July 6, 2017

It gives new meaning to the phrase "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith."

"Vatican police have broken up a gay orgy at the home of the secretary to one of Pope Francis’s key advisers, it has been claimed. The flat belonged to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, or Holy Office, which is in charge of tackling sexual abuse amongst the clergy...."

The oldest meaning of the word "congregation" — according to the OED — is "The action of congregating or collecting in one body or mass."

To elevate you after that awfulness, here's a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley ("Summer and Winter" 1829) that uses the word "congregates" to refer to the collecting together of clouds:
It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
Towards the end of the sunny month of June,
When the north wind congregates in crowds
The floating mountains of the silver clouds
From the horizon--and the stainless sky
Opens beyond them like eternity.
All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds,
The river, and the cornfields, and the reeds;
The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze,
And the firm foliage of the larger trees.

It was a winter such as when birds die
In the deep forests; and the fishes lie
Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes
Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold:
Alas, then, for the homeless beggar old!

78 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I love the British Press embrace of the Passive Voice, it has been claimed.

traditionalguy said...

A gay male sex orgy apartment owned and operated by the Papacy. So what's news worthy about that. Maybe it is news that the young altar boys were not there? That's progress.

Curious George said...

"Hey, you gays. Break it up!"

Fernandinande said...

To elevate you after that awfulness,

A homosexual orgy is awfulness? What if it were heteros or just two homos?

Ralph L said...

From the NYPost version of the story:
Coccopalmerio had recommended the secretary for a promotion to bishop — but his prospects aren’t looking good following this incident and two previous alleged drug overdoses...
Let's hope so.

David Begley said...

The Pope needs to drain his swamp.

YoungHegelian said...

In the late 80s, I believe, there was a rather well known Dominican liturgist at a major American Catholic university who passed away rather suddenly. He lived on his own in a house that the Order had bought for him, & not in a community.

Well, when some priests from the Order come by to get together the scholar's effects & to check out the house, they discovered a fully stocked S&M dungeon in the basement. They also discovered that the scholar in question had tried in his will to leave the house that the Dominican order owned to his lover. Needless to say, the Order's lawyer put the kibosh on that one toute suite.

I guess every man needs a hobby, huh?

bagoh20 said...

Don't tell me. In this one, Al Pacino is a powerful smart-dressing Cardinal who is unnervingly supportive and encouraging to an up and coming priest. No puns intended.

Fabi said...

Costanza defense?

Rob said...

Oh, collecting in one mass. They misheard.

tcrosse said...

It was a bright and cheerful afternoon

Later, it was a dark and stormy night.

JAORE said...

"Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes
A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,
Among their children, comfortable men
Gather "

Good companion piece.

bagoh20 said...

The extra layer of taboo must make it incredibly exciting.

You can't find that in many places today thanks to the damned gay activists. Liberals always find a way to ruin the fun.

etbass said...

Celibacy has been the bane of the Church, providing a cover for homosexuals. The Scriptural support for it is exceedingly thin and yet the Church hangs onto the doctrine as more important than the Divinity, the Trinity, Heaven and hell.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not that gay that's awful. It's the hypocrisy.

James K said...

A problem for the Church, yes, but why are the police involved? Is there a local law against orgies? Or just that the drugs were illegal?

Rae said...

Celibacy has been the bane of the Church, providing a cover for homosexuals. The Scriptural support for it is exceedingly thin and yet the Church hangs onto the doctrine as more important than the Divinity, the Trinity, Heaven and hell.


Celibacy was instituted in the middle ages to prevent villages from having a priest with the same last name for three hundred years. And it only applies to Latin Rite Catholics.

There are many married priests among Eastern Rite Catholics. And even some some Latin Rite, if they were married as a deacon and became a priest after being widowed.

mockturtle said...

It's not that gay that's awful. It's the hypocrisy.

So there's nothing wrong with orgies per se?

YoungHegelian said...

@etbass,

Celibacy has been the bane of the Church, providing a cover for homosexuals.

So, you too live in that ecclesiastical CloudCuckooLand with tradguy where the Protestant clergy isn't full of homosexuals? Hello! You taken a look at the Episcopalian clergy lately? No priestly celibacy there, but lots of gays. I dunno, maybe it's all the high church frilly lace, candles & incense. It just sets a mood.

Seriously, for whatever reason, the clergy is a profession that attracts homosexuals. In Protestant congregations, you'll never get a job unless you're married. So, these gay Protestant clergy drag some poor woman into their charade as their "beard". I'd rather have "priestly celibacy" where they discreetly just bang each other rather than drag some unsuspecting straight woman into the mess.

Fernandinande said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's not that gay that's awful. It's the hypocrisy.


Hypocrisy about what? (Other than homo stuff, that is.)

Is Andrew Sullivan awful? Hypocritical?

YoungHegelian said...

@Rae,

There are many married priests among Eastern Rite Catholics.

And did you ever notice that, for example, in Dostoevsky & Tolstoy, you never hear a kind word said about the married clergy? That these, & many other Eastern European authors, reserve their admiration for the celibate monastic clergy?

Yet again, "oh, we Eastern Rite/Orthodox don't make the stupid mistakes the Latins do". Which is true. You have your own unique set of stupid mistakes.

exiledonmainstreet said...

This is appalling. At a time when Western Civilization is under attack, the Church should be a bulwark against decadence and corruption, not a prime example of it. This awful Pope needs to clean up his own house rather than concerning himself with trendy leftist causes.

Chuck said...

The pro-gay left seems to love any story that denigrates the Roman Catholic Church. Because the Roman Catholic Church, like the Republican Party, is seen as one of the institutional headquarters of the enemy side in the culture wars.

The left runs these stories very carefully. They avoid -- or actively fight -- any notion that the Roman Catholic Church has been a magnet for closeted gays for many decades, and that the closeted gays created a wildly disproportionate amount of harm in the form of child sexual abuse. That's a source of shame for some Catholics too, I suppose, such that even Catholic conservatives don't like it.

Sebastian said...

Next, they're gonna tell us that all the supposed RC pedo/child-abuse scandals were really gay/adolescent-abuse scandals. No way!

Anyhow, at least there is one place where gay orgies (nothing wrong with that! it's just the "hypocrisy"!) get broken up due to people engaging in "irregular behaviour." Because standards.

robother said...

Given the Medieval Church's claim on total resources, the vow of "celibacy" probably conferred a pretty significant genetic advantage on families that had gay genes: gay members could devote considerable time and energy to the kind of social/political/sexual action necessary to stake greater claims to such resources (bishoprics, cardinals, abbots) enormously enhancing the survival chances of their families.

My guess is that gay orgies have been a prominent feature of Vatican politics for centuries. Jesus would be rolling over in his...well you get the picture.

mockturtle said...

Good for you, Chuck! A whole post without the mention of ****. I knew you could do it! :-) Keep up the good work.

Renee said...

"Celibacy was instituted in the middle ages to prevent villages from having a priest with the same last name for three hundred years. And it only applies to Latin Rite Catholics."

Saint Peter had a mother-in-law......

The Church didn't want being a priest to be a 'family businesss', even today a priest can't serve in or too near his home parish where he grew up.

Renee said...

Being gay shouldn't prevent you from being a priest, just as being gay doesn't prevent one from being Catholic. Not saying the celibacy is an easy thing, but at least this situation they were inviting the problem over.

mockturtle said...

Both Rabelais and Calvin wrote of the degenerate behavior of the priesthood and monastic societies. So this is hardly new. The real question is a chicken-and-egg one: Do homosexuals join these orders or do they become so after the fact and due to deprivation of normal outlets? I suspect the former but I really don't know.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm wondering whether the Vatican police broke up the gay orgy with a crowbar.

Bob Boyd said...

You host one gay orgy at the Vatican....

Fernandinande said...

"The claims about the police raid last month were made in the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano (The Daily Fatty)."

Angel-Dyne said...

Chuck wrote a comment I agree with. (@9:35 AM)

exiledonmainstreet: This awful Pope needs to clean up his own house rather than concerning himself with trendy leftist causes.

Gay orgies and "trendy leftist causes" are not two entirely unrelated problems, though wild orgies and more corruption than you could shake a papal ferula at are hardly unprecedented in the RCC. Orgies and corruption came and orgies and corruption went, and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic rolled on. It's the wholesale substitution of secular progressivism for Catholic dogma that's gonna do for 'em in the end, if you ask me. Wonder if there's a betting pool somewhere laying odds on when the first Catholic bishop is going to convert to Islam.

Balfegor said...

The timing, coming right after the Pell thing, makes me wonder whether this is being throw off by some kind of tit for tat power struggle going on in the Church at the moment. There are some articles talking about how Pope Francis is purging conservative clerics from leadership positions in the Church (Pell and Mueller). Mueller was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (aka the Holy Office aka the Inquisition), and lo! -- not days after he is removed, the Pope is embarrassed by a gay orgy in a flat owned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Coincidence?

Of course, it could all just be more of that "fake news." One never can tell. Ten anonymous sources! Twenty anonymous sources! All that rubbish. Haha. Sounds like the source was the police here, though.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Mockturtle.....I find that concept interesting. There has been some things written about gay priests, especially about back in the 60s and 70s. Before being gay was acceptable in open society. They became Catholic priests, but turned out they couldn't control their urges.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It's the wholesale substitution of secular progressivism for Catholic dogma that's gonna do for 'em in the end, if you ask me.

It sounds like there was something else doing for 'em in the end, if you know what I mean...

Balfegor said...

Also, the news article I linked re: Francis purging conservatives doesn't say that overtly -- but it does comment:

Mueller and Pell were two most powerful cardinals in the Vatican, after the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Their absences, coupled with Francis' earlier demotion of arch-conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke as the Vatican's chief justice, will likely create a power vacuum for the conservative wing in the Holy See hierarchy.

That's what I'm talking about. The article plays it straight, just reporting that all these conservatives who disagreed with Pope Francis on various doctrinal questions are being removed, passively leaving a power vacuum. But one can read between the lines.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Looking into the future.....I wonder if there will be a new reformation. Only this time it will be traditional Catholics leaving a liberal church to form a Catholic church in the mold of PJII.

With the big old Protestant churches evolving into goofy secular pop culture entities (the ELCA is now obsessed with promoting drag queens), I actually considered converting to the Mother Church. If the RCC can survive 2,000 years, I thought there'd be some consistency.

tcrosse said...

There's a joke that ends:
"Gabriel's Horn, eh ? I've been blowing that thing for 20 years".

Marc Puckett said...

I'll grant that it's a clever play with the word 'congregation', sure. YoungHegelian and Sebastian and others have made the points I was going to-- it is such a distasteful subject, the less said the better. And while I personally am scandalized (although, perhaps, wrongly) by a different, more august Prelate, whose inaction in this and other similar affairs I find incomprehensible (and some of whose actions I find likewise incomprehensible), hypocrisy is a word sometimes misused to besmirch those whose purposes and motives we just don't understand very well-- of course if it is used simply with reference to Mons Capozzi, sure.

Gerrard787 said...

"It is claimed."

Same journalistic standards as the NYT and WP.

William said...

Celibacy is different in this era. Celibacy itself is considered an unnatural act, even more unnatural than homosexuality. Probably even stranger than being a furry. (I still consider tentacle sex stranger than celibacy, but the libido takes some strange twists. Who knows what those Newsweek editors get up to in the inner offices.)....... In former times when a priest went sour, he became an alcoholic or, in some countries, had an arrangement with housekeeper. I suppose there were always gay priests but they do seem more common or, at any rate, better publicized, nowadays. I was raised as a Catholic and educated by Jesuits. I can only remember one priest who gave off that vibe......Not that many people want to refrain from sex nowadays. Perhaps if the Church made all initiates vow to give up gluten or carbs, they could recruit a trendier group more in tune with the ethos of our time and less inclined to have orgies in the Cardinal's residence.

Oso Negro said...

You can pretty much always bet on human nature. Hence the current social regime of demonizing the normal interaction of men and women is doomed to fail and will one day be looked back on as weird and aberrant. If you create a priesthood of men denied the company of women, what do you think you are going to get? A flock of pederasts and homosexuals. Really, what else is possible?

Mark said...

If you create a priesthood of men denied the company of women, what do you think you are going to get? A flock of pederasts and homosexuals. Really, what else is possible?

They have the company of many women. They just don't have sex with them. Just like Jesus.

Or are you saying that Jesus was a homosexual pederast?

Renee said...

"Celibacy itself is considered an unnatural act,"


I think you should reword it, it gets close to the idea of the 'right to rape', much like in today's world the 'right to reproduce' means the ability to hire out a woman's body as a surrogate.

Really it sounds like something a guy would say when it wants to get into a girl's pants.

Mark said...

The celibate priesthood (or the celibate religious life, e.g. nuns) is not that hard to figure out or understand. When these people prostrate themselves before the altar at ordination (or when women religious take their vows), they are laying their entire lives before the altar, they are giving the whole of themselves to the Lord and his Church, including their sexuality.

Like Jesus, who takes the Church as his Bride, so do priests, who are by the grace of ordination made an alter Christus. Similarly, religious sisters consider themselves espoused to Jesus.

By dedicating themselves wholly to Jesus and the Church, including their sexuality, they are able to avoid any conflicts of interest. They thereby do not serve two masters -- the Church and their spouse/family -- but only one, he who is the Master himself. And for those who think it impossible to control one's urges and desires -- and in this hyper-sexualized society, there are many who think if you are not humping everyone and everything around you like a dog on your leg, then there is something wrong with you -- God can and does give the grace to live a chaste life.

The problem is that some people, even some in the clergy, reject this religious reality and go and have gay orgies, which only leads to scandalizing people (leading them astray from the good). They are the hypocrites.

Snark said...

It's counterintuitive, but there is actually no evidence-based link between a vow celibacy and sexual assault and misconduct in the priesthood. The problems are just as bad in the protestant church, and worst of all within families. The prevalence of abuse in the Catholic Church pretty much mirrored the general level of abuse in society as a whole; it rose in the 60s and 70s and began to fall sharply in the 80s with an increased push for children's rights generally. Lots of interesting facts and analysis in the 2011 John Jay report.

n.n said...

Strange, celibacy is antithetical to Christian philosophy. I wonder what motivated Catholics to overrule God's prime directive.

Transgender and transsocial trangressions seem to be a progressive condition.

Kevin said...

The left runs these stories very carefully. They avoid -- or actively fight -- any notion that the Roman Catholic Church has been a magnet for closeted gays for many decades, and that the closeted gays created a wildly disproportionate amount of harm in the form of child sexual abuse.

True. Here is an example from a few years back:

Lefty: What are gun owners going to do about all the gun crime?
Gun Owner: I dunno. What gay people going to do about Jerry Sandusky?

It's one of the few areas of the culture wars where they tread very, very lightly. The focus is on child abuse, not same-sex child abuse.

Darrell said...

Strange, celibacy is antithetical to Christian philosophy

Not strange for the priesthood--of many religions going back to the beginning of time. In modern America, as local parish churches struggle to remain financially viable, I truly believe a married priesthood would be the final straw. Instead of being hit up for a new roof or new boiler every few years, we would be hearing how the Pastor's kids need new cars and tuition to Notre Dame. No mas! No mas!

Johnny Sokko said...

Is Andrew Sullivan awful?

Yes. Go ask Sarah Palin's uterus.

Next question.

n.n said...

we would be hearing how the Pastor's kids need new cars and tuition

That's why we need to restore price controls in the market. The overwhelming evidence is that anti-capitalist practices (a la Freddie/Fannie, Obamacare) are first-order forcings of catastrophic anthropogenic economic change (e.g. recurring decadel resets).

Earnest Prole said...

You've conflated congregation and conflagration.

mccullough said...

"Homeless beggar old." That adjective-noun-adjective phrasing, which Milton introduced to English, is awful.

Earnest Prole said...

The root of the word congregation, -greg, is also found in the words gregarious and egregious.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Congress also means sex, doesn't it? Only in our case it usually means a bunch of jack-offs.

Ralph L said...

Strange, celibacy is antithetical to Christian philosophy

Celibacy outside marriage is absolutely thetical to Christian philosophy, until the last few decades. It's one of the reasons the ancient Romans thought they were wackoes.
There was one sect that wanted to stop reproducing entirely in order to bring on the end of the world and the Second Coming. Strange, they died out like the Shakers.
The Borgia popes had illegitimate children and Pope Alexander was a known murderer.

Bruce Hayden said...

"They have the company of many women. They just don't have sex with them. Just like Jesus."

How do you know this about Jesus? Pls cite book and verse fro the Bible to support that proposition.

I was essentially asked this maybe 35 years ago by a Jewish girlfriend, who appeared better versed in the New Testament than most Christians, as well as her own faith and heritage. Her point was that in the family of Joseph the carpenter, Jesus was (legally and culturally) the first born son, followed, apparently, by 4 brothers (and several unnamed sisters). As such, in that culture, they couldn't marry until he had. Which they very likely did. Her theory was that he was married, as was required by their culture, probably in an arranged marriage, then probably widowed, which may explain the missing decade and a half or so from his life. Probably as good explanation as any I have heard why Jesus didn't started his ministry until his early 30s. My question here is how does that really affect Christianity, as we know it today? I don't think it really does - unless you buy into celibacy as practiced for a number of years now by the RCC and its clergy.

Even more controversial though is the question of the Gospel of Mary (Magdalene). One interpretation is that she was the wife of Jesus, and his closest disciple, often at odds with his male disciples. The accepted 4 Gospels can be read, to some extent as attempts to delegitimize her after his death, suceeding because, by then, when the scriptures were officially closed, men had taken over total control of the Church, and her Gospel questioned that male supremacy. Which, of course, continues to today in the RCC.

Mark said...

Whatever happened to sola scriptura?

Does the Bible ever say that Jesus had sex? That he was married (other than Paul's imagery of Christ taking the Church as his Bride)?

No. Hence, what can we conclude?

Mark said...

Moreover, the idea of God having sex with a human is quite extremely pagan -- something from Greek or Roman mythology.

Mark said...

And the Gospels hardly delegitimize Mary Magdalene. She is the "Apostle to the Apostles" after all, who was chosen by the Risen Jesus to be the first person to whom he would appear after his resurrection. Moreover, she (and the other women disciples) are shown to be the heroes of the Passion, having stood by Jesus during his darkest hour when all of the Apostles (except for John) ran away and hid in fear.

mockturtle said...

The Apostle Paul counseled that those who, like he, could be celibate [asexual?] should be celibate but that most cannot and should marry.

Jessica said...

It makes me sad that faithful Catholics have to support these goons. The Catholic Church needs Luther2.0 to sweep out the sexual and financial improprieties that seem to be eating the church alive....

Ann Althouse said...

The poem is kind of bad, isn't it?

So muchfor efforts at elevation...

Renee said...

We're not supporting the 'goons', we support the Church.

Mark said...

And we certainly don't need any ignorant know-it-all priest who doesn't really understand the Catholic faith or the Church -- including on matters such as sexuality -- to tell the Church that he knows better than 2000 years of revealed teaching and then go and create his own idea of what the Church should be.

Darrell said...

Good comments, Mark! I was wrong about you. Sorry.

Lydia said...

Those of you who aren't Catholic have probably never had much up-close contact with a priest. If you had, you'd have known many who have kept their vows and have dedicated their lives to service, much of which is not easy at all. I think what I hate most about revelations like this is that all those priests get tarred with the same brush as these orgy-goers. Must be pretty hard to take.

Marc Puckett said...

I rather like the Shelley-- it was just a bit of a stretch to expect that poem to do much 'elevating' after having read the first part of the post about Mons what's his name's viciousness. Win some, lose some; the record here is many more wins than losses, however, which is why so many of us return day after day.

antiphone said...

It's not that gay that's awful. It's the hypocrisy. Althouse

You know, the source for this "news" is Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian paper so it's like, out there, but do they have an identified source? Unless they do this is fake news just as much as the infamous piss tape. Hypocrisy?

walter said...

"neighbours became suspicious before complaining about irregular behaviour of those coming and going at the flat."
Heh...

bagoh20 said...

If Jesus just tried harder to make these guys feel loved, this wouldn't have happened.

bagoh20 said...

"It's not that gay that's awful. It's the hypocrisy."

If you haven't tried both, then this is just a guess. Understanding is just one adventure away.

mockturtle said...

Lydia laments: Those of you who aren't Catholic have probably never had much up-close contact with a priest. If you had, you'd have known many who have kept their vows and have dedicated their lives to service, much of which is not easy at all. I think what I hate most about revelations like this is that all those priests get tarred with the same brush as these orgy-goers. Must be pretty hard to take.

I'm sure that's true, Lydia, but the Church did precious little to discipline abusive priests, at least in the 1980's. I've known at least two priests who had molested children and were only transferred. They were never reported to legal authorities. I have no doubt these priests continued to molest children in their new parishes. Was this a deliberate cover-up or did those in authority honestly believe that these offending priests would cease their evil behavior?

Robin Eatmon said...

Read Ann Barnhardt's blog and get her take on what's going on in the Catholic church. It is extensive and very interesting. I am not Catholic but I am intrigued by her hard core Catholic beliefs. I warn you she is not for the faint of heart.

PaoloP said...

Cardinal Coccopalmerio (who is one of the closest advisor to the present Pope), and his secretary, are NOT members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith; the purpose of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith is certainly NOT to tackle sexual abuse.

This paragraph is preciously misleading. But who cares, eh?

PaoloP said...

Both Coccopalemerio and his secretary have been friendly with homosexual - not a hard step on their part, apparently.

There's nothing hypocritical, signora Althouse: those are part of the progressive party in the Church.