The Clergy Scandals Continue...

January 09, 2024 00:41:38
The Clergy Scandals Continue...
Crisis Point
The Clergy Scandals Continue...

Jan 09 2024 | 00:41:38

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

The Church is awash in clergy scandals, from the troubling writings of a head of a major Vatican dicastery to the depraved activities of well-known priests. What is a Catholic to do in the face of such corruption?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:19] The church is awash in clergy scandals these days. What is the Catholic to do about it? That's what we're going to talk about today on Crisis point. Hello, I'm Eric Samit, your host, and Aaron chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, we encourage people to smash that like button and to subscribe to the channel. We appreciate all the people who have already done so. We passed about 10,000 YouTube subscriptions recently. We have a lot listening to the audio podcast as well. It's harder to say exactly how many subscribe to audio podcasts because it's all different platforms and it just says how many are downloaded. We appreciate all you audio only people. I'm an audio guy when it comes to podcast consumption, so I appreciate all the audio files out there. Also, you can follow us on social media at Crisis Mag. That's at Crisis mag at X and Facebook and whatever else. [00:01:08] Finally, you can subscribe to our newsletter, get our crisis articles sent to your inbox every morning. Just go to crisismagazine.com and sign up for the email newsletter there. Okay, before we get started, I just want to issue kind of a content warning. I'm not going to be getting into really little details or anything like that about these scandals, but it is a subject matter that is for mature audiences only. So if you're listening this podcast with little ears around you, I would suggest that you turn it off, listen to it some other time, or just don't even listen to it if that's what you want to do. If you can't get away from little ears, as I know many mothers are unable to do so. [00:01:50] So I want to talk about the scandals that are going on among the clergy in the church today. [00:01:56] Okay, so I've been Catholic for about 30 years now, over 30 years now. [00:02:02] And there really is kind of a delineation between the first ten years I was Catholic and the last 20 years I've been Catholic as far as lay attitudes towards the clergy. Now, the 1990s wasn't a time like the 1950s of massive clericalism, where priests were looked upon almost as many gods, and you never would question anything they ever said or did. It wasn't like that. Yet at the same time, in the 1990s, I would argue that, at least in my experience, lay people assumed that their priest and the priests they'd heard about online, I guess not online even at the beginning, but in the news, wherever, were good guys, that they were essentially sincere good guys? Yes, there were definitely heretical bishops and problematic priests and stuff like that. And we knew of them. But in general, we assumed, most faithful Catholics assume that the priest you heard speaking at the local conference or the priest at your parish or whatever was a decent guy doing his best trying to be faithful to God and didn't really have any major skeletons in his closet. [00:03:12] Yeah, a lot of them were unimpressive. I mean, let's be honest, a lot of priests are unimpressive as people. I mean, I want to make it clear. I know some very impressive priests. Some of the most impressive people I know, men I know are priests. But that being said, some were unimpressive. [00:03:29] But generally, like I said, we thought they were mostly good guys. That all went away after the abuse crisis in 2002. It really did go away in the sense that you obviously, we realized, okay, there's a lot of priests doing some really bad things, and there's a lot of bishops covering up for those really bad things. And some of those bishops were themselves doing those really bad things. And so this idea, though, that priests were up on a pedestal really went away and they were knocked down from the pedestal. And I think that's a bad thing mostly, but it's also a good thing in some ways. It's obviously a bad thing in that all priests are called to be in Persona Christi in an ideal world, which we don't live in. All priests would strive to live like Christ and would be good examples of Christ like behavior in their lives. [00:04:27] It's also a good thing in the sense that there has been clericalism in the church in the past, and that's not a good thing where all of a sudden priests are looked to be as experts on everything that bishops are, who we go to on every issue, on economics or politics or whatever, when they might not have a clue of any of those things. And by knocking down the clergy through these scandals, that I think it just naturally leads people not to listen to them as much. So, like I said, I'm not saying it's a good thing overall, but I guess some good things have come out of it, but mostly bad, in my opinion. [00:05:03] What we hoped, I know, at least I hoped, I know a lot of people hoped this when the clergy scandals broke, the abuse crisis broke in 2002. [00:05:11] I think most of us saw this as a temporary phenomenon that, okay, in the next five years, let's say we're going to purge the ranks of all the bad apples. We're going to make it so that the perverts and the homosexuals and the abusers and all them will be shown the door that, of course, did not happen. [00:05:39] That, of course, did not happen. And in fact, if anything, we've seen a resurgence of these scandals over the past few years. [00:05:49] Obviously, the McCarrick scandal in 2018, almost five and a half years ago, I guess now that was a major part. And we just see it over and over again coming out of the Vatican, which I've talked about before. And the most recent example has to do with the head of the DDF, Cardinal Fernandez, the man who keeps giving us scandal after scandal, who is just. [00:06:17] You are not going to be surprised by anything coming from him anymore. So what happened was a book came out, a book that was published by him in 1998. It was revealed about this book. People didn't know about it. It was hidden, kind of. Hidden, kind of not. Anyway, it came out. It's awful. It is pornographic. It's a grooming manual, basically. I am not going to talk about it here. The details. If you have read it and you think it's not a big deal, you are a pervert. Period, end of story. If you read this, just parts of it, and I read parts of it, and you think this is like a nothing burger, or you think it's not that big a deal? Like I said, you really need to not just go to confession. You need to get counseling. You need to get counseling because something is deranged with you. Because here's the thing. [00:07:12] Cardinal Fernandez is a pervert. I mean, that's the only. [00:07:16] Period, end of story. Nobody who writes these things is not a pervert. Now, whether or not he's acted out on these thoughts of his and his beliefs of his, we have no evidence of that. [00:07:32] I will say that most people who write about this stuff act out on it as well. Do I have any evidence that Fernandez has. No, of course not. I have nothing. I'm not saying I do, but I am saying what he's written is awful and shows a perverted and depraved mind. And there's just no other way to put it. And it's really sad that some people, I've noticed, are actually defending him, defending the book. And out of a sense of our team. He's part of our team, Team Francis. And because I have to defend every single thing that Pope Francis does, and he appointed Cardinal Fernandez, and he's endorsed him, and he's buddies with him, I have to now, therefore, endorse and support everything Cardinal Fernandez does. I mean, this is hyperpapalism taken to the next level. Not only now do you have to defend every single thing that Francis does. You now have to defend everybody in his inner circle as well. [00:08:28] Everything they've ever. [00:08:31] So what's happening is it's leading people to defend sin. I mean, it really is a tragedy that you see people who should know better now defending a pervert simply because of some distorted theology they have. [00:08:49] And a couple, I'm not going to go into detail about the book, like I said, but I did see a few. [00:08:58] One reason, by the way, I'm not going to get detail, first of all, is because I don't want to talk about it. And I think actually I probably get kicked off YouTube. Somebody mentioned that in the comments, probably get kicked off YouTube if I actually read it or something like that. [00:09:10] But there is a point, whereas a Catholic, when you look at this stuff, you don't make arguments against it, you just condemn it. There is certain things, it's like, get behind me, Satan. [00:09:29] You don't have to say, okay, I'm going to spend hours explaining exactly why this is wrong and why it's not catholic theology, blah, blah, blah. Because honestly, I just think anybody with any type of catholic sense knows it's wrong, knows it's perverted, it's depraved, and I don't think there's any purpose sometimes in long arguments against it. That being said, I did want to address. I'm still going to read what other people wrote. [00:10:00] I want to address two things I saw kind of defending this book. One was the idea that in catholic spiritual, mystical theology, you will see comparisons of spiritual experiences with erotic experiences. That's not something that is unheard of in the life of the church. And so some people say, well, it's just like that. I think a good thing against that I'm going to pull, because I find this on facebook. A friend of mine, Mark Nomenkowski, he's a musician, pretty well known musician. I think he did the music for Mass of the ages. [00:10:40] And he wrote. And so this is somebody who's an artist, musical, devout Catholic. He said the idea of a climactic moment in spiritual experience, even one that parallels the pure experience of the erotic, is nothing new. So many great pieces of music rely on this parallel to achieve their aesthetic and narrative aims. And I am certain many of us have experienced such intensity during consolation and prayer. Again, this is not uncommon, that you have this somewhat of a comparison. A parallel was the word he used, which I like. [00:11:10] Then he goes on, though. [00:11:13] But it takes to take this experience and reduce it to the carnal as opposed to taking what most perceive as merely the carnal. And instead, like St. John Paul II, elevating it to the realm of spiritual experience and, dare we still say it, responsibility. [00:11:28] But what does the pervert do? He takes the spiritual experience, takes the expression on Teresa's face. He's talking about a famous sculpture of St. Teresa of Avila in ecstasy. He takes that expression and carnalizes it. This is because they cannot countenance the numinous. It's not that the spiritual path of ecstasy is a path to orgasm. It is that orgasm experienced in the marital embrace is a metaphor or prefigurement of higher states of ecstasy. [00:11:55] He gets it backwards and probably can't help himself, it seems, with Tucco, that's Fernandez, it's all about lips and kisses and more. The man is spiritually immature. And so it is little wonder that he has caused such damage in the church. I think Mark really hits it on the head here, because what he's explaining is there is a connection here, but the pervert reverses it, completely reverses the relationship here, that instead the marital embrace is a metaphor for higher states of ecstasy. And of course, it's the marital embrace we're talking about. And this book includes non marital embraces. But anyway, so I think that's a great point. Mark made. Another comment I want to now pull up is from Pierre Kwaznevsky, who's been on the show, writes for us. [00:12:48] But he writes against the argument that this is just like theology of the body from J. P. Two. J. P. Two talked about sex. Nobody cared about that. Now they're all mad at Fernandez for talking about sex. [00:13:01] Dr. Kwazineski just completely obliterates this. I'm truly sick at heart to see people on all sides, liberals, conservatives, trads, daring to compare Fernandez's pseudo mystical sex grooming manual to John Paul II's theology of the body audiences or to his earlier work, love and responsibility. [00:13:19] I studied these books in the accurate translations by Michael Waldstein and Gregory Ignatik. They are works of serious theological and philosophical reflection informed by Aristotle, Aquinas, biblical exegesis, prior magisterial teaching, and the insights of phenomenology. He does not sexualize divine things or divine experiences, nor commit the fallacy of inverting the order of earthly and heavenly realities. For it is the former, the earthly, that participate in the latter the heavenly, not the latter, that participate in the former. Anyone who tries to equate J. P. Two and Fernandez, or even suggest that they are somehow working on the same kind of project, is guilty not only of self exposure as an intellectual ignoramus, but also of slandering Watiwa and giving Fernandes a get out of jail free card, which is the last thing we ought to be doing for the author of Amoris Letitia and Fiducia supplicants. [00:14:13] I think that's a great point that Peter makes there. Don't compare. You're just embarrassing yourself if you compare J. P. Two theology of the body with what Fernandez is doing, and you can even be critical of certain aspects of theology of the body. I think Kwaznesky is. You can be critical of certain aspects of it and recognize it's not the same thing. J. P. Two is not a pervert. J. P. Two is like Kwaznesky says he's basing it informed by Aristotle, Aquinas, biblical exegesis, prior magisterial teaching, and insights of phenomenology. That's not what Fernandez is doing. And so what we see here is that Fernandez should just be condemned. [00:14:59] And to be honest, if we're honest with ourselves, are we really surprised by this? Was anybody shocked, truly shocked, to find this out, that Fernandez has written a book like this? [00:15:14] Of course we weren't. [00:15:16] If you read Amoris Leticia, if you've read Vidusi's supplicants, you recognize the intellectual dishonesty of trying to justify perversion, justify sin, through basically, like this theological bait and switch, where basically what they're trying to do is they're trying to act like Aquinas would have agreed to the idea of communion for the divorce, remarried or same sex blessings or something like that. [00:15:55] He clearly has a depraved mind, and I don't think we should hold back on this and try to be polite about it because he's the head of the DDF or he's a cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is a depraved pervert, period. End of story. [00:16:10] And it's scandalous for all Catholics to have such a man in such a high position in the church. He's one of the most powerful men in the church, and we know for a fact he's a depraved pervert. It's awful. [00:16:23] Will, of course, this lead to his alster? I think most of us guess. No, there is a possibility. I mean, McCarrick, there was enough there of actual actions he took that eventually Francis had to get rid of them. I don't think that's going to happen with Fernandez unless we find out there's actually actions he's taking to act out on his depraved perversion. [00:16:47] So that's basically, though, and also we've seen that Francis, he wants to surround himself with a lot of these depraved perverts because I think it helps his power base. He knows he's got something over them. He can completely control them and they'll do whatever he wants. [00:17:02] Okay, so that's Fernandez. But we're not just talking about Fernandez here. Now here I'm going to take a pivot that nobody else is going to take, and it will likely tick everybody off who's watching this. [00:17:14] And that is, I want to talk about another scandalous activity of a hierarch of the church. That happened recently. It was reported recently. I think it happened recently. And that's about Archbishop Vigano. Now, to be clear, I'm not comparing him to Fernandez. There's no indication whatsoever that he's a pervert, depraved, anything like that. In fact, he called for the swiss guard to arrest Fernandez. And amen to that. I agree completely with that. I think he definitely should. They definitely should. However, it was reported, and I will say this has not been confirmed by multiple sources, but it was reported that Vegano was conditionally consecrated as a bishop by Bishop Williamson. Bishop Williamson is. Was a society of St. Pius X bishop who eventually was kicked out of the society for various reasons. He denied the Holocaust, anti semitic, some other things like that, and he's considered a bishop of the resistance. Now, the reason I think this is scandalous in a completely different way than Fernandez, again, but I still think it's very scandalous, is that if you've conditionally consecrated as a bishop, and by the way, I have heard from various sources, but not enough to name names or anything like that, that various priests who were ordained in the Novus Ordo have gotten conditionally ordained in the traditional latin rite. And so this sounds like what vegano did was he was conditionally consecrated. I don't know how old vegano is. Like, I'm not quite sure if he was ordained in the traditional rite or not. So if he wasn't, I assume he would have got conditionally ordained as well. [00:18:57] But by doing this, that is calling into question the legitimacy, the validity of the new rights. Now, I understand that some people would say, yeah, we should question that, but I just want to make sure people understand the consequences of doing that. [00:19:16] If you are going to say the Novus Ordo rights are invalid, you've basically, in one fell swoop, wiped out the catholic church almost completely. But more importantly, you've really wiped out the promises that the church has always had from Christ that it would not defect. Because if the church basically has ordained, I don't want to use that word, but basically instituted invalid rights, then you can no longer claim that the catholic church is the church founded by Jesus Christ. [00:19:58] I mean, I know that the mental gymnastics people go through to say, well, actually it still exists in this very small resistance and it's just a mustard seed now. And things like, I think, you know, going there is quite a step and you really have to do some mental gymnastics to go there. So by vegano doing this, I think he really is calling into the legitimacy of the Catholic Church. Now, I think people who watch this, who listen to this podcast know I attend the traditional rites. I think they're superior in many ways and I wish they would become more common in the church. But that's not the same thing as denying the validity. I've never denied the validity of Nova Torto and I never will. The only way I ever would is if I left the catholic church, and that ain't happening. Please God. [00:20:48] So this is a very scandalous behavior on Vegano's part. And I think we cannot just act like these things that he does are not a big deal because he says other things we think are based and we think are awesome. Like, I think it's great, the idea of get the swiss guard to arrest Fernandez, we know it'll never happen, but that makes you sound based. It makes you popular on twitter. But ultimately, and I can support it, but ultimately, though, you undermine your authority and the authority of the church and the church itself, when you do things like you get conditionally consecrated by Bishop Williamson, I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. I mean, one of the reasons why I've never, I shouldn't say I've never, but over recent years, I haven't had a big issue with the society of St. Pius X is because they've never rejected the overall validity of the new right. Now, some of them, I'm sure, obviously do, and they have issues with it, but they've never said it's just ultimately just an invalid. Right? In every way. [00:21:58] Okay, so that's vegano. We talk about Fernandez. I want to briefly mention a couple other scandals because I've been in the news and I'm doing this for a reason. It might sound like, why are you just dwelling on this? I'll be honest. If you look back, look back at the articles that crisis publishes and my podcast, we do not focus on the failings of the clergy, in the sense of their moral failings or their personal failings. We try to focus most of the time on theological issues. So, for example, when Fiducius Sepulchans came out, we're focused on the theological problems with that. When Pope Francis says or does something, we're focused on the theological implications of that. That's what we focus on. When we talk about negative things, I don't really get into talking about the scandals of people as much, obviously, McCarrick, we had. [00:22:53] So. But I do think it's important. I'm bringing these up for a reason, because I want to put this in the context of how we respond to this. Another scandal that came out recently was his father, Alex Crowe. Now, you might not know who that is. He got a little bit of a following on the Internet. He was on Tim Gordon's show a few times. And this is not, I'm not like saying something against Tim Gordon for having on the show. There's no reason Tim Gordon could have thought there was something wrong with this guy. But basically, he was kind of like promoting himself as an exorcist as somebody who had. He was a young priest, not ordained that long, but he was talking about exorcism stuff. Popular, good looking guy. When all of a sudden he ran off with a girl, a young girl, a teenage girl who had basically just turned 18, just graduated from high school. They ran off to Italy together. Then they came back, they got married, and it was just announced he was layicized, thank God. Which means, just so people understand what layocized means, that means he cannot practice or present himself as a priest in any way, shape, or form, except for in an extreme danger of immediate death situation. He could hear somebody's confession in that situation, and you could baptize somebody, but anybody can baptize somebody in that because you never stop being a priest ontologically. But at the same time, laoches means you can't practice as a priest anymore. But this was clearly a case of grooming. Maybe he had read Fernandez's book. I mean, honestly, I think there's a live connection between Crow and Fernandez here, because if you read some of the stuff crow wrote, he was talking a lot. He kind of spiritualized his relationship with this girl and likely with other young girls. I wouldn't be surprised. He tried to make it like it was a spiritual experience, their relationship, when really, that's just grooming. If a catholic priest talks about intimate relationship with a young girl in spiritual terms, that's evil. That's from the devil. And now he's married to this girl. And this was scandalous. Fortunately, he didn't have a huge reach, but at the same time, he had enough of a reach and scandalous to those who did know him. And then another scandal I want to briefly mention is Father James Jackson. And Father James Jackson, most people probably know he was a prominent priest in the fraternity of St. Peter. He wrote an excellent book, which is still excellent, to be honest. Nothing superfluous, which talks about the latin mass. [00:25:19] It's an excellent book. [00:25:21] Just objectively. It is. [00:25:23] But unfortunately, he was found to be using child porn and convicted, and he pled guilty and admitted to what he had done. He also acknowledged that. [00:25:35] He acknowledged that what he'd done was wrong. And he said he had been abused as a child. I don't think as an excuse, but just to kind of talk, to explain it. Now, I think people might know I wrote an article when this news first came out that he was arrested, that it's possible that this information was planted on his computer. [00:25:53] I don't regret anything I wrote. You go back, find my article on Father Jackson, and I support every single thing I said there, because I also said in there, if he's guilty, throw the book at him and definitely arrest him. Throw him in jail for the rest of his life. [00:26:09] And that's still what I think. But this was very scandalous because in Father Jackson's case, he was well known by a lot of people, prominent, like I said, and nobody, and to this day, still nobody had any clue, any hints of what he was doing behind closed doors. Nobody's come forward and said that he abused her or him or anything like that. [00:26:33] By the way, this is not to justify, it's terrible and awful what he did, but it's just to say that this one came as a big shock. And I think it was a lesson to all of us that it's not impossible for any of us to fall now. Some of us will fall in different ways than others. I mean, child porn is a pretty serious thing that you have to have. I personally think somebody who is into child porn likely has some serious mental problems. It doesn't make it not a sin. I'm just saying that that's so depraved. [00:27:06] It doesn't surprise me at all that it wouldn't surprise me all if everybody who's into child porn was abused as a child. I mean, I don't know if it's 100% rate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's close to 100% if it's not 100. And so I think this is something, though. We should recognize that even somebody like Father James Jackson, who we all looked up to, can have demons in his closet. Satan's coming after all of us. He's doing a full court press on every single one of us. [00:27:36] That's why every one of us should pray and have humility and recognize that we all can fall, all can fall short of the glory of God. And so we need to really always be praying for ourselves and for those around us. Now, somebody brought up in the comments mental problems or possession. I think that's a legitimate point that the person brings up. I think somebody's in child porn. They probably are have mental problems. But I'd also say you can't rule out demonic possession, demonic obsession. None of that excuses the person. It's not like all of a sudden, magically, the person just got demonically possessed without opening themselves up to it in some way anyway, so what do we do about this? The fact that we live in an era that is awash in clergy scandals. Now, one thing I would say is, it's not like this is the first time this has happened. [00:28:34] St. Peter Lombard. I think it was, oh, if I got that wrong, somebody in the comments tell me. He wrote in the 11th century, I think it was about massive sodomy among the clergy. I mean, it was just going on among the clergy, and he was condemning it. So clearly, this is not new. This is not something that never happened before. And I do think not every era is awash in it like we are. I think we're on one of the bad eras, so to speak. [00:29:02] But I think also, then you have the case of the pornography, the 10th and 11th century, a terrible time. But then I think it would be wrong to be like, oh, all throughout time, tons of priests were depraved and perverted and doing terrible things. I think it's unfair to all the faithful catholic priests we've had over the centuries. [00:29:25] But I do think right now, we're in a time that's awash in it, and we have to recognize that they are. In a sense, these scandals are a symptom of the deeper problem. Remember, all our priests and bishops were members of the catholic church's laypeople first. [00:29:44] And we know what the status is of the average catholic parish, average catholic church, the average catholic family. Let's be honest how it's raised and the societal pressures and culture around us, the ability to be influenced by depraved minds. I mean, it's all around us. You turn on the tv, you go on the Internet, you just drive down the street. Depravity surrounds us. And so it should not surprise us or shock us that it influences laypeople, but also influence the clergy. And so I think we have to recognize that. [00:30:24] And so we've all been let down. I know I was let down when I heard about Father Jackson. There's been some other priests that I've admired that I was disappointed, I later become disappointed in. But what can we do? So as laypeople, here's what I would say. A few things I think we can do. First. One is, I know my first answer to these questions is always a cliche, so deal with it. We need to trust in Christ. [00:30:53] We need to trust in Christ, not in men. And I mean that sincerely, in the sense that Christ is the only perfect man. He is the only, of course, he's God, too. [00:31:05] And we have to understand that our faith is in Jesus Christ. Our faith is not in the church he founded. Now, I want to say that carefully, because the church is the body of Christ. And so on a mystical level, the church is something we can have faith in. We can have faith that the church will always exist. It will always provide the sacraments, the means of grace to get to heaven. We can't have absolute faith in that because that's dependent upon Jesus Christ. However, the human aspects of the church, that is something that we don't place our faith in. Absolutely. [00:31:44] We don't have faith in the human aspects of the Catholic Church. We have faith in those divine aspects of the Catholic Church. So our faith always is based in Jesus Christ. And to be honest, the scandals around us. God can use every evil for good, and the scandals around us can be used for good. God can use for good, because what they can hopefully do is they can focus our faith on Jesus Christ. Focus on Jesus Christ, his teachings on the sacraments, on scripture and the true teachings of the magisterium. Focus on those things. Focus on works of charity in the name of Christ, all those things. We focus on that, not on, oh, this bishop, his political views or his writings or something like that. [00:32:31] So we have to focus very much on Jesus Christ. Secondly, I think what we do is we always recognize that we will have Judas's among us. I honestly believe that Jesus Christ picked Judas as one of the twelve for our sanctification. [00:32:49] What do I mean by that? He knew, of course, being our lord, he knew Judas would fall. And he knew, although I'm sure he was very sad about that. Judas would not repent that. He would just betray Christ and do one of the worst acts in human history, probably the worst act in human history. [00:33:07] And this was one of his apostles, one of the first bishops, so to speak. And so I think that was to tell us, listen, guys, I don't think he would really call the church Milton guys, but anyway, he'd say, listen, guys, you're going to have Judas's among you always. From the time of Christ himself to the end times, you're going to have Judas's among us. Some eras will be only one in twelve, although I would also say, remember, eleven out of twelve actually denied Christ on some level because they ran. I mean, John ran initially, but then he was at the foot of the cross. So I'm not giving any bad thing to John. Got my icon here of John the evangelist. Don't expect me to say anything against my man John. [00:33:54] But the other apostles, they all ran. They did deny Christ on a certain level. And so when we see bishops and priests deny Christ by their actions, know that's always been with us, and that never invalidates the promises of the Catholic Church. So I think we need to recognize that, understand that we have Judas's among us. It's not something new. Today. Fernandez is a depraved pervert. But guess what? We've had depraved perverts as bishops and cardinals in the past. I mean, obviously we know of one former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick. [00:34:30] I also do think it's a call to action. I mean, I recently talked about on this podcast that we have to have this balance between being too passive and too active. We're not called to be activists, but at the same time, it is a call to action to us. I do think we should apply pressure to the Vatican, to church officials, that we do not find it acceptable that somebody like Cardinal Fernandez is in the highest position of power. We do not find it acceptable. I think we should push for change. One of the reasons McCarrick was kicked out is because there was pressure put by the laity and by priests, good priests, to get rid of him. [00:35:12] So absolutely do everything you can to make it clear we do not accept as okay that Cardinal Fernandez is the head of the DDF. He should be fired. He should be sent to a monastery, although probably be too good for him, but he should be sent away and never heard from again. I think that's something that we should do. I know the church is not a political organization, but there is a human element to it. That I do think there is good can come out of that. It also helps to let non Catholics and those who are wavering their faith understand that we don't find this acceptable. I mean, think about it. If a non Catholic assumed you thought it was okay to write the smut that Cardinal Fernandez was writing, that you would be like, oh, yeah, I'd have Cardinal Fernandez watch my kids or teach my kids at school or something like that. A non Catholic might think that if we don't stand up against him. So I think that's something we should do. And I also think it's legitimate to suggest that we call for the resignation of Pope Francis. [00:36:20] Dr. Regis Martin, professor at Franciscan University of Stunville, professor of theology, a very good man. I know him personally, and everybody who knows Dr. Martin knows this is a good man, a good, solid Catholic. He's also not like an Uber trad. He's not trad at all. He attends, you know, so he's not somebody who's like a reaction or anything like that. [00:36:45] He recently wrote for Crisis magazine an article where he suggested if the pope asked for his advice, he'd advise that the pope should resign. Now, I know there's some prudential reasons not to want to do that, because we just had the last pope resign. We don't want to get to point where the papal office is a revolving door of political office. That's just, people resign all the time, stuff like that. I get that. At the same time, I do think it's legitimate to say that if the pope was doing such a terrible job, there's nothing wrong with laypeople, priests, even bishops, saying, holy Father, you need to step down for the good of the church. You need to step down for the good of church. Somebody brought up in the comments somebody said, the bishop should depose Francis. He wouldn't be the first pope to be deposed. I think there is some debate on that second sentence. I wrote a whole article about this. I do know this, that popes have basically been pushed out the door, whether or not they voluntarily resigned when they realized how much pressure was against them or they were deposed, might be a semantic debate. But the point is, when there was a good holy roman empire, I mean, oto did this, where he basically said, you need to go, pope. And the pope went. [00:38:06] And I think that's legitimate. That is a response we can have in the wake of all this scandalous behavior, especially in the Vatican, is to say, holy Father, we think it's the best for the church that you resign. And also tell our know. Your Excellency, your eminences, please put pressure on Francis to resign. I know, humanly speaking, there's no way it's going to happen. But we do believe in God. We do believe God acts. So maybe it would happen. [00:38:34] Finally. The last thing I was going to say, and I'm going to say, and I'm going to wrap it up, is I think we need to support our good priests and bishops. A priest on Twitter, Father David Palmer, he's on this podcast before, he said, you just won't believe how demoralizing this is for priests, that a number of priests he knows are thinking about just calling it, just saying, I'm done. And I assume resigning, leaving the priesthood, whatever. [00:39:06] Think about that for a moment. [00:39:09] Those of us who aren't priests can't truly know what it's like to be a priest. But think about, this is not their job. This is their vocation. They're married to the church. In a true, mystical way, they are married to the church. And look at how the church is acting, the human elements of church. I mean, it just has to be demoralizing. [00:39:31] So please pray for your priest and bishops. Support the good priest and the good bishops. Let them know you're praying for them. Let them know how important they are that we need them so much. I will, though, say, don't lionize them. Somebody in the comments earlier mentioned Father Karapi. That was, for those of us old enough to remember, he was a superstar in the catholic world, and then he fell from grace through scandalous behavior. Last I heard is he was in a monastery doing penance. And so I pray that's true because that's exactly what he should be doing. And I think obviously, God can forgive him. And he might be doing. Here's the thing. Father Karapi might be doing more to help the church today than he ever has done in his life. If he is in a monastery doing penance, I mean, that's powerful. That's powerful. But don't lionize those that we love. I mean, somebody like a bishop Strickland, a bishop Schneider, people like that we can look up to, we can admire them, we can know they're doing great work. We support you, but let's not lionize them in a sense that we think that they cannot fall. That's why we need to pray for them knowing that they also could fall. That's why we pray for them. So let's pray and fast. Know that the good ones are demoralized. [00:40:50] Don't think that we can't fall into sin as well. Obviously, we all know we fall into sin. But even serious sin, always be on guard. The devil's always out there, lurking, looking for someone to devour. Okay, I'm hoping my next live podcast won't be quite so negative, I guess is the right word. Or just scandalous. I don't like talking about this stuff, but I do think it's necessary. Series. I think we need to have a response, a way to react to it. And so hopefully this has helped people in that, in doing that. So let's pray for each other. Let's pray for our priests, pray for our bishops, and pray for the pope. Okay, everybody, until next time. God love.

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