A very important article about it from Catholic Culture, and the author’s book, The Faithful Departed, is a absolutely must read.
Last week in this space, I argued that by setting up a tribunal to judge bishops accused of neglect in sex-abuse cases, the Vatican has finally addressed the second of three related scandals. Now let’s address the third scandal.
The first scandal, as you may recall, was the sexual abuse of young people by clerics. That scandal was addressed by the Dallas Charter, which established a “zero tolerance” policy for abusive priests. But the implementation of that policy has been marred by the second scandal: the negligence of many bishops. A “zero tolerance” policy has little value if the Church leaders ultimately responsible for enforcing that policy are not reliable. Thus the need to hold bishops accountable, as the Vatican tribunal will do. But the third scandal has not yet been addressed.
The third scandal, as I explain in The Faithful Departed, is the widespread homosexual activity within the clergy.
For more than a decade now, we have been incessantly reminded that homosexuality and pedophilia are not related. That’s true if you’re talking about true pedophilia: the disorder characterized by an attraction to young children. But the scandal that has ripped through the Catholic Church has not been, primarily, a matter of pedophilia. True, there have been some priest-pedophiles, and their cases understandably drew the greatest publicity. But the vast majority of the cases that emerged from diocesan archives involved priests who preyed on adolescent boys.
Most of the victims of clerical abuse were male teenagers. Now who is more likely to go on the prowl for male teenagers: a heterosexual man or a homosexual man? To ask the question is to recognize the answer. Despite the intellectual gymnastics of the John Jay report, the problem is evident to anyone who looks at it objectively.
”A scientific examination of the crisis makes it abundantly clear that priests with homosexual conflicts present a risk to Catholic youth,” writes Rick Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist who has worked with many troubled priests. He continues:
Dr. Paul McHugh, the former chairperson of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and a member of the first National Review Board, identified the homosexual predation of American adolescent males as the primary issue that needed to be discussed and analyzed. To be clear: pedophilia was not the central issue; homosexuality was.
The US bishops once recognized the role of homosexuality in the sex-abuse crisis. In 2002, when St. John Paul II summoned the leadership of the US bishops’ conference to Rome to discuss the emerging scandal with Vatican officials, the final statement that emerged from that meeting made a subtle allusion to the issue. The statement called for examination of the American seminaries, “with particular emphasis on the need for fidelity to the Church’s teaching, especially in the area of morality, and the need for a deeper study of the criteria for suitability of candidates for the priesthood.” At the time, that statement was generally understood as a reference to complaints about homosexual influence in seminaries.
Over the years, however, concern about homosexuality in the priesthood has dropped off the American bishops’ agenda. A Vatican directive issued in 2005, that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries, is now routinely ignored. A priest who is guilty of homosexual activity may continue in active ministry, as long as his misconduct involves only adult partners.
Retrieved June 16, 2015 from http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1094