The 45-year-old abuse case against Cardinal McCarrick has brought an important point back to light: the abuse crisis in the Church is largely a homosexual problem, and the gay inmates are running the asylum. [!]
The suspicion lingers.
It says there’s a fraternity within the priestly fraternity. And a tightly knit one at that.
I’ve been told this — and wrote about it in my 1994 book Bending the Rules: What American Priests Tell American Catholics, which the Kirkus reviewer called “A heavily partisan but still valuable contribution to current debates within the American Catholic Church.” (I’ll take the faint praise, admitting the first part, welcoming the second.)
To cite what I reported, from three of the 34 veteran pastors interviewed for the book, answering question #5 of the ten that I asked each priest, “Gay & lesbian issues: how if at all do they turn up in your ministry? What do you say or do?”:
[Fr.] Mike brought up the issue of gay priests. “My only problem with gay priests, guys I have known, is they tend to think that being gay they have some sort of permission to be sexually active and don’t have the same (obligation) to respect their vows.
I have tried to get an explanation from them, but I never could fully understand what they are thinking. Sexually active gay priests don’t seem to feel it’s violating their vows. It’s a puzzlement to me.”
“In the ordinary parish, only 2% or 3% are gay, so
it’s not a big problem. In the priesthood, on the other hand, it’s way
higher. There are going to be two priesthoods, and very soon,
because of the split between straights and gays.
“We pretend we don’t notice, but there are big differences
between the two groups. Both sides understand this, but no one
wants to think it. It’s going to be a gigantic issue in the church.”
“What shape will it take? Turf-protection, mutual suspicion?” I asked.
“Already there’s suspicion. Turf issues haven’t surfaced,
because most of it is closeted. You can’t have turf if you’re closeted.
“There will be an expose or outing. It will be explosive. Downtown
won’t, doesn’t know how to deal with it. It’s going to blow up in their
face. People have asked them to deal with it, and they haven’t.
“Have you any percentages?”
“No. I am amazed that people can come up with, say 40%.
But my knowledge is limited, partly because gay priests stay away
from non-gay priests. I don’t even know who they are.”
Ben, in the same interview, conceded the numbers could be high, as reported from
“The priesthood makes it acceptable for two men to
travel together. It offers a cover, institutionalizes the male
“But it’s really a matter of the Catholic obsession with sex.
We have created the problem, and the people who will pay for it are
gay. We have brought this on ourselves.”
“I don’t know about that,” said Walt. “A certain softness and
effeminacy has happened in the church. I don’t know how it’s
connected to homosexuality. Our diocese has the best leadership we
could hope for. But even he (the bishop) projects a softness.”
“I like him a lot, but it’s people like him who can get ahead in
the system,” said Ben.
“That’s a problem, when you have this softness,” said Walt.
“It’s probably in some way connected to homosexuality as a given in
the church. Unless the whole thing is faced, you allow softness to be
the real mode the church is known for.
“Once the pastor in this diocese was known as cigar-
chomping and whiskey-drinking. How did that change?
“It’s connected somehow to not facing certain things, such as
“Softness” is a word that turns up. A major liberal theologian used it in conversation with a newsman friend of mine. He too was concerned.
As obviously is the author/speaker of this hard-charging video at OnePeterFive , who (unwittingly started me on this knotty subject.