I don’t get personal about people’s responses to the crisis in the Church. We’ve never seen exactly these conditions before, so as long as you’re a person of good will and do your homework, I’m not going to get in your face about your conclusions. Think that Benedict is still the real Pope? Think there hasn’t been a real Pope since 1958? That Paul VI is a saint, or not a saint? That the New and Improved Mass really is new and improved? I may agree or not, but I’m not going to call you names or personally excommunicate you under my authority as a Magisterium of One.
But occasionally I have to point out a violation of first principles. I’m going to pick on Church Militant here, because some of the folks there have been involved in what I consider an error. Full disclosure: I’m a subscriber, I listen to their podcasts daily, I have friends and family of friends who work for them, so this is definitely friendly criticism; I’m not going to go full Fr. James Martin Assjay on them.
Here’s the issue: some folks have placed more faith in the State than in God to resolve the crisis. The argument goes like this: “The bishops are powerless to fix this mess on their own, because they’re part of the problem. So the state needs to step in and be an instrument of God to clean house.” So these folks write to various attorneys general to investigate the church, wish for RICO charges, point out that under current US law, the state could financially rape the church, and that would be OK. Which it would not be, for me, because that’s my stuff. We laity built that. We even, I blush to say, helped turn it into a bathhouse.
The fundamental issue is that this places more trust in the state than in God. Look, I was a magic-using Wiccan for a quarter century, and if there’s anything I learned it’s “Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.” And that you don’t tie the hands of the Gods by defining how they He will aid you. And you don’t confuse the instrumentality of what you want for what you actually want. Is it possible that God will use the state as a scourge to smite evildoers in the Church? Sure. Is it possible that He has a better solution? I sure hope so. Am I smarter than God? Do I know the solution He should use? Uh-uh. But are there problems with the state solution? You bet.
First of all, the intended investigators are not impartial. We laughed when Wuerl the Girl suggested that the bishops should investigate themselves. But this is the opposite extreme: this is inviting the enemies of the Church to have power over it. This is like asking the Nazis to audit the synagogue’s books, like Trump making George Soros his campaign manager, like setting up a free bar at the AA meeting. This is a secular government founded by Freemasons. And a lot of people doing the investigating are socially inclined to be Marxists, for whom hating religion is a tenet of the faith. So the Church is unlikely to get a fair shake.
Second, they will ask the wrong questions. This isn’t about pedophilia, or even really about ephebophilia. It’s been made out to be that by the press (another enemy of the Church) because if it bleeds, it ledes, but if you want to fight that, look at the Protestants, or the public schools, both of whom have a worse record. It’s not even solely or mostly about the coverup. The church has an efficient hierarchy so it can cover up better, whereas teen boys who score with their teachers have a hard time keeping the secret. It is, at core, a matter of heresy, which the state has no interest or competence in. And the specific heresy is that homosexual relations are not a sin. If this were not believed, there wouldn’t be priests living in manifest sin, defending manifest sin, covering up for manifest sinners. And this isn’t “slipping and falling”. If Mrs. Reilly seduces Father and Father succumbs, that’s slipping and falling. If Father seduces Mrs. Reilly, or the students in a seminary, that’s something else. It’s believing, at least for the moment, that this is really OK. If a priest is keeping his vows, it doesn’t matter which sex he’s attracted to, and we shouldn’t even know. But if he’s identifying as gay or as a ladies’ man, he’s saying that those things are all right. And they aren’t. Those who believe the homoheresy usually believe other heresies as well, because heresies travel in packs. But as I said, the press doesn’t care about that. And they and the state don’t care about the gay issue either, because gay is okay by them. In fact, if the Church ever cleans house on its own, the state and the press and the Assjay will be on them for “discrimination against homosexuals”.
So, if calling the cops isn’t an optimum approach, what do we do? We pray. We get our own faith lives together. And we get choosy about what faith institutions we support. We leave heretic parishes, and go to orthodox ones, even if it inconveniences us. We get choosy about who we give to. If we live in a diocese where a full cleanout seems unlikely (LA? Saginaw?), maybe we move to a better-run one. And we expect that God’s deliverance will come in God’s time, not necessarily in the current election cycle.