It's hard for Catholics today to keep the Faith. The culture both mocks Catholicism and tries to entice Catholics into skepticism and licentiousness (often successfully). Worse still, the culture has invaded the Church, such that good Catholics must endure skeptical and licentious priests, liturgical abuse, New Age homilies, spiritual malpractice, watered-down catechesis, secularized "Catholic" schools, etc. While it's important to focus on all these grave problems, the question must be asked: What is their source?
The source, dear friends, is the seminary -- not every one, but many of them. That's why we regard Michael S. Rose's new book on seminaries, Goodbye, Good Men (Regnery), as one of the most important Catholic books published in the past three or four decades. The book concretely and vividly describes how certain vocations directors and seminaries screen out manly orthodox men or, if such men manage to get in under the radar, persecute them or even force them out. Meanwhile, homosexuals and dissenters are welcomed and proceed to ordination.
The book's sources come not only from the public record but, crucially, from interviews with 150 people, of whom 125 are or were in seminaries, representing 50 dioceses and 22 major seminaries. That's a good data base, and they all tell essentially the same story. Were the book based on interviews with a handful of people, one might conclude that these are just tall tales from a gaggle of malcontents. But with so many folks concurring, the book rings true.
The book was researched and written in the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the Great Sex Scandals of 2002. Rose was on top of a situation that caught most of the Catholic world by surprise. Given the history of out-in-the-open and flagrant homosexuality at certain seminaries discussed by Rose, this book goes a long way in explaining how we could have so many degenerates and perverts in the priesthood.
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