2013 Favs: The Church has Gay Priests? Duhhhhh


Is there any adult Catholic who attends mass regularly who is unaware that many of our priests are homosexual?

I have a response for this not-so-startling reality.

Big deal.

Pope Francis recently gave a brief press conference during which he took a couple of hard-ball questions about gay priests. He answered them with what you would expect: Honesty.

I’m going to paraphrase rather than quote because I don’t have what I think are good quotes to use. The various permutations of what he said are spread all over the internet. You can find them and be confused by them there.

Basically, if I understand it, he was replying to questions about a specific priest whom he’s appointed to a high position and who may have fallen off the chastity wagon in his past. This particular priest is rumored to be a homosexual.

If what I read is mostly accurate, the Holy Father said that:

1. If a priest is truly seeking to follow Christ, and,

2. He is keeping his vows of chastity now,

3. Then, who is anyone, including the Pope, to cast him out?

When asked about rumors of this particular priest’s scandalous past, he seemed to be saying that these were sins of the past that have been repented and which are not happening now.

All this is in keeping with the Catholic Church I know and love.

The Catholic Church is the most forgiving, most loving place any sin-shamed person can go. I have sins in my past that are not only really bad ones, but that were extremely public. I can tell you from personal experience that forgiveness is not to be found just anywhere. I was not forgiven, ever, by some people. They basically cast me out of the Christian universe over things I had done 20 or 30 years before.

I didn’t come to the Catholic Church seeking forgiveness. I came because Christ in the Eucharist called me with an insistent call. But one of the things I found is the first genuine forgiveness I had ever encountered.

So for me it’s a simple equation. If I can be forgiven, then some homosexual priest who fell off the chastity wagon once upon a time, deserves forgiveness, as well.

Not, notice, my forgiveness. This hypothetical priest hasn’t done anything to me. I don’t need to forgive him. He and I are square. He deserves forgiveness from the same place where we all go for it: The wounded and loving Heart of Jesus. The blood that flowed from Jesus’ side fell on homosexuals, just as it did everyone else.

There is no sin so dark that He can’t forgive it. There is no hurt so deep that He can’t heal it. And there is no person so broken that He can’t use them to build His Kingdom.

What I ask of a priest is sincerity and authenticity of purpose. I want priests who are all in for Jesus and who have what it takes to lead us through the challenges that are coming as part of this post-Christian world in which we now live.

That means I want priests who stand for holy matrimony, who stand for life, who will not back down and run away when the Church is attacked by secular forces. The priesthood is a leadership position. I want priests who will lead God’s people through the morass, who can hold their little flocks together in the storm and deliver them safely to heaven.

Those are big things I’m asking. They are far beyond the ability of any human being, gay or straight. Only priests who are, as I said, all in for Jesus can do them, because they are possible only if they are attempted with heavy doses of heavenly grace.

We need priests who give themselves to Jesus through Our Lady in such a profound way that they can, in obedience to their bishops, be the leaders God needs for these times.

I don’t care if a priest is gay. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

What I want is true priests, holy priests, who are for-real followers of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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  • pagansister

    Rebecca, isn’t this a different view than that of the previous Pope? Didn’t Pope Benedict say he would not allow gay men to be priests? I may not be accurate here at all, thus I’m asking. IMO, the priests who were molesting children weren’t all gay or straight –they were child molesters which has nothing to do with, IMO, their sexual orientation. I’m obviously not an expert. Pope Francis seems to understand that whether a priest is gay or straight, if he is willing to live a chaste life, then he is welcome.

    • savvy

      The way I understand this, this was a short-term ban, for certain reasons. There is still the old line of thinking out there that you become a priest because you cannot find a woman or if your a woman and cannot find a man, or are not good looking, “it’s get thee to a nunnery”.

      I know that seminaries no longer allow you to sign up to try the life out, unless you demonstrate signs of a vocation.

      Not all gay men have a vocation, and not all straight men do either.

      • buildamoat

        (The “nunnery” is a brothel, in Hamlet’s context. But I suppose you could do that, as well.)

    • KyriaGrace

      Benedict also understood that. During the reign of Benedict, the Holy See issued a document saying that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not be ordained to the priesthood. That was to do with formation of priests. Pope Francis is talking about forgiving a priest who has sinned and been forgiven. Priests are human; they sin.

      This is the relevant document: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html

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

      I think the issue is openly gay priest. I am not aware of any priest who claims to be gay, with celebacy of course. But then again I’m not aware of any priest openly saying they are heterosexual either.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        The only one I ever heard do so, left the priesthood to get married. He did so at exactly the wrong time economically, I hear he’s still struggling.

    • Rick Connor

      I think Pope Benedict said that men with “deep seated” homosexual tendencies should not be ordained. This is generally assumed to mean men who are sexually active, use porn, or who cannot break a significant masturbation habit. I pretty sure there is no issue with ordaining gay men who have been able to live chastely for several years.

    • Sus_1

      We had a gay priest come and speak at our church. He said one of the reasons he decided to become a priest was that it would be easier to live a chaste life. He said he knew he was gay by age 13 (even earlier but he didn’t know what it meant) and knew nothing could change him. He thinks he was born that way.

      I didn’t ask if he was still living a chaste life. I assumed it since he is a priest.

  • Michael O’Keefe

    “In fountains so clear in which all may find pardon,
    From Jesus’ heart flows in endless redemption;
    Though your sins were raised as high as a mountain
    The blood flows most freely from Jesus the fountain”
    -American Hymn

  • FW Ken

    It’s worth noting that the pope is saying these things about same-sex attracted lay persons as well. Of course, the press is acting like this is something new, as though it hasn’t been in the catechism for years.


    That title doesn’t reflect the content accurately. He’s not just talking about priests.
    It’s true that the specific context of current remarks is the appointment to the Vatican Bank of a man who, 10 years ago, was a … what’s the word?… rounder? There are some media types (and some Catholics) who have been trying to stir the pot over that appointment , but frankly, I don’t care what floats the guy’s boat. Is he honest? Is he a good money manager? Is he part of that shadowy “gay cabal” in the Vatican? If the answers are “Yes”, “Yes” and “No”, then let him have a shot at cleaning up the Bank. If he were also a pastor, it would be appropriate to see if he affirms the catechism on same-sex acts.

  • Dave

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock and missed all the abuse scandals of (mostly) pubescent boys, everyone in the world knows well that there are priests with a homosexual orientation.

    As far as this particular priest, Pope Francis said he looked into the allegation and didn’t find it to be well substantiated.

    In general I agree with your comments, but I do think extra care is required to evaluate seminarians with a homosexual tendency. That can be a problem for some, when most of their close relationships are with their fellow priests.

    • Sus_1

      There are many more heterosexual abusing priests than there are gay abusing priests.

      • FW Ken

        Nor on a percentage basis. I’m fact, the percentage of abusers, gay or straight, is quite low.

        • Pofarmer

          The percentage of abusers, when you look at the general population comparison, is pretty darned high. I figured it back by the council of catholic bishops study, to how many cases there should have been in our little town if the rate of offense was the same in the general population as it was in the Catholic Church, and it was pretty mind boggling.

          • FW Ken


            The percentage of priests accused between 1950 and 2002 was between 4 and 5%. A study done earlier in Chicago suggests that about a third of cases were not credible. But stick with the 5% for now.


            That article claims that a conservative estimate of men in general who abuse is 10% or more.

            • Pofarmer

              I think that’s pretty clearly false. That would mean that in my little town of 12,000, there are currently 1200 child abusers walking around. 1200. Even if only 20% of cases got reported, that would be 120 cases in an unspecified period. Our jail should be full of child abusers, right? And yet, it’s not. You don’t read about the epidemic of child abuse in the local papers, etc. Don’t see it in the courthouse docket, so, why not?

              • hamiltonr

                I was one of the founders of the YWCA Rape Crisis Center here in Oklahoma. We were all astonished by the amount of sexual abuse of children by family members that was reported to us. Almost none of them had gone to the police. The abusers — especially when it’s dear old dad — are skilled at getting little children to not “tell on” them. I also represent a lot of people. I don’t have numbers, and I would question any number, since it is largely derivative, but it’s high. Very high.

                • FW Ken

                  When I was looking for percentages on abusers, I wrote to Fr. Andrew Greeley (a very good sociologist). He didn’t have a percentage of adults who abuse, but he wrote back that the accepted percentage of child victims is 17%. That’s nearly one in 5 kids sexually abused.

                • FW Ken

                  Rebecca, I don’t know what you found about cases that went to the police, but a huge untold story in the Catholic scandals has been how law enforcement handles cases. The image, of course, is that bishops don’t call the police, but at least some did. How many did call the police? You don’t know, do you. Isn’t that interesting.
                  But moving on, what happened when the cops were called? I know of at least two cases. In Oakland, Calif., a priest tied up 2 boys and molested them. He got misdemeanor convictions for lewd conduct. In a Texas case, the Archdiocese of San Antonio was told by police that one of his priests had commited “custodial interference”. The priest actually held a boy at gunpoint and raped him. Archbishop Weakland once called the police on a molesting priest and they didn’t do anything.
                  Almost every week I encounter a case where Indency with a Child, or even Agg Sex Assault of a Child have been pled down to Injury to a Child. That means the perp doesn’t register as a sex offender and I can’t impose restrictions on his to keep him away from kids. Actually, we are getting pretty good at working around that, but it takes a major process and they still don’t register.
                  This is a huge issue but it’s cheap and easy to go after the Church.

              • FW Ken

                Most cases are within the family and in fact don’t get reported. In any case, stats don’t work well on a small scale: I would not expect a small town to harbor lots of offenders. People are too much in other people’s business.
                Sex offenders are my day job and I have asked a lot of researchers about this number. One opined that it is 8% of all men (yes, most are men) so that was always the number I used until I found the Newsweek/Beast article. That 5% of priests is still lower than 8%. You can talk about cases that aren’t brought to light, but that’s true across the board so you can only use the numbers to compare across groups.
                The real problem comes when you want to propose that the Catholic Church has a special problem with child abuse, particularly if you want to blame clerical celibacy or teachings on sexual ethics. The facts don’t support you. Studies of protestant clergy (and all professions that put men in contact with kids) show rates about the same as Catholic priests, or slightly higher. It is true that our clergy are more likely to abuse boys than girls, but that’s a function of having more same-sex attracted men among our clergy. Whatever the sexual proclivities of priests, however, your kids are statistically safer at a diocesan meeting of priests than at a family reunion.

                • Pofarmer

                  “The real problem comes when you want to propose that the Catholic Church has a special problem with child abuse, particularly if you want to blame clerical celibacy or teachings on sexual ethics. The facts don’t support you”

                  So, let’s say that’s true. With all the Church’s teaching on sex, sexual morality, etc, etc, why aren’t the numbers better? And, beyond that, why has the Catholic heirarchy systematically covered it up? Even up into the KC case?

                  • FW Ken

                    Why aren’t the numbers better than what? What makes you think that rules “make” all people follow them.
                    Now, I can get behind a good rant about the bishops (except for Bp. Finn, who got railroaded), The relatively few miscreant priests were never the real problem; the real problem is that the bishops didn’t handle them correctly. I can only suggest you read Phillip Jenkins “Pedophile and Priests”. He explains from a sociological viewpoint what happened. Basically, the bishops bought into the modern view that the behavior was a sickness that psychologists could cure. In the old days, priests in trouble were sent to monasteries, lately, they were sent to treatment. As to why they didn’t report it to the cops, often the families asked that they not, or the cops blew them off (see my other comment). This is the way these things used to be handled.
                    Finally, as someone who actually spends his days trying to make the community safer for kids, I find it rather precious when people use the suffering of those kids as an occasion for spitting on Catholics. If you are so concerned about child welfare, there are many ways to help.

                    • Pofarmer

                      “If you are so concerned about child welfare, there are many ways to help.”

                      Why do you assume I’m not?

                • Sus_1

                  I liked your comment only because it’s true. Disgusting, but true.

      • Sus_1

        I shouldn’t have said this in the present tense. I find it hard to believe that any abuse could happen today. From what I see, at no time is a Priest alone with kid(s) without other adults.

        • Pofarmer

          We just had a case tried in Kansas City last summer, where a Priest was MAKING child porn. He pled guilty, the local Bishop was charged with obstruction of justice for not reporting it, even though he knew about it, so yes, it is still going on, and it is still being covered up.

          • FW Ken

            Actually, the diocese went to the police with what they had and were told it wasn’t pornographic. There are real rotters in the episcopate, but Bp. Finn isn’t one of them. As far as I can tell, his real crime was not being telepathic.

            • Pofarmer

              My understanding ia that a computer tech that was repairing the priests computer went to the police.

              • FW Ken

                No, a computer tech went to the diocese with what he found. A diocesan official checked it out. I have had the occasion of going to the police with a situation I thought to be abuse (a man watching porn with a young child present). They also told me it wasn’t a legal matter. So I am somewhat more sympathetic to their story.

                Which is not to say that these things don’t still happen. Of course they do, as they will in any organization this large. There are bad priests and bad bishops, just as there are bad lay folk. And not just sexually bad.

                • Pofarmer

                  The charges stemmed from the church’s handling of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, on whose laptop computer a diocesan vendor found hundreds of lewd photos of young girls in December 2010.

                  Finn’s second-in-command at the diocese, Monsignor Robert Murphy, did not report the photographs to police for five months.

                  In announcing his verdicts, Torrence said he acquitted Finn of the failure-to-report count that covered Dec. 17, 2010, to Feb. 10, 2011, saying that prosecutors had not met their burden of proof.

                  He convicted Finn of the count covering Feb. 11 through May 18, 2011. On Feb. 10, 2011, Finn sent Ratigan a letter limiting his exposure to children, computers and cameras. That letter suggested that the bishop clearly was aware of his priest’s threat to children, prosecutors argued.

                  Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/06/3800269/bishop-finn-verdict-guilty.html#storylink=cpy

                  Outrage grew when it became known that Bishop Robert Finn and other Diocese officials were aware of Ratigan’s photos – found on his laptop computer – in December 2010, but failed to notify authorities for several months.

                  And though Finn ordered Ratigan to stay away from children, no warnings were issued to parents, and Ratigan did subsequently engage in activities with children before another Diocese official finally reported the situation to police in May 2011.

                  Both Finn and the Diocese are now facing criminal charges for failing to report the photos they found on Ratigan’s laptop computer. Finn is the highest-ranking Catholic official to face criminal charges in connection with a sexual abuse case involving a priest.

                  The diocese and Finn have argued in court filings that there was no legal duty to report the photos, and also that the photographs did not constitute child pornography.

      • Dave

        That is pretty hard to believe, since 80% of the abuse has involved boys.

    • buildamoat

      Homosexuality is not the same thing as pedophilia, and Christians that perpetuate that lie are only harming their gay brothers and sisters. Please stop doing this.

      • Dave

        It’s not the same thing, of course not. But it’s clearly homosexual if a man abuses boys, and clearly heterosexual if a male abuses girls.

        I’m eagerly awaiting the argument which defends the proposition that a man abusing boys is actually a heterosexual behavior.

        • FW Ken

          I’ve read that argument, Dave. It’s something about abusing priests having access to more boys than girls. It’s more likely due to the higher percentage of same-sex attracted men in the priesthood. It’s nonsense of course. Most of the boys were pubescent or adolescent young men.

          This is one of the reasons I avoid using “gay” and “homosexuality” most of the time. They are weasel words that change meaning and contribute to bait-and-switch argumentation. Just like they bait you with “homosexuals are no more likely to be pedophiles”, then switch “pedophiles” to include adolescents.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I see this as yet another case of the mass media not knowing authentic Catholic teaching from a hole in the ground. They must use the Big Green Book, if they even own one, as a doorstop.

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

    The question is, can a priest be openly gay? I am not aware of any openly gay priest, who is celebate of course.

    • Dale

      There have been a few which the news media have reported on. Here is one:

      I think the real question is can any priest, gay or straight, be open about his feelings of sexual attraction? Should they be past such things? Or is there pastoral value in admitting to a struggle shared by parishioners?

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

        Interesting. Thanks. Intuitively it doesn’t feel like it’s a good idea to be openly hmomsexual or heterosexual. While I can see how that priest could be helpful to same sex attracted people, it’s kind of jarring to have a priest announce his sexuality.

    • FW Ken

      I don’t usually use the term “gay” for same-sex attracted persons unless they identify themselves that way. I know same-sex attracted men who say they are “homosexual but not gay”. I think of “gay” more as a social identity based upon a psychological condition. Therefore, a faithful priest afflicted with same-sex attractions would not be “gay” in my book. I just didn’t feel like throwing that into the mix before since Rebecca used the term.

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

        OK. I use the terms interchanble but perhaps there is a distinction.

    • hamiltonr

      I’ve been thinking about this since you made the comment Manny, and, speaking just for myself, I don’t know why any of us need to know things like this about our priests. Frankly, I’d just as soon not hear all about their sexual problems.

      What I want from them is an authentic priesthood that, by definition, means that they do not engage in sexual activity, whatever activity it is that tempts them.

      I do think that people who can’t control themselves sexually should not be priests, or deacons or in any other responsible position in the Church. I don’t want to learn that the choir director is having affairs or that the head of the RCIA is addicted to porn, or that the school principal goes to “gentleman’s clubs.” I also don’t want to learn that they are addicted to drugs or robbing banks on the side, either.

      In short, we all sin, but flagrant, continuous and deliberate violation of the Commandments (mortal sin) should disqualify a person from Church leadership positions. A person like that is in need of conversion.

      Before you ask, I think the same goes for those who advocate for abortion or gay marriage, etc.

      Not that we should stone them. But they shouldn’t be in leadership positions, or held up as examples. They need conversion.

      • AnneG

        Well said. I agree. I don’t mind walking beside my brothers and sisters and carrying burdens with them, but everybody does not need to know.

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

        I agree. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t know of any openly heterosexual priests either. Their sexual orientation is completely unknown.

      • irena mangone

        Glad you don’t advocate stoning. Neither did Jesus ref. adultorous woman incidentally where was the man and why was he not up for punishment

    • Sus_1

      I would say a gay priest could be as open as a heterosexual priest is.

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

        I don’t know of any openly heterosexual priests either…lol.

        • Sus_1

          Me either, lol. I just it would the same.

  • AnneG

    Wait! Y’all are going way beyond the question and PF’s answer. The first question was specifically about Msgr Ricca. Pope Francis said that some of the accusations refer to sins committed as a youth. Then, he was asked about a gay lobby. First, he replied that he hadn’t seen anyone with a gay lobby ID card. He made clear that sin is sin, then referred to the Catechism for teaching about same sex attraction. He then said almost exactly what Rebecca said about forgiveness of sin. There is a huge disconnect between the Spanish and translations.
    One thing, Rebecca. I believe the Church teaches that each individual’s sin does harm to us all. That is why we pray for repentance and reparation and why correcting error is so important. But, once forgiven, it is gone, except for the reparations we owe.

  • Joseph X.

    Beautiful post, thank you. I wish others could see how forgiving and wonderful the Church is.

    • hamiltonr

      Thank you Joseph.

  • pagansister

    Thanks all of you who were kind enough to answer my question, of several hours ago. I appreciate it! I’m so far very impressed with the personality of Pope Francis. He seems much more at ease with the faithful than Pope Benedict was.

    • FW Ken

      He a South American pastor; Papa Benedict is a German academic. However, during his years as head of the CDF, he often slipped down to the parish nearby and played bacci ball with the other old men. He married their children and baptized their grandchildren. Papa Francis is more outgoing, but it had nothing to do with “being comfortable with the faithful”. They came in the millions to WYD in Sydney, too.

      It doesn’t hurt that the press was predisposed to hate God’s Rottweiler.

      • pagansister

        I tend to agree that the press wasn’t a huge fan of Pope Benedict.

  • Pofarmer

    I don’t know what the numbers are. I’ve seen numbers saying anywhere from 25% To 60% of Catholic priests are homosexuals. 35 to 45% seems like a fair number. Am I the only one who sees putting someone in a position of preaching against their own tendencies as a problem? No matter if you are sexually active or not, preaching against the way you just ARE has got to be rattling. Setting someone up for that kind of self loathing can’t be good, and would explain a lot.

    • hamiltonr

      No one preaches against what homosexuals are. As for gay priests preaching against their own tendencies, I have never heard a priest preach specifically on any sin. Rather, they try to teach what the Scripture readings of the particular mass mean. However anyone who says that sin is wrong is preaching against his or her “own tendencies.” We ALL have a tendency to sin.

      The Church will never say that sin is not sin, no matter how organized and vocal a particular group of people are in lobbying for a particular sin.

      I repeat: The tendency to sin is universal. We all have tendencies to sin.

      • Pofarmer

        It’s pretty hard to see the tendency to love another person, that is a biological fact, and not some man made bedevilment, as a sin. As a priest, you know that the Church is against Gay marriage, and against homosexuality in general, and you are forced to live by those rules. How in the world, can you not see that as the Church being against homosexuals, and therefore against your own interests? It strains credulity that folks can’t understand this.

        • hamiltonr

          Pofarmer, you seem to be under the impression that priests are conscripted and forced into the priesthood against their wills. Actually, it is not only voluntary, but they have to go through extensive screening before entering seminary and then during and after seminary they are educated in these matters extensively. They serve as deacons before they are ordained, which again, is entirely a voluntary act on their part, and which gives them a taste of real pastoral work. Even after they are ordained, they are free to leave the priesthood at any time.

          Not one of these men is “forced to live by those rules.” This is a complete fabrication.

          If they don’t believe what the Church teaches after all this, then they are, to be blunt, liars and phonies. I am not talking about someone who finds himself struggling with a teaching for a time. I am talking about someone who is ripping off the priesthood for his own reasons. This has nothing at all to do with the Church being “against homosexuals.” But it does have quite a lot to do with the integrity of the man.

          You say in another comment elsewhere, “Man, I really do hate the Catholic Church.” I think that’s the real point to this line of commentary.

          • Pofarmer

            It’s true, I despise the Catholic Church, both for what it has done to me and my family, and what it has done to others, and what it has failed to do recently of it’s own accord to account for it’s own misdoings. But that is not the issue here. The issue here is that, while being technically voluntary, the Church has encouraged gay men to enter the Clergy almost as a form of treatment. Why else would the number of homosexuals in the Catholic Clergy be so high? The Catholic Church wields it’s theology with some force, and I imagine that a lot of these men go in thinking that they are damaged and need to be “saved” by service to the church or some such. So, yes, I’d say it is a voluntary type of flagellation that they undertake.

            • hamiltonr

              The argument you are making is entirely spurious. You are just making up things to try to support your position, which itself has no merit.

              There’s no reason to answer this nonsense. It’s untrue on its face.

              • Pofarmer

                I dunno, I don’t think it’s any more nonsense than the pat Catholic excuse that “Priests aren’t any worse about abusing kids than anyone else.” How good of an answer is that for guys that are supposed to stand in as substitutes for Christ?

                • hamiltonr

                  That’s a deliberate red herring, but I’ll answer it. It is far worse when someone who speaks for Christ does something so heinous to a child, for many reasons. That is part of the responsibility of the priesthood, that your actions are far reaching and consequential in way that another person’s would not be.

                  You do know Pofarmer, that what you’ve been doing with this entire line of argument is making a case against allowing homosexuals into the priesthood, and that I am trying to take the other side and defend homosexual priests?

                  With friends like you, your fellow homosexuals who are also priests don’t need any enemies.

                • FW Ken

                  You imagine a lot of things, Pofarmer, and refuse to face plain facts. That’s pretty common for those who hate us.
                  Best wishes.

        • FW Ken

          Straw man arguments and simple falsehoods. Same-sex attraction is not a biological fact. Same-sex attraction is not like race. And while Christians might be wrong, it’s simplistic to speak of Christian (and all religious persons) as imposing a “man made devilment” on humanity. It’s the gay rights advocates imposing their unsubstantiated beliefs on the rest of us.

          Of course, if same-sex acts are against our created nature, they are destructive of our humanity and our bodies (medical data supports this), so who is “against homosexuals” is an open question.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          You have love and lust confused (as a 16 year old girl once told me- and she was right).

  • FW Ken

    Rebecca – I apologize for posting so much, but there is one more thing I have to say on this subject.

    A senior priest in our diocese had, it turned out, abused a 12 year old boy 38 years before. This was before the Boston scandal. He was sent to “treatment” and put out to pasture assisting in a poor parish in the diocese. Of course, everyone knew everything – the diocesan paper broke the story.

    When he died. the Vigil and the funeral were packed, grown men – who had many of them been in his youth group – wept, and I have never seen such affection at a funeral. Old people and young passed the casket, patted his chest and touched his hands with deep emotion.

    God forgives and heals.

    • hamiltonr

      Ken, your comments are always thoughtful and edifying. I learn from them, as, I would guess, many other do as well. Thank you for your contributions to Public Catholic. Feel free to post as often as you want.

      • Bill S

        Just once I wish you would say the same thing to me :).

        • Sus_1

          Well, my fur was up about pedophilia and homosexuals but I was sitting on my hands trying to follow Church teachings.

          Thank you for making me laugh.

          • Bill S

            I only say that because my best responses never see the light of day. Glad you appreciated my attempt at some levity.

            • Sus_1

              Whew! My fur is up again reading all this. This exchange made me laugh again though!

      • FW Ken

        You are very kind and hospitable. Thank you.

  • Bill S

    “When asked about rumors of this particular priest’s scandalous past, he seemed to be saying that these were sins of the past that have been repented and which are not happening now.”

    As harsh a critic of the Catholic Church as I am because of the side it takes in controversial political issues, there is one thing that it does better than just about anyone else. It lets you put your past behind you. For things you are doing now or want to do in the future, forgetaboutit! But, as far as what you have done in the past, there is not a better advocate to be found anywhere.