Clergy Sexual Abuse: The Unaddressed Question of Same-Sex Attraction

Church Steeple

In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a 1.8 million dollar study, popularly known as the “John Jay study,” to uncover the patterns and causes of the sex abuse crisis since 1950. The National Review Board—the entity designated to implement the study—gave the first John Jay report in 2004. In this report, which describes the “Nature and Scope” of clergy sexual abuse, the board pointed out that more than 80 percent of the victims were teenage boys and young men.

This conclusion, in itself, should have been a solid roadmap for truly correcting the sex abuse problem.

Indeed, the bishops quickly responded. They issued guidelines for tough diocesan policies, such as the immediate reporting of abuse to civil authorities, and better oversight of children’s safety.

However, despite those good reforms, clergy with sexual abuse histories were still active in public Church ministry. In early 2011, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revealed it was involved in yet another major “roundup” of sex abuse cases, a majority of them (82%) involving the original category of identified victims—male teens and young men.

Also in 2011, the Vatican called on bishops and local dioceses to develop comprehensive plans to stop sex abuse. It urged “an even greater importance in assuring a proper discernment of vocations.” Clearly, the Vatican still sees a need to encourage more thoroughness when screening priesthood candidates.

These developments—still surfacing seven years after the original John Jay findings—suggest that reforms have not been wholly adequate. Why? I would suggest that, from the start, reforms concentrated on defensive measures—protecting young people from predators who may be lurking in the clergy. That is well and good. However, a more important question remains unanswered: why should the Church allow predators to be lurking among the clergy in the first place?

The fault is not with the original John Jay data. It pointed to the predator issue by identifying the overwhelming victim demographic as young men and male teens. Here are the statistics, in Part 4.2 of the study: “four out of five (80%) alleged victims were male,” and “the majority of alleged victims were post-pubescent (87.4%), with only a small percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children.”

This statistic paints a vivid picture: the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy targeting young males as their victims.  This fact suggests one reform that has yet to be addressed: the Church must screen out clergy candidates with same-sex attractions.

At first, this reform appeared to be on the radar. In 2004, the National Review Board stated that while the sex abuse crisis had no single cause, “an understanding of the crisis is not possible” without reference to “the presence of homosexually oriented priests.” The board cited the data: “eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.”

Dr. Paul McHugh, a former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a member of the National Review Board, put it more strongly. Quoted in an August 25, 2006 National Catholic Register editorial, he observed that the John Jay study had revealed a crisis of “homosexual predation on American Catholic youth.”

But that warning soon disappeared from the public perception. The John Jay conclusions began to be explained as an “environment” problem. This new interpretation was made official in a 2011 John Jay report, “Causes and Context.”

Two years earlier, Dr. Karen Terry, the lead spokesperson and coauthor of the John Jay study, offered this interpretation at the bishops’ November 2009 meeting in Baltimore. According to the account in the National Catholic Reporter, Dr. Terry inferred that the sexual orientation of the predators didn’t matter. In Dr. Terry’s words, “It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior … Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature, but not have a homosexual identity.”

Quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the National Catholic Reporter, Dr. Terry said the problem was that clergy “had access to boys” rather than because they had “a homosexual identity” or a “homosexual orientation.”

But “access to boys” avoids one glaring issue: the data reveals that a very small contingent of clergy did most of the sexual exploiting, and they overwhelmingly chose same-sex victims.

Dr. Terry’s own interpretation notwithstanding, it is absolutely crucial to examine who these exploiters are. At the very least, it’s a cop-out to blame the crisis on the “field” of victims, and the implication is potentially dangerous: It suggests that future crises could be avoided if the Church bans “access to boys.” This inevitably would include banning: priests from all-male high schools; priestly vocation retreats; and any gathering designed to specifically encourage young men in the pursuit of a Christian way of life. These kinds of gatherings have raised generations of good Catholic men for centuries—and, rest assured, morally strong and healthy priests have never had any interest in sexually stalking young men at these gatherings.

Instead, we owe it to generations of Catholics to get to the heart of the issue, and examine what kind of man would sexually pursue post-pubescent males.

Before going further, let’s be clear: sexual predators come in both homosexual and heterosexual orientations. In either variety, sexual predation is evil, and homosexual behavior isn’t the only sexual sin, or the only problem. All sexual sins can gain strength unless the clergy formation process includes an emphasis on spirituality, prayer, and asceticism. But the data from the John Jay study strongly suggests that a homosexual influence in the clergy is a key factor in the sex abuse crisis.

And yet, this factor has been consistently ignored in the reform process. In fact, in the John Jay report issued in 2011, homosexuality was definitively discounted as an issue.  The study cited “organizational” (and institutional) causes among the explanations for the sex abuse crisis. It concluded that perhaps the real causes are the result of “certain vulnerabilities” accompanied by “opportunities to abuse,” as in “access to boys.”

The second report did not suggest screening anyone from the seminary. Rather, the “Conclusions and Recommendations” suggested that the solution lay in “education,” “situational prevention models,” and “oversight and accountability.” The report stated: “By regularly surveying priests, administrative staff, and parishioners about their responses to, and satisfaction with, the priests with whom they have contact, dioceses are more likely to be alerted to questionable behavior that might have been undetected in the past.”

In effect, now all priests will be considered guilty until proven innocent! More insidiously, the report calls for closer surveillance or “oversight” of the activities of all priests. According to a July 22, 2011 article in the National Catholic Reporter, this means “ensuring at least one adult is present whenever clergy and children (young men) are together.”  Big Brother, welcome to the Church.

Significantly, this second John Jay report was challenged by a top psychiatrist who treats sexually abusive priests. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons told the Catholic News Agency on May 20, 2011, that “he is ‘very critical’ of the latest findings because they avoid discussing important causal factors in clerical sex abuse cases, namely homosexuality.”

Of course, anything critical of homosexuality offends modern standards, even the standards of some within the Church. But those are not the standards of the Catholic Church, and her teaching.  Pope Benedict XVI, for example, says in his recent book, Light of the World, that one of the “disturbing problems” in the Church today is that “homosexuality exists in monasteries and among the clergy.”  He goes on to say that “homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation.”

The Pope’s statements are backed by the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (#2358), and other documents which declare that homosexual behavior is “objectively disordered.”

The question is: will objective data, like the John Jay study, be interpreted by Church standards, or by other standards?

So far, the answer is unsettled. Unfortunately, what should be the Church’s primary concern seems to be currently off the table. Instead, the study’s new direction and warning about “access to boys,” carries a subtle, but troubling, challenge to the Christian formation of young men—including the male-only priesthood.

When it comes to “access to boys,” the Church should have only one goal: to protect every young man who has discerned a call to religious life, and any male who sees, in priests and deacons, worthy role models of Christian values. For now, this vast demographic of human souls is still vulnerable to sexual targeting within the very walls of the Church.

We must face facts. The data overwhelmingly identifies the main victims of the sex abuse crisis as young men. Furthermore, what critics call “access to boys” is a natural consequence of Church life, and the male priesthood. Therefore, true reform should not be to question “access to boys,” but to reconsider, with compassion and wisdom, whether clergy roles are appropriate for any man who finds “access to boys” a sexual temptation.

Until this human problem is addressed, we cannot expect a complete solution to sexual predation within the Church.

This essay first appeared August 30, 2012 in Homiletic and Pastoral Review and is reprinted with permission.

Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap

By

Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap., is spiritual director and chaplain for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Denver, as well as being one of the spiritual directors for the Missionaries of Charity in the western United States. He was director of prison ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, from 1999 to 2010; a chaplain for Missionaries of Charity at their now-closed AIDS hospice, Seton House, and at Gift of Mary homeless shelter for women in Denver from 1989 to 2008. His articles have been published in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Catholic Faith, Soul Magazine, Pastoral Life, and The Priest. He has also made three series for Mother Angelica's EWTN: “Crucial Questions,” “Catholic Answers,” and “What Did Vatican II Really Teach?”

  • Edward Peitler

    Ah, yes, the proverbial ‘elephant in the room.’
    Let’s be honest. The facts are right in front of us. This IS a problem of same sex attraction among our clergy combined with a lax moral code ushered in with the 60′s ecclesiology.
    Diocesan priest candidate review boards need to take seriously in each candidate those factors related to same sex attraction, The problem is that many priests with the same sex attraction issue are in administrative positions in dioceses so they are not going to be highly disposed to surfacing this as an issue needing to be dealt with. Basically, it’s up to bishops to decide what attributes in priests he wants modeled in his diocese. But here again, if you have a bishop who struggles with same sex attraction himself, is he prepared to raise the issue?
    We can posit all the neat sociological theories of causality that make us feel reassured but unless we face facts, the elephant will remain and the next “clergy crisis” looms right aorund the corner. As an aside, “so called ‘safety programs’ and all their education is a waste of time, money and effort. All it does is provides dioceses litigation insulation by showing “proof” that they are addressing the “problem.”

  • Deacon Frank

    Right on, Edward !

  • Bill Russell

    In 2004, as President of the USCBB, Bishop Wilton Gregory notoriously said of the sex abuse crisis: “The terrible history recorded here today is history. ” Fact is, things got worse. Don’t bishops who are good an apologies for the errors of others, ever have to publicly admit their own mistakes?

  • Pingback: Clergy Sexual Abuse: The Unaddressed Question of Same-Sex Attraction | Catholic Canada

  • Tony

    The dopey “access to boys” explanation begs the question. It assumes — with absolutely no warrant — that there was no particular attraction to boys to begin with, when in fact the whole homosexual “orientation” is directed, in males, toward youth, including boys. The patterns of male homosexual behavior attest to this, in ancient Greece and Rome, in Turkey and Afghanistan, in Renaissance Europe, etc.; the word “pedagogue” for a while was a euphemism for “sodomite”. Heck, the gay travel agency business attests to it also. There is something perpetually adolescent about male homosexual behavior — so, surprise surprise — male homosexuals are attracted to adolescent boys…

    • fiatlux

      Exactly! Thank-you, Tony, for pointing this out. And thank-you as well for being the first person to use ‘begs the question’ correctly since probably 1994.

    • John200

      This is the pattern of homo”sex”ual behavior always and everywhere. These unfortunates are never happier than when they can screw up a boy’s life with their perversion.

  • Catholic Bob

    When I first read the John Jay report back in 2004 it was quite obvious to me that the problem was homosexuality. I didn’t have to have an expert explain it to me. What is very disturbing is the fact that it isn’t acknowledged as such. I have always contended that the constitutional guarantee to practice ones religion can not coexist with same-sex marriage. That a PC explanation can hold any water after the findings of the John Jay report should alert all of the faithful of the tremdous spiritual and wordly battle we face at this time in history. Guird yourself my brothers and sisters, take up your cross, your sword and shield (Bible) and go forth with confidence and love to spread the good news.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    A measure such as, ““ensuring at least one adult is present whenever clergy and children (young men) are together,” has this advantage that its implementation can be verified; compliance can be monitored, it lends itself to recording and records can be kept and audited.

    Ascertaining something as elusive as the sexual orientation of individuals does not lend itself to the same kind of scrutiny and oversight.

  • Scott S

    Well said Edward, the (homosexual) elephant in the room is still being denied. I’m not a social scientist but the predator clergy in the past were rarely interested in young girls… it was SSA- same sex attracted clergy that have done the damage. And based on my familiy’s past vague knowledge of a family friend seminarian in the 70′s, who promptly left after a 2 years amid rumors of sexaully abuse, the problem occurred at the seminary and management level not just the parishes. Think of the many capable seminarians that were victimized or pressuered to leave the seminary and could have served as priests due to this evil scourge. This approach reminds me of the TSA airport security mindset that refuses to profile dangerous travelers i.e past middle east or far east travelers with arabic backgronds, the basis of the Israeli effective security process. Intead we are all considered terrorist risks and treated as criminals, including our safe and respectable clergy and lay persons who may have access to boys, children and other vulnerable persons. Let’s screen out the SSA clergy as a priority, which will ” lead us not into temptation” per the Lords Prayer, and avoid politicially correct and potentially sinful acts.

  • crakpot

    Dealing with rape by limiting every priest’s access to ‘boys’ and ignoring the data on who’s doing it is like putting all air passengers through strip-search scanners at the airport, while ignoring who did 9/11.

  • Ada Foster

    nice post

  • http://www.vivificat.org/ Teófilo de Jesús

    Thank you Father Scanlon, for daring to say what others fear to admit.

  • John_ONeill

    It is interesting to note that the media saturated Penn State sex scandal was centered on a homosexual male with the same sex attraction problem who abused young boys. However, the media and the mentally challenged American public converted the whole affair into a vendetta against coach Joe Paterno and the football team; neither of whom had anything to do with abusing young boys. Once again the power of the homosexual community was shown as no public media ever mentioned the nature of this abuse. Ironically the cure for this abuse of young boys was thought to be the banishing of the entire football team from entering NCAA bowl games. Once again the American public can easily be manipulative away from the main point as is also true in the priest sex scandal. Presently the president of the American State and his party are preparing to facilitate the role of homosexual men into main stream Americanized society and seem to have the support of their followers. Indeed one of the most admired people in the American entertainment business is Michael Jackson, a man who admitted his predilection for taking young boys into his overlarge bed and sleeping with them. Incredible that so many Americans wept and acted out when this entertainer died and still want to “continue his memory”.

    • Louis Gonzales

      Because there was no substantial evidence of him molesting children. Police interviewed over 100 children that slept in Michael’s 2 story bedroom in 1993. None of those children accused Michael of molestation, yet you have one bipolar father, who previously drugged Michael Jackson in hopes of getting a confession from him, accuse Michael Jackson of molestation (after trying to extort 20 million dollars from him), and now he’s a certified pedophile to the public. It’s pure madness.

  • verbummilitant

    Our Bishops should be ashamed of themselves. To try to portray our clergy sex abuse problem as merely out of control clergy attracted to any target of opportunity (teenage boys) is, at best, disingenuous. This explanation ignores the obvious and therefore only exacerbates the problem.
    About fifteen years ago a business acquaintance of mine confided in me that his son, felt a calling to the priesthood, and attended a seminary but returned home after just a couple of weeks because “He was afraid to sleep on his stomach.” He went on to tell me his son forgot his calling and got married a few years later. One man’s story does not, in any way, define such a broad based problem; but it does leave one with nagging questions.
    To the point. This sex abuse scandal has far reaching consequences. If we continue to train our children to be careful around our clergy and instruct our clergy not to show any affection towards children there will be a disconnect that, later on in life, will be hard to bridge. If our children cannot fully trust their priest then the family of God will suffer even more.
    Fathers, both lay and clerical, are under attack in this country.For the sake of our children, let us recognize this obvious fact and not succumb to the “wickedness and snares of the devil.” He is playing us like a fiddle.
    It is time to man-up and admit the real problem. It is not fathers that we must fear. It is the unfettered promulgation of intrinsic evil!

    • gigi4747

      “He went on to tell me his son forgot his calling and got married a few years later.”
      I agree the seminaries need desperately to be cleaned out, but this young man doesn’t sound like someone with a genuine vocation to the priesthood. If he was willing to walk away and pursue a different vocation, then I’m grateful he wasn’t ordained.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6IKYHLM6U7IA65BSXEVDJBGDFU Farkel44

    The sad truth is about 40% of the “religious” are Social Justice Socialists….and Donkey first, Catholic second…They have no moral compass. If Pedophilia were not frowned upon culturally, they would probably be all for it. Just give them a few decades….it’s only been 5 decades so far….and look what they have accomplished in such a short time. There will probably be a Pedo-mass somewhere before it’s all over. The Elephant in the room goes by the name of Satan…and it looks like no one is choosing to stop him.

    • John200

      Stop him? He is their religious inspiration, or their God. Their philosophical muse is the Marquis de Sade.

  • GregCz

    Homosexuality is the real problem – when will society realize that this is an adnormal behavior and need to be treated pschologically.

    • Gallibus

      It needs to be treated as sin, pure and simple.

      • John200

        Homo”sex”uality is the problem always and everywhere the homo”sex”ual goes.

        It will be treated as sin when the homo”sex”ual comes to judgment. I am taught that that final interview is thorough in its level of detail.

        Also, you have to respond truthfully to everything that is asked. You cannot hide it like you might hide it from a human bishop in this life.

        • Gallibus

          Sin is sin, no matter what its nature and needs to be repented of with a firm purpose of amendment when we go to Confession in the sacrament where the priest acts in the name and place of Jesus. Our Lady has appealed to us to make complete and entire confessions so that all sins may be forgiven. We cannot hide from God and He has ordained this Sacrament so that we may be forgiven, repent and live a holy life rather than accumulate terrible punishment and purification in the next life – which Jesus has told us in His modern day Messages – is much worse than the punishment in this world.

  • Michel Roi

    One wonders whether the relunctance on the part of the hierarchy to confront this might not be due to the very large percentage of clergy, at all levels, who are homosexually oriented. Only a minority of these have gone after boys, but there is a defensiveness with respect to naming the problem.

    • Gallibus

      We, those of us who aspire to God’s kingdom need to toss being politically correct, which in most cases panders to pack mentality and is moral cowardice pure and simple, and strive to become God-aligned – obedient to His Commandments.

    • John200

      No, the percentage of homo”sex”ual clergy is tiny, it has always been tiny, and it will shrink over time. They will be leaving us soon enough and then each one faces a rather difficult interview process with… well, you are a Catholic, you know the rest.

      The passive nature of the hierarchy is a mystery to me and to millions of others like me. They have no idea how an active, full frontal engagement with this problem would enhance them in my (our) eyes.

      It would help them in that final interview, as well.

  • Hattie

    What a simplistic, myopic approach to a 2000 year old problem. Up until 1899 the Vatican was castrating young boys so they could maintain their superb soprano voices to sing at Papal ceremonies! It is a known fact that if all the “gays” left the hierarchy of the Church, there would be no governing body.
    The Church wants it both ways. They want the power, money and control over everyone expect themselves. There were serious rumors that in years gone by Pope Benedict spent countless nights out with the Swiss Guards in public restaurants and while he may have never “touched” any of them inappropriately, the witnesses observed a definite homosexual infatuation with these handsome young men who are a the Pope’s beck and call.!
    Sexual abuse is not limited to a few ” bad” priests, but to the society in general. To posit the fact that by checking same sex attraction of future priests, we will eliminate sex abuse is not only simplistic, is smacks of a “cleansing we have witnessed ” in the past in the Pope’s own homeland! Getting the gays is not the way to stop sexual abuse of anyone. It is a cheap shot to atempt to blame someone for serious societal sexual misconduct.
    A more reasonable solution would be for the Chruch and society to take a serious look at the many ways in which sexuallity is exploited in media, enertainment, sports, school classroms, the internet, Ipods and even cartoons. If the homosexual community has as much power as is stated, then we are all headed to eventual victimization at the hands of the ” boy rapers!” when in fact, the average child sex abuser is a married man with children.
    So, while I agree with the seriousness of the problem, I am unwilling to continue to protect the institutional Church from sweeping out its own dirt. The Dallas Charter threw priests under the bus simply to protect the power, money and control of the Bishops of the US.
    Try to convince Jesus that destroying people guilty or not to protect other people gulity or not is the solution to an age old problem, while it contradicts the very nature of life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

    • J G

      Hattie, for a simplistic myopic and bigoted approach just read your own post. It is full of cheap shots, especially at the Holy Father.

    • Graham-Michael

      Sexual abuse is not limited to a few ” bad” priests … I think Hattie speaks a heap of common sense, certainly not cheap shots. Why is the Catholic Church in America obsessed with an issue that is but a tiny percentage of sexual abuse across the world, inside and outside the Church. As a young boy I was abused by an Anglican nun, and in later years I have counselled men and women who have been abused by their own and the opposite sex. The facts are that there are much larger numbers of priests and religious abusing the opposite sex than men on men, or men on boys.
      At the same time it should not be forgotten there are countless thousands of men and women living good and sincere chaste lives, as well as thousands of good men and women in the priesthood and religious life living monogamous sincere relationships. Remove all the gay men and lesbian women form the Church and one is left with almost nothing in terms of men/women power to serve the Church. Get wise!

      • J G

        Graham, that is false. I hear all the time the same mantra. Usually by people who have no idea of how many homosexuals are in the clergy. I assure you that there are many normal men in the priesthood. The solution is to have more of them not less. Get wise.

    • Gallibus

      You seem not to have realized that satan is attacking love not only in the form of misdirected sex but is attacking every natural and healthy expression of love. Try not to be so gullible, open your eyes a bit wider. God is Love. Satan hates Him and everything resembling Him, especially love in any form. Grow up, Dear.

  • Jerry

    Until they remove the Homo’s out of the Clergy the problem will continue. They cannot serve if they themselves are very disordered.

    • John200

      Precisely.

  • TheMediaReport .com

    As someone said on another board: If a group of people abused innocent girls and someone claimed that *gay men* had committed the crimes, that claim would be laughed at.

    Yet with 80% of the victims being boys, people don’t want to state the obvious conclusion – for the simple reason of political correctness.

    -

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBUJVA3HJ4NPEBHRNC2ZZPUHQQ Paul Raul

    The question remains, why ? “United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a 1.8 million dollar study, popularly known as the “John Jay study,” to uncover the patterns and causes of the sex abuse crisis since 1950″. To squander another 1.8 million dollars (to a non-Catholic organization) to do a study that any normal human-being could figure out very easily. This shows the lack of sensibilities and decision making on the part of the USCCB.
    Is it a committee that is that ignorant or are the bishops on the whole that stupid?
    The bishops have been told over and over again by the Pope that you are not to ‘Ordain’ homosexuals. It appears that some bishops look specifically for homosexuals to Ordain.
    There are some Cardinals and some Bishops that are very cleaver, however, they lost their Faith and are dragging the faithful right into Hell fire with their wants and needs. In America they have stacked the deck with misinformation and confusion and twisting- in- the- wind the ‘True Teaching of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’ Example
    Biden, Peloli, Sebelious, Chief Justice John Roberts all Catholics, brought the Americans, abortifacients, abortion on demand, sterilizations, and same sex-marriage.
    Washington DC church hierarchy is not only subtle, but has become blatant. “Totally Political” however, Life and Marriage are ‘Moral’ Issues not just Political or Catholic Issues. Perhaps when you are so close to the President, Obama and Vice President Biden, with their promoting abortion on demand, with tax dollars, and homosexual marriages, the so-called-Catholic hierarchy , in Washington DC; they are so closely tied “Politically”, that they cannot do anything to stop these ‘two intrinsically evil’ positions of the Democrat Party. To be Faithful to God; the bishops better tell all ,through out the Land, to begin, by getting out of the Democrat Party.
    Obedience to Peter’s Holy Chair is not an option!
    Obedience to the Cardinals and Bishops, that are in ‘Union’ with the Holy Chair of Peter, is also not an option! The word ‘Union’ gives you the clue. It is what they ‘Do’
    not what they ‘Say’.

  • chris

    Its not just same sex attraction here. Its predators who see the church as an easy target to go after young children. Not only do we need to revamp our seminaries, we need more psychological profiling of prospective priests. Its a sad, but truth of todays world.

  • dpharisee2010

    When I was on my teens, I admired other girls mainly because of their handwriting, the way they stood in front of a crowd and talk, its more of their talent than their looks but, but I will never invite them to my house, to have lunch or even have the thought of being intimate with them. I am so appalled by what is going on these days.

  • John Michael

    Amen!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVZLEPV6I5SNCNNJIS4JZ32WQY Jacques

    The Vatican published a document in 1961 (yes, 1961, 2 years before the council !), entitled “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders”.
    It was promulgated by the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Religious on February 2, 1961. That same document is published in its entirety, in English: Canon Law Digest, Volume V (Bruce Publishing Co, 1963), pages 452 to 486.
    The key paragraph regarding homosexuals and the priesthood is on page 471. It occurs under Section D of the Instruction: “The Required Chastity”. Here we read:“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers”.
    Why was that document not immediately implemented?
    The explanation is: The VATII Council was opened a few months later and the document was considered as outdated, obsolete, belonging to a bygone time.
    Then the most awful scandal in the Church’s history began to shake the Church, for 50 years destroying lifes and souls, leading many people who once considered to convert to the true Faith, to go astray out of distaste.
    Sad to say, the scandal is still ongoing. When will the Vatican accept to open its eyes?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBUJVA3HJ4NPEBHRNC2ZZPUHQQ Paul Raul

      Who considered the document “The Required Chastity” outdated, obsolete, belonging to a bygone time? The Americans that were promoting birth-control pills at the time?
      Where is it documented that the Vatican said this?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

        It doesn’t “need to be documented” — actions speak louder than words. There’s plenty of blame for everyone: laity, and clergy alike; but most of all for the Masonic fraternity –Satan’s own brood– inside the Vatican who fostered the heresy of modernism (now in its contemporary dress of “moral relativism”) decried by “reactionary” Pope St Pius X.

  • responder111

    Too many homosexuals have no sexual boundaries at all. Their behavior is anything they feel they want to do with anyone they want to do it with, which most times is someone of the same sex. Societal norms mean nothing to many of them. I see these homosexual priests coming and going in the parishes and they make me sick. I don’t remember seeing so many openly gay priests when I was a kid. During the 60s and 70s, the homosexuals took over the seminaries and the churches are still full of them. Everyone thought their homosexuality was harmless — NOT SO. 50 years later, the lay Catholics are still paying the price. I still love the Lord, His Church, and know only too well what He meant when he said “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” These homosexuals have certainly given it their best.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBUJVA3HJ4NPEBHRNC2ZZPUHQQ Paul Raul

      Anybody that identifies themselves by their sexual orientation is already out of control.

  • Beeb

    Since these scandals began I have asked myself, “who are the only people who would NOT be outraged and sickened by a priest having sexual contact with a minor? It seems to me to be a pretty grave and serious breech of morals, not to mention a massive betrayal of trust enjoyed by the clergy. So I ask myself, did the hierarchy look the other way because the behavior has become commonplace, at every level, like corruption in government? Is it the same as trying to complain to a graft taking attorney general that your mayor is taking graft? Parents and lay people were rightly outraged and acted quickly if they discovered the abuse, immediately bringing the issue to either the pastor or the bishop. They expected these also would be sickened and outraged and take swift decisive action. But inexplicably, they did not. So why not?. Are pastors and bishops just promoted pederasts, or perhaps homosexuals who get frustrated by, but understand, the pederasts among them? Are the foxes guarding the hen house? Even now they do not seem angered or outraged by these scandals, just bothered by having to deal with them. Are the laity the last to know, and this secret is kept only because the money would stop flowing in if the laity thought priests were not straight and celibate? I have heard stories for years of men leaving the seminary because of the bacchanalian behaviors they witnessed there, including togas!! Surely the administration of the seminary knows about this, so why is it permitted? If the priesthood has become a cover for homosexuals to live and thrive right under our noses, then we will be even more publicly shamed as hypocrites in the future. And forgive my cynicism, but if thousands of dollars were reported taken by a priest from a parish, the said priest would most likely be rapidly and decisively removed, and not assigned to another parish either! Sorry, I love the Church and I trust most priests, but the duplicity and cover-up of the sexual sinfulness in the priesthood really sickens me, and it is giving the many enemies of the Church enough ammunition to destroy the faith of many.

  • fr bill

    The suggested remedy is exactly correct and sooo politically incorrect.

  • J G

    Anyone who does not acknowledge that the abuse was a consequence of homosexuality is hiding their head in the sand. Everyone knows this, but to say the truth is to invite immediate attacks from the homosexual lobby. By banning those with same sex attraction from the priesthood we will protect children. Isn’t that what everyone claims they want? Don’t ignore the pink elephant in the room.

  • Fr. Jun

    I
    am now a priest of nine years and next year I will be on Sabbatical for my
    tenth year. I am very sad about the spiritual and moral state of our Church. When
    I was still a seminarian seeking for the right place for my vocation, a
    seminary director who interviewed me told me right smack on my face that I
    can’t be admitted because I am effeminate. I went home and cried torrents of
    tears when in all sincerity and honesty I really feel I have the calling. I was
    accepted in a religious order anyway and after 15 years I was so surprised that
    in the newspapers the Msgr. who interviewed me is involved in siring 2 children
    from 2 different women. He was known to be a strict disciplinarian by all
    seminarians. My experience in seminary formation is that we are too involved
    with liberation theology so that the social issues of the day are the preoccupation.
    Secularism has crept into the Church and sadly, the devotions to the sacred and
    the holy, the sacraments and the sacramentals are now taken for granted. The
    principles of liberation and individual freedom have taken their toll on the
    sanctity of the priesthood. Every priest and religious has his or her own
    shortcomings and once prayer life is neglected there goes the crack to commit
    all kinds of sinfulness. I am a witness to this, the priest and the religious
    who no longer pray are the ones who leave the priesthood and those who
    committed the abuse, be they homosexual or heterosexual. The vows are broken
    once prayer stops. I exhort my fellow priests for the 3 things that must never
    be lost: daily eucharist, the divine office, and devotion to the Blessed
    Virgin. Strict screening is only the beginning and with my experience as an
    effeminate applicant, admission boards can fall into error also. I really beg
    the lay people to pray for us, because our life is difficult.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2FLI53QMOWRBSOXEUJ54K6ZTI cherrywoman22

      Tthank you Father, for your honest and informational reply. I’m not sure what you feel is “effeminate”. Maybe it’s not something to chew your head off about? I mean, what is, really, the definition of the True Masculine Man?? Does an effeminate man not cry, is he able to perceive better, quicker, relate to women on an emotional level “more” than a more “masculine” man? I’m a 46 woman writing here and am just writing these thoughts as they come. Too quiet? Just how do you definte “effeminate”. I’m not asking you to answer this online if you don’t think it’s appropriate but…. even though I’m sure a “lot of people” will come up with a “reasonable” answer that includes the desired qualifications for the “real man”, just remember you can always say but the “most people” that I know or have met in life don’t necessarily share x point of view. God bless and thank you for the reminder to pray for priests. For some months now I first offer up Communion, when I get to Mass besides Sunday, for the spiritual strengthening of priests in faith, hope and charity and in all of the gifts and virtues of the Holy Spirit. Hang in there Father smiles!!

    • 3221

      Father Jun, you are exactly the kind of person that I had in mind when I read this unkind treatise as to the solution for sex abuse in the clergy. There is a concerted effort to disallow the reality of grace which makes followers of Jesus different from the world. The solution that Father Regis suggests is no different than supplying teenagers with condoms so that pregnancies will be fewer. The reality of chastity through grace is just not considered viable. It would also involve much work in developing the interior life of grace in the seminarians and priests taking a spiritual outlook on each priest and really looking at what each priest needs spiritually. If we folllow Father Regis’ line of thinking, we perhaps should disallow any man who has any sinful procilvities to enter the priesthood, such as the priest who interviewed you and fathered two illegitimate children. We are soon to begin the ‘year of faith’. If we cannot count on the powerful reality of grace and supernatural strength of God to help us all muddle through our weakened condition as human persons, then we have no faith. Others see this hypocrisy for what it is. Shame on you, Father Regis, for your spiritually mindless solution.

      • J G

        3221, It is “unkind” to not be truthful about the problem of same sex attraction and child abuse. It is “mindless” to ignore reality.

        • 3221

          The problem of ‘same sex attraction’ is one thing; it is one disorder among many that plague human persons. The ‘problem’ of homosexual acting out in the clergy is due to an unwillingness to remain chaste.
          This unwillingness is rampant within the priesthood because there has been very little preparation and development of the interior life of grace in seminary training. Clergy have been poorly formed spiritually; indeed, rampant homosexual activity has even been encouraged due to poor spiritual formation. The interviewer of Father Jun was himself willingly unchaste. Persons, whether heterosexual or otherwise, can be chaste because, as Pope Benedict stated this very day in his general audience, it is Christ’s strength on which we rely. Condemning a whole group of broken persons will not solve the problem. The interviewer of Father Jon was not homosexual, but he was unchaste because he was unwilling to be chaste. He may be a danger to young women, may he not? Perhaps we should ban all men who are sexually attracted to anyone; this would solve the problem too.
          There are many priests who are homosexual in their sexual attraction who have remained chaste and are doing God’s work. These are men of prayer and union with Christ who live in integrity. There are many heterosexual priests who are not faithful to their call of celibacy and have harmed others. Pedophilia is another issue altogether, and separate from those who are chaste homosexuals. It is this mindless generalization of banning even those who are living chastely that is not of God.

          • J G

            Homosexuality is itself a moral disorder, even if the homosexual lives chastely which they should. All priests must be chaste and they should not have such disorders. There is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. It is not good for a homosexual to pursue the priesthood. He might be able to live it well, some have, but the evidence is that most cannot. We cannot afford to take more chances.

            • John200

              Thanks, JG, that is a good point.

              Thinking along the same lines, it is not good for the priesthood to have homo”sex”uals ordained or even in the seminary. It is not good for the boy/sex object. Nor is it good for us: We are guilty of the sin of scandal.

              We are invited to consider whether they can live chastity. Frankly, who cares? That’s a red herring. It would be better for the priesthood if we did not put homo”sex”uals in positions of trust, near those little boys. Prudence demands that we not test the virtue of someone who has an intrinsic disorder. By the insistent testimony of our homo”sex”ual brethren, this disorder is almost impossible to control. Therefore, we are imprudent to cast a poor sinner against such a powerful temptation that is working successfully against them…. and that could land them in hell. So the money quote is:

              It is un-Christian to lead them into temptation. I desire not to take part in the sin of scandal.

              • 3221

                Every single one of us has some form of ‘intrinsic disorder’ due to original sin. A man of prayer and deep intimacy with Christ should not be deprived of the priesthood, if he feels God is calling him to it, so that the problem of scandal can be avoided. The scandal that has erupted in the Church is due to lack of interior union with Christ; it goes hand-in-hand with the paucity of theological orthodoxy and trivialization of prayer in seminaries.

                • John200

                  Dear 3221,
                  Thank you for, “A man of prayer and deep intimacy with Christ should not be deprived of
                  the priesthood, if he feels God is calling him to it, so that the
                  problem of scandal can be avoided.”

                  Clearly, this man should indeed be “deprived,” he is not priestly material, and you know the reason: he has a depraved and disordered desire. It is wonderful that he feels God is calling him, but this unfortunate man’s feelings are not to be taken as an accurate representation of what is good for him. Do you see??? That’s what “disorder” means.

                  Now, the intracranial conflict between depravity and holiness is sad. But other things are sadder, such as a homo”sex”ual priest who likes to indulge in fake sex with boys. He should FIRST feel another way in which God is calling him, namely, to lay off the boys.

                  If you want to contest this point, you might address a note to Benedict XVI. He has issued instructions on this very topic; as a faithful Catholic, I consider his words to be dispositive of the question.

                  Why don’t you?

                  • 3221

                    A disordered desire is not ‘depraved’ unless it is accepted and acted upon. Depravity is the fruit of evil choices, not feelings that one cannot help. One does not have to act on disordered impulses; one has a choice, and choices form character. I am not talking about persons who ‘like to indulge in fake sex’–by the way, homosexual sex would not be ‘fake’ sex because the sexual acts are real sex, but they are disordered acts–get the difference?–but rather persons who have these proclivities but do not want them, know they are indeed disordered, and take every effort to pursue God. I sense in you a veritable contempt for homosexual persons, even for those who are innocent of any wrong doing. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states clearly the proper attitude regarding homosexuals; believe me, it is not what you are conveying. Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

                    • John200

                      32, 32, 32,

                      The veiled implication that I am homo”sex”ual is a common response from homo”sex”uals and their defenders. And homo”sex”ual activity is not sex. It is stimulation of the genitals, sometimes mutual, sometimes forced, between people who do not use sex as it is supposed to work. I know how sex works so I don’t practice homo”sex”ual activity.

                      I said what needs to be said. Twice. I referred you to the Pope, you would not go, then you put your diapers on your head. I am under orders to respond twice to error, and then to leave you alone. You have hopes of replying, but in your confusion, with no resources, you are … ah, well.

                      You should not trust your ability to sense psychological qualities in me, because what you know about me is a few words on a computer screen. Just so you know, I am a precocious 14 year old girl.

                      Do you think Benedict XVI, your pope, has protested too much?

                      Best to you and yours.

                    • 3221

                      Dear John,
                      I see that I have really touched a nerve. If you are a ‘precocious 14 year old girl’ how is it that you ‘know how sex works’? Does ‘precocious’ mean you have already been sexually active? This may explain your emotional reaction to me in regards to genuine chastity. Regarding ‘not trusting my ability to sense psychological qualities in you, because what I know about you is a few words on a computer screen’ you do not realize how you give yourself away. Your hostility screams off the page.
                      In closing I want you to know that not for one minute do I think that you are a ’14 year old girl’ but rather someone who has not yet come to grips with his own sexuality. Your line ‘I know how sex works, so I do not practice homosexual activity at all’ makes no sense. Please know that if I believed aberrant sex were all right, I would not be referring to it as aberrant. Keep your hostility to yourself, please.

                    • John200

                      Relax, you haven’t touched a nerve.
                      Nor am I hostile to you. You’re a minor disappointment, that’s all.

                      “Precocious” means I am advanced vs. most people my age. I know how sex works from Theology of the Body. TOB says sex is a mutual gift open to the possibility of creating new life, not a means of exploiting another person for your own gratification. You would not undertake homo”sex”ual activity if you understood sex as JP II explained it– creation of new life?? So you see, knowledge of how sex works dovetails perfectly with avoiding homo”sex”ual activity. I made sense there. I wasn’t trying to confuse you.

                      In this culture it is easy to learn about deviations, including deviations that are not sex. Our media throws homo”sex”uality at us nonstop. ‘Tain’t necessary to learn deviation through experience, it is widespread. I aim to avoid homo”sex”ual activity, incest, group sex, polygamy, and a host of other aberrations although I have experienced none of them.

                      Best to you and yours.

                    • Gallibus

                      What you seem to miss is that a homosexual is, by definition, one who engages in disordered sexual relations; if the person is not engaged in disordered sex, that simply makes them ‘normal’ and capable of having loving (not sexual) relations with all humanity. One loves one’s mother, child, parent, relative, friend, etc but one does not have sex with them. Illicit sexual gratification for its own sake is forbidden for all – homosexuals have no right to claim exemption on any grounds whatsoever. To claim to love God and serve Him but claim exemption from His laws is self-delusion.

            • 3221

              Homosexual attraction is only a ‘moral disorder’ if it is acted upon and accepted as a valid ‘way of life’. Attractions and feelings are not moral or immoral. One cannot help how one feels to to whom one is sexually attracted. Morality or immorality is a choice. To say that a priest ‘should not have such a disorder’ is to ask of him more than God does. Some homosexuals pursue the perversion of pedophilia; so do some heterosexual men. This is a different issue from a man who desires God, knows that his homosexual tendencies are disordered, and chooses to live chastely for Christ. You are not thinking with the mind of Christ through Whom all things–all things– are possible. The issue is not homosexual tendencies but rather the lack of value of chastity and how it relates to one’s intimacy with the living God.

            • bartskibeat

              Your comments are not only erroneous, but are also defamatory of an entire segment of humanity. There is no connection between homosexuality & pedophilia. Globally, the vast majority of child molesters & sexual predators are heterosexual. My sources? The RCMP (Canada), the FBI , Interpol, & Scotland Yard(UK).

          • Matthew Arnold

            Twisting the words of the Holy Father, who has taught “homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood.”

            • 3221

              Please inform me– specifically–where I have ‘twisted the words of the Holy Father’.

  • Albie

    Thank you Fr. Regis….you did it again. God bless you

  • old school

    what ever happened to the idea of living a holy life? Its amazing to me that priests never talk about that. If you’re living a holy life, none of this is an issue. The most recent case in KC in highly instructive. The priest who was into child porn was well thought of because he rode a motorcycle and was popular. The Bishop didn’t want to believe the reports about him because he was popular. These kind of discussions only tell me how much we’ve lost our way.

  • Victor John

    The way I see it is that we live in a world of sin all around us. We are all victims of weaknesses of some sort. These young men don’t give up their lives to serve others only to end up in hell. They do it with all of the best of intentions and with no idea of what lies ahead. With the invention of television came all kinds of evil and impure things into our homes. Now we have the internet, i pads, i phones etc. It is interesting that Apple computers have the logo of a bite taken out of an apple, like the temptation in the garden of Eden.
    Because priest have the ability to forgive sins in Christ’s name, give us the sacraments, bring us Jesus in communion to fortify us on our daily journey and thus help us to overcome our weaknesses, it only makes sense that they are the devils biggest obstacle in this world. Thus they would be tempted way more then most. It is my opinion that seminaries should be concentrating more on the healing of the famiy tree and teaching the priest how to be set free from any sinfull inclination so he can in turn minister to the parish. Our job is to pray for our priest daily. I believe the screening of seminaries must be vigilent, but that is not the root of the problem. Sin is. All kinds of sin. Remember what Jesus said, If we so much as look at a person with lust in our hearts we commit adultury. Be careful before generalizing, or judging our priest, one could be judging oneself. Purity and Holiness is what all priest should strive for. Us too!

  • Gallibus


    Your divorce rate is because of disobedience to Me.
    Rampant immorality is because of disobedience to Me.”
    http://www.catholicbooksanddevotions.com/i-am-a-god-of-miracles-and-power/

  • Paul Dean

    Rightly or wrongly the Church adheres to the doctrine of an unmarried, celibate priesthood. Is it naive to imagine that when considering a lifetime of bachelorhood the men who aren’t attracted to women in the first place will accept this teaching more readily than others? And might this mean that a higher proportion of homosexual males will be attracted to the rigours of the priesthood than might be attracted to secular jobs, all other things being equal?

    Is it true that a priest who marries is debarred from his vocation, while a priest who fornicates is absolved after confession to a fellow priest?

    It seems to me that the system is geared to attract those for whom marriage will never be a temptation and perhaps there lies the root of the problem. People seem to be ignoring the mother of all elephants in this particular room.

    I’m not gay-bashing, or priest-bashing. I respect the majority of the priesthood who have faced this difficult challenge and lived holy lives despite it. But if I were a gay Christian seeking long term employment within the Church the priesthood would be a very attractive option.

  • MountainAngel

    The John Jay report was likely correct in its original form, but due to pressures from the outside world, it was made to be more acceptable. Men called to the Priesthood should be a step above lay people. They are called to a holy life. In today’s world with all the temptations that they are surrounded with they are called to be martyrs for Christ. Nevertheless, they are called to be a step above the rest of us…..Vatican II was definitely not strict enough. It was not concrete in its teaching…..it left the door open for too much interpretation, and hence, it was so easy for satan to move right in. I often wonder if most people understand how we are constantly under attack. He changes are way of thinking, and what we found unacceptable, we now find acceptable….even the revised John Jay report. So sad, but men whom are called to the priesthood are one of Jesus’s own, and they should be pure of heart.

  • Advocate

    The paragraph toward the end of the article is most telling:

    “When it comes to “access to boys,” the Church should have only one goal:
    to protect every young man who has discerned a call to religious life,
    and any male who sees, in priests and deacons, worthy role models of
    Christian values. For now, this vast demographic of human souls is still
    vulnerable to sexual targeting within the very walls of the Church.”

    I was in religious life through most of the 90′s. During that time, my formation community was rife with sexual misconduct and outright predation on young men by fellow seminarians and formation staff. Indeed, the head of our community was removed from public ministry for his involvement with a 17 year old young man.

    The story of sexual abuse in religious formation/seminary has yet to be told. I know two seminarians who left religious life after their superiors made sexual advances toward them, and two others who left after fellow seminarians made similar advances. This misconduct was reported to religious superiors – and ignored. Indeed, it often appeared that the men most likely to commit abuse were the once placed in charge. The inmates ran the asylum.

    I can think of no parent who would allow their child to enter religious life given the predatory environment in many communities. Why this filth has been allowed to perpetuate is beyond me.

  • angry laity

    Oh, you people. Speaking as a Catholic being “shepherded” by a convicted criminal, Bishop Finn, the biggest problem is the concerted effort of the bishops to cover up and protect the pedophiles who have had free rein in the church.

    Ratigan, I may point out, was interested in LITTLE GIRLS. And Finn didn’t think the issue was important enough to get involved. He downplayed concerns of a mere female elementary school principal, her teachers, and school mothers who found childrens’ panties in the flower pots outside Ratigan’s residence.

    Finn didn’t listen to the concerns of female IT workers who found the pictures on Ratigan’s computer.

    What Finn did, was warn Ratigan about “crossing boundaries”. Meanwhile, Ratigan continued to pose little girls so he could take pictures of their vaginas, and steal their innocence.

    “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart: A Pastoral Letter on the Dignity of the Human Person and the Dangers of Pornography” 2007
    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=7438

    Author? Why, Bishop Finn.

    But it’s just words, all words.

    The pictures of those little girls’ vaginas will most probably still be slavered over by perverts 20, 40, 60 years from now. Nothing dies on the internet. And the victims will have the violation of their sexuality and personhood haunt them forever.

    So go ahead and debate who you let into the seminary until you are blue in the face. The laity doesn’t give a rip. And they find your solutions laughable.

  • Larry Weisenthal

    You complain about “Big Brother” in the Church. I agree that it’s a shame that all priests are being tarred by this unfortunately harsh brush, but there is really no other choice. Presuming that there was some way to effectively screen all candidates for the priesthood and weed out homosexuals (which I strongly doubt — witness the US military), it will take decades for the current (ostensibly “tainted”) priestly population to pass on.

    I have some other problems with the blogpost and with some of the comments. In the first place, I hate the attempt to mitigate the seriousness of these crimes by claiming that they “aren’t really pedophilia,” because the victims were middle school and high school students, as opposed to grammar school students. This in no way lessens the abject depravity of what was done to these children.

    Secondly, it is frightfully easy for a priest to seduce a boy — much more so than even a boy scout leader or athletic coach. Priests often have private access to boys in private places. In the case of the Boy Scouts and athletics, there are most often other adults around. Abuse certainly happens in these latter situations, but priests have greater trust and opportunities for one-on-one seclusion.

    Thirdly, boys are much more readily seduced than girls. I don’t think it’s a case that homosexuals are any more prone to be attracted to young boys than heterosexuals are prone to be attracted to young girls; it’s simply that the boys are more willing and therefore more vulnerable, and therefore provide more opportunities.

    Lastly, I think that it’s not correct to conclude, much less assert, that this priestly abuse and magisterial cover up is simply a modern phenomenon. It is very likely that this sort of thing has been going on since the earliest days of the Church and, frankly, it would still be going on, were it not for the truly heroic and praiseworthy efforts of the Boston Globe newspaper.

    It defies understanding that God would have permitted this scandalous corruption to exit in His Church since its origination. God does work in mysterious ways, but this is beyond the pale.

    - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  • Doug

    The latest physiological studies place the current age of ONSET of puberty for american males at 12; this onset decreased from 50 years ago when it was 14. Puberty is a physical and physiological change which takes place over two to four years, not just a couple of months.

    The distinguishing characteristic of pedophilia is sexual attraction to individuals who exhibit few or no secondary sexual characteristics (pubic hair, axillary hair, enlarged genitals, etc.). Specific age limits such as “older than 10” simply do not apply, since it’s very common for 11 and 12 year olds to not exhibit secondary sexual characteristics.

    This Is The Crucial Point: You can only claim that there was only a tiny minority of true pedophiles in the population of molesters if, and only if, you define anyone over the age of 10 as being post-pubescent and thus the victim of homosexual predation and not pedophilia. Since the study conflates both pre-pubescent and adolescents together, it can make the false claim that these were not victims of pedophiles.

    That being said, heterosexual men, even immensely aroused heterosexual men, simply do not perform sexual favors on teenaged boys. Ever. Not even when they’re really, really drunk. Regardless of the JJC’s ridiculous inaccuracies regarding puberty, a significant portion of victims were males exhibiting at least some secondary sexual characteristics. However, the John Jay claim that this isn’t true homosexuality but simply the case of “any port in a storm” is asinine in it’s ignorance of human behavior.

    The first scandal is the willingness on the part of a very small minority of priests to sexually abuse both children and adolescents for the purposes of sexual and ego gratification.

    The second and IMO larger and more impactful scandal, is the fact that a significant majority of Bishops in the US who have been confronted with this situation, have chosen to cover it up. Practiced as they were in making sacrifices, they willingly and repeatedly chose to sacrifice “someone else’s” children, rather than let any priest look bad.

    The third and most disseminated scandal to me is threefold: One, the ongoing willingness of American Bishops to continue lying and distorting the truth about what happened; Two, the willingness of so-called “orthodox” celebu-catholics and clerical apologists (not to mention uncritical, unthinking and ever unprepared catholic “journalists” ) to assist in disseminating these propagandistic lies; and thirdly, the utter, willing gullibility of some catholics in believing these lies, particularly when those lies confirm their own biases.

    The question remains as to why so many Bishops overwhelmingly chose to lie over and over; and why so many of them are still working to propagate those lies. Another question for me, is why do so many of my fellow orthodox Catholics find this both completely acceptable, and in many cases, worthy of emulation?

  • grahamcombs

    I attended two Catholic schools in the late sixties and both had the problem at the heart of the sex scandal — boys having sex with boys and/or men having sex with boys. On more than one occasion I have been confronted with the party line come down from the HRC that “it wasn’t about homosexuality.” My simple response, “I was there.” I leave it at that and the conversation always ends. The John Jay Criminal College report published the eighty percent male and twenty percent female breakdown for those abused. Imagine how different the media reporting would have been if those percentages had been reversed. You could get a women’s studies major in the abuse scandal. Suddenly sexual attraction would be an issue. If you make claim to civic and political power and also claim to be a community then that obligates you to police your own. As I was reminded the other day, when the vote came up at an HRC conference on whether NAMBLA would be admitted, the vote was very narrowly against. Something is very very wrong here.

  • Pingback: The unaddressed question

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabrielsays Gabriel Kunkel

    Unfortunately, although this is being played by the media as something that is unusual and newsworthy, all religions and all organizations that work with young people have had these problems throughout the centuries. I appreciate the church putting forth the effort and I think that any measures put forth will be a deterrent against such bad behavior in the future. With that said, sexuality is here to stay and testosterone is an extremely potent drug, although I’m not even sure that castration would thoroughly eliminate these kinds of problems.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    One thing I’ve always wondered- Could a part of this statistic be due to the fact that women, who experience the same abuse as the men, look upon it as a plus “He loved me so much that he gave up being a priest to marry me”?

  • Karekea

    I was a teacher in the Miami diocese (2006) and was outright lied to. The materials we were given specifically stated that most cases of abuse were heterosexual. I knew then as I know now that that was a lie purposefully perpetrated to deflect from the lavender mafia within the Catholic church. My original hometown bishop (Albany, NY) is a homosexual and everyone knows it and has known it for decades- why is he still in office?

    • Mark from PA

      As a religious education teacher I also took a mandated course in child protection. In the course I learned that in sexual abuse cases a majority of victims are girls and in most cases the girls are abused by family members or people that they know. Boys are a minority of victims. However, one has to realize that this is all abuse victims not just those who are victimized by Catholic clergy which is a very small percentage of total victims.

  • Mark from PA

    An overwhelming majority of the victims in the John Jay Study were not young men and male teens. The John Jay Study didn’t really study young men or young women (aged 18 and older). It studied children and teens under the age of 18. According to the study 53% of the victims were teens (aged 13 to 17). So a majority of the victims in the study (53%) were teens but this is just a bare majority and it included teen girls. Also stated is that 87.4% of the victims were post-pubescent. This figures included children who are 10 to 12 years of age. Perhaps a significant percentage of girls in the 10 to 12 year age group could be considered post-pubescent but most 10 to 12 year old boys are not post-pubescent. In my opinion 10 to 12 year olds are children and men that sexually abuse them are pedophiles. Saying that 80% of the victims were young men and male teens is not true as 10 and 11 year old children are neither teens nor young men, they are children.

  • hombre111

    As an old priest, I just did an inventory of the sexual orientation of my brothers in the clergy, aided by another priest who is avowedly homosexual but as far as I know, celibate. Anyway, he claims to have a better eye for the situation than I do, but between the two of us, we concluded that about half of the clergy in our diocese are homosexual. Again, as far as we know, all these men are celibate. Hope so. Pray so. But if the bishop tosses them simply on the basis of sexual orientation, there go half the priests in the diocese.

MENU