From the National Catholic Register:
Silence fell on a central piazza in downtown Rome at 2pm yesterday when Catholic men and women of various ages and nationalities stood in lines for an hour, reading devotional texts and praying the Rosary.
Organized by lay faithful belonging to various Catholic associations, passersby looked curiously at the scene while police officers guarded the square.
On the edges of the piazza, helpers handed out leaflets headed with the words: “In Silence to Break Down the Wall of Silence!”
Read the full report HERE.
REMNANT COMMENT: To have one of the most objective (and respected) Catholic journalists in the English-speaking world be willing to give fair and balanced coverage of this admittedly controversial event offers testimony to a job well done by the organizers of this lay Catholic demonstration in Rome. Clearly, this was not a “traditional Catholic” event per se, but rather an eleventh-hour intervention on the part of lay Catholics from many different camps who have only the best interests of Holy Mother Church in mind.
Remnant readers will be interested to note Mr. Pentin’s coverage of our editor’s own participation in this extraordinary event in Rome.
(Photo: Tess Mullins/Remnant Newspaper)
Five days ago, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò contributed the following statement to the National Catholic Register, which had invited him to be part of a symposium in anticipation of next week’s Vatican summit meeting on the clerical sexual abuse crisis.
Some of Archbishop Viganò’s more vocal traditionalist critics enjoy pointing out that, since His Excellency has been part of the post-conciliar Church, he must be considered part of the problem rather than the solution. From the moment we reported on the first Viganò letter, we have pushed back against this myopic point of view.
It is interesting to note now, in this latest Viganò letter, that the good Archbishop highlights the years leading up to and including the Second Vatican Council as when sexual abuse in the clergy became a massive problem. The Archbishop also takes a very pre-conciliar position on the admittance of homosexuals to the priesthood. I'd say if we were to scratch the surface of Archbishop Viganò just a bit, we'd find a traditionalist.
You’ll want to read this!
We’ve reproduced the statement below in its entirety:
Despite Grave Problems, the Lord Will Never Abandon His Church
I thank you for inviting me to take part in this symposium on “Abuse and the Way to Healing” in anticipation of the upcoming bishops’ summit at the Vatican. My contribution will draw on my personal experience of 51 years of priesthood.
It is evident to all that a primary cause of the present terrible crisis of sexual abuse committed by ordained clergy, including bishops, is the lack of proper spiritual formation of candidates to the priesthood. That lack, in turn, is largely explained by the doctrinal and moral corruption of many seminary formators, corruption that increased exponentially beginning in the 1960s.
I entered a pontifical seminary in Rome and began my studies at the Gregorian University when I was 25 years old. It was 1965, just months before the end of Vatican II. I couldn’t help but notice, not only in my own college but also in many others in Rome, that some seminarians were very immature and that these houses of formation were marked by a general and very serious lack of discipline.
A few examples will suffice. Seminarians sometimes spent the night outside my seminary, as the supervision was woefully inadequate. Our spiritual director was in favor of priestly ordination ad tempus — the idea that ordained priesthood could be a merely temporary status.
At the Gregorian, one of the professors of moral theology favored situation ethics. And some classmates confided to me that their spiritual directors had no objection to their presenting themselves for priestly ordination despite their unresolved and continual grave sins against chastity.
Certainly, those who suffer from deep-seated same-sex attraction should never be admitted to seminary. Moreover, before any seminarian is accepted for ordination, he must not only strive for chastity but actually achieve it. He must already be living chaste celibacy peacefully and for a prolonged period of time, for if this is lacking, the seminarian and his formators cannot have the requisite confidence that he is called to the celibate life.
Bishops have the paramount responsibility for the formation of their candidates to the priesthood. Any bishop who has covered up abuse or seduction of minors, vulnerable adults or adults under a priest’s pastoral care, including seminarians, is not fit for that responsibility or for any episcopal ministry and should be removed from his office.
I am praying intensely for the success of the February summit. Although I would rejoice greatly if the summit were successful, the following questions reveal that there is no sign of a genuine willingness to attend to the real causes of the present situation:
In my third testimony, I begged the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as Successor of Peter. I pointed out that he took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ along the way of the cross. I urged him then, and I now urge him again, to tell the truth, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted, to confirm his brothers (Luke 22:32).
I pray that the bishops gathered in Rome will remember the Holy Spirit, whom they received with the imposition of hands, and carry out their responsibility to represent their particular Churches by firmly asking for, and insisting on, an answer to the above questions during the summit.
Indeed, I pray that they will not return to their countries without proper answers to these questions, for to fail in this regard would mean abandoning their own flocks to the wolves and allowing the entire Church to suffer dreadful consequences.
Despite the problems I have described, I continue to have hope, because the Lord will never abandon his Church.
Archbishop Carlo Viganò is the former apostolic nuncio to the United States.
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