by Church Militant  •  August 18, 2018    

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin sent a letter to his diocese Saturday in response to the current sex abuse scandals in the Church exposed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report as well as the revelations concerning Abp. Theodore McCarrick. The full letter — the strongest statement yet from any Church leader — is republished here.

“We are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics … 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 … I ask all the faithful of the diocese to assist in keeping us accountable to civil authorities, the faithful in the pews, and to God Almighty.”


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ of the Diocese of Madison,

The past weeks have brought a great deal of scandal, justified anger, and a call for answers and action by many faithful Catholics here in the U.S. and overseas, directed at the Church hierarchy regarding sexual sins by bishops, priests, and even cardinals. Still more anger is rightly directed at those who have been complicit in keeping some of these serious sins from coming to light.

For my part — and I know I am not alone — I am tired of this. I am tired of people being hurt, gravely hurt! I am tired of the obfuscation of truth. I am tired of sin. And, as one who has tried – despite my many imperfections – to lay down my life for Christ and His Church, I am tired of the regular violation of sacred duties by those entrusted with immense responsibility from the Lord for the care of His people.

The stories being brought into light and displayed in gruesome detail with regard to some priests, religious, and now even those in places of highest leadership, are sickening. Hearing even one of these stories is, quite literally, enough to make someone sick. But my own sickness at the stories is quickly put into perspective when I recall the fact that many individuals have lived through them for years. For them, these are not stories, they are indeed realities. To them I turn and say, again, I am sorry for what you have suffered and what you continue to suffer in your mind and in your heart.

If you have not already done so, I beg you to reach out, as hard as that may be, and seek help to begin to heal. Also, if you’ve been hurt by a priest of our diocese, I encourage you to come forward, to make a report to law enforcement and to our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, so that we might begin, with you as an individual, to try and set things right to the greatest extent possible.

There is nothing about these stories that is okay. These actions, committed by more than a few, can only be classified as evil, evil that cries out for justice and sin that must be cast out from our Church.

Faced with stories of the depravity of sinners within the Church, I have been tempted to despair. And why? The reality of sin — even sin in the Church — is nothing new. We are a Church made of sinners, but we are sinners called to sanctity. So what is new? What is new is the seeming acceptance of sin by some in the Church, and the apparent efforts to cover over sin by them and others. Unless and until we take seriously our call to sanctity, we, as an institution and as individuals, will continue to suffer the “wages of sin.”

For too long we have diminished the reality of sin — we have refused to call a sin a sin — and we have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy. In our efforts to be open to the world we have become all too willing to abandon the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In order to avoid causing offense we offer to ourselves and to others niceties and human consolation.

Why do we do this? Is it out of an earnest desire to display a misguided sense of being “pastoral”? Have we covered over the truth out of fear? Are we afraid of being disliked by people in this world? Or are we afraid of being called hypocrites because we are not striving tirelessly for holiness in our own lives?

Perhaps these are the reasons, but perhaps it is more or less complex than this. In the end, the excuses do not matter. We must be done with sin. It must be rooted out and again considered unacceptable. Love sinners? Yes. Accept true repentance? Yes. But do not say sin is okay. And do not pretend that grave violations of office and of trust come without grave, lasting consequences.

For the Church, the crisis we face is not limited to the McCarrick affair, or the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, or anything else that may come. The deeper crisis that must be addressed is the license for sin to have a home in individuals at every level of the Church. There is a certain comfort level with sin that has come to pervade our teaching, our preaching, our decision making, and our very way of living.

If you’ll permit me, what the Church needs now is more hatred! As I have said previously, St. Thomas Aquinas said that hatred of wickedness actually belongs to the virtue of charity. As the Book of Proverbs says, “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness” (Prov. 8:7). It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin.

There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further.

There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publicly deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary. It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority.

In this last regard, special mention should be made of the most notorious and highest in ranking case, that being the allegations of former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s (oft-rumored, now very public) sexual sins, predation and abuse of power. 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.

While recent credible accusations of child sexual abuse by Archbishop McCarrick have brought a whole slew of issues to light, long ignored was the issue of abuse of his power for the sake of homosexual gratification.

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. 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. And the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable. Such wickedness should be hated with a perfect hatred. Christian charity itself demands that we should hate wickedness just as we love goodness. But while hating the sin, we must never hate the sinner, who is called to conversion, penance, and renewed communion with Christ and His Church, through His inexhaustible mercy.

At the same time, however, the love and mercy which we are called to have even for the worst of sinners does not exclude holding them accountable for their actions through a punishment proportionate to the gravity of their offense. In fact, a just punishment is an important work of love and mercy, because, while it serves primarily as retribution for the offense committed, it also offers the guilty party an opportunity to make expiation for his sin in this life (if he willingly accepts his punishment), thus sparing him worse punishment in the life to come. Motivated, therefore, by love and concern for souls, I stand with those calling for justice to be done upon the guilty.

The sins and crimes of McCarrick, and of far too many others in the Church, bring suspicion and mistrust upon many good and virtuous priests, bishops, and cardinals, and suspicion and mistrust upon many great and respectable seminaries and so many holy and faithful seminarians. The result of the first instance of mistrust harms the Church and the very good work we do in Christ’s name. It causes others to sin in their thoughts, words, and deeds — which is the very definition of scandal. And the second mistrust harms the future of the Church, since our future priests are at stake.

I said that I was tempted to despair in light of all of this. However, that temptation quickly passed, thanks be to God. No matter how large the problem, we know that we are called to go forward in faith, to rely upon God’s promises to us, and to work hard to make every bit of difference we can, within our spheres of influence.

I have recently had the opportunity to talk directly with our seminarians about these very pressing matters, and I have begun to, and will continue to, talk with the priests of the diocese, as well as the faithful, in person and through my weekly column and homilies, making things as clear as I can, from my perspective. Here now, I offer a few thoughts to those of my diocese:

In the first place, we must continue to build upon the good work which we have accomplished in protecting the youth and vulnerable of our diocese. This is a work on which we can never rest in our vigilance, nor our efforts to improve. We must continue in our work of education for all and hold to the effective policies that have been implemented, requiring psychological exams for all candidates for ministry, as well as across-the-board background checks for anyone working with children or vulnerable individuals.

Here again, I state, as we have done consistently, if you have knowledge of any sort of criminal abuse of children by someone in the Church, contact law enforcement. If you need help in contacting law enforcement contact our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator and she will help connect you with the best resources. If you are an adult victim of sexual abuse from childhood, we still encourage you to reach out to law enforcement first, but even if you don’t want to, please still reach out to us.

To our seminarians: If you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom), or if you directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me and to the seminary rector. I will address it swiftly and vigorously. I will not stand for this in my diocese or anywhere I send men for formation. I trust that the seminaries I choose, very discriminately, to help form our men will not ignore this type of scandalous behavior, and I will continue to verify that expectation.

To our priests: Most simply, live out the promises you made on your ordination day. You are called to serve Christ’s people, beginning with praying daily the Liturgy of the Hours. This is to keep you very close to God. In addition, you promised to obey and be loyal to your bishop. In obedience, strive to live out your priesthood as a holy priest, a hard working priest, and a pure and happy priest — as Christ Himself is calling you to do. And by extension, live a chaste and celibate life so that you can completely give your life to Christ, the Church, and the people whom he has called you to serve. God will give you the graces to do so. Ask Him for the help you need daily and throughout every day. And if you are unchastely propositioned, abused, or threatened (no matter by whom), or if you directly witness unchaste behavior, report it to me. I will not stand for this in my diocese any more than in our seminaries.

To the faithful of the diocese: If you are the victim of abuse of any kind by a priest, bishop, cardinal, or any employee of the Church, bring it forward. It will be addressed quickly and justly. If you have directly witnessed sexual advances or any type of abuse, bring it forward as well. Such actions are sinful and scandalous and we cannot allow anyone to use their position or power to abuse another person. Again, in addition to injuring individuals, these actions injure the very Body of Christ, His Church.

Furthermore, I add my name to those calling for real and sustained reform in the episcopate, priesthood, our parishes, schools, universities and seminaries that would root out and hold accountable any would-be sexual predator or accomplice;

I will hold the priests of the diocese to their promise to live a chaste and celibate life of service to you and your parish, and evidence of failure in this regard will be justly addressed;

I will likewise hold every man studying for the priesthood for our diocese accountable to living a chaste and celibate life as part of his formation for the priesthood. Failure to do so will lead to dismissal from diocesan sponsorship;

I will continue to require (with our men and our funds) that all seminaries to which we send men to study be vigilant that seminarians are protected from sexual predators and provide an atmosphere conducive to their holistic formation as holy priests, in the image of Christ;

I ask all the faithful of the diocese to assist in keeping us accountable to civil authorities, the faithful in the pews, and to God Almighty, not only to protect children and the youth from sexual predators in the Church, but our seminarians, university students, and all the faithful as well. I promise to put any victim and their sufferings before that of the personal and professional reputation of a priest, or any Church employee, guilty of abuse;

I ask everyone reading this to pray. Pray earnestly for the Church and all her ministers. Pray for our seminarians. And pray for yourselves and your families. We must all work daily on our own personal holiness and hold ourselves accountable first and, in turn, hold our brothers and sisters accountable as well, and

Finally, I ask you all to join me and the entire clergy of the Diocese of Madison in making public and private acts of reparation to the  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all the sins of sexual depravity committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy. I will be offering a public Mass of reparation on Friday, September 14, the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross, at Holy Name Heights and I ask all pastors to do the same in their own parishes. In addition, I ask that all priests, clergy, religious, and diocesan employees join me in observing the upcoming Autumn Ember Days (Sep. 19, 21, and 22) as days of fasting and abstinence in reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy and I invite all the faithful to do the same. Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.

This letter and these statements and promises are not intended to be an exhaustive list of what we can and need to do in the Church to begin to heal from, and stave off, this deep illness in the Church, but rather the next steps I believe we can take locally.

More than anything else, we as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out sin from our own lives and run toward holiness. We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors – myself included – that they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness. We must do this always with loving respect for individuals but with a clear understanding that true love can never exist without truth.

Again, right now there is a lot of justified anger and passion coming from many holy and faithful lay people and clerics across the country, calling for real reform and “house cleaning” of this type of depravity. I stand with them. I don’t know yet how this will play out nationally or internationally. But I do know this, and I make this my last point and last promise, for the Diocese of Madison: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Faithfully yours in the Lord,
Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison

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  1. He’s “tired.” He’s “sorry.” Meh.

    Maybe he deserves one attaboy for publicly saying “homo subculture.” Does he recognize the problem, though? Not by a long shot: “In our efforts to be open to the world we have become all too willing to abandon the Way, the Truth, and the Life. … Perhaps these are the reasons, but perhaps it is more or less complex than this. In the end, the excuses do not matter.”

    What??? Diagnosing the problem is not to make excuses. Idolatry is at the root; it’s the opening of the window at Vatican II. Lot shut the door for a reason, but queer bishops knew better in 1962. Yes, diagnose, or you won’t know the cure.

    Sin. Oh, very good, excellency. But just whose sin? “There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities.” OK, but is this about everybody? Yes, in general, our sinful disobedience calls down the wrath of God. But that’s a different sermon. No. It’s YOUR sin, excellency, collectively, all you bishops knowingly covered this up. For decades. And there’s no end in sight.

    “We must all work daily on our own personal holiness and hold ourselves accountable first and, in turn, hold our brothers and sisters accountable as well, …” There you go – prick the consciences of the faithful. Again, it’s a sermon for another day. But how dare you pull that here! Good grief.

    Oh where, oh where do faggot priests come from? Bp. Morlino really, really doesn’t want to know. Oh, it’s sin. We all sin, so we’d better get the beams out of our eyes first. I’m sorry, but the Masses of reparation are going to be fruitless unless he starts to act like a bishop.

    Excellency, are there priests or seminarians in your diocese who have “homo tendencies”? Some who have effeminate affectations? Do you really want to take the axe to the root? Yes, you’ll lose your pension. Yes, you might even get the Fr. Kunz treatment. Bottom line: there must be a NO FAGS and NO FEMS rule, enforced with extreme prejudice. Did you put that in your letter? Oh.

    Will you also eradicate sex indoctrination from your schools? Do you realize this is how adults desensitize children to the “subculture”? I didn’t think so.

    Hey ECS220, does Morlino have any “gay friendly” parishes? How about at my commie alma mater, UW? I’ll bet “campus ministry” is clean as a whistle, right?

    So, one attaboy for +Morlino. But if I hear one more bishop say how sorry he is …

    • Cyprian says:

      Does Morlino have any “gay friendly” parishes? How about at my commie alma mater, UW? I’ll bet “campus ministry” is clean as a whistle, right?

      New Ways Ministry LGBT-FRIENDLY PARISHES AND FAITH COMMUNITIES: Madison, Wisconsin: Our Lady Queen of Peace

      UW-Madison Saint Paul University Catholic Center LGBT and Catholic:

      Do you identify as LGBT or experience same-sex attractions and feel at odds with your faith? Would you benefit from a discussion with integrated members of the St. Paul’s community who share your experiences? Please contact if you would like to meet with a peer [or queer? – AQ Tom] to talk about your faith journey and perhaps more fully discover your place in our community.

  2. Cyprian , welcome back from sabbatical!

    • Ditto for me too. Cyprian, but Lock and Load for the battle is ongoing.

      • Hi guys. I never really left because the best news compilation is on AQ. I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one.

        Morlino is going to keep ordaining faggots, exactly as Pope Benedict ordered, as long as the proctology report rules out “deep seated.” Less-seated-ness is OK. Maybe the UW Campus Ministry has a gauge.

  3. re: Bella Dodd and the Communist homo infiltration of the Church

    If a group of Communists infiltrated the Church in order to impersonate priests and commit a bunch of disgusting and outrageous crimes in order to compromise, discredit, and bankrupt the Catholic Church, would the results be any different?

  4. Bella Dodd on Communist infiltration of the Catholic clergy
    Fordham University

    In a lecture at Fordham University during that time, Dr. Dodd unveiled what would seem to be an uncanny prophecy of future chaos in the Church.

    Speaking as a former high ranking official of the American Communist Party, in 1950, a dozen years before Synod Vatican 2, Dr. Dodd said in part:

    “In the 1930’s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the [Roman Catholic] Church from within.”

    The idea was for these men to be Ordained and progress to positions of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops.

    “Right now they [the Communist infiltrators] are in the highest places in the Church” where they are working to bring about CHANGE in order to weaken the Church’s effectiveness against Communism.

    She also said that these CHANGES would be so drastic that:
    “You will not recognize the Catholic Church.”

    Mrs./Dr. Bella V. Dodd was very concerned about these things. Her position was that the fight against Communism must be done in the school and in the churches as found in her testimony on this subject:

    “Mr. Clardy. Would you not agree that while this committee has a proper duty and function in exposing the machinations of the Communist Party and letting people see how it functions and what it will do to them, would you say that the real battle against communism has got to be carried on in two fronts, one in the school and the other in the churches?

    Dr. Dodd. That is right. Those two are very important” (Dr. Dodd’s Testimony on Monday, November 16, 1953, to the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee of the Committee on Un- American Activities, Philadelphia, Pa., Public hearing; answer to the question of Mr. Clardy).
    Unfortunately, at this same time, the Communists were getting more extensive control in the Roman Catholic Church so that nothing of any real significance was ever done in the West since that time by the Roman Catholic Church in the battle against Communism.

    Therefore, is it any wonder that Synod Vatican 2 had more than its share of Freemasons, Communists, Modernists, NEW Theology Theologians (automatically excommunicated Modernist Heretics), and Satanists attending this anti-Catholic CONVENTION??!!

    Brother Joseph Natale O.S.B., Founder of Schism House, was present at one of Dr. Bella Dodd’s lectures in the early 1950’s.

    He relates:

    “I listened to that woman for four hours and she had my hair standing on end. Everything she said has been fulfilled to the letter. You would think she was the world’s greatest prophet, but she was no prophet. She was merely exposing the step-by-step battle plan of Communist subversion of the Catholic Church.”

    “She explained that of all the world’s religions, the Catholic Church was the only one feared by the Communists, for it was its only effective opponent. Back then [early 1950’s], she said: “Right now they are in the highest places in the Church.”

    “They are working to bring about change in order that the Catholic Church would not be effective against Communism . . . that these changes would be so drastic that “you will not recognize the Catholic Church.”

    “The whole idea was to destroy, not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo-religion — something that resembled Catholicism but was not the real thing.”

    “This would be necessary in order to shame Church leaders into an “openness to the world”, and to a more flexible attitude toward all religions and philosophies. The Communists would then exploit this openness in order to undermine the Church.”

    Brother Joseph Natale O.S.B. is a real person, in case anyone has any doubts about him? Brother Joseph was trained at St. Vincent’s Benedictine Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. St. Vincent’s Archabbey was the largest Benedictine monastery in the United States.

    Shortly after leaving St. Vincent’s, Brother Joseph started his Benedictine community in Southern New Jersey. Brother Joseph never allowed the NEW Mass to be celebrated at his monastery, only allowing the traditional Roman Rite Mass.

    Brother Joseph printed, distributed and sold numerous books, pamphlets and audio tapes defending the Catholic faith and educating Catholics about the true teachings of Catholicism. Brother Joseph Natale, O.S.B. died on Saturday, November 11, 1995. R.I.P.

    The New York Times ran a front page article entitled “Bella Dodd Asserts Reds Got Presidential Advisory Posts” reporting that she “swore before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee today that Communists had got into many legislative offices of Congress and into a number of groups advising the President of the United States” (The New York Times, Wednesday, March 11 1953, C. P. Trussell, “Bella Dodd Asserts Reds Got Presidential Advisory Posts”).

    The New York Times reported that Bella Dodd:

    “..warned yesterday that the materialistic philosophy, which she said was now guiding public education, would eventually demoralize the nation” (The New York Times, Monday, March 8 1954, “Bella Dodd Assails Materialism In U.S.”).

    Mrs./Dr. Bella V. Dodd states in her book that the Communist Party’s structure:

    “was in reality a device to control the common man” (Dr. Bella Dodd, “School of Darkness”, published in 1954, chapter 16).
    Do any of these things sound familiar to you?

  5. Bishop Morlino Targets ‘Homosexual Subculture’ in the Church, Calls for Reparation to Sacred Heart of Jesus

    Written by Michael Matt | Editor – 8/18/18

    “If you’ll permit me, what the Church needs now is more hatred! As I have said previously, St. Thomas Aquinas said that hatred of wickedness actually belongs to the virtue of charity. As the Book of Proverbs says ‘My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness (Prov. 8:7).’ It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin. – Bishop Robert Morlino

    Editor’s Note: Over the years, Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison has confirmed several of my children according to the traditional Rite of Confirmation, as his diocese has been a port in the storm for many displaced and disillusioned Catholic families. We don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, of course, but his faith and pastoral solicitude have for us been a light in the darkness and proof that God has not left us orphans. And now this, finally, a bishop with the courage to look the beast in the eye and speak its name out loud. Bishop Morlino does this in a moment when he is under heavy attack as a “hater” for defending the Church’s teaching on marriage—an attack, by the way, which prompted us here at The Remnant to join the fight to DEFEND BISHOP MORLINO last year.

    This is what a courageous shepherd looks like! In our opinion, during the most vile clergy sex scandal in history, every bishop in the country must do exactly what Bishop Morlino has done, i.e., issue a statement of fidelity to the Church’s moral theology, specifically her teaching against the mortal sin of homosexual acts. In so doing, the bishops will incur the wrath of the enemies of the Church, yes. They will be crucified in the media, yes. But they will also be doing their sacred duty before God in reassuring their thoroughly scandalized flocks that they are absolutely committed to the defense and enforcement of the Church’s moral teaching at a time when it is under scurrilous attack from within. Nothing less will do. Bishop Morlino has now done it, and we respectfully demand that the rest of the American bishops either follow suit or face the charge of being complicit with the degenerate and even criminal shepherds, accounts of whose betrayal and vice now dominate the news. May God bless and keep Bishop Robert Morlino. MJM

    • Michael,

      Unless and until the bishop announces zero tolerance for queer and fem priests, and purges the seminary of them, the problem will persist. Short of that, “reparations” are like the wife beater begging his wife not to leave him. Don’t put God to the test.

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