Daniel Mattson, author of Why I don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace, has weighed in over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, saying that the church needs to admit that it has a homosexual priest problem and must stop ordaining men with homosexual inclinations to the priesthood.
Mattson is quoted in this report as saying:
What unites all of these scandals is homosexuality in our seminaries and the priesthood: the result of the Church ignoring its own clear directives. I am the sort of man the Catholic Church says shouldn’t be a priest. I take no offence at this teaching. In fact, I agree with it.
He referred to two occasions where the Vatican had definitively declared a prohibition on ordaining homosexual men.
The first was a 1961 directive signed by Pope John XXIII which stated that:
Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.
It also said that seminarians that “sinned gravely against the sixth commandment with a person of the same or opposite sex” were to be “dismissed immediately”.
The second was a 2005 Vatican instruction on the question of homosexuality and the priesthood which states:
The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.
Said Mattson, a longtime member of Courage, the Catholic Church’s worldwide apostolate ministering to persons with same-sex attraction:
I’m convinced that if the Church had heeded its own counsel from 1961 and 2005, we wouldn’t be reeling from the shocking headlines of today.
The Church continues to reel from the Pennsylvania grand jury report released this week detailing decades of sex abuse of some 1,000 known victims by hundreds of clergy in six of the state’s eight dioceses.
The horrific report comes in the wake of the Theodore McCarrick sex abuse revelations coming to light in June, uncovering a long-suspected gay subculture and power network in the Church, which, aside from abuse of children, has also extended to abuse of seminarians and young priests – and entailed cover-ups by Church officials.
Most of the horrific abuse detailed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report involved adolescent boys and young men. This isn’t paedophilia.
He is convinced most homosexual priests are good and holy men, and he said he agrees with Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron who cautioned against scapegoating same-sex attracted men.
But recognising the overwhelming role that homosexuality has played in so many of our past and present scandals is not scapegoating. It’s the Church confronting the truth.
Because the sex scandals of the Church are overwhelmingly homosexual, the Church can no longer risk ordaining men with gay inclinations in the hopes that those inclinations turn out to be transitory. The Church needs mature men, confident in their identity and ready to be spiritual fathers. I love the Church, but I’m not the sort of man the Church needs as a priest.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that American Cardinal Raymond Burke is also blaming the gays for abuse within the church. When asked what lies is at the root of the crisis Burke said:
It seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root. It is of course a tendency that is disordered.
When asked about ways of addressing the problem he stated:
There is no need to develop new procedures. All of the procedures exist in the Church’s discipline, and they have existed throughout the centuries. What is needed is an honest investigation into the alleged situations of grave immorality followed by effective action to sanction those responsible and to be vigilant to prevent that similar situations arise again.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (Burke report)