Bishop Robert C. Morlino- Saying What Must Be Said

A letter from the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Bishop Robert C. Morlino was published Saturday.  It is repentant, emphatic, serious, and questioning the direction of the church over the last few decades in terms of the church and it's efforts to live within current cultural norms.  It's the most honest, thoughtful, and serious statement I've seen from the episcopate on the crisis of sexual misconduct the Church has been embroiled in.  Perhaps that he was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania means he feels more acutely the pain of the Pennsylvania report.  It's clear he's done holding back:
"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. 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."
It's a shame that I'm pleasantly stunned to hear this from a Bishop. All of it must be read, and you can read it here.

28 comments:

Krag said...

Still scratching my head...you can't create an organization that admits only men and then requires they not have sex, ever, without quickly getting a self-selected group of men that are way off the chart of normalcy.

The organization is structured to bring in atypical/abnormal individuals, then feigns shock and surprise when they act accordingly.

The linked article was well written, but I question how sincere any real effort to address the issue is when it doesn't start with the fundamental problem.




Tom Grey said...

It seems likely to me that the benefits of Church Priests being celibate are hitting the rocks of an over-sexed culture, so that there are not enough Priests for all the believers.

Fewer priests doing more work? Only a limited amount of this is possible.

Less priest work done? Already happening.

Accepting lower quality applicants as priests? Some is happening, including accepting too many homosexuals (who promise to be celibate).

Too little status in the current sex-dominated culture? The promotion of promiscuity doesn't look to be going away soon.


More promotion of Greek Catholicism? Greek Catholic priests can marry. This strikes me as a good step to try to take.

Married priests is a huge organizational change.

sykes.1 said...

Although there have been homosexual priests throughout history, Vatican II opened the floodgates, and it is possible that a majority of the priesthood is now homosexual.

But, the real problem is adults and children. The US Dept. of Education published a study some years back that showed that for every instance of a homosexual priest seducing an altar boy (over 80% of the cases) there were around 200 instances of public school teachers molesting their students. And, the public school administrators repeated all of the coverup tactics of the Catholic bishops.

And that public school scandal is still ongoing and unreported.

The public school statistic makes sense. In the case of the Catholic hierarchy it was homosexual priests preying on teenage altar boys. The public schools have heterosexual and homosexual adult male and female teachers, and teen and preteen boys and girls, and some teenagers are homosexual. The number of sexual combinations is substantially higher (16 times? or did I screwup the combinatorics?).

And then there are all the sexual scandals at the college level, especially in college sports and the staff doctors, trainers and coaches. The affects every college in Division I, II and III.

One has to wonder if every adult to choses to teach or coach or mentor young people is a sexual predator.

Dad29 said...

One has to wonder if every adult to choses to teach or coach or mentor young people is a sexual predator.

No.

As to +Morlino--now you know why he left the Jesuits and why he has always had small-sized sees. Unfortunately for him, Madison is even more infested with social revolutionaries (really, misfits) than any other town its size in the USA. He has encountered strong, even brazen, resistance at every turn.

Christopher B said...

Tom, sykes, and Dad29 all make good points. Krag's comment is good example of the current confusion that we can sanctify any sexual activity by defining it as socially acceptable.

Grim said...

This statement of the orthodoxy will be treated as “hate speech,” of course. Prager U had a video simply celebrating and calling for masculine men censored as hate speech by Facebook. A fortiori, then, a statement that literally does call on all Catholics to hate. To hate the wickedness inherent in a decision to live as a homosexual, rather than the man himself; and the wickedness inherent in the decision rather even than the decision itself. Other things that went into the decision might not draw hatred.

I wonder if we live in a culture that knows how to grasp what is meant by the distinction. Even if so, I very much doubt we live in one that agrees there is any wickedness in the decision to live as a homosexual. The statement won’t fall on deaf ears, as there will be those eager to hear it in order to use it as a weapon against the orthodox parts of the Church. Will it persuade anyone though?

I suppose that’s not the point. Speaking the truth is worthy even if it persuades none. And he is right, I believe, about what the orthodoxy holds to be true.

douglas said...

"Speaking the truth is worthy even if it persuades none"
Indeed, and the very fact that he will catch flak for saying this, and that some of that will be coming from the Episcopate itself, I deeply admire his courage in saying it. And it must be spoken of and faced, or the problem will never be dealt with.

E Hines said...

All pretty words by the Bishop. But what are the men who run the Church actually doing about the situation? With nothing but chit-chat, the abuse continues apace, with perhaps a brief hiatus until the current heat blows over.

There was something of a hint in Boston a bit ago. Secular law acted, but nothing serious was done by the men of the Church.

Absent action, this is all just virtue signalling.

Eric Hines

Krag said...

RE: Krag's comment is good example of the current confusion that we can sanctify any sexual activity by defining it as socially acceptable.

I don't follow...what do you think I wrote?

Dad29 said...

But what are the men who run the Church actually doing about the situation?

TWO Popes have recently issued instructions that homosexuals should NOT be ordained or admitted to seminary (1951 and 199X)....but ordination is not a decision made by Popes; it is made by individual Bishops for their own Dioceses. Obviously, Boston, Philly, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and many others were run by Bishops who did the wrong thing. (The 'homosexual priest' issue has arisen before. St Peter Canisius railed against them in the 1500's...)

The problem is that Bishops and priests and laymen and Popes will 'do the wrong thing.' That's a given. And the next time you hear about that homosexual priest is when he's attacked a child.

Hmmmmm.

E Hines said...

Yes, but where's the enforcement of those instructions? Where are the sanctions applied to those Bishops who disobey the instructions?

Eric Hines

Ymarsakar said...

I would have questioned what the Church of Rome has been doing for the last thousand + years.

The control scheme wasn't quite as stringent as the Southern slave lords but it is far more enduring. A top down system like this only pretends to care about the peons at the bottom. The members have about as much say as the Deep State gives Americans.

Ymarsakar said...

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.

It is merely a human organization, not some vineyard for the Lord unless your lord is Lucifer.

Humans are once again elevating themselves to some divine calling when they have never been called or recognized by the Divine Counsel. They have never visited, never heard a single order, and is not known in the Halls of the Divine House.

Other human organizations are ROTC, chess clubs, high IQ societies, golfing groups, and internet chat forums; I am sure more can be listed. They are no better nor worse than other groups in so far as they operate under the same human flaws and limits.

It is just when a bank determines that they are somehow following the orders of the Divine when they don't even know what the Divine is, that is when a problem begins.

His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Robert Charles Morlino
Bishop of Madison


Heh, another laughable clown act from humanity.

Ymarsakar said...

The Albigensian Cathars had Perfected individuals that would voluntarily purify themselves and remove themselves from marriage. That was an individual choice and other individuals could choose differently.

Guess what the Inquisition did to them for not having enough children.

Banks don't like competition, especially at other orgs offering the same Perfected Compensation package of the Sacrament.

Qaddafi was about to create a private bank based on gold. Guess what happened to him soon after.

Dad29 said...

E. Hines: all of us pew-sitters ask the same questions. The bad guys should be sent to remote monasteries for life (or prison, depending on the crime.)

But they aren't--which is why H E Morlino described it as a 'sub-culture.' And a privileged one, to boot.

Grim said...

At some point a sufficiently privileged sub-culture is 'the culture.'

E Hines said...

The bad guys should be sent to remote monasteries for life

Why not excommunicated? At least the ones in charge who approved with their inaction the abuses of the priests, who could be argued (could be, not necessarily should be) to be too sick to be fully responsible for their actions, and so isolation could be sufficient?

Eric Hines

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We don't know with any certainty what happened in previous generations. We know that some ages and regions were notorious, but we have nothing systematic. Therefore we do not know if the idea of a celibate priesthood is indeed intrinsically unstable, or only under some circumstances.

We do know that it is emphatically not working now.

However, as sykes points out, there are scandals in schools, scouts, youth sports, other faiths, music, theater, ballet. Everywhere that adults interact with children under the guise of noble cause will of course attract predators. There is no incentive for wolves to hide in wolves' clothing, they must find sheep's clothing.

Dad29 said...

Excommunication is, technically, a warning, not a final solution. It is typically used to goad heretics back into accord with Church teachings.

These are not cases of heresy; they are cases of sin. Very serious sin, yes--but the Church is in fact a hospital for sinners (pp. Francis quote, but absolutely true.)

What counts to the Church is getting souls into Heaven, so you keep them IN the church, but someplace where they can't do harm AND get to "spiritual rehab." Of course, these guys can refuse to renounce sin; that's their problem.

Dad29 said...

And yes, there are excommunications for sins, such as abortion. But lying/covering up sins of others? I don't think that's an ex-comm per se.

E Hines said...

But lying/covering up sins of others?

Isn't that contributing to selling souls to the Devil, at least when sins being covered up are as serious as these?

Eric Hines

Dad29 said...

I don't understand your question.

No question that it is co-conspiracy. The souls going to Hell are those of the Bishop(s) and priest(s) who commit the rape(s) and cover them up. (Unless they confess their sins and repent, of course.)

E Hines said...

That's what I'm getting at. Isn't lying and covering up the sins of others worse than those sins of the others? Isn't lying and covering up the sins of others instead of helping those others (it's possible that they were trying to help under cover of the lying and cover up; it's true I'm speculating that they did not) abandoning the souls of those others, in particular when the liars/cover-up-ers are bishops and cardinals?

Eric Hines

Dad29 said...

Not being Thomas Aquinas, I won't speculate on which of the sins is more grievous--the molestation or the lie/coverup. Given the gravity of the first (molesting), the second is certainly grave, too.

You have it correct: 'helping' a sinner by 'being nice' is exactly the wrong thing to do. One helps a sinner by pushing them in the RIGHT direction. If you have to push them with a .45 Colt, well, then.....

RonF said...

"One has to wonder if every adult to chooses to teach or coach or mentor young people is a sexual predator."

The Boy Scouts had a problem with this. They solved it by making all their volunteers take a course annually on "Youth Protection", which includes always having two adults present, not just one, when there are any youth present and forbidding an adult to have contact of any kind alone with a youth. Even just sitting and talking to them requires another adult around.

I will believe the Pope is serious about doing something about this when he catches a plane to, say, Chicago, sets up an office, and starts calling every bishop in one by one and tells them to bring all their personnel records with them. He needs to fire a great many bishops and priests and turn over any evidence to the police. Yes, that will cause the Church to lose a great many priests and bishops. But it will enable the Body of Christ to trust what's left, and might even make becoming a priest a little more attractive to the right kind of person.

Willow Creek, a megachurch in the Chicago area, had a problem like this with their chief pastor. Their solution was to force him to resign, force other senior pastors to resign; and then, recognizing their own failings, its entire governing board then resigned. A new leadership team is starting up and is putting the pieces back together. As a result, there has been major disruption but the congregation has some trust that the problem has been recognized and that responsible people have done and are going to do something about it.

E Hines said...

He [the Pope] needs to fire a great many bishops and priests and turn over any evidence to the police. Yes, that will cause the Church to lose a great many priests and bishops.

Considering what would be lost, I would count that as no loss at all.

Eric Hines

Ymarsakar said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TgXzA0USjA&feature=youtu.be

The Church of Rome has to fall, because some people correlate it to Revelations concerning that organization that has killed off all the prophets and disciples of a god.

The Vatican has gotten a lot tamer over time. It used to be that they would keep persecutions of the saints secret.

Ymarsakar said...

The one thing I won't forget is how all these unauthorized and fake priests pretending to be Holy Fathers and intercessors for some divine entity they neither know nor communicate with, make the rest of us look bad in this role and duty.

Now only did the Church of Rome led by the Vatican (the average members are less influential than cogs in a machine) kill off all the lineage disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and the apostles, but the Vatican also replaced the leadership cadre with what they called priests, monsignors, bishops, and archbishops. Making a mockery and travesty of the priesthood. That was perhaps the point.

When Rome could not suppress the Nazarene cult, Constantine adopted it and used it for political benefit. When the Vatican could not re unify State Christianity or the nations, they decided to poison the well.

The real and true priests now have to go around undercover and never use that term to describe themselves. It's a pain but what else are human antics. The Divine Counsel keeps hitting the reset button with Fire and Water, but humans are as hard to wipe out as cockroaches. Amazing vitality from the creation.