Tim Robinson returns to this site with a review of Michael Rose’s book, ‘Goodbye, Good Men’.
The ‘Leftist’ PC march through our institutions is causing a great deal apprehension and frustration for the average punter.
For instance, in what was once a no-go zone, the Australian Defence Force is now marching, in uniform, in the overtly political and immoral Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. More recently, the ADF has dropped standards and dumped men in favour of female recruitment.
In our schools, the dubiously named “Safe Schools Program” is teaching children about sexual orientations and gender identity.
You may be wondering what’s all this got to do with a book review?
Well, it will be of little surprise to faithful Catholics that the first institution the ‘radical Left’ marched through was the Catholic Church.
In a compelling book, Michael Rose details interviews of hundreds of orthodox priests and former seminarians. The book, carefully footnoted, details the ‘Vocational Inquisition’ at US seminaries from the 1970s-2000s. The evidence presented is that many of faculty and staff at the seminaries had a death wish for the male, celibate priesthood and other teachings of the Catholic Church.
There were many avenues at the disposal of the elites seeking to weed out the pious, orthodox seminarian.
Michael Rose carefully lays out one of these, namely the ‘Gatekeeper Phenomenon’ in which men faithful to the teachings of the Church were screened out during the seminary application process.
Often the vocations director conducting the interviews with potential seminarians was not a priest, but a nun who also had the final say on what men would be accepted.
During the interview and psychological screenings, men detailed how they were deemed ‘rigid’, ‘inflexible’ or ‘intolerant’ when they expressed support for the Church teachings on not ordaining women, maintaining fidelity to the pope and magisterium, or recognising active homosexuality as sinful.
They recall being questioned inappropriately on their sexual histories, particularly with regards to their views and thoughts on homosexuality. In an attitude and language that wouldn’t be out of place in today’s ADF, radicalized active homosexuals were preferred to orthodox seminarians in the name of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’.
For the orthodox seminarians lucky to be accepted, it was only the beginning. A homosexual subculture and desire for heterodox teachings was fostered, discouraging aspiring vocations.
It is a well-known secret amongst faithful Catholics that there was, and still is, a huge problem of homosexuality within the clergy. So much so that Pope Benedict XVI held an enquiry into the ‘Gay Lobby’ within the Vatican, the outcome of which many believe influenced his decision to resign.
This ongoing scandal is further corroborated by Michael Rose in his book.
The homosexual subculture was openly accepted, an even encouraged. It was so pervasive that institutions received nicknames such as ‘Notre Flame’ (Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans) and ‘Theological Closet’ (Theological College in Washington D.C.).
Homosexual promiscuity was rampant with gay seminarians showering and sleeping with each other and taken on Friday night cruises of the local gay bars. Academic and vocational staff were also in on it with each other and their favourite seminarians.
The toxic and coercive environment lead to young men being placed in situations where their sexual integrity was, or had the potential to be, compromised.
One can only imagine the demoralising effect this environment would have on pious, orthodox seminarians.
Men hoping to find faculty and staff that love the Catholic faith were sadly disappointed. Heterodox teachings on everything from The Eucharist, sexual immorality, the male celebrate priesthood and abortion were presented by dissident teachers hell bent on Church ‘renewal’.
Aggressive feminist theories and humanistic psychology, in all its wisdom, was imparted on students by religious sisters devoted to liberation theology. Many of the nuns proclaimed that female ordination was just around the corner.
There wasn’t a traditional element of the Catholic Church that was left untouched by the progressive elites now dominating the seminaries. Many of those who made their orthodoxy known were mocked, strongarmed and persecuted into silence or abandoned their vocation altogether.
Nevertheless, Michael Rose was able to show that there was an underground network of orthodox seminarians, priests and staff who kept their prayer and devotional life strictly in confidence. Despite the overwhelming odds, many orthodox seminarians played the game, survived the witch hunt and campaign of indoctrination into heterodox theology.
All the above might seem sensational and over the top; that it’s an anomaly.
Unfortunately, it is not the case.
Dozens and dozens of men each year were being turned away, or leaving the seminaries due to the ‘leftist’ take over.
In an environment in which the spirit of self-fulfilment was promoted above self-sacrifice and self-denial, the progressive seminaries reaped what they sowed. Eventually hundreds of seminaries in the US had to shut their doors as men no longer aspired to be priests. Many faithful Catholics who attend mass can attest to the shortage in priests the Church is now experiencing – a crisis which is artificially man-made.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, with the priesthood slowly seeing a resurgence in the US (and to some extent here in Australia).
In what is no surprise to faithful Catholics, the growth in the priesthood has come from dioceses and parishes which have remained true to the beliefs, standards and disciplines of the Catholic Church – particularly those Church teachings on sexuality.
Considering what Michael Rose’s book uncovers, there are a few points relevant to Australia.
Celibacy, the all-male priesthood, confession etc have all been targeted as the reasons for the sexual abuse crisis.
However, questions must be asked about the role homosexuality in the priesthood has played in this crisis – a crisis which covers the same period of scandal that Michael Rose has uncovered.
Figures from the Royal Commission indicate 78% of victims were male, 90% of perpetrators were male, and almost 40% of victims were pubescent teenage boys. The mainstream media conveniently ignore these figures labelling all the abuse as paedophilia, rather than its precise terms of hebephilia and ephebophilia.
It is well known that the worst offending priest in Australia, Gerard Ridsdale, was a homosexual priest.
Of course, Michael Rose’s book does not falsely pretend that all homosexuals are child molesters. However, the scandal of homosexuality within the priesthood is a consideration that needs to be investigated.
Finally, the recent weakness by Australian bishops in failing to condemn homosexual relationships as mortally sinful is not as perplexing in light of Michael Rose’s book.
In just some examples, the Bishop of Bathurst has claimed that each Catholic can make their own moral judgements on homosexual marriage while others have backtracked their positions on whether openly homosexual teachers would be welcome at Catholic schools. And some elite Catholic schools have even suggested that homosexual marriage should be lawful.
Many seminarians from the period researched by Michael Rose remain inside the Church and are serving an agenda that has been unfolding for some time now. Indeed, to condemn homosexual behaviour as sinful would mean they’d have to condemn themselves and many of their fellow priests.
I highly recommended Michael Rose’s book for anyone interested in understanding how so much has gone wrong for the Catholic Church in recent history.