"a Gold Mine" of Abuse
April 23, 2020
One of the tragedies among many resulting from the invasion of modernism into the Church — blossoming in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council — is the reaction from some faithful Catholics.
Since it was the celebration of the Mass itself that was the most obvious change that occurred in the Church 50 years ago, many Catholics reacted by clinging ever more tightly to the Old Rite, the Traditional Latin Mass. Various groups sprung up that essentially placed all their eggs into the basket of the Traditional Latin Mass — the most notable probably the Society of St. Pius X, commonly known as the SSPX.
In 1988, concerned that the Society, dedicated to the ancient form, would die with his death, the leader, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, disobeyed Pope John Paul II and illicitly consecrated four bishops who would carry on the work of the Society after his death. All were immediately excommunicated and their act deemed schismatic by John Paul.
In the intervening decades, the Society has dug in its heels, forming its own hierarchy, marriage tribunals, seminaries, chapels, schools, communities and administrative arms — none of which answer to the jurisdiction of Rome.
But at the heart of the Society is its devotion to the liturgy of the Traditional Latin Mass. And while the Society itself — strictly speaking — is only a society of priests and bishops, there is a sizable portion of laity who are adherents to the Traditional Latin Mass and the Society, almost to a fault. And herein, a serious problem has arisen.
In this structure, many of the SSPX laity who are unquestioning of their clergy would never demand accountability from them. That has created an environment within the Society itself where abusive clergy can easily take advantage of children, young males and women.
There have in fact been so many cases of abuse that the Society itself has been the target of a statewide criminal investigation in Kansas. The small community of St. Mary's Kansas, a main hub of the SSPX, is the focal point of investigators' probing.