|Ex-Cardinal Keith O'Brien|
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The Scandal of the Cardinals. The Disgrace of Episcopal Bishops
The Episcopal Church embraces what Rome calls "intrinsically disordered"
By David W. Virtue
February 25, 2013Leading Episcopal gay and lesbian clergy and laity are publicly gloating over revelations that more leading Roman Catholic leaders have been quietly practicing what they themselves openly practice and preach.
In the name of transparency, integrity, openness, inclusion and diversity, the Episcopal Church has rolled over to the zeitgeist and embraced pansexuality, even as leading Catholic prelates have been exposed for their sexual behavior paralleling a number of Episcopal bishops. Four of them have publicly outed themselves including Gene Robinson, Mary Glasspool, Otis Charles and Tom Shaw, while other Episcopal bishops clandestinely practice sodomy but have chosen not to "come out" preferring to remain closeted with their sexual practices.
Who is surprised to learn that there are gay priests in the Vatican, asked Jim Naughton in a headline at his liberal blog Episcopal Café? "It is common knowledge that punitive attitudes about sexuality and the pressure to keep one's identity hidden can lead to unhealthy behavior. People who hide their identities and engage in these behaviors are open to blackmail. So this news is less shocking than it is predictable. The church's repressive teaching and the subterfuge it engenders--from officials of all sexual orientations--is what is undermining the church."
"Perhaps we need to add to the list of known knowns and unknown unknowns, the "known but not acknowledged." One of the principal facts of scandal is that there is a fact, a reality that is revealed publicly. So I would not automatically dismiss this as a possibility. After all, in addition to being Bishop of Rome, one might well observe that the pontiff is to some extent Prisoner of the Vatican... and many are the secrets held in pectore..."Not surprisingly Britain's leading homosexual rights advocate, Peter Tatchell called Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Britain's most senior Roman Catholic a hypocrite following revelations of accusations of inappropriate behavior with male priests. "He appears to have preached one thing in public while doing something different in private." Cardinal O'Brien has condemned homosexuality as "a grave sin". He has now apologized to those he had offended for "failures" during his ministry and announced in a statement that he will be standing down as leader of the Scottish Catholic Church. Resigning Monday from the College of Cardinals, he will not take part in electing a new pope, even though he is only 74, thus leaving Britain unrepresented. leaving Britain unrepresented.
An ignominious end not unlike that of Bernard Francis Cardinal Law of Boston who resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, in response to the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal after church documents were revealed suggesting he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. Many believe he fled to Rome to escape prosecution in 2004. Pope John Paul II appointed Law as Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome.Cardinal Roger Mahony, who retired as head of the L.A. Archdiocese last year, was stripped of his remaining diocesan duties last month over his handling of priest sex abuse cases. He has repeatedly apologized for past mistakes. No criminal charges have been filed against him and he is still expected to participate in the upcoming Conclave despite a growing ground swell clamoring for him to recuse himself from helping to elect the next pope.
Ireland's Sean Brady, Belgium's Godfried Danneels, and Philadelphia's late Cardinal Justin Rigali have all been pilloried in the press over allegations they failed to protect children from pedophiles. Both Brady and Danneels are, by age, eligible to enter into the conclave. The Irish cardinal is 73 and Danneels will turn 80 in June.
Recent revelations in Italy have alleged the existence of a gay mafia within the Vatican, including senior Cardinals and other Vatican officials, and their alleged participation in gay bars, clubs, saunas, chat rooms and escort services.
Several press reports now suggest that Pope Benedict's stepping down might be over the tension of his knowing about the widespread, deeply entrenched "gay mafia" in the Vatican that only a new pope can root out.
Catholic theologian Larry Chapp noted in Benedict's statement that the reason why the Church needs someone with more physical strength at the helm is because the faith of the Church is facing what he calls a "grave crisis." I think he is saying there is something uniquely dangerous in the current situation of the Church and that unique thing is the de facto apostasy of so many within the Church, up to, and perhaps especially including, many members of the clergy and religious.In his book "Light of the World" Benedict says, "The greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies without, but arises from sin within the Church." The retiring pontiff seems to have found this out through sad experience.
That homosexuality has become the lightning rod issue of our times for nearly all the major Christian denominations is a horrific story which is still unfolding and to which we may now only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Charges of hypocrisy notwithstanding, the Roman Catholic Church has stood by its claim that while its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained, based on Sacred Scripture which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.Even if Tatchell's claim that around 40% of Catholic priests in Britain are gay and nearly half of all Cardinals worldwide are thought to be gay, (an unprovable assertion) this will not change the church's teaching nor does it negate Scripture's clear prohibition against any sort of sexual behavior outside marriage between a man and a woman.
The Roman Catholic Church will hold firm to Scripture, history and tradition to maintain its position regardless of how many priests, bishops and cardinals are living double lives and broken the moral law.
The Episcopal Church on the other hand, has embraced the entire panoply of sexualities - LGBTQI - with devastating consequences to its future. The Roman Catholic Church can still claim a billion souls, even as the West broadly continues its decline away from organized (or even disorganized) religion.Sociologist and culture analyst Dr. Os Guinness is on record as stating that inclusivity is indifference to truth which he calls "profoundly dangerous". In a conversation with a Roman Catholic cardinal, he noted that while the Borgia popes, one of whom fathered children with his own daughter, never denied a single issue of the creed, Episcopal leaders in The Episcopal Church deny much of the creed and remain in post.
Guinness argues that the Church has always made distinctions because truth matters. "Inclusivity is indifference to truth. There is respectful tolerance (based on freedom of conscience) and sloppy tolerance, which is muddle headed, ethically folly and a slipway to real evil."
Hypocrisy over sexuality issues, including gay marriage, may well drive many out of the Roman Catholic Church, but still and all, that branch of Christendom survives and in some geographical instances still thrives. The rise of Catholicism and, of course, Anglicanism in Africa gives the lie that the Hawkins and Dawkins of this world are winning the God no-God debate. Post modernism is running its course to nowhere.Interestingly enough, even as the Roman Catholic Church searches about for a new leader, one possible candidate is Ghana Cardinal Peter Turkson, tipped to become first black pope in modern times. He publicly blames gay priests for abuse scandals facing the Catholic Church and said sex scandals would not happen in African churches. He has faced a predictable backlash after blaming gay priests for the clerical abuse crisis. He said that similar sex scandals would never convulse churches in Africa because the culture was inimical to homosexuality.
The Roman Catholic Church will survive, even though Evangelical Anglicans, who number in the tens of millions, will never bow the knee to Rome and liberal Protestant Christianity will continue its gadarene slide to oblivion.
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