Friday, January 09, 2015

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke on the war against masculinity

In an article which may be found here, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke says,  "I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.

Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society.

The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.

All of those virtuous characteristics of the male sex are very important for a child to observe as they grow up and mature. The healthy relationship with the father helps the child to prepare to move from the intimate love of the mother, building a discipline so that the child can avoid excessive self‑love. This ensures that the child is able to identify himself or herself properly as a person in relationship with others; this is critical for both boys and girls.

A child’s relationship with their father is key to a child’s self‑identification, which takes places when we are growing up. We need that very close and affirming relationship with the mother, but at the same time, it is the relationship with the father, which is of its nature more distant but not less loving, which disciplines our lives. It teaches a child to lead a selfless life, ready to embrace whatever sacrifices are necessary to be true to God and to one another.

I recall in the mid-1970’s, young men telling me that they were, in a certain way, frightened by marriage because of the radicalizing and self-focused attitudes of women that were emerging at that time. These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women. These divisions between women and men have gotten worse since then.

Everyone understands that women have and can be abused by men. Men who abuse women are not true men, but false men who have violated their own manly character by being abusive to women.

The crisis between man and woman has been made much worse by a complete collapse of catechesis in the Church. Young men grew up without proper instruction with regard to their faith and to the knowledge of their vocation. Young men were not being taught that they are made in the image of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These young men were not taught to know all those virtues that are necessary in order to be a man and to fulfill the particular gifts of being male.

Making things worse, there was a very fluffy, superficial kind of catechetical approach to the question of human sexuality and the nature of the marital relationship.

At the same time, in society, there came an explosion of pornography, which is particularly corrosive for men because it terribly distorts the whole reality of human sexuality. It leads men and women to view their human sexuality apart from a relationship between a man and woman in marriage.

In truth, the gift of sexual attraction is directed toward marriage, and any kind of sexual union belongs properly only within marriage. But the whole world of pornography corrupts young people into believing that their sexual capacity is for their own entertainment and pleasure, and becomes a consuming lust, which is one of the seven capital sins.

The gift of human sexuality is turned into a means of self‑gratification often at the expense of another person, whether in heterosexual relations or in homosexual relations. A man who has not been formed with a proper identity as a man and as a father figure will ultimately become very unhappy. These poorly formed men become addicted to pornography, sexual promiscuity, alcohol, drugs, and the whole gamut of addictions..."

Now I've been saying this for years at this Blog.  The Cult of Softness has infected the clergy and Christianity is increasingly being effeminized.

Dr. Leon Podles, in his book entitled "The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity," notes that, "Many Catholic dioceses actively discourage vocations to the priesthood, in a transparent attempt to put pressure on Rome to allow the ordination of women, or at least of married men...Because Christianity is now seen as a part of the sphere of life proper to women rather than to men, it sometimes attracts men whose own masculinity is somewhat doubtful.  By this I do not mean homosexuals, although a certain type of homosexual is included.  Rather religion is seen as a safe field, a refuge from the challenges of life, and therefore attracts men who are fearful of making the break with the secure world of childhood dominated by women.  These are men who have problems following the path of masculine development..." (p. XIV).

Dr. Podles cites a study by Lewis M. Terman and Catherine Cox Miles, which included a Masculinity-Femininity test, writing, "Terman and Miles gathered data from three groups: Catholic seminarians, Protestant seminarians, and Protestant ministers.  As one might expect, men attracted to the religious life differed strikingly in their masculinity from the general male population: 'The Catholic student priests score at a point far less masculine than any other male group of their age; in their early twenties they are more feminine than the general male population at middle life.  The Protestant theological students in their middle tewnties are, however, more feminine than they and exceed in femininity the sixty-year-old man of equal education.  The adult ministerial group is barely more masculine than the Protestant theological students and less so than the student priests.  They exceed in femininity the college men of the seventh decade.'  Terman and Miles concluded that 'some dominant factors must be present in all three groups to make them, without regard to age, conspicuously and almost equally lacking in mental masculinity.'  Interestingly enough, the similarities between the Protestant and Catholic groups and the Catholic group's slightly higher scores ruled out celibacy as a major factor in a lack of masculinity..." (P. 9).

Effeminacy (and here we are not necessarily speaking of homosexuality), has become the forgotten vice in seminary formation.  This as many masculine men continue to be excluded from pursuing priestly vocations and masculinity itself is banished to the margins of the Church.

I should know.  I'm one of them.


Unknown said...


Father from whom my life did sprout
very proudly from the rooftops I shout
what an exceptional father "thou art" 
our Heavenly Father did set you apart
to fulfill a strenuous multitask
raising 9 kids, what more could you ask.
you forgot about yourself completely
you lived your life very discreetly
it was all about us, your kids
never about you, Heaven forbids
father, thru all the years of hard labor
you never acted as a ferocious dictator
you loved us with all your might
having you as our dad was a delight
everybody could always count on you
you never said no even if you wanted to
father, the one we always relied on
except now that you are gone
to join our mommie your beloved wife
forever together now in the afterlife
telling you "I love you" the pain does soften
I wish I would have told you this more often.

Rita Biesemans, Father's Day 2013 

dedicated to my father who died on the same date as my mother November 1st but 12 years later.

Unknown said...


Joseph, humble, silent vase
of splendor and abundant grace
protector, defender of our Lord
as a strong and flaming sword

Joseph, most just, most pure
what no man could ever ensure
guardian of the holy house
stronghold of your Holy Spouse

Joseph, treasurer of the Heavenly King
for Whom the angels in adoration sing
so underestimated in the world's eyes
with whom you never did compromise

Joseph, without titles behind your name
you never sought perishable fame
you were an honest simple worker
envied and attacked by the evil lurker

Joseph, example of husband and father
you never thought of yourself, but rather
in obedience to God, with love and humility
you shouldered the caring responsibility

Joseph, assist us in our daily tasks
never forsake us nor the one who asks
to be non-judgmental and steadfast
to obtain those virtues of yours at last.

Rita Biesemans March 19, 2011

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This is for my exemplary Mother. My parents were really examplary roll models. Thank You Lord for these two.


The rain flushes my tears away
it's cold and the sky is grey
I'm praying, shivering in that chill
No answer though, it's complete still

I try to reach you and bemoan
beyond that black marble stone
I had to tell you so much more
do please listen to me, I implore

Now that you are so close with the Lord
my sorrows, troubles at your feet I stored
I love you, I love you, you were so brave
I wish I could touch you thru that grave

Suddenly the sun breaks through
I take this as an answer from you
my heart warms up and is accelerating
while my whole person is jubilating

Your radiant light is my Noah's ark
which surely does dispel the dark
you've always been my example
in everything, extremely ample.

Thank you Lord for my mother.

Rita Biesemans March 1997

Unknown said...

In the 1960's (it might have been earlier but then I was too young to know/understand) we had the FreeThinkers TV program : pressuring women to forget the 3 K's : Kerk, Keuken, Kinderen = in English : Church, Kitchen, Kids. It was a constant push to get them "freed" from the so called "slavish" woman pattern. Well it had its fruits.
I despise that life style in this world. I had colleagues say : O no, I'm the most important, it's all about me. Man has to do what I want,what I say, etc... ( all of the sudden I have a flashback of P. Francis washing and kissing the feet of that Muslim woman on Holy Thursday)
I became a stranger in this world. It's crazy. I grew up in such a different world.
I just think of the Virgin Mary and how She fulfilled Her task as a Mother and wife in the Holy Family !!!

BaldwinvilleCatholic said...

I think Father Roberge's comment that you're a big man says it all. That's why you are ostracized. Read his comment left at this Blog people. He castigated Paul as being somehow scary because he is 6'5.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

And then there is the Cult of Personality:

"We have the Pope but where is Jesus?

I ask, where is Jesus in all this? Why isn’t the name of Jesus openly highlighted when He is the one the Pope is representing? Why is the person of the Pope, not the person of Jesus, getting the most attention?

Vicar of Christ, but still just a vicar

The Pope, no matter how important he is, is just the Pope. He is just the representative of Jesus. The focus then should not be on him who is the messenger, but on the message and the source of the message – Jesus!" - Jervis Bautista

David said...

"...many Catholics today have little, if any, knowledge of how the early Church Fathers dealt with the issue of homosexuality, including pederasty, in clerical ranks.
Take, for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea (322-379AD), for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances (kissing) or sexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure (head shaven), bound in chains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread - the fodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys. [5]
One wonders how many homosexuals and pederasts would be lining up at Bernard Cardinal Law's or any other American prelates, seminary door if they knew that such a harsh fate awaited them if they were found guilty of even attempting much less carrying out the sexual seduction and molestation of minor boys and young men? And speaking of seminaries, I might mention the papal ruling of St. Siricius, a contemporary of St. Basil, who ordered that "vessels of vice," that is known sodomists, including those who had fulfilled their penance, were forbidden from seeking entrance to the clerical state."

This is excerpted from an article by Randy Engel, originally written for Catholic Family News.

Site Meter