June 11, 2005
As I discovered, the [Catholic] seminary, unfortunately, was full of homosexuality of various sorts. . . . I noticed to my discomfort that an unusual percentage, perhaps a quarter of my male acquaintances were homosexual.” - Leon PodlesWhen we consider throwing stones at others for their sins, it’s essential to remember that nobody is perfect. All of us think and do things that are freaky, and we’re all in need of continued forgiveness and grace. If God were to remove His influence from us, we would be—in ridiculously short order—Howard Stern, Courtney Love and Cory Feldman all rolled up into one, defiled human body.
It was always and ever a true fact: “men of God,” priests, pastors, rabbis and ministers are beset with sins just as much as the “average Joes” they lead.
The heroes of faith in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews were inundated with San Andreas size faults, peccadilloes ranging from dating prostitutes to sleeping with their maids to committing murder to cover up their adultery. Their lives were a daytime soap opera with a fish symbol tagged on to it. Such were the sin plagues of some of the mightily imperfect ones that God called and used massively.
The champions of our faith were not the china-white, porcelain-skinned, stained-glass, goody two-shoes we make them out to be. They were real men with real sins who walked with a real God and, by His grace, did really big exploits.
Thus, it is a given within the pages of Holy Writ that godly people do goofy and egregious—sinful—things that have a detrimental effect on their lives, their families, the church, our nation and the very name of God. Sorry, but that’s life with the best of us fallen human beings.
With the reality of the saints’ proclivity to things vile, God has set in His house governors to remedy situations when God’s priesthood derails into decadence. It’s called Church discipline. He’s also appointed civil magistrates, courts and punishment when the offense is criminal.
When a priest or pastor sins in an overt, impenitent way (especially with regard to sexual misconduct), he must be brought before a church court, fairly tried concerning the allegations and, if found guilty, publicly removed by the elders from the ministry.
Then, after a time of discipline and counsel, after inspection, true repentance and restitution to offended parties, then and only then is he to be brought back into ministry on a probationary basis (providing, of course, the act wasn’t a criminal offense).
This kind of policing creates within the church the proper fear of God. It protects the body of Christ from sexual predators and other miscreants. Moreover, it can save the fallen minister, and mitigate the public scandal.
My ClashPoint is this: Sin is a reality. Bad is a part of the best of us. The only way we can escape our penchant for the putrid is by constant introspection, personal accountability and a church that will enforce proper discipline.
Having said that, the Catholic Church’s recent cover up regarding thousands, if not tens of thousands, of sexually abused young boys by catholic clergy over the past 20 years has blackened the eye of the Roman Church. The right thing to do when a wrong has been done is to confess it and condemn it, not cover it up and by doing so, covertly condone it. Their refusal to “church” their church has led to thousands of victims’ turning into unnecessary road kill along the highway of life, with some becoming socially dysfunctional and others even committing suicide and murder.
Because the Roman Catholic Church has not dealt radically with the effeminacy of their priests, the homosexuality among the clerics has spilled on to children—innocent kids—who are being heinously abused.
Doug Giles' provocative weekly one-hour radio program, 'The Clash', has re-launched with several new features. Go to clashradio.com and hit 'listen live.'