The recent document "Always Our Children" (October, 1997), issued by the U.S. Bishop's Committee on Marriage and Family, has highlighted once again the influence of the pro-homosexualist element in the Church intent on weakening the Church's doctrinal teaching on sexual morality. Incredibly, the Administrative Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) found itself in the unenviable position of finding "common ground" with homosexuals and lesbians – resulting in a compromise of Catholic teaching as regards the pastoral care of active homosexuals or those tempted to adopt the "gay and lesbian lifestyle".

As Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz, STD, of Lincoln, Neb., observed:

"One critic of the document says that it is really an exercise in homosexual ('gay and lesbian') advocacy. It is difficult not to see it as such... It is my view that this document carries no weight or authority for Catholics, whom I would advise to ignore or oppose it"
(see the full text of Bishop Bruskewitz's statement in "The Wanderer", March 26th, 1998, P. 4)

Among the other perceptive critics of "Always Our Children" was Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., editor of "Homiletic & Pastoral Review", who rightly declared that "the document is a disgrace," adding:

"The homosexual lifestyle and ideology, which is fundamentally anti-life and a cult of death, has invaded the Catholic Church. It is no secret that homosexual and pedophile priests have wrought much damage to the Mystical Body of the Church. This is evident from the many lawsuits from coast to coast that are costing dioceses, seminaries, and religious orders millions of dollars... and we have not seen the end of it."
(Homiletic & Pastoral Review, February, 1998)

The widespread moral corruption found in both Church and society (with millions ignoring the Ten Commandments and magisterial teachings as expounded in "Humanae Vitae") has been clearly abetted by the catechetical collaboration of dissenting "moral theologians" and "educators in human sexuality" who have wielded their influence to destroy or fatally compromise Catholic sexual ethics. Such collaboration has been a major factor in preparing the way for the clerical sexual scandals marking the post-conciliar period. It was the late great Italian Catholic philosopher Fr. Cornelio Fabro who coined the term "porno-theologians" for those moral theologians who would deny the existence of intrinsic moral evils in their effort to overthrow Catholic sexual morality.

Interestingly, some of their allies have been priests active as sex educators in the Church and serving as the transmission belt for dissenting theologians seeking to improve on divine Revelation's understanding of human sexuality. One has only to think of Fr. John Forliti with his five classroom sex education programs, Fr. Richard Sparks of Paulist Press, the books by Fr. James DiGiacomo, S.J., Fr. Mark Link, S.J., Rochester's Fr. Matthew A. Kawiak – to mention only a few priests who have been active in spreading attitudes of sexual permissiveness among their youthful readers.

Not to be overlooked is Fr. William J. Bausch who wrote the influential "Becoming a Man: Basic Information, Guidance, and Attitudes on Sex for Boys" (Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, Conn., 1988), a volume still found in all too many parishes and schools. His "earlier landmark work," "A Boy's Sex Life", I ventured to criticize severely years ago as a "vile little book" which advocated contraception and divorce, and argued for the compatibility of polygenism with the Catholic doctrine on original sin (See my "Smoke of Satan in Modern Catechetics" in "Immaculata", September, 1972). In his sequel, "Becoming a Man", he comments candidly on his own history as a priest sex educator:

"When I was teaching, I used to have the kids write the four-letter words on the blackboard (amidst all kinds of giggles) and then repeat them over and over again."
(p. 227)

Now eschewing the use of four-letter words, "Becoming a Man" remains objectionable for its suggestive, provocative, and graphic description of sexual acts. Not surprisingly, "Becoming a Man" contains gushing blurbs by other "experts" in human sexuality education:

  • "This is the book that parents, teachers, and youth ministers should give their teenagers... It is by far the best book I have read on the subject." (Fr. James DiGiacomo,S.J.)
  • "Finally, a book written by a mature male who has obviously worked through the pain and joy of being a sexual human being..."Becoming a Man" will be a must in the area of teaching sexuality courses." (Patti Hoffman, coordinator of education in human sexuality, Diocese of Davenport)
  • "Bausch takes a clear position on chastity without being preachy or negative." (James A. Kenny, clinical psychologist and HC family columnist)

Fr. Bausch pays tribute to fellow dissenter Valerie Vance Dillon, family life coordinator for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, "for her experience in sex education, her journalistic eye, and her sensitive moral acumens [which were] welcomed in the preparation of this book." He also expresses his gratitude for the "insights" of such "anti-Humanae Vitae" luminaries as Gregory Baum, Charles E. Curran, John Mahoney, Philip Keane, and Dr. Jack Dominian (not to mention yet others) for their "more personalist view of such sensitive causes, say, as birth control or homosexuality."

The views on homosexuality of Fr. Robert Nugent of "New Ways Ministry" fame are clearly in evidence in chapter 16 which is entitled, "Gay OK?" In his "positive" approach to human sexuality, he quotes approvingly some of the most destructive secular humanist sexologists in the vanguard of the "sexual revolution": Sol Gordon and Mary Calderone. Fr. Bausch's own basic perspective on the Church's sexual morality is summed up in the judgment:

"You can see with almost 1,000 years history of anti-sex [on the part of the Catholic Church] why there was a sexual revolution in our time."

Bausch's views on masturbation (pp.51-56) are lax and permissive, and unacceptable. With regard to the sin of contraception, he writes:

"There are cases, however, when these efforts [abstinence and NFP] fail and the couple may resort to using some means of artificial birth control. They realize this is not the best or most ideal way to prevent pregnancy, but again, their decision is made in a context of mutual caring and commitment and in the service of their marriage, family life, and the community. That's vastly different from the unmarried couples who use birth control. For starters, as we saw, unmarried couples should not have sex to begin with, and certainly no teenager should. Yet, as we saw before, if they're going to have sex, better to use birth control than transfer disease and bring an unwanted baby into the world"
(pp. 162-163)

With respect to the sin of sodomy (the spread of which threatens – in the words of Dr. Gerard V. Bradley, president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars – "the collapse of marriage, as a cultural and legal institution, in the span of a single generation"), Fr. Bausch simply echoes the party line of the homosexual network active in the Church as expressed by the writings of "New Ways Ministry" propagandist Fr. Nugent:

"The Church realizes that individuals are not to blame for their sexual tendencies and so, while it doesn't approve of gay sexual acts, it reserves judgment to the Lord. And when you come right down to it, although the ideal of a man-woman marriage relationship or perfect chastity is not always attainable for some gays – although all are bound to try for chastity – still an honest relationship with another member of the same sex is better than isolation and loneliness, a permanent and loyal commitment is better than 'one-night stands,' and faithfulness is always better (and safer) than playing the field"

The author's repeated application of "the lesser of two evils" to subvert the Church's teaching on the intrinsic evil of certain sexual acts (and thereby diminishing the fear of mortal sin) is again seen in his treatment of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS:

"Individual bishops may disagree as to the wisdom of mentioning condoms, but allowing them in principle as a lesser evil is consistent with Catholic moral teaching and tradition."

Catholic education critic Margo Szews may be said to have well summarized Bausch's expertise as a Catholic sex educator:

"Although this book is painted with a cover of Christian 'God-language,' the underlying message is simply an extension of the permissive Planned Parenthood philosophy that Catholics need to reject."
(see CUF's Lay Witness, February, 1989)

If Fr. Bausch's "Becoming a Man" (so clearly influenced by post-conciliar porno-theology) did not sufficiently cast discredit on the Catholic priesthood, three of his other books may be said to have cast even greater injury. In "Ministry and Traditions, Tensions, Transitions", in his "A New Look at the Sacraments", and in his "Take Heart, Father", Fr. Bausch denies that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Nor, alleges Bausch, did Christ institute the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a sacrifice to be offered in His name by a ministerial priest ordained for that purpose.

For Fr. Bausch, "there is no cultic priesthood in the New Testament." Lay people are equally priests and can preside at the "Eucharist."

The neo-modernist treatment of human sexuality has produced some poisonous fruit, indeed.

About James Likoudis
James Likoudis is an expert in Catholic apologetics. He is the author of several books dealing with Catholic-Eastern Orthodox relations, including his most recent "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church." He has written many articles published by various religious papers and magazines.
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