I Don't Understand

The Catholic Pages website informs that:

The Bishops of the Church are given to us by Christ to act as our shepherds. Bishops are in charge of a "Diocese" which is (usually) a geographical area made of local communities (parishes) of the faithful. The Bishop is the superior of all the priests (except those belonging to religious orders) in his dioceses, as well as the local spiritual leader of all the faithful of his diocese. -- ©1996-2007 Catholic Pages,

In recent years, we have had many examples of how well some of the shepherds supposedly given to the Roman church by Christ discharge their responsibilities to the sheep entrusted to their care. Take, for example, the guidance of one Catholic shepherd concerning the use of diocesan computers:

Diocese of Joliet
425 Summit St.
Joliet, IL 60435

December 11, 2003

To: All Diocesan Employees
Re: Internet Use

The computers provided by the Diocese of Joliet are to be used primarily for diocesan business purposes. This is just a reminder that storing pornographic material on your computers is prohibited. This is grounds for termination.

A photocopy of this memo, on the letterhead of the Chancery of the Diocese of Joliet, is available online. Just click here.

From the wording of the memo, one might infer that there is no prohibition against using diocesan computers to view porno, so long as no copies of viewed files are kept in the machines.

A couple of decades ago, the Vatican ordered an investigation of the Diocese of Joliet's St. John's seminary, which was known to be very friendly toward homosexuals. In 1984, the seminary was closed. What was going on that led to the closing of the seminary? Here's an example:

The National Catholic Register reported in the fall of 1980 that Bishop Untener was running a sex desensitization program at the seminary that involved seminarians watching x-rated pornographic films.

The Register reported that one of the films showed several men masturbating, all the while discussing "the salvific mission of Christ."

Upon learning of this, the Detroit Free Press reported that the Vatican called Untener to Rome to account for his horrible program.

Untener told the Free Press that he went to Rome, returned back to Detroit, then went back to Rome with Cardinal Dearden and Bishop Imesch, who defended Untener and his sex program. This was within a two-day period.

Sadly, the Vatican still allowed Untener to be consecrated a bishop.
-- Bishop Joseph Imesch, "Bad Bishops of the Catholic Church" website, © 1993-2006 by Father David C. Trosch [My emphasis]

Once again, it appears, the Catholic bishops' "Good Old Boys" club had come to the rescue of one of their own. I haven't been Catholic for half a century; so I may be somewhat out of touch with the moral expectations of those who aspire to the priesthood. It does seem odd to me that a guy who exhibited movies of guys masturbating while discussing Christ's mission was considered worthy of consecration as a Catholic bishop. Kinda makes me wonder what "Christian" values such a shepherd is promoting.

Half a decade ago, another Catholic shepherd left his office under a cloud, but he continued to be active in his old diocese and working with children in a neighboring diocese.

On December 14, 1999 Bishop George Lucas was installed as Bishop of the Springfield Diocese in Illinois. Lucas replaced Bishop Daniel Ryan who resigned one week prior to the filing of a lawsuit that named him as an active homosexual who had engaged in sexual activities with clergy and male prostitutes.

Under the leadership of Bishop Lucas, Ryan remains active–saying public Mass around the diocese as well as confirming children at various parishes within the Joliet diocese. -- Bishop George Lucas, "Bad Bishops of the Catholic Church" website, © 1993-2006 by Father David C. Trosch

Bishops and priests are not the only ordained members of the Catholic hierarchy, as the following informs:

Deacon: Literally, a "servant," the deaconate is the first of the majors orders of holy orders, but the lowest of the hierarchical order of the Church.--The Catholic Encyclopedia, © 1987 by Robert C. Broderick [has Nihil Obstat & Imprimitur, p. 153-54

Within the Catholic Church, in addition to their own particular duties, deacons are able to perform a number of duties in common with priests:

The General Instructions of the Roman Missal declares: "The deacon has first place among the ministers. At Mass he has his own functions: he proclaims the gospel, sometimes preaches God's word, leads the general intercessions of the faithful, assists the priest, gives communion to the faithful (in particular, administering the chalice), and sometimes gives directions to the congregation". . .

Vatican II declares: "It is the duty of the deacon, to the extent that he has been authorized by competent authority, to administer baptism solemnly, to be custodian and dispenser of the Eucharist, to assist at and bless marriages in the name of the Church, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read the sacred Scripture to people, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside at the worship and prayer of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, and to officiate at funeral and burial services." (LG 29)--Ibid.

In his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul described what sort of men were to be sought for the office of deacon:

Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.--1 Timothy 3:8-10, KJV

"…being found blameless." Given that divinely-inspired criterion, it stands to reason that not only the deacons but also the persons who run the diaconate programs in Catholic dioceses would be paragons of virtue. Not so, as the following article demonstrates:

While the Catholic Bishops claim to have been “enlightened” and say they are doing everything they can to protect our children, nothing could be further from the truth.

Bishop Gerald Andrew Gettelfinger of Evansville Indiana, one of seven bishops who voted against the “Zero Tolerance” policy which called for the removal of any priest guilty of abusing one child, believes that an admitted “sex addict,” registered sex offender, and convicted felon is the best man to run the diocese’s diaconate program.

“Father” Jean F. Vogler, who served jail time for possession of dozens of video tapes containing child pornography, who once served as the bishop’s advisor, now not only heads the diocesan diaconate program, he is an associate pastor and heads an RCIA program at his parish. This “king of child porn,” who excused his behavior by claiming that “he began looking at pornography in his mid-40's to compensate, he now believes, for a lack of intimacy in his life,” [1] is now held up as a moral leader deemed fit to educate and lead others to holiness.--Stephen Brady, Bishop Finds Loophole In “Zero Tolerance” Policy, July 21, 2003

Wow! Talk about your excesses of tolerance! Here we have a priest, an alter Christus, who is an ex-con and registered sex offender still on the job as a parish shepherd.

A website that has issues with the Boy Scouts of America had this to say about 'Father' Jean's bishop:

Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger (Evansville, IN) is the current bishop-advisor to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (the Catholic Church’s liaison between the BSA and the Catholic Church, aka NCCS). At the May 2002 meeting, he was an opponent of the one-strike policy in the USCCB adopted Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. At the November 2002 bishops’ meeting, he was one of seven bishops who voted against the new policies the US bishops voted upon to prevent sexual abuse of minors. He has admitted to allowing at least one convicted child molester serve as a priest in the diocese, as well as other known molesters.

“In late March 2002, Bishop Gettelfinger told parishioners that priests who sexually abuse children are guilty of ‘grave sins’ and that he would not tolerate them. A couple months later, news accounts detailed the backgrounds of six diocesan priests,” some had been convicted for sexual abuse, yet allowed to remain ministers in the diocese. One had been a Scout chaplain.-- Catholic Scouters and Sexual Abuse, "Discrimination in the BSA" website © 2001-2005

During the past several years, I have read numerous assurances from the Vatican on down that The Catholic Church is seriously concerned over the sex abuse scandals involving priests and bishops. There is, however, an enormous difference between expressing concern and doing something to eliminate the problem. The Code of Canon Law makes it clear that bishops are to resign when 'grave reasons' render them incapable of doing their jobs.

All Bishops (except the Pope, Bishop of Rome) are required by Canon Law to tender their resignation if sickness or other grave reasons make them incapable of carrying on their role, or when they reach the age of 75. .---Bishops, Catholic Pages, ©1996-2007

It does appear that involvement in or tolerance of predatory sexual conduct, or the attendant scandal attaching to those priests and bishops who are found to be involved in such behavior tend to be not considered serious enough issues to bring about the removal of prelates or priests.

Kinda makes one wonder what Mama Church will do to chastise this priest for trying to htt man t toake out a man who was not content with the way the SAn Antonio Archdiocese handled his complaint of sexual abuse:

January 21, 2011

Catholic church to pay $1 million to settle abuse lawsuit

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (Reuters) - The Catholic church on Friday said it would pay nearly a million dollars to a man allegedly sexually abused at age 16 by a priest, who then tried to cover it up and hire a hit man to kill the victim.

Archbishop c said that the Archdiocese of San Antonio would pay the man, who is now 19, $946,000 to settle his lawsuit against the church.

"This is a very sad thing and very painful for me, for the church, for the family," said Garcia-Siller, who was just appointed San Antonio Archbishop in November.

Former priest John Fiala is charged with plying the unidentified boy in his parish in rural southwest Texas with booze and giving him a car in an attempt to 'groom' the boy for sexual abuse in 2007 and 2008, according to court documents. - found on Kathy Shaw's Abuse Tracker website [N.B. There's tons of stuff from news media concerning Catholic and non-Catholic religious pedophiles at Kathy's always up to day website.]

I suppose that, if the accused priest is found guilty, assuming the case ever goes to trial, the priest could serve as prison chaplain someplace.

It cannot be argued that the Vatican is unaware of what is going on;

All Bishops are also required to submit a quinquennial report to the Pope (ie, every five years) reporting on their diocese and any problems that may have arisen in their diocese or difficulties the faithful are facing. At about the time that this quinquennial report is required, the Bishops of the region make their visit ad limina Apostolorum where they travel to Rome to pray before the Tomb of St Peter and to meet individually with the Holy Father to ensure he is kept aware of the state of the Church throughout the world--Ibid

For the life of me, I cannot understand why nearly a billion souls remain in thrall to those Catholic bishops and priests who claim to be their shepherds. 

Come soon, Lord.

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