Faithful Catholics: Settle for Nothing Less Than the Truth

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By Jennifer Hartline, a Senior Contributor, The Stream, August 30, 2018

Jennifer HartlineIt’s not melodrama to say these are truly historic times for the Catholic Church, particularly in America.

The present scandal, including the allegations that the Holy Father himself helped give cover to predator McCarrick, is an earthquake.

Count me among those who are praying that the rot and decay and wretched filth will come crashing down in ruins. We should not wish to quiet the shaking. We should welcome it.

Nothing Less than the Truth

For me, it’s simple. Nothing less than the truth will suffice. Whatever it is and wherever it leads, let’s have the whole truth.

We can do that without malice and without being driven by agendas. It is astonishing to me that some in Catholic media are screaming that pursuit of the truth is itself an “agenda.” (Equally telling is the crickets coming from the mainstream media in general.)

We have nothing to fear from the truth. Only the truth will set us free, even if it must first cause us pain. Wounds must be opened and cleaned out if there’s to be healing. Every doctor knows that.

The faithful must not settle for anything less than the truth, from the lowliest parish priest to the Holy Father and every man in between. The truth is not our enemy. The real enemy is the father of lies, and his tools are shadows and secrets and opaqueness.

Lives have been shattered, and souls quite possibly lost. Anyone at this point who is not willing to pursue the whole truth is part of the problem.

Prelates like Cardinal Cupich, who had the brazen audacity to say “the Pope has a bigger agenda” than going down this “rabbit hole” are part of the problem. He topped off his self-serving, smarmy rant by saying the Pope is being targeted by racist Catholics because he’s Latino. Cupich cannot resign fast enough. He needs to go.

If the bearers of the Light would rather cling to shadows and haziness, then it is more than just the smoke of Satan in the House of God.

On the other hand, it is heartening to read the statements released by several courageous bishops who are calling for a thorough investigation.

The statement from the USCCB was a good start. Cardinal DiNardo has officially asked the Holy Father to support the bishops’ desire for a lay commission to investigate both McCarrick and the other claims made by Archbishop Vigano in his bombshell “testimony.”

The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.

DiNardo is correct. We need conclusive answers backed up by evidence.

Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TXBishop Morlino of Madison, WIBishop Olmstead of Phoenix, AZBishop Paprocki of Springfield, ILArchbishop Vigneron of Detroit, MIArchbishop Coakley of Oklahoma City; and others have all publicly agreed that Vigano’s claims merit serious investigation. It is good to hear many of our shepherds affirming the primacy of the truth above all else.

If we do not get the answers we require, then we will be disabled and feeble Church going forward. If the bearers of the Light would rather cling to shadows and murk, then it is more than just the smoke of Satan alone in the House of God.

Clean the House

Along with a vigorous investigation, intense House-cleaning must begin. There must not be a Third Act to this diabolical scandal.

We can no longer abide by a shadowy, nepotistic homosexual mafia pulling the strings of the Church behind a protective wall. We cannot take for granted that corrupt prelates will suddenly decide to be morally upright.

Any priest complicit in sexual abuse, homosexual activity, or concealing abuse or homosexual activity must resign his office immediately.

Any priest who is not fully committed to chastity according to his vocation should be laicized without delay.

Any priest who somehow doesn’t understand that sexually violating a child or even an adult is not a “boundary violation” but a vile and shattering crime should be required to turn in his collar right now.

Any priest or prelate who is unconvinced of the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexual purity has no business being a priest.

Any priest who secretly (or publicly!) longs for the day when the Church will regard homosexual “sex” as morally licit must be removed from the priesthood, period.

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We, the faithful, have suffered the grave consequences of the clergy’s near-total rejection of Humane Vitae for the last 50 years, and enough is way past enough. We demand faithful priests who actually believe what the Church teaches. Any priest who doesn’t can go now. Just go away.

Prelates who are unwilling to stop the promotion of “LGBTQ” ideology in their dioceses are failing in their duties and should resign. Again, we demand faithful bishops who actually believe what the Church has always taught about the human person and human sexuality.

Hand-wringing, sadness, and paper crocodile tears won’t cut it anymore. Clean the House! Put the House back under the watchful guard of St. Michael at the end of every single Mass. Consecrate the American Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and make public, ongoing reparations for the offenses against the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Do it today. Start right now. Less talk. More action.


Jennifer Hartline is a Senior Contributor to The Stream. She is a proud Army wife and mother of four children. She writes passionately on the issues of Life, faith, family and culture, and has been published extensively at Catholic Online and at Catholic Stand. She is currently pursuing a degree in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She runs on dark chocolate and peppermint mochas.