The scandal is not just in the past


With the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on abuses in the Church, I have seen several people comment that most of the cases of abuse occurred decades ago and that things have changed now.

I think it’s important to remember that many of the allegations related to the McCarrick scandal and the problems in seminaries are not all decades old, but many are quite recent. This article says that many of the problems still continue:

…“You had the men who were there because they had a deep love of the Lord and a vocation to serve his Church,” he said, adding that those men were the majority of seminarians.

But there was a subculture, with its own group of men, that was openly homosexual and petty and vindictive with everyone else,” he explained.

The same priest said that before he entered the seminary he was warned he would “see things that weren’t right.” He said he was counseled by an older priest to “just remember who you are and why you are there.”

Several Newark priests told CNA that the same atmosphere existed under Archbishop John Myers, who led the archdiocese from 2001-2016.

One priest who studied during that period recalled being told, as a newly arrived seminarian, to lock his bedroom door at night to avoid “visitors.

“I thought they were kidding — they really weren’t,” he said.

Another priest told CNA that, as a senior seminarian and transitional deacon, young seminarians would come to him in tears.

“They were just so scandalized by what they saw, these upperclassmen flagrantly carrying on with each other in gay relationships.”

A third priest says that these seminarians were frequently visited by other priests of the diocese, some of whom he later saw at the rectory cocktail parties.

“There was definitely a group of, well I guess we’re calling them ‘uncles’ now. They would come by to visit with the effeminate crowd, bring them stuff and take them out,” he said.

One priest told CNA that, in his judgment, many of Newark’s priests felt resigned to that culture, even after Archbishop McCarrick left, elevated to archbishop of Washington, D.C.

“It is so horrible, so repulsive, no one wants to look straight at it,” one priest said. “You don’t want to see it and at the same time you can’t miss it.”

Another told CNA that among diocesan authorities, “There is a huge culture of toleration.

It is generational at this point. In seminary you’re told to mind your own business, keep your head down and not start trouble — they are over there doing whatever and you leave them to it. And then you’re ordained and it is the same story — you don’t win prizes for picking fights.”…

There is an ongoing existence of a culture of secrecy that will continue to plague our Church until serious efforts are taken to root out this evil.


Yes. lllustrates that this is not at heart a sexual matter, it’s an abuse of power by sexual means.
Temporal power has corrupted what should be offices of service. These things are no accident. They are the fruit of a clerical culture that exalts the world instead of the cross. And ironically, through all of this, what we will receive from God is exactly, The Cross.

There is no avoiding The Cross. Trying to avoid it gets us what we have.


Exactly. The Cross is God’s answer to everything. The sooner we realize that and embrace it, the sooner we will find healing.

The motto of the Carthusians is Stat crux dum volvitur orbis, Latin for The Cross is steady while the world is turning.

We must cling to the Cross, for it is the only thing in this world that is solid.


True that it is not new. Even back in high school i know there os some stigma against priests being pedophiles, etc.

The sex abuse peoblem goes way back, and continues to this way especially with cover ups and enabling. Fact is, majority of the vixtims have been male, although all types of victims are there, male or female, child or adult.


This could be a problem that goes back for many many centuries and has been a part of a subculture within the church and will be hard to eradicate is what I fear. I don’t believe it suddenly started happening 70 years ago.


We must pray for those who are in positions with temptations to power.
We must pray ourselves, that we do not succumb to the world’s temptations.
If I were in the diocesan mansion, would I behave better? I can hope, but I am a sinner.

The changes I want to see begin with me.


Hahaha all fire and brimstone about homosexuals and then this.


Haa Haa Haaa? Really.?.Stunning that you would find this in any way humorous :pensive:


I read this and wonder, why would anyone want to become Catholic? Seriously, why would anyone think of becoming Catholic with this sort of filth. And that is what the Cardinal Ratzinger called it during the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, 2005. FILTH.

Evangelization and the New Evangelization is made so difficult by this


Not about sex it’s about abuse of power. Homosexuality is simply a majority of the flavor of it.


I have such a hard time believing all of this…

I mean it could be true but it just feels so… wrong.

A part of me hopes it’s not true.


The articles in the secular media highlight cases that occurred decades ago, and the articles are written to make it appear the church is still not addressing the problem. Not much about the early 2000 church reforms that restrict adults being alone with children and require abuse to be reported to police promptly. The church is handling this problem much better in 2018 than it was in 1968.

As for the recent case you cited, we will never have perfection this side of heaven. Neither in the Catholic church or other institutions. But if you look at it as percentages or numbers, I think the church has made good progress in the last 15 years.

This isn’t to say that any case of abuse should be tolerated. One case is terrible and the church should always strive for complete elimination of this terrible crime. If more can be done it should. But I see an anti-church agenda in the way the secular media has sensationalized this issue.


I see an anti-church agenda in the way that the bishops have failed to shine light on this issue.


The secular media is doing the job it is paid to do.
The bishops who looked the other way failed to do the job they were being paid to do.
That’s the difference.


Exactly! AMEN to that!


The secular media should cover the issue fairly, not in a manner to try to maximize the damage to the church’s image.

By sensationalizing the story and by not mentioning the reform efforts the church has made in the last 15 years, and making it appear that nothing has been done, the secular media is not fully informing the public, and is not doing their job.

The abuse cases today in the church are a likely a small fraction of what they were before the reforms of the early 2000’s. We must continue to strive to eliminate all cases, but the church deserve credit for the progress that has been made.


Maximizing the damage to the church’s image is a pretty good summary of what those bishops did when they chose to cover up the crimes of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

Except it wasn’t only the Church’s “image” that they damaged. It was the Church Herself.


As I said. I’ve witnessed this first hand.

When our priest was accused the media blasted it front page with big bold letters basically calling him guilty.

When the court found him innocent it was a tiny blurb on page 9 with insinuations that the judge was wrong.

The secular media absolutely has an agenda and an axe to grind. They aren’t just ‘doing their job’, they’re deliberately on a witch hunt.


I think it’s the other way around - the homosexual priests used their position to pursue their vice.


Exactly. The secular media is not covering this in a fair and honest manner. They want to damage the church and they wanted to do that long before the latest news broke.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit