By The Shoebats
If Christ called the Temple a den of thieves, then the Church of Rome has become a den of predators. Sodom has overcome the Church, and the warning that Saint Paul wrote in the first two chapters in his epistle to the Church of Rome is being rejected by the ecclesiastical leadership, with the Pope himself emphasizing the need for “a civil union law” for citizens of Sodom. In his letter to the Church of Rome, St. Paul warned them of “storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5) Before the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, Josephus tells us that Judeans within the city “indulged themselves in feminine wantonness … they decked their hair, and put on women’s garments” (Wars, 4.9.10), and today Rome has rejected the warning of St. Paul. If Jerusalem was destroyed for its rejection of Christ and acceptance of Sodom, what then awaits Rome? This is an essay touching on the subject of how the Church has been possessed by the spirit of Sodom and how Rome could be destroyed in the future.
Wherever there is a bad priest, there are his fangs. His fangs are his parishioners, ready to violently plunge deeply into the heart of anyone who opposes the corrupt man of the collar, like a sharp blade tearing through the flesh of dissidents towards tyranny. The fangs of the priest shriek at the sight of those who expose him; even if he molested children, or preyed upon youths, even if he was the most horrid predator, calculatively scheming to devastate his intended victim, there are the fangs ever waiting to strike the one who seeks to reveal the sinister clergyman. Woe to those priests who use their lapels to masquerade their true sinister intentions; woe to them who use their black coats to cover up their malicious designs, when the truth is that they are more like black crows, desirous to steal the harvest. They are like vultures, hovering around a cadaver that is already decaying, but even as the body rots, there are the fangs to defend not only the rottenness, but the predator who feeds off of its flesh. Woe to the one who woes, for he makes himself a target of the priest’s fangs. “He’s our monsignor” were the words uttered by the mouth of an usher towards me when I was in his parish to confront its priest, Fr. Michael Yarbrough, because he was a predator who sexually assaulted a vulnerable young man named Hector Escalante.
The usher, (alongside a gang of other ushers) wanted me to leave the parish even after I warned them of Yarbrough’s predator actions. They didn’t care, they were utterly indifferent, and even after I told this one particular usher that it is a fact that the priest sexually assaulted a young man, his only argument was that “He’s our monsignor,” as if the predator’s position exempted him from justice, freed him from the watchful eye, as if his lapel shielded him from retribution, as if his title covered his ugliness. He was a monster, but he was embellished by a system that uses law to advance the lawless. The predator does not believe in law, he despises it, but yet he will find loopholes within the law to escape the clutches of what he truly deserves. Innumerable times we have seen this within the Catholic Church. Prelates and clergymen know that a priest is a predator, and when it is revealed to the public eye, the Church authorities will say that they knew of his evil actions and simply removed him of his “faculties” (meaning that he cannot give the Sacraments), as if this is any sort of punishment. This is no justice, but a retirement plan for a pederastic criminal, for the predator is kept in the repose of the ecclesiastical abode still receiving the protection of the Temple of Rome. Many Catholics believe that their priest could never be a predator and would never cover up for one.
There is an example of this way of thinking that occurred within recent years. In 2015, a priest named Kevin Hays was suppose to be the new rector for the now defunct Casa Jesus Seminary in Chicago. Hays arrived at an apartment reserved for priests to be shown his new living quarters by an employee for the Archdiocese. They knocked on the door, but nobody answered. The employee turned the knob, but it was locked. He used his master key to open the door, and when they entered they saw that the apartment’s last resident, Fr. Octavio Munoz, had left his laptop which was still on. On its screen was playing a disturbing video of a young boy. Hays and the employee left. The priest did not say anything to anyone, he did not report it, but stayed in the impunity of silence. The employee did not say anything because he — in his own credulity — truly believed that the priest, Hays, was going to report what they saw. Once he realized that the clergyman made no such report, he contacted the Archdiocesan Case Manager at the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth at the Archdiocese of Chicago which then hired private investigators who — after finding emails belonging to Munoz about sexual acts with children — reported the priest to authorities.
It was the employee, and not the priest, Fr. Kevin Hays, who reported Munoz, and he did so only after realizing that the priest who he trusted was doing nothing. This is only one example of how priests cover for other priests who are involved in crimes and laypeople put too much trust in their clergymen. When a priest is penalized for “misconduct”, there will be Catholics who, in a knee-jerk reaction, will portray it as some sort of conspiracy against tradition. For example, when Fr. Christopher Phillips was moved from San Antonio to the Houston diocese for “misconduct” in 2017, I suspected (due to me already encountering predators within the Church) that something predatorily had been done. But, there were already people quick to make the accusation that Phillips was being persecuted for his upholding of the tradition of the Anglican mass within the Catholic Church. Charles Wilson, a parishioner at Philipps’s church — Our Lady of Atonement — and the chairman of the St. Joseph Foundation, called the decision to remove Phillips “illegal and abusive.” Wilson went on to affirm that if the removal of Phillips succeeds “you can expect that Our Lady of the Atonement will become a territorial parish with perhaps one Anglican Use liturgy per week. All that we have sacrificed for will be lost.” Wilson continued on to say: “The threat faced by our parish is extremely grave”.
One inside source from Our Lady of Atonement stated that many parishioners “are saying this is a land grab. … The archbishop will keep the property and those who want to join the ordinariate can just move on.” So, after a priest is removed the first impression of parishioners is not that we should await for the verdict, or that something evil could have been done by the priest. Rather, they called it “abusive,” “illegal,” “a land grab,” and “extremely grave.” It was eventually revealed within the same year of 2017 that a deacon who was very close to Phillips and quite popular amongst congregants, named James Orr, was a pedophile who committed child molestation in 1993. In December of 2019, Bishop Steven Lopes sent a letter to Our Lady of the Atonement stating that Phillips knew about and covered up Deacon Orr’s crimes: “the Archdiocese provided me with documentation of still other instances wherein Father Phillips neither informed nor reported to the Archdiocese credible complaints concerning Deacon Orr’s conduct.”
The Archdiocese made another report in January of 2019 stating that when Phillips heard about Orr’s molestation of a child, that he “did not inform the archbishop of the allegation, either at the time it was made or later when recommending Orr for ordination to the permanent diaconate.” Orr’s victim was a child who was attending Our Lady of Atonement’s school, Atonement Academy. As Bishop Lopes wrote: “In addition to the Archdiocesan Report, I have now received a first-hand account of misconduct by James Orr against a former student and graduate of Atonement Academy. Father Phillips received the report at that time, but did nothing.” And even after the parents of the victim asked Phillips to make action against Orr, Phillips was so cold blooded that he callously ignored their pleas. As Bishop Lopes reported: The parents asked him to take the proper steps in accord with the Archdiocesan Safe Environment protocols …These steps were not taken, and no report of the incident was ever made to the Archdiocese or civil authorities.”
Now, the archdiocese should have made this known to the congregants from the beginning instead of just stating that Phillips was being removed for “misconduct.” But still, it is worthy to point out that in the midst of a sex abuse crisis within the Church, the first impression that parishioners have about a priest being removed is that he is some sort of martyr being persecuted for upholding tradition. Bishops usually do not act against a priest because of tradition, but rather bad publicity.
The presence of predators within the Catholic Church is so horrendous that the Australian government wants for priests to work with law enforcement if a fellow priest reveals to them in the confessional that they partook in molestation, or if a child in the confessional tells the priest that he or she has been molested by another priest. Church officials have protested against this, but the Church has no one to really blame for this but themselves, because of the network of ecclesiastical bureaucrats who shift these molesters to different locations and cover up for them. Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney went so far as to tell the Australian commission in charge of this matter that “if a child penitent confessed their sexual abuse by an adult to him that, ‘I believe I’m bound by the seal of confession not to repeat it’.” But what sin has the child committed to even call this a “confession”? In other words, the abused child is considered to have committed a sin which needs to be “sealed”. So the argument goes that even if a child tells a priest in Confession that he or she has been molested by another priest, the one who hears the confession should not take any action against the abuser lest he break the Seal of Confession. Here lies the spirit of the Pharisee who, while worshipping the letter of the law, rejects the spirit of the law, which is justice and mercy and faith. (Matthew 23:23) We may look to the Sacraments all we want, but if we have not mercy nor justice, it is for nothing. As we read in Micah:
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:6-8)
And when parishioners holler about the “Seal of Confession” being attacked by the Australian government, they too are to blame on account of their sycophancy towards the priests, looking up to him with a dangerous docility even if the one they revere is a predator, not having discernment, and even rejecting discernment itself.
The Destruction of Jerusalem and Rome
When I was in the parish of the predator, Michael Yarbrough, all of the faces around me were ones of disdain, and the voices of the ushers were all against me even after I told them of their priest’s malicious actions. “He’s our monsignor” said one of the ushers to me. In this moment, the spirit of the Pharisee was manifest, worshipping the letter of the law, revering their priests who make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long (Matthew 23:5), protecting them even in the face of the dark truth. And what became of the Pharisaical order? It was destroyed by Rome after the destruction of the Temple. Many of the priests of Israel were massacred by the Caesar after the sacking of Jerusalem. Caesar’s reasoning was that since the Temple had been destroyed, its priests shall as well be destroyed with it. As Josephus recounted:
“On the fifth day afterward the priests that were pined with the famine came down; and when they were brought to Titus by the guards, they begged for their lives. But he replied, that “The time of pardon was over, as to them: and that this very holy house, on whose account only they could justly hope to be preserved, was destroyed: and that it was agreeable to their office that priests should perish with the house it self to which they belonged.” So he ordered them to be put to death.” (Wars, 6.6.2)
Since the Temple was gone, the priesthood thus had no purpose; for there cannot be a priesthood without a Temple. If the Temple was not significant, then why did the Jews leave Babylon and request from Cyrus the Great permission to rebuild the Temple? Why did the Maccabees fight to the death for the defense and purification of the Temple? And why did the Jews not only fight for the Temple, but were also ever willing to commit suicide for this very edifice, if it was significant and essential to the Jewish priesthood? As Josephus recorded:
“As for the priests, some of them plucked up from the holy house the spikes that were upon it; with their bases, which were made of lead; and shot them at the Romans, instead of darts. But then, as they gained nothing by so doing; and as the fire burst out upon them; they retired to the wall, that was eight cubits broad; and there they tarried. Yet did two of these of eminence among them, who might have saved themselves by going over to the Romans, or have borne up with courage, and taken their fortune with the others, throw themselves into the fire, and were burnt, together with the holy house. Their names were Meirus, the son of Belgas; and Joseph the son of Daleus.” (Wars, 6.6.1)
Why so much enthusiasm for the Temple if it was not necessary for Judaism? The Jewish priesthood, thus, alongside the Temple, were destroyed, and its torch was passed to the one who destroyed it: Rome. Christendom, being the continuation of the true religion, became the new Israel. But since Christendom has reduced itself to the level of the Pharisee, should we not then expect that what awaits its fate is that which met Jerusalem? Catholic Rome was once horrendously devastated by German mercenaries. We have all heard about the several sackings of Rome by the Goths, and we have heard about the German Nazi occupation of the Vatican. But out of all of the sackings and occupations of Rome, the most destructive one is the one that is least discussed. I am speaking of the sack of Rome by German mercenaries in 1527. And it is this sacking that we will detail here so as to make the parallel with the destruction of Jerusalem and how what took place in 1527 could give us an idea of what could occur in the future.
A catalyst to this destruction of Rome began in 1524, when Pope Clement VII, fearing the expanding empire of Charles V, made an alliance with the emperor’s rivals, Venice and Milan. This alliance was kept a secret until 1525 when it was revealed. Charles was furious and stated that he was determined to execute revenge on “that poltroon of a pope” and added: “Some day perhaps Martin Luther will become a man of substance.” In 1526, the plan to attack Rome ensued. A strong ally to Charles in southern Germany, Georg von Frundsberg, was so adamant to seeing the Pope devastated that he hired mercenaries with his own money, even pawning towns he owned, his castle and his wife’s jewelry. Georg eventually raised an army of 10,000 elite warriors, called the Landsknechte (“Servant of the Land”), many of whom were hard Lutherans eager to see Rome — which they deemed as the Harlot of Babylon — burn to the ground.
They read Luther’s Theses, and they saw themselves as fulfilling some sort of divine destiny, as if they were the scourge of God destroying His enemy, the Vatican. The vicious disposition towards Rome did not just come out of nowhere, but was a response to an immense corruption in Church authority. For example, in 1517 Pope Leo X sent a monk named Johann Tetzel to do a tour through Germany to sell indulgences. He marketed indulgences by saying: “The moment a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs”. The Church also was in the business of selling papal positions, with the purchaser being reimbursed with an annual income. Even low positions within the Vatican, such as in the papal police, were sold to small investors. Those who purchased papal positions were even entitled to sell or give them away to relatives. Such corruption reached the eye of Luther who exploited this and hollered his outcry against the Church. An entire revolution — the Reformation — was sparked and the Church’s corruption played a major factor in its popularity. “No one can deny that the evils provoking reform in the Church were deep rooted and widespread” wrote Hilaire Belloc. “They threatened the very life of Christendom itself.” (Heresies, p. 94)
If such a violent reaction was provoked against the Church in the 16th century, then it is quite plausible that such a violent reaction against Rome could happen as something provoked by the pederastic network tolerated by the Vatican. Just as Sodom thrives in the Vatican today (it paid 20 million euros for twenty apartments right next to Europa Multiclub, Italy’s most popular homosexual bath house), so in the Catholic world in the 16th century there were also citizens of Sodom. One of Rome’s top artists was Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, who proudly called himself Il Sodoma (the sodomite. He was also called Matazo or “the madman”).
There were even Cardinals who were considered effeminate, which is just another way of saying homosexual. And the rage against this effeminacy would be unleashed when the fighters of the Emperor Charles would strike Rome. With an army of 700 lancers, 800 cavalry, 3,000 Italian adventurers, 5,000 Spanish soldiers and 10,000 German mercenaries, the city was going to be overtaken by an utter nightmare. When they finally broke through Rome’s defenses, Spanish imperial soldiers rushed into the Borgo screaming “Spain! Spain! Kill! Kill!” The whole Borgo became a slaughterhouse. Some of the defenders fled only to drown in the Tiber. The Swiss Guards put up a fight right by the obelisk in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, only to be cut to pieces. The imperial soldiers, seeing that there was no one to oppose them, went through the Borgo killing all who they came across. They took the commander of the Swiss Guards, Roust (who was heavily wounded) and murdered him in front of his wife. Not even a hospital was spared as almost all of the patients were butchered. As a monk from the monastery of San Salvatore recounted: “Everyone in the Santo Spirito hospital was killed apart from from the few who managed to flee.”
The same monk also recorded that imperial fighters charged into an orphanage in La Pieta and killed everyone inside, and many of the children “were thrown from the windows into the street.” The Pope had been attending mass in St. Peter’s Basilica when the invasion began, but in the midst of the chaos he decided to flee to the Castel Sant’Angelo. While he made his way to the edifice, an immense crowd of panicking people were all seeking refuge in the same place. However, the Pope had a papal escape route that led right into the castello. Him and his entourage met the sight of Spanish troops who then opened fire on them. The huge crowd of fleeing people trembled into the castle, their horrified faces and trepidatious bodies jumbled together like a mass of chaos and hysteria, their terrifying voices chilling the air as they resounded to the ears amidst a deluge of destruction. An elderly Cardinal named Antonio Pucci was knocked down and trampled by the panicking crowd. So many people were trying to enter the castle that there was no way to even shut the gates. The Pope needed to get inside, and those who were deemed as having no use were cast out.
As Pesaro of Zara recorded: “The pope was told that there were many people in the castle, most of them of no military use, and there was little grain, so many of the useless ones were thrown out.” Cardinal Pucci managed to get inside by being carried up by rope through a window. The chaos continued. One military commander, Giuliano the Florentine, was seen “tearing at his face and sobbing bitterly” as he witnessed his wife and child being raped. The invaders, as one observer wrote, “threw the bodies of little children out of doorways into the street. And women were dragged out and outraged on the ground … crying and wailing so loudly that all the city could hear.” In the midst of the wailing and the ravishing, the blood splatter and the incessant gore, a multitude of priests were seen completely naked, left in a state of humiliation. A witness wrote of how “large numbers of the priests are naked and that it is a terrible thing to see the great number of dead, and most of all the little children younger than ten years old”. He also spoke of how the invaders “are exhausted from lack of sleep, drunk on blood, killing everything”. Francesco Guicciardini, an historian who lived in the time of the sacking, gives us an idea of the horror:
“In the streets there were many corpses. Many nobles lay there cut to pieces, covered with mud and their own blood, and many people only half dead lay miserably on the ground. Sometimes in that ghastly scene a child or man would be seen jumping from a window, forced to jump or jumping voluntarily to escape becoming the living prey of these monsters and finally ending their lives horribly in the street.”
The Landsknecht took a donkey and dressed it with priestly vestments. They then ordered a priest to feed the Eucharist to the mule, and when he refused they murdered him. They took priests and monks and shed their blood right on top of the altars and raped young nuns. The altar in St. Peter’s Basilica was piled with the slaughtered bodies of those who fled into the infamous church thinking that they would be protected from the invaders. As they butchered these people on the altar, one after the other, the Landsknecht cried out: “Long live Pope Luther!”, unleashing their Protestant frenzy at the Church that they saw as the Harlot of Babylon. “If anyone had been walking through the streets of Rome by day or night,” wrote Guicciardini, “he would have heard not sighs and tearful laments, but pitiful cries and screams of hapless prisoners coming from every house and building.” (See Foster & Marcovitz, Rome, p. 100). In the end, around 45,000 people were slaughtered, wounded or exiled.
Guicciardini described the miserable state of the clergymen under the Landsknecht’s reign of terror, and he mentions something that indicates the spirit of Sodom in the Vatican:
“many of these men wore torn and disgraceful habits, others were without shoes. Some in ripped and bloody shirts had cuts and bruises all over their bodies from the indiscriminate whippings and beatings they had received. Some had thick and greasy beards. Some had their faces branded, and some were missing teeth; others were without noses or ears. Some were castrated and so depressed and terrified that they failed to show in any way the vain and effeminate delicacy and lasciviousness that they had put on with such excessive energy for so many years in their earlier, happier days.”
Guicciardini describes the clergy as living an effeminate lifestyle prior to being devastated by the Landsknecht and imperial forces, indicating that homosexuality was prevalent within the Vatican, and these German fanatics, seeing themselves as the scourge of God against the Harlot of Babylon, rained down fury upon them. With this, it is not far-fetched to see how such destruction could come upon the Vatican again. Right before the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews of that city “indulged themselves in feminine wantonness” (Josephus, Wars, 4.9.10). Before the sack of Rome in 1527, the clergy indulged themselves in “effeminate delicacy”. And today, the whole of the Vatican has been overtaken by Sodom. What fate awaits for Rome when God Himself did not spare Jerusalem?
When St. Paul wrote of men who “gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another”, it was in a letter addressed to the Church of Rome (Romans 1:27), and today the same Church has rejected the warning of St. Paul, with even the Pope himself exhorting sodomite civil unions. St. Paul warned the Roman Church of the coming wrath for such evils: “We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” (Romans 2:2) And: “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5) Romans 1 and 2 are not simply about moral conduct, but a prophecy for the day of wrath. Perhaps, in the future, another army — like the Landsknecht — will see themselves as the scourge of God, unleashing their rage on a wicked Church, and in this, the wrath upon Sodom will reveal itself.