Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Quote of the Day

[Paul Vitello’s May 31 New York Times article “Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexual Hurdles”] made for depressing reading [for several reasons, one being] the notion that the sexual abuse crisis was primarily a question of gays in the priesthood. For one thing, the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia has been disproven by almost every psychiatrist and psychologist. The studies are too numerous to mention. It was rebutted even by the U.S. bishops’ own study. (“At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now,” said Margaret Smith of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.) For another, the increasing number of gay priests entering ministry in the past few years, which critics point to as a stain on the priesthood, coincides with a diminution of sexual abuse cases in recent years. For another, the reason that you don’t see any public models of healthy, mature, celibate gay priests to counteract the stereotype of the pedophile gay priest, is that they are forbidden to speak out publicly. Or they are simply afraid.

. . . [T]he gay priest gives his life as fully to the church as a straight priest does. What's more, he gives up something that a straight priest does not: he gives up his dignity. He willingly makes that sacrifice, which a straight priest does not make. For unlike the straight priest, the gay priest serves a church that will not admit his existence, is trying to weed out future men like him serving, and, in general, increasingly treats his kind like a pariah.

– James Martin, SJ
Weeding Out Gays from Seminaries
May 31, 2010

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Homosexuality and the Priesthood
Let's Face It: The Catholic Church is a Gay Institution
Vatican Stance on Gay Priests Signals Urgent Need for Renewal and Reform
"Spiritual Paternity"
More on "Spiritual Paternity"
Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests
Blaming the Gays
Donohue's "Blame the Gays" Tactic Refuted by John Jay Study Researcher

Image: Linus Roach as gay Catholic priest Fr. Greg Pilkington in Antonia Bird's award-winning film Priest (1994). For an interview with Bird about her film, click here.


Mareczku said...

Yes, those articles were very depressing. I read the article by Paul Vitullo and also the article by Father James Martin. It just makes me very sad what the Church is doing to these men. How can we have a healthy Church when people are treated like this? Why can't the Church tell the truth about this? It is very troubling to me.

Davis said...