Dear Troubled Catholics,
I have never seen so many “ordinary Catholics”—who usually never follow or hear about Church news—as deeply troubled as I have seen them in response to the recent revelations about the retired archbishop of Washington, DC.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was asked by the pope to resign from his membership in the College of Cardinals and ordered to live in seclusion until a canonical trial can be held to verify the validity of charges of sexual abuse and harassment made against him. After the first brave person came forward (whose accusations were found credible by the Archdiocese of New York Review Board), more and more followed. The climate of fear among many of our clergy—the fear of being punished or marginalized if they report sexual immorality among their fellow clergy or leaders—is starting to break. Cardinal McCarrick is now known as Archbishop McCarrick.
What has been so disturbing to so many people is the fact that there had been numerous warnings to various church officials that he was a homosexual predator, harassing many seminarians, priests, and young boys, for many years, but nothing had ever been done about it, and he was continually promoted. Even after a delegation of priests and lay people went to Rome to warn the Vatican about the situation, he was promoted. Even after a leading Dominican priest wrote a letter to Cardinal O’Malley, nothing was done. Even after lawsuits accusing him of homosexual sexual harassment in two of his previous dioceses had been settled with financial awards, he was still promoted. And not only that, he became a key advisor to Pope Francis and offered advice on whom to appoint as bishops in the United States!
One young Catholic mother with two boys who was open to the priesthood for them said to me that she now has grave concerns about ever having one of her sons enter the seminary, given the corruption that has been revealed.
Another said she could no longer see anyone joining the Catholic Church, due to such bad leadership. She lamented about the difficulty this presents for evangelization.
Another said that seven people from her very small, rural parish had left the parish, because sexual sin is never spoken of and there is almost an exclusive emphasis on political issues. She now fears that even more will leave.
Another said that the only way this is ever going to change is if we simply stop giving to the bishops’ national collections and to our own dioceses and parishes’ collections, unless they are led by bishops who are willing to call a spade a spade and govern accordingly. To this day, there are quite a number of “gay friendly” parishes in even “good dioceses,” where those afflicted with homosexual temptation are not encouraged to live chaste lives or offered effective correction, but instead are confirmed in their sexual activity. It seems many bishops are afraid to tackle the local “homosexual lobbies” and choose to turn a blind eye.
This past weekend at Mass, the priest giving the sermon was more upset than I’ve ever seen him about the unfolding scandal. The Gospel was about how the weeds and the wheat grow up together and will only finally be separated at the judgment. It was unclear what the priest was actually saying, but we are certainly not called to “enable the weeds.” And shepherds in particular have the obligation to admonish the sinner and remove from ministry those who refuse to preach the truth and who encourage others in wrong doing. Yes, we will always have sin, but as Jesus said,
“whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18:6).
There have been a veritable deluge of articles that have appeared from highly respected lay Catholics and priests saying that “enough is enough,” and we need to stop the cover-ups and get to the bottom of who is implicated in promoting men like this and covering up for them. We do.
In 2002, when the American bishops approved their “charter” that attempted to respond to the many cases of priest pedophilia that had come to light by that time, they conspicuously exempted themselves from their “zero tolerance” policy. Many priests have told me that they felt “thrown under the bus” by the bishops, who conveniently didn’t adopt policies to deal with their own tolerance of immoral behavior, cover-ups that allowed the pedophilia to go on for many years, or in some cases, their own immoral behavior. Another disturbing thing about the 2002 Charter is that—despite pleas to not ignore the fact that this is primarily a homosexual scandal, since most of the victims were adolescent boys rather than true children—the bishops decided not to tackle “the elephant in the room.” Could it be because they knew some of their brother bishops/cardinals were implicated, and they didn’t want to face the mess of cleaning it up? Now this refusal to acknowledge the “homosexual lobby,” as Pope Benedict termed it, is coming home to roost.
But there’s not just a huge homosexual problem in the Church; unfortunately, heterosexual sin and financial malfeasance are common in many places as well. In some countries, a significant percentage of priests are living with concubines or fathering children by vulnerable women and giving scandal to the faithful, who often know about it. This is the case in Uganda, from which I have recently returned, and in many other countries as well. In these situations, the “protection” of the priests and the frequent disregard for their victims—the women and their children—cries out for justice.
And so, once again because of the pressure of lawsuits and the press, the bishops are talking about “developing new policies” that would apply to bishops. As a colleague at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, has said: “Isn’t it clear enough from the Gospel that covering up immoral behavior is itself wicked? Why do we need new policies when the teaching of Jesus and the apostles is so clear?” Can the words of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus Himself against false shepherds be any clearer or more devastating? (See Jeremiah 23:1-6; Matthew 23, etc.)
The Archbishop McCarrick case may prove to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” It may make the bureaucratic, carefully worded, evasive statements that have come from our leaders finally address sin and repentance, instead of the mere policies and processes they typically focus on. Could it be—finally—that the revelation of the long-term sexual harassment of seminarians and priests that never stopped Archbishop McCarrick’s rise in the hierarchy will be so totally repugnant that real repentance may actually start to happen? I have never prayed more for the pope and our leaders than I have in the last several years, and we all must continue to do so. More about that later.
Unfortunately, the Archbishop McCarrick case is certainly only the “tip of the iceberg.” The cumulative effect of revelation after revelation of immorality in high places is devastating. First, a number of years ago, a cardinal from Austria was forced to resign over homosexual activity; then, more recently, a cardinal from Scotland resigned over sexual harassment of seminarians and priests; and then the archbishop of Guam underwent a canonical trial in Rome over the sexual abuse of minors; and now cardinals in Chile (one of whom is on the pope’s Council of Cardinals that oversees reform) are under heavy suspicion for covering up homosexual abuse in their country. In fact, the whole bishops’ conference of Chile, acknowledging complicity in not taking seriously reports of a bishop’s cover up of sexual abuse, recently gave their resignations to the pope, and he has so far accepted several of them. The pope himself at first stubbornly backed the appointment of this bishop and dismissed the victims’ pleas as “calumny” and “gossip.” And before we could absorb this news, there was news of an archbishop in Australia getting a prison sentence for covering up abuse on the part of a priest. And just today, as I am writing this, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered the release of a grand jury report implicating more than 300 “predator priests” in six of the eight Pennsylvania dioceses involved in the sexual abuse of minors over many years.
Unfortunately, the rot is wide and deep and years of covering up abuse (and the concomitant reluctance to really preach the Gospel and call people to faith and repentance) and its ultimate exposure have injured the faith of millions. How shocking and tragic was it to see tens of thousands of Irish people in the streets of Dublin wildly celebrating that they could now legally kill babies!!!! Just when the Irish bishops needed to speak most strongly on fundamental moral issues, their credibility was destroyed when it was finally exposed that they had covered up abuse for decades. Satan is indeed like that wild boar Scripture talks about that rampages though the vineyard of the Lord because the hedges of protection have been destroyed (Ps 80:12-13). The corruption, ineptitude, and cowardice runs wide and deep, and its effects on the eternal salvation of millions, and the destiny of nations, is devastating.
Most recently, Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras has seen his auxiliary bishop resign over homosexual and financial impropriety, and forty seminarians in his diocese publish a letter asking him to please root out the homosexual network in his seminary. This cardinal is Pope Francis’ chief advisor, the head of his “Council of Nine” that works closely with the pope in bringing about reform in Rome, and is mentioned as a possible successor to Pope Francis.
But continual reports of ongoing financial and sexual scandals suggest reform doesn’t seem to be happening. Recently, a male prostitute in Italy published the names and photos of sixty priests who frequent his services—with scarcely any comment from the shepherds. And the homosexual orgy in the apartment of a Vatican cardinal, used by his secretary, was met with a “no comment” by the Vatican press office. And then we hear also of a monsignor in the papal nuncio’s office in Washington, D.C., who suddenly leaves the country and is put on trial in the Vatican for trafficking in child pornography and is given a five year prison sentence.
I didn’t plan to discuss this whole situation, but it came up this summer when the thirty priests in my class at the seminary wanted to discuss Pope Francis’ leadership and the McCarrick scandal. We all agreed that Pope Francis has said and done some wonderful things (I teach his Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel in one of my classes), but he also has said and done some things that are confusing and seem to have led to a growth of confusion and disunity in the Church. How can German and Polish bishops approach the question of whether divorced and remarried couples can receive Communion without getting an annulment in opposite ways, and the Church still retain an ability to speak to the contemporary culture with one voice? It can’t. And how long can Church officials speak about the “positive values” of “irregular relationships” until the average Catholic comes to believe that we no longer believe the words of Jesus that fornicators, adulterers, and those who actively practice homosexuality will not enter the kingdom of God unless they repent? How many still believe that there is really a hell and that, unless we repent from such serious sins before we die, we will go there? Have we ever heard from leading churchmen, even in Rome, in recent years, that adultery, fornication and homosexual relations are not only “irregular,” but gravely sinful? Has the creeping “universalism” (the belief that virtually everyone will be saved) so undermined the holy fear of God and belief in His clear word, which has been transmitted faithfully all these centuries and is found intact in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that people have become “understanding” about persisting in grave sin with no fear of God or of hell?
Has false compassion and presumption on God’s mercy replaced true love, which is based on truth, and the only appropriate response to God’s mercy—faith and repentance?
And what are we to make of the fact that so many of those advising the pope have questionable fidelity to the truth? How can we have confidence in Cardinal Maradiaga as the head of his Council of Cardinals when he is accused of financial impropriety (which he denies); he chose an active homosexual as his auxiliary bishop; and he allowed a homosexual network to grow up in his seminary, dismissing attempts to appeal to him to clean up the mess as unsubstantiated gossip? How can we have confidence in the pope’s main theological advisor, a theologian from Argentina who is most known for his book The Art of the Kiss, or the pope’s main Italian theological advisor, who is known for his subtle dissent from the Church’s teaching in the area of sexuality and who tried to insert texts in the synods on the family that pushed the document in a permissive direction? And how can we have confidence in the recently appointed head of the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family—an archbishop who commissioned a mural in his former cathedral in an Italian diocese from a homosexual artist who included homo-erotic themes in the mural, including a portrait of the archbishop in an ambiguous pose?
One godly woman just asked me last night if it was OK for her to be upset with what was happening. I sadly said yes, of course it is.
How can we passively endure such corruption that runs so wide and deep? It is right to make our views known. It is right and necessary. But even more so, it is necessary to pray and offer sacrifices for the Church and her leaders at this time. It is necessary to pray that genuine reform, rooted in real repentance and an embrace of all the truths of the faith, would come out of this awful situation and that the Church, more deeply purified and humbled, may shine forth with the radiance of the face of Christ.
But it is going to be a long way from here to there. Grave damage has been done to the credibility of the Church, and more will leave. Grave damage has been done to many of the flock, and reparation must be made; public repentance is called for. As Pope Benedict XVI wrote when he was a young priest, the Church will have to become smaller and more purified before it can again be a light to the world. The Church is going through a radical purification under the chastising hand of God, but already we can see a remnant of fervent renewal appearing all over the world, which is a sign indeed of hope and the renewal to come.
And so, what can we do as we continue to pray for the pope and our leaders that God may give them the wisdom and courage to deal with the root of the rot and bring about a real renewal of holiness and evangelization in the Church?
»We need to go about our daily lives, trying to live each day in a way pleasing to God, loving Him and loving our neighbor, including the neighbor in our own families. We need to look to ourselves, lest we fall.
»We need to remember that even though we have this treasure in earthen vessels (or as some translations put it, “cracked pots”), the treasure is no less the treasure. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater! Baby Jesus is the treasure, and He is still as present as ever and still as ready to receive all who come to Him. And the Mass! Every day, He is willing to come to us in such a special way. Let’s attend daily Mass even more frequently, to offer the sacrifice of Jesus’ death and resurrection to God the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the salvation of souls and the purification of the Church.
»We need to remember that the Catholic Church is indeed founded by Christ and, despite all problems, has within it the fullness of the means of salvation. Where else can we go? Nowhere; this is indeed our Mother and Home, and she needs our love, our prayers, and our persevering in the way of holiness more than ever.
»We need to remember that there are many truly holy and dedicated bishops and priests, and we must pray for them and support them. They need and deserve our support.
»We need to remember that this isn’t the first time such grave problems have beset the Church. In the fourteenth century, St. Catherine of Siena bemoaned the “stench of sin” coming from the papal court and prophesied that even the demons were disgusted by the homosexual activity he had tempted priests into and the cover up by their superiors! (See chapters 124-125 of Catherine of Siena’s The Dialogue.)
That isn’t to say that we don’t need to take seriously and do all we can in response to the grave scandal we are facing in our time. And yet we need to remember that all this is happening under the providence of God, and He has a plan to bring good out of it. It was even prophesied strongly in Mary’s apparitions in Akita, Japan. Jesus is still Lord and will use the current grave problems to bring about good.
And finally, I’m beginning to see why the Lord has impressed on me so strongly in the past year the urgent need to heed the appeals of Our Lady of Fatima. Indeed, as Mary said,
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”
Let’s continue to pray and offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and as reparation for sin, and let’s pray the rosary daily as Mary requested, for peace in the world and true renewal in the Church.
Your brother in Christ,
P.S. Please feel free to share this letter with family, friends and fellow parishioners. No permission needed. If you are interested in receiving Renewal Ministries’ newsletter, please click here (www.renewalministries.net/newsletter) and enter your mailing address on the right.
Thank you for continuing to speak up boldly and forthrightly! You hit the nail on the head again, but most importantly given us the spiritual perspective and a positive way to respond. I’ve passed this letter on to some family and friends.
God bless you and your important ministry in the Church!
Thank you, Ralph, for this article. Your perspective as a theologian and Church leader is a welcome voice in this scandal.
Let us hold fast to the Truth that Jesus is Lord.
This is His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail agaist His Church, The One Holy Catholic Church.
Do not abandon Him, betray and run away like Judas.
Comfort Jesus in His Real Prescence in The Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar.
Pray for the repentance conversion and salvation of sinners. Our Lady of Fatima has asked us to pray the
rosary and do penance for poor sinners as so many go to hell because no one prays for them.
The rosary is the weapon for our times.
Let us hold fast to the Truth that Jesus is Lord.
This is His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail agaist His Church, The One Holy Catholic Church.
Do not abandzon Him, betray and run away like Judas.
Comfort Jesus in His
Real Prescence in The Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar.
Pray for the repentance conversion and salvation of sinners. Our Lady of Fatima has asked us to pray the
rosary and do penance for poor sinners as so many go to hell because no one prays for them.
The rosary is the weapon for our times.
Thank you Ralph, for your letter. We are living in such dark times which more importantly, we, followers of Jesus, need to be the light. I know first-hand the traumatic psychological damage and deplorable and narcistic familia relationships. (In fact, all my siblings are estranged from one another, all 7 of us.) The horrific consequences of such horrendous acts, alongside secrets, created spiritual crisis for all members of my family. For me, a miraculous encounter with a personal God, radically transformed my life, a 2nd chance if you will, allowing me unbelievable graces to heal. A lot of counseling, and prayer brought me closer to the truths of life and God, which then transitioned me back with the grace of God to return back to the Catholic Church. Since this weekend, I have connected already to 2 Christian survivors. One of which I went to high school with and she married a 2nd cousin. Hers was through a Priest. Please keep all survivors in prayer and this particular individual, so that healing can begin and she will find her way back to the fold in the Catholic Church.
I apologize for sharing so much but thank you for your ministry. I watch your televised program, ” Choices we Face” each week to be fed. God Bless you all.
Thank you so much for telling it like it is! You have given me hope that this Catholic swamp will be drained. After many years of staying away, I can only pray this will be resolved for as you said, “Where else can we go”?
Very insightful and troubling at the same time. As a priest, there are times I wish God was asking me to go off and become a hermit, but so far I keep hearing Him telling me to stay in this mess and fight the good fight.
This is so right on. Finally someone with facts points out some concerning people advising our Pope!
Thank you, Ralph. This is the kind of brave, clear-headed, bold preaching of the truth that i have come to expect from you. You always tell it like it is. Preach on, brother!
I felt so sad after reading this as I love the Catholic Church but do question the way bad things are covered up. We must continue to pray for the church and it’s leaders that they will humble themselves and repent of their sins.
There is definitely a battle going on between good and evil not only in the church but in our country. Many people are needed to be prayer warriors so our church the one true church will be healed. Don’t be too busy to pray.
Thank you Ralph!
We have been here before in terms of scandals – and we are still here!! After a while, everything gets swept under the rug again… Question is why does this continue to happen? Well, even the so called “good” priests, know what is going on. Often hearing confessions or otherwise observing. Everyone is complicit in some way. So enough of the “we need to pray for them speech. If everyone spoke up and our so called “leaders” DID something, we would get somewhere. We the people – the church – need to demand it. How about the misguided “protection” or “forgiveness” of the sinner – namely clergy at all levels? What about the protection of “we the people”? Protection from predators not just of minors but ALL the church? Drain the swamp!! This is one reason for lack of priests – no one in their right mind should want to join a questionable organization.
The homosexual bishops and priests must resign immediately! Their continued debauchery can only harm the Body of Christ! Homosexuals cannot be good fathers to the flock, since they have been psychologically disturbed and traumatized. Peacefully picketing can drive the point home that this is the end for them! Priestly celibacy for the normal priests needs to be supported, instead of discouraged
Dear Mr Martin – thanks so much for your article. I live in Canada – but this last scandal has affected me like no other. I will never leave our Church but my soul feels like it has been torn apart. I personally think that all the Cardinals and Bishops who knew any of this have the moral duty to resign immediately. Will the Church be badly affected – I think yes but as Pope Benedict once said “Maybe we will have a smaller Church” – but hopefully more Holy. Peace
Well done. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I was furious when I found out we had to take”Protecting God’s Children”and the bishops were exempt! The USCCB needs to go!
I pray for the shepherds of our church. However we must look to ourselves also. How many Catholic men and women use birth control, look at pornography, read 50 Shades of Grey and all the other smut out there want abortion kept legal. A major majority of them! When you talk to people about these sins of theirs they say don’t judge me. Well it is a sinful lifestyle
and thus people must be told they are in the wrong. If they are not told then you risk your own souls going to hell. You don’t tell your children to stop doing something only once. You keep repeating it. That is what we must do as Christians. The three Fatima children said that the sinners going to hell the most were for sexual sins!
Ralph, this was incredibly bold.
Thank you so very much for this enlightening but most troubling article. I feel so inadequate to help with the fight our Church needs because my way of trying to correct sinners only seems to drive them further into denial and anger. How did this evil homosexual empire get such a foothold in the Church and in all of society? I know that there are some people who have same-sex attractions and live quite good lives, but there are too many determined to gain power through deviant sexuality. We’ve all been attacked for saying anything for too long.
It is obvious that the Catholic Church is about to undergo a belated cleansing. It is going to be painful for all of us who are going to “stay the course”. Thank you for this article!
Thank you sir for taking such a strong stand on this issue and voicing what needed to be said. I am writing this with tears flowing down my face because my heart is breaking over this. I was blessed to be a cradle Catholic and I may not be the best but I am trying and this tragedy will not shake my faith. Please continue to blow the horn loudly for justice and TRUTH. May God bless you always.
Ralph, Thank you! You might be interested in a pilgrimage to Akita, Japan that is scheduled for April 2019. Our Lady’s message to Sr. Agnes was indeed stern and warned of troubles in the Church.
Thank you for being so forthright in describing the current state of the Church. It weighs on my heart heavily and how much I long for leadership… for good bishops and priests to take a stand. Where are they, and where is leadership from our Pope? It hurts me to my core.
Thank you Scott for posting Ralph Martins letter. Your action makes it totally believable. Thank you both for giving it a great gut shot. Very informative and unfortunately also very sickening. This needs to be published in all USA Catholic news outlets. Any that do not should be immediately suspect.
Let’s keep praying for the Church, With One Spirit, One faith and one hope.
A good summary of the many scandals. This article by a priest explains how the cover-up happens.https://epiphanytampa.weebly.com/pastors-bulletin-article/why-dont-the-priests-blow-the-whistle Also, another priest wrote that many times these homosexual predator priests go to confession to a good priest who then cannot breathe a word of it because of the seal of confession! His advice to fellow priests was that they should not hear the confessions of a fellow cleric who seems suspicious.
The first time the news about a new sex scandal involving a high ranking priest in our Church came out, I prayed that it was fake news. This is so so sad… I am a secular OCDS Carmelite and one of our activities is holding vigil prayers specifically for priests, seminarians, and consecrated persons. I pray that this is the last scandal to rock our Church.
Thank you, Thank you, thank you for this Ralph Martin!
This is everything in a nutshell that has been weighing on my mind and heart. You put it all out on the table clearly and give us an overview that puts us in the saddle ready and armed for spiritual battle. Can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this article! God bless you my brother!!
Thank you for your thoughts and efforts to help Catholics understand the serious issues of our church today. I fear for our church in Canada as at times it appears that we have scarcely any true Shepherds.
Every bishop and cardinal should resign – The whole lot of them. Then we, the lay faithful, should choose our bishops and cardinals from the faith filled priests that work hard every day to bring us closer to Christ. Talk about a renewal! Also, when are we going to acknowledge the elephant in the room which is Vatican 2 and it’s heretical documents? Bring back true Catholicism! We are all starving for the true church to be restored!
Ralph Martin you are truly a gift from God. Thank you for your courage for you knew how our hearts are broken over this latest Csrdiinal disgrace.
I can tell you that in Quebec, teaching and homilies about sexual sins are far more permissive than in the US. As an exemple, in 40 years l’ve never heard a prayer during mass about the evil of abortion. You can easily see the result of this mess: 90% of the population was practicing catholics in the 60’s…now it is less than 5%….
This scandal is not the only issue we face. The luke warm state of the church in the USA is feeding this crisis. This is only the symtom of the disease, the cancer is deep within. Te pastors do not feed their sheep, do not disciple, do not exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit, disregard the gifts and the anointing. In a parish where there are 6 priests, only 1 public Mass is said daily. Why do we need priests who do not wish to say Mass, but are only behaving like office managers of material resources. The rot is truly deep. Only the remnant carry the true faith and they are being suppressed daily by the clergy and the bishops. Zeal for my house consumes me, said the Lord. May the Lord deal with this swiftly with his judgement to protect the true believers!
Amen, just simply amen to everything you wrote. The Catholic religion is great. The men running the Catholic church are dominated by agents of Satan. No pedophile should ever have the title Father, Bishop, or Cardinal. Ever. Strip them of it and give them convict numbers. We need Jesus to overturn the tables in the church and send the “money changers” to jail.
I am glad this topic is being discussed. In order to move forward and clean the house of God, we need to expose and place people accountable. Not doing so, only opens the door for endless immorality. Sin is sin and one does not favor the other in God’s eyes. It’s sad to see it has been going on for such a long time, another reason for we parishioners to say “enough is enough” . And we want transparency in the church; from where the money goes to who gets appointed to what position. It’s not the church of the Pope, Cardinals Archbishops, or anyone else in leadership, but the church of God. As such, it must and will change. Keep praying for those who uphold the teachings of our beloved Father and the sinners among them.
Thank You Ralph! Well said!
I will never leave the Roman Catholic church, even though I have been asked to do so many by my protestant friends. I simply tell them to show me a christian church whose leaders are completely free of any sin and I will be the first in line to join. While God hates the sin within …He loves us still and the foundation for our church will survive in spite of ourselves
Thank you, Ralph for standing up for God’s truth! I heard you on The New Evangelization this AM. You gave your personal testimony, which is a thrill to hear! I am an 82 yr. old, who also had a similar exp. while kneeling on the kitchen floor wi my Mom, at the age of 8. Jesus became my PERSONAL Savior that day, & has been with me in all the ups & downs, always drawing me to Himself at every turn. He is so faithful!! Just now read this acct. of strife w.i. The Catholic Ch. Re Homosexualism. It is rampant in Protestant churches, as well! My brother was an ordained Luth. Pastor who left his beloved church where he had served as both a missionary in Brazil as well as sev. Congregations in US, when they voted to allow Homosexual Pastors & all that entails. I am now in an undenomination ch. that is very fundamental, but satisfies my needs for Truth preached in a clear & loving way, calling all to repentance & living to please the King of Kings! I love that one day John 17 will finally be fully in existence & we can all worship Him in Full Unity in heaven!
What a great article! Thank you for your courage. I was raised in the post Vatican 2 Catholic Church. I’ve never heard a sermon calling for repentance of sexual sin. Never. Why? Some priests are engaged in it. Others don’t actually believe the teachings of Christ and the peddle the false mercy narrative. Some desire to get ahead and be promoted within the corrupt hierarchy. And others fear retailiaton from the social justice bishop in charge. Sad state of affairs. Praying for our Church…
Thank you very much. May The Lord continue to bless you.
I don’t remember what year it was but at a meeting of the American bishops, Bishop Bruskowitz walked up to the microphone and asked (I don’t remember the exact words) when they were going to address the homosexual problem in the priesthood. There was dead silence. The bishop shook his head and walked away. The silence spoke volumes.
You have given voice to my feelings of betrayal. In sadness I redouble my prayers. I believe truth will win. May we be comforted in our sorrow in the meantime. I still hear my Mom, “Offer it up.”
Ralph I would feel much better if you gave more specific evidence. And less of “this is what someone said”. In every case you point to there are two sides to the story. I tend to agree that the overall picture is concerning because there is danger in even the appearance of scandal. But it needs to be kept in perspective. Many reading your article will be anxious to throw every priest and everyone connected with church in the same pot. The catholic church is huge, and it is made of people who are sinners. Society as a whole still has a much higher incidence of these problems. The Catholic Church does far better than average. I agree these things need to stop but false accusations are just as destructive as other sins. Also, we are all sinners and no sins should be condoned.
Thank you so much for sharing the truth so we can all pray for a renewal of minds & hearts & trust in the Lord’s goodness & mercy & most of all forgiveness as we lift up all to heal in these times of our church. God bless you!
Thank you, Ralph, for the clarity of your remarks. It still hurts and is difficult to face and hear, but like a festering sore that is causing pain and not responding to the band-aid being used to hide it, this whole festering mess needs to be lanced, cleansed and treated with the medicine of repentance and the balm of penance.
In fairness to our young people, should the upcoming Synod of Bishops on youth, scheduled for October in the Vatican, not be postponed until a thorough investigation of remaining bishops is carried out?
We must be brave and call the bishops and Pope to action. This scandal will continue to resurface over and over until there is a serious and significant change made in the church hierarchy and priest formation. As a convert to Catholicism it grieves me to see now that the warnings I received as a youth about Catholic priests were based on fact rather than bias.
Thank you so much for this letter. I’ve been putting my trust in a statement I read somewhere to the effect that 96% of our clergy are not involved in this terrible situation, but how can 4% have caused so very much trouble? Satan’s power is terrifying.
I am a convert to Catholicism, and I am frequently challenged by Protestant family members and friends who disagree with my decision to go to Rome. This kind of scandal makes it much harder for me to defend my Church (even to myself.)
Thank you for shedding light on this dark dark situation. It’s more diabolical than I had ever imagined. It may help to remember: From a total of the Chosen 12, only one priest remained loyal to the End. Jesus began with a remnant. Two thousand years have passed, and His Church still prevails over the gates of Hell. We are fighting from Victory. He will provide all that is needed to accomplish His Work through us.
You hit the nail on the head, as usual. As a deacon, I’m devastated by what has happened and have thought of leaving the Church. You’ve encouraged me to hang in there. Yes, I can pray. BUT somebody must DO something.
From way back when in the FIRE days up until this day, I have been inspired by your bold proclamation of the truth, inspired by the Holy Spirir. May God continue to bless you and your ministry. Such evil is only eradicated by prayer and fasting. May Our Lady intercede for us!
Thanks for your work and letters. You give us words of hope in our journey of faith.
I’m member of “La Ciudad de Dios” in Nicaragua.
Please pray for my country.
Yes we are in deep trouble these days in the Church. Losing potential converts left, right, and centre; losing existing Catholics to other denominations; and healthy young men not much interested anymore in the priesthood. All because of the rampant homosexual presence in the priesthood.
And with all that, one small part stuck out for me in Mr. Martin’s letter….
“the priest giving the sermon was more upset than I’ve ever seen him about the unfolding scandal. The Gospel was about how the weeds and the wheat grow up together and will only finally be separated at the judgment. It was unclear what the priest was actually saying…”
Well, that last sentence sums up just about every homily I’ve heard in years…. “it was unclear what the priest was actually saying.” With so much immorality in our culture and so much love of money and the things of the flesh, you would think it would be fairly easy for priests to say something *clearly* about these things in order to help us sort through and avoid the troubles and sinful situations we face daily in our culture.
But no, the great percentage of the time we leave mass and Mr. Martin’s observation is all we are left with concerning the words of our pastors… “it was unclear what the priest was actually saying.”
If we don’t hear the truth in our parishes, or from our bishops, then where in world are we to find it?!
I am so sick of leaving mass every Sunday with that vague idea about being good and doing good and following Jesus and wondering why the heck the priest doesn’t talk about any of these things that are so dangerous for us and so predominantly a part of our everyday world. And it seems like they are afraid to. And there is not much of a reason, then, to listen to them.
And even, perhaps, good reason not to listen to them.
Thank you, Ralph Martin..,I became sick when this last scandal came out a few weeks ago, really sick, my heart was heavy and my eyes were filled with tears. I’m an old lady (82) we didn’t much of this garbage back then, at kess not in our parish, St. Patrick School, Miami Besch, Fls. I’ve been saying all that you said, I see it it’s very obvious I mention to my friends and my priests. My friends agree they see it, too. But the priests they get upset and denie it, they make excuses….that’s wrong and I agree THIS SHOULD BE TOLD AT THE SUNDAY MASSES…..
also, many of us agree and we do not Contribute in the First Collection, WE ONLY GIVE TO THE SECOND COLLECTION. Another thing very annoying to many if us is the PRAYER FROM THE DIOCESE THAT OUR PRIEST PLACE THE VIDEO AND ASKING THE PARISHIONERS TO PRAY “THAT PARISHIONER” GIVE MORE TO THE DIOCESE’S FUND. Many of us refused to say it…the Roman Catholic Church in America is being betrayed by Her American Bishops, They are living better than us, the Domestic Church.
Thank you again, we need to pray daily the Holy Rosary as our Blessed Mother rquested on May 13, 1917.
Thank you for your thoughtful and prayerful articles and books. I will continue to be part of the prayerful and active remnant by the grace of God. Your insights are appreciated. Signed Sheila, one of your book table assistants at the Camden Diocese Catholic Charismatic renewal convention in Wildwood NJ, many years ago. Remember my friend Fran and I asked everyone in line, purchasing a book from you and waiting for you to sign it, to pray for you and your ministry. Hope they are all still praying for you, I am.
I’m trying to figure out how to print this or get a copy.
Fr John Hardin spoke about the homosexual problem in the Chutch in the 1990s. Very few paid attention. I just don’t see how anything is really going to change even with this newest exposure. We stopped giving to the Diocese years ago because nothing was being done about the active homosexuality. A priest in our parish was moved and then continued to abuse in his new parish. Instead we gave to missionaries and others in need. Fr Hardin said only the extraordinarily Catholic family would survive in our present culture. He is being proven correct. Thank you for this article. What you have said needs to be spread far and wide. Maybe the Catholic Laity will demand something be done since the hierarchy in the Church doesn’t seem able to follow through.
For years I have enjoyed your television show and holy insights. I am truly distressed over the sorry state of affairs we are now facing in the church .
I agree with Pope Benedict’s theory that we’ll be smaller but stronger eventually
And the EUCHARIST!! How can anyone leave Jesus ‘s beautiful gift !
God bless you and your wonderful family
We are so thankful for your Spirit guided letter. May God continue to guide you in all you say and do. We pray for you everyday. We thank God for your ministry. We will share your letter.
God bless you.
Chic and Marie
An extraordinary expose of the state of our church.. good men and women .. bishops, priests, Seminarians, lay men and women all but frozen by the might of Satan working through all parts of the Church. Thank God that he (God) is still in charge and his Christ continues to lead us to victory. As the official Exorcist for my diocese, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the evil at work around us, and the lack of belief in any permanent evil or personified evil that is really so obvious to those who use eyes of faith. The victory is Christ’s, but we must be serious in continuing the mopping up operation which is our duty as his followers. Dirty work, but bearable if we work as one and continually draw power from the gifts of the aspirin and the body and blood of Christ. To Him be the glory,
It came to me that all this must be revealed now, at this hour and at this time, because in one more generation, this news would not even be remarked on. Our public schools are actively teaching that gender is fluid, homosexuality is to be embraced, that this behavior is part of our freedoms. I am deeply saddened – humiliated even – by the scarring of our Church. But I think of the 11 who did not stop proclaiming Jesus because one of them had betrayed him. Their own community had been scandalized, which must have added greatly to their sorrow, but Jesus told them “go” and they went.
Thanks, Martin, for putting into words the state of the Church today. A priest friend who is an expert on the Middle Ages said that the Dark Ages were not as dark as the period of the 20th century up to the present time. During this period, we have seen two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Holocaust, assassinations of President JFK, Bob Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, major sex and financial scandals in the Church, a mass exodus of priests and women religious, open rebellion against church leadership, gender confusion, and conflicting messages coming from the Vatican, etc. Sometimes, the Lord allows us to walk in the dark so that we will search for the Light. Thank God for the gift of social media which gives us a means to expose the sin and evil in the world and in the church. The gates of hell shall never prevail against the church. Only the Lord can give us the hope we need. Healing is available through the mercy and compassion of the Lord. We will see the Resurrected Christ rise up out of all this rot and filth in the church and in the world and proclaim victory over sin and evil, once again. Praise God!
The 2002 USCCB agreement was that each diocese had to have annual audits about how the plans for protecting minors were being implemented. I have never seen any such audit reports published. What’s the point of an audit if it is not publicized? THAT seems to be just a part of the cover-up.
The time is now for Deacons to take an aggressive role in monitoring the unwanted behavior of deviant priests and higher ups in the Church. The Deacons can serve as persons for lay people to go to if the need arise. Their strength in numbers, if united in purpose, can put pressure on the Church hierarchy to do the right thing. A second possibility (and if things get worse–a probability) is to allow new priests to marry. The strongest enemy of aggressive homosexual behavior in the Church is sanctioned heterosexual behavior via marriage.
Thank you for having the courage to shine God’s Light on the Homosexual problem in the Church! Our Orthodoxy is solid on this topic, but the Orthopraxy today is not consistent. Thank you for this prophetic call to repentance.
Thank you so much for this. I’ve been teetering on the edge for so many days and had thought to give my practice up. I now realise I’m not alone and have the company of many others, too. Thank you also for writing so clearly and in such a measured manner about something which horrifies so many of us, as well as suggesting how to continue forward. I’m sure many are very grateful for this response.
What utterly astounds me is; in all the articles I have read on this disturbing subject of abuse and pederasty going on in the Church.
Why does nobody mention the breach of the promise before God that Priests and Nuns consent to celibacy for the rest of their lives. What happened to the promise.
Married couples consent before God to fidelity in their marriage. We know what happens when they break their promise…..divorce.
From what I read, it looks like the Church leaders were way ahead of the rest of society in betraying their promise before God regarding their sexuality. The rot started at the top, and no wonder society has plunged so low.
May God help and direct us to support each other, Priests and people as we go forward trusting Our Good Lord Jesus to cover us with His Precious Blood to purify, cleanse, heal and restore us that we may be more pleasing in the sight of Heavenly Father. Amen.
God bless you Ralph for your letter. I love my catholic faith and will never leave the church. My heart is saddened for all these victims. I was in Fatima for the 100th Anniversary of Our Blessed Mother’s apparation. This weapon called the Rosary of our times, was given to us the because of the diabolical disorientation of the world.
Until we all pray the rosary for peace, this world will continue to fall. Jesus is our bread of life. We need church and the Eucharist. My prayers continue for our church leaders and especially POPE FRANCIS!!!!!
The HUGE question that still seems unaddressed: The Papal Nuncio’s would have had this information, as each one did the background assessments of candidates for higher episcopal office as they transmit recommendations to the Pope. This holds, not only for the US but also for the whole world, including Honduras and Chile. To what extent (and it seems it must be significant at minimum) is the problem also one deep within the Vatican’s Diplomatic Corps.
Thank you Ralph for making known your concerns. The Church established by God through the power of the Holy Spirit cannot be destroyed by few of our unfaithful leaders. The gates of hell cannot prevail against the Body of Christ. Let us all pray for both the faithful and unfaithful leaders. Let us pray the Holy Rosary for the Pope and the Church and Christ our Lord and Redeemer will deliver the Church from the present crisis.
The battle against Evil has arrived upon our Shores. It has infiltrated our Homeland. Pray, fast, support our good priests, and speak out against this evil where you see it.
Thank you for this call to arms. We should not falter from engaging in this spiritual battle. Though our dwindling army may be weary and disheartened, we will meet the Enemy and be victorious, for Christ has won this battle already.
Thanks So much servant of God,Ralph Martin for your scrutiny
It’s really heart-aching and deeply disturbing when are leaders we respect and trust so much,give us reasons to leave the church that seeks that the truth is told. May God have mercy. My dear believers let’s work out our own salvation with fear and trembling than to base on these scandals to lose our faith. Let not your suffering for all the years you have been member of the church be in vain
God bless us all.
I will continue to attend mass and receive the Eucharist. I am not certain that I will support the church financially, until the filth is removed. There is obviously an established network that has existed in the church, maybe for centuries, that promotes and hides sexual misconduct among ALL levels of clergy, to the very top. Germany, Australia, Chile, USA, proof in Philadelphia from the 1940’s. The people who perpetrate and hide this corruption need to be removed completely, even though it will be very painful. There is no place in Gods church for filth. I pray that all will be exposed. As hurt as we are, Jesus knows the full atrocities of the Catholic Church, I can not imagine His sadness. May God bless and strengthen the many holy clergy.
Aug. 3rd: I just now read this: “Just a couple of months ago, on May 31, the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis (Minnesota) reached an agreement with 450 victims to pay a $210 million settlement. It is “one of the largest payouts to date in the U.S. over the Catholic church’s priest abuse scandal,” according to USA Today.” Can this be true?? If so, it is appalling and parishioners should sue, as victims of abuse do, to reclaim their money. Not from Parish funds but from the Vatican.
I am disheartened in reading your letter to us. I guess I didn’t know how much of a problem the sexual abuse or homosexual abuse has been and is still in our church worldwide. Please God, guide us through this mess and help our leaders to get back on track. Help us to be able to discern who are the true leaders and who are the fallen ones. Having said that, I guess I have to say also, we are all fallen. Lord, help all of us who are fallen to beg for your mercy and repent of our sins. I am not a homosexual and as far as I know am not committing any sexual sins. I am a happily married woman with grown children and several grandchildren. I try to do my best to encourage my children and grandchildren to embrace the Catholic Faith and the Church as our Mother. It’s difficult when some of our Cardinals and bishops and priests, etc. are committing sexual sin against the people they are suppose to be helping and leading in the faith. But, again, I have to remember that God made us His Church and He told us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us. We will survive because God has said we will. We are going through dark times, but we’ve been there before and have prevailed. We will this time, too. We just need to keep on praying and believing that God is in control and justice will be done. I pray that God will bring that justice to those leaders who are sinning against their people in sexual ways. Help us Lord, to endure and recover from this horrible of horribles. Please, Lord, speak to the hearts of our ordained ministers who are committing these terrible acts and bring them to repentance and justice. In Jesus Name, Amen
I love the last line of the Te Deum: “In you, Lord, is our hope; and we shall never hope in vain.” May we always remember what good things the Lord has given us and move forward in hope.
So much trouble and sadness in our beloved Church today. However, we have the Eucharist to save us. The Body and Blood of our dear Lord is still there every mass. Do not leave His Body and Blood whatever disaster befalls frail human beings. Remember Jesus said he will make all things new. As a convert of many years I can never leave: To Whom would I go? You have the Word of Eternal Life Lord.
God Bless us and forgive us our sins.
Hi Mr. Martin,
I listened to your talks on Ave Marie Radio.
It’s time for a drastic change and a solid “no” to admitting men with past or confirmed homosexual attraction.
Yes, they can be forgiven and be shown mercy and they are loved. However, we become the company we keep. There are other places in the church where they could be a good fit….
Screen seminarian candidates and do not admit those with same sex attraction.
The good lord gave us an intellect to make good healthy decisions.
You are so right and like you I believe that prayer is the strongest way to defeat satan which is working his way as always so we can fall.
No question that the church like any institution needs transparency and maybe that is were Catholic institutions have failed badly.
I will continue to pray and support my Catholic church all the way and help the needed clean up.
What we seem to be getting instead of action against fifty years of silence from the pulpit on sexual sins (contraception and the rest) is an effort to move the Church a step at a time away from its traditional teaching. The emphasis is on the corporal works of mercy almost to the exclusion of the spiritual works of mercy and the tenth commandment is totally ignore when it comes to social issues.
I wonder if I would still be a practicing Catholic without the writings of Popes like Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI that had such a profound influence on my journey in faith. Our current Pope seems more interested in pastoring than teaching which doesn’t change the truth but sure can muddy the water.
When Pope Francis was elected I jokingly commented that among his other firsts, he is the first Pope that is younger than me. I am sort of glad.
There is no question that the state of our culture and our Church is impacting the faith of my grandchildren.
Thank you for this post. It occurs to me that I will write to my Bishop and ask him to let his seminarians know that he will protect them when they go to seminary. That they will have his personal cell phone, and that if there is a scintilla
of inappropriate behavior, that he will investigate and remove them if necessary. That he will also put the seminary on notice that there will be publicity if they don’t get their institution cleaned up. I think we have a Bishop that will do this. If the Bishop will not, make sure the families of seminarians make noise. If they are not to be in contact with the family for a year, the one exception would be this.
Thank you for your courage to inform us of the current situation in the church. I have heard much of this on EWTN, but it is helpful to hear another opinion. I was discouraged when I heard that our seminarians were sent across the country because our own seminary was “too conservative”. I’m glad I am old and always experienced caring priests. I pray for those that new about the abuses and what our new ones will face.
Betrayal by Church members is not new. It occurred to Jesus amongst his chosen 12 and it is occurring today. We are all chosen by God and we are all sinners. When the sins of our Church leaders become apparent they have lost the ability to lead. The Church goes on under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Individuals go on by turning their will and lives over to God through the complete dependence on the sacraments. In particular, the sacrament of reconciliation. Pope John Paul II went to confession once per week. He is now a saint of the Church. The way is clear. Let us move on and be open to the will of God in our lives.
It appears we are now at the time when the wheat and the weeds are being harvested and the separation is beginning to take place. It will be done according to the Word!
You pretty much covered it all. Thank you. One thing we, as Catholics must remember, is that leaving is not an option, just as leaving my marriage is not an option. My covenant with my spouse reflects Christ’s covenant with the church.
We must remember that we, as the Mystical Body….are not greater than the Master, so we, too, are, in a mystical way walking the same walk as Christ himself. We have been living through the tribulation, we are being scourged in our Mystical Body, we are being denied by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. That hatred from the temple cause Christ such suffering. When we hear so much filth, such corruption, such indifference from prelates, when they seem to simply be like secular bureaucrats, it is an offense to us, just as it was to Christ.
There can be many responses to this crisis, but the one response we must never give in to is to abandon Christ by walking away from His Bride, the Catholic church. Make that commitment today and never waver…just as we do to our earthly spouses. Jesus’ kindness towards us will astound us, if we remain calm through this crisis and give His warmth and Light to others in the coming days of darkness. Remember, although He is revulsed at their behaviors, if they would repent, He is waiting for them to return. As He said to St. Faustina..the greater the sinner…the more he has recourse to my mercy. So, as Ralph said, keep praying. I have upped my days of Adoration to 3 times a week. Two of them are for priests. If we simply and humbly present ourselves before Him, Our Lord will do the rest.
I thank God for your leadership in exposing the scandal that tears through our Catholic Church. What is hidden in darkness, bring to the light. I never dreamed it was this horrible.
Will continue to fast and pray and heed the message of Our Lady at Fatima.
Thank you, Ralph, for your letter. It it so hard to find out reliable information about these sexual scandals. The secular media are often not trustworthy, and the Church leaders aren’t talking to the flock.
I will not leave the Catholic Church. I’ll pray even harder for priests and bishops, seminarians and deacons, especially for the many holy men who have done nothing wrong, yet suffer abuse from many people because of “guilt by association.”
I would like to know whether faithful priests and bishops think that heterosexual marriage for priests would help cure this problem. Personally, I doubt it. Let’s talk to the men who are trying to live the priestly life, and get their opinions, as the ones in the trenches. We don’t hear enough from rank-and-file priests.
On July 24, as my husband and I were praying the rosary in the car, one of my intentions for the decade for the Holy Father, priests, and the New Evangelization was that the Holy Spirit would reveal all of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. The next day, I read about Cardinal McCarrick, and of course was heartbroken and angry, but yet thankful that God was cleaning house. And I also realized that I was somewhat responsible, because I did not pray enough for the Church and her Shepherds who are on the front lines of the war. It is easier to criticize than it is to pray. But we must not only pray for the conversion of the priests who have gone awry, and the healing of their victims, but also for courage for bishops and priests who know what is going on, and are afraid to say or do anything about it. And of course, we must pray for the Catholics who are tempted to leave the Church, that they will instead turn to the Lord personally and allow Him to strengthen their faith in the midst of this crisis. I believe that in this way God can use us to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
Dear Ralph Martin, I was guided to your article this morning, what a grace from our Dear Lord. I have been somewhat distressed by what is happening in the Church and your article really helped to see not only the big picture, but some of the actual events that have been occurring. Last night, before going to sleep, I mentioned to my wife that we need to be more diligent in our relationship with Christ and our prayer life and in the work God has called us to. We have been very active in living and teaching the faith for the past 40 years. Now in our 70s we have been asking the Lord “What would You have us do in these twilight years of our lives.”
The article helped us to refocus and make a renewed commitment to the Lord.
Praying this morning the Liturgy of the Hours, I was greatly comforted celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration. The grace of this feast enveloped my heart and gave me a renewed strength to continue the mighty work of God, as was proclaimed at Mass this past weekend in the Gospel.
Thank you and may God continue to bless you and the work you are doing.
In Christ, Deacon Ray Helgeson
45 years ago, as revealed by Our Lady to Sister Agnes Sasagawa, in her convent in Akita, Japan:
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
“The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them.”
“Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops, and Priests. Since your Baptism you have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much…very much.
“Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father. I wish, with my Son, for souls who will repair by their suffering and their poverty for the sinners and ingrates.”
Those souls Our Mother of Grace is looking for are you & me, dear brothers & sisters in the Lord. Life brings suffering to us all, unite yourselves in it to the Cross of Christ Jesus for the good of souls. I encourage – even exhort you – to study and learn with me what “making reparation” really is, and let us use it daily in our prayer life & active life.
Bless you all, Pray… Pray very much!
When I read:
“As Pope Benedict XVI wrote when he was a young priest, the Church will have to become smaller and more purified before it can again be a light to the world. The Church is going through a radical purification under the chastising hand of God, but already we can see a remnant of fervent renewal appearing all over the world, which is a sign indeed of hope and the renewal to come.” I realized that the current influx of many of us from the Evangelical Church,( where sinful clergy behavior is no less prevalent) may offer the Church the stamina to continue to fight. The Lord has certainly called many like me to embrace Him in His Body, the Catholic Church,(while holding our noses at the weakness and superficiality of Her clergy’s witness!) and to cry out for clear Gospel teaching and the resulting transformed lives that His Spirit is longing to grant us. I pray that Pope Benedict is correct, that God is cleaning His own house FIRST, then the society we live in?
I am horrified considering how God must feel! It’s a good thing He’s in charge because if I was, I’d hand down judgment and strike many dead not giving time to repent and save their souls, which is God’s desire. But,no matter what I cannot leave Jesus I must receive him in the Blessed Sacrament nothing has any value in this world if I don’t have Christ. Many of the walls are falling down but the Tabernacle is still in tact. And shame on me, I know I don’t pray enough for priests and all religious who are being attacked severely. I can only be thankful that God has given me the graces that I too have not fallen, because on my own I know anything is possible, we all are sinners. We must also be active in eradicating this toxic situation with our eyes open. I too need to search for the light that will get us through these dark days. I appreciated the story and found hope how the 11 still went out when one betrayed Christ and so must we. Evil wins if we stop evangelizing all we meet. Jesus I trust in you, continue to stand in the breach, purify our church.
The cultural pressures we are experiencing in politics, NFL Football machinations, Church problems, AND biased media are the fruits of Saul Alinsky. The errant Jesuit, post Alinsky disciples described in the BRILLIANT & COMPREHENSIVE EWTN VIDEO “A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING” (2016) should be revisited by all FAITHFUL CATHOLICS.
I am saddened to read all these things, many of which I was not aware, but buoyed up to see the facts coming out. I will continue to pray. I trust in Jesus’ promise that: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
I’m originally from the Altoona-Johnstown diocese in Pennsylvania. Some have been aware of and been trying to expose the homosexuality of priests since the breakout of the homosexual sex abuse crisis in 2002. A Pennsylvania Attorney General reported on the many offenders a year or two ago with a report that spelled out the sins of many priests. There is much opposition to the idea that there is much homosexuality in the priesthood. Dr. Ralph Martin’s article helps in a great way the exposure of these terrible sins. Also, read the 2002 book Goodbye, Good Men by Michael S. Rose. It well documents the proliferation of homosexual behavior of seminarians in American seminaries in the seventies and eighties. What we see now is the putrid fruit of that massive immorality from those who became our priests. But as or Lady of Akita has directed us pray for the pope, bishops and priests.
God bless you Ralph Martin, may your cogent and truthful words reach the hearts and minds of our Church’s hierarchy. I am devastated by this scandal but not surprised. Thank you for always being a beacon of light and hope.
As an Evangelical brother who follows the Evangelicals and Catholics Together dialogue, who loves my Catholic brothers I mourn and pray with you and for you. Such scandals are not, of course, limited to Catholic clerics. We all need true repentance and renewal. To regain its witness and moral authority the Catholic Church and Protestant Churches will indeed have to get smaller to become God’s large witness. I love you all. Be strong. Viva Cristo Rey!
This letter was just sent to me for which I am very grateful.
Yes, I am praying for the Church. I continue to go to Mass. However, I do not trust my pastor and some of the parishioners will agree with me, but they are not willing to do or say anything. I do not think my local bishop will do anything either, because I think he is part of the problem.
This letter was just sent to me for which I am very grateful.
Yes, I am praying for the Church. I continue to go to Mass. However, I do not trust my pastor and some of the parishioners will agree with me, but they are not willing to do or say anything. I do not think my local bishop will do anything either, because I think he is part of the problem.
Thank your words and ministry. Renewal Ministries has been such a help and support to me for so many years.
With God’s help we will get through these dark days. I hope and pray more Catholics will come to know the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I received this gift my first year in college. I wouldn’t be here right now serving as a priest if it wasn’t for that grace. “Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit says the Lord God Almighty” Zechariah 4:6.
I will continue to pray for Renewal Ministries and thank you for your faithfulness. I also will pray for the victims of sexual abuse and all those who are so saddened and disheartened by this evil that has entered the Body of Christ. Hebrews 12:2!!
Thank you for helping clarify these truths in your letter. It is sad but in Christ alone our hope is found and as the song says “and on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied, for every sin on him was laid…here in the death of Christ, I live” even as grave as this scandal is we keep on walking with our Church… here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
I read your book “The Crisis of Truth” when it was first published and also heard you speak on this topic around the same time. I know that in the decades which have ensued your primary focus has been on evangelization. After all, what better way to confront confusion and distortion than to help people have a loving relationship with He who is Truth — our Lord Jesus Christ.
But I encourage you and all faithful lay and clerical leaders to continue to speak out against the profound lack of holiness, wisdom and courage that are sadly manifest in those who should be guiding the Faithful. The hedge is down like never before and we should see this as a God-given opportunity for true reform in the Church. Thank you.
Could you please give the Scripture chapter and verse for your comment: “the words of Jesus that fornicators, adulterers, and those who actively practice homosexuality will not enter the kingdom of God unless they repent”? Thank you so much.
It appears in 1 Corinthians 6:9.
If the U.S. Bishops exempted themselves from the “zero-tolerance” Charter in 2002, then it was the responsibility of Pope Benedict to respond to that exemption. It is common sense that human frailty, sin and cover-up that already was gound–would indeed follow. The buck stops there, if the Chuch is proclaiming they can properly investigate themselves. They did not, and should not be able to in criminal matters where they have lost that trust. All bureaucracies are tempted to this kind of manipulation, but the pain, and lack of trust will continue until every State in the U.S., and other Countries, demand the Church deal with criminal behavior first–and–foremost through our U.S. legal process. Obviously, a,”start is a step” back in 2002 Charter, but common sense should tell us all not one human being, priest, lay person, and by all means a Bishop could have the right to “exempt” themselves.
If the Faithful do not demand immediate and sweeping change, the status quo will continue. Prayer and sacrifice yes, but action on our part is also essential.
I appreciate Mr. Martin for you bringing this all forward. As a former employee of a diocese for almost 10 years, I believe the corruption in Catholic leadership; sexual (homo/hetero and financial is beyond what practicing Catholic want to know. Yet, we must serve Christ and then the church and hold clergy accountable as Christians. Even in the corruption of secular society what the Catholic Church clergy engages in is not acceptable.
Mr. Martin, thank you for your eloquently worded letter for all of us Christians to ponder; however, what screams out to me is this….Even among the Apostles, there was Satan rearing his head in the form of temptation of power and money in Jesus’ Apostle Judas. These Judasas are constantly among us. It is IMPERATIVE we call them out and dole their just punishment. I am tired of hearing about this abuse. I am the mother of seven beautiful children, and it is so REPUGNANT to me the cover-ups and behaviors of these supposedly “followerers and teachers of Christ.” It is about time that these predators get the punishment they deserve. It is up to us Christians to protect the most vulnerable…these beautiful little boys. WHEN WILL IT STOP???? Why can we not band together and DEMAND once and for all the arrest and punishment of these Judasas??? I say our first step is withholding our tithing. Maybe the next step is starting a NEW CHURCH, one in which oversight and accountability is of utmost importance. I will continue to pray; however, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, as in the hanging of Judas.
You gave me GREAT HOPE for the CHURCH today on the EWTN Morning Glory Show! Want to find a copy of the show and send it to everyone I know who is so depressed! God Bless you for your being Faithful…!!!
Thank you for the complete relevation of what is really happening. Many practicing catholics are at the point of ‘enough is enough’.
Withdrawal of funds to those who do not preach the gospel of God Christ is a positive step. Confessions need to be put back in the public square. Be brave and challenge. We have tolerated too much for too long. Pray for Ireland a sad day when the people voted for abortions.
Dear Mr. Martin,
Thank you for your letter. I don’t want to hear from cardinals or archbishops, when can we expect to hear from Francis? Infallible? I am shaken and enraged.
I will not abandon Jesus in the Eucharist at the altar of His Church, for this is not a reflection of Him but instead, the Pope.
Why is God allowing this to happen to His Son’s Church?
I am a passionate, practicing, tithing, devoted Catholic mother of five who is disgusted and discouraged.
Francis did issue a statement, which you can read about here: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-francis-all-must-help-to-root-out-culture-of-abuse. The letter is a first step, but we do need action. Thank you for your commitment to not abandon Jesus in the Eucharist.
Jesus’ words, “You will know them by their fruits” keep coming to mind.
This is what you get when you declare that every individual has the right to worship according to his own conscience. Bad philosophy and bad theology. False teachings coming out of the Vatican. Perhaps this is what Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned of: a false church aping the Catholic Church. Who could ever believe it? There are some who explain what has happened in the church. Seek Truth.
Thank you brother Ralph for preaching the Gospel so eloquently! Your letter to troubled Catholics is so timely. Just this week, my parish . . . in . . . Florida was stunned to learn that our operations Business Manager was arrested for downloading child porn in the Church office!
Fortunately, the Diocese of Orlando took swift action. He was fired immediately and our pastor condemned these crimes and offered full support to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. We are praying for our parish and our church.
Thank you Ralph!
Too few priests address this from the pulpit.
I write this letter after receiving a word from the Lord while before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration, and discerning that the Lord wanted me to write it. I offer this letter to all the leadership in the Holy Catholic Church, on all continents, in every country, in every diocese of our Lord’s Body.
“The time has come for a new cleansing of the Temple! If true repentance is not forthcoming among our shepherds, God will not withhold His judgment on sin. (Jer 23:1,2)
Please, Holy Father, cardinals, bishops, priests, and leaders in the Catholic Church–and all Christian churches–hear the pleading of the laity. Cleanse the Church, act to defend the lambs of God from the wickedness of the devil and the deceitfulness of the world.
Have no more fellowship with sin and selfishness, but rather expose it. Put away from yourselves the lies against the truth with which the Enemy has blinded you. Be no longer conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds in Christ. Cease with this debauchery and its darkness. You are not hidden before Him, to whom nothing is secret which will not be revealed. The light is already shining in the darkness where sin lurks.
. . .
Hear the word of the Lord:
Jesus is not returning, because His Bride is not ready! You have soiled her image, shredded her wedding garments, tarnished her adornments, and crushed her jewels to powder with the pride of your idolatry. . . . Stop! Stop it right now, and turn around! Rescue my Bride and return to Me with works fitting of repentance. Unite My Church and come home to Me. Show yourselves faithful and I will forgive the iniquity of your sins. Do not delay, for the hour is short.”
So now, we the laity are imploring you, our leaders and shepherds, “Do not turn the grace of our God into lewdness, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing we shall not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven!”
The time is at hand. Reconcile yourselves to Christ in the beauty of holiness. Turn away from evil and do good. Please! Before it is too late–as it is appointed to man once to die, and after this the Judgment.
Thank you, Ralph. Your letter was poignant and timely. I grew up in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ during the 1980’s and attended diocesan Catholic schools when McCarrick was our Archbishop. I recall many ugly rumors, and now some of them seem to have had some credence. We are in uncharted territory with the present crisis. The hierarchy has been infected with sexual immorality and by the Devil Himself for many years.
Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, sent the Holy Spirit to guide His Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Bride, until the end of time. This is the reason for our hope.
It is my prayer that these selfish, liberal, and prideful clerics in the hierarchy either repent and change, or be cast out of the Church as part of Her purification. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, which I think applies to all clergy from parish priest to the pope (paraphrasing here): “The lack of a sacramental sign and symbol of a priest’s victimhood in Christ is one of the principal reasons for mediocrity in the Church, especially unholy priests. Be holy priests, and people will love us; be unholy and people will disdain us; especially priests, because they need a holy sense of mission. No boundaries, no limits, no law, no God, no morality, will produce a problem with identity. The ego is evil and demonic and thinks only of itself. If a box is filled with salt there is no room for pepper. If priests are filled with their egos and themselves, then there is no room for Christ.” How prophetic of Fulton Sheen!
In my opinion, the clergy who will remain faithful to the Magistetium after this purification must return to, especially liturgically, a reverence and awe of all that is sacred. The laity desperately need Holy priests who demonstrate a belief in the supernatural elements of the One True Faith. This will help them to fulfill their chief responsibility which is to help save souls. All things must be restored in Christ, especially Holy Mass. The truth is God Himself and the reality He gave to us in the Divine Law. The Truth must be shouted from the rooftops and proclaimed in every sermon given by our priests. Mickey Mouse homilies, cumbaya guitar Masses, and universalism in that we are all going to heaven because we are nice people is a bunch of lies!!
The Church belongs to all of God’s people—us! We, the lay faithful, must act. Let’s show a little righteous anger and let the hierarchy know that their actions and cover-up of bad actors will not be tolerated. We should never allow anyone to lead us down a wrong path and away from God. It’s difficult enough to personally take up our crosses daily, and the last thing any of us need is selfish, arrogant, slaves to sin to show us how to go to Hell. God bless you and your work.
I am very troubled, i don’t know which way to turn and because of what these men did ,its like the sins we commit is thousand times worse than what we have committed, its really put me off track.Lord be with me and keep me always focused on you Lord.Thank you Jesus.
As far as I am concerned, there is only one answer. When these priests go to confession, their penance should be to turn themselves into the civil authorities. Unless they agree to do so, they are to be told that their sins are not resolved. That does not break the seal of confession, it puts the responsibility on the offender.
After listening to what you (bishops of the American Catholic Church) have said regarding the sexual abuse horror perpetrated by clergy of all ranks, I offer the following.
You are collectively responsible, and some of you personally responsible, for allowing this cancer to infect the Church. Just like cancer, it is ravaging the life of the Church at its most fundamental level and will eventually do incalculable harm if it isn’t dealt with.
Your public responses to this, with very few exceptions, indicate that you really don’t get it. You say you are ashamed, apologize to victims, promise to do better in the future, and are going to produce yet another document to prove how sincere you are.
A new document may soothe your conscience somewhat but it will not begin to deal with the problem because the problem is not greater clarity and transparency. The root of the problem is spiritual and you are not seriously addressing it. Some of you speak about the need for prayer and ask the laity to join you in it. We are happy to do so but…
But let me make a suggestion which I believe goes to the heart of it.
The American bishops need to collectively come together for a week. Put aside all of your bishop’s regalia: your miters, croziers, pectoral crosses, rings. Take only your Bible and Breviary. Put on sackcloth and put ashes on your heads and with prayer and fasting prostrate yourselves before your Lord and repent. Deep and sustained repentance.
You are the ones who allowed the cancer to grow. You turned blind eyes to clerical pedophilia, pederasty, homosexuality, sexual relations with women (both married and single).You abused your authority through cover-ups, reassignments, rationalization. You betrayed the trust your flock put in you. It will take more than a couple of mea culpas and a document to repair that. And these are just the sexual problems.
You first need to repair your relationship with the Lord and hear what He has to say to you. What you have done in betraying Him is much worse than what you have done to us. That is why I say you need a week of prayer and fasting. I don’t believe you can hear what He has to say to you in less than that. You have not yet given Him your full attention.
After you have humbled yourselves and turned back to your Lord you can do two things which need to be done with absolute honesty and integrity First, clean out your own USCCB mess. You know who has done what and if a bishop is not willing to step forward, you need to call him out. Second, go back to your dioceses and do exactly the same thing. Don’t stop at either place until you have done a thorough job of “cleansing the evil from your midst.”
After you have done all of that, then you can write a truly meaningful document.
I can hear the responses from many of you already. “It isn’t practical to get us all together.” “We are very busy.” “You don’t understand what it takes to run a diocese.” Trust me. Your diocese can get along without you for a week just fine. What better way to care for your diocese than to repent and turn back to the Lord.
The Good Shepherd is giving you an opportunity right now to follow Him and be shepherded by Him. Don’t pass it up.
Our clergy who have been complacent, complicit and compliant in this:
“The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them: To the shepherds, thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds pasture the flock? You consumed milk, wore wool, and slaughtered fatlings, but the flock you did not pasture. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost but ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. They were scattered and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; over the entire surface of the earth my sheep were scattered. No one looked after them or searched for them. Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live—oracle of the Lord GOD —because my sheep became plunder, because my sheep became food for wild beasts, for lack of a shepherd, because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep, therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD: Look! I am coming against these shepherds. I will take my sheep out of their hand and put a stop to their shepherding my flock, so that these shepherds will no longer pasture them. I will deliver my flock from their mouths so it will not become their food.”
Ezekiel 34:1-10 NABRE