By Randy Engel
On October 8, 2018, CRUX news service ran a story on the late Father John Harvey, founder of Courage, written by Opus Dei writer Christopher White. CRUX, as readers who have been following my byline for years know, doesn’t identify its large stable of Opus Dei writers, so until they do, I’ll have to do it for them.
In his introduction, White notes that Father Harvey was opposed to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ zero tolerance sex abuse policy for priests and provides some background on the Courage founder’s views on the subject.
According to White, “In the 1970s, Harvey founded a new ministry called ‘Renew, Rest, and Recreation,’ with the aim of providing support for priests with ‘sexual difficulties,’ primarily homosexuality. In 1980, that ministry led to an invitation from Cardinal Terrance (sic) Cooke of New York to form a ministry for lay Catholics called ‘Courage.’”
It might have been timely for White to have mentioned that “Cookie” was a second-generation homosexual himself in the Cardinal Francis Spellman line and his secretary was the ever popular
“Uncle Teddy” McCarrick, aka “Blanche,” but White either didn’t know that or didn’t think it appropriate to include it in the Harvey article.
White goes on to explain that Father Harvey stood in good steed with the American bishops and many dioceses opened their doors to him and to Courage chapters.
“In a 1992 article in Crisis, a conservative magazine,” White explains, “Harvey described the arguments he had offered at the Ninth Bishops’ Workshop in Dallas in 1990. Harvey argued that priests who sexually abused minors often did so because of sexual addiction, and therefore guilt could not be imputed. On that basis, he claimed bishops could not impose canonical penalties.”
“Instead, he (Harvey) argued, most should be rehabilitated and returned to ministry,” White continues.
White provides some insights into Harvey’s thinking from Father Philip Bochanski, the Executive Director of Courage, as to the exceptions that Father Harvey believed in. “While Bochanski told CRUX that in the article, ‘[Harvey] stated clearly that those whose sexual attractions are completely oriented toward children or youth “should not be restored to any pastoral ministry,” the article also makes clear that Harvey believed ‘relatively few’ priests who sexually abused minors fit in that category.’”
The reader should realize that thus far in the CRUX article, no mention has been made of the fact that the sexual abuse of minors (and of vulnerable and unwilling adults) is a CRIME!
Red Flag #1.
Enter Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons
At this point, White introduces the reader to Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a close friend and confidant of Father Harvey. White does not identify Fitzgibbons as a member of Opus Dei, but the doctor is a member, a supernumerary, I believe.
In typical Opus Dei fashion, Fitzgibbons is credited with coining and/or popularizing the term “same-sex relationships,” as opposed to the tacky words –homosexual or sodomite.
As reported by White, Fitzgibbons, who worked with Harvey and is a popular speaker at Courage conferences, “evidences a preference for rehabilitation of priests who commit sexual abuse, similar to [Father Harvey’s and his] approach to homosexual individuals whom they sought to aid in changing orientation.”
Up goes Red Flag #2
A priest or layperson who sexually abuses a minor (or vulnerable or unwilling adult) is a CRIMINAL and needs to be REPORTED to the POLICE! On the other hand, homosexuals who entertain and act out their perversion are NOT criminals under the current secular laws. Homosexual priests and religious, however, are guilty of grave delicts and deserving of laicization and/or other forms of canonical punishment.
White notes that Harvey and Fitzgibbons were co-authors of the 1999 pamphlet, Homosexuality and Hope, published by the Catholic Medical Association, “which maintains that individuals are not born with a same-sex attraction, and that such individuals are at greater risk for psychiatric disorders.” This writer can vouch for the soundness of both these premises. However, the pamphlet deals primarily with medical and therapeutic issues and not with criminal activities by homosexuals including pederasty.
According to White, “As a moral theologian by training rather than a clinical psychologist, Harvey relied heavily on Fitzgibbons along with other like-minded individual such as Dr. John Money and Dr. John Kinane, who shaped both his thought and practice on how to handle priests with a history of abuse.”
John William Money, Ph.D. !!!! Tell me that’s a misprint!
The late Dr. John W. Money lived out his sexology career at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. He created the myth of “affectional pedophilia” (about love) versus “sadistic pedophilia” (about sex). Money led a loveless sex life with casual partners of both sexes; he was an advocate for pedophilia and played a leading role in the so-called sexual revolution.
Money wrote the introduction to Theo Sandfort’s apologia for pederasty, Boys on their Contacts with Men – A Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships. According to Money, “It might very well be that deprivation of playful sexual rehearsal is the origin of a high proportion of sexual syndromes of human adolescence and adulthood.”
One wonders what Father Harvey was thinking when he turned to Money for guidance on anything, especially homosexuality. And one wonders about White and the CRUX staff that let this monumental blunder pass without comment.
CRUX Conclusions on Father Harvey
In his concluding remarks, under the heading “Zero Tolerance,” White notes that during the 1980s and 1990s, Harvey and his associates including Fitzgibbons were influential in encouraging bishops to give clerical sexual abusers a second chance – a second chance that the victims never got.
The article ends with a commentary by Father Bochanski in which the priest notes that Harvey’s disapproval of the bishops’ new policy of zero tolerance reflected Harvey’s belief that “seemed to see a policy of permanent restriction as limiting the power of God’s grace to restore these priests to a chaste life and a meaningful ministry.” Again, Harvey’s concern seems to be focused on the perpetrator of sexual abuse rather than on the victims of the abuse and their families who have to deal with the all too familiar fallout of the sexual abuse, mainly of young adolescent boys.
It was the release of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s report on clerical sexual abuse in five dioceses in August 2018 that prompted Courage to issue a press release that inferred that if Father Harvey were alive today, his views might have been different from what he had advocated. This writer is not so sure that would have been the case.
But what I find most reprehensible about the CRUX article is that not one person –– neither the writer (White), nor any of the individuals referred to in the article or interviewed for the article be he priest or layman, nor any CRUX staffer ––mentioned the fact that the sexual abuse of minors (or vulnerable or unwilling adults including seminarians and young priests) is a CRIME! And CRIMES should be reported to the proper authorities for investigation. If warranted, a trial would then follow, with any convicted felon, be that felon a cleric or layman , receiving a sentence.
What, in God’s name, is wrong with these people?"