If anyone thinks the Catholic Church is finally going to assume accountability in the wake of recent revelations of sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, they probably shouldn’t hold their breath. Now that Pope Francis’s credibility regarding the crisis is in question, other higher ups in the church are doing their part to distract from the very real and prevalent problem of certain parishes functioning as sexual torture chambers for children.
A letter written to Catholics from the Diocese of Wisconsin after the Pennsylvania grand jury released its report has recently come to light, and it resorts to the old standard of ‘blame the gays.’
According to Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin Robert Morlino, “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture” within the church, which, he says, is the genesis of the crisis enveloping the church today.
Morlino goes on to characterize sexual abuse of children as “almost exclusively homosexual,” adding that it’s not necessarily a problem of pedophile priests having continual access to children, but a problem of modern culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.
“There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable (sic) acts of pedophilia,” Morlino writes. “That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority.”
My letter to the diocese, regarding the Church’s ongoing abuse crisis was shared with the priests of the diocese and posted on diocesan platforms a few hours ago…. https://t.co/7JaiMebwNu
— Bp. Robert Morlino (@BishopMorlino) August 18, 2018
“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” he continues. “The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest. And the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just as we love goodness. But while hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible mercy.”
And with that, Morlino directs all accountability away from the church which has perpetuated abuse by protecting pedophile priests, and applies blame to the mere fact that gay people exist. According to him, the lives of thousands of children wouldn’t have been destroyed if it weren’t for homosexual inclinations.
Morlino posted his letter to Twitter, where it received both comments of support and revulsion:
Thank you Bishop Morlino! I'm from Pennsylvania and thank you for this letter not only to your diocese but to the whole church.
— 3boysmom (@ckfossetta) August 18, 2018
With all due respect, sir, it is not a homosexuality issue but rather a coverup problem. The church has had 20+ years to deal with this issue but chose instead to cover their asses. Also, any apology that fails to address @cardinal_wierl is empty. Have a nice day.
— KeepUrDoctor (@KeepUrDoctor) August 18, 2018
No it isn’t Homosexuality. the reason why it was predominantly boys was because that’s who these priest had access to but when they had access to girls those girls were also targeted, so give me a break stop at the hypocrisy and lies to make yourself feel better.
— Battista (@MrBattista_) August 21, 2018
Let's find a scapegoat to blame this on, so we blame gay people, not the bishops for covering this up, not the Popes for promoting men like McCarrick or not laicizing Cardinal Law or removing the bishops doing the Cover .
— MrJimmy (@Mrjimmyp) August 19, 2018
Shame on you, Bishop Morlino, for shifting the blame from pedophiles to gays. Pedophilia is the problem, not homosexuality. Countless girls and women have also been targeted by clergy. The church's misguided and outdated reliance on celibacy is also to blame. Stop the coverup!
— Western Bunion (@whynotmrbill) August 19, 2018
The myth of a link between homosexuality and pedophilia has been debunked countless times, but this message wasn’t meant to reach people who apply critical thinking and rational moral principles to crimes against children. Morlino is speaking to the faithful in hopes that blind faith will get the Catholic Church a little more time to kick the can down the road for the reckoning that’s coming.
[Friendly Atheist] Featured image via Diocese of Madison