Al Johnson a top Boston criminal defense lawyer now located in sunny Florida sent me this video. It is the homily of Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, delivered on August 26. He tells how Jesus when he set out his hard teachings He lost many of his followers. He was preaching in a synagogue in Capernaum located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” Those who knew him from the neighborhood said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” Hearing their complaints he said: “Stop grumbling among yourselves.”
He went on to say: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” The Jews present asked: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus tried to explain but it was too much for many of his followers who said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’
Jesus continued talking about him being the gift of the Father and how “Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life.'” After hearing this many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more.
Father Lankeit talked about how the Devil is working to split the Church using “unscrupulous shepherds and depraved clergy.” He says the common opinion of people inside the Church is that the abuse scandal in which the Church is ensnared in again is because of the homosexuality of the clergy at one end and clericalism at the other. He says because these are thought to be the opposite ends of the spectrum by an influential group in the hierarchy is precisely the problem.
He went on to note that 81% of the abuse was upon boys beyond the age of puberty clearly indicating the problem is one of “a plague of homosexuality within the Catholic clergy.” He then condemned a certain type of clericalism which closes its eyes to the homosexuality but also to the true teachings of the church in order to be popular. He suggests unless that changes there is no hope for the Church.
Henry Barth a former denizen of Boston now located in not so sunny Ireland sent me this article. It is about a 300 page report which is “the result of findings of an investigation commissioned by the Holy Father into clerical corruption and malfeasance. ” it was commissioned by Pope Benedict XVI who allegedly resigned after reading it. It allegedly contains: “a list of prelates and laymen who belong to the so-called gay lobby, which through blackmail and secrets could affect, or have conditioned, positions and careers.”
Francesca Fagnani who revealed the existence of this report wrote: “If the public were aware of the content of the final report it would be a disaster for the image of the Church, already devastated in the whole world by sexual scandals.” One senior member of the Roman Curia reportedly said in 2017: “the extent of homosexual practice in the Vatican has ‘never been worse,’ despite efforts begun by Benedict XVI to root out sexual deviancy from the curia ... .” We know Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s testimony revealing an entrenched “homosexual current” in the Church in the highest ranks, reaching even up to Pope Francis himself.
A professor of theology at Villanova Massimo Faggioli stated: “The American church is in big trouble, because we don’t know how it will survive when many of the bishops are hated by many Catholics. We don’t know what kind of church this will be.”
it is obvious why the bishops are hated. They continue to refuse to address the core root of the scandal. Until they do, if they are not handcuffed by others, it will continue.
Looking at the Church from my position as a stranger to Vatican intrigue it appears what is happening in the Church is there are three groups vying for power: the homosexual group; the strict doctrinal group (those who liked the unbending attitude of the Church prior to Pope John XXXIII who tried to bring it into the culture of the day); and straight priests and clergy who believe Vatican II (1962 – 1965) set the way to move into the future.
It suggest we can trace today’s problems back to Vatican II where the Church threw off the old shackles such as Latin, an altar facing the crucifix, a dark confessional, and a missal; and brought in handshakes, guitars, a new dress code (head coverings out, jeans, shorts), Saturday service and the cafeteria-style of pick and choose what you want to believe.
Father Lankeit would probably agree with this although he’s too young to have appreciated how different the Church was prior to Vatican II. At one time the Church taught, like some private schools, that these are our rules and beliefs. If you want to be a member of our church (or school) you have to accept them and follow them. Otherwise don’t join or stay.
It seems that is what Jesus preached at Capernaum. He understood it was a hard teaching which not everyone could buy into it. He didn’t try to please the crowd. Perhaps if the Church would follow His example there is a chance it can be put together again. Maybe it needs a Vatican III. It has to accept that doing this many more might walk away but it can’t be all things to all Catholics. For we’ve seen what that has done.