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.
Now, if only we can get the bishops to agree ...
I couldn't, for the life of me, understand how our bishops fail to see that. I was 16 years old when I first learned of a homosexual relationship going on between a priest and a boy my age. This was in 1960, the early days of Vatican 2. I couldn't understand how a priest could do such acts at night and in the morning got up to the altar to celebrate Mass and RECEIVE COMMUNION. To my young mind, it was a sacrilege of the vilest kind!
As I said, I was 16 at that time. One should hope that our Bishops are much older and wiser today than I was at that age!
Nope. There have been worthless, vile bishops all along. St. John Chrysostom (born in 347 AD) remarked that the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. That's a powerful statement, indicating that the bishops of his time were at least as corrupt as American bishops are today. And yet the Church survived. The Church will recover from this, and I'm staying in.
It was the only case of sexual misconduct by a priest that I've ever known personally, so I can't tell you anything about anecdotal evidence outside the US. Also, that priest was American - a Maryknoll Missioner named Fr. John Lennon, who was the director of my high school for some five years. His teen-age partner was a 16-year-old Filipino boy, my classmate in high school, who impregnated my then best-friend (girl), and therefore HAD to marry her.
It was my friend who shared with me the details of her husband's homosexual relationship with this priest.
I felt so sorry for my friend, as she was very devastated about it even as she helplessly tried to be non-judgmental. After all, it was about the two men she was most fond of - her husband and her priest! Both she and I wondered if we had missed anything taught in school?
The current crisis in the Church bring back these unhappy memories, even though my then best-friend and I have since lost touch with each other. The last time she wrote me 15 years ago, there was not even a mention of her husband's name.
And the priest, what had happened to him? A search in the internet revealed that after his stint in the Philippines, Fr. Lennon left Maryknoll and became a US military chaplain in Vietnam. Then, as a diocesan priest, he was assigned to Cardinal Hayes High School in New York were he was from, originally.
I wonder if anybody ever knew about his homosexual activities in the Philippines and perhaps elsewhere, but I couldn't find anything else about Fr. Lennon, except in this link with the Bronx newspaper: http://www.bxtimes.com/News/2000/1130/School_News/51.html
Really sad, Chatham. But are many of them practicing? I've always thought they were grossly negligent, indifferent, cowardly, even indolent - or worse, not prayerful enough. Where did you get the information that many of them are homosexuals?
Read Howie Carr's column last week on Cardinal Spellman and his boyfriend from Broadway Theater who visited with him regularly.
Visit the Roman Catholic website (www.rcf.org) and read through their information presented.
Visit www.nomorepeds.org, a site from the palm beach area put up by a prominent Catholic who has done a lot of work for the church.
Read the following books:
"The Changing face of the Priesthood" by Rev. Donald B. Cozzens
"Sex, Priests and Power" by A.W. Richard Sipe.
"Goodbye Goodmen", by Michael S. Rose Also read some of the recent stories from Ireland.
Anybody else as sick as I am of reading this statement?
"no credible data exists"? B.S.---- then GET some data, it ought to take all of about 48 hours to compile it!
I'm constantly haunted by what Pope Paul VI said before he died, that the "smoke of Satan" has infiltrated the Church - and of Our Lady's warning about "bishop against bishops." This crisis is almost apocalyptic in scope.
At Confirmation we became Soldiers of Christ and the War is at Hand and the general of the Enemies forces is Satan himself.
It is time to pray to St. Michael for guidance and we will win the war.
I and my husband were born and raised Catholic and he being ITALIAN even more so. My father-in-law knew where every nook and cranny was in that church and took care of the collection money etc.... A new priest came along right about 1978 who in most of our generation eyes was gay as a silver dollar. He immediately took over and left him with the duties he never wanted to waste his time with and also took away the collection money duty. My father in law had a run of the chuch because he did all the maintenance etc... One day he went to fix some things and found father Ted sunbathing naked with 2 other men in the back. This man in my eyes was a sorry excuse for a priest and when I hear about these current allegations I can't help but think back to him. Oh and of course by coincedence close to a year after taking the collection duty away he started driving a brand new convertible Mustang.
It really pissed him off when my husband and I got married in that chuch and we asked permission for another priest to perform the ceremony along with Father ted and then we never paid him. I really and truly forgot, but then just blew it off.