The scandal that has become center stage of The New York Times and all American media, vocal and written, is the celibacy of the Catholic priest – not because he is priest, but because sexual purity is connected to the integrity of the human person (image of
God). The experience of the self and the meaning of personhood are critical to the common good and the development of society. Healthy and true society is nothing but person, and person is self-gift, and purity is self-gift lived out. Imbecillize a society with pornography and the self, restricted inwardly, and you have a societal death march. The unique poster-child of sexual purity in the world is the celibate Catholic priest. Bring him down, you bring the family down. You bring the Church down. The Times proclaimed it today: “(The crisis) is devouring the Roman church – erasing trust in its hierarchs, dismaying the faithful and blackening its image. To be meaningful, any further response must include openly addressing allegations that the pope was himself party of a cover-up” (Editorial, 9/14/18). The target of the gay clerical crisis is to render the Church innocuous and to take the teeth out of its mission: to evangelize.
The response to this is the response to Christ’s question to Simon: Who do men say that I am? Who do you say that I am?” Simon became Peter – praying as self-gift: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16, 16). That is the question we have before us. Hence, the pope will respond to the question of Christ, not the allegations.