What I predicted, 25+ years ago

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 30, 2018

Yesterday I spoke at length with Al Kresta about the sex-abuse scandal in general and the Vigano testimony in particular. The whole interview is available here. Al is thoughtful, faithful, and literate; I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, and I think you will, too.

During the interview Al, who’s an old friend, recalled the first time that he had spoken to me on-air about sexual abuse. It was sometime around 1992—that’s right: more than 25 years ago!—long before the eruptions of 2002. During that first interview, Al asked me whether the sex-abuse complaints would be a serious problem for the Church. I replied, to his amazement, that the sex-abuse scandal would be the greatest crisis for the Catholic Church since the Reformation.

At the time, Al admits, he thought my answer was a bit wild.

Not now.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Sep. 05, 2018 11:24 AM ET USA

    This recalls how Michael S. Rose, (Good-bye, Good Men) documents the role many diocesan vocations directors post-VII played in setting the stage for wholesale rejection of Magisterial teachings in an effort to reverse a vocations shortage. The bishop's attempts to recruit more priests/religious in many dioceses opened the door to widespread disregard of Christ's teachings on the proper roles of priest and married and the gift of human sexuality. The wind is sown; the whirlwind is upon us.

  • Posted by: rghatt6599 - Aug. 30, 2018 9:14 PM ET USA

    On a related point CC news has a link to Bishop Steven Lopes saying that he doesn’t believe his fellow-bishops who profess ignorance of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s wrongdoing. Bishop Lopes was a priest secretary to Cardinal Levada beginning in 2005. According to Archbishop Vigano’s testimony in April 2008 information was passed on by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Levada to the Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone that perhaps should have resulted in an intervention in the McCarrick affair at that time. Has anyone asked bishop Lopes if he can provide more clarity about that sequence of events?

  • Posted by: shrink - Aug. 30, 2018 8:31 PM ET USA

    Phil, you are way too modest. I was not think of the Reformation, but rather the Arian heresy. At least the papacy remained doctrinally solid during the era of Luther--who is a favorite theologian for our big man in Rome.