Liturgy & Priesthood

SEX ABUSE SCANDALS CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT AND SECULAR:

Article by Dave Armstrong “Scandalous Sexual Misconduct Committed by Protestant Clergy” and it’s original source.

I kept hearing about all these scandals going on in the Catholic Church.  I would hear about scandals from the east coast to the west coast and even in Europe.   The secular press was relentless in making sure the public knew about all these scandals.  And my non-Catholic and Evangelical friends were more than happy to bring this up, the moment that they found out that I was Catholic.  I am hard on the Evangelicals because most of the criticisms were coming from the Evangelicals.  On the other hand there are some Evangelicals who are not this way; in fact they are very caring and understanding.  Here are the words of one Evangelical who in her humility didn’t have a need to trash the Catholic Church on the basis of scandals.  She wanted the truth to be known about the sexual abuse she experienced as an Evangelical.

  • “I am a survivor of 10 years of sexual abuse at the hands of my preacher father. I have now become an advocate for victims of abuse. For years I have been saying that when the full scope of the abuse within the evangelical church comes to light, the Catholics will pale in comparison. I have talked to thousands of abuse victims and it would shock you how many are preacher’s kids, missionary kids and kids who have grown up in evangelical homes. The problem with tracking these numbers is because the evangelicals don’t have the hierarchical system that the Catholics do. Abuse victims can’t take it ‘up the chain of command’ because so many of these churches have no accountability. I seriously warn evangelicals about gloating over the Catholic scandals because our day is coming and it isn’t going to be pretty when we see what has been swept under the rug for decades. God is cleaning his church and this is a day that I have long prayed for. May every pedophile and predator preacher be exposed and may our churches become safe havens for the brokenhearted.”

On another occasion a Baptist minister warned not to gloat because very soon the second shoe may fall and Evangelicals will have their own sex abuse scandals brought out in the open.   This minister saw the big picture and saw no need to throw dirt at the Catholic Church.

Why did the Catholic Church seemingly have this huge problem and other Christian and secular groups seemingly did not? I later found out that the Protestant arena had as large or larger problem with sex abuse among their clergy than the Catholic Church, according to the insurance companies that insure them.   And there was a much larger problem in the secular world.

When I was working at the post office I had an Evangelical colleague tell me how shocked he was about the sex abuse scandal going in the Catholic Church.  I was left to wonder why he was not shocked about the huge child sex abuse scandal in his own Baptist Church.   Apparently he was either unaware of it or was in denial of it.   For those who claim there is no problem, I would suggest that you go online to, Baptist sex abuse scandals.

Then there was my friend who attended Elm Brook Church, who was wondering, “What’s the big deal in the Catholic Church, why are these scandals happening?” She didn’t have long to wait, about six months after asking this, there was this child sex abuse scandal involving a youth minister in her own Elm Brook Church.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 5th, 1999 was quoted as saying “Any church — any organization — would have difficulty dealing with the overwhelming tragedy that has struck Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, where seven boys have said that youth minister Daniel Varga sexually abused them. As the investigation was beginning, Varga committed suicide.”

My compliments to the press, the Journal Sentinel, who I would say gave them very compassionate coverage.  From the secular press in general if this happened in the Catholic Church with their heavily non-Catholic bias, they would say “if only priests could marry,” as though this was the solution to the problem.   Where does this type of thinking come from?  It comes from articles on any number of anti-Catholic sites on the internet.  These articles allege that the reason for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is forced celibacy.  Forced celibacy is not in the teachings or practices of the Catholic Church or in the Bible; it exists only in the minds of those who wish to believe it. Celibacy is in the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church and in the Bible.  The youth minister at Elmbrook was not involved in forced celibacy and yet, he was involved in a child sex abuse scandal.  He was married; why didn’t that prevent the problem?   I was left to wonder, if the youth minister at Elmbrook would not have committed suicide, would this child sex abuse scandal have even made it in the local press?…

…The information is out there, and the secular press is silent in its reporting of it.

  • “The Catholic Church Sex Abuse Stats: Father Jonathan Morris is a Roman Catholic priest in New York City and he is also a news contributor for Fox News Channel. In a recent news story, “Father Jonathon” stated that heavy media scrutiny forced the Catholic Church to open the books on how many sex abuse cases there have been. Since 1950, 13,000 credible accusations were brought against Catholic priests; this averages 228 cases per year.
  • Sex Abuse in Protestant Churches: Three insurance companies in the United States that provide liability coverage for 165,000 Protestant churches revealed data to the Associated Press that they typically receive 260 reports every year of children being sexually abused by Protestant clergy or other staff.

Some people are acting like modern day Pharisees pointing out the sin of others while not acknowledging their own sin.   “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous –or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithe on my whole income’” (Lk 18:11-12).

They are busy confessing the sins of others rather than their own sinful scandals….

Click here for the whole Article by Dave Armstrong

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Holding Hands at Mass

by Steve Ray on November 28, 2018

My wife Janet and I always cringe at a new parish when it comes time for the Our Father. We quickly bow our heads and close our eyes; I clutch my hands close to my chest (and she does the same) and we start to pray — hoping some aggressive hand-holder doesn’t reach over and insist on tearing my hands apart so I can warmly hold theirs during the prayer.

Once, I even had a nun nudge me, see my hesitation  and them smiling reach out and  taunt me — “Pleeeease?”  I conceded out of love and duty and afterwards she smiled knowingly and say, “Thaaaank you!”

Karl Keating has a few things to say about hand-holding at Mass which I produce here for others who close their eyes and clutch their hands close to their chests.

ORIGINS OF HAND-HOLDING

Mass_holding_hands[In a recent] issue of the “Adoremus Bulletin” it says this in response to a query from a priest in the Bronx:

“No gesture for the people during the Lord’s Prayer is mentioned in the official documents. The late liturgist Fr. Robert Hovda promoted holding hands during this prayer, a practice he said originated in Alcoholics Anonymous. Some ‘charismatic’ groups took up the practice.”

My long-time sense had been that hand-holding at the Our Father was an intrusion from charismaticism, but I had not been aware of the possible connection with AA. If this is the real origin of the practice, it makes it doubly odd: first, because hand-holding intrudes a false air of chumminess into the Mass (and undercuts the immediately-following sign of peace), and second, because modifications to liturgical rites ought to arise organically and not be borrowed from secular self-help groups.

Periodically, on “Catholic Answers Live” I am asked about hand-holding during Mass and explain that it is contrary to the rubrics. Usually I get follow-up e-mails from people who say, “But it’s my favorite part of the Mass” or “We hold hands as a family, and it makes us feel closer.”

About the latter I think, “It’s good to feel close as a family, but you can hold hands at home or at the mall. The Mass has a formal structure that should be respected. That means you forgo certain things that you might do on the outside.”

About the former comment I think, “If this is the high point of the Mass for you, you need to take Remedial Mass 101. The Mass is not a social event. It is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary, and it is the loftiest form of prayer. It should be attended with appropriate solemnity.”

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Pope Francis recently fired him from his position as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and maybe now we know why!)

Here is part of the interview:

Cardinal_Gerhard_Muller_-_Getty_810_500_75_s_c1“In this discussion about the abuse crisis, Müller does not shy away from pointing out that the Church needs to address the problem of practiced homosexuality in the ranks of the clergy, saying that “homosexual conduct of clergymen can in no case be tolerated.”

“He states, however, that leaders in the Catholic Church still underestimate this problem.  The prelate states: “That McCarrick, together with his clan and a homosexual network, was able to wreak havoc in a mafia-like manner in the Church is connected with the underestimation of the moral depravity of homosexual acts among adults.”

“Cardinal Müller also challenges the Vatican for its lack of earnest investigations — early on — into the rumors concerning McCarrick, saying that a public apology is needed. He writes that “there should very clearly come out a public explanation about these events and the personal connections, as well as the question as to how much the involved Church authorities knew at each step; such an explanation could very well include an admission of a wrong assessment of persons and situations.”

“Cardinal Müller criticizes as a “disastrous error” the changes in Canon Law that have been made in the 1983 Code of Canon Law which, when dealing with priestly offenses against the Sixth Commandment, does not even mention homosexuality as an offense anymore, and which contains a less rigorous set of penalties against any abuser priests.

“Returning to the matter of the abuse crisis, the German prelate explains that in the Church, “it is part of the crisis that one does not wish to see the true causes and covers them up with the help of propaganda phrases of the homosexual lobby. Fornication with teenagers and adults is a mortal sin which no power on earth can declare to be morally neutral.” He calls the “LGBT” ideology within the Church “atheistic,” and adds, in light of the recent Youth Synod in Rome, that the “LGBT” term “has no place in Church documents.”

“Moreover, Cardinal Müller, in light of his stricter handling of sex abuse cases at the CDF, wonders whether there was a homosexual lobby in the Vatican which was glad to see him being dismissed: “But it could be so that it has pleased them that I am no longer tasked in the Congregation for the Doctrine to deal with sexual crimes especially also against male teenagers.”

“Discussing possible reasons for his sudden dismissal from the CDF – for which Pope Francis never gave him any reasons – Cardinal Müller comes back to his defense of Catholic doctrine on marriage with regard to Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia. He says: “Amoris Laetitia has to be absolutely in accordance with Revelation, and it is not we who have to be in accord with Amoris Laetitia, at least not in the interpretation which contradicts, in a heretical manner, the Word of God. And it would be an abuse of power to discipline those who insist upon an orthodox interpretation of this encyclical and of all the papal magisterial documents.”

For the whole interview, click here.

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A Priest Struggles, “Should I Wear My Collar? People May Think I’m One of THEM!”

September 8, 2018

 STEVE’S NOTE: Because these are such tough times for faithful priests, I make a point of stopping any priest anywhere to THANK THEM FOR BEING A PRIEST! “So it might not be surprising that priests showing up in public, even if they are innocent of such charges, would be taking some heat. One priest, Fr. Michael […]

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Ninja Priest

August 15, 2018

It’s great to have marvelous (ninja) priests. For another, the Papal Ninja, click here.

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Mega-church Mania: One Mom’s Observations (she’s a good writer) and Observations from the Early Church

August 10, 2018

Mr. Ray, My eldest daughter invited me to my grandson’s ‘dedication’ at her new place of worship.  Worship? Sorry. Her new place of…..well, the giant Olympic-sized structure that, after being directed in by police/traffic officers, upon entering, reminded me of a mall.  Oh and by the way, I didn’t witness any worship. My 1st thoughts were…”Wow! […]

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So, Who Says the Mass is a Sacrifice?

April 2, 2018

Who Says the Mass is a Sacrifice? Well, Jimmy Swaggart says it is NOT a sacrifice and wrote: “The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is, without question, one of the most absurd doctrines ever imposed on a trusting public…  Roman Catholic errors are inevitably human innovations that were inserted into the church during the early centuries. This teaching […]

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Ten Worst Catholic Hymns of all Time

February 2, 2018

I haven’t heard them all, but the ones I recognize — I agree. I’ve told Janet if I hear some of them again I’ll walk out. Ten Worst Catholic Hymns of all Time

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Etiquette at Mass: Reasonable Do’s and Don’ts for Polite and Proper Worship

January 25, 2018

20 Things TO DO And NOT DO at Mass. These are not rules that will get you banished from the Church, but things that are mostly common sense — polite conduct to enhance our worship and that of those around us. 1. Fast before Mass. It is required that one fasts for at least 1 […]

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St. Adam & Eve, St. Abraham, St. Moses – Did you know some Old Testament people are Saints?

January 11, 2018

Adam and Eve have liturgical feast days, so do Isaiah, Jeremiah, King David and many others. We in the West have not discussed it much, but the Eastern Churches remember them every year. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The patriarchs, prophets, and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be […]

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Descriptive Icon – can you figure it out?

December 27, 2017

On one of our last trips to Bethlehem I saw this icon that really caught my eye. What do you think?

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Cardinal Burke on Confusion in the Church, “Perhaps we have arrived at the end times”

December 3, 2017

by Paolo Gambi posted Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of […]

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Holding Hands at Mass? Fr. John Riccardo’s 4-Minute Answer

October 17, 2017

I hate holding hands at Mass so this 4-minute video sure resonated with me….

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“Call No Man Your Father”

September 2, 2017

Why do Catholics call their priests “Father” when Jesus said, “Call no man your father.” If you haven’t heard this question yet, some day you certainly will. We must understand what Jesus was saying and why he was saying it in order to understand his words. I was asked this question again and here is […]

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Cardinal Müller Discusses Islam, “Amoris Laetitia”, Liturgy, Pope Firing People and more

May 27, 2017

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was interviewed recently by Raymond Arroyo about his book The Cardinal Müller Report: An Exclusive Interview on the State of the Church. This was an excellent interview. I would not want this man’s job. But I found him insightful, brilliant and […]

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Founding Father John Adams Visits a Catholic Church

December 31, 2016

John Adams (1735-1826) was a Founding Father of the United States. He was raised in an austere Protestant movement called the Puritans who left England to flee liturgical Christianity and to find religious freedom. He was raised as a Congregationalist and later turned to Unitarianism. He was elected President of the United States in 1796. […]

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