Mapping the Matrix of Clerical Sex Abuse
July 16, 2003
A culture of liberalism has undermined the moral voice of the Church
New York Times religion editor Peter Steinfels has complained that imprecise and incomplete reporting of sex abuse by Catholic clergy has led to a "free-floating outrage" among Americans, including most Catholics. According to Steinfels, the American conception of the sex scandal blowup of 2002 is grossly exaggerated in respect to both the root causes of the abuse and the way the scandals have been handled by the U.S. bishops. We Americans just don’t get it, he says.
But just who doesn’t get it?
What Steinfels and others rowing the same boat refrain from broaching is the subject of homosexuality and the culture of liberalism that has consistently undermined the moral voice of the Catholic Church for the past thirty-five years. The subject is taboo. Steinfels seems to fall into that camp of Catholic commentators that seeks to explain away the sickening crisis via nuance: e.g., "the truth is much more complex."
But is the truth more complex? Or is it, to the contrary, as plain as the nose on his face?
It’s telling that only one prelate at the landmark meeting of U.S. bishops in Dallas last summer motioned to explore the ramifications of permissive and rampant homosexuality in the priesthood, and its accompanying culture of dissent that has redefined how Catholics view sexual immorality. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska was unequivocally shot down by his purple brethren for suggesting the obvious, that homosexuality is a big part of the scandal. In fact, without the problem of predatory homosexuality, the clergy sex-abuse scandals would be nigh nonexistent. (over 90% of the publicized cases of priestly pedophilia committed by U.S. Catholic priests involve boys, and most of them post-pubescent).
To help us understand the connection between the "lavenderization" of the Catholic clergy and the priestly sex abuse crisis, Paul A. Likoudis, longtime news editor for The Wanderer, has produced a timely compendium that maps the matrix. Most importantly, AmChurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda diagnoses the pathological denial of the Catholic hierarchy that has allowed such grave problems to persist to the ultimate detriment of both individual victims and the entire Catholic Church.
The term "AmChurch," coined by Likoudis a decade ago in the pages of The Wanderer, indicates the distended bureaucracy that’s been the driving force behind a gay agenda that has by all accounts successfully achieved its desired results: "the unacceptable has become desirable, the unimaginable has become reality, the perverted has become the norm." In other words, homosexual acts and relationships have become normative in the eyes of many pewsitting Catholics. That almost goes without saying.
AmChurch is packed full of evidence tracing the influence of Vatican-condemned groups such as Dignity, which later re-formed under the officially-recognized national umbrella organization known as the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (NACDLGM) which promotes the same agenda: again, a normalization of homosexual acts and relationships, both gay and lesbian, amongst the Catholic people. It’s an old agenda, but it has been largely a stealth one within the Catholic Church until recent years with the advent of the Vatican-rejected U.S. bishops pastoral letter on homosexuality Always Our Children (which was rewritten and re-released at the Vatican’s request) and the many bogus "outreach" programs the pastoral has spawned.
Likoudis reveals the scope of the problem by exposing the interconnectedness between classroom sex education, tolerance indoctrination programs, an uncritical moral permissiveness, a distortion of Catholic moral teaching, and the outright tabloid bonanza of clerical sex abuse.
Take for consideration: In 1991, Albany’s Bishop Howard Hubbard told the Albany Times Union that he was committed to ordaining gay men to the priesthood. But according to Likoudis, who bases his information on reports received by a dozens priests in the Albany area, Hubbard’s diocese began a policy in the late 1960’s of recruiting homosexuals from both inside and outside the diocese to study for the priesthood. The result, according to one Albany priest quoted by Likoudis, was that "almost every priest brought in during this period has turned out to be a homosexual," many of whom have created scandal.
In 2000, for example, The New York Post followed Albany priest Dennis Brennan around a grocery store as he shopped for food items and women’s toiletries—dressed as a woman! In a February 3 article that year, Likoudis in the pages of The Wanderer (which scooped the Post) reported that Fr. Brennan, with Bishop Hubbard’s "understanding and guidance," was undergoing a sex-change operation, and had already legally changed his name to Denise. We understand, with the help of AmChurch, that tolerance of sexual disorder simply knows no limits.
It’s no coincidence that Hubbard’s diocese has been one of those hard hit by the priestly sex abuse scandals of recent years. Further, one former Albany priest, Matthew Clark, named Bishop of Rochester in 1979 at the very young age of 42, has long been recognized as one of the most agenda-driven liberals in the U.S. hierarchy. His diocese too is no stranger to scandal. But Likoudis’ primary objective in AmChurch is to connect that scandal to what he calls the "queering" of the Catholic Church: a morally degenerate and permissive environment that paves the way for acceptance of sexual perversion, while at the same time effecting sexual manipulation and abuse.
In 1997, Bishop Clark hosted an annual NACDLGM meeting. Participants included a long list of the most radical dissenters from Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Their "gay issues" agenda: blessing same-sex "marriages" in the Church, transforming Catholic high schools into "gay-friendly" schools, adoption of children by gay and lesbian couples, introducing gay themes in Sunday homilies, and working for the "conversion" of those Catholics who still object to homosexuality. Let’s face it, part and parcel of the gay agenda is sucking young men and women into the gay and lesbian subcultures; part and parcel of the gay agenda is pedophilia, euphemistically called "intergenerational love" by homosexual activists.
As Likoudis shows, these gay agenda issues are far-reaching, leaving no area of Catholic life unmolested. Bishop Carl Moeddel of Cincinnati, who has addressed the annual NACDLGM meeting for the last several years, boldly (or foolishly?) admitted that he’s targeting 5-13 year-olds in the parochial schools. Moeddel, who to the general public speaks with a deep, strong, voice affected a "queer lisp" for his audience at the 2000 conference held in Oakland. Explaining his then-new ministry to gays and lesbians in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, he told them that a "top priority" is to "change the environment" in the Catholic high schools in order to make them into "safe places" for gays and lesbians, and, he added, he hopes to expand the program into the archdiocese’s elementary schools. What Moeddel was promoting in Oakland was the indoctrination of youngsters from Kindergarten on up, to accept homosexuality as normal, while passing off the propaganda as "tolerance and anti-discrimination" education—tolerance of perversion masquerading as Christian charity.
The bottom line in AmChurch is that the same bishops who are so aggressively promoting the gay issues agenda are the selfsame folks who have established "safe houses" for clerical sex abusers; the same who have knowingly allowed active gays to be ordained to the priesthood; and the same who have allowed pedophile priests to strike over and over again in order to satisfy their disordered appetites. Again, the unacceptable has become desirable, the unimaginable has become reality, and the perverted has become the norm. Paul Likoudis sets out to help readers understand how the Catholic Church in the U.S.—"AmChurch"—has effected such a state of moral confusion and corruption, and it will be up to future generations—now and later, to understand what went wrong in order to sort through this mess and straighten it out once again. If recent events are any indication, that task will fall to the laity, with little to no assistance from the hierarchy that has built what Likoudis calls AmChurch.
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