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"Double Standard" Update

What About the Bishops’ Disobedience of the 1961 Instruction?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

June 10, 2002. As we approach the big summit meeting of American bishops to deal with "policies" to "protect children" - protect them from Catholic priests!  —  it comes as no surprise that, as the Washington Times reported on June 6, 2002, "A draft document prepared by a panel of bishops does not deal with the issue of homosexuality as a factor in the sex abuse of minors by priests…"

Of course it doesn’t. The American bishops (with the notable exception of Cardinal Bevilacqua) have no intention of enforcing the Vatican’s 1961 instruction, issued under Blessed Pope John XXIII, which provides that "Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."

The 1961 instruction is the essence of wisdom and common sense: men who find other men physically attractive will find the seminary, the priesthood and the common life with other priests to be a constant occasion of sin. Sooner or later the disordered inclinations of these men will result in disaster. And disaster is what has happened due to the bishops’ systematic disobedience of the Vatican instruction.

But the bishops have no intention of admitting the catastrophic consequences of their disobedience. No, in spite of everything that has happened in recent months, they will go on ordaining homosexuals to the priesthood. Typical of this attitude is Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, who is the very leader of the panel which has created the draft "policy" on priestly sex abuse of boys. The Washington Times notes that when "asked if he believes a homosexual man can be a ‘pure and whole’ priest… Flynn, answered only, ‘Yes." That is, Flynn said no to the Vatican instruction of 1961.

Funny, isn’t it, how Roman Catholic traditionalists who object to the ecumenical circus and the trashing of the liturgy are routinely accused of "disobedience" and even "schism" by the so-called mainstream Catholic press. But when the bishops as a body defy a basic instruction on faith and morals issued by the authority of Pope John XXIII - obedience to which would have prevented one of the worst scandals in Church history - we hear nothing from the same press about disobedience or schism.

On and on the double standard goes: the traitors retain their ecclesiastical offices while loyal Catholics are condemned for their "disloyalty." And this, they tell us, is the great "renewal" of Vatican II.

I suppose there is at least one benefit from the current scandal: We won’t be hearing much about the "renewal of Vatican II" any longer.