What a pity Cardinal Castrillon follows the Sodano Party Line on Fatima. What a pity he has spent so much time hounding Father Nicholas Gruner and threatening him with excommunication for his promotion of the authentic Message of Fatima, and so little time corralling and punishing the ravening wolves who are now bringing ruin and disgrace to diocese after diocese after diocese. But such are the priorities of the Vatican apparatus in this, the "springtime" of Vatican II.