Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk


Gay priests are not the problem

posted by Mark Silk

That’s the big news out of the John Jay College Final Report on the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, due out at 2 p.m. today, according to David Gibson’s scoop for RNS last night (followed swiftly by NYT’s Laurie Goodstein, who also scored a copy). To wit:

[T]he researchers found no statistical evidence that gay priests were more likely than straight priests to abuse minors—a finding that undermines a favorite talking point of many conservative Catholics. The disproportionate number of adolescent male victims was about opportunity, not preference or pathology, the report states.

What’s more, researchers note that the rise in the number of gay priests from the late 1970s onward actually corresponded with “a decreased incidence of abuse—not an increased incidence of abuse.”

Over at In All Things, Jim Martin rings the changes on why this will come as a surprise to many, pointing specifically to the shortage of “‘public’ models of healthy, mature, loving celibate homosexual priests.” (Mychal Judge, the Franciscan father who died at Ground Zero on 9/11 while serving as chaplain to the FDNY, is a rare exception.) Martin declines, however, to point to the role of those conservative Catholic talkers in fingering gay priests as the problem–above all the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue.

Here, for example, is Donohue back in 2006, arguing on behalf of the Vatican’s decision to keep men with “deeply rooted homosexual tendencies” (whatever that means) out of seminaries:

As I have said many times before, most homosexual priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters are gay. The John Jay [interim] Report made this clear: 81 percent of the victims are male and almost as many are postpubescent. This is not called pedophilia—it is called homosexuality.

But the final report demonstrates (through reliance on diocesan records and live interviews) that just because the victims were boys doesn’t mean that the molesters were gay–any more than the fact that most prison rapes involve male victims doesn’t mean that most prison rapists are gay. For priests, boys were the most readily available targets of sexual opportunity.

Donohue will no doubt embrace the final report’s finding that most offenders were not pedophiles in the strict sense (one of his favorite talking points); the large majority of cases involve boys over the age of 10. But the punchline to the point is that the way to prevent child abuse by priests is to keep gays out of the priesthood. And that, the final report makes clear, is just not true.

Update: Donohue sticks to his guns: “A homosexual is defined by his actions, not his identity.”



Advertisement
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
kenneth

posted May 18, 2011 at 11:33 am


The attitude of Rome and the bishops show that they have learned nothing at all from the suffering. They are coming up with any and all “root causes” of the problem that cast responsibility anywhere but with them and their corrupt culture of secrecy. It’s the gays, it’s the sexual revolution, it’s the liberal media and lawyers out to get us, it’s the psychologists who let us down. Then we have Bill Donoghue as the Dictator of Relativism himself, telling us that because priests were buggering older boys that it’s “not that bad.”

The abuse will continue, at much the same rates that it always has. With the pogroms against same sex attraction and more girl altar servers, we may well see a more diverse population of victims, but the sickness continues to fester…



report abuse
 

plainandsimple

posted May 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm


Sooner or later, we will have to make a decision on which way we go; obviously enough, we cannot go in two directions at the same time. The Church says that being a priest is a vocation and God calls men to the priesthood. If that is not true, then we have to assume that priests are not God’s servants and they enter the priesthood for other resons and upon discovery of their criminal activities they should promptly be prosecuted by legal authorities of their respective countries. However, if it is true that their calling comes from God, then we would have to wonder what kind of a God He is, because we would certainly want someone better to worship.
Which way are we going to go?



report abuse
 

izmir online market

posted May 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm


Gay priests are not the problem,I think this writing very helpful,thank you.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Religion and Public Life. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Latest News Story on Beliefnet Happy Reading!  

posted 3:10:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

The Ayn Rand Republicans
I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network's new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a look. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxCW

posted 7:13:30pm May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Whither evangelicals?
I'm fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels' family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and young daughters left behind in Boone County, Indiana,

posted 9:19:56am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »

No more "social conservatives"
With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it's time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about "social conservatives" as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has happily been using the term since late 2008, when it

posted 8:25:11am May. 20, 2011 | read full post »

So clerical celibacy was not the problem?
Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as celibacy, do not explain the sexual abuse "crisis." Celib

posted 9:50:34am May. 19, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.