A U.S. bishop has claimed that a "homosexual subculture" exists within the "hierarchy of the Catholic Church," which is leading to the mass child sex abuse scandals.
U.S. Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, wrote in a pastoral letter on Saturday that there is "justified anger" being directed at Catholic leadership over the Pennsylvania grand jury report, released last week, which revealed how 301 priests who abused over 1,000 children over decades were protected by the institution.
Morlino said that the abuse detailed in the 1,300-page report is "sickening," but insisted that it is not just pedophilia that is the problem. "[W]e are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics."
"It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church's teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest," he wrote.
Morlino continued in his strong-worded letter by stating that "the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just as we love goodness."
While many of the young victims in the report were boys, some were also girls, including a 7-year-old girl. She was raped by a priest who visited her in the hospital after she had undergone surgery to remove her tonsils.
Moral theologian Janet E. Smith, a professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, has also commented on the so-called "lavender mafia" of homosexual networks within the church hierarchy.
"The deeper problem is the presence of homosexual networks in the Church — likely in dioceses all over the world and certainly in the Curia. Yes, there are lots of other immoral behaviors — adultery, greed, luxuriousness, clericalism and substance abuse, for instance, that need to be addressed but first things first," Smith claimed earlier this month.
"Eradicating the homosexual networks from the Church would do a lot to purging the Church of immoral priests — and doing so should help us get at the other problems."
Blame over the latest revelations of mass sex abuse in the Catholic Church has been pointed at different directions.
The U S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said through its president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, that the abuse and the cover-ups have produced "sadness, anger, and shame."
In his official letter last week, Galveston-Houston admitted that he and his fellow U.S. bishops have failed in certain aspects.
"Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership," he said, in reference to former Washington, D.C., Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick, who has also been accused of serious sexual misconduct allegations.
"The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone. This is a moral catastrophe. It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure."
Some prominent Catholics are also calling on current D.C. Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl to resign for not doing enough to tackle the sex abuse, though the latter has defended himself.
"While I understand this report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse. I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report," Wuerl wrote in a statement last week.
Reuters found that Catholic churchgoers in Pennsylvania have also been left "sickened" by all that is being revealed, but are not losing faith.
"I can't talk about it without crying," said Kathy Morris, a member of St. Patrick's Church in York, Pennsylvania. "I'm going to Mass to try to find some peace."
Anthony Giuffrida, a life-long member of St. Patrick's, commented, "I'm disappointed that it happened but as far as the faith goes, I'll never give my faith up. I was raised Roman Catholic and that's what I'll be till the day I die."