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Bishop Morlino equates pedophilia with homosexuality in letter to Madison diocese

August 20, 2018

Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino, right, meets Pope Francis for the first time Oct. 9, 2013, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino over the weekend condemned what he called the “deviant sexual acts by clerics,” declaring that homosexuality was at the root of the Catholic Church’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal, including a recent grand jury finding in Pennsylvania of decades of sexual assaults against children by hundreds of priests.

“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” Morlino wrote in a five-page letter to members of the diocese on Saturday. “The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest.”

The decision to act on that inclination, Morlino wrote, “is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable.”

The letter was sent to all priests in the diocese, and parts of the letter were read to parishioners at Mass during the weekend.

“Pastors were not asked or encouraged by the diocese to read the letter (at Mass), although priests asked for permission to do so,” said Diocese spokesman Brent King.

In the latter, Morlino faulted what he called society’s efforts to separate homosexuality, now broadly accepted, from publicly deplorable acts pedophilia.

“Until recently, the problems of the church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia, this despite clear evidence to the contrary,” the bishop said. “It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more.”

Morlino said the church never held any sexual conduct outside of that between a married man and woman as acceptable, and included the abuse of children in that.

The bishop also condemned former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of sexual abuse and misconduct.

“Special mention should be made of the most notorious and highest in ranking case, the allegations (against) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of sexual sins, predation and abuse of power,” Morlino said.

“The well-documented details of this case are disgraceful and seriously scandalous, as is any covering up of such appalling actions by other church leaders who knew about it, based on solid evidence.”

He urged anyone with knowledge of child sexual abuse by someone in the church to contact law enforcement, “as we have done consistently.”

Morlino will hold a public Mass of reparation on Friday, Sept. 14 at Holy Name Heights, and asked all pastors in the diocese to do the same.

He also asked all priests, clergy, religious and diocesan employees to join him in observing the Autumn Ember Days, Sept. 19-22, as days of fasting and abstinence, “In reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy.”

“Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” the bishop said.

Morlino ended his letter by saying there is a nationwide call for reform and “house cleaning” of depravity in the church, from many holy and faithful lay people and clerics across the country.

“I stand with them,” he said. “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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