Are Gay Priests Who Support Traditional Marriage Hypocrites?

Priest collar

I admit it.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the three priests and one former priest who torpedoed Cardinal Keith O’Brien. 

For those who don’t know, Cardinal O’Brien was an outspoken opponent of the move to redefine traditional marriage. In what appears to at least some people to be a hit job, three priests and one former priest came forward recently with accusations that the Cardinal had made passes at them 30 years ago. All of these men were adults when this is supposed to have happened. One of them even admits that the passes occurred after “late-night drinking.”

They also admit that this occurred over 30 years ago in 1980.

So, other than indicating that Cardinal O’Brien attempted to commit sexual sin with another adult in 1980, when he was not a cardinal or even a bishop, what does all this mean?

It means that a vigorous voice in support of traditional marriage has been silenced at a critical point in the debate. It also means that the British Isles will have no representative in the upcoming election of the next pope.

I do not want to give the impression that I think that what then Father O’Brien did was right.

However, as I have said in other posts, just about any woman in public life could make similar accusations against numerous powerful men. If you want to go back 30 years for these things, I doubt very much that there is a man in public life who could emerge from that kind of open season on their past unscathed. I also don’t think that many women would be in such good shape if you drug out every stupid thing we ever did or said in the name of sexual attraction and then declaimed it as unforgivable.

The last thing I feel like doing is to go into a faint and start fanning myself like Aunt Pittypat from Gone With the Wind over news that priests, bishops and, yes, cardinals, have committed sins at some time in their lives. My basic reaction to all this is, “where’s the beef?” Or, maybe I should say, “What’s the beef?”

I am not dismayed or scandalized to learn that leaders in the Church have committed sins. I expect that this is true of every single person on this planet.

There is a world of difference between a drunken priest making a pass at another adult and a bishop or cardinal transferring child molesters around, thereby enabling them to continue molesting children. If you don’t see that, then I don’t think I’m going to try to explain it to you.

One of the more predictable bits of commentary about Cardinal O’brien’s very public disgrace has been that he is a “hypocrite,” since it appears that he is gay and at least somewhat actively so, while he speaks against gay marriage.

This raises a question that has bemused me for a while. The whole basis of this contention about the Cardinal’s “hypocrisy” seems to be founded on the idea that if a person is homosexual, then they must be in favor of gay marriage and if they say otherwise, they are lying. I think this contention is inaccurate. 

Christians often have to chose between what members of “their” group want and following the Gospel. These choices are painful. They frequently result in bitter accusations of betrayal and hypocrisy directed at the Christian by their former friends.

I don’t know Cardinal O’brien, but I do know many gay people, some of whom are deeply committed followers of Christ. At this point in history homosexuals’ standing under the law is in flux. When the question concerns things like civil rights, there is no conflict for a homosexual and their Christian beliefs. In fact, Christianity is, or should be, their strongest advocate.

But the question of gay marriage puts homosexual Christians to the test. If they are a priest or someone else in Christian leadership, the conflict will be even sharper for them simply because they can not sidestep it. They will have to chose between following Christ in matters such as the legal definition of marriage and following the gay community, and they will have to do it publicly.  

Before anyone goes off and throws a pity party for homosexual Christians, I would like you to consider the challenges that women face in their fealty to Christ. The whole question of abortion balances on the shoulders of young women, many of whom are in desperate situations and who were brought to this pass by brutality and misogyny which is often ignored and allowed by various religious leaders. Yet women who follow Christ may not, can not, advocate for the killing of innocents. We are forced instead to advocate for an end to the brutality of abortion and at the same time work for an end to the brutality of misogyny.

That can be difficult, but it is our call as Christian women.

In a similar fashion, Christians who are also homosexuals are called to live out their Christian walk as people who have been the objects of discrimination but who may not take the easy route of following the crowd as they work against this discrimination. They must, like all the rest of us, chose Christ.

It just doesn’t jibe with me that every person who experiences same-sex sexual attraction must, by definition, think and behave exactly like every other person who experiences same-sex sexual attraction. It certainly does not apply to Christians, who must, by definition, be the change agents for the Gospel in a fallen world.

The way that fits Cardinal O’brien’s situation, as well as every other priest, is that whether or they are homosexual or heterosexual, they must be priests and Christians first. It is not hypocrisy for a priest to follow the teachings of his Church. I think it would be hypocrisy for him to do otherwise.

I am not defending Cardinal O’brien. I don’t know him. I don’t know his accusers. I am aware that, as often happens, there may be other charges that come to the fore that change my evaluation of him.

However, as of now, I do not see him as a hypocrite. I see him as a human being who has sinned, but who has also remained faithful to his charge as an officer of the Church.

Every single human being sins. Sexual sin, simply because the temptations are so powerful and universal, are the downfall of many people. However, in my opinion (and this is just my opinion, not any Church teaching) sexual sin like this, which involves adults in a consenting situation, is perhaps one of the most understandable of sins, coming as it does from our longing to love and be loved.

Is a homosexual priest who follows the teachings of the Church concerning marriage a hypocrite who deserves to be pilloried and disgraced? Absolutely not. 

If the men who made these accusations against Cardinal O’brien were, indeed, politically motivated, they were successful. They have done much harm to the cause of traditional marriage in Britain. They have also made certain that someone who supports Church teaching will not take part in the election of the next pope.

If that was their motivation, they need to look at themselves as people. I am appalled by the tactics the gay rights movement sometimes uses in their fight to redefine marriage. If that is what they did, then I would say that Cardinal O’brien is something of a social martyr for the Church.

A Telegraph news article about Cardinal O’brien’s situation says in part:

The Cardinal Keith O’Brien Downfall video had been ready to run for ages. The story of three priests and one ex-priest complaining of inappropriate behaviour was timed to break when the Scottish prelate retired at 75 next month. The aim was to expose his alleged hypocrisy. To quote our blogger Stephen Hough, responding in the comments to his blog post yesterday, “I’m convinced that what he did (if he did it) was harmless enough, but he may not have thought it harmless if he’d caught other priests doing it … at least until this week.” If the scandal had come to light next month, that would have been nicely timed to ruin the Cardinal’s reputation just when the media would be running retrospective pieces about him. And, of course, it would throw a spotlight on O’Brien’s passionate opposition to gay marriage, effectively silencing the Scottish Catholic Church on this subject, and probably the Church in the rest of Britain, too.

What no one could have guessed is that Pope Benedict would resign, meaning that Cardinal O’Brien would be the only Briton with a vote in the next conclave. The Observer story was brought forward, with devastating results. The four complainants had the good sense – and, arguably, the courage – to inform the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, of their claims. (Mennini, it should be noted, is not in the pocket of the British bishops to the extent that previous ambassadors have been.) So the Vatican already had a file on Britain’s senior Catholic churchman, and Pope Benedict, on being informed of its contents, decided to bring forward O’Brien’s resignation as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. In other words, the alleged victims of these inappropriate acts were helped by something that the Church’s critics have often refused to recognise: Joseph Ratzinger’s determination to purify the Church of sex abuse, right up until the last week of his pontificate. (Read more here.)

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  • Theodore Seeber

    I would hope that a *Same Sex Attracted* priest would have the presence of mind not to hit on other priests- and avoid, as much as humanly possible, occasions of sin such as public drunkedness.

    But then again, I live in Oregon where Fr. Angel Perez was arrested in the last year for pretty much the same crime, magnified by the fact that his victim was a minor and was invited over to his house, and somehow in Fr Angel’s alcohol-addled brain he thought taking pictures of the boy while he slept was a good idea.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Ted, I think the situation you are referring to is entirely different on several counts. First, the priest in question was attempting to molest a child, and took porn photos of a child. Second, this happened recently. The situation with Cardinal O’brien involved adults in a consensual situation and it happened 30 years ago. I think that is significant because people who sin (and that’s all of us) can and do repent and change in 30 years.
      If I hear that the Cardinal has been a constant rapscallion for all that time, I will revise that part of my assessment.
      However, it in no way affects my opinion that gay priests who support traditional marriage are demonstrating integrity, rather than hypocrisy. That kind of fealty is something all Christians, gay and straight, are called to.
      Also, a change in the Cardinal’s story would not change my opinion that the tactics of “outing” and purposely disgracing gay priests as a reprisal for them standing with their Church is an appalling tactic. I think we need to stand with our priests when people try to use these terror tactics against them.

      • midwestlady

        These maladies cannot be cured. So, you’re claiming the same exact thing the bishops claimed 20 years ago–the thing that backfired because it’s bogus and wrong. As a point of fact, people do not get over this. When a man is assigned to a place and he sexually abuses others, the next assignment is not going to be different, nor is the one after that. We all know that now, or at least we’d ought to know it after all the evidence that exists.

        What you’re suggesting is that we do the same thing over and over, but expect somehow magically to get a different result just because we want it to be so. But it will not be so. It doesn’t work that way.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I am not suggesting that the abuse of children should ever be overlooked or that anyone who does it should be left in ministry — or free to walk about, for that matter. I believe in a life sentence without parole for child abusers. However, one adult making a pass at another adult is not the same thing. When a priest does this it’s wrong. No question there. But it’s possible for a man to do something like this and repent and change. Thirty years is a long time to hold someone’s life hostage over making a pass, in my opinion.

        • Theodore Seeber

          Rebecca is right, theologically however. Yes, these maladies can’t be cured through therapy or drugs, and left alone, they will get worse, not better.

          But Catholicism *does* offer something that can help that the secular world just doesn’t seem to understand- forgiveness and repentance. But to get there, you’ve got to start by admitting what you did is wrong, and I think that’s where the misstep occurs.

  • Paul P.

    ” I am appalled by the tactics the gay rights movement sometimes uses in their fight to redefine marriage. ”

    Gays are equally appalled by the tactics of the Catholic Church such as taking advantage of the obedience required of its members to stuff the ballot boxes in opposition to gay marriage.

    • Bain Wellington

      Ballot box stuffing is fraudulent and a criminal offence. I am sure you know that, Paul. Let us allow that you got carried away in the heat of the moment. There is, of course, not the slightest suggestion of ballot box stuffing on Prop 8 (if that is what you were thinking of). In the interest of orderly discourse, you ought to withdraw that slur – otherwise you are simply verifying Rebecca’s objection of the underhand tactics employed by those who promote same-sex “marriage”.

      As a further matter, if the Catholic Church calls on her members to follow her teaching, it is incorrect (as a matter of mere language) to call that a “tactic”. If one thing can be admitted by her opponents, it is that the Church is consistent and undeviating in her teaching on sexual morality and on the truth about man and marriage – tactics don’t enter into it, unless, of course, you really do stand by your slur that bishops and/or priests promoted fraudulent and illegal voting. In which case details would be necessary if you want to be taken seriously.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    The Catholic Church simply does what is its job: It hands forward 2,000-year-old Christian teachings through encyclicals, pastoral letters, homilies and liturgy. If people choose to vote according to their beliefs — and these are the beliefs of many hundreds of millions of people — that is not because the Church is “taking advantage” of them. That is their right as free Americans.
    The business of threatening, slandering, hazing and trying to take away people’s livelihoods for disagreeing with them has become an often-used tactic of those who are working to change the marriage laws to create a legal entity we call gay marriage. Much of this behavior is the exact opposite of what you would expect from a group of people who claim that they are fighting for human rights, since they are using tactics that violate the human rights of other people to push forward their ideas.
    Yes, I find this appalling.
    No, I do not think your comment is logically consistent.

  • Paul P.

    “The business of threatening, slandering, hazing and trying to take away people’s livelihoods for disagreeing with them has become an often-used tactic of those who are working to change the marriage laws to create a legal entity we call gay marriage.”

    I think you are stereotyping gays in much the same manner as the stereotyping of Catholics that you resent so much. Years ago, people had the same complaints about blacks. Sure, there were some who returned evil for evil and didn’t follow King’s approach. But there cause was legitimate. The same applies today for gays. There will always be some who respond inappropriately when discriminated again.

    By the way. I just want to politely point out that you are misspelling “choose”.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I am not stereotyping anyone. I am referring to specific actions by specific people — not all people of any persuasion. There are many examples of what I mention here.

      I’m not sure why the choose/chose things does that. It comes up a lot and I’m not sure if it’s a glitch in autocorrect or my typing. When I get in a hurry, I make a lot of typos like that.

    • Theodore Seeber

      The problem being that from basic biology alone, with no religion included at all, the cause of gay marriage is NOT legitimate.

      I did see an interesting theory today suggesting that perhaps a large number of gays and transsexuals are victims of medical malpractice and “coin flipping” in the delivery room to decide gender for hermaphroditic children. Which would indicate a biological basis for the issue, and NO fault on the part of same-sex attracted individuals.

      But to make the logical leap from “they’re victims of a crime and should be treated with equality” to “we need gay marriage because two men raising children is better than a man and a woman doing so” is way too large of a logical leap for me.

  • Paul P.

    My spelling is not so good either as is obvious in that last post.

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    A few points. Both Stephen Hough and Damian Thoompson, the bloggers you quote, are strongly in favour of GM and yet insist on their Catholic identity; indeed, Thompson’s obsession with ritual may lead a reader to mistake him for an orthodox Catholic, until one begins to notice his frequent and sneaky homosexual advocacy. Stephen Hough is so liberal I whether he takes his declared Catholicism as more than a funny joke. Both are homosexual, and I have no reason to believe they are celibate.

    Of course, being homosexual has nothing to do with being in favour of “gay marriage”. The gayest of my friends has argued long, boldly and at length for the absurdity of the notion. But then he is quite clear that homosexuality is a matter of lust, and he enjoys it in that light. He does not suffer from the vindictive insecurity that demands that language, experience, history and identity should all be falsified across the board, with increasingly aggressive sanctions for those who refuse to do so.

  • SteveP

    Rebecca: The word hypocrite is used as a synonym for inconsistent, not by you of course, but by those who level the accusation. It is not an astounding discovery that humans are inconsistent. I would not even be able to count the number of persons in the US who resolved to eat differently starting on 1/1 who have not consistently executed that resolution.
    .
    Hypocrisy, on the other hand, is play-acting. Recall the origin of theater as rites of propitiation – an actor would use a mask (a persona) to become the god or gods invoked in the rite.
    .
    Jesus uses the word in its original sense: He correctly assesses those who are externally holy but do not have an interior disposition of love for God and neighbor – they are play acting holiness.
    .
    All this was a roundabout way to buttress your point; marriage is between a man and a woman. Who would be play-acting wife and husband in a “gay marriage?”

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      My primary point is that gay priests who support traditional marriage are being consistent, not, as so many try to claim, hypocrites. I will support a priest who I feel is being “outed” for malicious, political reasons in order to silence him and make him afraid to do his job as a priest for fear of being made a public spectacle and scare other priests like him into silence. This is about some very nasty politics being practiced by those who advocate for gay marriage.

      • SteveP

        I was agreeing with what you posted but see my comment was too turgid for that agreement to be apparent. The situation was indeed nasty and shows that an accusation is as good as a conviction. As a side note, I am disappointed to the extreme that the priests did not seem to follow the process for fraternal correction (Mt. 18:15).

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Steve I can’t find your other comment. I did not delete it.

          • SteveP

            I believe you. I’m sure I had a “tech-challenged” moment! I hope you get a restful weekend and Sunday. May the peace of Christ be with you and your family.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              And to you and yours as well. :-)

  • Laddie V Mapani

    Christ said of them listen to what they say but do not do what they do.

  • midwestlady

    Yes, and this is exactly WHY they should NEVER ordain homosexual men. Why this is so very difficult for some people to understand is a puzzle. It’s very obvious.

    • Bill S

      Midwestlady,

      If a man earnestly chooses a celibate life, it shouldn’t matter whether his preference is for the same or opposite sex. I think you would be surprised at how many gay priests there are, most of whom live exemplary lives. There is a difference between promiscuity and sexual inclination. You don’t want promiscuous or pedophile priests whether they are gay or straight. And you don’t want to deny a good man a vocation because of his sexual inclination.

      • Theodore Seeber

        Thanks, Bill, I was searching for a way to say exactly the same thing.

        Who you are attracted to should make no difference in a vocation that calls *all* to celibacy.

      • midwestlady

        That’s exactly how we got the child abuse scandals. “As long as I can’t get married anyway, I might as well become a priest, right?” WRONG.

        • Ted Seeber

          That is NOT how we got the child abuse scandals. Bill and I are saying that we *expect* homosexual priests, like heterosexual priests, to give up sexuality all together. NONE of the child abusers lived up to their vow of celibacy.

          • midwestlady

            Well, obviously, your expectations have not been met with reality. The sex abuse scandals (for instance, Boston) did occur and they occurred exactly because there are so many gay priests, and they did not refrain from sexual behavior.

            BTW, let’s get the terminology straight. It may seem like a little thing, but a lot of people are hiding behind the language when it comes to this matter. Celibate means “not married.” Sexually continent means “not having sex.” Chastity is a virtue that an unmarried person has if they are sexually continent. In the Catholic Church, we expect our priests to be celibate and chaste (meaning sexually continent), yes, but it is often the sad case that they are celibate but not chaste (meaning sexually continent) as the various scandals (both hetero and homo) have shown us.

    • Graham

      And what will YOU do when such a draconian move results in a huge number of gay men leaving the church and/or ordained ministry – including good, honest, law abiding, God fearing men who acknowledge their place in the world as gay men but choose to honour their celibacy? The result would be thousands more parishes without a priest.

    • pagansister

      Child abusers are not only homosexual men, but heterosexuals as well. Women are also child abusers. Nuns as well as priests have abused children. Only speaking of the Church here—since that is the discussion right now. No secret that unfortunately all walks of life include those that mistreat children. So to say that one must NEVER ordain homosexual men, would that include lesbian women too, to reject their entry into a religious life? As mentioned below by a couple of posters, if a man happens to be homosexual and wishes to be a priest, then he should have the same chance as a heterosexual man. Both have to (at this time anyhow) agree to a life of celibacy. All child abuse isn’t due to homosexuality.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    “Is a homosexual priest who follows the teachings of the Church concerning marriage a hypocrite who deserves to be pilloried and disgraced? Absolutely not.”

    Agreed. Opposing homosexual marriage is based on reason, not emotional attachment. A homosexual priest who agrees that marriage is between opposite genders as nature intended is applying his reasoning faculties and separating any personal emotional connection.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I think, considering the tactics those who want gay marriage are using, he is also being rather brave. We should support our priests in this.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Definitely agree. All people who have same sex attraction but live according to Juduaic-Christian principles should be admired and and supported. Even those that may not live according to Juduaic-Christian principles but aren’t forcing society to into violating those principles should be supported and admired.

    • Graham

      Absolutely – well put Manny. In reality the question is a non-starter, ( one wonder about the real intention of asking it ). No priest true to his vows – and therein is the key, “true to his vows” – will consider breaking the law of the Church. What conscience dictates is another matter.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com Jessica Hoff

    Priests are human, they are bound to feel sexual attraction, and some may try to act on it; that is sinful. I, too, am a sinner. I am sure the non-sinners can band together to throw a stone. The Cardinal was disobeying Church teaching in one area 30 years ago; that does not stop him defending it now.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Well said Jessica.

  • midwestlady

    There is a solution to this. When I see a priest, I just always assume he’s gay and keep my kids away from him. I’m pretty sure I’m right more often than not. The Catholic Church is an immoral mess.

    • Sus

      While you are so busy protecting your children from gays, I hope you aren’t ignoring all the heterosexual sexual child abusers. Statistically speaking, your kids have a much greater chance of being sexually abused by a heterosexual than they do by a homosexual.

      • midwestlady

        One: I don’t believe that, Sus, and
        Two: The Church is still an immoral mess.

        • Sus

          Thankfully, most people know the truth.

          • midwestlady

            I’m not sure they do because there are a few people, like you, spreading ignorant nonsense about what the Church actually teaches and what’s actually in Scripture on the topic.

            • Ted Seeber

              And here we get to the real truth, midwestlady wants to be her own Pope just like every other Protestant.

              • Rebecca Hamilton

                Don’t get personal Ted.

              • midwestlady

                Some Catholics don’t know what’s in scripture. Are you one of them?
                1 Corinthians 6:9
                “9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral,[b] nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[c][d] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. ”
                Surprise!

                • midwestlady

                  That’s the New Revised Version, Catholic Edition, BTW.

      • Graham

        Well said Sus. Midwestlady – you need to get a life and join the real world, else you’ll have avoid every politician, every rabbi, every builder, every teacher, every pastry cook, every – well every male really.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Graham, try not to get personal. Talk about the issues and ideas, not the person.

          • Graham

            Each of us can become a blessed channel of peace for the healing of Earth’s wounds: We can awaken from apathy and find creative, non-violent ways to transform the abuses rampant in today’s world.

            With respect, as a gay man I take the responses of some on this column as very personal. When people desire to sling mud they should not be surprised at my desire to hose off that mud.

            Sincerely, Graham

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              I understand that you find some of these comments upsetting. Your comments have added a lot — including a refreshing authenticity — to the conversation. I want you to continue making them. Your faith and support of the Church are inspirational to me. However, I speak from years of experience when I say that you’ll do your viewpoint more justice if you focus on the issues and ideas and leave the people out of it.

            • Theodore Seeber

              I still find the very words “gay” and “queer” to be horrendously insulting, even though I’m straight, because they were once used to describe my autistic behaviors as a child.

              Can we say “Same sex attracted” instead? Not all SSA people engage in homosexual behavior, just like not all straight people engage in heterosexual behavior outside of marriage.

  • Bill S

    “When I see a priest, I just always assume he’s gay and keep my kids away from him.”

    That is an insult to gays. At least say pedophile instead of gay. In that case, you would also be prejudiced but at least you would not sound like a complete bigot.

    • Graham

      Yes Bill, as you say, insulting – and that’s a pretty light word to use.

  • midwestlady

    According to the John Jay Report, most of the victims were not small children of both sexes. In fact, 81% of the victims were boys and almost all of those were pre-pubescent and adolescent boys. The perpetrators were NOT pedophiles. They were homosexual statutory rapists.

    • Ted Seeber

      And according to that same report, 97% of priests keep their vow of celibacy and 99% never abused children.

      • midwestlady

        That is not correct, according to the Executive Summary of the John Jay Report. Quote:
        “These different methods both yielded the same statistic: approximately 4% of Catholic
        priests and deacons in active ministry between 1950 and 2002 have been accused of the sexual abuse of a youth under the age of 18.” page 27.
        http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

        • Graham

          For goodness sake – you believe every report you read? Statistics rarely, if ever, match reality. Judging by your earlier comments seemingly you must believe in the statistic that every Catholic priest is an active gay pervert. Give up reading – spend the time spreading a little more love around.

        • CathyLouise

          So, you assume, because 4% of priests between 1950 and 2002 were accused of sexual abuse of a youth, that when you see a priest, he is gay and keep your children away from him? Wow. What about the rest of the world? Do you keep them away from all men? Especially relatives and close family friends? Priests have been a target for a wide variety reasons, some legitimate and others not legitimate, but even a casual awareness of the sexual milleaux of the 20th and now the 21st century would lead one to the the conclusion that the world is full of sexual predators, and they are not limited to men wearing roman collars. For goodness sake, do just a tiny bit of research on sexual predators and incest. It’s appalling.

          • midwestlady

            Yup. And for the same reason I don’t let my kids run in traffic. Both situations can have catastrophic consequences that can change or even end a child’s life. This is not something to be cavalier about.

            • CathyLouise

              midwestlady, so your answer to my question is yes, you do indeed keep your children away from male family members and close family friends because you presume they are sexual predators by virture of their gender?

              • midwestlady

                I keep an eye on my own kids, if that’s what you’re asking, yes. They are our responsibility as their parents.

      • Graham

        Well put Ted. Many of my priest and religious friends are saying, “for goodness sake, leave us alone – we are not all serial rapists.”
        By the way – I was abused by an Anglican nun when I was a child. I very quickly learnt not to taint every nun I ever met with any particular label.

        • Theodore Seeber

          Well put, but incorrect- I had misremembered. It’s more like 80% have kept their vow of celibacy and 96% have never abused children. :-)

  • Bill S

    “With respect, as a gay man I take the responses of some on this column as very personal.”

    I think that some of the people who are so insulting to gays are the same people who feel so insulted themselves to be considered homophobic and bigoted. They think that if they preemptively accuse others of name calling that will give them license to be as homophobic and bigoted as they want.

    • Graham

      Me too!
      “Graham, try not to get personal. Talk about the issues and ideas, not the person.”
      Well it’s very hard not to be personal when I gay and I am being insulted. The research that is quoted is far from safe – as has been proven elsewhere. Of all the known clerical paedophile cases throughout every denomination of the Church over the past 35 years ( since adequate records were begun ) Catholic priests don’t even add up to 2%. Taking into account paedophile abuse across the world – amongst religious and non-religious, the Catholic priest abuses are not even a blip on the radar.
      I am not for one second condoning the bad behaviour of a few Catholic priests, but surely the time has come to put the subject into perspective, and stop finger pointing one group of men. How about one looks at psychological and physical abuse as a whole. In over 25 years of ministry I have met a considerable number of ‘straight’ clergy who can only be described as bullies.
      Christ came on earth to heal, not to condemn, to bring peace, not make war. And that is why I say ‘get a life’ – because that is exactly what Jesus wants – Life!

  • Sus

    midwestlady – I wish you were at the Mass I attended yesterday with my family. The rafters were ringing from the applause and cheers when the Priest introduced a foster child who has their forever home now thanks to two dads who are raising 3 other kids from foster care. I heard the gossip after. Apparently one of the birth moms had another baby she couldn’t take care of. The two dads heard that one of their kids had a sibling in the world and didn’t think it was fair for them to be separated so they decided to add the baby to their family.

    • midwestlady

      It’s a good thing I wasn’t there. I don’t go to parishes who defy the Gospel message. See the Scriptural quote above.

      • pagansister

        :-(

    • pagansister

      Love indeed, Sus. Thanks for sharing your story. Those little ones will not have to continue in the “foster” system and will receive what they deserve—consistent love and care from loving parents. That is simply fantastic—and IMO, is what Christianity is all about. :-)

      • Theodore Seeber

        Good for the kids not to be in the foster system. Bad for the kids not to know the love of a mommy.

      • Theodore Seeber

        Good for the kids not to be in the foster system. Bad for the kids not to know the love of a mommy.

        • pagansister

          “Bad for the kids not to know the love of a mommy”. They will know love and security, Theodore. That is all that is important. In the case mentioned by Sus, the mommy didn’t keep them—they were in foster care for some reason.


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