Les Femmes Book Review: Amchurch Comes Out by Paul Likoudis

For confused Catholics in the pew who wonder why we're in the mess we're in, veteran reporter Paul Likoudis offers the answers in Amchurch Comes Out. From sex-ed in the parochial schools, to abuse of ecclesial authority to persecution of the orthodox, to promotion of the gay agenda, to the hijacking of the Vatican II liturgical renewal — it's all there. Likoudis names names and lays out the proof in black and white in this well-documented survey."

In many ways this is a horrifying book to read because it reveals so clearly the culpability and betrayal of many of those called to shepherd the flock. Chapter 3, "Raising the Kids, or Making the Pubic Public" relates how Bishop Manuel Moreno, a protégé of Roger Cardinal Mahony, turned 2500 Catholic elementary and high school children in his diocese into guinea pigs for a one and a quarter million dollar government sex study. It is chilling to read the grant application by Dr. William Crano. "Consider the possibilities...that effects on children's AIDS knowledge/attitudes might impact on their parents. We can study this possibility by determining whether the systematic effect of an intervention on children is mirrored by congruent changes in their [non-treated] parents." The purpose of the study was to change attitudes about homosexuality under the guise of AIDS education. The curriculum targeted children as young as eight and included graphic details about homosexual practices that would have been illegal to present in a public school setting. The diocese embarked on this evil alliance under a cloak of secrecy. Parents were deliberately kept in the dark. Those "who exposed the invasive and unethical program were vilified. Likoudis describes one high-profile critic, Dr. Lazaro Hong, "who had experienced Castro's totalitarianism." He was "fired from his position as a member of the school board of St. Cyril's in Tucson, and forced to withdraw his children from the school."

The chapter on Always Our Children, the flawed USCC committee document promoting homosexuality reveals the influence of gay activists in formulating policies developed by the USCC. Fr. James Schexnayder, founder of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (NACDLGM) and a long-time Dignity chaplain in San Francisco with connections to New Ways Ministry, was a consultant for the document. Likoudis traces Schexnayder's history of promoting the gay lifestyle particularly among teenagers in the Catholic schools. The revelations are so shocking one can hardly believe any bishop would support him. But he was a darling of the Oakland Diocese and credits his success in advancing the gay agenda to his bishop, John Cummins. Likoudis describes Bishop Cummins boasting of "how he and the other California bishops 'worked behind the scenes' to pass the 'consenting adults' legislation...at a meeting coordinated by Fr. Schexnayder's homosexual outreach ministry" It legalized "adulterous cohabitation, oral sex, and sodomy between consenting adults." Cummins headed the California Catholic Conference at the time which "was reeling from a number of high profile sex scandals."

Likoudis' book is more than a series of unrelated horror stories, however. It exposes what can only be described as a conspiracy on the part of change agents to infiltrate the Church in North America.. Citing John Costello's biography of Anthony Blunt, Mask of Treachery, and Congressional testimony of former Communists Manning Johnson and Bella Dodd, Likoudis sets out the plot, telling us, "Bella Dodd testified: 'In the 1930's we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within,' and the chief tactic devised, once these men came to power, was to label the Church 'of the past' as oppressive, authoritarian, full of prejudices, arrogant, and closed to the world." Likoudis doesn't shy from naming those bishops who have advanced either wittingly or unwittingly the agenda described by Dodd.

Among the most destructive was the late Joseph Cardinal Bernadin, a bishop-maker with Archbishop Jean Jadot, who "gave the American hierarchy its pronounced pro-gay orientation." Likoudis describes Bernardin as a "subtle provocateur who nudged, consoled and empowered dissenters while professing his loyalty to his Roman superiors." Likoudis goes on to describe Bernardin's destructive actions and his allies including Archbishop (later cardinal) John Deardon of Detroit, James Cardinal Hickey formerly of Washington, D.C. and other "Bernardin creations" such as Bishop Wilton Gregory, current president of the USCCB.

One would like to think the sex scandals put the brakes on the promotion of homosexuality in the Church, but in chapter 9, The Show Must Go On, Likoudis says "the homosexual propaganda machine shows no sign of slowing down." This was illustrated clearly to this reviewer by a September 16th article in the Observer-Dispatch of Utica, NY, Mass Displays Unity. Rev. Fred Daley donned a rainbow stole for the Mass which ostensibly "revolved around acceptance, love, forgiveness, peace and unity." The rainbow sash is the symbol for in-your-face promotion of gays' "right to erotic love."

Likoudis closes his book with four recommendations from Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, S.J. who wrote the 2000 article for Catholic World Report, The Gay Priest Problem. Shaughnessy believes Rome should 1) "require heads on platters" and name only bishops who have a track record of getting rid of miscreants, 2) forbid homosexuals from entering the seminary, 3) restore simplicity to priestly life, and 4) the laity must "demand high standards" from priest beginning with their wearing clerics outside the rectory.

Amchurch Comes Out is an important book. Buy it; give it to your pastor and your children. A problem can't be solved unless it's understood. Order it postpaid for $24.95 from The Wanderer 201 Ohio St. St. Paul, MN 55107.

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