Monday, October 28, 2013

A Warning Unheeded

How much tragedy and crime would have been prevented if only the bishops would have listened to what Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald had to say about pedophiles. From R.J. Stove:
 To summarize: in the 1950s, Fr. Fitzgerald constituted a rare voice—often, it would seem, a lone voice—on the subject of sexual immorality, and above all pederasty, in the priesthood. This was at a time when such Molochs as Freudianism and the Kinsey Report still exercised such tyrannical rule over the American public culture, that their despotism was conceded (and applauded) by old-fashioned buttoned-up liberals like Lionel Trilling, quite as much as new-fashioned monsters like Allen Ginsberg. Against this despotism, even such classic admonitions as Fulton Sheen’s Peace of Soul proved almost useless....
This is, in part, what Fr. Fitzgerald said. The letter came into the public domain only four years ago:
These men, Your Excellency, are devils and the wrath of God is upon them and if I were a bishop I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization [in his haste he spelled it “laycization”] … It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished the island retreat—but even an island is too good for these vipers of whom the Gentle Master said—it were better they had not been born—this is an indirect way of saying damned, is it not? When I see the Holy Father I am going to speak of this class to His Holiness.
Well, this cri de coeur proved to be—as A.J.P. Taylor would have put it—a turning-point of history at which history failed to turn. A year afterward, Pope Pius XII, in whom Fr. Fitzgerald invested such high hopes, had died.  A decade afterward, the very words “damned” and “wrath” had largely disappeared from Catholic consciousness, as being excessively “negative.” (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

What happened to the RC Church in the 60's is the same as would happen in the home if parents let the kids take over and make the 'rules'.