I received from my friends over at Les Femmes, The Truth last week their e-letter.
At issue is the influence of homosexual priests in the Diocese of Arlington. (This was an issue that has been in the back of my mind as a possible blog posting or two -- only here in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.)
Although very long, I have reproduced most of it here. If you wish to read it the entire letter, please click on the link above, and go to that section.
It's been almost seven years since Fr. Haley was booted from the St. Mary's rectory in Fredericksburg and forced into a nomadic life on the road for giving Bishop Loverde unwanted evidence of rampant sexual immorality in several Church rectories. It's almost four and a half years since the tribunal, headed by Bishop Thomas Doran, met in Philadelphia to decide Fr. Haley's fate. There is something seriously wrong when a bishop can throw out a faithful priest on a trumped up charge and leave him in limbo for seven years. Justice delayed is justice denied. Such a delay is incomprehensible. (Unless, as one individual suggested, it ensures the statute of limitations will prevent any action in civil court.)
How many good priests have experienced the heavy hand of retaliation for exposing homosexual immorality? Some have resigned; few have shown the perseverance of Fr. Haley. A short list of persecuted priests who blew the whistle on the gay problem in the Church includes: Fr. Michael Madden, Fr. James Foster, Fr. John Nesbella, Fr. Seamus MacCormack, Fr. Phillip Saylor, and Fr. Andrew Dowgiert. These men got the lash from their bishops and are gone. Meanwhile, can anyone doubt there are still homosexual priests running parishes? (To be clear, I define the term homosexual as the Church does: "those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.")
A number of years ago a young Arlington priest (not named above) told my husband and me over dinner that his pastor's "boyfriend", (who spent beaucoup time at the rectory) "doesn't like me." I wasn't surprised; my young friend was very handsome, movie-star handsome in fact. I'm sure the pastor's "significant other" was as jealous as a teenage girl thinking about such eye-candy in the rectory. To make a long story short, my friend ended up at St. Luke's for depression; his pastor got a bigger parish with a school. The homosexual is still there; my friend, an exemplary priest, is long gone, one more casualty of the lavender brotherhood. Did the bishop (Keating) know? Yes, a friend and I met with him and Fr. Robert Rippy (chancellor at the time) in April of 1997 to discuss Father's troubling lifestyle which included spending most of the week away from the parish at his nearby condo, living beyond his means, and being in the constant company of his "special friend." The bishop asked for proof; I told him he could get it from the priests who had lived with him. The result? Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. My young friend left the priesthood. It was rumored that the day before he died, Bishop Keating who was in Rome for his ad limina visit, asked in a meeting what he should do about "his homosexual priest problem." Whatever he learned, the bishop never had the chance to implement it.
Who knows how many other homosexual priests are closeted in rectories entertaining their buddies with private porn collections and lavish dinner parties paid for from parish collections? The short answer: the priests who've live with them, priests, like Fr. Haley. But how many priests will say anything after witnessing what has happened to their brothers who present evidence to their bishops? Silence is safer even though it may endanger others both spiritually and physically. That's one reason the laity absolutely must speak up. We are less subject to retaliation from the bishops. I am finally speaking publicly about this situation in less veiled language because I know if anything ever happens to a child in that parish I will blame myself for keeping silent. I am not publicly exposing the priest. Rather, I wish to put the chancery on notice. Fr. Rippy knows who he is and he certainly should have briefed Bishop Loverde on the potential problem when the bishop arrived in the diocese. Additionally, unless they were deliberately destroyed, there are several letters on file at the chancery which I sent return receipt requested. If this priest ever injures a child or young adult, I will volunteer to testify for the prosecution that the chancery knew of his immoral homosexual lifestyle.
The bishops would like us to believe the homosexual problem in the Church is over. The news tells a different story. There may be fewer child molestations, but the cases of lewd conduct, embezzlement, etc. continue to appear. While soliciting sex in the park is less vile than raping children, such activities make a man unfit for the priesthood and he should be removed immediately when it happens. Bishops who knowingly assign homosexual priests to parishes are unfit to be guardians of the Church. Read Leon Podles book, Sacrilege. You may not be able to stomach the descriptions (sworn court testimony) of the sodomite rape of youngsters. I had to skip over some of the graphic parts. But what's also sickening is the sympathy of bishops, not for the ravaged children, but for the poor rapists whose priesthood was threatened by exposure. And so they allowed them to rape, and rape, and rape again. A little outrage over such bishops escaping justice (think Cardinal Law) is definitely appropriate. The homosexual priest is a threat to our children or grandchildren even if he selects "age-appropriate" partners for his lust or just fantasizes with his porn collection. The bishop who knows about his predilection and allows him to continue in a parish is irresponsible and, ultimately, an enabler of his immorality.
One of the saddest parts of this cultural meltdown is the damage to the priesthood in general. Every priest who entertains a child with a magic trick or a silly song is now a suspect. Tousling a child's hair or saying, like Jesus, "Let the children come to me," raises a red flag. What a horrendous injustice to good men who have devoted their lives to Christ; and there are many. We must pray and fast, both for the removal of homosexuals from the priesthood and for the protection of good priests who are one false accusation away from destruction. We can never lose hope, but neither should we be complacent.
There are many Judases in the Church. No surprise. One out of twelve of Jesus' closest friends was a traitor who betrayed his Master with a kiss. Was that percentage prophetic? Will we be fortunate if the traitors number only one out of twelve in the U.S. Church? Remember, two thirds of the bishops engaged in the cover-up. Most of those men are still running dioceses driving out good priests like Fr. Haley who dare to speak up about the homosexual cliques in the Church. His continuous exile warns the faithful that the cover-up continues.
There's an old political saying, "If we can't have honest politicians, let's at least have nervous ones." It's a good slogan for the bishops as well. We know there are a lot of dishonest bishops in the U.S. Church. One day they will stand before Jesus and answer for their betrayal. Let us pray that reflecting on that reality makes them nervous. They should be.