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Cardinal Dolan -World Yout Day 2011 

An embracing Card. Dolan

In better times for the Church, all of the clergy - high and low; secular and regular - were obliged to apply a wise rule called regula tactus - the rule of touching. This rule was taught in seminaries and in effect everywhere in the ecclesiastical milieu, even though it was a generally unwritten law. It was an instruction transmitted by word of mouth to help priests, bishops and cardinals preserve the difficult virtue of chastity to which they are committed.

This rule was a summary of the teaching of the Saints on the vigilance a priest must exercise regarding the sins of flesh, principally with regard to the opposite sex. According to those unwritten prescriptions, with the exception of a modest hand greeting, a priest could never touch another person unless it were to administer the Sacraments. No embraces, no kisses, no other touching. Further, in the presence of the feminine sex, a priest should never be alone, and should have always an obstacle between the woman and him - a desk, a table or a chair.

This rule helped priests and bishops to be models of modesty in behavior. It also permitted the faithful to realize when an ecclesiastic was breaking it and thus to be cautious with him.

Today, in the Vatican II era, this rule has been so completely abandoned that even good priests in their 40s have never heard of it - either in their seminaries or in the direction given by their superiors.

What was the result of its disappearance? One of the consequences was the deluge of immorality that took over the ecclesiastical milieu: all types of moral dissolution with women, added to homosexuality with men and pedophile crimes with children.

Above, you see Card. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, at the WYD-2011 in Madrid with American pilgrims; below, at the WYD-2013 in Rio, he is also greeting American pilgrims. He is embracing - without any apparent concern for chastity - women of different ages and boys. What message is he sending to his priests and bishops? Do as I do, because I do as the Pope does.

With such examples coming from the top, how is it possible to prevent immorality, homosexuality and pedophilia from continuing in the clergy?

Cardinal Dolan -World Yout Day 2013

Internet photos
Posted September 1, 2013
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