The Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal

By | September 12, 2019


Hi my name’s Fr. Mike Schmitz and this
is Ascension Presents. So, I’m making this video
in response to the scandal in Pennsylvania about 300 priests who abused a thousand—
or thousands— of children. People were asking me, they’re like,
“Fr. Mike, when are you gonna comment on this? When are you gonna make a statement about this?
When are you gonna talk about this? When are you going to condemn it?” And I just thought that was… I was like… well, part of me was asking,
“What do you mean? It’s obviously condemnable, right? It’s obviously evil.
Why would I need to…” — and if you can just go with me on this,
just please be patient with me on this — I’m kind of like,
“Why would I need to condemn it?” Because it’s obviously, like,
the worst thing EVER. It’s just like, it’s beyond…
okay, I’ll get to that in a second. *Sighs deeply*
Umm. “Well ‘cause you need to speak out.” I’m like, well it’s easy to speak out against evil
when evil is obvious, right? So right now there’s no argument.
There’s no argument that that’s… Literally for me,
it’s the worst thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s the worst thing
I’ve ever heard in my entire life. It is beyond comprehension.
Honestly, in my mind… Comprehension.
I don’t understand it. It’s beyond my imagination. I’ve seen Law & Order SVU, and I’ve seen like, okay, terrible things
that people have done, depicted in that TV show. I could NEVER IMAGINE in my entire life what I heard about priests
doing to these kids. Never ever. So when they’re like, “Fr. Mike, speak against this,”
I’m like, it’s … If I were to speak against it now, I would be merely virtue signaling. That’s all this video would be: me, virtue signaling.
What’s virtue signaling? Virtue signaling is putting on the appearance of like,
“Hey I’m on this side…” When it comes to the evil thing, like
“I’m against the evil thing.” And that’s obvious.
But see the problem with it — there’s a difference between
‘virtue’ and ‘virtue signaling.’ Virtue signaling is, I get to claim to be on the right side
and condemn something that’s obviously evil at no cost to myself. I don’t actually need virtue
in order to condemn the evil. Virtue signaling. Because I can make a video like this,
and we can post things on Twitter, and we can post things on Facebook
and say like, “This is so terrible.” And it is, obviously right?
But it doesn’t cost me anything. That’s not virtue;
that’s virtue signaling. The real virtue are the people
who worked on the grand jury for the last two years and went through all that garbage
to find out and prosecute and get to the truth
and get to the bottom of things. That’s virtue. That’s real virtue.
That cost them something. The actual virtue has to do with those good priests
and good bishops who were willing to say “Actually, nope. No more.
Someone needs to speak out about this.” That’s real virtue, and the real —
the biggest thing of virtue — is those victims who, when the statute of
limitations in Pennsylvania was lifted — after years
of the shame they experienced, after years of
what they had to go through — when they had the chance
to speak those kids, now grown…
those victims spoke. That’s virtue.
Making a video is virtue signaling. Standing up when
no one else is standing up. Right now, everyone’s standing up. This video could be just another voice. But when those people who were hurt,
when they stood up? That’s virtue. And that’s so important. So, then if that’s the case, then why am I making
the video if all it is is virtue signaling? It’s because one of the things I ask people is like,
“Well why would you.. “ I don’t know — again, I just apologize for this, but like — why would you need me? Like, I’m just some priest in Minnesota.
Why would you need me to say something about this?” And one of the things
that kept coming back was, “Well we just want to know that you priests
are as angry and upset about this as we are.” And I can’t tell you how
that just struck me. Because I just assumed
that you assumed it that I WOULD be, right? I just assumed that you assumed that all priests and
all bishops would be like, “What the…?!” And just like… I mean… *sighs deeply* I realized the gap between… The gap of trust that’s between a lot of people
and the church. When they have to be told that,
“Oh… the horror you experience
when you heard some of these stories is the horror that your priest
and your bishop feels.” But if that’s the question
then here’s the answer: as I said earlier,
I had never imagined and I could never… *sighs* fathom… the level of pain
these kids went through. And! And this… turning a blind eye… that had happened in the church
for years… This like, “We’ll shuffle you around.” And I know there’s a bunch of — there’s a bunch of reasons that, you know … “Well, maybe they thought this and this and this
at the time…” I don’t care. I don’t care. What I’m talking about right now is a willingness
to compromise and an unwillingness to be courageous when it comes to — when it came to brother priests,
when it came to bishops. It’s terrible. But here’s something
I want to also say, because the next thing people who are saying
“Well, we just want to know that you’re as angry as us,” I’m like “I can’t convey to you
how angry I am.” The next thing they asked was, “Well did you know about all this stuff?
Like, you as a priest? Did you.. I mean… the thing with Archbishop McCarrick?
This whole kind of … this grooming of… of homosexual predatory behavior
happening in seminaries and then in the hierarchy
or in the dioceses and stuff? Do you guys all know
all about all those things?” And I have to say,
I didn’t. “When it came to this abuse stuff, did you know?
Did you have any sense?” And I just have to tell you, I think for the most part,
I’m just a normal priest, right? I’m an average priest in my diocese
doing my stuff. Had NO idea. When it came to, again, this kind of —
stuff in seminary that just… I read about when it came [to] the story
of Archbishop McCarrick. People asked me “Is that what seminary is like?” NO. In fact, when I went to seminary — before I went there —
I read a book that my mom had given me called ‘Goodbye Good Men’
by Michael S. Rose. And it was all about exposing the corruption and terrible
stuff in American seminaries in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. And so I got there in 1997? Or 1998? And so I was on alert, like “Yeah I read a book that’s all
about some of the garbage and… stuff that’s happened in there.” And I didn’t. It wasn’t on my radar. Why? Because I think
the seminaries had been cleaned up enough by then. In fact, I remember talking with a priest — after I was ordained, he became the rector of St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota — Father Bill Baer.
He just died recently, may he rest in peace. Good man. He was the kind of character
of the person that you’d say, “Because of guys like him, those who would [be]
likely to abuse would never get past his door. They would never
get past his gate.” In fact, I remember him sharing this with me,
that he’d have guys they would say, okay this behavior was evil, inappropriate…
it lent itself towards possibly … like, he’d be a person who it would…
disordered sexuality basically. And these guys would be crying in his office,
[and say] “Keep me in here,” and he said
“I’d rather have you cry in my office than in years, some mom and dad cry in my office
because I let you out… I said you were fine to pass through formation,
pass through seminary and be ordained. So I’d rather have you cry here
than anyone be hurt by you and see them have to cry. And then it’s my fault.” Because that’s the kind of priests I know,
you guys. Just so you know — the kind of priests
that I’ve encountered are not these who abuse, and the kind of bishops I’ve encountered
are not those who compromise. In fact, I have… Our bishop here up in Duluth is awesome,
his name’s Bishop Paul Sirba. And Bishop Paul… he’s so gentle, right?
He’s so kind. If you ever met him, you’re just like, “Oh my gosh,
this man is so kind, he’s so gentle.” But I describe him as, like,
a carpeted wall. And what I mean by that is, ‘cause you go up to him
and like, oh, he’s soft, he’s gentle, he’s kind. But you push against it, like, oh my gosh,
this guy does not compromise. When it comes to any kind of abuse stuff
that would come across his desk, he’s a man who would be kind, [but] he
does not compromise in any way, shape, or form when it comes to protection of youth —
when it comes to protection of anyone — here’s a man who has an iron will. Same thing with Archbishop Hebda — the other bishop I know down in St. Paul, Minneapolis — and other bishops that I’ve encountered.
This is my … this is just my experience. Is that I’ve never met a comprimising Bishop
(I don’t think, at least). I’ve only met faithful men who are saying,
“We will do absolutely everything we can… to eradicate and eliminate
anyone who would abuse… Any dangers for our kids.” So if the question is “Are you as angry as we are?”
Absolutely. I don’t… Yes. B. — other question of
“Did you know about this? Is this something that’s going on underground
that all priests know about?” Absolutely not.
At least this priest, I … No idea. C. — or 3 — …
*sighs* I don’t … I don’t know if this is the time.
Maybe it’s not the time. But people are asking “So hasn’t the church
done anything? Haven’t we learned from the past? Haven’t we learned from 2002?” And I … I don’t know. I think the answer is yes.
Here’s what I mean: In 2002 when the stuff broke in Boston,
like spotlight the whole thing, right? The bishops met
and they had the Dallas Charter. That Charter put in really, really strict … a zero-tolerance
policy for anyone who would be abusing. So any kind of ‘shuffle it under the rug’
or ‘move the person around’… DONE.
Like, absolutely not. This is gonna be something where,
if someone comes forward, we’re gonna believe the victim,
the one who’s making the accusation. And the priest will be immediately suspended.
And all these steps are gonna be taken without fail. And as far as I know — in all diocese
that I’ve been part of — that has happened. Now another thing when it comes to that is,
every diocese in the country has what you call … I mean we have to go through training,
like Child Protection training, all these kind of things. Not just priests, deacons, not just clergy,
but also parish employees and volunteers. Anyone working with youth
has to go through all of this training. And one of the big pieces of training, and one of the big
rules or laws or whatever you want to call it — about working with youth — and that’s what I do,
that’s my ministry, right — is something called
the ‘two-deep rule’ where you may NOT — if you’re an adult —
you may NOT be alone with a youth. Two-deep rule. Has to be at least one other adult,
or group of people, whatever the thing is. You may not… and this is kind of the stuff…
like, the priest? This is the church
that I was ordained into. Because I was ordained a deacon in 2002,
right in the middle of this whole thing. And so I remember going to … I remember
when I got ordained and I went out with my family. Umm… Went out with my family to a restaurant to celebrate
‘I got ordained!’ and this and that, and I remember getting up from the table
to go to the restroom. And I walk by these guys about my age at the time,
and I was wearing this, you know. And I walked by and these two guys are like
“Ugh. Child molester.” I remember thinking, “Oh… Oh, so this is what this is gonna be like. This is what it’s gonna be like to go out in public.”
And that’s how it was. I mean… That’s kinda what it’s been.
You go to grocery store, walk through the airport… Moms have their kids and
shift them over to the other side, watching me. And I remember being really troubled by that
and really bothered by that the first year. I mean, it always bothers me, whatever,
but being really, really bothered by that. I remember going into the chapel going like,
“God, what the heck?! I mean, I didn’t do anything! Why is this… why do I have to deal with this?” And I remember the Lord speaking and he was like,
“You know what? Those kids didn’t do anything either. They … they didn’t do anything wrong. But because of someone else, they have to carry this weight
for the rest of their lives. And they didn’t deserve it. So if you have to wear a collar
and maybe some people look at you suspiciously, then you … you can bear that. Because those kids didn’t deserve this and they are experiencing far, far greater weight, greater pain, than you could
ever experience by somebody looking at you askew. Here’s the last thing. I know some people would say like “Okay, so,
this is the church I’m in, I can’t stay, I gotta leave.” I get it. I understand…
I kind of understand. I kind of understand because, I don’t know, I’ve never “believed in” a bishop,
I’ve never “believed in” a priest. Some of the priests I looked up to when I was a kid —
or growing up, coming of age — failed in big ways. And so I never put my faith in the priesthood
or a certain priest or a certain bishop. And again, I’ve always, kind of …
I guess I’ve always known that the church is broken, because I know that I’m broken
and I know that it’s the human condition. So I guess there’s a piece of that,
that I don’t get it. If Jesus founded the church, then
why would I ever leave, even if it’s got corruption. I would invite you to do the same. Don’t leave the church
when things get tough. LEAD the church when things get tough. I’ll say that again. Here’s what we do, as the body of Christ, as Christians,
as followers of Christ, as Catholics… we don’t leave the church
when it gets difficult, when there’s bad things,
when there’s awful stuff. We lead the church when there are bad things,
when there’s corruption, when there’s awful things. And the best way you and I can lead the church
is by becoming saints. That’s it. But nothing short —
nothing short of that is going to help anything. We have this policy, this Dallas Charter,
we have all these — two-deep rule. All those things are fine —
they’re good, they protect kids. None of them are enough. None of them are enough. When the things get difficult and when the thing gets peeled back
and you’re like, “What? This is disgusting.” Don’t leave. Lead. And lead by saying
“What is disgusting in my life? Where in my life do I compromise? Where in my life do I say
‘Oh that’s fine, this is fine…’” and stop it. Where in my life is their infidelity?
Where in my life is there a two-faced-ness? Where in my life is there corruption?” And weed it out.
Bring it into the light. Refuse to compromise with it. And don’t leave the church,
brother and sister, listening to me right now: Don’t leave the church, lead the church. The church needs you to lead it
by being a saint, more than ever. Maybe we needed it
in the last hundred years too, absolutely. Maybe we needed it
in the last two thousand years — that’s true. But right now, it is unmistakably clear
that what the church needs more than — again, not another charter,
more than more rules — what the church needs is people
who are willing to be uncompromising with themselves in their pursuit of Jesus, to be courageous, to be faithful, to become holy and to lead the church by becoming the saints
that the church needs right now. Again, please,
don’t leave. Lead. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Fr. Mike. God bless.

100 thoughts on “The Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal

  1. Natalie Devonshire Post author

    Yes! Do not LEAVE the church but LEAD …we are all called to be saints ,Thank you Father for your words of encouragement ,God bless.

    Reply
  2. CHRISTINA WHITE Post author

    Thank you for genuinely caring about this situation our church is in because we love the church and are dumbfounded on how to handle it. We have to handle it because non-catholic people question us, and the ridicule we withstand is horrendous. We want to stand up for being Catholic. All I can say is there have been some wolves in sheep’s clothing as there are in protestant churches.

    Father, as I look for how to respond and pray during this dark time in our church, I keep running into Our Lady of Good Success. Would you consider talking on a video to enlighten us? Thank you for taking the time and care to talk to us.🙏

    Reply
  3. Traditional Catholic Post author

    Where do I find Mass, that is Not OD. Where do I find the Traditional Mass???

    Reply
  4. Ana Olivares Post author

    God bless your heart!!! I truly hear Jesus when I hear u!!

    Reply
  5. Mick Killeen Post author

    Great talk there father. In ways the forgiving nature of the Catholic church can be it's down fall. In some cases it should be first strike and ur out. No second chances . The nature of abuse is it's hard to prove and the abuser can be clever in covering their tracks. It's a complex problem

    Reply
  6. John Johnsten Post author

    I am not a Catholic but I agree with the father. These kinds of things aren't limited to the Catholic Church. Many faiths have experienced this including my own. Such an offender is quickly excommunicated from my faith. Sadly we here a lot about what's wrong and too little about what's right. Those who are tempted this way should leave the priesthood and become lay members of the church before they commit such acts not after.

    Reply
  7. Cesar Aizpurua Post author

    Lets become warriors of the Holy Sacrament….. The maiden of Crhist the Catholic Church will survive for the blood ofbthe Lamb sustains it

    Reply
  8. Ben Darcy Post author

    Thanks Fr. Mike. I really appreciate this video. It’s really helped my faith. Keep up the good work 👍

    Reply
  9. Alex Oa Post author

    Thank you Fr. Mike. Abuse doesn't happen only in the Catholic Church, it's everywhere. Unfortunately as a Catholic such news attracted to the Church is difficult and worrying but your video is a real help.

    I know all priests and bishops in our Church are not bad but bad news sells and most importantly needs to be told. I only wish the good works of our good priests and bishops had similar coverage. It's good to know our Cardinals recently had the conference in Rome on this matter and I am sure good will come out of it.

    Stay and pray. We must be ready to go to Heaven.

    Reply
  10. Colleen Grady Post author

    Knowing Church history is so helpful. Our Church has been through many crises and will lead us through this one again. Purification is never pleasant.

    Reply
  11. Kerry Post author

    Heartbreaking. Our beautiful Church is stained by this ugly sin. Those of us who love the Body of Christ need to stay close to Truth and the Sacraments.

    Reply
  12. Ken Sabec Post author

    Thank you Father Mike. You are a blessing.! When people ask me what I think of these scandals I say it is the work of The Devil. My focus has always been Father Son & holy spirit. I lead by example and pray every day for the church .

    Reply
  13. Brianna Nichole Wojciechowicz Post author

    Celibacy isn't the problem nor is homosexuality it's a pedophile problem.

    Reply
  14. Peter Garcia Post author

    One thing being Catholic has thought me is to believe in myself the most. Dont always rely on others to make yourself better ( including priest) . The father also has many other issues and only can't attend to an individual. The ⛪ always has good intentions but its not always going to be perfect. This is why he tells us to lead a good example not always perfect but a good example. Perfection cant be always achieved specially for the little guyz.👪🐕🐈🌏

    Reply
  15. Lilli Post author

    As a survivor of childhood abuse this video is a breath of fresh air. You're stating the obvious but so often when it comes to sexual abuse even the obvious things don't get said out loud the whole nature of response to rape is to sweep it under the rug. Put it on the back burner and try and forget about it. So to have someone just come out and state things like "those kids did nothing wrong." Is healing its validating and I really appreciate your sincerity. God bless you and the work your doing 💜

    Reply
  16. Kim Talamantez Post author

    I enjoy all of Fr Mike's video's, but by far this is the most powerful that I have seen. Thank you Fr. Mike for your wisdom. I wish that I could be a member of your Parish. God bless you.

    Reply
  17. arion45 Post author

    I think that the church is a hierarchical structure that many of us do not fully understand. We do not know the inner workings of it. When we see that such a grotesque, evil can grow within the structure of the church we need our leaders to condemn it and route it out. There should be a literal inquisition within the church to destroy this evil.

    What see by the leadership is cover up and moving the priests from place to place. It is not obvious to the lay that anyone is doing anything about this evil. So speaking out against it is I see as a first step and not virtue signaling.

    So thank you for taking that first step.

    Reply
  18. Lauren Sung Post author

    I'm still Catholic not cause Pope Bishops or all priests but cause our Lord Jesus and beautiful Eucharist… it's wonderful relationship between me and God.
    Let's pray for our Pope and all priest everyday and walk in love. Lord have mercy on us. Amen 💓

    Indonesia with love in Christ.

    Reply
  19. Melissa Boyd Post author

    Thank you for your message “Don’t leave- lead.” I needed to hear this. You are a blessing to this earth.

    Reply
  20. Lynnie Dhanak Post author

    Yes, we are called to holiness, true sainthood. It is the only purpose of life, the only yes we can give to God and to each other. Father Mike, such grateful thanks for your courage and clarity. God bless you and hold you in His love.

    Reply
  21. LOlita Razo Post author

    Thank you for the light that brings me peace… 🙂

    Reply
  22. Happy hOUR Post author

    It’s more than abuse against children. We have homosexual predators who infiltrated who where groomed themselves to take down the Catholic Church. 81% is homosexual abuse. I will say ,although I shouldn’t have to, it’s not all homosexuals,just predator homosexuals. We have a problem and it goes high up with bishops Cardinals and the Pope. We must pray the rosary everyday. Pray for the Pope to have a conversion of mind and heart and do the right thing for Jesus’s church. We faithful Catholics must study what Jesus teachings are in His Church. Listen to Dr. Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon and be inspired and educated on the beauty of our church. Vigano , Cardinal Burke ,Father Mike are a few of the many great priest. Do not abandon the church for you will be abandoning Jesus. Be warriors for Jesus and stand strong and shine light on the truth. Rememberjesus said to Peter after He said upon this rock I will build My Church,the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Pray for all the sick infiltrators,the Pope and the church to do right by Jesus.

    Reply
  23. Laura b Post author

    We need prayer for our church, don’t lose faith

    Reply
  24. NEW AGE Post author

    Question
    Father mike
    Why is the rosary said counterclockwise?! I’ve heard if you go that way your opening portals. Is that why a catholic priest has to bless your rosary?!

    Reply
  25. Charlie Challita Post author

    if theirs 1 rotten apple in a box , doesn't mean there all rotten, main stream media is full of lies, there are against the Christians, they never say a good thing that we have done, they only mention the bad.

    Reply
  26. Jer Read Post author

    Fr Mike—- thankyou for this searingly honest video—-

    Reply
  27. Steven Rogge Post author

    Very good statement on the brokenness of the body of Christ and it is reassuring to hear you state the shame and horror you are experiencing because of these incidents. Within our society we are quick to condemn the entire group without proper evidence, sorry for the shunning you received. And thank you for us to the expectations of Christ in our walk. As the body of Christ we have allowed ourselves to lulled into comprising our walk with Christ. Lord forgive us.

    Reply
  28. Colleen Pomeroy Post author

    Wonderful viewpoint. Thank you Jesus for this message. I will lead.

    Reply
  29. Marian McAfee Post author

    Thank you. What we don’t know …what’s the percentage of priests that feel as you do, a connection with each other, a determination to employ changes…a responsibility felt for this unawareness . Grateful for you, your passion, your sincerity of purpose. I’m sorry 😐 you’ve suffered, yes happy you addressed this. Most non Catholics assume this is rampantly some hallmark of priests now. There’s no zero tolerance with protections. People all deserve better. Head bow.

    Reply
  30. Kimora Bella Post author

    If you leave the church because of what man's doing (like this scandal) means you're not worshiping God but human. We follow what they're teaching but not what they're doing.

    Reply
  31. Mary Macdonald Post author

    Father, what's to say? There's nothing to say. I do think Pell might be innocent, though.

    Reply
  32. Hazel Equinox Post author

    Dang this video is heavy. You can tell Father Mike is so hurt and upset and the look on his face when he talks about how much he realized there's such a deep level of loss of trust. Because this affects all priests. Now no matter how good a Catholic priest is they'll be dealing with this overwhelming mistrust. That hurts a lot. The church is gonna have to work extra hard to earn the trust of the masses back. And that's a huge disservice to the honest priests. But it's an unfortunate reality.

    Reply
  33. Daniel Valenzuela Post author

    Well, Martin Luther tried to LEAD the Church at the beginning when he saw the corruption inside the Church, and tried to go against the selling of indulgences, among other things, but got excommunicated by Pope Leo. I know Catholics don't really like him, but he really tried to change the bad things that were happening in his day from inside the Church… About 37% of Catholics consider leaving the Church because of the sex abuse scandal, so that needs to be addressed in a more direct way, world-wide. Maybe has to do with the celibacy "rule" and because not everyone has that gift, Priests without that gift try to suppress those desires but end up doing those horrible things.

    Reply
  34. Rollan McCleary Post author

    It seems too  late to make reply. I only watched this
    video because I was asked for an opinion and I would say it is was refreshingly
    positive and heart warmingly sincere. But I am still left with a question. When
    evil goes beyond a certain national or ecclesiastical point, God withdraws from
    it as the prophet Ezekiel saw the Lord do from the Jerusalem temple. St Paul in
    Corinthians tells believers not even to dine and associate with openly immoral
    Christians. In Revelation whatever the figure of Babylon means (some say Rome,
    America, Saudi Arabia, but evidently some kind of corrupt religious and
    economic system), it is said “Come out of her my people lest you partake in her
    sins…and share in her plagues”. This makes a case for the principle of withdrawal
    from some situations sometimes. The only argument against that mandate would be
    if you consider Catholicism so chosen as to be immune from judgement. I suppose
    many Catholics do believe just that; but Orthodoxy and Protestantism don’t
    think so – for Protestants the church is less founded on Peter and his church
    than the the belief statement Peter made. The late Catholic seeress Jeane
    Dixon, told a girl who said she wanted to be Catholic like  her that the right church for her would be wherever she could be closest to God – effectively the same answer given to ex-atheist Howard Storm when he asked angels about this in his near death experience. So perhaps that’s the issue for Catholics at this point. The sole basis for
    staying would be if it’s the way they feel they can be nearest to God; but one
    would need to be sure that doesn’t mean being too near to supporting what’s
    unacceptable to God.

    Reply
  35. mary williams Post author

    Did they forget? I lived through the Viet Nam war. To get out of the draft, guys entered seminaries (of all faiths). Seminaries were packed. NO computer background checks available. Pediphiles, (very charismatic and socially well liked) entered easily. Good guys went to wars, not predators in plain sight. Should have had more mothers on the war counsels.

    Reply
  36. EF ANDMK Post author

    When sexuality is repressed, it erupts in dysfunctional ways. The celibacy rule was initiated for economic, not theological reasons. The church did not want to be burdened with the children and widows of dead priests., Life expectancy of men at the time it was initiated was in the early 30s. Lift the celibacy requirement of priests and stop persecuting homosexuals (who were told historically that they were homosexual because they were born for celibacy AKA the priesthood). The church brought all of this upon themselves. Problem identified. Problem solved.

    Reply
  37. SovngardeBeckoned Post author

    Father, these scandals and the way the Pope is acting is going to draw a very clear line in the sand. Those priests who want to follow such un-Catholic changes will do so, and the rest will probably join groups like the FSSP or SSPX or even indult. I hope that includes you. Is the Latin Mass something you'd ever consider saying in your diocese?

    Reply
  38. Pretentious Ass Wipe Post author

    Such a great priest and a great man

    Reply
  39. Walphish Post author

    Hi, Fr. Mike. I couldn’t find a way to submit a question on AP’s website, so I figured I’d just leave a comment and hope you see it.

    I was abused since I was little into my adulthood, and among other things, picked up impure habits from the abuse that I felt/feel equally helpless to. All my life, I was taught very Puritan and condemning things about my body that didn’t help, and actually made things worse. At best, confessors give me useless advice; at worst, the judge me, even when I mention it came out of abuse. I don’t feel like I can turn to the Church at all with this, but I feel a tug in my heart to try, especially now that I’ve met someone I want to date. Saints in the past were pure, after all. What should I do?

    Reply
  40. Steve Blanck Post author

    I became a Catholic several years ago and I am sickened by the continued sex abuse crimes the the church actually seems to allow. It is time to clean house and through the abusers out!

    Reply
  41. Philip Accaria Post author

    Abuses such as these and others have been occurring since the early 1950s. The "Lavender Mafia" has been known to MANY for decades.

    Reply
  42. It’s Real Post author

    Do not be a Catholic they have distorted God’s laws become a Christian and live the way God has intended us to live

    Reply
  43. Dallas Ketron Post author

    We are members of the Church. If all priests are guilty in the eyes of society, then we are all guilty as well. We are the body of Christ. We don't quit or run. We face it, find it, and fix it. If you ever wondered if you're a true Catholic, then this is the test. If you know a victim, speak out. If you are a victim, speak out. This wound will be healed by the faithful, not by those who run from it. May Jesus have mercy.

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  44. BTS Post author

    Very very troubling that the Pope Emeritus still will not take any sort of responsibility for the abuse scandal. This recent letter/essay (source below) from Benedict XVI demonstrates that he values the institution over the people. You don't even need to read between the lines to ascertain he is arguing the institution primarily must protect itself. The lifestyles in the Vatican, the money, the treasures, the financial assets of the the Church are all prized above the people. Funny, I thought the PEOPLE are the Church.

    As John from Pennsylvania points out in the letters to the editor of Notre Dame Magazine, the Church's foremost rule is to protect the institution. He writes that:

    "…today’s American Catholic Church spends millions and millions of dollars each year to lobby for laws — quite successfully — which exempt them from prosecution for the rape and endangerment of children. This effort to ensure that they will remain above the law isn’t some historical artifact, but rather a foundational, essential tenet of their risk-management strategy."
    — Source: https://magazine.nd.edu/stories/letters-to-the-editor-56/

    Perhaps Benedict should consider an alternative: Give all the money away, sell the assets for the poor and abuse victims (priceless historical treasures can go to museums) and start over. Folks can attend mass in the park, in basements, in VFW halls.

    Source: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2019/04/11/retired-pope-benedict-xvi-publishes-article-sexual-abuse-crisis?utm_source=Newsletters&utm_campaign=f6f489856d-DAILY_CAMPAIGN_2019_4_11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0fe8ed70be-f6f489856d-58778897

    Edit: Typo.

    Reply
  45. Paige Hojdar Post author

    I don’t think he knows how much of a saint he is for us.

    Reply
  46. Palmina D'Alessandro Post author

    It's infiltrated in every pyramid organization , Father. TAKE ME TO CHURCH PLEASE.

    Reply
  47. Palmina D'Alessandro Post author

    @12:39 …yes. PTSD. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. SPLIT PERSONALITY and ALTERS. ….all who are/were BRAINWASHED. DRUGGED. TORTURED. KIDNAPPED. TRAFFICKED….#MISSINGandMURDERD #COLDCASES………………….

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  48. Palmina D'Alessandro Post author

    They burned JOAN OF ARC at the stake…..Is history repeating itself Father?

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  49. Kevinohanlon Post author

    This is the time to return to the Catholic church, not leave. I returned 6 months ago, after a 25 year battle to overcome myself, thanks to the grace of God. It has been the best move of my life.

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  50. Ewa M Post author

    Father, your words starting at 12:15, one of the deepest and thought provoking. May God bless you for this amazing interpretation.

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  51. David Maxfield Post author

    It's not about virture; if a priest nowadays doesn't condemn abuse then people will assume you support it.

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  52. Shahan Mughal Post author

    It never happened; not anyone's fault…

    Reply
  53. Carry Nichols Post author

    Why won't none of you allow the priest to marry. This will solve some of the problems. Your own Prophet Paul even said to marry if you brun sexually. And dont tell me its about purity Moses and the prophets had wifes and they were the most righteous men in there days

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  54. Mateusz Milewski Post author

    Why arent tese priests excommunicated and put in prison? The church needs to condemn these priests and put them in prison.

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  55. J G Post author

    As a law enforcement officer and Catholic (and Bulldog) it is important that you to recognize the need for us to hear your disgust. Thank you. But I still will not allow my children to be alone with a priest. As a parent my job is to protect my children. I'm a practical man I do what is necessary. Best wishes.

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  56. 김신부의 Rainbow Post author

    Do not leave the Church but lead

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  57. Virginia Runyan Post author

    Beautifully said. Thank you for being courageous in addressing this and inspiring us all to search ourselves.

    Reply
  58. Ben Canevari Post author

    When I was a teenager, about 15 or 16, I began to question the Church and the teachings of the Bible. I was in a state of denial. Now, at 23, I am stronger in my faith but also I have a better understanding. It was awful beyond words, but at 16 I probably have had a black-and-white view and assumed that all priests were guilty.

    I am now finishing up mechanic school but I am seriously beginning to find a calling to the priesthood. Amen, Father.

    Reply
  59. Kim Wooldridge Post author

    a difficult topic..but a powerful message… may we pray always for the grace to represent our faith when we find few that actually does!

    Reply
  60. Palmina D'Alessandro Post author

    Father Mike Schmitz…it's a pyramid corporation. #WeAll are at the bottom….The rules of the Bible and of the church are very much like the rules and laws outside of the church…Unless those at the very top make those drastic changes and "filter out" those who are harming all of our children…..I'm just saying. I'm just a woman. I'm just a single mom, a minority. My children including #METOO were harmed also. …There's my confession .

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  61. Monika Bullmer Post author

    The issue in my view isn't your personal view in this abuse case or all the others, it's the reaction of the church hierarchy towards it. Why aren't the perpetrators punished by the church? It's not the individual priest that is an issue, it's the extent. To the outside world, the Catholic church shields abusive predators from prosecution. They don't seem to want to protect the perpetrators instead of the victims. I know the Catholic church is a giant organization. In the secular world, people go to prison for child abuse, clergy shouldn't be exempt from prosecution and prison. I am not Catholic, I was baptized Lutheran. My grandmother was Catholic and went to a Catholic school and she decided for her children to grow up protestant. There is child abuse in other organizations as well, but an organization that has it's own quite unclear jurisdiction that has a lot of influence on society is an issue in itself. If a priest abuses someone, he shouldn't just be sent to another diocese, he should be punished in this world, and if that isn't enough, excommunication should be considered. I've read an article that some people in France have asked for reversing their baptism after one of those scandals.

    Reply
  62. Susi Vegan Post author

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Reply
  63. Stella Kurtz Post author

    …” Do not look at our sins but on the faith of our Church”… I always hold on to that…

    Reply
  64. Afternoon Dreamer Post author

    Abuse is a huge problem in the catholic church.

    Reply
  65. Maryam Al Post author

    Father i know this is not right ..but what i dont like about tjhe media ..only shows Catholic priest ..when Islam..Hindu..jewish ..all do alot more but they dont tell nobody and never talk about it and they protect those religious leaders so their religions dont look bad ..because i know many people of these faiths and they tell me it happends alot in their countries ..but people hide it..

    Reply
  66. Delilah Martinez Post author

    I'm Catholic and I will never be anything but however I've ran into a lot of people who grew up Catholic and turned away from it because of issues they had within the church aswell and they have trust issues I don't know what to say to them necessarily when it comes to these priests that were relocated and did it again and again an re offended and why did that happen I don't understand that part it I understand we must forgive if God forgives you give him a chance but at the same time re offenders should be watched we should protect other people so that's my to confusion on it how am I supposed to defend the church with me not understanding that part of it when the pope even knew about it himself how do I defend our church when I don't even know the answer to that

    Reply
  67. It’s Real Post author

    Turn away from you’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Named the pope, and turn to Jesus Christ.

    Reply
  68. Ted Zambrano Post author

    I Love Mother Church, And I pray for all Clergy, everyday. Don't stop praying. Each and everyone of us are in charge of saving every soul on earth. Doesn't matter how big the storm is.

    Reply
  69. maria HE Post author

    Father Mike, I am catholic and I believe that even priests who rape should be prosecuted as criminals and sent to jail. They are taking advantage of the Church and taking refuge. By this, They are hurting the Holy Church, Or they should be sent away where they cannot be among people, put them in isolation.
    A Priest is a Leader, and you are one.
    May Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, Bless you 🙏

    Reply
  70. Nick Mooney Post author

    Is it rational take on the faith and philosophy or religion of your abuser. My abuser was just like the gentle and kind priest you just described . How can I walk into the place (the church) where I was abused? The people in the church along with the history of the church gave me more reason to become an atheist and leave the church. They have disproved the existence of god.

    Reply
  71. * Post author

    Pedophilia is NOT limited to the Catholic Church but is a problem with the individuals who commit these crimes. Pedophiles can be of any religion, class, race, or gender.

    Reply
  72. Rockinghorse Winner Post author

    Homosexuality in the church: the elephant in the room. You didn't mention it.

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  73. Rockinghorse Winner Post author

    What did you see of homosexuality in seminary?

    Reply
  74. It’s ya boy Post author

    Gday Mate. I am a baptised catholic but lapsed. Your videos have inspired me to return to the church

    Reply
  75. My OpenMind Post author

    The Catholic Church is dying out because of abuse and because people are now better educated.

    People like to pretend that abuse is new. It’s been going on for centuries.

    I think if Christianity were to die out, that would be a good thing.

    Reply
  76. rye4ever Post author

    This is so beautiful, I could easily go throughout my everyday life listening to you Fr. Mike? Wish I was in your Parish.

    Reply
  77. Kathy Smith Post author

    Yes Amen! Thank you for speaking out as silence is deafening. We must talk, and hear from our Priest Fathers. It is so diabolical – that good Priests are hung out to dry along with our Savior – Jesus. When things get tough we blame God and leave. The devil uses this. Gone are the days for a lazy faith life- we the laity must be strong and lead in love and humility. God Bless you Father for not getting too discouraged in these times. The church is not over not even close , we will come back so much stronger. God is with us, every step of the way! 🙏🏽

    Reply
  78. sanalzam1 Post author

    Father, I feel your pain! And you don't have to excuse yourself for the Crimes of others! GOD Bless you!

    Reply
  79. RarePhoenix Post author

    I know this video was done just a year ago, but I want say that what you had to say about the scandal was inspiring. I felt your anger and sadness when you talked and I even teared up the more I watched. I'd love to meet you someday good sir because you're such an amazing teacher and I'd like to be a teacher myself someday.

    Reply
  80. Palmina D'Alessandro Post author

    Father Mike Schmitz, I share your anger and tears when it comes to this topic. Matthew 18:6

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  81. Diego Romero Post author

    Fr Mike…can I just say how much I admire your ability to remain calm even when you are enraged…a lot. Idk how else to say it. May God keep strengthening you in your path to being a saint, giving you wisdom in your words and ability to transmit the good word of God, and keep on blessing you.

    Reply
  82. Christopher James Post author

    What do you think about Catholics becoming Freemasons

    Reply
  83. Pat Poling Post author

    I think you have a wonderful way of explaining things. I’ve been reading some of the comments and many of them are less than kind. I know it must be hard for you to deal with the nastiness. If you were going to counsel survivors who were abused by priests, how would you help them learn to forgive their abuser? Asking for a friend.

    Reply
  84. Ma Lucia Post author

    Go into the very bottom of the problem – homosexuality! It would deem necessary that you along with all the representatives of the church should define and redefine what homosexuality is. In order to cut open the issue of these sexual abuse, you have to look into as to what it TRULY is, behavior, the mindset and why the sexual confusion that led them to a compromise of their vocation, the sacraments and the church. We cannot be apologetics all the time… as followers of Christ we need to seek the truth and expose it.

    Reply
  85. susan cinek Post author

    well said. I know this is old news but I just watched this and really appreciate the support I received from hearing this. We are living in hellish times and it is so wonderful to know that so many are so brave in coming forth. What a sign of grace and love, forgiveness and hope.

    Reply
  86. TheoStuss Post author

    We should not leave the Church? You and your brethren left her because of Vatican II. You are not even a priest! The Novus Ordo of Episcopal Consecration is styled upon Spirit Christology that is just a modern form of the heresy of Paul of Samosata. It was once called Dynamic Monarchianism.

    Reply

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