Let’s Call Out Dirty Old Men Again

One cannot speak against the acts that used to be called deviant and perverse because those very acts are being mainstreamed and normalized by all the powers that be.

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I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when we could freely identify and call out dirty old men. When, without reprisal, we could recognize and denounce sexual deviance and not have to pretend that sexual perversion was normal or good.

In fact, back then, we were still allowed to use the terms “deviant” and “pervert” in normal parlance. To do so wasn’t “mean”; it was honest, wise, and protective—a warning of physical, moral, and spiritual danger ahead. Intuition was still trusted, and common sense was still common. 

In the not-too-distant past, we could openly assess and then warn our children and communities about sickos who sexually groomed, exploited, and preyed on children or vulnerable adults, and we could agree as a society that these people were unsafe, violating the natural order through unnatural vice. 

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Today? All discernment on the issue of sexual perversion has been dulled and even forbidden. One cannot speak against the acts that used to be called deviant and perverse because those very acts are being mainstreamed and normalized by all the powers that be. To speak clearly against any deviant sex is “hate speech” that will get one cancelled or worse. In an unholy inversion, it is now those who publicly oppose sexual deviancy who are considered dangerous. According to the education, entertainment, media, corporate, military, medical, psychological, and political establishments, those who hold to Christian morality and traditional standards of decency are now the threat to others and to the social order.

Today, the acts of grooming and sexualizing children are not only tolerated but are considered a positive good. If you don’t believe me, then you haven’t watched any preschool shows in a while, nor have you been involved in public schools, nor frequented a library. If you need to be shaken awake, please do go here for just one teeny, tiny example—a drop in the ocean of filth shoveled to our babies. 

I say all that as a backdrop to what is currently happening in our own beloved Catholic Church. In previous decades, faithful and concerned Catholics knew who the bad actors were in the U.S. episcopate—bishops and cardinals such as Weakland, Gumbleton, Clark, Mahoney, Bernardin, etc. Many assumed that those creepy prelates were a few rotten if powerful apples who just slipped through to the hierarchy somehow but that the majority of bishops were faithful Catholic shepherds—perhaps weak, but at least trying to be virtuous and believing what the Church taught. 

When the first round of priest-sex-abuse scandals hit the Church in 2002 through secular reporting (and not internal policing), many of us decried those depraved crimes, crimes that were disproportionately male-on-male, and then naïvely defended the hierarchy in general, assuming that the majority of bishops were committed to cleaning out the filth in their ranks. It’s hard to imagine now, but Catholics, and Americans in general, were still allowed to have a visceral reaction to sodomy. This was a full 13 years before same-sex “marriage” was forced on America by the Supreme Court and long before the euphemism “love is love!” had begun to flesh out its myriad disordered implications. 

Years later, when the Summer of Shame, 2018, burst upon us like a typhoon, faithful Catholics realized with horror that not only were the pervert-offenders not on their last gasp, but they were more powerful than ever! After kingmaker and serial homosexual-child-rapist Cardinal “Uncle Ted” McCarrick was finally exposed and then thrown under the bus by the rest of the lavender mafia (who, like so many others, knew for years of his perverted sexual crimes), American Catholics faced a dark reality: not only was the lavender mafia not dethroned, but it was a hydra; cut off the head (McCarrick), and multiple new heads spring up in its place. Now we have the merry band of LGBTQXYZ-friendly cardinals like Cupich, Farrell, Gregory, Tobin, and McElroy (not an exhaustive list) who are running the joint. With no end in sight, I might add. 

We won’t even get into the former General Secretary of the USCCB Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, a favorite of the bishops, who was using the homosexual hook-up app Grindr on a “near-daily basis” for years, even when on official Church duty. But because he did nothing “illegal,” the head of the USCCB, Archbishop Gomez, told his brother bishops that Burrill’s “improper” behavior was a “distraction”—so he accepted Burrill’s resignation. Only “improper”? Simply a “distraction”? What Scripture, or saints’ writings through 2,000 years, or previous incarnations of Church law would track with Gomez’s reaction to this level of deviancy and scandal in the priesthood? Less than one year later, Burrill’s bishop made him pastor of a parish

Note: I have not the slightest problem with even the greatest sinner being reconciled to Christ and His Church through Confession. (I am a grateful “prodigal daughter” myself. How beautiful is the mercy of God!) But this type of priestly scandal should—and used to—necessitate a life spent in quiet solitude, prayer, and penance in a faraway monastery, at least.

The problems with sexual perversion, of course, go all the way up to the Vatican itself, and we can be sure that the headlines only scratch the surface. Remember the drug-fueled homosexual orgy that happened on Vatican grounds (oops!), or the Bishop Zanchetta and Fr. Rupnik scandals that seem to have no resolution—especially not the type of resolution that masculine, protective men would bring to those who harm others in sexually deviant and morally criminal ways? And who can forget the creepy Archbishop Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a man who had his own likeness inserted into a homoerotic church mural (click that last link at your own risk). There is a reason that unnatural sex acts are called an abomination to the Lord and that sodomy is on the short list of sins that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance.”  The problems with sexual perversion, of course, go all the way up to the Vatican itself, and we can be sure that the headlines only scratch the surface.Tweet This

One of the most beloved and productive LGBTQXYZ-activist clerics is the ubiquitous Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who is not only a darling of the secular media and the homosexual/”trans” world but also was appointed by Pope Francis as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. In a world determined to destroy souls through massive acceptance and participation in unnatural and mortally sinful sex acts, I have not seen or heard Martin, in all these years, exhort his countless followers to repent of and turn from deadly sexual sins—even though the homosexual and “trans” community are this priest’s wheelhouse and “ministry.”

Which brings us to the latest dirty old man in the Catholic headlines, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who has ascended to the heights of Church authority as the head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the CDF). We are expected to pretend that he is normal, holy, and ordered—a virtuous, manly prelate who loves the Lord and the Lord’s moral law. We are expected to brush aside or question our sensus fidei, our acquired wisdom, intuition, common sense—all our Catholic knowledge and sensibilities—in order to pretend that this priest’s pornographic and blasphemous discussions with a minor are not only fine but even on par with the saints’ writings and spiritual experiences. 

The gaslighting, justifications, and excuses by the usual suspects of the Catholic Left and the “pope-splainers” have brought us a new and worse phenomenon: the “perv-splainers.” And it’s wearying.

Look, we all know that not a single normal Catholic father or mother would allow this man, Cardinal “Heal Me with Your Mouth,” to be alone with his or her child for any amount of time. It cannot be wrong to say that; and no amount of shaming from the “perv-splainers” will change that fact. Even when the next pronouncements to come from Cardinal Fernández’s DDF contain “good” stuff that faithful Catholics will be glad to hear, it will not negate the depravity that came from the same man and was never disavowed. (Despite his defenders’ attempts to claim otherwise, the cardinal’s own words make clear that his only regret is that his blasphemous porn dialogues might be “misunderstood.”)

What is the point of all this? I guess I’m just a frustrated mother and grandmother, wondering why any of this perversion is being tolerated, ignored, or justified, and why we are no longer encouraged—or even allowed!—to protect our children and communities by speaking plainly. We are shamed and mocked and dismissed when we try to do so, not only by the secular world but by fellow Catholics who have either forgotten who they are, have lost their faith, or who are actively working for the enemy.

Today, with the incidents and acceptance of child grooming and pedophilia on a meteoric rise, wouldn’t this be the best time to find our voice without worrying about “offending” the offenders? Wouldn’t this be the right time to reject the lie that pornographic blasphemy and sexual depravity dovetail seamlessly with the beauty of Catholic teaching on human sexuality and spiritual union? Instead of trying to “perv-splain,” isn’t this our moment to scream out “stranger danger!” when we spot a sexual deviant?

I think it is.

And if, despite all evidence presented, a Catholic can’t tell the difference between something pure and something salacious, between sacred art and porn, or between a saint describing spiritual union and a creepy sex pervert, then we’ve reached a point where we must ask such a person to stay far away from our children and grandchildren. 

As Leila Marie Lawler said so succinctly, “Have we learned nothing about grooming and abuse?” She’s tired of perverts and deviants running the show and destroying souls. So am I. 

Let’s make calling out dirty old men cool again.


  • Leila Miller

    Leila Miller is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer. Her books include Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak; Raising Chaste Catholic Men; Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues; and Impossible Marriages Redeemed. She resides in Phoenix, and blogs at LeilaMiller.net and also has a YouTube channel.

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