Catholic League on NYT editorial about nuns… dissident nuns, of course

From The Catholic League:

New York Times Finds Good Nuns

September 18, 2012

Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in today’s New York Times:

The editorial, “Speaking the Truth to the Vatican,” sounds so macho, especially coming from the unmanly New York Times. This time the editorial board is informing us that they have found some nuns they actually admire. Naturally, they are the dissident ones.

Though the internal affairs of the Catholic Church are no more the business of the New York Times than it is the business of the Vatican to police the newspaper’s personnel matters (the Vatican would never show such chutzpah), if they are going to stick their nose in, they should at least be accurate.

It is not true that there are no “serious doctrinal problems” or “radical feminist” issues in the ranks of some orders of nuns. Want proof? Just pick up a copy of the National Catholic Reporter where they are celebrated.

It is not true that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious represents most of the 57,000 nuns—only 1,700 pay dues.

It is not true that “much of the Roman Catholic laity has registered outrage” about Vatican inquiries into rogue nuns; most could care less.

It is not true that there is a “pedophilia scandal” in the Catholic Church: there was a homosexual scandal, but its heyday, the mid-60s to the mid-80s, is long gone.

If the Times wants to meet nuns who have never been the subject of Vatican concerns, it should do a story on any one of the orders that comprise the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious; all are loyal daughters of the Church. For that reason alone, though, they are not likely to attract the applause of the Times.

Contact our director of communications about Donohue’s remarks:
Jeff Field
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: cl@catholicleague.org

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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56 Responses to Catholic League on NYT editorial about nuns… dissident nuns, of course

  1. disco says:

    In the NYT’s defense: to its understanding, the only “doctrinal problem” is doctrine itself. To the times, radical feminism doesn’t exist. What we call “radical feminism”, they call responsible expression of gender equality.

    They are of course the mouthpiece of the servants of the evil one and are content to call evil good and good evil for as long as they can afford to put ink on their filthy anti-catholic rag.

  2. frjim4321 says:

    It is not true that there is a “pedophilia scandal” in the Catholic Church: there was a homosexual scandal, but its heyday, the mid-60s to the mid-80s, is long gone.

    An unproven myth that contracts the bishops’ own and the only empirical studies of the topic produced by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

    Scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis is a vile, ignorant practice. Fortunately I don’t think many Catholics either know of or pay any attention to Bill Donohue. I suspect if I were to poll my parishioners only a handful of 70+ females would know him.

    In my personal opinion Donohue is an ugly and disgusting man who makes of mockery of the church any time he presumes to speak in its defense.

  3. Sissy says:

    Father Jim, if I recall, the John Jay report demonstrated that there was a problem with pederasty, rather than a pedophilia crisis.

  4. acardnal says:

    Actually, FrJim, 75 percent of the priests were hebephiles – the majority of the victims as reported in the John Jay Report were between 11 and 17 years of age.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/some-key-misunderstandings-regarding-the-child-sexual-abuse-scandal-and-the-catholic-church/

  5. AA Cunningham says:

    It is not true that “much of the Roman Catholic laity has registered outrage” about Vatican inquiries into rogue nuns; most could care less.(sic)

    How much less could they care, Bill?

    The Caring Continuum

  6. Sissy says:

    acardnal said: “75 percent of the priests were hebephiles”

    And 80% of the exploited youngsters were male. It is often the case that a pedophile will be indiscriminate as to the gender of his victim; the older the victim, the more likely the abuser prefers one gender over the other. In the majority of cases involving priests, there was a decided preference for young (though not pre-pubescent) males. Cases of pedophilia and male-on-male statutory rape have been conflated in the public’s mind. Actual cases of pedophilia were the minority of cases involving priests.

  7. Indulgentiam says:

    From the John Jay Report: “Around 81% of these victims were male.
    22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.”
    Pedophiles attack Prebucents, for them the younger the better. Clearly the number, from your own stated study, showes that the vast majority of the attacks where homosexual rape.

    Matthew 25:13
    “…you know not the day nor the hour.”

  8. AA Cunningham says:

    frjim4321 says:
    18 September 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis is a vile, ignorant practice.

    To an apologist, perhaps. However, stating the truth isn’t “scapegoating”.

    Fortunately I don’t think many Catholics either know of or pay any attention to Bill Donohue.

    Sounds like both envy and a nerve has been touched. More Catholics know who Bill Donahue is than “frjim4321″.

    Have you ever wondered how different things would have been if the 2 February 1961 ban on ordaining homosexuals would have been obeyed?

    “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.”

  9. acardnal says:

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/National-Review-Board-Report-2004.pdf

    Above is a link to the report. Page 8 states that “. . . although neither the presence of homosexuality-oriented priests nor the discipline of celibacy caused the crisis . . . more than eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.”

  10. yatzer says:

    I do not understand. If “…more than eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.”, how is it that the preceding section “… neither the presence of homosexuality-oriented priests nor the discipline of celibacy caused the crisis…” can be true? Doesn’t the figure that 80% of the abuse being of a homosexual nature mean that the presence of homosexuality-oriented priests was a huge factor? What do they mean? This is frustrating.

  11. acardnal says:

    yatzer, I agree that it seems illogical.

  12. Edprocoat says:

    The NYT,s has judged the catholic church, fitting as many catholics and christians of all denominations have indeed judged the NYT’s if you go by their failing circulation numbers. I would expect no less from any liberal rag, if something does not completely fall into their box, their universe of mores , then it must be destroyed even at the cost of truth and accuracy once a staple for reporters.

    This sentence by Bill Donahue was really the only thing I found objectable in his retort. “It is not true that “much of the Roman Catholic laity has registered outrage” about Vatican inquiries into rogue nuns; most could care less.”

    I feel that most catholics are outraged by “rogue nuns” at least everytime I talk to another about some nun with radical views or see something written in a public forum or blog catholics seem to universally condemn their actions. Would not it be wonderful if all the nuns could follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, total obedience to the will of God instead of slavish loyalty to their own wants and ideals.

    ed

  13. wmeyer says:

    frjim, as usual, you manage to be contrary, even citing a report which contradicts your claim. Reminds me of the recent Obama ad in which the claim was made that he was misquoted, and then they played the audio which showed he had been quoted correctly.

  14. Sissy says:

    acardnal, yatzer: what it means is that it is politically incorrect to tell the truth about the issue. Obviously, 80% of the contact was male-on-male, between a teen and an older male. What is that except pederasty? So, the report just threw the raw data out there and said “Hey, we’re not saying this is a homosexual issue, but, yeah, 80% of the cases were homosexual incidents.” We’re left to draw our own conclusions, and when we draw the logical conclusion, we are told that we are bigoted, vile, etc.

    edprocoat: I understood Bill Donahue’s comment about the nun’s to mean that it is his opinion that most Catholics are not outraged by the Vatican’s attempts to rein them in. I think many Catholics are, indeed, upset by the dissenting nuns’ behavior and statements. It’s the Vatican intervention that doesn’t bother Catholics, according to Donahue. At least, that’s how I read it.

  15. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, I swear the reason that when it was (rarely) referred to at all they used the term ephebephilia is that to a majority of viewers it is a term with no meaning. Pederasty they would more likely understand. And yeah, not a matter of predatory homosexuals, but 80% of the victims were male teens. Uh huh.

  16. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, I would have no problem with the conclusion that these are cases of sexual contact analogous to the crime called statutory rape/assault, which I think most people would understand. It’s definitely exploitation, and I don’t excuse it. But there’s no getting around the fact that the conduct itself involves homosexual behavior, predominately. Exploitation of young people by older adults in positions of authority is much more common in a school setting, but those are mostly heterosexual contact. So, it isn’t illogical to suggest that the problem in the Church came about because of significant numbers of homosexual men entering the priesthood during that time period. If there had been no priests suffering from this disordered attraction, there would have been no pederasty. Obviously.

  17. Southern Catholic says:

    In my personal opinion Donohue is an ugly and disgusting man who makes of mockery of the church any time he presumes to speak in its defense.

    Have you looked in a mirror? Such a disgraceful attack of his character.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:

    frjim: what happens when two completely inconsistent politically-correct memes attempt to exist in the same head at the same time.
    Denial – deflection – personal attacks on the messenger.
    It’s an old, old story, and it doesn’t get any prettier with age.

  19. frjim4321 says:

    Have you looked in a mirror? S.C.

    Yes, S.C., and thankfully I don’t look too much worse than guys ten years younger. I thank my Mom and Dad for good genes.

    Convenient that no one is citing “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” which puts the lie to those who wish to scapegoat gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis.

    There’s not much use in arguing a round Earth to those who insist that it is flat.

  20. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, I agree with your conclusion. My understanding is that when vocations dropped, in the late 70s and 80s, the seminaries took on a lavender hue.

  21. amenamen says:

    Ruled out, by definition

    It is worth noting, at least, that the bishops’ report denies that “the discipline of celibacy” caused the crisis.

    Perhaps it could even be stated that NOT ONE of the perpetrators was practicing “the discipline of celibacy.”

  22. Sissy says:

    “which puts the lie to those who wish to scapegoat gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis.”

    Father Jim, there is a big problem (for you) with the data. 86% of sex abuse victims outside the Church are female, yet 80% of victims inside the Church are male. That’s a pretty dramatic anomaly. Let me ask you a question. Since you clearly don’t agree that homosexual behavior is unnatural and disordered, why do you consider it an insult when an analysis of data suggests that homosexual behavior is at the heart of the Church sex abuse scandal? You give every impression in your many posts supporting “gay marriage” of being a person who sees no problem with homosexuality. So, why is it “vile” to point out that the vast majority of cases involved homosexual activity?

  23. frjim4321 says:

    Sissy, I agree with your conclusion. My understanding is that when vocations dropped, in the late 70s and 80s, the seminaries took on a lavender hue. meyer

    I don’t know if either of you were in the seminary but I have a hunch that neither of you have much of a handle on the seminaries of the 50’s and 60’s. And from what I’ve seen in the 90’s and oo’s the closets are just deeper.

    I have a feeling that the two of you are tag teaming me.

  24. wmeyer says:

    frjim, you are becoming paranoid.

  25. acardnal says:

    frjim, here is a statement from the report you cite above:

    “The majority of victims (81 percent) were male, in contrast to the distribution by victim gender for sexual crimes in the United States. Most sexual abuse victims of priests (51 percent) were between the ages of eleven and fourteen, while 27 percent were fifteen to seventeen, 16 percent were eight to ten, and nearly 6 percent were under age seven. Over 40 percent of all victims were males between the ages of eleven and fourteen. It is worth noting that while the media has consistently referred to priest-abusers as “pedophile priests,” pedophilia
    is defined as the sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Yet, the data on priests show that 22 percent of victims were age ten and under, while the majority of victims were pubescent or postpubescent. ”

    I am unable to copy and paste the horrific Figure 1.4 on page 11 of the report, but it indicates that the large majority of abused victims were male. The Church is correct in instructing bishops not to ordain homosexuals.

  26. frjim4321 says:

    frjim, you are becoming paranoid

    Thankfully that is not among my diagnoses.

    PS, the Earth is a relatively spherical.

  27. PostCatholic says:

    I was in Catholic diocesan seminaries in the 80’s and 90’s, in the United States and in Europe. The closet was deep enough in a few that it was quite roomy in there (Louvain had a terrible reputation for this at the time). The “prefect” seminarian of one house I lived later became a drag queen who wrote a column for the Washington Blade. At the time, though, he was very much not “out.”

    There were other and deeper problems, though, than a handful of celibates who might have been homosexual. A priest whose girlfriend occasionally spent the night was one “problem.” Another creep who I never could figure out what the heck was wrong with him–well, he’s on parole now, and on the sexual offenders list. The Vocations Director in Boston, who’d pontificate all the time on what was expected of a priest, left the priesthood abruptly to get married. I had a Rector with serious anger issues and

    The most disturbing incident that happened to me then was a case of peeping toms. I was walking down a corridor and came upon three brother seminarians crouched around a window sill, attempting to watch high school girls undressing in the adjoining retreat center wing. This has convinced me that many men in Catholic history have become celibate clergy before developing maturity and security in their sexuality, and this immaturity is what I cheifly blame for the clergy sexual abuse crisis that erupted a decade later. Not same-sex attraction. Attraction to what is inappropriate can be overcome, as anyone in a stable relationship knows, with just a bit of willpower and maturity.

    I also didn’t see a lot of frankness in confronting that challenge. The expectation from day one was that students were already celibate. If you needed help with that, you could discuss it on the internal forum with a spiritual director or confessor, who may or may not be able to give practical or helpful advice. I was advantaged in that I had had a public school education, and girlfriends, and had been a sexually active college student before I “converted” and decided to try to become a priest. I lived with guys who could defend Humanae Vitae but couldn’t tell you the “facts of life;” I don’t want to be graphic but I had some pretty surreal conversations while in seminary, and on more than one occasion explained some biological matters to grown men who ought to have understood them by that point. I’m given to understand things are better now. I hope so, anyway.

    Before anyone asks or insinuates: I am heterosexual, and I left Catholic seminary because I couldn’t pursue what was academically inspiring to me, not because of a relationship.

  28. PostCatholic says:

    I had a Rector with serious anger issues and

    Skipped ahead to get to the immaturity thing, so:

    … and another with an active and advanced drinking problem, and had a formation director in one seminary who in retrospect I consider to have been narcissistic to the point of having a personality disorder.

    Also, in fairness, I did attend seminary with people who were later ordained and are now ministers whose accomplishments and pastoral practices I can respect (not agree with perhaps, but respect).

  29. Southern Catholic says:

    his has convinced me that many men in Catholic history have become celibate clergy before developing maturity and security in their sexuality

    So clergy in the Catholic church have always committed sexual abuse?

    Attraction to what is inappropriate can be overcome, as anyone in a stable relationship knows, with just a bit of willpower and maturity.

    This statement needs some proof, actually a lot of it. I don’t know of homosexuals that just “get over” this attraction like it is a phase in life.

    and this immaturity is what I cheifly blame for the clergy sexual abuse crisis that erupted a decade later

    This doesn’t make sense, most of the abuse came in the 60’s through the mid-80’s, not in the 2000’s.

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  31. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said: “I have a feeling that the two of you are tag teaming me.”

    The entire blog is trying to point out to you that Fr. Z’s comment about a “homosexual scandal” is not “vile” but founded in reality.

  32. PostCatholic says:

    So clergy in the Catholic church have always committed sexual abuse?
    I don’t know. Perhaps. I didn’t extrapolate my experience to “always” but feel they were fairly typical for the time and place of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

    This doesn’t make sense, most of the abuse came in the 60?s through the mid-80?s, not in the 2000?s.
    The method of preparing people for a life of celibate ministry in use in the seminary at the time was once described to me as “Here’s a board and few nails. Cover that over,” by a seminary rector. It was woefully inadequate for post-war culture in the developed world. It hadn’t changed in the 80’s and 90’s. A classmate of mine was convicted of sexual misconduct with children, so while “most of the abuse came in the 60’s through the mid-80’s,” it sure wasn’t over in the 90’s. I believe that Fr Z has said in the past his experience in seminary in the mid-80’s was upsetting in similar ways. [Indeed it was. Some of the favored seminarians from a certain diocese were clearly, openly, homosexual.]

  33. Sissy says:

    I think a major reason there are fewer cases today than in the past is raised awareness that this is not just a moral failing with spiritual consequences. Today, this behavior is also a criminal act with devastating physical, emotional, and social consequences for both parties. When I was in high school, it was commonplace for male teachers to hit on and even have affairs with females students. People would “tsk, tsk”, but I don’t remember anyone ever losing a job over it. Today, the cops would come and perp-walk the guy out. Florida has a “universal mandatory reporter” law. A few years ago, a principle was sentenced to prison for one year because he decided to wait 24 hours before reporting a claim of sexual abuse on campus. He wanted to investigate it himself; the law says he had to call the police immediately. So, it’s a very big deal now with well-publicized criminal consequences (and rightfully so). I think there will always be humans who are tempted to behave inappropriately towards young people; but the days of turning a blind eye or handing out a slap on the wrist are over. That fact has a helpful regulating influence on many who might otherwise give in to temptation.

  34. frjim4321 says:

    [Indeed it was. Some of the favored seminarians from a certain diocese were clearly, openly, homosexual.]

    I believe that.

    I don’t want to get into particular examples at the risk of minimal scandal, but I did not see a relationship between what I saw in the seminary regarding sexuality translating into subsequent child rape.

    Those I knew who were involved in the Scandal were either severely repressed or involved serially in indiscriminate depersonalized liasons with members of the opposite sex.

    That said, I agree with the quote.

  35. frjim4321 says:

    liasons = liaisons

  36. PostCatholic says:

    I agree also, but it wasn’t the homosexuals (who in my seminaries were not really open about it, just lousy at disguising it) that went on to be involved in sexual crime. I concur with frjim4321 when he said that “Those I knew who were involved in the Scandal were either severely repressed…” though I can’t speak to serial impersonal sexual liaisons. I entered a college seminary at 19; that seems to be atypical now. I speculate here, but one reason the pace may have slowed among new ordinands is that these days they’re older and often coming to seminary after having resolved their sexual identities or indeed, their adolescence.

  37. Sissy says:

    frjim4321, You are either throwing up another straw man, or you are making the common mistake that many lay people do in conflating “child rape” with the bulk of the cases in the abuse scandal. No one is suggesting that there is something inherently homosexual about pedophilia. That was not the finding of the John Jay investigation, and no one here is saying that. In fact, I have said the opposite, above. The issue is that a minority of the cases were pedophilia. Most were pederasty, which clearly is related to same-sex attraction. You can’t explain away the finding that over 80% of the teen victims were male.

    I know this isn’t a statement that will delight your heart, but numerous studies have demonstrated that there are other pathologies that go along with the homosexual orientation. Those traits contributed to this problem and include: higher levels of alcohol and drug abuse, compulsivity, impulsivity, narcissistic personality disorder, promiscuity, and depression, et al. CDC data support these conclusions. So, there actually are measurable traits that go hand-in-hand with same-sex attraction that led to this wildly disproportionate result in the sex abuse data. But to repeat: this is not at all the same thing as saying “homosexuality causes child rape”. No one has suggested that.

  38. Indulgentiam says:

    Frjim4321: “but I did not see a relationship between what I saw in the seminary regarding sexuality translating into subsequent child rape.”
    And that is precisely why we must defer to the wisdom of ALL the Church teaches. The Bride of Christ is devinely guided. We never see it coming but She always does.

    Matthew 25:13
    “…you know not the day nor the hour.”

  39. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, really! Cold, hard facts? And from the CDC?

    Truly, I cannot comprehend the argument that “it wasn’t the homosexuals.” Obviously, it was someone. And if not the homosexuals, given that most of the activity was, as you note, pederasty, then who?

  40. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Actually the CDC has recognized that while there can be other pathologies associated with sexual disorders the links can also be population-related. For example, it has been said that transgender people are narcissistic but it turns out the population studied were drag queens. I know a few transgender people who quietly go about their business, are celibate and wait for the last day, wondering what their particlar cross is all about in the scheme of things. It is dangerous to make blanket assumptions about people. It is fun sometimes as we all like to justify our own beliefs but it is dangerous.

  41. AnAmericanMother says:

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that even the CDC, that bastion of political correctness, is forced to acknowledge . . . . ?
    My family’s pretty active in the art and music world, and I have to agree that there’s an awful lot of drinking, drugging, promiscuity, and desperate unhappiness in the gay community.
    And to make it worse, society now not only encourages and glamorizes this behavior, it bars the way to those who would like to get out.

  42. PostCatholic says:

    I think this is because you are conflating sexual behavior with sexual attraction and identity, wmeyer. I have a heterosexual identity. I also live a life of “marital chastity.” That is behavior.

    Sexual violence on children is a behavior. The perpetrator may have an attraction that is hetero- or homosexual, pedophiliac, hebephiliac, etc. Not all criminals who sexually molest children are pedophiles–that is not, not all of them are attracted to children; they may have other desires and problems that they are giving expression to with their behavior.

    I maintain that in my admittedly anecdotal experience, emotionally immature men entered seminary and then didn’t appropriately work out their sexuality. Victimizing children, it seems to me, was a matter of opportunity more than of gender-based attraction. Accounting for the fact that most of the sexual violence that the bishops covered up in the Church was between men and adolescent boys may be that boys were more easily victimized.

  43. wmeyer says:

    AnAmericanMother, in my youth (long ago) I was quite active for several years in theatre. And my observations accords with yours: drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and endless unhappiness among the gays, though I would not then have called it a community–too much discord. Jealousy, of course, was as rampant as the promiscuity. I did see some in long term relationships, but none who were faithful.

  44. PostCatholic says:

    You know, “drinking, drugs, promiscuity and endless unhappiness” describes the Hemingways and Fitzgeralds. Have either of you seen “The Real Housewives?”

  45. AnAmericanMother says:

    PC,
    So? Two very high profile and very scandalous (in their time) families, with significant clinical mental illness (my family in AL knew the Sayres.)
    “Real Housewives” is fiction featuring exhibitionists. The act of observing disturbs the observed.
    None of which speaks to my point. Those instances you cite are notable precisely because they are anomalies which sell gossip mags and ad time.
    My observations, on the other hand, were the rule rather than the exception.
    wmeyer,
    My mom, who is as liberal politically as you would expect of an artist, used to hold up one – one! – homosexual couple of her acquaintance as ‘monogamous’. But they broke up, and then one of them died in somewhat mysterious circumstances. Very sad, but as I mentioned before, once one is identified with that “lifestyle” it is almost impossible to extricate oneself, and no assistance (psychiatric or otherwise) can be expected.

  46. Johnno says:

    Sadly people like frjim4321 are part of the problem. People like them try to have their cake and eat it to. They will blindly facilitate the very culture and environment that facilitates this abuse but will stop their ears and cover their eyes to their errors. Under their watch more abuse will occur, and they will do nothing but continue feigning outrage. It’s like watching someone trying to defend the castle gates but aiming their arrows at absolutely anywhere else rather than the actual direction the enemy is coming from… because they have foolishly convinced themselves that the enemy is their friend, and their trebuchets and canon balls are very nice things that deserve tolerance and respect and equality.

  47. wmeyer says:

    AAM, I have a longtime friend who is a homosexual and was, for a time, my mother’s business partner. He was in a long term relationship, and was unfaithful. Years ago I asked him why, given his intelligence, he so often strayed, especially in light of the high risk of HIV and other disease, and his sole answer was that “there are so many pretty young boys.”

    The man in question happens also to be a cradle Catholic, and has for many years been very active in his diocese, a fund raiser, and has visited Rome–more than once–as the traveling companion of a priest. I know he has a deep connection to the faith. I do not know how on earth he reconciles that to his gravely disordered life.

  48. Sissy says:

    PostCatholic said: “Accounting for the fact that most of the sexual violence that the bishops covered up in the Church was between men and adolescent boys may be that boys were more easily victimized.”

    Yet, in all other cases, we find that it is females who are “more easily victimized”, to the tune of 86% of all victims. Something else has to account for the astonishing number of male teens involved in these cases. And once again, I would call attention to the fact that we are not talking about child rape or pedophilia. We’re talking about homosexual contact between persons of unequal status, not pedophilia. These are very different circumstances.

  49. Sissy says:

    wmeyer and AAM re: “And my observations accords with yours: drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and endless unhappiness among the gays, though I would not then have called it a community–too much discord. Jealousy, of course, was as rampant as the promiscuity. I did see some in long term relationships, but none who were faithful.”

    I lived in Miami for 5 years; nuff said. Our closest friend was a young man who lived the homosexual life style to the fullest, to say the least. On the surface, he was successful, well-to-do, likable, and outwardly very happy. He and I had a conversation about this topic once, and we got onto whether or not homosexuality is immutable. He said to me, with a very tragic look on his face, “People who think we want to be this way just don’t understand. No one would choose to be this miserable”.

  50. Southern Catholic says:

    PC, I see what you are saying now, and I shouldn’t have used the qualifier of “always.” My mistake.

  51. PostCatholic says:

    Clerical life, Catholic or otherwise, attracts more than its fair share of unhealthy personalities. With clerical status comes prestige, attention, audience, There’s also a dogmatic type of personality you’ll find around a divinity school who is sure that she or he has all the answers and is always right, which is about the worst trait the professional minister can have (the word, after all, derives from “servant or attendant,” cf. magister). These things are part of the pathological craving of some folks or just eludes them in most other ways. When you compound that with unintegrated sexuality you have everything you need for a disaster. That is my lived experience.

    Because that experience isn’t unique, at some point in the 70’s or 80’s, most major religions and most Catholic dioceses began doing psychological testing on their candidates for ministry in an attempt to weed out people with obvious mental illness. My archdiocese did this with my class even before we entered seminary. My battery of tests ran for two days. This system didn’t work terribly well–we had some rather disturbed people in seminary–and it didn’t address sexuality much at all. I hope things have improved. It’s not just Catholicism that faces these problems in forming clergy, but I think younger candidates and celibacy do compound them.

    To your other point, sissy, I think the 86% figure you cited can in large part be explained by the greater opportunities abuser-priests had in accessing male victims. Perhaps some of it can be explained by homosexual attraction but even the flawed John Jay Report didn’t lay the blame there in chief.

  52. Sissy says:

    PostCatholic said: “Perhaps some of it can be explained by homosexual attraction but even the flawed John Jay Report didn’t lay the blame there in chief.”

    The report identified the largest proportion of offenders as “ephebeophiles” (pederasts) and recommended further study of this particular disorder. They were careful to hedge this information in politically correct language that most people wouldn’t understand. I think we actually do these men a disservice by pretending that they are some special subset of pedophile. Most of us recognize the difference between child rape and statutorily forbidden homosexual contact with a teenager. These are not the same disorder, and I think it’s unjust to try to paint all the priest abusers as presenting with the same basic criminal disorder, differentiated only by age of the victim. That isn’t what happened.

  53. robtbrown says:

    If I might make a distinction between two groups:

    1. Seminarians who were active homosexuals during their seminary years, with either those within or without the seminary. And those who were active before seminary but suspended it during the years in seminary.

    2. Those priests who were involved in the sexual scandals with young, male adolescents. By definition, these were homosexual acts.

    IMHO, group #1 was not very much involved in the activities of group #2.

  54. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    Clerical life, Catholic or otherwise, attracts more than its fair share of unhealthy personalities. With clerical status comes prestige, attention, audience, There’s also a dogmatic type of personality you’ll find around a divinity school who is sure that she or he has all the answers and is always right, which is about the worst trait the professional minister can have (the word, after all, derives from “servant or attendant,” cf. magister). These things are part of the pathological craving of some folks or just eludes them in most other ways. When you compound that with unintegrated sexuality you have everything you need for a disaster. That is my lived experience.

    That is also my experience from 9 years living in that milieu–but it was only that way in the vernacular Church.

    During the past 40 years I have been more than a bit familiar with the monks of Fontgombault, Randol, and Clear Creek and taught 4 years at the FSSP seminary. All are dedicated to Latin liturgy. I never saw any of the problems there that you and I have experienced in the vernacular Church. I found the FSSP seminarians to be normal, laid back, with a healthy sense of humor.

    The suppression of Latin jettisoned the transcendental (in the natural sense) character of the life. What replaced it was the encouragement of emotional self-indulgence that attracted (and produced) the types you accurately describe.

  55. Sissy says:

    robtbrown said: “IMHO, group #1 was not very much involved in the activities of group #2.”

    If group 2 didn’t include men who were actively homosexual in their behavior before the priesthood, are you suggesting that group 2 suddenly developed same-sex attraction for the first time after their ordination? A minority did suffer from a paraphilia, and for those, your conclusion could be true (though I don’t know what proof there would be for that). But, according to the findings, the majority were pederasts, which is not a paraphilia.

  56. BLB Oregon says:

    I think the history of the Greeks will attest that indulgence in acts of hebephilia by heterosexuals is hardly impossible to imagine. In that culture, hebephilia was elective behavior engaged in by married men who were surrounded by a culture that otherwise disdained outward displays of effeminacy in grown men.

    As for why most of the unfortunate victims are male, it seems reasonable to believe that in many cases the vast majority of the opportunities available are with male victims. The people who commit this sort of crime, whether priests or not, are often forced to be both opportunistic and, as much as possible, to avoid behavior that will betray their inclinations, because the inclinations are of such a profoundly shameful nature. If a homosexual were to want to attack a young man, the last thing in the world he’d want to do is give outward evidence of his inclinations!The thieves of innocence are predators that require stealth and secrecy. They cannot be to careful to conceal themselves from discovery, and they cannot always afford to be choosy about who they make into their victims.

    Having said that, how does a newpaper that counts itself rational get away with implying that there is some number of men guilty of putting others in an undeserved position of trust that will naturally lead to women in consecrated life totally taking leave of the doctrines they have all known since their youth? Why on earth would a scandal that came about because the heirarchy turned a blind eye from one evil in order to save face give nuns the idea that what they ought to do is to turn a blind eye to another profound evil? What is that all about? “We think you abandoned your duty in order to cultivate a popularity ultimately rooted in falsehood, and what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”? Blow the former failures up as much as you like, it still gives no cover for the other ones! Unless one is looking for a way to rationalize acts that have no excuse, nothing could be more irrelevant to the nun’s case. Either they’re softpedalling the evil of abortion, or they’re not. Either they’re quietly advocating for women in the clergy, or they’re not. If you have dedicated your life to the pursuit of Christian perfection, what anyone else in the Church has ever gotten away with could hardly be less important!

    Besides, if the scandal with the priests proves anything, it proves that there is no good that can come from the heirarchy turning a blind eye to misconduct in order to put up a false front that “all is right in the Catholic Church”. Have the nuns done lots of good? Well, of course they have! Are some of these women everyone’s favorite nuns? I’m sure they are. Let’s not forget, though, that a lot of the priests in these scandals were everybody’s favorite priests, too, and were famous out in public for all their fine work. Should their true misconduct be papered over out of the horror of sullying the good that a person has done? It can’t work that way. That dog won’t hunt. When bad deeds sully the good, only repentance from the bad will let the good shine again.