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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

CREDIBLE ACCUSATIONS? (Illinois AG Indicts Catholic Church)

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Illinois Attorney General Madigan Will Not Tolerate Sexual Abusers Illinois Attorney General Madigan Will Not Tolerate Sexual Abusers

This article from the New York Times is about to become a trending topic on Google:

The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations. The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

Remnant Comment: Well, the good news here is that, evidently, there are no gay priests in Illinois! At least, not according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; who didn't seem to find a single one (or, if she did, isn't bothered by that problem at all). So, there’s that.

Ms. Madigan, by the way, is a Catholic. She earned her BA from Georgetown University and her JD from Loyola University Law School and, all in all, is passionate about all the right causes modern Catholics care about, i.e., abortion rights, LGBT rights, transgenderism—the whole ball of wax.

Still, this isn't to say she does not have a case against the Catholic Church in Illinois. The post-conciliar warzone that is Joseph Cardinal Bernardin's old stomping ground down in Chicago, Illinois, has got a lot of problems, not the least of which is the current occupant of Bernardin's old seat:

Still, when someone like Ms. Madigan teams up with the New York Times—arguably the most anti-Catholic organ in the mainstream media—to level serious charges against the Catholic Church, I think we can be forgiven for questioning whether or not ulterior motives might come into play.  

I’ve spent my adult life trying to the knock over the ‘great façade’ of the Novus Ordo Church of Vatican II. I know the extent of the abuse crisis, the cover-up and a homosexual clergy problem unmatched in history. But that doesn't mean I'm going to jump in bed with the Devil and not ask a few questions.

For example, what exactly is Ms. Madigan's definition of "credible accusations"? “Credible” according to whom? What are the criteria for establishing credibility? Is every allegation more or less credible? 

Even inside the Church, alas, credible allegations are sometimes ignored while suspect charges are taken seriously. Just ask Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Vigano. Politics plays into everything these days. 

So are we to rule out even the possibility that Leftist activists like Ms. Madigan might be similarly disposed to accept as credible any and all charges, thus bolstering a Left-leaning and anti-Catholic narrative?  After all, discrediting the world's only moral authority--one which stood virtually alone against moral aberrations such as "gay marriage"--would surely appeal to a champion of LGBT rights like Ms. Madigan.

So, might "sexual misconduct" include, for example, a Catholic priest delivering a sermon on Ephesians 5:22? We all know one or two nutters who would argue that it does.

Recently, an old friend of The Remnant—a Latin Mass offering priest who’s been dead for 20 years—was posthumously dragged into the news by a former student who "credibly accused" him of "sexual misconduct" for teaching — wait for it! — traditional "gender roles", while requiring female students to wear modest skirts in his classroom back in the 1980s. Oh, the horror! 

Was this the sort of "credible accusation" admitted among the 500 down in Illinois? 

Another priest was recently suspended after a critic of his priestly affiliation had accused him of "abusing minors". And what was his offense? He’d had the audacity to insist on enforcing certain rules of conduct in his classroom that were judged  “patriarchal”, “misogynist” and “overly restrictive” to “free-spirited” children. 

Complete rot, of course, but all anyone remembers of that case is the terror headline: "Local Priest Accused of Abusing Minors".   Would my priest friend be numbered among the Illinois 500? 

And then, of course, there's Cardinal Pell, whose case grows sketchier every day. He'd top the list of the Illinois 500. But do you know if he's guilty? Does any one of us have even the faintest idea? 

Listen, here’s the thing: We traditional Catholics want to clean out the stables, not burn down the barn; and this is where we part company with some of these Leftist attorneys general. Case in point:

So be careful whom you lionize, and watch out what you wish for!  Yesterday it was Pell, tomorrow it will be Burke or Cordileone. Unless somebody taps the brakes and insists on due process and full benefit of the law for everyone, including accused Catholic priests, we may all find ourselves carrying water for a Christophobic lynch mob.

By the way and curiously enough (or maybe not), thus far the consummate Leftie, Cardinal Cupich, is evidently being given a pass by both the AG and the NYT.

So what's going on here? 

As outraged as we are by the scandals in our Church, we cannot let ourselves be recruited by the far-Left in their war to shut down the Catholic Church. And neither can we allow the insufferable Novus Ordinarians to take the whole Church down with them. At this point, it's open season on the Catholic Church. 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has got a pretty obvious conflict of interest here, since she disagrees with the Catholic Church on pretty much everything that matters. 

I’m not suggesting she’s lying or that her investigation is even dredging up false accusations. But I am saying that lots of people have all sorts of axes to grind against the Catholic Church.  How easy it will be to kick off another #Metoo movement where all priests are concerned, by listing all accusations as credible.

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We cannot let that happen. We’ve all known priests who were falsely accused, and just as the laws of both God and Man forbid a rush to acquit, so too they take a dim view of a rush to convict.

Madigan is not our friend. More to the point, she's no friend of the Catholic Church, having on numerus occasions used the weight of her office to promote an agenda that is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Let’s consider a few examples:

For over a decade, Lisa Madigan has been a champion of so-called 'gay rights.' Here she is way back in 2009:

Not surprisingly, Ms. Madigan is a big fan of Barack Obama’s--the most pro-abortion president in U. S. history, and she wasn’t shy about stumping for him in a big way:

Kind of odd coming from a good Catholic girl from the neighborhood, don’t you think?

She was a featured speaker at the militantly pro-abort Chicago Women’s March in 2017:

And she not only spoke at the 2018 Women's March, but also took the time to run a PSA in support of their get-out-the-vote initiatives:

Here's a good example of how much Ms. Madigan cares (See Minute 6:50)

On July 27, 2016, Madigan threw her considerable support behind the Obama Administration’s policies to advance the transgender agenda in workplaces and schools. Schools, mind you, where little boys could, with or without their parents' knowledge, be informed by school officials that they’re actually little girls, and little girls could be encouraged to “become” little boys. (Hey, Lisa! Leave those kids alone!)  

This girl is no Joan of Arc!

All of this notwithstanding, the corruption in the Catholic Church is not some phantom theory of our Ms. Madigan’s or her friends on the far-Left. Cardinal Cupich is on record, as the video above makes plain to see, defending Pope Francis’s decision not to investigate the credible charges leveled by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò—a friend of the Church and defender of Catholic moral theology. Why is no one taking his credible charges seriously? Because he's targeting the root of the problem in the Catholic Church today: rampant homosexuality in the priesthood.

The Novus Church has brought this upon itself in more ways than one. The culture of coverup and abuse makes all Catholic priests to some extent vulnerable to Leftist witch hunts. And so we Catholics are caught between the proverbial rock and the hard place. The human element of the Church has failed us all... has in many ways betrayed us.  But that does not mean we can set justice aside and become as irrational as our friends on the Left. 

The last defense left for the good priests (as opposed to the predators), ourselves, our Church and our children is absolute and no-exceptions insistence on the rule of law, that no one (even and especially Catholic priests) should be presumed guilty until proven innocent. No one.

If we fail to insist on this, these anti-Catholics on the Left will make sure there is no Catholic Church left to defend in the years to come. And, no, I’m not okay with that. Our task, again, is to clean out the stables, not burn down the Church. 

Five hundred priests in Illinois are guilting of sexually assaulting kids? Maybe, but let’s wait and see. In this case it's difficult since the charges need not be proved, the faceless priests need not be named, many of them being dead and unable to even defend themselves.

So far, this is just perfect for the Left: round up and publish findings of copious accusations in the media that can’t be proven or even investigated and then just let the anti-Catholic chips fall where they may. All we've got at this point is the New York Times and Lisa Madigan’s word on that…and, quite frankly, that’s not enough. 

Let's be mindful of the hell through which falsely accused priests are going right now. If we are not willing to stand with them against unjust charges they become victims, too, and we are just as reprehensible as those covering for predators and ignoring the awful plight of victims of sexual abuse. 

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Last modified on Friday, December 21, 2018
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.