Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Marianne Screed Ward Doesn't Get It

(photo courtesy of Google Images)

Marianne Meed Ward doesn't get it. That is her claim and after reading her October 23rd screed Vatican on a Gay Hunt in the Toronto Sun, I agree with her.

  • She certainly doesn't get the Church's teaching on sexuality. Not surprisingly then, she rejects the Church's doctrine on homosexuality as being objectively disordered.
  • She doesn't get the Church?s discipline on celibacy for Latin rite priests.
  • She doesn't get it that it is not, "enforced celibacy [that] is hurting the church immensely" It is unenforced celibacy that is the problem. It is a failure by some clergy to be celibate and chaste.
  • She doesn't get the difference between the Protestant Christian belief in "sola scriptura," and the more venerable and ancient Catholic Christian belief in Scripture and Tradition as the source of doctrine.
  • She doesn't get her obvious contradiction between using scripture as a defence for ordaining women on the grounds it is not explicitly forbidden and then ignoring scripture when it is explicit in depicting homosexual acts as grave depravity.
  • She doesn't get the Catholic doctrine on the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Church on faith and morals).
  • She doesn't get the Church's concern about homosexual clerics preying on adolescent males. She thinks we have a pedophilia problem (we don't) and an Episcopal problem (bishops shuffling predatory priests from parish to parish "we did" and may still in some liberal dioceses).
  • She doesn't get that pedophilia is where an adult has an attraction to pre-pubescent children. That is not the problem in the Church. It has a homosexual predation problem.
  • She doesn't get it that over 85% of the Church's sexual abuse cases in North America involve priests and post-pubescent young men. That ain't pedophilia and it ain't done by heterosexual priests. It's sexual predation by a number of homosexual priests.
  • She doesn't get that it is "progressive" theology that causes church decline, not orthodoxy.
  • She doesn't get doctrinal orthodoxy, period.
  • She doesn't get it that there is only a priest shortage in Western countries that adopt liberal views on doctrine. The rest of the Church is doing fine in that regard.
  • She doesn't get it that the "progressive" views she shares with so many are leading to a demographic catastrophe for the West. Thanks to the lies spread by the adherents to the cult of death, we aren't replicating.
  • Marianne Screed Ward probably doesn't care. If the truth be known, she doesn't really appear to get it that she doesn't get it.


At 11:33 am, October 27, 2005 , Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

Bet she doesn't know concupisence means either.

At 3:42 pm, October 30, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Pariah said...

She doesn't get it that over 85% of the Church's sexual abuse cases in North America involve priests and post-pubescent young men.

Where does this figure come from? I've cited it myself*, but now I see the John Jay report says only 67% of all victims were over 12 (a reasonable proxy for "post-pubescent" - if anything on the young side), and only 81% male.**

If the male/female split was equal for all age groups (a big if), that means only 55% of victions were males over 12 - a far cry from 85%.

I agree that surge in sex abuse during the late 1960s and 1970s is tied to the demoralization of the Church post-Vatican II and the rise a homosexual subculture among priests, but I think there's more to it than just gay priests = sex abuse. I also agree that large swaths of the media have gone on an anti-Catholic crusade on this issue. But if you're going to defend the Church on this, you've got to get data right. (So do I. If you know of reliable figures beyond John Jay, point me to them.)

*Comments 3 and 6 at


At 4:32 pm, October 30, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...

From Catholic Answers:
A 1992 study conducted in the Archdiocese of Chicago is the largest such study done to date. It examined the personnel files of all priests serving in the diocese. It found that out of the 2,252 priests who had served from 1951 to 1991, allegations of sexual abuse had been made against 59 of them, or 2.6 percent.

The study adopted a policy of favoring the accuser in cases of doubt, accepting hearsay testimony (which would not be allowed in court), and adopting a "preponderance of evidence" standard (as opposed to the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in criminal trials). With this methodology, it concluded that 18 of the allegations of sexual abuse did not stand up, leaving 41 probable offenders, or 1.8 percent of the priests who had served in Chicago in four decades. Again, "the overwhelming number of cases . . . involved homosexual ephebophilia-in other words, priests sexually attracted to young teenage boys. . . . There was only one founded case of pedophilia, involving a priest-uncle with two six-year-old nieces" (Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis [1996], p. 81).

I'll try and source other studies for you, as time permits.

At 10:17 am, October 31, 2005 , Blogger Intellectual Pariah said...

Thanks, John.

I think the 2003 John Jay report to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supercedes the 1992 Chicago study you refer to. It really was a massive effort, surveying all 202 dioceses, plus 221 other Catholic institutions. It's well worth reading:

The John Jay abuse figures were markedly higher than early estimates: 4% (4692) of US priests and deacons (active post-1950) were implicated in some 10,500 allegations. Of the 8956 alleged victims whose ages were recorded, 78 (0.8%) were under 5, 1191 (13.4%) were between 5 and 9, and 2970 (33.1%) were between 10 and 12. So the general trend is the same as in the Chicago study (homosexual abuse of teen boys is the biggest category), but the emphasis is different. It's the majority category, but not the overwhelming large one it appeared to be.

Still, imagine a 1940s seminary, where Frank and Bill are politely asked to leave because of their "unhealthy friendship". Now fast-forward to the 1970s, where Phil and Steve are tolerated even though it's clear they spend 4 nights a week in each other's beds. There's more going on here than just letting more gays into the priesthood. There's a confusion about standards, an inability to enforce standards, a habit of not looking too closely at messy situations.

What kind of formation are priests going to get in a seminary like that? How well will it weed out the weak or vice-prone ones? What kind of future bishops will it turn out? Ones that are alert to the signs of vice and resolutely stamp it out?

From this perspective, the rise of gays in the Church is as much a symptom as a cause of abuse. Both arise from a general collapse of self-confidence.

On the other hand, gays are cause in themselves. First, it seems that gay priests are more likely to offend than non-gay priests. And the John Jay report refutes the assumption that this is due to "availability" - sexually frustrated priests going after alter boys 'cos they can't get to women.

But second, once you get lots of gays in the diocesan administration, I expect the diocese's ability to look hard at issues of personal conduct weakens.

Gotta go, I'll try to finish this last thought later.


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