Skip to comments.Gay Catholics Struggle With Scandal
Posted on 05/06/2002 7:06:08 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
PHILADELPHIA- Mary Louise Cervone has been a practicing Roman Catholic all her life and, as a lesbian, has long hoped for acceptance from the church.
But finding a welcoming place has never been easy and now with the clergy sex abuse scandals raging in dioceses across the country, Cervone and other gay Catholics feel that homosexuals are being scapegoated by church leaders.
Most of the victims of priestly abuse are adolescent boys, leading some Catholics to conclude that there is a link between homosexuality and the abuse of minors.
Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua last week called homosexuality an "aberration, a moral evil" and said the archdiocese tries to screen out gay priests, suggesting that they were more likely to commit child abuse.
And 100 gay advocates protested outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on Sunday after Monsignor Eugene Clark reportedly made similar comments April 21. The New York Archdiocese has said Clark was speaking for himself and not the archdiocese.
Clinicians say no credible data exists on the number of abusive priests who are homosexual and there is no evidence that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.
Cervone, the president of Dignity/USA, a national gay Catholic activist organization, thinks homosexuals are being unfairly targeted.
"It's wrong," she said. "There's no data to support it. There's not even any data collected by the Catholic church. It's the arrogance of the church leaders, this feeble attempt to blame the whole crisis of clergy on the gay community."
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based gay Catholic advocacy group, said the organization has been getting calls from concerned gay priests and parishioners.
"It's a new phase of anger toward church leaders," DeBernardo said.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the recent statements do not reflect the usual church stance, which is that homosexual or heterosexual men can be priests if they are celibate.
She added that the church does not reject gay Catholics. What it teaches is that being homosexual isn't a sin, but being a sexually active gay is.
"I think the church tries to be open to all Catholics who are accepting of the church's teachings," Walsh said. "It's a difficult point for homosexual Catholics that the church condemns homosexual activity."
Both Dignity/USA, which has been banned from meeting in Philadelphia churches, and New Ways plan to speak on behalf of gay Catholic rights at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' general meeting in Dallas beginning June 13.
Over the years, such efforts have become more common as gays have fought for greater acceptance in the church.
"As gay people become more accepted in society, more Catholics are coming out," said Donal Godfrey, an Irish Jesuit priest who is working on a doctorate at the University of San Francisco.
"If you look at the life of Jesus, he was close to people who were marginalized. If we're meant to be following him, people who are marginalized should be comfortable in our churches."
The number of gay Catholics is hard to judge, but DeBernardo said he believes it is around 10 percent, roughly similar to some estimates of the general population.
Some wonder why homosexuals would stick with the church. Gay Catholics say their faith is a piece of their identity.
"It isn't an option for me," said Tom Streeper another member of Dignity in Philadelphia. "That's the way I was raised and it's part of who I am."
I've always been a proponent of excommunicating the likes of Ted Kennedy and Jack Reed and numerous other Catholic politicians for the pro-abort stance. It may yet happen!
Home for supper! Talk to you later.
We have all sinned, and in effect all said Ptui on God's declared law. Most of us probably have some sort of sexual sin in our past, and certainly we have all lied, or gossiped, failed to honor our mother and father, etc. All these things are times where we have said Ptui on God's law.Homosexual acts place one outside of the grace of Christ, but not outside the Church.Whoa. You'd have to 'splain that one to me, if you've the patience.
And isn't openly saying "Ptui! on God's declared law of sexuality!" excommunicable?
Sexual sins aren't any different here, just more common perhaps, and in the case of homosexuality, more serious. Any sin is contrary to obedience to Christ, right? Once you are Baptized Catholic, you are a Catholic. You will likely sin at some point after that, barring an early death. Despite that sin you remain a Catholic because you still bear the mark of baptism. It may be the equivalent of saying you are a CINO (Catholic in Name Only) in a sense, but your sin cannot erase the mark of baptism. It does, however, bring you a warm and toasty afterlife.
Forive me if I... LOL!!!
OK, but seriously... There are a couple of weird things going on here. One is that you have this goofy dialectic between contemporary, postmodern, secular concepts about sexuality (coming from American counter-cultures) and the application of the Church's teachings on sexuality by the hierarchy in official policy announcements. Segments and factions of the clergy and laity in America think the Church should "modernize" and accept the new sexuality. This is presented almost as if modern psychology and social science "prove" modern sexual attitudes to be 100% scientifically beneficial for mankind and, therefor, necessary for the Church to adopt as new norms. It's true that we know more about the bio-chemistry, neurology, psychology, and sociology of sexuality now. But we seem to have forgotten basic common sense about it as well. There's a kind of utopian mentality at work that the birth control pill, abortion, Viagra, and casual promiscuity will lead us back to Eden. Ironically, the childless career woman in her 40s is starting to question this sophistry. AIDS clinics are proof that sodomy is life-threatening. And yet some still persist in the delusions.
The other thing going on has been this waffling and wiggling by bishops and church leaders on a host of issues. Handling the homosexual abuse crisis as primarily a bureaucratic legal matter or a PR matter has been disastrous. The homosexual abuse is part of a larger picture of abuses within the American Church which have been ignored for too long. The organized and orchestrated dissent (and other lunacies) in Catholic higher education and in seminaries really needs to end. Any group advocating the active gay lifestyle has no business in any Catholic institution or at any Catholic conference. That makes about as much sense as having any of the or sex orientation mafias at Catholic institutions. Period. Homosexuals need to work these things out privately with their therapists on in the confessional. We pray for them but we really don't need to hear their personal revelations or manifesto jargon. Sodomy should return to the closet.
It is sin. Excommunication is an external action separating a Catholic from the Church for certain specific actions. It is essentially a public sanctioning of a person. In the past, lifting an excommunication was reserved to a bishop (in the case of procuring an abortion, that can now be done by a priest in the confessional).
Homosexual acts, while heinous and grievously sinful, do not merit a public separation from the Church.
Does adultery, in your mind, merit excommunication?
If everything that one thinks is terrible becomes subject to excommunication, then the sanction loses its "hammer value."
Any group advocating the active gay lifestyle has no business in any Catholic institution or at any Catholic conference.Now, if only we can get the bishops to agree ...
Does adultery, in your mind, merit excommunication?
You're asking me, as a Biblically-oriented Christian, my view? If someone engaged in adultery and advocated the practice and denied that it is sin, then yes, absolutely, it qualifies under the descriptions found in Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5.
That's the parallel I see, since you ask. The lady in question is not "struggling against" lesbian temptations. She "is" a lesbian, liked being a lesbian, intends to stay a lesbian. That, to me is the issue.
I have never known the Dallas meeting, which I think they have every year, to be an open meeting. In fact, I have never known it to get any press coverage at all. It'll be different this year though.
The pro-lifers have been pleased in the past about the caliber of speakers they have had to speak to the bishops on the life issues. We need to pray for these men attending this Dallas meeting. They need the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing and not continue to let the homosexual agenda have any credibility with them.
There should be a purge of ALL HOMOSEXUAL PRIESTS from the church whether Active or Not.
The Church does not allow for Homosexual priests and states that they are disordered.
Based on recent Empirical Data the abuse and coverup of the rape of Children is from direct acts of Homosexual Priests and from direct and indirect support from Bishops and Cardinals for their own reasons.
Do we need more of this Horror or have we seen enough?
It is also the quintessential definition of phariseeism. The gays work so hard for their practice to infiltrate the Church and now that they see results, they pretend to be condemning it! Such hypocrites. In the Gospel, our Lord shows compassion to sinners, but goes abolutely ballistic against pharisees and hypocrites.