A Lavender Mafia?

 

Some weeks after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the Italian press went wild, reporting that his decision had been prompted by his receipt of a report issued by a commission of three Cardinals whom he had asked to investigate the so-called Vatileaks affair. That report, we were told, revealed the existence within the Curia of a network of sexually active homosexual prelates who were being blackmailed by outsiders.

That such a commission was appointed and that it issued a report is true. The members were Julián Herranz of Spain, Salvatore De Giorgi of Italy, and Jozef Tomko, from Slovakia. Initially, the Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi refused to comment on the contents of the report. Later, however, he denied that the press account was correct.

Soon thereafter,  The Observer in Britain reported that three serving priests and a former priest had lodged a formal complaint with the Papal Nuncio in Britain, charging Keith O’Brien, Cardinal-Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and Primate of the Catholic Church in Scotland, with having tried, in some cases successfully, to take advantage of them sexually some 30 years ago when he was spiritual director in a seminary and after he became a bishop. It was later revealed that last year another priest had made similar allegations about O’Brien’s conduct 11 years before. Soon after these revelations, O’Brien was forced to resign from his post. At first, he denied the truth of the charges. Later, he confessed his guilt.

If Cardinal O’Brien’s misconduct were an isolated case, I would be inclined to believe Father Lombardi’s dismissal of the reports in the Italian press. A close friend who knows the Vatican very well indeed suspects that the focus of the report issued by the three Cardinals is graft. “In Italy,” as he put it, “theft is a way of life.”

It would not, however, be surprising were there blackmail involved as well. It is not as if there have not, in recent years, been examples of homoerotically inclined prelates in the United States being blackmailed by former sexual partners, and it is a reasonable guess that there has been a lot more of this sort of thing going on than we know even now. The world of the Catholic clergy is a secretive world governed by a code of silence. Cardinal O’Brien’s misconduct escaped public notice for more than thirty years.

Some time in the 1980s, I became aware that some of the Catholic seminaries in this country were little better than brothels. I read no public reports, but I heard stories. The diocesan seminary at Catholic University in Washington, DC was notorious. In the late 1990s, I had a conversation with a leading Catholic layman that brought home to me how deep the rot went. He knew a priest who, upon being named to head a diocesan seminary, discovered that chastity was not there the norm. He made an appointment to see the Bishop of the diocese for the purpose of informing him of the problem, and he asked permission to weed out those who were sexually active. “If we do not do this now,” he reportedly said, “there will be terrible trouble when these young men are unleashed on the diocese.” The Bishop replied that he wanted nothing done. “I want numbers,” he said, and numbers he got. Not long after I had this conversation, this particular Bishop became an Archbishop, and soon thereafter he was named a Cardinal. The diocese he left behind has been a cesspool ever since.

It is against this background that the scandals of recent years become explicable. Much has been written about pedophile priests. But the truth is that, in the priesthood, genuine pedophiles were and are exceedingly rare. As the report commissioned by the American hierarchy some years back revealed, the vast majority of the victims were not pre-pubescent children. They were adolescent boys. Pedophilia was not a plague; pederasty of the sort common in classical Greece was. The seminaries were churning out a generation of sexually active, homoerotically inclined priests. Like many a heterosexual, some of these men found young people in the bloom of youth highly attractive. And the bishops – many of whom had strayed in their younger days – did not regard with great horror what these priests were doing.

I have long thought that the sexual revolution of the late 1960s had engendered a crisis within the Roman Catholic clergy. There had always been priests who were homoerotically inclined. In times past, the priesthood offered men who were not at all attracted to women a place of respect and responsibility within the community. As long as chastity was the norm, I reasoned, it was relatively easy for them to observe the vow of celibacy. Once, however, chastity ceased to be the norm in the larger society, their situation became more difficult.

I still suspect that there is a lot to this analysis. But I recently became aware that the problem was serious long before the late 1960s. In Jemez Springs, New Mexico, there once existed a Monastery of the Servants of the Paraclete named Via Coeli. From 1947 to 1968, Father Gerald Fitzgerald, who had founded the order, was the order’s Father General. In those days, the Catholic hierarchy sent wayward priests to this monastery for treatment. Most of these men had drinking problems, but, even then, there were priests who abused children and adolescents, and, over time, Father Fitzgerald came to believe that these men were incurable and that they should never be allowed to get near children again.

There is online a dossier including some of the letters that Father Fitzgerald wrote in the 1950s and 1960s. If you want to come to grips with what has happened in recent years, you should read them – all of them. On 12 September 1952, for example, Father Fitzgerald writes to the Bishop of Reno, Nevada about one such priest:

His record here was one of conformity to the rule and cooperation yet with no marked indication of fervor or penitential zeal. We find it quite common, almost universal with the handful of men we have seen in the last five years who have been under similar charges – we find it universal that they seem to be lacking in appreciation of the serious situation. As a class they expect to bound back like tennis balls on to the court of priestly activity. I myself would be inclined to favor laicization for any priest, upon objective evidence, for tampering with the virtue of the young. My argument being, from this point onward the charity to the Mystical Body should take precedence over charity to the individual and when a man has so far fallen away from the purpose of the priesthood the very best that should be offered is his Mass in the seclusion of a monastery. Moreover, in practice, real conversions will be found to be extremely rare. Many bishops believe men are never free from the approximate danger once they have begun. Hence leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal.

Five years later, he wrote to an Archbishop in a similar vein, describing those “who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls” as “devils” and “a class of rattlesnake,” and he suggested that they be confined to an isolated island. One letter, written on 10 September 1964, shows that Father Fitzgerald  had expressed these concerns directly to Pope Paul VI in an audience.

In that same letter, Father Fitzgerald alludes to another difficulty he has encountered that bears on the reports in the Italian press:

When I was ordained forty-three years ago, homosexuality was a practically unknown rarity. Today, it is – in the wake of World War II – rampant among men. And whereas seventeen years ago, eight out of ten problems here would represent the alcoholic, now in the last year or so our admission ratio would be approximately 5-2-3: five being alcoholics; two

would be what we call “heart cases” (natural affection towards women); and three representing aberrations involving homosexuality. More alarming still is that among these of the 3 out of 10 class 2 out of 3 have been young priests.I mention this because it would seem in America at least this type of problem is more devastating to the good standing of the priesthood than anything else. It is very infectious and the prognosis for recovery extremely unfavorable. The majority of psychiatrists, physicians, and experienced priests are not sanguine of permanent recovery. Therefore, it would seem that more careful screening – especially the study of family background and personal motivation – is definitely in order.

Bishop, do not quote me because this is given you in strictest confidence, but we know of several seminaries that have been deeply infected and this of course leads to a wide infection. Therefore there should be a very strict discipline of dismissal and a very clear and printed teaching in the moral theology course that mutual masturbation is a mortal sin. Priests develop a blind spot on this matter which in my opinion involves very likely the fixation of impenitence. Seldom will you find these men evidencing consciousness of the gravity of what they have done. And this apparently is represented in the strange attitude of Bishops who place these men after reactivation in assignments where they are most exposed to a recurrence of a vicious habit which the majority of experts would consider practically incurable.

Decades before I became aware of what was happening in some of the seminaries, the problem had already appeared. It did not emerge as a response to the sexual revolution. It was already there, and the advice offered by Father Fitzgerald, who was removed from his post in 1968, was not taken.

The scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere have deep roots. Things no doubt got worse in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. But they have been bad for more than half a century. Scotland’s Cardinal O’Brien may not be typical, but his is by no means an isolated case. I would not be surprised were we to discover that the reports in the Italian press are more accurate than the Vatican spokesman has led us to believe. The next Pope will have a great deal of housecleaning to do.

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  1. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival
    HVTs: One Pope simply resigned, something not done in 600 years.  What message will his successor glean from that?  Get out the broom and dust rag?  I doubt it. Fish rot from the head. · 49 minutes ago

    If nothing else, the new Pope will have the luxury of asking the previous Pope, a luxury that hasn’t been available for the last 600 years either.

    That would be a resource that only an idiot would pass by.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Moderator
    @JamesOfEngland
    Pencilvania

    He knew a priest who, upon being named to head a diocesan seminary, discovered that chastity was not there the norm.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I just don’t understand how this could logically have happened.  Men applying to seminary enter of their own free will, from the general Catholic population, don’t they?  How couldso manymen, raised in families that respected the chastity of priests, so easily accept its reversal?  Were theyallhomeless drifters with malleable consciences when they entered seminary?

    The ones who realized it, abhored it and left the seminary – never said anythingto anyoneabout it? · 2 hours ago

    I don’t think it was as secret as all that. This means both that the guy who went and was surprised seems like the minority to me, and there were certainly people who talked about it. Indeed, it seemed to be one of the more discussed considerations for people I took theology with who were continuing into Catholic seminaries. Obviously, the more, ahem, uninhibited seminaries were more appealing to some, the more chaste to others. Once you have that as a pattern, you don’t get much trouble in either.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    HVTs: Is anyone surprised?  Highly centralized authority, enormous wealth, zero transparency, no checks and no balances.    What would the Founders have thought about this model of governance?  

    Except none of that is true.  The Church is highly decentralized, each bishop runs his own diocese with very little oversight from Rome.  The Vatican bureaucracy is too small, understaffed, and underfunded to meddle much in local affairs if it wanted too.

    Enormous wealth?  The Vatican posted a “record” budget deficit of $19 million in 2011, and worldwide donations to it totaled $69.7 million.  For comparison, Washington spends that much money every 10 minutes.

    The Vatican is closer to the Founder’s vision than modern-day Washington, though sadly that’s not saying much.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe
    Pencilvania

    He knew a priest who, upon being named to head a diocesan seminary, discovered that chastity was not there the norm.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I just don’t understand how this could logically have happened.  Men applying to seminary enter of their own free will, from the general Catholic population, don’t they?  How couldso manymen, raised in families that respected the chastity of priests, so easily accept its reversal?  Were theyallhomeless drifters with malleable consciences when they entered seminary?

    The ones who realized it, abhored it and left the seminary – never said anythingto anyoneabout it? · 7 hours ago

    They were corrupted in the seminary — often by the likes of Keith O’Brien.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe
    James Of England

    Paul A. Rahe: The next Pope will have a great deal of housecleaning to do. · · 2 hours ago

    Happily, Cardinal O’Brien is a very good start, on a number of fronts. · 6 hours ago

    Edited 5 hours ago

    Indeed. I suspect that, in cashiering him, Benedict meant to send a signal.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe
    Joseph Stanko

    Pencilvania

    Maybe I’m naive, but I just don’t understand how this could logically have happened.  Men applying to seminary enter of their own free will, from the general Catholic population, don’t they?  How couldso manymen, raised in families that respected the chastity of priests, so easily accept its reversal?

    In Goodbye, Good Men Michael S. Rose alleged that seminaries run by liberal theologians screened out and rejected candidates for being “too orthodox.”  Presumably the good men either went to other seminaries, or else took their rejection as a sign they did not have an authentic vocation and never entered the priesthood.

    I don’t know if this is true or not, just offering it as a possible explanation. · 5 hours ago

    I have a friend who, as a novice, was kicked out of the Jesuit order by the Provincial for objecting to what was going on.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe
    Mike Visser

    When I was ordained forty-three years ago, homosexuality was a practically unknown rarity. Today, it is – in the wake of World War II – rampant among men.

    This from one of the letters cited above.  Is he using World War II as a place-holder the way many of us do when discussing the Twentieth Century, or did the war itself precipitate a shift in sexual behavior? · 4 hours ago

    He seems to be saying that there was a seismic shift. For what it is worth, there were other changes. In the 1950s, the divorce rate began to soar. The sixties did not come out of nowhere.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @katievs

    I’m just glad this is all finally coming out.

    One of the reasons the homosexual subculture was able to flourish so long is that the laity were naive, especially those who came from a  “pre-Vatican II”  culture of clericalism.  

    Many people fault JP II for not addressing this issue forcefully enough.  But, 

    1.  I think it probable that he didn’t know about it

    2. By empowering the laity with living Faith, and a new depth and wealth of teaching on sexuality, he provided the essential antidote.  

    Now we’re ready to take it on.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @

    The cultural factors affect not just what happened in the seminaries but who entered them in the first place. The clergy didn’t have the same mystical appeal and could no longer count on being one of the few avenues for the lower classes to ascend to higher ranks. As a result, you got different men attending. Often, many of them were wrestling with sexual identity issues and perceived Orders as something that would automatically resolve them. All you need in a seminary is one bad actor to exploit seminarians of this kind, and you have yourselves all the conditionsforblackmail.

    I always laugh when I see people blame celibacy for this problem, as if what priests need is a sexual pressure release valve. Of course, by that logic, pornographic performers would be the most virtuous among us. The real problem here is good ole’ fashioned sin. Priests are human beings and are just as subject to it.

    The peculiar nature of the Church is what makes the story so interesting. Protestant seminaries and churches and Jewish yeshivas and synagogues have been dealing with the same issues, but the lack of celibacy as a requirement somehow makes the matter less interesting.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @

    This situation represents the convergence of numerous forces released in the chaotic era following Vatican II.  When I was in the seminary in the early 80’s, the worst thing you could be accused of was “homophobia”, such was the atmosphere.  Vague goals such as “self-realization” were idealized, and “tolerance” treated as the greatest of virtues. At a time when the very sacramentality of the Church was in experimental and aesthetic turmoil, and ambiguity in all areas the norm, morale was generally undermined.  Mass “facing the people” meant, in practice, that the focus of the liturgy shifted to the priest, feeding the vanity that always lay in wait to undermine clerical integrity. Moreover, the progresssivist ideologues –whose Gramscian march through the Church’s institutions is finally, hopefully, coming to an end– were in the ascendent in those years, directly subverting her integrity. Consequently, the faith of almost 2 generations of Catholics was damaged by appalling catechesis.   And many whose behavior might have been checked by the knowledge that they would be held accountable were led to believe that “anything goes”, with those calling for discipline left (or treated) with little credibility or standing. The consequences should have been predictable.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe
    Pseudodionysius: From Phil Lawler’s commentary on October 01, 2003 8:49 AM

    Cardinal-elect Keith O’Brien of Aberdeen, Scotland, has called for a re-examination of Church stances on contraception, priestly celibacy, and homosexuality.

    In the process, the humble prelate compared himself with St. Paul. And by inference, he suggested that the man who is planning to give him a red hat is not quite up to his speed.

    How courageous is it to shoot off your mouth after you’re named as a cardinal? Archbishop O’Brien has long been known as a “progressive,” but he wasn’t issuing such blunt statements in the weeks before the Pope’s announcement.

    Wouldn’t you love to hear the Pope announce that he’d made a slight error in his announcement, and actually there are to be only 30 new cardinals, not 31?

    What goes around, comes around. · 8 hours ago

    This is very telling, isn’t it?

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    who came from a  “pre-Vatican II”  culture of clericalism.  

    After-Asceticism.jpgAscetical discipline was practiced better in the first half of the twentieth century when the purpose of religion was embraced and misconduct by priests was rare. What changed between the first and second halves of the twentieth century were not the management policies on sex abuse and secrecy at all costs– these remained a constant throughout—nor do we have evidence to show that the personality features of seminarians or priests changed in any fundamental way that would account for the nature and the magnitude of the crisis– in its early stages at least. Rather, the core change over the course of the twentieth century was one of purpose or allegiance– leaving behind ascetical discipline, having disdain for religious tradition, and adopting the therapeutic mentality, a popular belief that fulfillment of the human person springs from emotional desire in a quest for self-definition, or self-actualization, without regard to an objective philosophical, religious or moral truth. Further, the therapeutic mentality views sin as a social concern and discourages loyalty to religious authority; it is profoundly anti-ascetical.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    1.  I think it probable that he didn’t know about it

    In Communist countries, false accusations of homosexuality were often used as tools of coercion. That gave JP2 an inbuilt suspicion of those accusations in the West, which various manipulative individuals exploited to the hilt, particularly the sociopath Marcial Maciel.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @katievs

    Pseudo, none of that touches my point, which was about the laity.  

    Had there not been a serious problem in the Church with such things as clericalism, legalism, and externalism, the changes at Vatican II (plus secularizing trends in the wider culture) would not have had the devastating effect that they had.

    Had there not been a problem with clericalism, legalism and externalism, Vatican II would not have been wanted and called for.

    As then-Cardinal Ratzinger, speaking on the 30th anniversary of the Council, put it in an interview with Inside the Vatican (paraphrasing from memory):

    The pre-Vatican II Church was like a medieval fortress, protecting the faithful behind high, strong walls.  With the advent of modernity, especially mass media, the Council fathers saw that the walls were about to be breached.  We had to train the faithful in guerrilla warfare.

    The walls protecting the faithful were going down regardless.  If the faithful were not to be caught helpless like sheep in a pen, they were going to have to be equipped to fight.  

    That’s what Vatican II was about.  That Council, and the two great papacies that followed have done the job.  We are ready.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    I know a good man who was in the seminary in the ’70s; he left and has been married for many years. He once said, very quietly, that the environment in the seminary seemed designed to encourage homosexual behavior.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius
    Mike Visser

    When I was ordained forty-three years ago, homosexuality was a practically unknown rarity. Today, it is – in the wake of World War II – rampant among men.

    This from one of the letters cited above.  Is he using World War II as a place-holder the way many of us do when discussing the Twentieth Century, or did the war itself precipitate a shift in sexual behavior? · 6 hours ago

    The aggressively secular philosophies brewing in the 19th century, which manifest in the Oxford union debate on participation in the war were already visible to CS Lewis back in the 1940’s: they came over full bore onto American university campuses (see Allan Bloom: “We won the battle of World War 2, while German philosophers won the war of ideas.”) just in time for the GI Bill to fill them up with new consumers, though the faculty rot didn’t begin in earnest until the late 60’s draft dodging which combined the bad ideas with militant anti establishment figures.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Seminaries had the same evolution: See the 1967 Land O’ Lakes declaration.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    Pseudo, none of that touches my point, which was about the laity.  

    In my area with which I’m familiar I can assure you the Lavender Mafia is in no danger of ceding any ground, and the laity — after 50 years of romper room style catechesis — a demographic and dogmatic disaster, utterly unequipped to marshall anything approaching resistance.

    Summorum Pontificum has been the subject of passive-aggressive defiance all over North America and those of us who subscribe to anything remotely approaching orthodoxy are branded “Pharisees”, “Jansenists” or “Cultists”.

    (Which has spawned the “30 pieces of silver Bingo game where once you’ve been derided 30 times you get to yell Bingo in Latin.)

    As Archbishop Sample has said repeatedly, we’re on our third generation of uncatechized North American Catholic laity, and their voting record on Barack Obama (still going strong with Catholic laity despite 43 lawsuits launched by Diocese and Archdiocese) marks a wonderful living witness to that fact.

    Up here in Canada where abortion is not even allowed to be discussed in the House of Commons without accusations of looming theocracy, most have made their peace with Soft Despotism.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMurdoch

    I am disturbed–profoundly disturbed–by the distinction being made, in Dr. Rahe’s article, and in the cited Polish article, between paedophilia and paederasty. Grooming, caressing, and fondling little eight-year-old boys is one thing, it seems; doing the same thing to little twelve-year-old boys is, well, not quite such a big deal.

    Oh, really? Precisely how?

    (Let me observe that Catholic churches are not the only ones with choir boys; and that–to my direct knowledge–it is precisely when the choir boy’s voice is months away from changing, when he goes from being the celebrated soprano to being dropped from the boys choir, that he is viewed as most attractive, and most vulnerable, by those who now style themselves as “minor-attracted.” )

    Let’s drop the Latin euphemisms–not “paedophile,” not “paderast”: predator.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    I always laugh when I see people blame celibacy for this problem, as if what priests need is a sexual pressure release valve.

    I’ve spoken extensively with older priests who received diocesan formation at seminaries which were orthodox circa 1940’s or 1950’s. The level of asceticism expected of the average diocesan seminarian was something then that is now only found in either monasteries, specialized religious societies or institutes (FSSP seminarians I’ve met can attest to a pretty sound asceticism in their own formation houses) to reformed religious orders and institutes.

    Beyond that, even if the profs and curricula have been cleaned up (and their are still places where that job is not yet finished) I’ve yet to see the same reform of asceticism and daily discipline. That change has been much slower in coming.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

     Grooming, caressing, and fondling little eight-year-old boys is one thing, it seems; doing the same thing to little twelve-year-old boys is, well, not quite such a big deal.

    If you read the book I linked to, the statistics distinguish between attraction to teenage boys (roughly 14 -17) and underage prepubescent boys. 

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    Let’s drop the Latin euphemisms–not “paedophile,” not paderast”:predator.

    Then you are playing the media’s game on their home turf. 80% of the incidents reported were with teenagers, not children. That’s the elephant in the sacristy the secular media refuses to discuss.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @katievs
    Pseudodionysius

    The aggressively secular philosophies brewing in the 19th century, which manifest in the Oxford union debate on participation in the war were already visible to CS Lewis back in the 1940’s: they came over full bore onto American university campuses (see Allan Bloom: “We won the battle of World War 2, while German philosophers won the war of ideas.”) just in time for the GI Bill to fill them up with new consumers, though the faculty rot didn’t begin in earnest until the late 60’s draft dodging which combined the bad ideas with militant anti establishment figures.

    Newman spent his life and all his intellectual energies fighting the rising tide of liberalism in religion and morals.  He predicted, a little more than 100 years ago, that the Anglican church would be gone in 100 years.

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMurdoch
    Pseudodionysius

    If you read the book I linked to, the statistics distinguish between attraction to teenage boys (roughly 14 -17) and underage prepubescent boys.

    I am extremely uncomfortable discussing this, as I view this situation with empathy, rather than sympathy.

    The victim is at a vulnerable stage–the oldest choir boys are the best singers. They have the most developed range, they can read music the best, they have a developed stage presence.

    But they know the clock is ticking. (This is, for boys [and at a much younger age] much the same thing that models experience as teens and young women. As Heidi Klum flatly states, “in fashion, one minute you’re in; the next minute you’re out.”)

    And that’s when the boy is befriended–entirely innocently–by a man from the adult choir, by a teacher, by the pastor, or by a camp counselor. That’s when trust is gained. That’s when the boy is introduced to others–and included as one of the “grown-ups.”

    He may be 14 when he finally participates in a sex act. The grooming–by the predator–began when he was 10 or 11.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive
    @katievs
    Pseudodionysius

    Pseudo, none of that touches my point, which was about the laity.  

    In my area with which I’m familiar I can assure you the Lavender Mafia is in no danger of ceding any ground, and the laity — after 50 years of romper room style catechesis — a demographic and dogmatic disaster, utterly unequipped to marshall anything approaching resistance…

    Well, it’s true that we have lots more shrinking and retrenching to do before we start growing again.  But I’m not speaking of the laity in terms of “average Catholic in the pews”.  I’m talking about the laity full awakened and well-formed in the faith.  We are poised for renewal.  The signs of the New Spring are everywhere appearing.

    • #24
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    @Siena

    “An openly gay former Dominican friar insisted today that homosexuality is the ‘ticking time bomb in the Catholic Church’ and that homosexual men are ‘massively over-represented’ within the Church. Mark Dowd, who is now a journalist, said research for his 2001 Channel 4 documentary Queer and Catholic suggested that at least half of people attracted into seminaries in the priesthood are gay.”

    “When you have this culture of secrecy and guilt and repression, you have conditions which foster the potential for blackmail and for manipulation.”

    “This is a very unhealthy stage for the church, because basically when you have secrecy, you have lies – and when you have lies, people often are put in terrible pressures of being compromised.”

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    He may be 14 when he finally participates in a sex act. The grooming–by the predator–began when he was 10 or 11.

    Some were groomed but many were not. I hate to shock you, but a secret lifestyle such as this tends to breed some astoundingly lax and reckless behavior. 

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius
    Siena: “An openly gay former Dominican friar insisted today that homosexuality is the ‘ticking time bomb in the Catholic Church’ and that homosexual men are ‘massively over-represented’ within the Church. Mark Dowd, who is now a journalist, said research for his 2001 Channel 4 documentary Queer and Catholic suggested that at least half of people attracted into seminaries in the priesthood are gay.”

    “When you have this culture of secrecy and guilt and repression, you have conditions which foster the potential for blackmail and for manipulation.”

    “This is a very unhealthy stage for the church, because basically when you have secrecy, you have lies – and when you have lies, people often are put in terrible pressures of being compromised.” · 3 minutes ago

    That’s pretty old news.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Siena

    St. Catherine wrote, “Let us enter into the house of knowledge of ourselves.” It is past time for the Catholic Church to honestly and powerfully enter into that house and clear the threshing floor.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Siena
    Pseudodionysius

    Siena: “An openly gay former Dominican friar insisted today that homosexuality is the ‘ticking time bomb in the Catholic Church’ and that homosexual men are ‘massively over-represented’ within the Church. Mark Dowd, who is now a journalist, said research for his 2001 Channel 4 documentary Queer and Catholic suggested that at least half of people attracted into seminaries in the priesthood are gay.”

    “When you have this culture of secrecy and guilt and repression, you have conditions which foster the potential for blackmail and for manipulation.”

    “This is a very unhealthy stage for the church, because basically when you have secrecy, you have lies – and when you have lies, people often are put in terrible pressures of being compromised.” · 3 minutes ago

    That’s pretty old news. · 3 minutes ago

    It’s currently being discussed and is fuel for the fire in the hands of the enemies of the church.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius
    Siena

    Pseudodionysius

    “This is a very unhealthy stage for the church, because basically when you have secrecy, you have lies – and when you have lies, people often are put in terrible pressures of being compromised.” · 3 minutes ago

    That’s pretty old news. · 3 minutes ago

    It’s currently being discussed and is fuel for the fire in the hands of the enemies of the church. · 9 minutes ago

    It stands to reason that the high numbers could only be sustained if someone let them in and somehow couldn’t figure out they had some difficulties. That stretches the bounds of credibility. Ask that question in a room full of journalists and it gets real quiet, real fast.

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