WASHINGTON. In the 1970s, Gilbert Gauthe was a predatory priest. He was very interested in young boys. Gauthe would arrange camping trips where, at gunpoint, he forced the youngsters to have sex with him and each other. He would confess to molesting 300 boys and was later sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes.
Gauthe was a Catholic priest at the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Abbeville, Louisiana. The case did not seize the attention of Americans outside the Bayou State, but it signaled the beginning of what would become an international scandal and crisis for the Vatican.
Crimes of past, present and future
Since the early 1990s, sexual abuse cases of children by Catholic clergy have been a continuous and tragic story around the world. The Boston Globe’s investigative “Spotlight” team won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for exposing a massive cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors by Boston’s Catholic diocese, with assistance from local government and police officials.
In mid-August of this year, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a grand jury report alleging sex crimes by 300 “predator priests” from six of the state’s diocese that were covered-up to shield rapacious clergy.
Euphemisms for evil
According to the report, Church authorities made “sure to use euphemisms rather than real words to describe the sexual assaults in diocese documents. Never say ‘rape’; say ‘inappropriate contact’ or ‘boundary issues.’”
A few pages in, the report adds:
“Most of the victims were boys.”
The report says Father Dennis Chludzinski of the Erie Diocese “admitted that after being granted a leave from the Chaplain position at Mercyhurst High School, he became sexually involved with a 14-year-old boy for approximately nine months… The victim said that Chludzinski introduced him to his homosexual lifestyle.”
A “subculture within the hierarchy”
Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, recently noted in a letter to members of his diocese that the sexual scandals that continue to roil the church are due to “a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.”
And a study released in 2004 supports that conclusion. In “Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002,” released by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice The City University of New York, the study states in part:
“By the end of 2002, more than 1,205 clerics had been named either publicly or privately by 4,268 victims. Forty-three percent of clerics are said to have offended against children younger than age 12, and the majority of abusive acts were focused upon boys (80%).”
A must-see documentary
In 2014, the PBS documentary series “Frontline” investigated the “Secrets of the Vatican.”
In it, a man identified as a “Vatican guide” claims to have had sexual encounters with priests and says:
“A large part of the [Vatican] hierarchy is homosexual. Certainly, at the top levels of the church and the Curia [governing bureaus of the Vatican], many important people – such as Bishops and Archbishops – are gay.
“Here in Rome, it’s very easy to meet a gay priest; in a bus, in a church. And in important churches like Saint Peters. It’s even easier when you go to gay clubs and gay bars. You see them in the bars and then at the alter the following Sunday.”
But a secret report commissioned in 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI, known as the “Red Dossier,” chronicles, in the words of Italian journalist Ignazio Ingrao, “the machine of slime”:
“There were some groups bound together by homosexuality. It cemented relationships by brotherhood or blackmail. This is the map that was drawn. The picture that emerged from the dossier that the cardinals handed in to [Pope] Benedict [XVI].”
Two months after receiving the report, Pope Benedict resigned.
The Vatican’s meddlesome priest
This cabal’s influence even reached into the financial dealings of the Vatican, with contracts for various projects inside Vatican City granted to cronies.
As the PBS documentary notes, Monsignor Carlo Maria Viganò, whose appointment by Pope Benedict was to root out corruption in Vatican City’s business dealings, was ousted from his position by angry members of the Roman Curia.
That name should be familiar to you. That’s because today’s Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò caused something of a stir recently by accusing Pope Francis, in an open letter, of covering up sexual abuses committed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (former Archbishop of Washington, D.C.).
Viganò also asked Pope Francis to resign.
As Archbishop Viganò noted in his letter:
“These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.”
In the Western World, those whose sexual practices place them outside the norm have coalesced into powerful pressure groups. They have gained a high station in popular culture, politics, and religious institutions. Granted protected status, any criticism is considered outside the bounds of political correctness.
And this political correctness has infected the highest echelons of the Holy See, which shields rather than exposes these “networks” to the light of day. A corrupt ecclesiastical bureaucracy that continues to threaten young boys around the globe.
Top Image: Vatican City. Photo from Wikipedia, François Malan.