Bishop Williamsons Letters Jun/July

For months now, the mass media in the United States have been hammering the Catholic Church for the grave misbehaviour of a certain number of her priests, over the last 30 to 40 years, towards young people in their congregations. Therefore much has been written and said on the problem, much more than I myself know or have read. However, some important truths which bear on the question I have seen mentioned little, or not at all. Let them surface here.

By way of preliminary, let us say where the blame does not essentially belong. It does not essentially belong with the media. This letter frequently calls the media “vile”, and their vileness shows up in this case in their using the word “pedophilia” rather than “homosexuality” to name the problem. The word “pedophilia” refers properly to the molestation and abuse of children, let us say under the age of 10, whereas according to numerous reports the overwhelming majority of the crimes of which the priests are being accused involve adolescent boys, over 10 years old, activity which would normally be called by the h— word.

But for years now the media in their vileness have been conducting a consistent and persistent campaign to legitimize in the popular mind the sin of h—, also called the sin against nature, one of the four sins crying to Heaven for vengeance. How then could the media have glorified h— activity for so long, and then turn around and condemn it in priests? Hence their pretence that the problem is pedophilia, because most people are — still — horrified by the molestation and abuse of small children, whereas they are being — in large part by the media — desensitized to the horror of that sin against nature, crying to Heaven.

The media can also be blamed for co-ordinating what is surely a world-wide campaign to exploit to the full this present weakness of the Church. Having been taken largely into the hands of Mother Church’s enemies, by the lack of vigilance or care on the part of Mother Church’s friends, the media are no friends of the Church, and so they are naturally using to the full this opportunity to pull the Church down. However, there is no smoke without fire, says the proverb. How could the media make smoke unless there was some fire within the Church? If there was no such widespread misbehaviour amongst churchmen, and known to the people, what could the worst of media do? Essentially, the churchmen committing or covering for the sins cannot blame the media.

Nor can they blame the people for being unreasonable, because in at least two respects popular reaction within the United States is seeming to be reasonable.

Firstly, while every Catholic priest should at all times and in all places, by the sublimity of his calling, behave like an angel, nevertheless he carries the treasure of his priesthood in that weak vessel of clay which is fallen human nature (II Cor. IV, 7), so that none of us who knows human weakness is entirely surprised to find even its worst outbreaks recurring within the priesthood, alas. Reasonably, the American people today are showing themselves less shocked by the lower clergy committing the sins than by the higher clergy covering for them, which is no longer a weakness (however grave) of the flesh.

And secondly, to the people’s credit, when they blame the higher clergy for covering for the sins of the lower, they do seem to some extent to be recognizing a prior right of the Church over the State to discipline men of the Church. The people seem to be saying less that priestly crimes are a matter for the State, than that the Church should keep order in her own house, which, as long as the Church does so, is ancient good sense.

Therefore neither media nor people are essentially to blame. We come back to the churchmen. And if, as said, men who are Catholic priests have in all times and places given proof of their human weakness, then what is special about today’s problem is its scale. The sin of h— amongst priests seems to be no longer scattershot but rather systemic. And, what angers so many people, it seems to have been systematically swept under the carpet by the higher clergy.

Alas, it is notorious that for tens of years now the Catholic Church has been infiltrated in the USA by h—s. Back in the 1980’s, Fr. Enrique Rueda published his book “The h— network” to document this fact with a mass of evidence. Today one learns that the mainstream seminaries are riddled with h— professors and h— seminarians. As one bishop recently commented, a first step in cleaning up the present mess would be to “de-lavenderise” the seminaries. Another bishop commented how apprehensive are normal (i.e. “straight”) young men of entering the U.S. seminaries today, for fear of being harassed by these perverts who are protected by the system!

But how can the system have reached this point? Here is where two systemic answers arise, neither of which is mentioned much today, if at all, and neither of which will be pleasing to today’s Catholic hierarchy. That is exactly why there is a systemic problem. The first of these answers concerns the Mass, the second, still more generally, concerns the Ten Commandments.

As for the Mass, Archbishop Lefebvre always used to say that he could not have operated any of his seminaries with the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM). Everything possible was done by Rome in the 1970’s and 1980’s to make him introduce the NOM into his seminaries, but he said that had he done so, he might as well have put the keys in the seminary doors, and walked away! He himself never put it this way, but as far as he was concerned, a Catholic seminary without the true (Tridentine) Mass is like an atomic reactor without the uranium. There was no way he could make real priests with a dummy Mass.

For, he always said, priest and sacrifice are intimately related. There can be no ritual sacrifice without priest, no priest without sacrifice. The sacrifice is at the heart of the priest, and if you take away his sacrifice, you tear out the heart of the priest. So if you dummify the Mass, which is of course the Catholic priest’s sacrifice, then you dumbify the priest. And if you dumbify the Catholic priest, then he is liable to turn in all kinds of dumb directions for substitute purposes and satisfactions, which will include h— activity. I think if Archbishop Lefebvre were alive today, he would say that, given that the Novus Ordo Mass has now been imposed on Catholic priests for 30-plus years, the astonishing thing is not how much h— activity there is amongst priests, but how little!

However, as in the whole of today’s crisis of the Church, while the problem of the Mass is the outstanding symptom, the malady is broader and deeper. What the NOM is essentially tending towards is to put man in the place of God, direct violation of the First Commandment, “I am the Lord thy God, and thou shall not have strange gods before me” (Exodus XX, 2,3). In fact the whole Newchurch’s essential drift and aim is the idolatrous putting of man in the place of God. Now what does St. Paul (word of God) say are the consequences of idolatry? See Romans I, 18-31. “Men who detain the truth of God in injustice (18)… changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man (23), wherefore [I underline] God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their bodies among themselves (24)”.

St. Paul goes on to repeat this cause and effect connection between breaking the First and the Sixth Commandments with specific reference to the sin against nature: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…. (24). For this cause [I underline] God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature (26). And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error (27)”. And in case we have still not understood that idolatry is at the heart of the problem, St. Paul says it a third time! – “And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge [I underline]God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient (28)”, and there follows a list of grave sins.

God forbid “Traditionalists” should throw stones at the weakness of mainstream priests, because we could be punished by His allowing us to fall into the same traps. But it is not Traditionalists who made two times two equal four. It is St. Paul, speaking for God, who puts his finger here on the systemic problem of the Newchurch. God uses this sin to highlight idolatry, and He seems now to be resorting to the secular authority to clean this sin out of His Church. Both moves are acts of mercy on His part. May He have mercy upon us all!

More positively, if I know a h—, and wish to get him (or her) out of it, let me do all I can to bring him back towards the true love and worship of the true God. It was when Augustine found the true God and began obeying the First Commandment, that he found the strength to obey the Sixth!