The witch hunt for gay priests

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It is not surprising that Catholics are furious about the latest sex abuse crisis, which began, most recently, with accusations of abuse and harassment against the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick; deepened with the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing 70 years of abuse in the Commonwealth; and intensified with the former Vatican nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s 11-page “testimony” accusing many high-ranking clerics, including Pope Francis, with covering up the crimes.

Catholics have a right to be angry at abusive clergy, at bishops who covered up their crimes and at the sclerotic clerical system that allowed the crimes and cover-ups to go unpunished for decades.

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But the intensity of hate and level of anger directed at gay priests are unprecedented in my memory.

The intensity of hate and level of anger directed at gay priests are unprecedented in my memory.

What I mean by “gay priests” is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity). That it is necessary even to define the term “gay priest” points out the widespread misinformation about what has become perhaps the most incendiary topic in the current discussion. A few commentators have even declared that the term “gay” implies that a priest must be sexually active. As I use the term, a “gay priest” simply means an ordained priest who has a homosexual orientation.

The long-simmering rage against gay priests and the supposed “homosexual subculture” or “Lavender Mafia” has been fanned into a fire that threatens to engulf not only faithful gay priests but also, more broadly, L.G.B.T. people.

While the contempt directed at gay clergy is coming from just a handful of cardinals, bishops and priests, as well as a subset of Catholic commentators, it is as intense as it is dangerous. “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” wrote Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis. A Swiss bishop, Marian Eleganti, declared that the “networks” of gay priests in the church must be investigated before the “great purification” can begin. A bishop in Kazakhstan, Athanasius Schneider, listing remedies for clergy abuse, began with this: “cleanse uncompromisingly the Roman Curia and the episcopate from homosexual cliques and networks.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, the influential former archbishop of St. Louis, said, “There is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root.”

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of the sex abuse crisis]

Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, takes this to its inevitable conclusion, telling the Associated Press that what is needed is “a complete and thoroughgoing removal of all homosexual clergymen in the church.”

In the last few days I have seen more homophobic comments on my social media accounts than ever before. The rise in vitriol is not surprising, especially after such comments from church leaders and Catholic commentators or after headlines like these: “Pope Blames Sex Abuse on Clericalism, Leaves Out Homosexuality”; “Sex Abuse Crisis in Church is about Homosexuality Not Pedophilia”; “Homosexual Predators, not Pedophile Priests, Are Church’s Deadly Cancer.

Archbishop Viganò’s “testimony” was also rife with this same kind of language: “These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.” (Full disclosure: both Archbishop Viganò in his “testimony” and Cardinal Burke in a recent interview have mentioned me by name.)

We should state clearly: Many priest abusers had a homosexual orientation. That is undeniable.

It is important to say that the majority (but not all) of the clerical abuse crimes were cases of priests preying on male adolescents and boys. Also, the majority (but not all) of the sexual harassment cases were men harassing other men or young men. Prescinding from the complex psychological questions of how much a person’s sexuality has to do with abuse, how much differentials in power do and how much proximity does, we should state clearly: Many priests abusers had a homosexual orientation. That is undeniable.

But the next step is where the conversation can take a dangerous turn. That many abusers were gay priests does not mean that all or even most gay priests are abusers. It is a dangerous and unjust stereotype. Simply because a certain percentage of a group acts in a certain way does not mean the entire group or even most of the group acts in the same way.

Then why does it seem like so many gay priests are abusive? One reason is that there are no public examples of the healthy, celibate gay priests to counteract these stereotypes. Why not? Because gay priests are not willing to be as public about their identity as straight priests are. For example, in a community suffering from a spate of L.G.B.T. violence, there can be no references in a Sunday homily to knowing what it is like to be bullied for being gay. The presider cannot say, “As a boy, I was bullied, too, for being gay.”

That many abusers were gay priests does not mean that all or even most gay priests are abusers.

Why do gay priests feel that they cannot be public? For several reasons. First, the fear of coming out in this increasingly poisonous environment. (Ask yourself if you would come out when even bishops are calling for a “cleansing” of men like you.) Second, bishops and religious order superiors fear that their men (again, celibate and chaste priests) could be targeted by the media or homophobic websites. Third, an underlying shame about their sexuality. Fourth, an innate desire for privacy about a personal aspect of one’s life. Fifth, the fear that in the absence of other “out” priests one might become the “poster boy” for the group.

Such reasons mean that the example of the many hardworking, healthy and celibate gay priests (and chaste members of religious orders) is almost entirely absent from both the church’s consciousness and the public eye. There are exceptions, like the Rev. Gregory Greiten of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Rev. Fred Daley of the Diocese of Syracuse, priests who have come out publicly as gay. But Fathers Greiten and Daley are two of only a handful of clergy like this. And until bishops and religious superiors support gay priests in their desires to be more public about who they are, and gay priests are willing to pay the price of honesty, the situation is unlikely to change.

Consequently, the stereotype of the “gay priest abuser” now predominates. To use another example, imagine if the only stories aired about members of an ethnic, social or religious group were of those who had committed crimes. Further, imagine that no positive stories about their law-abiding members were made public. Eventually, the negative stereotype would dominate: “All members of this group are criminals.” (Sadly, this is not a hard scenario to imagine: Many ethnic groups face the same kinds of stereotypes.)

Fewer celibate gay priests in the public eye means more stereotyping. More stereotyping leads to more fear.

This fear leads to a cycle of secrecy: Fewer celibate gay priests in the public eye means more stereotyping. More stereotyping leads to more fear. More fear leads to more secrecy.

Other malign stereotypes are also being peddled, for example, the idea that homosexuality inevitably leads to abuse. This is contradicted by almost every study, including the John Jay Report, an exhaustive study of sex abuse in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2010. Most abuse happens in families. And no one, as far as I know, suggests that heterosexuality promotes abuse.

Beyond these reasons is a perhaps more important explanation: the intense homophobia that still exists in some quarters of the church. And this must be named for what it is: hate. A few days ago, a gay priest texted me this astute observation: “We are so used to gay people being mistreated in the church that we can internalize the homophobic bigotry that we are now seeing, and that Viganò expressed in his testimony, and fail to call it out. It’s deeply hateful. And if he were making similar attacks against another ethnic or religious group, there would be a far different reaction—probably even from within the church. But because gay priests have been so conditioned to play the scapegoat we are too ashamed to speak out.”

Where does this extreme hatred of gay priests come from? It comes from fear.

Is there a “gay subculture” in the church? I have never worked in the Vatican, so I cannot comment on that workplace. But in my 30 years as a Jesuit, I have seen that gay priests in U.S. dioceses, as well as in religious orders, work well with their straight counterparts—as well as with straight lay people: pastoral associates, parish council members, parishioners, as well as principals, administrators and teachers. In religious life, they live peaceably with their straight brothers.

More to the point, I know hundreds of gay priests, and I can say with honesty that all of them strive to keep their promises of celibacy and vows of chastity, none of them conspire with other gay priests, and yet many of them are demoralized by this increasingly hate-fueled witch hunt.

Where does this extreme hatred of gay priests come from? It comes from fear. Fear of the "other." Fear of the person who is different. Sometimes fear of one’s own complicated sexuality. In frightening times, it can also feel empowering to blame and scapegoat the “other.” As the philosopher René Girard consistently points out, scapegoating unites us around a common enemy and encourages us to believe, falsely, that we have solved the problem.

This hatred currently being whipped up by a few influential church leaders and commentators will, if unchecked, lead us to a place of great darkness, characterized by an increased hatred for innocent individuals, the condemnation of an entire group of people and a distraction from the real issues underlying this crisis of sexual abuse.

There are many things that need to be addressed when it comes to clergy sex abuse: the improper screening of candidates; the prevalence of clerical culture that privileges the word of priests over lay people (and parents); the poor seminary and religious formation, especially in areas of sexuality; the need for regulations that punish bishops who have covered up abuse and many other factors.

What is not needed is the demonization of gay priests. What is not needed is more hate.

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J Cosgrove
2 months 2 weeks ago

I always thought a high percentage of priest and male religious were gay and thought nothing of it. If their commitment to the Church and celibacy was real then what is wrong with it. I had Christian Brothers in high school and most of my classmates thought some were gay and many were our favorites for their Catholic life style as examples on how we should live our faith and lives.

James Michael Torcivia, Ph.D.
2 months 2 weeks ago

Nicely said, J Cosgrove.
Thank you.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

J - I think your suggestion is not unreasonable for normal times. Chaste men committed to a holy celibate life and to preaching what the Church teaches, irrespective of their particular proclivities or orientation, and not frequenting gay bars and anti-Catholic events (see Out at St. Pauls below). But, these are not normal times, and using the hate card (as always with Fr. Martin) is not sufficient. The truth of Holy Scripture and the eternal souls of all involved are at stake. The world is just learning about rampant homosexual sins and crimes in seminaries in several countries, highly suspicious enablers in the Vatican and across the world, and an amazing rise up the ranks of an homosexual abuser, McCarrick, with lots of help from the enablers. Father Martin left out Pope Francis comments against a gay lobby, against gay marriage, and against ordaining men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies." Fr. Martin just gave a talk in Dublin that any reasonable person can only interpret as contradicting what Pope Francis has said on all these points. Yet, he won't say what his position is. His involvement with the Out-at-St. Paul's group and the various goings on there need some explanation (described in detail by Joseph Sciambra, a man with deep-seated homosexual tendencies trying to life a chaste life - http://josephsciambra.com/the-deep-gay-state-in-the-catholic-church-pro…)

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

It is peculiar to cite the "rampant homosexual sins and crimes" within the Church. Homosexuality in and of itself is neither a crime nor a sin. Acting on homosexuality if you are not pledged to chastity and celibacy is neither a crime nor a sin. It is no more or less sinful or criminal for consenting adult homosexuals to have sexual relations than it is for consenting heterosexuals to do so. The Church teaching is sinful and may abet crimes of hatred, bias, bullying, assault. Perhaps homosexual acting out by ostensibly celibate priests and seminarians has been common. So has been the criminal abuse of minors by ostensibly celibate priests and its even more criminal cover ups. So has been the heterosexual sexual relationships with women entered into by ostensibly celibate priests, some of whom have borne children of priests or had abortions financed by priests or, in one case in Salem, MA, been left to die of an overdose by the priest father of her child. Richard Sipe estimated that on any given day 50% of the priesthood is having sex or is in a sexual relationship; they may return to celibacy at some point. The entire theology and practice of sexuality taught by the Church and observed too often in the breach is deeply corrupt, sinful, and at times criminal. Also wildly unscientific. Gay priests are no more or less able to control their sexual impulses than men of other orientations. Time to take a science lesson and read some psychological, sociological, and medical research.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mary - I mention sins and crimes to distinguish the alleged crimes of McCarrick on the seminarians. Any coerced sexual activity (like McCarrick and in Honduras and in Chile) are crimes. I agree that a homosexual orientation or an attraction is not a sin. Richard Sipe's supposed claim that 50% are having sex every day is preposterous for a celibate group of men, and nearly impossible outside a brothel or a bathhouse. The best socio-scientific study found 81% of sex abusers same-sex, most of post-pubertal teens. Unless the 2-5% in the general population has mushroomed to 80% in the clergy, that is evidence for a predisposition - even Fr. Martin admits it. Stop the coverup!

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Please cite your sources. I have been in this field for 35 years. Most sexual abusers are heterosexual.

Deb Brunsberg
2 months 2 weeks ago

A secular study was conducted in 2004 and it was determined that 81% of the sexual abuse in the Church was by homosexual priests and the victims were post pubescent males. This was a male on male crime and as you stated, way beyond what one expects in the general population. However, as priests take a vow of celibacy, any sexual activity is against their vows and a sin. The Church has always taught and will always teach that the homosexual acts or any sexual acts outside of marriage is a grave sin and certainly much graver when those sins are being committed by members of the clergy and with sexual abuse involved. Now many, like Fr. Martin would like people to be brainwashed into believing that this is of God. We all know it isn't. It may be a cross to carry, but God never approved of sodomy and that is very clear in the Bible and in the teachings of the Church. Fr. Martin also states this is because of people's fears. Wrong again. No one cares what you do in your personal life, but if you become ordained to give your life to God, you need to do exactly that. Forcing sodomy upon young males and seminarians is beyond vile. The only thing to fear here is that your child will become a victim of a gay priest who cannot control his impulses.

Fr. Martin, you know what the Church teaches and you work against Christ. One can only surmise that you either do not believe in Jesus Christ and/or you do not believe in hell. You might want to spend some time in Adoration and maybe you can come to conversion because ultimately, you will stand before God and He will ask you, why you tried to lead so many into grave sin. I pity you. Your writings are just the same old, same old.

lynne miller
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mary Gail, Quite correct. Thank you for the clarification!

Becky Siscoe
2 months 2 weeks ago

Sipe’s research stating “50% don’t remain celebrate is preposterous,” is this based on your opinion? I am reading his book now, and seems these problems have always been with us. I would like for all priests to fess up. What is their sexual orientation and how often are any of them able to living a pure sexless life? I can totally see why good men who are homosexual wb drawn to the priesthood. I also know many heterosexual men who would make wonderful priests but opted for an active sex life, wife and children. That is quite a loss for the church. I think we need a reality check here and it is high times we face who we are. Time for married priests and women to join the ranks of priesthood. We need to stop being so hypocritical in every way.

lynne miller
2 months 2 weeks ago

What kind of sick curiosity makes you need to know the sexual orientation and how often they do or don't have sex? If someone asked you to reveal this about yourself in public I'm sure you'd feel it was intrusive!

Becky Siscoe
2 months 2 weeks ago

Sipe’s research stating “50% don’t remain celebrate is preposterous,” is this based on your opinion? I am reading his book now, and seems these problems have always been with us. I would like for all priests to fess up. What is their sexual orientation and how often are any of them able to living a pure sexless life? I can totally see why good men who are homosexual wb drawn to the priesthood. I also know many heterosexual men who would make wonderful priests but opted for an active sex life, wife and children. That is quite a loss for the church. I think we need a reality check here and it is high times we face who we are. Time for married priests and women to join the ranks of priesthood. We need to stop being so hypocritical in every way.

Stephen de Weger
2 months 2 weeks ago

"Richard Sipe's supposed claim that 50% are having sex every day is preposterous for a celibate group of men, and nearly impossible outside a brothel or a bathhouse". Hmm, nice exaggeration seasoned with a touch of sarcasm. However, to clarify, what Richard meant was that at anyone time only 50% of clergy (he doesn;t mention if this figure includes Brothers and Nuns) try to live lives of celibacy, or, truly believe in such a calling. The other 50% of whom you speak have more or less given up on the idea and of striving for it. This includes hetero, homo and paedo/ephebo/hebesexuals and others falling somewhere in between. He never said that they are having sex everyday. Your figures about gay clergy etc are of clergy who abuse children/teens and not of the whole clergy population including those who are sexually active with or abusing adult women and men. If you look at the whole picture of clergy getting involved sexually with anyone, the figure is overwhelmingly heterosexual. But, see, we never hear of this because we are, perhaps rightly so for now, only focusing of the abuse of children by Catholic clergy which is desperately horrific. And yes, most of these events do involve same-sex abuse. We do have to complete accept that because it is true. But, we also so need to include the still huge numbers of girls abused by clergy. Many did not discriminate but got whoever they could, boy or girl. As such, most clergy sexual abuse is, as Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea's book title says a "Perversion of Power".

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Stephen - the exaggeration is not mine. I was quoting Mary, who repeats the daily claim in comments below as well. So, you should be posting against her original quote. In any case, I do not have the gullibility to take Sipe's claim at face value. The John Jay Report found 4% being accused having underage sex (mostly teens, mostly boys, all horrible), so I start with 96% priests, who I wait for evidence to see how many are sexually active, hetero or homosexual. The perversion of power may well play a role, but it is playing a role sexually. Given today's climate, I would call on all sexually active clergy to resign, or be fired. They are all compromised and are unable to fix the mess.

Stephen de Weger
2 months 2 weeks ago

Tim, I cannot find where Mary says anything about brothels etc., only where you say it. Can you please refer me to which comment she says the quote I gave.
In regard to the John Jay Report: A third source, is Haywood and Green (2000), included amongst an analysis of other studies in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s report into clergy child abuse (John Jay Report 2004, 258). Haywood and Green (2000) gave the following figures:
prevalence rates ranged from 2% to 6% (pedophiliac and ephebophiliac clerics), 20% to 40% [mean = 30%] (sexual misconduct with adults), 8.4% (in a sample of 1322), and 5.8% to 24% [mean = 14.9%] (boundary violations with adults) (Sipe, 1990; Loftus & Camargo, 1993; Friel & Friel, 1988; Goetz, 1992; Seat et al., 1993).
Haywood and Green concluded that while exact figure may never be arrived at, the reality is that “clergy were more likely to be involved in sexual misconduct with adults than minors” (John Jay Report 2004, 258).
In regard to your last statement, I fully concur, but mainly if they have given up on trying to be celibate/chaste, or just do not believe in it anymore.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 1 week ago

Stephen - The exaggeration I called Mary out on, in comments above and repeated on page 2 below, is the "every day sex" that 50% of clergy are supposed to be having. Here is the full quote from above, "Richard Sipe estimated that on any given day 50% of the priesthood is having sex" - that is not feasible outside brothels or bathhouses (my word).

Ed Dem
2 months 1 week ago

I want to thank Stephen for clearing up what was meant by the "50% of priests having sex" statement. Stephen made it very clear by what was meant by that 50% statement. At first, I, too, had interpreted it to mean "every day" 50% of clergy is sexually active in sexual pursuit or act of any orientation rather than interpreting it as being 50% of the clergy on any given day is giving up or not being celibate.. So thank you Stephen for making that sentence clearer to me. That does make better sense and so sad to believe it sounds true. It is so sad that the Church still refuses to accept priests who are interested in dating or marrying--and nowadays, that would include gay and straight dating and marriages. Of course, Stephen, you know also make clear very well that pedophilia is an attraction based upon the "age of the child" and NOT the sex of the child. You show that even if all gay priests were removed, there would still be pedophile priests and still be child victims in the Church because pedophiles offend equally. Since for most of the Church's history alter-servers were only for the boys, and not for the girls, then it is logical then that 81% of the child victims were boy victims. If the Church had always allowed both boys and girls, or had allowed just girls to be alter-servers, then the number of girl victims would have been equal to the number of boy victims if not higher. Again, Pedophilia is an attraction based on the age of the victim--NOT the sex of the victim and not the sexual orientation of the Pedophile, which can be straight, bi, or gay. So, thanks again, Stephen and for Mary Gail, for explaining all this.

Stephen de Weger
2 months 2 weeks ago

Completely nailed it as you always do Mary Gail. I have drawn on your insights many times in my own research. Thank you for always speaking so plainly and objectively and without being trapped by the different sides of the argument.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Wow -- thank you so very much!

Dolores Pap
2 months 2 weeks ago

You are the voice of reason ; I love your posts..

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mary, you might like this clip from the John Jay Report, found in the conclusion that is ignored by the gay haters. Some on here have used the uncharitable phrase “Lavendar Mafia”. Unfortunate but hatred of others is often rooted in ignorance and fear.

“There has been widespread speculation that homosexual identity is linked to the sexual abuse of minors by priests, largely because of the high number of male victims identified in the Nature and Scope study. However, the clinical data do not support this finding. Treatment data show that priests who identified as homosexual, as well as those who participated in same-sex sexual behavior prior to ordination (regardless of sexual identity), were not significantly more likely to abuse minors than priests who identified as heterosexual.”
...
“Taken together, the data from the clinical files, the Identity and Behavior surveys and interviews, the Nature and Scope data, and the Loyola psychological study confirmabout priest-abusers what is known about non-priest abus-ers: there is no single identifiable “cause” of sexually abu-sive behavior towards minors, and there are few individual characteristics that would make abusers identifiable prior to the commission of their abusive acts. ”

The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010
A Report Presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the John Jay College Research Team
http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/uploa…

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Guillermo - the non-clerical National Review Board disagreed with this interpretation, since it contradicted the evidence. When the NRB released its findings in 2004, Robert S. Bennett, the head of the group, said that "any evaluation of the causes and context of the current crisis must be cognizant of the fact that more than 80 percent of the abuse issue was of a homosexual nature." Later on: "we must call attention to the homosexual behavior that characterized the vast majority of the cases of abuse observed in recent decades." Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins University, was a member. He said that "This behavior was homosexual predation on American Catholic youth; yet it's not being discussed."

In the executive report there is this quote ""The majority of priests who were given residential treatment following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor also reported sexual behavior with adult partners." The meaning is there is a continuum between adult and minor sex. Stop the cover up!

Joan Sheridan
2 months 2 weeks ago

All sex outside of marriage is a sin

Mauser Schnauzer
2 months 1 week ago

Wrong. sex with anyone outside of the sacrament of marriage is a sin, as Holy Mother Church has always taught. Adultery may not be a punishable crime in all states but it should be. The Church teaching of chastity is what can lead one to holiness. The vast majority of criminal sex abuse in the Church in the past 70 years has been of the homosexual nature. Homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and you are very confused. You are obviously not a practicing Catholic. Please take your own advice and read up on the psychological, sociological, and medical research showing the ill effects of the homosexual lifestyle on those who practice it, and their family.

J Cosgrove
2 months 2 weeks ago

Tim, sorry not to reply sooner. I wanted to support the many priest and religous who remained celibate and affected the lives of their students positively. There were a great many.

Dolores Pap
2 months 2 weeks ago

First time that I have found myself 100% in agreement with one of your comments:-) Well said, and so very true.

J Cosgrove
2 months 2 weeks ago

Tim, also the sad thing is to see how authors/commenters are reacting to this here. There is obviously a huge problem but the attitude seems more to protect one's side no matter what. Each side often uses ad hominems which is always an admission that your position is weak.

Apparently every diocese in the US was notified in 1985 by a board of experts who had investigated this problem and universally ignored. Probably on orders from Rome.

sheila gray
2 months 2 weeks ago

Homophobia is alive and well everywhere, especially in Trump’s America. It’s a hateful false flag campaign to deflect our attention. Ignorance and fear are stalking the land right now.

Danny Collins
2 months 2 weeks ago

@Sheila, The statistics don't back up your characterization (nor Fr. Martins).

According to the John Jay report, at the height of the abuse crisis, 86% of victims were male. ~80% overall. Does hard data like this constitute a false flag campaign?

Also, it was (almost?) exclusively gay priests who shared victims and got together to abuse minors (e.g., Revs. George Zirwas, Revs. Francis Pucci, Robert Wolk, and Richard Zula in Pennsylvania). The heterosexual abusers didn't do this. Why is that?

Why is the child molester Harvey Milk lionized by the gay community, but Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein's names are dirt? Can we start being honest about the sexual abuse of minors being more acceptable in the gay community. There is no lesbian version of Grindr. There is no heterosexual version of NAMBLA. Heterosexuals never write stories like this about how all their friends had an early sexual experience with an older man. If a community can't admit that it has a problem, it isn't likely to fix it (as any Catholic knows).
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-happens-when-men-have-sex-wit…

Tim O'Leary
2 months 2 weeks ago

Sheila - Which hunt is Fr. Martin most concerned about - to bring the abusers to justice or get the Christians fired. Note that just about every institution in secular society falls over itself coming out as LGBTQ friendly and anti-Catholic. This includes the politicians, academia, the sports organizations, the unions, the media, the arts, and most mainstream Jewish and Christian and whatever religions (including the now obligatory "and those of no religion"). The sin of pride parade has all these players. The lonely Catholic Church (or at least half of it) and the Evangelicals (at least half of them too) are left to recall the world to the teaching of Scripture. They are pilloried and shamed and fired and abused. That is a much bigger witch hunt, today. Consider how popular Fr. Martin is vs. Cardinal Burke. All the rich money is with Martin.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

All the scientifically aware people are with Jim Martin.

Dolores Pap
2 months 2 weeks ago

Absolutely correct , Sheila..I'm just shocked by the many and vicious homophones who feel free to come out and spew their anger and hatred against people, because they don't like their sexual inclinations. Doubling down on the sexual identity witch hunt , as members of a supposedly loving church, feels doubly vicious, and cannibalistic, and for me, I would not be able to participate in such a congregation, because it does not represent my values. The one thing I have taken away from my Catholic schooling, is that 'character is destiny', and no organization is worth losing one's character as the price of admission . Sadly, Father Martin is 100% correct. To me it feels such a witch hunt, that I'd not have a problem believing that these same people would want gay/lesbian folks to come with a warning, similar to Hester Prynne's Letter A that she had to wear to assuage the towns people's prurience and demand for public punishment.
Oddly enough, if you read the comments on AMERICA'S Facebook page, you will not find the same sentiments posted here.There, people's comments are kinder, more compassionate, and reflect a basic goodness that seems missing in much of much of the public today.

Mike Theman
2 months 2 weeks ago

Name-calling (e.g., "homophobia") is alive and well in leftist circles. It is what people resort to when they do not have a credible position in an argument.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Gay priests may have been abusers, but not because they were gay. Heterosexual men were abusers and are the most prevalent orientation of all abusers in and out of the Church; their sexual orientation does not make them abusers. Healthy gay priests observe their vows; healthy gay lay men have consensual sex with other healthy gay men. Healthy straight priests observe their vows; healthy straight men have consensual sex with healthy women. Abusers of any orientation choose vulnerable kids or adults to perpetrate crimes against. Prisons are full of heterosexual men who make other heterosexual prisoners their "chickens" or "bitches" and use them for sex. Heterosexual men who spend long periods of time at sea are known to engage -- with or without consent - in sexual activities with other men. Sex abuse is primarily about dominance and power and opportunity. Heterosexual pedophiles will abuse boys - e.g. in the Boy Scouts -- because they are available and can be dominated. The hatred being directed gay priests is unChristian, despicable, and mortally sinful -- it is a brutal, mortal attack on a man's being, reputation, sense of safety and has no place in Christianity. Church teachings are partly to blame for this and for the crazy positions they put gay priests in of having to support a teaching that invalidates them. Which is why gay priests HAVE to come out. Yeah, it's hard. So was hanging on the Cross for 3 hours. So what? They have to come out to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. The longer they wait, the more they are colluding with great sin. It's like with the overall sexual abuse crisis -- we are past words. It is time for action and one action is for gay priests to come out. The more that come out, the more that will come out. Jesus not only said the hard things; he did the hard things. Gay priests need to put their actions where their mouths are.

Danny Collins
2 months 2 weeks ago

@Mary Gail said, " Heterosexual men were abusers and are the most prevalent orientation of all abusers in and out of the Church"

This is wrong. According to the John Jay report, at the height of the abuse crisis, 86% of victims were male. ~80% overall.

Also, it was (almost?) exclusively gay priests who shared victims and got together to abuse minors (e.g., Revs. George Zirwas, Revs. Francis Pucci, Robert Wolk, and Richard Zula in Pennsylvania). The heterosexual abusers didn't do this. Why is that?

Becky Siscoe
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mary Gail’s statement is valid. There are more men that abuse girls in the general population. No one blames the abuse on the fact they are heterosexual. I appreciate her point.

Danny Collins
2 months 2 weeks ago

@Becky, Mary Gail claimed that "inside the church" most abusers are heterosexual. That is not a valid statement, not even close. The vast majority of victims were male (86% at the height of the sex abuse crisis and 81% overall, according to the John Jay report).

If Mary Gail wants to change the topic to sex abuse outside the church, that is a topic for a different thread. The article was about gay priests and bishops. Fr. Martin thinks they are getting a bum rap, but he refuses to address the issue of why they vastly more likely to abuse kids and share victims.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Yes, and as I have said -- the gender of the victims do not reflect the orientation of the abusers. Did you read any other of my comments? Sexual abuse is a crime primarily of dominance and power and opportunity. Men abuse other men in prison -- they turn them into their "chickens" and "bitches." These are heterosexual men. You are conflating the orientation of the abuser with the gender of the victims. One study, for example, studied 3 cohorts of sexual offenders against youth. They interviewed the men twice -- one in an office, one under polygraph. Not surprisingly, they reported more victims -- a lot more - under polygraph. They also reported having abused both girls and boys. Also not surprisingly, under interview, most of them reported having been abused themselves as kids; under polygraph, less than 20% were. They knew they'd get a better deal if people thought they also were abused. There are plenty of rings of heterosexual abusers sharing kids. I have been in his field for 35 years. There is NO correlation between homosexuality and child abuse; most abusers are heterosexual.

Danny Collins
2 months 2 weeks ago

@Mary Gail, You said, " the gender of the victims do not reflect the orientation of the abusers."

Aside from being poor grammar, it's just a ludicrous claim. Where are Weinstein and Cosby's male victims? Sure, some guys in prison get off with other men, but we've had 50% altar girls since the 80s, and access to girls for priests isn't hard. The victims are still 80% male overall. That number means something, and it doesn't mean that once heterosexual priests get ordained they decide to abuse boys. You make the general claim about there being hetersexual abuse rings outside the church passing around victims. Most trafficking victims in the broader culture are girls: nobody denies that. But do you know of any clergy abuse rings passing around girls?

The gender ratio of abuse victims among Catholic clergy is dramatically different than among the wider population. Denying that it has any significance on how to address the clean-up of the Catholic Church is sticking one's head in the sand.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Please cite your sources since I have cited mine.

Mike Theman
2 months 2 weeks ago

I would bet that none of the homosexual priests who molested boys would characterize their acts as abusive; the would call them consensual. In many cases, the perpetrators have been reported to convince their victims that they will like the acts committed against them. And, indeed, many of those sexually molested end up becoming homosexuals as a result.

Maureen Rigley
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mary Gail.. It is a pleasure to read an intelligent response to the past two weeks. As an RN for 50 years, I worked with many gay nurse of both sexes. Never had a problem welcoming or accepting them. As a matter of fact I got sick of hearing Fr. Jim rant about how they are treated by others. He does not know all others, especially medical people. But you hit the nail on the head. Come out, come out wherever you are! Until these priests and others stand up and be counted as chaste servants of the church, they will continue to have this difficulty. The upper echelon of the priesthood which calls out this abuse as from 'gay' persons, they are haters, not Christ followers. They judge but are never judged. Get rid of the costumes. No more vestments of any color or expensive silk, No more red cappas. No more $0000 black suit , etc. Everyone wear Levis and kneel until the knees on the pants show wear! thanks for the opportunity to let this 83 yo catholic scream! Mind you, I was married to a laicized priest, bore three sons, am now a widow . Earlier in life I quit nursing to do missionary work in my diocese but had a bishop who was opposed to spending $$ on peoples souls. stop judging and start loving, if you can! again thank you Mary, you made my day.

Harvey Milk, MD
2 months 2 weeks ago

Fr Martin will be persecuted for these sage words but it his persecutors who are truly the evil ones. They are the same ones who enslaved men and women in the Ancient Church up until the 1800s in the USA, ostracized Lepers and other peoples with medical/physical maladies, and subjugated the personhood of women. In time the leadership of the church came to their senses and no longer kept people with medical maladies away from the body of believers, and eventually, 1900 years later, spoke against slavery. The subjugation of women continues though, and the men in the frilly attire think they are the real men while they prance in feminine attire, ermine furs, long black robes, cappa magnas and red silk capes with their "attendants" holding their vestments. . Drag Queens across the world blush with envy.

Homosexuals like my husband and me aren't dissuaded for one simple reason: the haters are on-line. These people don't even attend a Catholic Church, though they argue SSPX and Tridentine are the "true" Church.

Those homosexuals who do attend Mass at parishes across the country are being embraced more and more by Catholic parishioners, priests and even Bishops. They should of course since it is homosexuals who lead Music Ministries, are Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Knights of Columbus (like me, 3rd Degree Knight, here), and are priests, though celibate.

NC Register (owned by EWTN), Catholic News Agency (owned by EWTN), EWTN and other online media outlets owned or not owned by EWTN, employ homosexuals without their knowledge. I should know. I worked with Mother Angelica in the 1980s in Leeds, AL.

So have courage, Fr Martin. You are a holy man, a wise man, and i wish we homosexual Catholics could stop the hatred that these evil people channel against LGBT, but they were there when Judas Iscariot traded our Lord for silver pieces, they were there when they enslaved persons throughout the centuries and they are still very much afoot when they refuse to acknowledge women as the rightful leaders that the Blessed Virgin Mother was in the Early Church (Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2)

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

"Fr Martin will be persecuted for these sage words but it his persecutors who are truly the evil ones."

Bill, it is already taking place on these forums, and has been occurring ever since his book was published "Building a Bridge". But as you rightly stated, the haters are on the internet. Fitting place for the evil ones who lurk in dark places and under cover of secrecy, stealthiness and all things cowardly

lynne miller
2 months 2 weeks ago

Mr. Kingsley, You are so correct, and thank you for pointing it out in such a clear, understandable and down to earth manner!

Maureen Rigley
2 months 2 weeks ago

applause!!

Jacqueline Baligian
2 months 2 weeks ago

"Where does this extreme hatred of gay priests come from?" in addition to the reasons listed in the article, we have to recognize that of course many people hide behind specific passages from the Bible (taken out of context)to defend their hatred. They don't even recognize it as "hatred" because they interpret the Bible to fit their narrative.

Arnoldo Miranda
2 months 2 weeks ago

"What I mean by “gay priests” is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity)."

Those who follow the Church's teachings and identify themselves as faithful Catholics trying to live as God has ordained through the Church have nothing to fear. This is something Fr. Martin doesn't acknowledge yet believes that somehow people are going to be questioning priests. Their acts are what have betrayed them, those who have fallen, not their being.

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

Miranda you contradicted yourself. Fr Martin described ordained priests who are homosexuals and live their promises of celibacy. Yet you stated "Fr Marin doesn't acknowledge". The broad brush that alt-right sede vacantists are using to paint "all homosexuals" are the witch hunters, even if these very priests are the ones marrying them, baptizing them, hearing their Confession and giving them Eucharist. go figure

Arnoldo Miranda
2 months 2 weeks ago

He doesn't acknowledge that there is no persecution of these folks because there isn't. Show me one example of a gay priest being persecuted. You can't find one. Holy priests living their life according to the Church have nothing to fear, for it is only the ones that have betrayed their vows with actions that nobody can defend.

Jorge Luis Luaces Rabaza
2 months 2 weeks ago

“Show me one example of a gay priest being persecuted”

The author of this article, Fr Martin, if commenters are to be believed. I have never met Fr Martin nor have I corresponded with him. I have no idea of his sexual orientation but reading the ugly comments by people on these forums paints him as a gay priest. The words that you and others of your angst have written about him....ugly

It is instructive that all of you vent your spleen against this poor Jesuit priest since he has taken several vows, including celibacy, and manages this publication. Yet here all of you are writing the most heinous things about him and no doubt none of you contribute financially to this publication. I do. Because of this American scandal, and my needing to know the facts, I decided to become a financially responsible paying subscriber because I use this publication to inform me

You all should do likewise

Delete all of your calumnous comments against Fr Martin if you are truly Catholic. But you will not because you are not Catholic.

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