One strike for dissent in seminaries

Anthony Zimmerman
May 1, 2003
Reproduced with Permission

Editor, HPR:

Your belief that erroneous teaching in our seminaries is the key factor in the sexual crimes and sins of our priests is sound logic (November 2002). Seminary professors who dissent from Humanae Vitae, who openly trivialize Magisterial teachings, must go. So also tainted gatekeepers and formation personnel.

You list dissenting authors of texts being used: Küng, Curran, McCormick, McBrien, Fuchs, Haering. Those who teach from these texts confuse their students about chastity. Dissent is married to sexual sin. The umpire should bellow: 'Strike One. You're out!'

Specialists Dr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Rudegeair wrote in the same issue of HPR: 'Our experience over 25 years has convinced us of the direct link between rebellion and anger against the Church's teaching, and sexually promiscuous behaviors.' Dissent in the seminary is a smooth road to sexual sins. It's a roadbed paved with sulphur.

Seminary professors who agitate their students to rebel against the Church betray their mission. Christ told us what to do: 'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.'

Dissent was 'strike one and you're out' in paradise. The serpent said: "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." God's response was swift: 'The LORD God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?'" He extracted their confession, gave them their penance, then pointed to the gate. He even 'placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.' Bishops and religious superiors are the appointed keepers of the paradise seminaries today. They must show the door to filthy dissenters. Outed rebellion against the Church is the one strike that absolutely disqualifies them.

The one strike rule need not apply, however, to bishops and superiors who have been winking at seminary antics. Christ gave three strikes to Peter and to the sleepy Apostles; they came around. He kindly prayed for Peter specially: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." Peter did turn again; he became the pillar of the Church. Christ prays powerfully for bishops and superiors. Give them three strikes.

Do we really need another visitation of seminaries by a Vatican team? Today Peter himself can send an e-mail from Rome to bishops and superiors overnight: 'Burn dissenting books. Dismiss dissenting staff. Then slam the door and bolt it. NOW. We will be watching.'

Must Rome really spell it out that way? Bishops and superiors, providentially jolted from sleep by the merciless media, need not wait for such a letter from Rome.