Now what message should we take from this observation, I wonder?
Case in point: In a recent police sting in New York State, aimed at men who cruise for gay sex, all twenty arrested were actually married men – with the exception of the one who was a Catholic priest.
BEDFORD – A sting aimed at men who cruise a rest area off Interstate 684 for gay sex resulted in charges against 20 men in the past month, including a Catholic priest and a registered sex offender.
Most of the men were charged with either loitering or trespass violations or both. One was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor. Four were charged with exposing themselves and two with public lewdness, all violations. The 20 suspects are due in Bedford Town Court on Thursday.
Among those arrested was the Rev. Gary Mead, a Catholic priest from Millwood assigned to St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville. Police said he fondled an undercover officer and was charged with forcible touching.
Mead, 44, was previously assigned to St. Mary’s Church in Wappingers Falls and, in the late 1990s, was parochial vicar at Holy Family parish in New Rochelle. A message left yesterday with the Archdiocese of New York was not immediately returned.
With the exception of Mead, all of those charged are married, police said.
The sting, which also netted a local Rotary Club president and a 72-year-old man, was prompted by a complaint from a man who stopped to use the rest area with his 10-year-old son, said Capt. Robert Meyer, state police commander in Westchester County.
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Official elements within the Roman Catholic Church, of course, actively encourage the self-loathing and closetedness that drives some to promiscuous behavior.
How is this so?, you may well ask. Well, as Thomas Stevenson notes in his book, Sons of the Church: The Witnessing of Gay Catholic Men, many gay men have been “inflicted [by the Church] with a wound of feeling unlovable around their homosexuality.”
One result of this “wounding,” continues Stevenson, is an attraction to “impersonal forms of sexual relating.” This problem, he insists, could and should be addressed by the Church as a social justice issue.
Stevenson goes on to envision the following:
Just imagine how different things might be if, for example, Catholic parishes and schools affirmed the goodness and lovability of people in their homosexuality. Not just religion and parochial education, but laws, public schools, and popular culture could all evolve – or perhaps continue to evolve, since in some respects they already have – in ways that would heal the wound of feeling unlovable and open the lives of homosexual people to more personal forms of relating. And given the naturalness, goodness, and lovability of homosexuality, it is the right of gay people to expect justice.
Recommended Off-site Links:
The Political Closet by Tom Scharbach.
Why Gay Became Queer: An Introduction by D. Stephen Heersink.
Why Gay Became Queer: The Bisexual by D. Stephen Heersink.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Tragedy of Homophobia
Hypocrisy, Ignorance, Promiscuity, and the “Love that is the Center of Catholic Christianity”
What Is It That Ails You?
Be Not Afraid: You Can Be Happy and Gay
A Humorous Look at Internalized Homophobia