Madison bishop says homosexuality is at the root of ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Church
MADISON, Wis. — Bishop Robert Morlino released a letter responding to the ongoing sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church, stating homosexuality is at the root of the ongoing crisis.
“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” the letter stated. “The past weeks have brought a great deal of scandal, justified anger, and a call for answers and action by many faithful Catholics here in the U.S. and overseas, directed at the Church hierarchy regarding sexual sins by bishops, priests, and even cardinals. Still more anger is rightly directed at those who have been complicit in keeping some of these serious sins from coming to light.”
According to a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children over seven decades.
Morlino added most of the acts are homosexual in nature:
“But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further.”
While Morlino was not available for an on-camera interview this afternoon to elaborate, LGBTQ activists voiced their concerns on multiple Facebook forums. Emily Mills with Our Lives Magazine, who is also a member of the LGBTQ community, says homosexuality is not at the root of this problem.
“It has nothing to do with sexual identity other than they’re providing a place and a haven for people who are broken in some way and not getting the help they need. They’re given a playground to do whatever they want and then they cover it up,” Mills said.
He also equates pedophilia to homosexuality in his letter, stating,”There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more…The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest.”
Mills emphasized being homosexual has no merit and that sexual abuse is a crime no matter what gender the child is.
“The gender of the child has no bearing on what is happening. Any child that is being abused, that is a problem,” Mills said.
Morlino goes on in the letter to say the church needs more hatred:
“If you’ll permit me, what the Church needs now is more hatred! As I have said previously, St. Thomas Aquinas said that hatred of wickedness actually belongs to the virtue of charity. As the Book of Proverbs says “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness (Prov. 8:7).” It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin.”
At the end of the letter, he urges everyone to speak up if they have been abused.
“To our seminarians: If you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom), or if you directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me and to the seminary rector. I will address it swiftly and vigorously. I will not stand for this in my diocese or anywhere I send men for formation. I trust that the seminaries I choose, very discriminately, to help form our men will not ignore this type of scandalous behavior, and I will continue to verify that expectation.
To our priests: Most simply, live out the promises you made on your ordination day. You are called to serve Christ’s people, beginning with praying daily the Liturgy of the Hours. This is to keep you very close to God. In addition, you promised to obey and be loyal to your bishop. In obedience, strive to live out your priesthood as a holy priest, a hard working priest, and a pure and happy priest — as Christ Himself is calling you to do. And by extension, live a chaste and celibate life so that you can completely give your life to Christ, the Church, and the people whom he has called you to serve. God will give you the graces to do so. Ask Him for the help you need daily and throughout every day. And if you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom), or if you directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me. I will not stand for this in my diocese any more than in our seminaries.
To the faithful of the diocese: If you are the victim of abuse of any kind by a priest, bishop, cardinal, or any employee of the Church, bring it forward. It will be addressed quickly and justly. If you have directly witnessed sexual advances or any type of abuse, bring it forward as well. Such actions are sinful and scandalous and we cannot allow anyone to use their position or power to abuse another person. Again, in addition to injuring individuals, these actions injure the very Body of Christ, His Church.”
After reaching out for comment regarding the letter, we received the following statement:
“Presently, we are not giving interviews on this topic. We have been surprised at how far and quickly it has been spread. Various groups from different ends of both the civil and church political spectrum have cherry picked portions to fit their agenda, or claim the bishop is saying something he it not. For that reason, we are not fueling that fire of further division.”
Mills said if people are truly misinterpreting, she isn’t sure what the message is.
“What is he trying to say then? If you’re really trying to take responsibility for something and stand up to say this is wrong and let’s fix it, you need to really engage with what the real problems are and I don’t see that happening,” Mills said.
To read the full letter, click here.
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