It is a topic quite in the news these days in the United States. But abuse in the Catholic Church in America is neither limited to clerics nor is it restricted to sexual abuse. For the perpetration of abuse, and serious abuse at that, is also to be found among ‘professional’ lay Catholics in the nation – Catholics who purport to teach the Faith to others. This includes those who are part of the Third Order Franciscans in the US, some of whom blog for conservative and ‘reputable’ Catholic mainstream media outlets.
For example, you will find among the above, with black-on-white evidence, men who claim to be lay missionaries and say the Liturgy of the Hours daily, to fulfil their Third Order obligations and “pursue holiness” – while telling women to go and prostitute their bodies for money (concurrently mocking their physical appearance), and to also commit self-abuse. And this even to women who are consecrated to God. These are men who, at the same time, love pontificating to anyone about the nature of mortal sin under the rubric of hamartiology.
You will find men – White, middle-class, ‘respectable’, (presumably) heterosexual, aging Catholic men (ergo privileged men) – who write repeatedly about the lives of the saints and how they find them inspirational – while, at the same time, threatening different kinds and levels of violence toward women in revenge, if (when) their threats are ignored; even lying without compunction to priests who do not know them personally, in an attempt to fraudulently extort large sums of money from their victims. Men who file false statements with multinationals under penalty of perjury and who threaten women with pennilessness and homelessness.
Men who receive the Eucharist – it must be said, given the above – to their own eternal damnation unless they attain the grace of genuine repentance. Laymen who attempt (in vain) to arrogate to themselves both the power and the authority of the institutional Church.
And you will find men who consider themselves ‘good Catholic gentlemen’ – while using all kinds of unrepeatable adjectival language toward women in what has been described as sadistic hate mail bordering on the level of psychological torture; also attempting (futilely) to blackmail others in order to gain one thing and one thing alone: money.
For Mammon is their god. Like the historical Judas Iscariot, only Mammon do they truly worship under their mask of public piety. Not the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yakov, from whose Spirit none of the above behaviors come.
Poseurs and tartuffes, therefore. Hypocrites par excellence.
Fraudsters, as has been said by others who saw the evidence first-hand.
No better words describe such men. This is just the tip of the abuse iceberg, the rot, that is present among the Third Order Franciscans and the ‘professional’ lay Catholic class in the US.
And it needs to be cleaned out, once and for all.