Abuse by Priests

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					                                 Abuse by Priests
                                        by Mike Gendron

   An unholy scandal of global proportions is cracking the very foundation of the Roman
Catholic Church. Reports of sexual perversion, child abuse, rapes, lies and cover-ups have
reached epidemic proportions. The years of clerical abuse, which have surfaced in the past
few months, may only be the tip of the iceberg. Each week more and more reports of moral
corruption within the “Holy” Catholic Church are coming to the surface. The authority, public
trust and financial resources of the church are diminishing. Pope John Paul II said this
“grave scandal” is casting “a dark shadow of suspicion” on all priests. Needless to say,
many Catholics throughout the world are now questioning their faith. For those whose trust
has been mistakenly placed in the priesthood, their confidence is now shattered. But there
is some good that is coming out of this tragedy! As Catholics look for some light in the
midst of this dark depravity, they are finding it in the One who will never forsake them, the
Lord Jesus Christ. He came “as light into the world, that everyone who believes in [Him]
shall not remain in darkness” (John 12:46)
   Roman Catholic Bishops and Cardinals have made these horrible crimes even worse by
covering up the sins and crimes of pedophile priests. In what has to be a shameless lack of
concern for other potential victims, the Roman hierarchy has been reassigning its predator
priests to other parishes to prey on other young boys. In some cases they paid the abused
victims to keep quiet.
   The gross immorality and deception within the clergy strikes at the very heart of the
Catholic faith. Consider what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about their
priests. They “are called by God... chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy
Orders...an ‘icon’ of Christ” (1142). “The priest...is truly made like the high Priest and pos-
sesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself’” (1548).
They “are signed with a special character” and are configured “to Christ by a special grace
of the Holy Spirit...[to] serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church” (1563, 1581). “The priest
continues the work of redemption on earth. If we really understood the priest on earth, we
would die not of fright but of love” (1589).
   It may be a difficult task for victims and their families to overcome the fear and fright of
priests. It may be easier to convince them that their priests are ungodly, unbiblical and
unworthy of the power, authority and trust given to them. The only earthy priesthood we
see in the New Testament is the royal priesthood, made up of all who believe the Gospel of
Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9). Catholics would be wise to search the Scriptures in these times
of great turmoil and deception. They will find that many traditions and teachings of their
church do not come from God’s word and many, in fact, stand opposed to the Word of God.
   One such Roman Catholic tradition is called a doctrine of demons—the forbidding of
people to marry (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Many have declared that this doctrine is the primary cause
for the sexual sins of the priesthood. Since Catholic priests are said to be successors of the
apostles, they should have the right to marry (1 Cor. 9:5). Rome should disencumber their
priests who cannot control their sexual appetite by obeying Paul’s exhortation: “let them
marry; for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:9). Rome should also look to God’s
word for the qualifications of overseers. Explicitly, they should be married, heterosexual,

family men with good reputations. “An overseer must be above reproach, the husband of
one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach. He must be one who
manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. And he
must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into
reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:2-7). Paul explains why these character
qualifications are important: “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceiv-
ers... who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families” (Titus 1:10-11). As
long as the Roman Catholic Church rejects the authority of God’s word and remains an
authority unto itself, it will continue to bring shame to the name of Christ and tribulation to
its people.
    Ironically, it is Peter (the first pope, according to the Vatican) who warns us of these
rebellious church leaders. He said they will “despise authority” and “introduce destructive
heresies.” Peter identifies them as false prophets “who indulge in the flesh and its corrupt
desires,” who “never cease from sin and who entice unstable souls.” What the world finds
utterly amazing is the fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy. He foretold that “many will follow
them” even though they continue to revel in their deception and malign the way of truth (2
Pet. 2:1-2; 10-14). Jesus said both the blind guides and the blind men they lead will both
fall into the pit (Mat. 15:14).
    Among those in whom the sin of homosexuality is manifested are religious people who
did not honor God and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image. Paul
writes: “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies
would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and
worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator...For this reason God gave them
over to degrading passions...the men abandoned the natural function...and burned in their
desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their
own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge
God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not
proper” (Rom. 1:21-28). In light of these Scriptures, it is no wonder the Roman Catholic
Church has tolerated, condoned, encouraged and covered-up homosexuality within its
priesthood. “Cursed be the one who does the Lord’s work negligently” (Jer. 48:10).
    The only way to gain control over homosexual sin is through the indwelling power of the
Holy Spirit which comes from believing the Gospel (Rom 1:16). Jesus Christ came to set
sinners free from the power of sin. The Roman Catholic gospel, which is no gospel at all,
has no power over sin.

The Cause and Effect
   Anyone who wonders how the Roman church could plunge to the depths of such an
immoral subculture can read two books on the subject. Goodbye! Good Men is a frighten-
ing account of the corruption of Roman Catholic seminaries by Michael S. Rose He ex-
poses the abuses that have driven honorable men out of the seminaries and given prefer-
ential treatment to homosexuals. Rose reports seminarians are now taught that the Bible is
not to be taken seriously, that one religion is as good as the next, that the pope is not
infallible, that the presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is just an old pre-Vatican II
myth, that Christ wasn’t divine, that God is a woman, that Mass is nothing more than a
meal, that women should be ordained priests, that homosexuality is normal and that contra-
ception is morally acceptable.

   In his book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood, the rector of St. Mary’s Seminary in
Cleveland, Father Donald B. Cozzens, warned that the priesthood is becoming a gay
profession, in part due to the disproportionate number of homosexually-oriented persons
on seminary faculties. He said this has resulted in, “an intense and often threatening atmo-
sphere” such that “certain seminaries have earned nicknames such as Notre Flame (for
Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans) and Theological Closet (for Theological College at
Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.).” Heterosexual students are being
persecuted by the gay subculture. Anyone who reports homosexual behavior by class-
mates or resists homosexual advances could get expelled. (Adapted from articles by Phil
Brennan, NewsMax.com)
   The victims of predators within the clergy need to be treated with compassion, sympathy
and encouragement from the word of God. It makes no difference whether the abuse came
from Catholic or Protestant clergy. The dreadfully painful experience can only be healed
and purged by the Savior, but they must first trust Him and be converted (John 12:40). Too
often victims will blame God for allowing the abuse to be perpetrated upon them. Conse-
quentially, their faith is shattered and they run from any form of religion. All to often, how-
ever, their faith was not in God but in man and his religion.
   The Bible warns us never to put our trust “in mortal men in whom there is no salvation”
(Psalm 146:3). The Lord says: “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind...and whose heart
turns away from the Lord” (Jer. 17:5). Victims of abuse should not run from God, but “take
refuge in the Lord” (Psalm 118:8). The Lord redeems the soul of his servants; and none of
those who take refuge in Him will be condemned (Psalm 34:22).