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The Man Behind "The Gay Priest Problem": What Needs to Be Done, and Why It Won't Be
San Diego News Notes ^ | June 2003 | Allyson Smith

Posted on 06/04/2003 8:41:24 AM PDT by Polycarp

Accountable for Your Actions

The Man Behind "The Gay Priest Problem"

By Allyson Smith

(Editor: This is part two of an interview with Rev. Paul Shaughnessy, S.J., who is a Marine Corps and Navy chaplain stationed in San Diego aboard the USS Belleau Wood.)


Father Shaughnessy wrote an essay, "The Gay Priest Problem," published in the November 2000 issue of Catholic World Report -- more than a year before the Boston Globe broke the scandals in the Archdiocese of Boston. Last June, Fr. Shaughnessy penned another essay, "Are the Jesuits Catholic?," in the Weekly Standard. Father Shaughnessy, 53, agreed to an April 11 interview in San Diego.)

Smith: Do you think it is inconsistent for the Pope to oppose the war when he hasn't cleaned out his own closet, so to speak?

Fr. Shaughnessy: I think to this day, the Vatican -- and I don't mean just the Pope, but also the various dicasteries -- don't realize how serious the homosexual problem is. I think there has been a disconnect there. When it first started, they said, "Oh, that's an American thing and it's not as bad as they're saying," and so forth, so there was a sense from people I know in Rome that they didn't get it right away. They didn't realize that this is the single greatest crisis of the Catholic Church in America. But since Cardinal Law and three other bishops have had to resign in the wake of this scandal, hopefully the Vatican is waking up. But should the Church be silenced on all these issues? No. The Church still has an obligation to teach.

Smith: The scandal has really hurt our credibility on other issues.

Fr. Shaughnessy: Oh, absolutely. Rod Dreher in the National Review made that point, and immediately, even on the right, he's being attacked as undermining papal authority. No, I think he's pointing out a sociological reality that we're not living up to what we preach, and when you don't do that, your credibility is weakened.

Let's just look at the American bishops. Where are they on the abortion issue in this country? Where are they on cloning? I never hear anything. I hear it from laymen and laywomen. Where is the leadership of the American hierarchy? Where are they on these issues, especially the homosexual issue? Domestic partners, homosexual marriage -- they're not saying anything.

There's always been a suspicion that the reason they're being silenced is because they would be outed or that priests would be outed or blackmailed. But that is another case that should be corrected. Ironically, as painful as this has been, I was hoping that the scandal would be a purification. As humiliating and as degrading as this whole problem has become, it hasn't led to that result. Are they waiting until it blows over or saying, "Let's wait until the heat or the press dissipates"? I really get that feeling that is what they are doing.

Smith: The only strong stand the California bishops have taken with regard to homosexual issues is on Proposition 22, the Defense of Marriage Act, which passed three years ago. They supported it because it was legislation they could be "for" instead of "against". Apparently they don't want to be seen as "opposing" anyone, but sometimes it's good to be against some things.

Fr. Shaughnessy: They're called to be bishops. They're called to teach the truth in season and out. That's the color of their cassock, red, for martyrdom. This idea that they've all become political operatives and are spinning things is disheartening. St. John Fisher stood alone for the faith, for what was right. Their job is to defend the deposit of faith in a pluralistic culture. That can be done. It should be done. I think they would get more adherence. They would attract healthy, heterosexual males to the priesthood because they have clear leadership and they know who they are and what the mission is, but that's just not happening.

Now, we realize that people have a lot of problems with this whole issue. Families have sons or daughters that are homosexual. The idea isn't to stop people from facing this, but if you don't hold up a standard, an objective moral norm, then we're heading for chaos.

Smith: Just because we all fall short of the standard doesn't mean we shouldn't try to adhere to it.

Fr. Shaughnessy: That's right. It's the law of graduality, not the graduality of the law, you know? And that's very important. You don't get rid of the standard. It's like the New York schools when they had those standardized tests. When you got out of high school, your diploma meant something in New York. But when students continually failed the standardized test, what did New York do? Got rid of the test. Now they're doing the same thing in California, but that is not the solution.

Unfortunately, they're not taking the lead. We need men like "Dagger John" Hughes, who was the archbishop of New York during the Know Nothing controversy (in the 1800s). If one more Catholic church had been vandalized, he was going to let all the Irish immigrants start a war. We need some Dagger Johns. We really need heroic leaders that will stand up for the Gospel in the tradition of a John Fisher or St. Augustine or St. Athanasius. Athanasius stood alone, except for the lay people. The crisis today is in the clergy, in the episcopacy.

If you look through the centuries at the Church in various times, the crisis clearly is in the priesthood and the episcopacy. They say the corruption of the best is the worst corruption, and that's what's happening. We have a few good bishops like Bishop Bruskewitz (of Lincoln, Nebraska) and Bishop Myers (of Newark, New Jersey), and there's obviously a connection because they're getting vocations. And then the argument is, "Well, they're accepting everybody." Well no, they're not accepting everybody. So, it can be done. Let's pray that the bishops get the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the faith, the truth, and the good, and I think if that happens, ultimately a lot of these other problems will fall away.

Smith: Please tell me about your background. How did a nice Massachusetts boy like you end of becoming Jesuit military chaplain?

Fr. Shaughnessy: (laughs) It's a long history. I grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and went to a local Catholic high school there, St. Peter's. Then I went to Holy Cross College, whose motto is "In Hoc Signo Vinces" ("In this sign you will conquer"). At one time it was like that, anyway.

From there, I went into the FBI for three years. In the FBI they had a lot of retreats. A lot of the agents were Catholic. Interestingly, a lot of them were ex-seminarians, especially the older ones. I think they were a holdover from the Hoover anti-Communist days.

I made a couple of Jesuit retreats, and in my senior year at Holy Cross I made the eight-day retreat. I was always fascinated by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and I think ultimately that was my draw to the priesthood.

As an undergraduate I had a great philosophy teacher, Father Joe Shea. He was a tough, philosophical individual. He clearly was formed by the Spiritual Exercises. I think he was on the tail end of the reform; he was clearly an older guy. Until I became a Jesuit, I didn't realize how far to the left they were going. But anyhow, I made those retreats, and I lived in the Washington D.C. area at the time, so I decided to apply.

I entered the novitiate in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, outside of Reading, in August 1977 for my first two years. They used to call it the "First House of Probation". After those first two years, you take your vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. From there I took philosophy at St. Michael's Institute at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I enjoyed philosophy very much. During that time, they sent us to Mexico.

From there, I did my regency (one of the stages of formation for Jesuit scholastics), where I taught world history and American history for two years at Scranton Prep. In my third year, I went to a refugee camp in the Philippines where I taught English to the Vietnamese boat people.

After regency, I went to the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge Mass., a nuclear-free zone, the Berkeley of the East Coast. I was there three years, from '83 through '86, and then after that I went to an inner-city parish in Baltimore. You're called a "Fourth Year Father," and it's a year that you do pastoral ministry. I was at the Gesu School in Philadelphia. It was all black. We were the only Caucasians around.

From there, I went to the Gregorian in Rome to earn my licentiate in moral theology. It's kind of the hothouse of American theologates. I loved it. I was there a long time and started a doctorate, but I had a little run-in with my director, Klaus Demmer. Klaus? Achtung! No, he was very good man. It was a great time and opportunity for me.

It was during that time that my provincial, Father Ed Glynn, who is now the president of John Carroll University in Cleveland, asked me, "When are you going to work for a living?" I had been noticing all these ads in Catholic magazines and periodicals looking for priests, and I thought he would never allow it, but off the cuff when he came for his visitation, I said, "Would you mind if I go into to the military?" And he said, "Would you like to do so?" I said, "Sure," and he said, "Okay, I give you permission. You can apply after you finish your tertianship."

The tertianship is the third house; it's the final phase of formation, where you do the 30-day Spiritual Exercises again. I did mine at the Villa Cavaletti outside of Rome. I spent a couple months during my fourth year at the Institute for Spiritual Studies at the generalate in Rome.

I left Rome in June '94 and reported to Newport, Rhode Island for officer orientation on July 5. I was there two months, which was nice because it was in New England. Then I had to report to Okinawa, Japan in September of '94, and the rest is history.

There are a lot of great Catholics in the military. I think there are a lot of vocations, especially with the Marines. I know three already that have joined the priesthood. My first two years I served with the Marines. One young guy there was a Naval Academy graduate who then did four years as a Marine officer, and he's now studying to be a priest.

Another thing is that the fundamentalists are really going after the Catholics. I think by nature Catholics are religious, so they are open to suggestion in that area. Due to the failure of the last 30 years of catechetics, most Catholics can't defend themselves scripturally or theologically, so they are vulnerable, and they have an almost innate respect for religion which makes them even more vulnerable. The fundamentalists aren't going after pagans, you know?

Smith: You said you were in Okinawa, but when you wrote "The Gay Priest Problem" in Pearl Harbor, and now you're stationed in San Diego. Tell me about that progression.

Fr. Shaughnessy: The military keeps transferring you. Each stint usually lasts two years. I was kind of happy that I was away from my superiors (when I wrote the essay) so they couldn't dispute it. I knew that it was going to raise the hackles of a lot of people, because this predates the big exposé in Boston. It caused a lot of discontent, to put it mildly. Even the archbishop of the military, Edwin O'Brien, said I could have been more positive....

Is there a connection between homosexuality and child molestation? No, I'm not going to say there's a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality per se. However, most of these cases involve adolescent males. Now, it may not be classical pedophilia, but they are clearly minors, and they're all men.

Let me tell you about a great guy who I went to Holy Cross with. He was a few years behind me and is now the father of six children. He teaches Latin and Greek. Now, he was in the Society but had never told me why he left. One of the reasons is that he was getting hit on so many times by gays, and he went to his formation director and said, "What's going on here?" After this happened a number of times over a couple of years, without it being resolved, he left.

Smith: The Society lost a vocation.

Fr. Shaughnessy: Very much so! I think even to this day he's never really told his wife why, which I find even more interesting. I think he's embarrassed by it, but to protect the Society and the Church, he doesn't want to talk about it.

Another time, I was back home in Worcester and I went down to the cathedral where I was baptized and confirmed. I was just going into Mass to see the latest destruction there. It looked like they paid some clown $100,000 or $200,000 to rip everything out and paint it all one color. They removed every piece of art, everything of elegance or of beauty and spray painted the whole thing. It looked like Fenway Park. Everything was painted one color on a huge meat block, like this (taps table).

While I was there, I ran into this guy I went to high school with who has a background very similar to mine. He had been in ROTC at Holy Cross, went into the Marine Corps, and then went into the diocesan priesthood at Catholic University. Now, we're both from Worcester; we're kind of blue-collar. Anyhow, he sees this openly gay propaganda going on, and it made him uncomfortable. He started complaining about it, but they were telling him it was his problem. Now, he's benighted; he's coming into this without any ideological baggage. He's thinking, "They really couldn't believe that." Well, after a couple of years of this, he left.

In other words, there was a level of disconnect where a lot of good guys went into the priesthood and thought, "This couldn't possibly be happening; there must be something going on here." I mean, here was a guy who was in the Marine Corps and had a college degree. He's not some kid, but he assumed, "Maybe I'm missing something," or "They don't fully understand." Well, obviously, they did understand. He was a daily communicant. I don't know if he ever got married; I think he lives with his father. But he clearly could have been a priest. He wanted to be a priest.

Smith: Have you ever experienced similar situations in your own priesthood?

Fr. Shaughnessy: Yes, I did. I remember bringing it up and being told, "What's your problem? Are you afraid?" -- some Freudian kind of response -- or "You've got a little fear of it. What's going on there?" so that you would doubt yourself and say, "No, not at all."

As a priest, you deal with a lot of homosexuals, and there are different reasons that they talk to a priest. Some want to live the life, some want you to approve it, and some probably need some type of psychiatric care. But the point is it's not a matter of fear but of free will. Does somebody have the right to engage in the behavior, or does the inclination justify the behavior? If I'm a pathological liar, that doesn't give me the right to lie, does it? But they say, "God made me that way, so it's got to be all right."

Smith: Well, God made me wanting to have a few more beers.

Fr. Shaughnessy: Exactly! That's the thing about inclination. They say, "Well, I have the inclination," but what if I'm a kleptomaniac and that's my inclination? Do I have the right to go steal?

Smith: Tell me about your duties as a military chaplain.

Fr. Shaughnessy: I'm a command chaplain on the USS Belleau Wood. It's called an LHA, a landing-helicopter-assault ship. It's an amphibious craft. When we go out to sea, there are 1500 sailors on the ship's company. When the Marines come, there are 2000 Marines, so it's a total of over 3,000 men.

I'm under the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Whether you are a chaplain for the Army, Navy or Marines, you fall under the archdiocese of the military. There are over a million people in it because it involves the State Department, the Veterans Administration, so it's a huge diocese. The archbishop of the military is Edwin O'Brien.

I live here (in downtown San Diego), but we were deployed so I was gone for about seven months. Right now we're down in dry dock at the NASSCO shipyard on 32nd Street; the boat is literally up out of the water. Once we're in dry dock, we start up the rotation again, where we're out to sea for a week, come back, then go out for two weeks.

I run the parish on the boat. I go there every day. We start at 6:00 every morning, so I have to be there at 5:30. We have Mass every day, devotions, Rosary, on the boat. It's not as well attended as I'd like, but when the Marines are on, they're very good about it. We have a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament there.

I do all the things a parish priest does: get sailors ready for Confirmation, help kids if they want to become Catholic, do the marriage cases. I also do admin work. I have to go to all the disciplinary hearings.

You're held to account in the military, unlike the priesthood. You're expected to take responsibility for what you do. Look at the guy who was just recently relieved on an aircraft carrier because he was a married man going out with a female. He was relieved. There was no suggestion of rape; it was inappropriate behavior.

You're held accountable for your actions. It's called accountability, which is something the military could bring to the episcopacy. When you have the responsibility, well, with that comes accountability.

Look what happened at the Air Force. They got rid of the top four people. It may not have been directly your fault, but there was an atmosphere, and you're gone. There was an atmosphere created that shouldn't have been there, and you're going to be held accountable for that. You may have not directly caused it. A little bit of that accountability would be a great thing for the bishops.

Smith: Tell me about the reaction to "The Gay Priest Problem."

Fr. Shaughnessy: I got a ton of mail from a lot of old priests. They knew there was something wrong. They're such good Catholics, and they're not dummies, but they presumed that this problem wouldn't have happened if someone (in a position of authority) knew about. That's why it's so devastating, because they did know. I think they're responsible, and I think a lot of them should have resigned. And I wish the Pope had made them resign. I really do. I think that would have sent a message.

Smith: Cardinal Law is working as a chaplain at a convent in Washington, D.C. So he's very low profile now, but it's still not a punishment.

Fr. Shaughnessy: No. And they thought they were going to give him some job in the Vatican. That would have been totally horrendous, to give him some posh sinecure at the Vatican. That's crazy.

My one fear is that they don't do something. My fear is that the spotlight is off. They were feeling the heat, and in some cases they overreacted, but the point is do the right thing.

What gets me is the glorification of homosexuality on TV, on family television. That hit me when I came back from Rome. There is a cultural war, and there is a difference between acceptance and approval. They want you to approve it.

I'm amazed at how open it is around here (in San Diego), how you see homosexuals everywhere. I was living in Europe, and then I came back to the U.S. and realized how far it had gone. It's in your face, everywhere. They want gay marriage. You think it's absurd at first, and then you realize they consider you absurd because you object to that. Years ago, you would have been laughed at. It's only within my lifetime that this has happened. If you ever suggested that, you would be considered a nutcase.

["The Gay Priest Problem" was re-printed in the News Notes in December, 2000; "Are the Jesuits Catholic?" can be found at www.weeklystandard.com]

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; gay; homosexual; homosexuality; priests; transcript

The Gay Priest Problem

What Needs to Be Done, and Why It Won't Be

By Paul J. Shaughnessy, S.J.

AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said. Kansas City Bishop Raymond Boland says the AIDS deaths show that priests are human.

Astonishing, when you think about it. The paragraph above comes from an Associated Press report on a series of newspaper articles by Judy L. Thomas that appeared in January of 2000. It is too much to say Catholics were "rocked" by the attendant media hype -- the scandal threshold has been raised pretty high in recent years -- but among the laity the articles occasioned, if not a gasp, at least a general sigh of exasperation. From all sides, almost, one heard the complaint "Why doesn't somebody do something?" Why not indeed.

A large part of the answer is implicit in the remarkable response to the situation tendered by Bishop Boland. To aver that a priest shows he is human by dying of AIDS is to say that it is somehow natural to our human state to engage in acts of passive consensual sodomy, from which the resultant infection takes its predictable course. Few Catholics who are not in Holy Orders would share this view of human nature. In reality, the fact that priests die of AIDS proves that they commit sin, by which they show not that they are human but that they act in a sub-human manner -- sub-human not in any special sense, but in the ordinary sense in which each of us falls short of his true human dignity by sinning, whatever our sin may be.

But Bishop Boland, like many of his brethren, is unwilling to concede the major premise. "I would never ask a priest how he got [AIDS]," he told Thomas, "just like nobody asked me two years ago how I got cancer of the colon. But I would provide for him. I would not write him off and say, 'Because you've got AIDS and because there are doubts about how one can acquire it, therefore you're not a good priest'." Well, let's take the case of a three-year-old girl brought into the emergency room with a broken jaw and cigarette burns on her rib cage. Suppose the hospital personnel said, "Look, there's more than one way to pick up these injuries, and the girl's medical treatment will be the same whatever their cause, so there's no point in asking how she got them." Most of us would see such a response as a culpably willful refusal to face up to a grim reality. By the same token, when we are urged to pretend that there is room for doubt as to how most priests contract AIDS, we can be sure that our gaze is being intentionally diverted from the ugly and indisputable facts: a disproportionately high percentage of priests is gay; a disproportionately high percentage of gay priests routinely engages in sodomy; this sodomy is frequently ignored, often tolerated, and sometimes abetted by bishops and superiors.

Just how widespread is homosexuality among priests and bishops? For obvious reasons, no reliable statistics are available. The percentage is vigorously disputed, of course, but one indication of the scope of the problem is that those who argue for the lowest estimate insist that the number of gays in the clergy is no higher than that of the gay population in society at large -- as if this were not on its own showing evidence of a profound crisis. Gay priests themselves -- who, though admittedly partisan, admittedly also have unique access to the facts -- commonly assure us that they are legion within the priesthood in general and well-represented even among bishops. The Kansas City Star series mentioned above notes that, of 26 novices who entered the Missouri Province of the Jesuit order in 1967 and 1968, only seven were eventually ordained priests. Of these seven, three have (to date) died of AIDS, and a fourth is an openly gay priest now working as an artist in New York. The priest-artist deplored the fact, not that his fellow Jesuits engaged in homosexual relations, but that they did not take "safe-sex" precautions even after the facts about HIV transmission became known. In this case, four of seven priests in a discrete sample are known to have been actively homosexual. What can we extrapolate from this data about the remaining three men, or about the American priesthood in general? Ten years ago the liberal National Catholic Reporter cited this example as typical:

Fr. Smith (not his real name) is a Jesuit priest working in a Philadelphia parish in one of the older parts of the city. He is a closeted gay priest and does not want his name used.... "In my worst moments," he said, "I fear I will have been a collaborator in supporting an institution that oppresses gay people...." He said he became a Jesuit after falling in love with an older, 40-year old Jesuit priest. Smith was 20 then and studying at St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia. "As a Catholic priest, I know there would be no church without gay people.... I assume priests are gay until proven otherwise."

In the same vein, such priests routinely gloat about the fact that gay bars in big cities have special "clergy nights," that gay resorts have set-asides for priests, and that in certain places the diocesan apparatus is controlled entirely by gays. What is significant is that these are not claims made by their opponents, not accusations fired off by right-wing Catholics in a fit of paranoia, rather they are gays' words about gays themselves. Their boasts include having blackmailed the Connecticut Catholic Conference into reversing its opposition to a gay rights law by threatening to "out" gay bishops -- a reversal that is difficult to understand without resort to the blackmail explanation. These considerations serve to underscore the point that the problem of gay priests entails not simply the scandal of sexual misdemeanor but also the fact that gay Catholics, by virtue of the fact that they reject her authority, serve to undermine the teaching Church. Hence their influence must be gauged not only by their numbers but by the focus and force of their hostility. To this end, it is instructive to ponder the following message to his fellow gay clergy by South Africa's Bishop Reginald Cawcutt, penned in response to a rumor that the Cardinal Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was about to issue a letter prohibiting the acceptance of gay seminarians.

"Kill [Ratzinger]? Pray for him? Why not just f-- him??? Any volunteers -- ugh!!!... I do not see how he can possibly do this -- but... if he does, lemme repeat my statement earlier -- that I will cause lotsa s-- for him and the Vatican. And that is a promise. MY intention would be simply to ask the question what he intends doing with those priests, bishops (possibly 'like me') and cardinals ... who are gay. That should cause s-- enough. Be assured dear reverend gentlemen, I shall let you know the day any such outrageous letter reaches the desks of the ordinaries of the world."

Bishop Cawcutt's actual communication, be it noted, contained no prudish dashes. While the virulence of his language may be exceptional, the targets of his antagonism are not, and it is noteworthy that none of Cawcutt's several defenders distanced himself from the content of the prelate's harangue.

Cawcutt's astonishing survivability puts one in mind of President Clinton's, and to some extent the persistence of the gay priest problem and President Clinton's immunity to scandal have a common cause: Clinton in his own sphere and gay clergy in theirs have been indispensable agents in the advancement of the liberal agenda. Like their secular counterparts, Catholic liberals, even where they do not positively applaud the sexual recreations of gay priests, are willing to overlook the resultant embarrassment in order that a more important end may be served -- in order, that is, that gays may remain as active members in the Church to assist them in their project of replacing ecclesial authority with personal experience as the norm determinative of authentic faith.

The leadership of the liberal movement in the Catholic Church is still today dominated by former priests, brothers, and seminarians, who abandoned their vocations in the 1960s and 70s. Most of these left to marry, and for them contraception remains the touchstone issue. Of their companions in dissent who stayed behind in the priesthood, a disproportionately high number are gay, and even liberal writers have commented on the "lavenderization of the left" that characterizes the clerical wing of their movement. A review of a recent book on the priesthood by the National Catholic Reporter's Tom Roberts typifies the position -- uneasily held, nervously expressed -- of the non-gay progressive:

"Considering Orientation" is the chapter of The Changing Face of the Priesthood that deals with the increasingly disproportionate number of homosexuals in the Roman Catholic priesthood and the one that leads the author, Fr. Donald B. Cozzens, to ask if the priesthood is on its way to becoming a "gay profession." It is a devilishly difficult question to ask, first because almost no one in the hierarchical ranks wants anything to do with it, and because one can only approach it through a minefield planted wide with homophobes, right-wing zealots who see homosexual clergy as a particularly noxious manifestation of a liberal agenda, and the church's teaching that the homosexual orientation is "objectively disordered."

Whether the priesthood is becoming a gay profession is not, of course, a difficult question to ask, or to answer. It will be a tough problem to solve, in part because Catholics like Roberts cherish a contempt for conservatives ("homophobes, right-wing zealots") that overmasters their intuition that something has gone wrong with the liberal project when its closest allies in the clergy are linked in the public imagination with male ballet dancers and fashion designers. The "minefield" that terrifies Roberts involves not the explosive potential of error but the explosive potential of truth. What is unthinkable, what seems to be psychologically impossible to concede, is that there is an aspect of post-Conciliar controversy in which the conservatives might have been right after all. In the same vein, whereas the National Catholic Reporter via Jason Berry's articles was among the first publications to broach the subject of clerical sexual abuse, the same paper remains bewilderingly doctrinaire in its refusal to question the dogma that the preponderance of male victims is entirely unrelated to priestly homosexuality. Though progressives lampoon the orthodox as cowards who shut their eyes and cover their ears while shouting the party line, in this arena there is little doubt as to who is asking the disconcerting questions and who wants to change the subject. The Kansas City Star series cites an example that is as telling as it is typical; the subject is pre-seminary HIV testing.

One religious order that doesn't require the test is the Society of the Precious Blood. The Rev. Mark Miller, provincial director of the Kansas City province, said the testing raises issues that he does not wish to address. "When you ask a question, you need to know why you are asking it," Miller said. "The answers that would come up put it in a category where we don't want to go."

Still, liberals characteristically refuse to acknowledge their own role in creating the gay priest problem, and often attempt to transfer the blame to others. Thus Roberts complains that "almost no one in the hierarchical ranks" wants to tackle the crisis -- a complaint that is at least partly disingenuous. Much of the hierarchy's reluctance to address the issue stems precisely from the beating it knows it would take at the hands of liberals should it treat gayness as a negative factor. Since liberals dominate the opinion-forming institutions in the Church -- the media, the bureaucracy, education at all levels -- and since they are able to call on powerful allies in the secular world to help discredit their adversaries, only the boldest of bishops would risk a truly candid discussion of the problem in public.

For all that, the number of priests dead of AIDS has forced everyone, even gay clergy themselves, to admit that something is not right. Here too, however, the nature of the crisis as well as its solution has been brought to the public attention by the secular media and presented solely in its secular aspects. What is disappointing, if not surprising, is the extent to which bishops and religious superiors have adopted the secular mindset and washed their hands of their moral responsibilities, in effect allowing the poachers to appoint themselves gamekeepers. A parade example is the case of Fr. Michael Peterson, founder of the Saint Luke Institute, which specializes in therapy for priests with sexual disorders. Peterson himself died of AIDS in 1987, a circumstance which not only failed to destroy the credibility of his motives or to delegitimize his therapeutic techniques, but which earned him almost unanimous port-mortem accolades even from bishops. Examples can be multiplied from the Kansas City Star articles:

In 1986, [Fr. Dennis] Rausch moved to South Florida and eventually became Catholic chaplain at Florida International University in North Miami. It was there that he began counseling and ministering to people with HIV and AIDS. In February 1989, Rausch decided he should get an HIV test himself. He waited nearly three weeks for the devastating results. "The first year was really difficult," said Rausch, 47. "I went through anger at myself for being so stupid. You wonder, 'Am I going to get sick and die? How long am I going to be around? What if the bishop finds out? Is he going to ship me off?'"

Fr. Rausch's worries were unfounded. In January of 2000 he was doing neither penance nor jail time but running an AIDS ministry program for the Archdiocese of Miami. No one familiar with the conduct of Catholic gay/lesbian ministry in the United States will contest the claim that many, perhaps most, of the ministers are sexually active gays. It is a slight exaggeration, if it is an exaggeration at all, to contend that the only disqualifying factor for gay/lesbian or AIDS ministry is moral disapproval of the gay lifestyle. The situation is not much different in the field of vocation direction and of priestly formation.

The Rev. Thomas Crangle, a Franciscan priest in the Capuchin order in Passaic, N.J., knows what a positive AIDS test can do to a seminarian. When he was vocation director for his province, Crangle said, a man applied for his order, which didn't require testing, and another order that had mandatory testing. "He came out positive," Crangle said. "He came to me and he said, 'That just blows all my dreams.' I said, 'It doesn't blow your dreams. You had a vocation before this, and this does not make you who you are."'

In assessing the likelihood of remedying the crisis, the importance of the poacher-turned-gamekeeper phenomenon cannot be stressed enough. Not only does it ensure that the current wisdom regarding seminary recruitment will be maintained for the foreseeable future, but that the problem deemed to be in need of fixing will be the problem of traditional Catholic morality and asceticism. The official and expert responses to priests who die of AIDS are remarkable for what they omit and for what they include.

1) Mention is seldom, if ever, made of the moral failing on the part of the priest. Sodomy is a mortal sin, and this sin is compounded on the part of the priest because it involves a further violation of his promises of chastity, in addition to the hypocrisy implicit in his acting against his role of moral teacher and helper of souls. Silence on this subject on the part of bishops and religious superiors is baffling to lay Catholics, who naturally wonder whether there is double standard in operation that censures layfolk but excuses clergy, that censures heterosexual but excuses homosexual vice.

2) Even rarer than discussion of the moral delinquency of the priest with AIDS is candid acknowledgment of the part played by sexual perversion in contracting the disease, the psychological disorder of the man locked into a compulsive homosexual libido which is marked by an adolescent selfishness and hunger for gratification and an adolescent irresponsibility and lack of control. Men entrusted with institutional authority who are enfeebled by deviant compulsive sexuality cannot help but damage the institution, not only by sexual mischief, but in ways unrelated to sex in which their immaturity, hostility and irresponsibility lead them to sacrifice the common good to their own agenda. Yet the gamekeepers and their partisans keep alive the pretense that a priest can make the "mistakes" that lead to his death by AIDS while still serving the Church with moral and doctrinal and pastoral integrity, as if the inclination to sodomy were an isolable affliction like measles or a weakness for chocolate.

A case in point concerns Fr. Thom Savage, S.J., who last year became the first president of an American university, religious or secular, to die of AIDS. Most of the faithful who learned of it winced at the shame that it should be a Catholic, and still more a priest, that earned this distinction. One might have expected official responses similar to those offered when a priest is found dead in a brothel: a low-key statement of regret for the scandal caused, a brief reaffirmation of the priestly duty of chastity, a reminder to pray that God deal mercifully with the departed. Fr. Edward Kinerk, S.J., is a former superior of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus and Savage's successor as president of Rockhurst College. This is how he chose to speak to the issue:

"As a Jesuit, I cannot feel anything but pride and gratitude for a meteor that burned itself out in the service of others," Kinerk said. "On May 10, 1999, God took the gift back. Thom is with God. As Jesuits, we rejoice. He has done what God sent him to do."

Many Catholics simply shook their heads in disbelief after reading this encomium. Embezzlers are not commended for their generous service to the banking industry, yet gay priests who break their vows are routinely praised for their ministry. Why then does the laity so seldom protest? By a curious irony, it is often the more than ordinarily God-fearing people who find themselves reduced to silence on this issue. This is because the spontaneous disgust that sodomy arouses in normal persons simultaneously evokes, in the Christian, compassion for those wretched enough to be afflicted with such disordered appetites. We shudder to learn of the existence of men with a morbid attraction to vomit or to corpses, yet our natural horror is almost always a horror mixed with pity. In the same way, even though most Catholics in their heart of hearts reject the stigmatization of their healthy reactions as "homophobia", an uneasy sense of "there but for the grace of God go I" tempers their revulsion and sometimes inhibits them from giving voice to the moral concern they rightly intuit. Gays have not been slow to exploit this reticence to their own political advantage, and indeed have done so with outstanding success.

If it is not already obvious from what has preceded, it should be stated flatly that the word "homophobia" will not be found in the mouth of an honest man. It represents an intellectual fraud perpetrated for devious political motives that will not withstand open examination. A parallel bit of semantic sleight-of-hand is the notion that "sexuality" or "celibate sexuality" needs to be taught to adult men. One of Judy Thomas's Kansas City Star headlines neatly encapsulates the party line of the gamekeepers: "Seminary taught spirituality, liturgy and Latin -- sexuality was taboo." Thomas reports that most priests polled by the Star "said the church failed to offer an early and effective sexual education that might have prevented [HIV] infection in the first place." Though uncritical in its presentation, her series accurately picks-up this drumbeat and relays it in quote after quote.

"Sexuality still needs to be talked about and dealt with," said the Rev. Dennis Rausch.

"The Jesuits have made a much more concerted effort to educate our men on sexuality and celibacy and what that means," Fr. Edward Kinerk said.

"When young men go into seminary, they don't even know what celibacy is," said Fr. Harry Morrison, a California priest who has AIDS. "A lot of this technical language, these Latin phrases, all you know is there's something to be afraid of. You don't even know exactly what it means."

"How to be celibate and to be gay at the same time, and how to be celibate and heterosexual at the same time, that's what we were never really taught how to do." (Bishop Thomas Gumbleton)

Without exception, the reaction of every sane heterosexual priest of my acquaintance to this proposal is, "Say what?" It is difficult to imagine a psychologically healthy fifteen-year old boy, much less a seminarian, who would not have a wholly adequate and complete idea of "what celibacy is." If a groom expressed hesitations to his bride as to "sexuality and fidelity and what that means," she would have excellent reason to doubt his sanity or good will or both -- clearly a happy marriage is not in the cards. By the same token, every decent man knows when he walks through the seminary door that it's wrong to tumble the receptionist and shower with the altar boys and stash porn in his dresser, and those who pretend to be teachers in this arena are themselves deeply confused or profoundly duplicitous. I do not dispute that there exist 25-year olds who do not know what celibacy means, but such men are radically unfit to become deacons, priests, and bishops, and all the lectures in the world will not make them otherwise.

There is a sense of course in which a normal, well-intentioned seminarian can and should learn from the ascetical tradition of the Church and from non-politicized psychology how to avoid dangers to chastity and how to strengthen his self-mastery so as to stay chaste. Exhortations to modesty in speech and dress and to custody of the eyes are examples of the former; instruction on the dangers of projection and transference in counseling situations are examples of the latter. But everyone familiar with the current reality knows that the "workshops on sexuality" offered to priests and seminarians do not concern themselves with techniques helpful to self-mastery. Rather they take the form of group sharing sessions in which the participants are invited to make peace with their own "sexuality" and urged, much more forcefully, to tolerate those with non-standard appetites. A case in point: the U.S. Jesuits recently approved guidelines for admitting novices that include this characteristic of the ideal candidate: "He has the ability to identify and accept his own sexual orientation and to live comfortably with people of different sexual orientations." Note that in the discussion of sexual orientation the qualifiers "normal" and "deviant" play no part in the equation. In this context they never do.

The gay priest problem will continue to worsen as long as this code-talk remains the dominant idiom. As long as seminarians are "educated in sexuality" by the Michael Petersons and are warned by their superiors that they must "live comfortably with people of different sexual orientations," we can be sure that the number of gays will steadily increase in the clergy and the language of moral integrity will be pushed out of the discussion. Quite simply, those entrusted to fix what is broken are broken themselves and are camouflaging their real motives in the fuzzy vocabulary of therapy and pastoral sensitivity. As with every institutional crisis, this one ultimately boils down to the question of accountability. Who recruits the newcomers? Who forms their habits and attitudes? More importantly, who appoints the recruiters and educators? Who will name the problems for what they are and take responsibility for putting them right? The issue of accountability forces us to confront a yet more intimidating crisis, one which is easily misunderstood and which I take up with reluctance, but which must be faced squarely as an unpleasant truth.

The principal reason why the action necessary to solve the gay problem won't be taken is that the episcopacy in the United States is corrupt, and the same is true of the majority of religious orders. In calling them "corrupt" I mean that these institutions have lost the capacity to mend themselves on their own initiative and by their own resources, that they are unable to uncover and expel their own miscreants. It is important to stress that this is a sociological claim, not a moral one. If we examine any trust-invested agency at any given point in its history, whether that agency be a police force, a military unit, or a religious community, we might find that, say, out of every hundred men, five are scoundrels, five are heroes, and the rest are neither one nor the other: ordinarily upright men who live with a mixture of moral timidity and moral courage. When the institution is healthy, the gutsier few set the overall tone, and the less courageous but tractable majority works along with these men to minimize misbehavior; more importantly, the healthy institution is able to identify its own rotten apples and remove them before the institution itself is enfeebled. However, when an institution becomes corrupt, its guiding spirit mysteriously shifts away from the morally intrepid few, and with that shift the institution becomes more interested in protecting itself against outside critics than in tackling the problem members who subvert its mission. For example, when we say a certain police force is corrupt, we don't usually mean that every policeman is on the take -- perhaps only five out of a hundred actually accept bribes -- rather we mean that this police force can no longer diagnose and cure its own problems, and consequently if reform is to take place an outside agency has to be brought in to make the changes. By the same token, in claiming the U.S. episcopacy is corrupt, I am not claiming that the number of scoundrel bishops is necessarily any higher than it was when the episcopacy was healthy. I am simply pointing to the fact that, as an agency, the episcopacy has lost the capacity to do its own housecleaning, especially, but not exclusively, in the arena of sexual turpitude. Should someone object to this characterization, I would reply in these terms: Excellency, let's look at the American bishops who have been deposed in recent years as a consequence of sexual scandal: Eugene Marino of Atlanta, Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe, Keith Symons of Palm Beach, Daniel Ryan of Springfield, Illinois, Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa. Can you name a single instance in which the district attorney or the media did not get there first -- a single case, that is, in which you yourselves identified the scoundrel in your ranks and replaced him before the scandal aired on CBS or before the police came knocking on the door?

The question will naturally arise, how can Catholics show respect and obedience to their bishops if they believe the episcopacy is corrupt? The answer is that a Catholic does not respect his bishop or attend to his teaching on the grounds that the bishop is holy, but because the bishop, to the extent that he teaches in union with St. Peter, is supernaturally protected against teaching error -- and this holds true whether or not the bishop is a villain and whether or not his compatriots are institutionally corrupt. Our duties toward our bishops are the same now as they ever were and ever will be. Moreover, I have frequently counseled wholesome young men of my acquaintance to enter religious orders that are corrupt in the sense explained above. No shame attaches to membership per se in a corrupt institution (all the ancient religious orders and national episcopacies have undergone cycles of corruption and reform) and the question of one's vocation to take up a certain burden is entirely distinct from the contingent circumstances in which that vocation is lived out. I stress this point in order to make clear that I am not counseling disobedience or disrespect to bishops and I am not denying that religious orders, even corrupt ones, are capable of working for the good of souls. But let's face facts. When more of your priests die by sodomy than by martyrdom you know you've got a problem; when the man you bring in for the fix comes down with AIDS you know you've got a crisis; and when the Pope first gets the facts thanks to 60 Minutes you know you're corrupt.

The Catholic Church, being Christ's bride without spot or wrinkle, is indefectible. She is holy because Christ is holy; she is perfect because Christ is perfect. She can not teach error. Her ministers, however, have sinned in the past, sin now, and will sin in the future until the second coming of Christ. She has lost some of her sons to heresy and some to schism, and those who remained have, in various periods, sunk into corruption. Renewal comes about, of course. God raises up a St. Francis or a St. Dominic, a St. Catherine or a St. Ignatius, who not only reject the endemic moral cowardice of their times but, through their own heroic holiness and passion for truth, bring about a transformation in the lives of their fellow Catholics, teaching them by their own example to love sanctity. The current corruption is nothing new, and reforming saints will certainly appear in our midst. Yet even those of us who are not reformers need not sit down under our present woes. Each of us, according to his station in life, can make a modest contribution to the renewal.

WHAT ROME CAN DO:

Require Heads on Platters. No man should be made a bishop, and no bishop should be promoted, unless he embraces authentic Catholic doctrine about sexual morality and leads a morally upright life. But the first condition is too easy to fake; anyone can give lip service to the teaching. Therefore no man should be elevated unless he has a track record as a head-cracker and has cleaned up problems of sexual wrongdoing, by dismissing gay seminarians or seminary faculty, for example, or by getting rid of miscreants at a university chaplaincy. The reason is that gays are perfectly prepared to let one of their own number mouth Church teaching if by so doing he earns a promotion, but if a man exposes their iniquity and acts against it, they will retaliate fiercely if there is any ammunition to be had, any wrongdoing, that is, in their adversary's past. They will do the necessary vetting out of vindictiveness. Keep in mind that this goes for heterosexual mischief as well. Rome should make it clear that, before a man can be considered episcopal material, he needs scalps hanging from his belt. God knows there is no shortage of opportunities.

WHAT BISHOPS CAN DO:

Do Ask, Do Tell. The policy should be made explicit that homosexuals are not admitted into the seminaries. Inter alia, this will result in an increase in vocations, and those of the right kind. Ordained priests found to be homosexual should be given the option of seeking reparative therapy by which they may be freed from their disorder, or else obliged to cease ministry. The time for gentler solutions is past.

Abolish General Absolution. It doesn't take great imagination to guess who has the deepest investment in absolution without confession. End it.

Restore Simplicity to Priestly Life. Physical comfort is the oxygen that feeds the fires of homosexual indulgence. Cut it off. When you enter a rectory, take a look at the liquor cabinet, the videos, the wardrobe, the slick magazines, and ask yourself, "Do I get the impression that the man who lives here is in the habit of saying no to himself?" If the answer is negative, the chances are that his life of chastity is in disorder as well. It goes without saying that reforming bishops should lead by example in this department and not simply exhort.

WHAT LAYMEN CAN DO:

Challenge Priests Uneasy with their Priesthood. When a priest leaves the rectory not wearing clerical garb, one needn't automatically assume that he does so to engage in unnatural vice. It may be natural vice. But there is almost never a good reason for a priest to wear mufti away from home. Confront him. Don't be taken in by the excuse that it's his day off. You don't take a vacation from your priesthood any more than you take a vacation from your marriage. A pastor who sees that a parishioner has left his wedding ring behind on his "boys' night out" has the duty to ask for an explanation; by the same token layfolk should not be shy about confronting priests who put off the outward signs of their priesthood. It could be that monsignor doesn't want to get his collar caught in the gear puller while replacing the main bearings on the parish van; if so, he'll be delighted to explain.

Use your Checkbook as a Carrot and Stick. Remember that when your pastoral associate flies to Rio during Mardi Gras you're footing the bill. Don't be silent partners in corruption. When a scandal involving a priest hits the papers, first, cut out the pertinent news article; second, write a check for $100 to the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's nuns); third, when you receive a request for donations from the outfit in which the scandal occurred, enclose the article in the return envelope along with a photocopy of your check to the MCs and a note to this effect: "My previous contributions were intended for the support of my pastors and the propagation of the faith. From now on you can pay for your own K-Y jelly and your own AZT. I will resume my donations when you have cleaned the stables." They'll get the message. Just as important, when a bishop or religious superior shows some spine by a gutsy dismissal or intervention, send him a note telling him what you think, and include a check as well.

Neither singly nor collectively will these or similar tactics solve the gay priest problem; only widespread spiritual renewal incited by heroic personal sanctity will do that. But these pointers might be considered as hairline cracks into which reforming saints might someday drive a wedge so as to bring down the walls of our imprisonment. In the short term, of course, the situation will doubtless deteriorate. It is all but certain that the bishops and the major religious orders, if they move on the crisis at all, will reflexively cede their prerogatives to the "experts." But, as in every critical moment in the Church's history, what is wanting is not expertise, but courage. Viriliter agite, my lord bishops: play the man, and please prove me wrong.

Paul Shaughnessy is a Marine Corps and Navy chaplain currently serving at Pearl Harbor. This article is the product of Jesuit-lay collaboration.

[Published in Catholic World Report, November, 2000]

TOP

1 posted on 06/04/2003 8:41:24 AM PDT by Polycarp
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To: .45MAN; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; aposiopetic; Aquinasfan; ...
By the way, there is another molestation victim in my diocese who needs your prayers.

Please pray also that he has the courage to come forward so we can remove the gay priest, still serving as a pastor 3 miles from my office, who molested him.

2 posted on 06/04/2003 8:43:42 AM PDT by Polycarp ("He who denies the existence of God, has some reason for wishing that God did not exist")
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To: Polycarp
The young man is certainly in my prayers. I just finished a study of the Book of Esther, and I am reminded of this passage in Chapter 4, where Mordecai is urging Esther to alert the king to Haman's plot to exterminate the Jews:
So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the public square in front of the royal gate, and Mordecai told him all that had happened, as well as the exact amount of silver Haman had promised to pay to the royal treasury for the slaughter of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction which had been promulgated in Susa, to show and explain to Esther. He was to instruct her to go to the king; she was to plead and intercede with him in behalf of her people. "Remember the days of your lowly estate," Mordecai had him say, "when you were brought up in my charge; for Haman, who is second to the king, has asked for our death. Invoke the Lord and speak to the king for us: save us from death."

Hathach returned to Esther and told her what Mordecai had said. Then Esther replied to Hathach and gave him this message for Mordecai: "All the servants of the king and the people of his provinces know that any man or woman who goes to the king in the inner court without being summoned, suffers the automatic penalty of death, unless the king extends to him the golden scepter, thus sparing his life. Now as for me, I have not been summoned to the king for thirty days."

When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he had this reply brought to her: "Do not imagine that because you are in the king's palace, you alone of all the Jews will escape. Even if you now remain silent, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source; but you and your father's house will perish. Who knows but that it was for a time like this that you obtained the royal dignity?"

Esther sent back to Mordecai the response: "Go and assemble all the Jews who are in Susa; fast on my behalf, all of you, not eating or drinking, night or day, for three days. I and my maids will also fast in the same way. Thus prepared, I will go to the king, contrary to the law. If I perish, I perish!"

Esther 4: 6-16


3 posted on 06/04/2003 9:11:19 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
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To: Polycarp
**AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today.**

I can testify to this fact from my personal experience. ( I choose not to give further details.)
4 posted on 06/04/2003 9:13:56 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Polycarp
Prayers sent!
5 posted on 06/04/2003 9:14:52 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Polycarp
Great interview, and an outstanding essay.
6 posted on 06/04/2003 9:18:30 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Polycarp
Great post. The victim is also in my prayers.
7 posted on 06/04/2003 9:19:35 AM PDT by jjm2111
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To: Polycarp
Fr. Shaughnessy: They're called to be bishops. They're called to teach the truth in season and out. That's the color of their cassock, red, for martyrdom. This idea that they've all become political operatives and are spinning things is disheartening. St. John Fisher stood alone for the faith, for what was right. Their job is to defend the deposit of faith in a pluralistic culture. That can be done. It should be done. I think they would get more adherence. They would attract healthy, heterosexual males to the priesthood because they have clear leadership and they know who they are and what the mission is, but that's just not happening.

Needs to said again and again and again. This is the exact point I've clumsily made to anyone who will listen...Father says so much more eloquently than I'm able to.

I pray that God raise up more men like him!

8 posted on 06/04/2003 9:24:27 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: Polycarp
Bump for later reading.
9 posted on 06/04/2003 9:24:47 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Freedom: America's finest export.)
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To: Polycarp; Truelove; SMEDLEYBUTLER
terrific interview - great reading - thanks for sharing.

10 posted on 06/04/2003 9:40:04 AM PDT by MudPuppy (Semper Fidelis!)
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To: Polycarp
Thank you for this post. Good stuff here.
11 posted on 06/04/2003 9:48:53 AM PDT by Dusty Rose
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To: jjm2111
alas!!!
12 posted on 06/04/2003 9:51:13 AM PDT by Hidgy (LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC)
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To: Polycarp
bump
13 posted on 06/04/2003 10:05:25 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: Polycarp
What gets me is the glorification of homosexuality on TV, on family television. That hit me when I came back from Rome. There is a cultural war, and there is a difference between acceptance and approval. They want you to approve it.

I'm amazed at how open it is around here (in San Diego), how you see homosexuals everywhere. I was living in Europe, and then I came back to the U.S. and realized how far it had gone. It's in your face, everywhere. They want gay marriage. You think it's absurd at first, and then you realize they consider you absurd because you object to that. Years ago, you would have been laughed at. It's only within my lifetime that this has happened. If you ever suggested that, you would be considered a nutcase.

It amazes me here in Kansas.

14 posted on 06/04/2003 10:06:05 AM PDT by RAT Patrol (Congress can give one American a dollar only by first taking it away from another American. -W.W.)
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To: Polycarp
"No man should be made a bishop, and no bishop should be promoted, unless he embraces authentic Catholic doctrine about sexual morality and leads a morally upright life.

Sheesh, whatever happened to just embracing what the Bible says on the subject? What happens if the Catholic church ever says "Gay is OK"?

*shiver*

15 posted on 06/04/2003 10:18:08 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: Salvation
I can testify to this fact from my personal experience

In the context, should we infer that you are DEAD?

16 posted on 06/04/2003 10:30:25 AM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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To: Windsong
What happens if the Catholic church ever says "Gay is OK"?

That will never happen. (If it did, Christ would immediately return, as apostacy would finally be upon His Church, not just in the hearts of a few of its sinsul members.)

17 posted on 06/04/2003 10:31:58 AM PDT by Polycarp ("He who denies the existence of God, has some reason for wishing that God did not exist")
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To: Polycarp
Should you look at the Book Review in the Weekly Standard, you'll find that Fr. S. has a very interesting theory about JPII's method of governance...

AND you'll learn a little about just what this Pope has to put up with.

The book review should be required reading, too.
18 posted on 06/04/2003 10:44:03 AM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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To: Polycarp
Domestic partners, homosexual marriage -- they're not saying anything.

Not entirely true. Our bishop, Bishop Murrah of Kalamazoo, MI, made the front page of the Wanderer a couple of years ago for coming out against a domestic partnership proposal in Kalamazoo.

Having said that, there's no denying that the bishops as a body have connived at great evils and sometimes, horrabile dictu, helped perpetrate those evils.

19 posted on 06/04/2003 10:53:35 AM PDT by ishmac
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To: Polycarp
AMEN!
20 posted on 06/04/2003 11:59:36 AM PDT by EddieB (Be Diligent...)
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To: Polycarp; scripter
Bump & Ping
21 posted on 06/04/2003 12:10:08 PM PDT by EdReform (Support Free Republic - Become a Monthly Donor)
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To: ninenot
The book review should be required reading, too.

Got a link? (I hope!)

22 posted on 06/04/2003 12:10:13 PM PDT by Polycarp ("He who denies the existence of God, has some reason for wishing that God did not exist")
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To: Polycarp
Ping
23 posted on 06/04/2003 12:10:29 PM PDT by NathanR
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To: Polycarp
bump for later.
24 posted on 06/04/2003 12:39:56 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Polycarp
I found it in the article (Weekly Standard link)
25 posted on 06/04/2003 12:48:01 PM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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To: ninenot
Found it:

An academic gloats, "The Society has not sold its soul to the 'Restoration' of John Paul II." Another Jesuit scholar, a church historian, ranks John Paul II as "probably the worst pope of all times"--adding, "He's not one of the worst popes; he's the worst. Don't misquote me." The respondents make it clear that their contempt for the pope is based almost entirely on his intransigence, his unwillingness to imitate their own adaptability in the matter of doctrine.

SO, IF THE SITUATION in the Society of Jesus is really as McDonough and Bianchi describe it in "Passionate Uncertainty," why doesn't the pope intervene and make radical changes? Two reasons suggest themselves. On the one hand, the attitude of Pope John Paul II towards religious congregations, female as well as male, is somewhat Darwinian. He is content to let the healthy groups prosper--Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity are a parade example--while letting the unhealthy ones die out of their own accord, like sick caribou amid the permafrost. On the other hand, recent popes have judged the political cost of intervening to reform failing congregations as excessive in view of the likely benefits to be gained. A close analogy can be drawn with the moles that surfaced in the British Secret Service in the 1950s. Their treachery was known long before action was taken against them; bit by bit they were denied access to sensitive material, simply so that they'd have less to betray. In the same way, and for the same reasons, the popes have declined a dramatic showdown with the new Jesuits, preferring instead, without calling attention to the fact, to give the really important business to more dependable agents.

Hmmmmmm.....

26 posted on 06/04/2003 1:01:22 PM PDT by Polycarp (I hereby Declare Today is National CKCAer day! (Catholic Kooks and Cranks of America, UNITE!))
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To: Polycarp; Desdemona
Yeah.

Now you understand better the scope and depth of the problem, and why the latest estimate is $5BILLION in settlements.

The Jebs may die off--from AIDS
27 posted on 06/04/2003 3:01:02 PM PDT by ninenot (Joe McCarthy was RIGHT, but Drank Too Much)
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To: Polycarp
"By the way, there is another molestation victim ..."

Prayers going up.
28 posted on 06/04/2003 6:05:26 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: Polycarp
"What happens if the Catholic church ever says "Gay is OK"?

"That will never happen."

"(If it did, Christ would immediately return, as apostacy would finally be upon His Church, not just in the hearts of a few of its sinful members.)"

Maria Esperanza says Our Lord is about to return:

http://www.spiritdaily.com/esperanzabook.htm
29 posted on 06/04/2003 6:10:40 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: ninenot
Hmmmm..... When the liberals say something is bad, it must be really good.

There is something to just not putting any life support into orders that just don't follow the teachings of the church. And showdown, at this point, would undo a lot of good this pope has done. He's right about that. Most of the liberal orders are dying out as it is.
30 posted on 06/04/2003 8:28:14 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Polycarp
Thanks for the entertaining and informative post. I found the following to be most useful.

Use your Checkbook as a Carrot and Stick. Remember that when your pastoral associate flies to Rio during Mardi Gras you're footing the bill. Don't be silent partners in corruption. When a scandal involving a priest hits the papers, first, cut out the pertinent news article; second, write a check for $100 to the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's nuns); third, when you receive a request for donations from the outfit in which the scandal occurred, enclose the article in the return envelope along with a photocopy of your check to the MCs and a note to this effect: "My previous contributions were intended for the support of my pastors and the propagation of the faith. From now on you can pay for your own K-Y jelly and your own AZT. I will resume my donations when you have cleaned the stables." They'll get the message. Just as important, when a bishop or religious superior shows some spine by a gutsy dismissal or intervention, send him a note telling him what you think, and include a check as well.

31 posted on 06/04/2003 8:52:40 PM PDT by Kryptonite (Free Miguel)
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To: Polycarp
"...as apostacy would finally be upon His Church

Actually, not even Jesus knows when he will return. Only the Father knows. And "apostacy" has been in the church since the 1st century. We're simply more aware of it bc of the media.

Old news, when you look at the big picture of it all.

32 posted on 06/05/2003 5:31:59 AM PDT by Windsong
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To: Polycarp
Excellent article and thanks for posting it. Father Shaughnessy sounds like a great man of God

I have only one disagreement with it. The fundamentalists (and I are one) are not chasing Catholics. We are chasing anyone who doesn't know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior (the lost). Now some of the lost are pagan, some are atheist, some are agnostic, some attend protestant churches (baptist, presby, lutheran, pentecostal, etc) and some attend Catholic churches. Church membership or attendence does not get you into heaven. Only accepting Jesus as your Savior will do that.

[In the sake of fairness, if someone is properly raised Catholic and follows the teachings of the church they should come to a point where they will accept Jesus. Unfortunately some are not raised that way. I was one such. I was an altar boy and actively involved in the youth organizations etc, but on a personal level I had never met Jesus. It took me until I was 26 to even realize that only He could fill the empty place within me.]

33 posted on 06/05/2003 6:05:45 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: Polycarp
Is there a connection between homosexuality and child molestation? No, I'm not going to say there's a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality per se.

However, most of these cases involve adolescent males. Now, it may not be classical pedophilia, but they are clearly minors, and they're all men.

There’s a big blurry line for what age pedophilia is and is not and where homosexuals offend. The AMA says it’s age 13 and the APA says age 12 are the limits to pedophilia. There’s really two kinds of pedophilia, one is age 8-9 and under, the most heinous and hostile kind of child offending, and the pre-pubescent, pubescent and post-pubescent ages (it is here where homosexuals primarily offend). So is the child who is abused at age 13 + (1 day) not pedophilia? 13 + (2 days)?

The homosexual link is clear and compelling at these ages of maturity regardless of chronological age, the pre-pubescent, pubescent and post-pubescent ages vary so greatly we are seeing maturity as early as ages 9 and up. This “age” group is where the average liberal media and government services don’t report or record the homosexual connection for the abuse and consequently the connection is overlooked and difficult to survey thus hiding the BIG LIE.

34 posted on 06/05/2003 6:56:43 AM PDT by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Polycarp
This explains why we have to fight the homosexual agenda:
What gets me is the glorification of homosexuality on TV, on family television. That hit me when I came back from Rome. There is a cultural war, and there is a difference between acceptance and approval. They want you to approve it.
This isn't just about what they do in their bedrooms.

Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

35 posted on 06/05/2003 7:19:54 AM PDT by theartfuldodger
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To: Polycarp
Bookmark Bump!
36 posted on 06/05/2003 7:27:05 AM PDT by ThomasMore
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To: Polycarp
A case in point concerns Fr. Thom Savage, S.J., who last year became the first president of an American university, religious or secular, to die of AIDS. Most of the faithful who learned of it winced at the shame that it should be a Catholic, and still more a priest, that earned this distinction.

Fr. Edward Kinerk, S.J., is a former superior of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus and Savage's successor as president of Rockhurst College. This is how he chose to speak to the issue:

"As a Jesuit, I cannot feel anything but pride and gratitude for a meteor that burned itself out in the service of others," Kinerk said. "On May 10, 1999, God took the gift back. Thom is with God. As Jesuits, we rejoice. He has done what God sent him to do."

I had never heard of this story. How could Father Kinerk say a priest dying of aids is what God sent him to do?

37 posted on 06/05/2003 7:30:04 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: John O
"if someone is properly raised Catholic and follows the teachings of the church they should come to a point where they will accept Jesus."

With respect, Catholics call this 'receive Jesus' which we do at Communion. This is really Jesus why? because He said so "This is My Body". We become part of the body of Christ.

38 posted on 06/05/2003 7:47:23 AM PDT by ex-snook (American jobs need balanced trade - WE BUY FROM YOU, YOU BUY FROM US)
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