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"Double Standard" Update:

"Gay" Priest Web Site Goes Unpunished

by Christopher A. Ferrara

In a recent article in Dossier magazine, Catholic historian and journalist James Hitchcock discussed a prime example of the shameful double-standard of discipline in the Church today, under which heresy and scandal go unpunished while the Catholics who object to both are cast into outer darkness.

Hitchcock notes that "Last year there was a brief sensation over the revelation of the existence of a website called St. Sebastian’s Angels, where homosexual priests throughout the English-speaking world regularly exchanged messages. Official reaction to this revelation (more accurately, non-reaction) leads to the inescapable conclusion that activities of this kind are not taken very seriously in hierarchical circles." How right he is.

But there was- predictably enough - a very strong reaction against the traditional Catholic group which exposed this outrage. As Hitchcock observes: "[F]ar more outrage was directed at the group called Roman Catholic Faithful, which discovered the site, than to its contents. Charges of ‘sexual McCarthyism,’ ‘prurience,’ ‘invasion of privacy,’ and other things were immediately hurled at the messengers, often with only the most perfunctory expressions of regret, if that, about the website itself." So you see, folks, this columnist is not the only one who complains about the double standard.

And what happened to the priests who organized this despicable website? Hitchcock reports that "Two priests of the diocese of Portland (Maine) were among the organizers of the site, and it was announced that they were being put on leave of absence and that the site was being closed. However, the principal organizer was soon assigned to what was described as a very desirable pastoral assignment, and some months later the site was still operating."

Now, let’s place this incident in the context of Father Gruner’s situation with the Vatican. A faithful, orthodox, chaste priest - who has enrolled half a million people in the Brown Scapular and devoted his life to Our Lady of Fatima - recently received a letter from Cardinal Hoyos of the Congregation for the Clergy, threatening him with "excommunication" if he does not "retract" perfectly legitimate articles in The Fatima Crusader magazine which Hoyos finds displeasing. Yet, at the same time, two priests under Hoyos’ jurisdiction, who organize and still run a "gay" website which promotes unspeakable filth, were neither suspended nor excommunicated, nor even threatened without a sentence but given a "leave of absence" - and one of these deviants is given a plum assignment to boot!

You think that’s bad? Hitchcock informs us that "The most sensational revelation was of the regular participation of Auxiliary Bishop Reginald Cawcutt of Capetown, South Africa. But from the beginning Bishop Cawcutt was completely unrepentant and claimed to have the full support of his own archbishop and of the Papal Nuncio to South Africa, a claim which no public evidence thus far contradicts. In the fall, Bishop Cawcutt told the media that he had been summoned to Rome to meet with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but when he arrived the meeting had been cancelled, inevitably leading to the conclusion that this is a problem which the Holy See is unprepared to address."

Ah, but the Holy See is quite prepared to go to the mat with Father Nicholas Gruner, condemning him to the whole world as if he were the single greatest threat to the Church today. This is an injustice of historic proportions - proving once again that the only unpardonable offense in the eyes of the Vatican bureaucracy is telling the simple truth about the ecclesial disaster over which it is presiding.