Bp. Edward Rice backs article slamming gay infiltration of Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A southern Missouri bishop is signaling that homosexuality is at the root of the clerical sex abuse crisis.
On Tuesday, Bp. Edward Rice of the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau published a column on his diocesan website affirming that the McCarrick scandal is but one component of a vastly larger crisis, and that the crisis springs from homosexuality.
Titled “‘Dear Troubled Catholics’: Church needs spiritual renewal,” the reflection began with Bp. Rice’s direct observations. “I, along with all those who love the Church, am dismayed, disgusted, and numbed when I think of those who have been harmed by his behavior,” he said. “While I would rather not address the situation publicly, to not address it is to stick my head in the sand.”
Rice then introduced portions of an article by Dr. Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries, saying the piece “expresses my feelings and perhaps your feelings, too” [emphasis added]. The bishop’s phrasing was highly significant, as Martin repeatedly references homosexuality as a metastasizing cancer in the Church.
At the outset, Martin noted a bright spot amid the bishops’ mushrooming sex abuse scandal: “The climate of fear among many of our clergy — the fear of being punished or marginalized if they report sexual immorality among their fellow clergy or leaders — is starting to break.”
He also recounted a recent conversation with a fellow Catholic over the power of money: “T]he only way this is ever going to change,” they agreed, “is if we simply stop giving to the bishops’ national collections and to our own dioceses and parishes’ collections, unless they are led by bishops who are willing to call a spade a spade and govern accordingly.”
It seems many bishops are afraid to tackle the local ‘homosexual lobbies’ and choose to turn a blind eye.
Martin then launched a stinging rebuke of the homosexual infiltration of the Church.
“To this day, there are quite a number of ‘gay friendly’ parishes in even ‘good dioceses,’ where those afflicted with homosexual temptation are not encouraged to live chaste lives or offered effective correction, but instead are confirmed in their sexual activity,” he observed. “It seems many bishops are afraid to tackle the local ‘homosexual lobbies’ and choose to turn a blind eye.”
Dr. Ralph Martin, president of Renewal Ministries
Martin faulted the U.S. bishops’ 2002 Dallas Charter for its deficiencies, noting that “despite pleas to not ignore the fact that this is primarily a homosexual scandal, since most of the victims were adolescent boys rather than true children … the bishops decided not to tackle ‘the elephant in the room.'”
“Could it be because they knew some of their brother bishops/cardinals were implicated, and they didn’t want to face the mess of cleaning it up?” he asked. “Now this refusal to acknowledge the ‘homosexual lobby,’ as Pope Benedict termed it, is coming home to roost.”
Describing McCarrick’s crimes as only the “tip of the iceberg,” Martin outlined a host of scandals demonstrating the “devastating” effects of homosexual “immorality in high places” inside the Church:
In 2013, Scottish Cdl. Keith O’Brien stepped down over sexual harassment of seminarians and priests.
Since 2015, the Church in Chile has been wracked by a scandal involving Bp. Juan Barros of Osorno, who is accused of covering up sex crimes committed by his alleged lover, Fr. Fernando Karadima, one of Chile’s most notorious pedophiles; in May, Chile’s bishops were hauled to Rome en masse, where after meeting with Pope Francis, every one offered to resign.
Now, cardinals in Chile (one of whom is on the Pope’s Council of Cardinals that oversees reform) are under heavy suspicion for covering up homosexual abuse in their country. In fact, the whole bishops’ conference of Chile, acknowledging complicity in not taking seriously reports of a bishop’s cover-up of sexual abuse, recently gave their resignations to the Pope, and he has so far accepted several of them. The Pope himself at first stubbornly backed the appointment of this bishop and dismissed the victims’ pleas as “calumny” and “gossip.”
In February 2018, male prostitute Francesco Mangiacapra published a 1,200-page dossier containing the names and photos of 40 of his customers — all of them priests and seminarians paying for sodomy with parishioners’ money.
In March, Guam Abp. Anthony Apuron was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors (but not defrocked) by a canonical panel in Rome.
In April, the Vatican arrested Holy See diplomat Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella on child pornography charges (after using diplomatic immunity to shield him from prosecution in Canada).
In May, 40 Honduran seminarians published a letter asking Cdl. Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga — nicknamed the “Vice Pope” for his close relationship with Pope Francis — to clean up their Tegucigalpa seminary, overrun by a metastisizing homosexual network; weeks later, when the letter went public, Maradiaga slammed Catholic media for covering the story, but did not deny the presence of a flourishing gay subculture.
In June, Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, secretary to Cdl. Francesco Coccopalmerio, current head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and close adviser to the Pope, was busted while hosting a cocaine-fueled gay orgy in his Holy See apartment; the Vatican press office refused to comment on the scandal.
In July, Australian Abp. Philip Wilson resigned over sex abuse cover-up; earlier this month, he was handed a prison sentence by secular authorities.
Again in July, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the release of a grand jury report detailing the crimes of more than 300 predator priests in six of the state’s eight dioceses; the product of a two-year investigation, the nearly 900-page document is being described as “the worst report ever.”
Martin noted that in spite of scandal after scandal, “reform doesn’t seem to be happening.”
“And what are we to make of the fact that so many of those advising the Pope have questionable fidelity to the truth?” he asked.
Specifying his concerns, Martin continued:
How can we have confidence in Cardinal Maradiaga as the head of his Council of Cardinals when he is accused of financial impropriety (which he denies); he chose an active homosexual as his auxiliary bishop; and he allowed a homosexual network to grow up in his seminary, dismissing attempts to appeal to him to clean up the mess as unsubstantiated gossip?
“How can we have confidence in the Pope’s main theological advisor, a theologian from Argentina who is most known for his book, The Art of the Kiss,” he continued, “or the Pope’s main Italian theological advisor, who is known for his subtle dissent from the Church’s teaching in the area of sexuality and who tried to insert texts in the synods on the family that pushed the document in a permissive direction?”
And how can we have confidence in the recently appointed head of the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and the Family — an archbishop who commissioned a mural in his former cathedral in an Italian diocese from a homosexual artist who included homo-erotic themes in the mural, including a portrait of the archbishop in an ambiguous pose?
“It is necessary to pray that genuine reform, rooted in real repentance and an embrace of all the truths of the Faith, would come out of this awful situation and that the Church, more deeply purified and humbled, may shine forth with the radiance of the face of Christ,” Martin reminded his readers.
“But,” he warned, “it is going to be a long way from here to there.”
Looking ahead, Martin described the Church as embarking on “a radical purification under the chastising hand of God.”
“As Pope Benedict XVI wrote when he was a young priest,” he reflected, “the Church will have to become smaller and more purified before it can again be a light to the world.”
Homosexual infestation, hierarchical dereliction, radical purification, divine chastisement, Church retrenchment —Martin’s article is bursting with weighty themes.
That a U.S. bishop is endorsing the evangelist’s lament is giving faithful Catholics a measure of hope.