Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Chickens Are Home: The Homosexual Priest Problem

From Dreher. He starts with the First Things review of Lawler's book, and adds a few thoughts.

Richard Sipe and Fr. Tom Doyle are very far from being conservative Catholics -- in fact, Fr. Doyle has been involved with Call to Action -- but they also happen to be among the most knowledgeable experts on the sex abuse crisis. Sipe, who is probably the expert on the sexual lives of Catholic clerics, told me that the seminary system is the problem. Many seminaries are run by corrupt gay clerics, he said (Fr. Doyle agreed). If a seminarian struggling with homosexuality and chastity is admitted, the attempt will quickly be made to corrupt him by getting him involved in sexual activity. If he falls, he's done for. Even if he repents and lives a blameless celibate life thenceforth, the network has something on him, and is willing to use it. He's been neutralized.

This blog mentioned that the Milwaukee Seminary's Rectors (going back to the late 1950's) should share the blame for the problem. We must credit Abp. Dolan for recognizing the problem and (effectively) closing St Francis Major Sem. (It wasn't just a "money problem.")

...Unless you've spent a lot of time talking to people who have dealt with this stuff personally, it's hard to believe this situation really exists. I interviewed a seminarian who had been studying in a religious order's seminary, but who left for a diocesan seminary because, he said, gay sex was open and rampant in the particular order seminary in which he was studying. He told his own parents about what he was dealing with, and they didn't believe him. They couldn't believe him: priests didn't do these sorts of things, as they saw it. I firmly believe that John Paul II was so dreadful on the scandal because he couldn't face the extent and degree of the corruption.

JPII was hardly the ONLY one who could not fact the problem. Paul VI was there, too. B-16 has explicitly said that there were horrible crimes--civil and ecclesial--committed.

...It hardly needs saying that the media, which have done a good job of exploring all angles of the scandal's root cause, have studiously ignored the complex story of gays in the priesthood and their role. It's true that many conservatives would love to blame the entire mess on gays and be done with it. I can't say strongly enough: that is way too simplistic, and therefore unjust. But the media, it seems to me, have gone out of their way to avoid looking at the homosexualization of the priesthood.

Of course it's unjust. Corruption is certainly not confined to homosexuals. And it is the effects of corruption (not just sexual orientation) that we deal with today--in the civil-damages courts.


RAG said...

This has really been the church's dirty not-so-much-a-secret. As most of the abuse incidents involve homosexual behavior, there is every reason for concern.

virgil said...

You allege that ++Tim's closing of the seminary was due, at least in part, to sexual activity among the seminarians.

I beg to differ. But I argue only from my own knowledge of seminarians there, over many years.

Back in the 80's, when I was a seminarian, the place was, as you charge, a hotbed of gay relationships between seminarians and gay promiscuity among others.

However, in recent years, it has been rather well known that there have been only a small handful of gay seminarians at St Francis, and they have been quite celibate.

It wasn't the seminarians that were of concern to ++Tim. It was the broad unorthodoxy of the lay students there.

That, and the financial aspects, of course.

Dad29 said...

First off, Virgil, I did NOT allege that there was homosexual activity at the Sem. In fact, I alleged that the ordination of homosexuals (active or not) is a direct violation of Roman instruction on the matter.

(Praise to those who maintain celibacy while in or out of the Sem, by the way.)

But your response is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First off, Rome was clear (back in 1961) that homosexuals should not be seminarians, much less be ordained.

Secondly, Rome also made it clear that women were not to be students at the Sem if they were in co-ed classes.

So: Seminary management ignored Rome on two major points, and beyond that, they also admitted lay students who did not have faith-qualifications.

Still looks like the Archbishop made the right call.

Anonymous said...

Now, what do we do about all the homosexual laymen working for the Church, organizing conferences, publishing catechetical texts, working as youth ministers, etc.?

Dad29 said...


Church officials should, of course, make sure that the writings are orthodox--or they don't get published.

Parents and others should keep close watch at 'youth ministry' events--just like they usually do.

If someone screws up, they get fired and/or prosecuted.

no problem.