Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rotten Fruit

When there is blood on a seminary floor because one seminarian overcome by rage and fury at a gay advance has half killed that seminarian, you might rightly expect serious concern and ultimately a judgement that this is a failing institution.
In the same way when "security" halt a lecture on Christology in a Catholic institution and front of the assembled students humiliatingly frog march the lecturer,  in the fact the head of the School of Theology, Philosophy and History in which the lecture is taking place, again one expects serious concern and at least judgement as to whether this is a fit institution.
Whether it is a Roman seminary or an English university college, a diocese or or any other Catholic institution the prime concern is one of charity. If it yields rotten fruit then it should be expected the tree itself is rotten and should be treated accordingly.

After the Chair of Governors St Mary's, Bishop Richard Moth wholehearted(?) support the action of St Mary’s,  the Catholic Herald publishes extracts from the resignation letter of  Professor Eamon Duffy from his fellowship at St Mary's.
The bishops want a Catholic University but at what cost? We have seen this type of thing before with the closing of parishes, with the Cardinal Vaughan and countless other incidents.

I really can't see why we so often don't connect root and fruit, it is plainly there in the Gospel, and it is what the world judges us by. Orthopraxy and orthodoxy can't be separated.


1569 Rising said...

Thank you, Father, for that incisive and apposite comment.

I must confess to being deeply concerned and worried about the lack of leadership in the Church in E&W, a leadership which seems to be in thrall to a liberal minority who do not speak for the faithfull.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"...When there is blood on a seminary floor because one seminarian overcome by rage and fury at a gay advance.."

That man needs to be made a Cardinal fast.

There are too many limp wrists that believe Charity is being an accomplice to sin.

Holy Anger.

Get some.


Fr Ray Blake said...

Not really, not when he comes back later and stamps on his skull.

Pablo the Mexican said...

In America, as also in Mexico, Catholics have become extremely passive in terms of rejecting sin and putting forth Catholic dogma and doctrine through strong resistance and at times force.

It is worth the trouble to confront those that insist their sinfulness is the norm.

We should be mindful that in Sodom and Gomorrah, not everyone was a participant to the sinful behavior there.

The accomplices were killed as well.

From the Doctors of Holy Mother Church:

One Sins by Not Becoming Duly Irate

The liberal myth spreads that a man should never become irate; he should always be mild-mannered and unruffled.

This is not, however, the teaching of the Church.

St. John Chrysostom and St. Thomas Aquinas explain that it is not only good, but also necessary to become irate for a due cause.

Doing this, a man acts according to reason, not passion.

If he fails to be irate before evil and punish it as it should be punished, then he sins.

St. John Chrysostom:

Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins.

Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty.

Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed.

Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins.

For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong...

(Homily XI super Matheum, 1c, nt.7)

St. Thomas Aquinas:

Ire may be understood in two ways.

In one way, as a simple movement of the will that inflicts punishment not through passion, but by virtue of a judgment of the reason: and in this case, without a doubt, lack of ire is a sin.

This is how Chrysostom understands ire when he says: ‘Ire, when it has a cause, is not ire but judgment. For properly speaking, ire is a movement of passion. And when a man is irate with just cause, his ire does not derive from passion. Rather, it is an act of judgment, not of ire.”

In another way, ire can be understood as a movement of the sensitive appetite agitated by passion with bodily excitation.

This movement is a necessary sequel in man to the previous movement of his will, since the lower appetite naturally follows the movement of the higher appetite unless some obstacle prevents it.

Hence the movement of ire in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will is altogether lacking or weak.

Consequently, the lack of the passion of ire is also a vice, as it is the lack of movement in the will to punish according to the judgment of reason...

(Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 158, art. 8 )


"...For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong..."

Do you think the homosexual that made the advance will do it again after the strong rebuke he received?

Let's be Catholic.


Anonymous said...

"There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers" - Napoleon

Genty said...

One has to ask how it came to be that an active homosexual was admitted to the seminary, in contravention to the Pope's instruction. Or how a man with a tendency to uncontrollable rage was accepted for formation. These personality traits do not suddenly manifest themselves. I thought men aspiring to the prieshood were shaken down psychologically before beginning their training. I hope both men have been sent packing.
This scandalous incident at the seminary is an extreme example of the dereliction of duty by those in positions of authority charged with guarding and upholding the integrity of the Catholic faith. As you say, Father: Only connect.
I pray for a hat-trick of orthodox bishops in E&W when the next ordinary is appointed. This is where the reformation will begin.

gemoftheocean said...

Gentry, I'd have to wonder if it was the first time the guy had been approached. As the saying goes: 'When people ask, What Would Jesus Do? you realize that in some situations a valid answer might me, overturn tables and get really furious.'

Having read 'Goodbye, Good Men' -- it seems in certain US Catholic seminaries a pink mafia brigade had arisen where blind eyes were turned to those gays who could not keep it in their pants and acted out. This was at its height a decade or two ago. Since then some of these places have started to clean up their acts.

you get a pink mafia crew in a seminary where they decide who gets in, and you can kiss orthodoxy goodbye. Only the strongest survive, and they have to dance through hoops to conceal how orthodox they themselves are until THEY are ordained and can start reforming the priesthood to be what it was meant to be. In other words, a place where gay men acting out are not tolerated. men who never should have been ordained in the first place.

Dr Frederick Jones said...

With shepherds like these who needs wolves?

Long-Skirts said...

Pablo the Mexican asked:

"Do you think the homosexual that made the advance will do it again after the strong rebuke he received?"

"Violence is a force which can be used for good or evil, and among other things taken by it is the Kingdom of Heaven." (Flannery O’Connor)

Unknown said...

".When there is blood on a seminary floor because one seminarian overcome by rage and fury at a gay advance.."

"when he comes back later and stamps on his skull"

Such an attack by a seminarian is not a "strong rebuke" but a deplorable and utterly disproportionate reaction and can in no way be justified as either self defence or provocation

In the United Kingdom and other civilised states, most university authorities of any standing (absent special circumstances) would have quite properly suspended the seminarian and probably expelled him. They would also have rightly called in the police and he would have been prosecuted for a very serious assault (possibly grieviously bodily harm) and (absent any special circumstances) received a custodial sentence or probation. He would thereafter have been barred from any entering any of the traditional professions without a special hearing being called to consider the matter in full. Again quite rightly.

After all would one want one`s doctor or nurse or lawyer to be someone who had, as a student, attempted to fracture someone`s skull in a frenzy?

Many men and women receive unwelcome sexual advances in all walks of life. Despite their feelings, the vast majority do not stamp on their harasser`s skull and put his or her blood on the floor

This fellow is just a common thug

Yes, the person who made the advances was wrong. He should have been disciplined.That is why institutions do have grievance procedures against sexual harassment. Most institutions have procedures which are both effective and enforced. That is why in the workplace and in these institutions the incidence of unwanted sexual advances has declined greatly over the last twenty years. One wonders if such procedires were in place and effectively policied in the seminary.

Some people deride what they call "political correctness" but the civil law expects high standards from people in their behaviour towards each other in all areas of life nowadays. It is an attempt to put the principle of "Love thy neighbour as thyself" or the Golden Rule into concrete form.

It is a pity that that it would appear that the Church does not expect similar high or even higher standards from people who are training to be members of the clergy.

Or is the vocations crisis so acute that literally anyone no matter their character or what they may have done will be put in the charge of people`s souls ?

blondpidge said...

This is what baffles me. I thought all candidates for ordination had to undergo a comprehensive and thorough 3 day residential assessment process at St Luke's in Manchester?

All the UK seminarians who I know have had to undergo this process which seemed extremely rigorous, comprising of several psychological assessments and interviews. Sexual orientation certainly comprises part of the assessment.

How did these two fall through the net? Does the Beda somehow fall out outside of normal vocation procedures or did the assessment process begin after their assessment?

It seems a dreadful business all round.

Sadie Vacantist said...

You are asking the right questions but an understanding is required of the history of St. Luke’s Institute and that of the Servant of the Paraclete – the information is complex and unwieldy to grasp.

1) The S of P came first but collapsed in the UK as a result of litigation from the USA in the wake of the scandals.
2) The S of P abandoned the charism of their founder Gerald Fitzgerald and was brought down in a coup during the Second Vatican Council.
3) St Luke’s is a derivative of the post-Fitzgerald Paracletes who were invited to Manchester (some might argue bizarrely by CMOC) following the demise of the Paracletes).
4) SLI is the brainchild of the late Fr. Michael Petersen (MD) who together with Fr. Thomas Doyle O.P. wrote an influential paper emphasising the concern about abuse amongst the clergy.
5) Cardinal Law (amongst others) sent their problems priests to the SLI in Washington.
6) The four priests who brought about Law’s downfall had been through the SLI and relapsed.
7) One of those mentioned in point 6 enjoyed a senior position in NAMBLA (North American Man Buoy Love Association).
8) Dr Michael Petersen (a Catholic priest) died in 1987 from AIDs.
9) Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz is one of the few bishops to call into question the role of treatment centers in the American abuse scandal.
10) The extracts I have read of the Murphy Report (the notorious chapter 19) indicated problems with the use of British treatment centers and the advice offered by Irish psychologists to senior Dublin clergy.

One of the better reference points for what has gone on here is Judith Reisman – a Jewish writer – whose attack on 20th century intellectual movements is somewhat selective given her ethnicity but her research is outstanding and she clearly works for the common good.

gemoftheocean said...

Blondpidge -- in the US in some places, orthodox men were denied places in seminary if they were too 'judgmental' of gays. In other words, they weren't gaga with excitement over them.

Cross Sister Miniskirt or 'Father' [when 'mother' might be more realistic] Smith by not being all for women priests or think flaming homosexuals might not make the best priests and Joe Orthodox could kiss his dreams of priesthood forever goodbye. Because if you get rejected from one seminary, then it's 'obviously' you, and couldn't possibly be the admissions team. Then you get blackballed by all.

Mike Cliffson said...

Yes,perhaps, but NO.
I often recall a parish priest PP, (aka pastor for cousins) we once had , EARNED my respect , despite plenty of criticisms I COULD make, by his physically expressed ire and zeal for the blessed sacrament, Our Lord's Body, in the tabernacle.
The blessed sacrament chapel, weakened by earth tremors, had been under a 'minor' structural repair that took months.One got used to having nothing to genuflect to whilst it was on the high altar.Whilst I was bedbound for some weeks it was replaced.Once up,with some minor business with the PP, we went past towards the door , and I,in all innocence, did not genuflect. He went instantaniously livid as he seized me and forced me, a sick man old enough to be his father, to my knees, mouthing through clenched teeth in a red face.
Good man!
I would NOT have appreciated my face being stomped on, but feel if He HAD so done to a repeat offender it would have been a failing in the right direction.
Aint no saints even is permantly perfect,scandal there will be,me, I 'd rather have facestompering seminarians in a good cause than what we HAVE had, given the choice.
If we hold out the ideal to our youths of the priest as a limpwristed wimp, we can easily sin by frustrating God's will in calling some of them.
Worth, rather, eg and inter alia, spreading the reading of Don Camilo, which is also conveniently enjoyable.
Let alone pray hard and relentlessly for priests, more preists, good holy learned priests....
Viva St Nicolas!

Sadie Vacantist said...


Many of these assessments centres are driven by ideology plus a less than philosophical anxiety in respect of fees paid to them by the dioceses for their services. Their performance is erratic and there was a tendency for them to compound (in the abuse context) the procrastination of bishops. In the case of the Murphy Report (and in Boston), there was interminable meetings, referrals and indecisiveness in respect of offenders – involving the police would have been the easiest option which was not taken.

At the root of this appalling incident at the Beda lies the victim’s unacceptable behaviour within the confines of a religious house. With regards the issue of selection panels, many representatives refuse to accept or identify a defined hom0s3xual tendency as a bar to entry into the seminary system. The drunkenness of the perpetrator is no less acceptable. There exists a drinking culture amongst seminary students (especially in the Anglo-Irish World and its diaspora) which needs to be addressed.

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