***Fr. Terry Specht Accused of Sex Abuse Bishop Loverde has placed Fr. Terry Specht, pastor of Holy Spirit in Annandale, on administrative leave after an accusation of sex abuse with a male minor dating from the late ‘90s. Fr. Specht was the bishop’s point man to implement the 2002 Dallas Charter which gutted priests’ rights while protecting the bishops. Now, ironically, he’s caught up in the tangle and is likely to be thrown under the bus guilty or innocent. If standard operating procedure is followed, Fr. Specht is on his own to defend himself against this fifteen-year old allegation, i.e., get his own lawyer, find his own housing, etc. Meanwhile, any bishop who’s accused has the finances of the diocese (and diocesan lawyers) at his disposal. Les Femmes has had our differences with Fr. Specht over the so-called safe touch programs. (See: whereisfrhaley.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-murky-waters-of-abuse-allegations.html). Nonetheless, we grieve for this latest scandal and ask prayers for all involved.
***LCWR Nuns Are Absolutely Stunned! …and shocked…and dismayed over the bad old Vatican’s correction! [Sure they are!] After thirty plus years of scandal with no serious opposition to their leftist agenda, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) must have figured they were home free. How dare Church authorities challenge their dissent to Catholic doctrine! Donna Steichen’s book Ungodly Rage didn’t seem to stir up any problems for them in 1992 despite exposing their radical feminist speakers and positions. And they were probably glad that same year when traditional orders fled and formed their own group, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR). [Ew…so tacky in those ugly habits and the demeaning idea of being brides of Christ! And, horrors, they would never get on board for women’s ordination, labyrinths, and picketing for the wetlands.] Ann Carey’s book, Sister’s in Crisis in 1996 apparently didn’t make a blip on their radar screen either. So CDF’s (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) doctrinal assessment calling them to return to orthodoxy was a case of shock and awe. [“Aw heck, we’re shocked!”] But LCWR isn’t worried. All the usual liberal suspects are rallying to their defense: the New York Times, National Catholic Reporter, America, Voice of the Faithful, the gays at New Ways Ministry and Dignity, etc. which just goes to demonstrate that CDF hit the bull’s-eye. Pray the LCWR shapes up, but don’t count on it.
***Ann Carey Clarifies CDF Assessment While the media fan the flames about the “persecution” of 54,000 nuns in America, the real story is less sensational. Writing in Catholic World Report, Ann Carey points out that Rome’s action affects only those who belong to the LCWR: “The CDF…initiative is addressed only to the LCWR, a 1,500-member organization to which many leaders of women’s religious orders belong. The initiative is not directed to the other 54,000 sisters in the United States who do not belong to the LCWR, though press reports have tended to confuse this point and characterize all sisters as members of the LCWR.”
LCWR is really a fringe group that claims, falsely, to speak for all the nuns in the orders to which the leaders belong. But as Carey points out: “many sisters who are in LCWR-related orders…emphasize that they have neither membership, voice or vote in the LCWR, and they do not appreciate being associated with the organization. In fact, many sisters in LCWR-related orders are quite pleased about the CDF action. As one such sister wrote in an e-mail: ‘I am so grateful to Pope Benedict and to all in Rome and in the USA who have contributed to this resolution. It has been a long nightmare and a severe cross for 40-plus years!’”
***Meanwhile Dissenters in the Church wring their hands and cry crocodile tears for the poor, persecuted nuns. One especially disingenuous piece is a video by the Culture Editor of the Jesuit Magazine, America, Fr. James Martin, S.J. Under the pretense of thanking the sisters for their service, he misrepresented the Vatican’s action implying that it covered all the nuns in the U.S., distorted the content of a Church document claiming it told the women to get out in world and adopt modern dress, and lionized some of the most heretical feminist nuns working to wreck the Church. Fr. Martin’s enthusiasm for dissenting nuns is matched by his enthusiasm for increasing homosexuals in the priesthood so his praise is hardly a surprise. Father tweets and twitters that his video is one of the most popular on America’s website. We give him credit for playing a shrewd PR game where he pretends he’s not attacking the Vatican correction of the LCWR and applies the charism of religious founders to the dissenters who threw them off long ago. It’s much more fun to lobby Congress to save the wetlands or work as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the U.N. than take care of the sick or teach in school. One thing Father doesn’t mention is the fate of elderly nuns thrown under the bus because they wouldn’t get aboard the modernist express. More at lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/ search?q=LCWR
***Who Else Is Stunned? The Bishops! Dissenting nuns aren’t the only ones stunned these days. After all the millions they’ve contributed to leftist groups that helped elect liberals, the bishops are absolutely stunned by the betrayal of their “friends” in government. Didn’t the bishops pay to have a seat at the table? Their conference funneled millions from Catholics in the pews into liberal community organizing, and now the money-changers have turned the tables and made it perfectly clear that they hated the Church all along. Catholics MUST cooperate in immoral acts. Orthodox Catholics knew from the start that liberals were using the Church. The Rockefellers and Kennedys were happy to have the Theodores (Hesburgh and McCarrick) give their pro-abortion, population control policies a veneer of acceptability. How could the men in roman collars guess that their buddies would play Judas in the end?
And really, you gotta give Obama credit. Who else has ever united every single U.S. bishop, orthodox and dissenting, around one issue? Nobody! Why have the bishops united now over the contraceptive mandate? Let’s face it, plenty of bishops don’t give a fig for Humanae Vitae, but they do have their own liberal pet projects. Obama’s actions imply that another president might mandate that Catholic Charities check legal status or dioceses ban the sanctuary movement. The possibilities are endless! So congrats to our abortion champ president for doing something nobody has ever done before – get every single bishop in the U.S. to agree on something.
As for the statements of the bishops, they’re great. But in all the criticism of the Obama administration for this violation of religious liberty, one can’t help sensing that some bishops are angrier over liberal betrayal than the violation of religious liberty. Heck, they’ve carried water for liberal Democrats for generations…and this is their reward? Stay tuned.
***We Continue to Follow the Story of Fr. Marcel Guarnizo who denied Communion to lesbian activist Barbara Johnson at her mother’s funeral in February. Quick recap: Johnson entered the sacristy right before Mass and introduced her “lover” to Father. Despite an announcement before Communion about proper disposition, Johnson approached and was softly refused whereupon she went to the lay minister on the other side of the casket and received. After the funeral, Johnson became a cause celebre with the national media as she crusaded to punish Fr. Guarnizo. With no investigation, the Archdiocese of Washington reprimanded Fr. Guarnizo in a letter signed by Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout. Later his faculties were removed by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, a long time enabler of the gay agenda. Wuerl let his auxiliary and the pastor at St. John Neumann do the dirty work, but his fingerprints were on the deed, no surprise to those familiar with his reign in Pittsburgh. Since removal, Fr. Guarnizo has disappeared from public view. Barbara Johnson, however, after successfully assassinating Fr. Guarnizo’s ministry, is on the gay speaking circuit. The former Catholic and self-identified Buddhist participated in the last day of the New Ways Ministry conference in March. Her talk was called the “highlight of the closing day.” She appeared sporting a butch haircut and with her lover Ruth. One of the saddest parts of her talk there was describing how her parents walked her down the aisle at her illegal “wedding” to her lover. One wonders how a “devout Catholic,” as her mom has been described, could participate in such a travesty escorting her daughter on the road to hell. Parents who tickle their children’s ears have a lot to answer for. How many souls are in hell for choosing human respect over the will of God? Pray for Johnson, her lover, and for the repose of her parents’ souls.
***Some Lights Shining on the Horizon: Good news from the Twilight before the Dawn Dept. Two bishops deserve special acknowledgement for their actions in recent days. Unlike Cardinal Wuerl, who fired a good priest for acting like one, Bishop Robert Morlino has defended two priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest serving in his diocese. The priests currently care for the parishes of St. Mary’s and St. Augustine’s and offer both the Novus Ordo and Tridentine forms as well as hearing confessions for an hour before each Mass. The traditional priests are under attack by some in the parish who accuse them of being “pre-Vatican II.” They have fomented rebellion against the priests and cut off donations to the point that the bishop will have to close the school at St. Mary’s even after subsidizing it for a year with hope that the situation would be resolved. The bishop responded to a 2010 petition to fire the priests with a letter addressing the complaints which appear to be chiefly that the priests are too diligent in teaching the authentic faith. The “spirit of Vatican II” crowd are not amused. Since his first letter did not resolve the conflict, .Bishop Morlino sent a second in 2012 warning parishioners of canonical penalties for calumny against their priests. The letter is a model of pastoral concern and charity. The bishop made clear, however, that he will not ditch the priests to assuage the feelings of the parish. He also warned that his next action would be canonical penalities. A bishop with backbone is a rarity these days, and Bishop Morlino deserves our thanks.
The second courageous bishop is Most Rev. Daniel Jenky who, on April 14, gave a strong homily at Mass during the “Call to Men of Catholic Faith” conference. It gave a history lesson on persecution of religion by tyrannical governments. The mainstream media have accused the bishop of comparing Obama to Hitler and Stalin. What he really did was describe how tyrannical governments begin with an assault on religious liberty. See http://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2012/05/media-lies-about-bishop-jenky.html. Among those attacking the bishop for acting like a true shepherd were 49 faculty members from Notre Dame claiming the bishop was ignorant of history, etc. Charles Rice, law professor emeritus from ND, corrected the profs calling their comments “astonishingly simplistic and defamatory.” In his commentary Rice pointed out that Hitler took full power with the support of the Catholic Party in the Reichstag. Bishop Jenky’s warning to Catholics to vote like Catholics was completely on target! If Obama wins next November it will be with Catholic support and once again history may repeat itself to our sorrow. Vote like a Catholic in November.