Skip to comments.EVIDENCE GROWS OF DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE TO VATICAN IN MAJOR AMERICAN SEMINARIES
Posted on 07/02/2002 8:59:38 AM PDT by NYer
A couple of weeks ago we ran an item about a new book, Goodbye, Good Men, which focuses on the crisis in Catholic seminaries. Since we are in the midst of a scandal, most of what we reviewed had to do with liberalism and sexual immorality in the seminaries.
But there is much more to it than that, and as this book makes clear, at a good number of seminaries there is outright and sometimes outspoken disobedience to the Vatican. In fact, according to some seminarians, loyalty to John Paul II has sometimes been seen as grounds to disqualify a seminarian.
If one wants to glimpse the possibility of a future schism, the seminaries are where the seeds have been so amply (and ably) planted. We realize this book is controversial. A number of recent reviewers have called parts of it into question, and at turns it may be less than comprehensive. We're not sure. Nor do we know about the author's work other than this book.
What we do know is that the central premise -- corruption in seminaries -- is something that has been painfully observed for many years and simply needed to be put between two hard covers. When it is, the crisis crystallizes.
Take the case of Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania. According to one former seminarian quoted in the book, Father John Trigilio, "they would come right out in the classroom and at the pulpit and deny dogmas of the Catholic faith or at least sow the seeds of doubt and dissent -- from the divine personhood of Christ to inerrancy of Scripture to the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium."
There were questions about the Virgin birth. There were questions on whether Jesus knew He was God.
Now, hear us well: we agree there are extremes. There are conservative extremists (who declare as heretics anyone who doesn't share precisely the same devotions) as well as the liberal extremists (as personified by those who are currently in control of too many seminaries). We acknowledge that there are extremes at both ends, and that both can be equally destructive. Some of those who call themselves "orthodox" are sometimes more interested in legalism than in Christ's central teachings of love and charity.
But enough is enough: According to Father Trigilio, there is a "new Bible theology" at seminaries teaching that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn't really write anything; that the idea of Mass "sacrifice" is an antiquated pagan idea; and that "all the miracles attributed to Jesus in the New Testament were fabrications."
No wonder our priests doubt the True Presence. No wonder they reject the Blessed Mother's apparitions! Moreover, it turns out that John Paul II was so concerned about what was going on in U.S. seminaries that in 1981 he instructed the bishops to investigate, but that investigation only touched the surface and many seminaries, it seems, were able to circumvent the investigators. When the Vatican team came to Mary Immaculate Seminary, for example, "things they never did, like benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, were all of a sudden done." But when the investigators left, says the book (by Michael S. Rose), the encyclicals went back on the remote shelves, rosaries were put back in drawers, and clerics were stashed away in chiffoniers.
If you had a photo of the Pope in your room, says the priest, "they kept a close eye on you." Liberal faculty members were "sick and tired" of John Paul II. Most of the time when a guy was expelled from the seminary, charged Father Trigilio, it was because he was "too Catholic."
A "diabolical element" had pervaded the seminaries, he told Rose. "There were nights when I couldn't even sleep because I was so scared. I could almost feel the presence of evil in that place. The way the priests had so much disdain for the Eucharist and for Mary, for example, was outright hostility."
To be objective: it is not just a conservative-liberal issue. The evil cuts on both sides.
Plenty of the priests accused of abuse were "conservative." I saw this last week in the church nearest my own home where a former associate pastor was removed from ministry
But it is the liberal mentality -- especially the proclivity for humanistic psychology -- that has been so tolerant as to form the soil of germination. It is the humanistic mindset that strips the divinity from Christ, that disclaims the virgin birth, that disbelieves in anything immaterial. It is the humanistic mindset that is "open" to sinful sex and that convinced bishops to give child abusers second and third chances. Last weekend, when they made the announcement at the local church, they brought in four "counselors" to advise the faithful, at the same time that it was explained that it was therapists who has allowed this priest to return to begin with!
Too much psychology. Too little prayer. Look: John Paul II is a giant who towers over guys like Freud and Jung. We need to realize this. Instead, we're busy buying into science's rejection of anything it can't see in a microscope (which means the supernatural).
And then there is the simple spirit of rebellion. This is a powerful spirit (see 1 Samuel 15:23) and it has caused too many American seminaries to become breeding grounds for schism.
Again, we don't know, in the end, how balanced Goodbye, Good Men will be, and we have our own concerns about too freely making allegations. Within the Church, one must be very, very careful with muckraking. The Church has enough enemies!
But when they're teaching future priests to disdain the Pope:
That has to stop right now, or right now we have to stop calling these seminaries Catholic.
I've read a great deal of pro and con about the Legionaries, and something bothers me tremendously about them - the allegations of sexual abuse. Do you think there is any credence to those allegations or is the group just being persecuted by the non-orthodox (can't think of a better word to use) members of the Catholic hierarchy?
I don't know what to believe anymore.
Sure you do. You believe the Creed, the Bible, the Catechism. You believe the Real Presence. You believe Christ built a Church and gave it the Keys of the Kingdom.
Its not that we don't know what to believe, its that we don't know who to trust.
I trust my wife, and mom and dad. I trust my spiritual director, an old faithful very holy Passionist priest. I trust a handful of others. Only a handful.
I trust the Pope when he speaks as Peter. I don't always trust his or anyone else's prudential judgement. The Holy Spirit doesn't guarantee that anyone will be Divinely protected from making boneheaded imprudent decisions. Not even the Pope.
Keep believing what you know to be Truth.
Keep Trusting He Who is worthy of Trust.
Pray for the rest, do your best, don't worry, then try to be at peace.
You guys better act quickly..or before you know it Robert Schuler will be at your local parish
I can not believe that Satan is just pulling all the stops..All churches are fighting the same battles..