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"Double Standard" Update

The "Ever-Vigilant" Congregation for the Clergy

by Christopher A. Ferrara

I would be willing to wager that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy has spent more time on what its bureaucrats call "the Father Gruner case" than on any other matter involving a single priest since the Congregation was created. The amazing thing is that Father Gruner has not committed any offense against faith or morals, and he has not broken any law of the Church. In fact, he is not even accused of such offenses.

Father Gruner’s only "offense", if one can call it that, is to have the courage to say that the Vatican bureaucracy’s post-conciliar program of "dialogue" with the forces of the world - including the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev and the communist-controlled Patriotic Catholic Association of pro-abortion Communist Chinese "priests" and "bishops" - is an utter failure, and a dismal substitute for Heaven’s own peace program: "In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a time of peace will be granted to the world."

Meanwhile, as the ever-vigilant Congregation for the Clergy wastes its time and resources hounding Father Gruner and announcing his contrived "suspension" (on unspecified grounds) to the entire world, the auto-demolition of the Church by errant priests continues on every continent. The LA Times online now reports that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has just paid out a $5.2 million settlement to yet another victim of yet another child-molesting priest.

What is remarkable here is not the multi-million dollar payout, for sex-abuse settlements are just part of the cost of doing business in North American dioceses. No, the remarkable thing in this case is that the LA Archdiocese (and the Diocese of Orange) agreed to establish a toll-free number and a website to report sexual misconduct by its priests. My goodness, does the Archdiocese really concede that there are that many potential sex-offenders among its priests? Apparently so. The LA Times article notes that at least fifty allegations of sex-abuse by priests have been reported in the Archdiocese in the last five years. My, what a great job Cardinal Mahony is doing. No wonder the Vatican made him a Prince of the Church.

In addition, the Archdiocese "agreed to 11 rules, including an independent victim assistance program, distributing an annual pamphlet on sexual molestation prevention to parishioners, and interrogation by an independent third party of all would-be priests who leave the seminary before ordination, presumably to ferret out sexual issues that may have been involved in their decisions. The rules say priests cannot be alone with minors in social situations, but do not apply to routine church activities."

The LA Times notes that "Others have taken a practical approach to prevent allegations of molestation. The Rev. Michael Hanifin, the pastor of the new parish, St. Clara de Assisi in Yorba Linda, says he is constructing his new church with a sense of openness.‘We're talking about putting windows on our doors so nothing's hidden [and we're putting] windows on doors of confessionals . . .Building a church that creates a safe and open environment will be very important to me.’"

So, Catholic churches must now be constructed so that people are safe - from Catholic priests!

How have we come to a place where one of the world’s largest Catholic dioceses should even have to consider such measures? We have arrived at this place because of a total failure of leadership in the Church, from top to bottom - and especially at the top, in the same Vatican apparatus which obsesses over the activities of a Marian priest in Canada, who has kept his vows and kept the faith.

I have read various letters to Father Gruner from the Congregation for the Clergy. These letters claim that the Congregation’s unprecedented interference in Father Gruner’s incardination by a series of friendly bishops (who would only be too happy to foster his work), and its announcement claiming this faithful priest is "suspended," are motivated by nothing but "vigilance over the clergy" and "the good of souls."

Please, don’t make me laugh.