Abuse by Priests
|By: Mike Gendron; ©2002|
|An unholy scandal of global proportions is cracking the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Reports of sexual perversion, child abuse, rapes, lies and cover-ups have reached epidemic proportions. But Mike Gendron says there is some good that is coming out of this tragedy!|
Abuse by Priests
An unholy scandal of global proportions is cracking the very foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Reports of sexual perversion, child abuse, rapes, lies and cover-ups have reached epidemic proportions. The years of clerical abuse, which have surfaced in the past few months, may only be the tip of the iceberg. Each week more and more reports of moral corruption within the “Holy” Catholic Church are coming to the surface. The authority, public trust and financial resources of the church are diminishing. Pope John Paul II said this “grave scandal” is casting “a dark shadow of suspicion” on all priests. Needless to say, many Catholics throughout the world are now questioning their faith. For those whose trust has been mistakenly placed in the priesthood, their confidence is now shattered. But there is some good that is coming out of this tragedy! As Catholics look for some light in the midst of this dark depravity, they are finding it in the One who will never forsake them, the Lord Jesus Christ. He came “as light into the world, that everyone who believes in [Him] shall not remain in darkness” (John 12:46)
Roman Catholic Bishops and Cardinals have made these horrible crimes even worse by covering up the sins and crimes of pedophile priests. In what has to be a shameless lack of concern for other potential victims, the Roman hierarchy has been reassigning its predator priests to other parishes to prey on other young boys. In some cases they paid the abused victims to keep quiet.
The gross immorality and deception within the clergy strikes at the very heart of the Catholic faith. Consider what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about their priests. They “are called by God… chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders…an ‘icon’ of Christ” (1142). “The priest…is truly made like the high Priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself’” (1548). They “are signed with a special character” and are configured “to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit…[to] serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church” (1563, 1581). “The priest continues the work of redemption on earth. If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die not of fright but of love” (1589).
It may be a difficult task for victims and their families to overcome the fear and fright of priests. It may be easier to convince them that their priests are ungodly, unbiblical and unworthy of the power, authority and trust given to them. The only earthy priesthood we see in the New Testament is the royal priesthood, made up of all who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9). Catholics would be wise to search the Scriptures in these times of great turmoil and deception. They will find that many traditions and teachings of their church do not come from God’s word and many, in fact, stand opposed to the Word of God.
One such Roman Catholic tradition is called a doctrine of demons—the forbidding of people to marry (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Many have declared that this doctrine is the primary cause for the sexual sins of the priesthood. Since Catholic priests are said to be successors of the apostles, they should have the right to marry (1 Cor. 9:5). Rome should disencumber their priests who cannot control their sexual appetite by obeying Paul’s exhortation: “let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:9). Rome should also look to God’s word for the qualifications of overseers. Explicitly, they should be married, heterosexual, family men with good reputations. “An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:2-7). Paul explains why these character qualifications are important: “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers… who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families” (Titus 1:10-11). As long as the Roman Catholic Church rejects the authority of God’s word and remains an authority unto itself, it will continue to bring shame to the name of Christ and tribulation to its people.
Ironically, it is Peter (the first pope, according to the Vatican) who warns us of these rebellious church leaders. He said they will “despise authority” and “introduce destructive heresies.” Peter identifies them as false prophets “who indulge in the flesh and its corrupt desires,” who “never cease from sin and who entice unstable souls.” What the world finds utterly amazing is the fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy. He foretold that “many will follow them” even though they continue to revel in their deception and malign the way of truth (2 Pet. 2:1-2; 10-14). Jesus said both the blind guides and the blind men they lead will both fall into the pit (Mat. 15:14).
Among those in whom the sin of homosexuality is manifested are religious people who did not honor God and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image. Paul writes: “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions…the men abandoned the natural function…and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper” (Rom. 1:21-28). In light of these Scriptures, it is no wonder the Roman Catholic Church has tolerated, condoned, encouraged and covered-up homosexuality within its priesthood. “Cursed be the one who does the Lord’s work negligently” (Jer. 48:10).
The only way to gain control over homosexual sin is through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit which comes from believing the Gospel (Rom 1:16). Jesus Christ came to set sinners free from the power of sin. The Roman Catholic gospel, which is no gospel at all, has no power over sin.
The Cause and Effect
Anyone who wonders how the Roman church could plunge to the depths of such an immoral subculture can read two books on the subject. Goodbye! Good Men is a frightening account of the corruption of Roman Catholic seminaries by Michael S. Rose He exposes the abuses that have driven honorable men out of the seminaries and given preferential treatment to homosexuals. Rose reports seminarians are now taught that the Bible is not to be taken seriously, that one religion is as good as the next, that the pope is not infallible, that the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is just an old pre-Vatican II myth, that Christ wasn’t divine, that God is a woman, that Mass is nothing more than a meal, that women should be ordained priests, that homosexuality is normal and that contraception is morally acceptable.
In his book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, the rector of St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland, Father Donald B. Cozzens, warned that the priesthood is becoming a gay profession, in part due to the disproportionate number of homosexually-oriented persons on seminary faculties. He said this has resulted in, “an intense and often threatening atmosphere” such that “certain seminaries have earned nicknames such as Notre Flame (for Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans) and Theological Closet (for Theological College at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.).” Heterosexual students are being persecuted by the gay subculture. Anyone who reports homosexual behavior by classmates or resists homosexual advances could get expelled. (Adapted from articles by Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com)
The victims of predators within the clergy need to be treated with compassion, sympathy and encouragement from the word of God. It makes no difference whether the abuse came from Catholic or Protestant clergy. The dreadfully painful experience can only be healed and purged by the Savior, but they must first trust Him and be converted (John 12:40). Too often victims will blame God for allowing the abuse to be perpetrated upon them. Consequentially, their faith is shattered and they run from any form of religion. All to often, however, their faith was not in God but in man and his religion.
The Bible warns us never to put our trust “in mortal men in whom there is no salvation” (Psalm 146:3). The Lord says: “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind…and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jer. 17:5). Victims of abuse should not run from God, but “take refuge in the Lord” (Psalm 118:8). The Lord redeems the soul of his servants; and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned (Psalm 34:22).