Then, as they struggled to adjust to unfamiliar roles in the Church and in society, American culture shifted out from under them, abandoning its traditional Protestant character to become openly secularist, libertine, and boldly anti-authoritarian. American Catholicism might have withstood one of these transformations, says Carlin, or perhaps even two.
The Catholic Church's American downfall: Why its demographic crisis is great news for the country
But together, the three combined into a perfect storm that capsized the Church in America. Demoralized and adrift, American Catholics forged a compromise with their new secular culture. They downplayed specifically Catholic elements of their faith. They stopped seeing Catholicism as the one true Church to which all are called and came to think of it as just another denomination among many. That led to a widespread loss of Catholic identity in America, a general weakening of fidelity to Catholic doctrine, and the exodus of many from the Church. Carlin shows that it has taken more than bad priests, weak bishops, and liturgical abuses to cripple this once formidable institution; it will take more than good priests, strong bishops, and a reverent liturgy to save it.
Fundamental changes must be made. He explains accurately how we got into this mess and what will have to be done — supposing it can be done this late in the game — to get out of it. Benedict St. Christopher St. Francis of Assisi St. Joan of Arc St. John Paul II St. They would much, much prefer to manage decline than to repent.
This is why I tell Catholics and all Christians to discern what The Benedict Option means for you, your family, and your small community. If you are waiting for the institutional leaders to get their act together, you are going to go down with them. Where there is this much smoke, there is often hellfire. It is hard to believe that the corrupt culture of cynicism, arrogance, and lack of leadership and judgment was limited to sexual abuse.
This is a wild card. Much depends on the feeding-frenzy behavior of the media. If reporters smell blood in the water — that is, signs that the same kind of corruption that caused the sex abuse scandal plays out criminally in other areas — there is a good chance that they will pounce on them. I believe, though, that the most dangerous story, from the point of view of the Catholic institution, is the non-abusive sexual corruption of the clergy — in particular, the active homosexuality of a large number of priests.
I published this view of a document written by the then vicar of clergy, Father Dan Coughlin, about what Father Jesse Garza, the priest the diocese sent in to take over from Father Montalbano after his sudden death, found there:. The Church Militant website — which, fair warning, has a reputation for being sensational — wrote the other day :. Montalbano was close friends with Cdl. Montalbano was a known homosexual, holding gay parties in the parish basement.
He died an untimely death at age 50, his body found in his rectory bedroom hooked up to a sex machine. A parish staff member who was eyewitness to the event spoke with Church Militant and confirmed the account. If you find that to be so lurid as to be unbelievable, let me suggest that you have not spent enough time researching the files of clerical sex scandals.
This is entirely believable. That does not mean that it is true, but let me tell you, you have no idea how perverse people can be until you have gone through the files of cases like this. The main thing that protects the Church from exposure of these non-abuse sex scandals has been the unwillingness of the media to report on them.
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Whatever the reason or reasons, if muckrakers want to find the truth, they could write any number of stories like this big one about the gay cabal in the Archdiocese of Miami. Increasingly, good priests who are sick and tired of the corrupt ones will be willing to speak out. The rot is being exposed, and will continue to be exposed. The problem is that the pope is a product of the socialist, revolutionary theology, Latin American wing of the church.
He is under extreme pressure from the sex abuse scandal and internecine warfare with church conservatives. Read the whole thing. At some point, the propaganda ceases to work. It has been over a month since Archbishop Vigano published his sensational charges, alleging cover-up in the Vatican, and that a number of the most senior cardinals and archbishops around Pope Francis are part of a gay mafia.
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Francis has refused to speak to these charges. So far, the line has held at one level. I know for a fact that at least one major media organization has been trying to get Vatican sources to speak about the Vigano allegations, but everybody is silent — for now.
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Everybody is afraid of Francis. I heard this multiple times when I was in Rome recently.
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Meanwhile, the stories keep coming. Tosatti and LifeSiteNews have worked together on this joint story for some weeks now. We have shared our findings with each other. That is to say, we received a non-denial. LifeSiteNews also reached out to the Vatican Press Office, asking for a confirmation or denial of the story.
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Should they respond, we will update the report. From the English side, the article is thinly sourced, depending on a single unnamed inside source. Hickson and Tosatti have not proven their case, but they have certainly revealed enough information to warrant further investigation. I hope someone in the mainstream UK press takes up the investigation. Note well that Hickson does not claim that this woman was abused by the late cardinal, only that her allegations have not been treated fairly, and that Pope Francis ordered the investigation closed — presumably to protect his friend, a cardinal who was instrumental in delivering the papacy to him.
As of this writing, eight US states have announced investigations into the way the Catholic Church in their jurisdictions have handled claims of priest sex abuse.
The devastating effect of the Pennsylvania revelations is going to be repeated, over and over. Notice that most of the Pennsylvania grand jury report had to do with old cases. The real blows from the PA report have to do with the credibility of bishops.
What the public saw there is the extent to which bishops, in the recent past, covered up grotesque sexual misconduct and abuse by priests, and left Catholic children vulnerable to them. The PA report was, and is, utterly devastating to the reputation and moral authority of the bishops as a class. They could not be more wrong.
News is emerging out of Argentina , critical of the way Papa Bergoglio handled these matters as cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires. Last week, the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad revealed that over half the Dutch bishops from the postwar period until the present either covered up clerical sexual abuse of children, or were involved in molesting children themselves. Today the German Catholic bishops released an official report on sexual abuse within its own ranks. The report has been criticized for lacking transparency:. The report was commissioned by the German Bishops Conference and researched by experts from the Universities of Giessen, Heidelberg and Mannheim.
The researchers wrote that there was evidence that some files were manipulated or destroyed, and many cases were not brought to justice.
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Sometimes abuse suspects — primarily priests — were simply moved to other dioceses without the congregations being informed about their past. We have to realize that in order to stand by your side we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off.