Archbishop Raymond Burke is saying what devout Catholics have been saying for some time now: namely that a spirit of rebellion entered seminaries in the 1960s. See here. This spirit of rebellion has produced a harvest of bitter fruit within the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts. As noted here, "Most of the Catholic priests accused of abusing youth in Worcester County over the past 53 years were not pedophiles, but priests who abused post-pubescent teenage boys." In other words, most of the abuse has been homosexual in nature. 45 priests have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors resulting in a financial cost to the Worcester Diocese of $2,280,833. Needless to say, the greater cost - the damage done to young people who are created in the Imago Dei, the Image and Likeness of God, is immeasurable. As is the loss of credibility for a diocese which seems to have lost its way.
The diocese lost an incredibly holy and gifted priest, Father Anthony Kazarnowicz, because he couldn't bear to remain in this local Church which has been crippled spiritually and emotionally by dissent and homosexual ideology.
And while homosexual men have been ordained to the priesthood, when I wrote the Bishop of Worcester and told him of my desire to discern a vocation to the priesthood, I received no response whatsoever. As I mentioned in a previous post, I wrote the following letter to Bishop Robert McManus:
December 5, 2009
The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester
49 Elm Street
Worcester, Ma 01609
Re: Rev. ..............................
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches quite clearly that, “Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young” (2353). No. 1852 of the Catechism, citing Galatians 5: 19-21, states, “The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: ‘Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.’”
It would appear that Fr. ....... ......., pastor of two parishes – ........................................... and ....................., does not accept this authoritative teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. This past week....I spoke with two individuals who approached Fr. ............. about living together and engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage. This couple was troubled about their living situation and sought moral guidance from Fr. ............. They explained..that Fr. ............. told them not to have any concerns since they are too old to have children. Additionally, they were told that if anybody should approach them to warn them about about the sinfulness [objectively speaking] of engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage, such people could “go to Hell.” These two seniors were told by Fr. ........... that such people are themselves sinning and should go to confession.
Needless to say, such an attitude [if indeed true, and I have no reason to doubt the truthfulness of the couple who spoke of these matters] is gravely disturbing and needs to be addressed immediately. According to Catholic faith, every sin can be forgiven during life because of God’s surpassing love (DS 349). However, the Scriptures speak of sins that cannot be forgiven in the sense that they constitute a terrible offense against the truth and the light, against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12: 31-32; 1 Jn 5:16). In speaking of sin this way, the Scriptures refer to a sin more radical than most mortal sins, for it is a sin whose nature blocks forgiveness. Since the time of Saint Augustine, theologians have provided us with a list of sins against the Holy Spirit, proceeding from initial impenitence through obduracy, presumption, despair, rejection of known truth, envy of the grace given to others, to final impenitence. Final impenitence leads to Hell, the eternal separation from God begun in this life through our free self-determining choices to turn from God and His law of love and to cling inordinately to some created good that, in effect, one puts in God’s place.
Any priest who convinces those entrusted to his care to rationalize sin is no lover of souls but is instead an enemy of souls. When a person is encouraged to rationalize what is known to be wicked in the sight of the Lord, that person opens a chasm between themselves and God which continues to grow wider and wider until they can no longer hear His call and discern the word of truth that He has spoken.
It is my hope that Your Excellency will address this situation with the seriousness it deserves. One can only wonder how many others have received similar advice and counseling from Fr. ........ How many of the faithful have been confused or led astray by Fr. ............?
It is nothing short of amazing that when I approached the Diocese about pursuing a vocation to the priesthood, I received absolutely no response whatsoever. This even though I embrace, promote and defend the Church’s authentic teaching as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican II and previous Church Councils and papal encyclicals and documents. One can easily understand why my good friend, Fr. Anthony Kazarnowicz, did not feel at home in this our troubled diocese. Perhaps he was never made pastor because of his fidelity to Church teaching? Perhaps this is why I cannot even volunteer – at any level – at my parish? Perhaps my orthodoxy is the reason I am treated with such contempt? Perhaps because I do accept the Church’s teaching on matters pertaining to human sexuality [and indeed everything Holy Mother Church teaches], I am deemed “too rigid” and therefore “unacceptable”?
Asking Your Excellency’s Blessing,
I am, Yours Respectfully
Paul A. Melanson
No, I am not welcome in this diocese. But this professor is.
What does this tell us about the Worcester Diocese?
Related reading here , here and here.