Cardinal Prefect [NOT RATZINGER!], Canadian hierarchy knew of abuse, covered it

This is pretty bad, from CWN:

Cardinal prefect, [NOT RATZINGER!] Canadian hierarchy knew of Vatican official’s abuse
April 09, 2010

Seven Ontario bishops and Cardinal José Sanchez, the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, were aware by 1993 that the secretary-general of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith had committed sexual abuse, [of children?] according to a February 1993 letter from the bishop of Pembroke (Ontario) to Canada’s apostolic nuncio.  [i am not quite sure that that position is a "Vatican position".  Not sure about that.]

At the time of Msgr. Bernard Prince’s 1991 appointment to the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Bishop Joseph Windle of Pembroke was aware that the priest had abused one boy. [of a child] Nonetheless, he recalled in the 1993 letter that “while the charge against Fr. Prince was very serious,” [get this…] he had not objected “to him being given another chance [wait for it….] since it would remove him from the Canadian scene.[Disgusting.  Simply disgusting.]

By 1993, however, Bishop Windle had become aware that [But wait! There’s more!] there were four or five victims. In his letter to Archbishop Carlo Curis, who served as apostolic nuncio to Canada from 1990 to 1999, Bishop Windle urged [Get this… here’s a noble stand from a bishop!] that Father Prince not be given a papal honor or promoted to the episcopate, noting that such a move could prompt victims to speak out publicly[Disgusting.  Yah… give him that job to get him out of Dodge.  But don’t attract more attention to him so that victims will not get riled up.  Disgusting.]

Three months after he wrote the letter, Bishop Windle retired at age 75; he died in 1997. The Globe and Mail notes that Bishop Windle, contrary to the policy adopted by Canadian bishops in 1993, did not report the abuse to civil authorities. [Why?]

Msgr. Prince continued to serve as secretary-general of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until 2004. Laicized by Pope Benedict in 2009, Prince is currently serving a four-year prison term after being convicted of sexually abusing 13 young men between 1964 and 1984. The victims were between 10 and 16 years old. [So.. it was a homosexual thing… again.]

What a loathsome tale.   He committed crimes and they just covered it over.

I am forced to wonder what role the homosexual nature of this played in this ghastly tragedy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z, you probably don’t want to know how many other individuals in this story were homosexuals. I’m betting the abuser wasn’t the only one. Same pattern pretty much everywhere one of these tales is told.

  2. TJerome says:

    It’s too bad that Bishop Windle didn’t go to the slammer. I think the media is a HUGE part of this problem because they continue to insist this is pedophilia problem when it’s old-fashioned homosexuality at work. I suspect that the reason certain prelates do not take a tough stand and turn these guys over to the authorities, is fear of their own sexual habits being exposed. And having a heterosexual lifestyle, while wrong for a priest, would not cause as much of a stir as a homosexual one.

  3. THREEHEARTS says:

    I am sure this is the case where the Ontario Police officer was really attacked for blowing the whistle lost his job and moved out west to Vancouver Island. He named names and was vilified as so many were enrolled in a ring of pedophiles in side and out side the church. Perhaps I have the wrong Canadian city, was it Pembroke or Kingston. There are many examples of priestly predators in Canada. It may all come out.

  4. PostCatholic says:

    I really wish you’d bother to read a bit about what psychology and medicine know in terms of the intersection of homosexuality and child sexual abuse. You’d have less to wonder about, and you might do a child considerable good by raising your alertness. You’ve done enough graduate work to get your mind around what is and is not good science, I would think.

  5. Norah says:

    I really wish you’d bother to read a bit about what psychology and medicine know in terms of the intersection of homosexuality and child sexual abuse.

    What would you suggest PC? Any references to books or links would be appreciated.

  6. Titus says:

    Wait, this priest was removed from pastoral ministry and given a desk job where the skills he had could serve the Church and where he wouldn’t be tempted to continue his terrible sins. While the whole affair might have come about because bishops had vile motives and vile interests, isn’t this a not-entirely inappropriate response considering 1) the therapeutic nature of ecclesiastical punishment and 2) the charitable (if perhaps speculative) presumption that the offender demonstrated repentance? So it does sound like it’s a bit of a high-up office for someone of this type, I’ll admit. And the article doesn’t indicate that the victims went uncompensated: in cases where victims were known they were generally quietly compensated, an outcome that produced everything a public civil trial would have (damages) without cost and embarrassment.

  7. Scott W. says:

    I really wish you’d bother to read a bit about what psychology and medicine know in terms of the intersection of homosexuality and child sexual abuse.

    Again, of the 3000 sexual abuse cases the Church is dealing with, 60% are about priests against post-pubescent males and 10% are true paedophilia cases. Even if we accept that homosexuality and paedohilia cases are seperate issues, no one seems to acknowledge this elephant in the living room. Especially given that fact that defenders of homosexual acts see no problem with “coming of age” stories by homosexuals testifying that their first encounters were with older males.

    Also, of the 10% of true paedophile cases, I’d like to see a male-female breakdown. Anyone know?

  8. Titus says:

    what psychology and medicine know

    Medicine and psychology don’t know what they know. Both disciplines are mired in ideological navel-gazing. It’s astounding sometimes they still manage to treat people’s diseases.

  9. terryprest says:

    Unfortunately the letter is worse than the report suggests

    It is a four page letter and is available at (.pdf file)

  10. Randii says:

    I heard someone say recently that one reason the Holy Spirit is allowing all this to come out now is to move the Latin Rite church to a relook of priestly celibacy. Things like this don’t happen for a reason.

    Supposedly, half or more of US Catholic priests are gay. This underculture is a result largely of the celibacy requirement IMO. These scandals are not found in the Orthodox churches. Ask yourself why.

    This is not a V2 problem at all. I know an 80 something Catholic who said before V2 a lot of priests were gay. It was a place for some men to “hide out” cause in those days if you were a male past 25 and not married something was assumed to be “wrong” with you.

    As I said, I think the Spirit will use this to move the church to take another look at the celibacy discipline and ask if the time is past do for a change in it. The Orthodox churches are standing as a beacon of historic, liturgical Christianity at a time when Rome has lost most of it’s credibility. The Orthodox churches could well save liturgical, apostolic Christianity from collapsing in this century. The only credible witness to this tradition now are the Orthodox churches. Rome’s credibility will take generations to restore. Before that happens I don’t see how Rome can provide a credible, evangelical witness – a witness that is needed more than ever with the surge of Islam thoightout the world and the rapid spread of secularism.

  11. Scott W. says:

    As I said, I think the Spirit will use this to move the church to take another look at the celibacy discipline and ask if the time is past do for a change in it.

    Respectfully, bull hockey. There is not one scintilla of evidence that celibacy plays any part of the abuse.

  12. I wish we could all just deal with the fact that “masturbatory sex” has all kinds of outlets. I’m sorry for being so graphic here; forgive me, please.
    Homosexual attraction is a definite cause here; immaturity and lack of proper sexual formation/development are certainly indicated.
    The lack of proper moral education/formation re: masturbation and other kinds of sexual release in the times prior to Vatican II; the “permission” given by Curran, Fuchs, et. al., for a “new morality” after Vatican II regarding masturbation/alternative forms of sexual release, only gave fuel to what we are now witnessing. The bishops and Rome had no idea of how to deal with this absolute anarchy (even with the 1961 document re: homosexuals in the seminary).
    Masturbatory sex, in all its forms, contraception, perversion within marriage, homosex, between partners, both hetero and homo; all of it is the reason we are dealing with the enormity of scandal today.
    Sexual sins aren’t anything new.
    But at least, in the past, they were called sins and not rights. That’s what has to change, IMO.

  13. Randii, you are sadly mistaken. There are sexual abuse victims in the Orthodox churches as well, enough to warrant their own organization:

    Stop using this scandal as an opportunity to proselytize. It’s a rather cheap and transparent strategem.

  14. Randii, you are sadly mistaken. There are sexual abuse victims in the Orthodox churches as well, enough to warrant their own organization:

    Stop using this scandal as an opportunity to proselytize. It’s a rather cheap and transparent stratagem.

  15. PeterK says:

    everyone assumes that the victims are pre-pubescent but we won’t know until the press starts asking how old the victims were. But if the majority of the victims are post-pubescent ie teenagers then the problem becomes one of homosexual predation. True pedophiles do not go after adolescents. An Ephebophile is one who goes after post-pubescents

  16. catholicmidwest says:


    For once use some common sense. What would a man who feels up boys want with a real live woman?? What would a woman want with such a man?? Anyone who suggests such a thing needs a good wallop upside the head with a pink frypan. Get real.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    Besides Randii,

    Most predators aren’t priests. They’re actually adult males who prey on girls. Only homosexual men rape teenaged BOYS.

  18. Maltese says:

    It is unfair to consign all of this to Vatican II, but it is fair to consign much (or even most) of it to the Spirit thereof.

    Statistically, the major-portion of the abuse crisis happened in and around the time of the Second Vatican Council (though, in all fairness, abuse happened much before as well). And this is the reason; in believing everything, including every religion is free to be believed, then one if free to believe in anything. If one is free to believe in anything, then one is free to believe in pederasty, or pedophilia.

    In otherwords, Vatican II taught the false precept that there is freedom of religion. But who gave those false-fathers the freedom to teach that false doctrine?

    Just as there is no freedom to pederasty, there is no freedom to false-religion. One may practice one or the other, but that does not mean it is sanctioned by God.

    This is an extreme example, but I hope it clarifies FSSPX’s position on the topic: God cannot sanction a thing which is not true or good.

  19. catholicmidwest says:

    Only adult celibate males should be ordained. Men with odd sexual histories, homosexuals and men with mental health issues or significant personality problems should be turned away. We don’t need them. They don’t function well as priests and will be unhappy.

    I realize that men with these disqualifying issues have trouble making a living in other walks of life. That’s not our fault. We can’t ordain them either.

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    Nazareth priest,
    It’s fine. You’re talking about something that’s bad in marriage and the single life too. Sex is not a thing that you can use like a bandaid and throw away. It’s not a toy. Sex cannot be separated from its reason, its causes and it’s natural outcome. Whenever people try to use sex like a panacea it comes to no good.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    There is a great deal of blabber about sex in American culture. However, sex is not something that a person has to have to keep from dying, you realize. It’s a choice freely made, and it’s free of sin and wholesome only in certain contexts. The wrongful use of it is responsible for much of our social misery in this country (and around the world).

    It’s perfectly possible to be celibate and it’s not even that hard if the person wills it for good reason. For instance, there are many married people who abstain because of the health of their partner. They do it out of love for the other person. It’s not so rare.

    If plain old laypeople can do it, priests and nuns can do it. After all, they vowed it. Are they liars??

    So can it with all the desperate butt clutching and dumb stories about how people HAAAAVE to HAAAVE a piece of tail. It just isn’t so. If you think it is you watch too many situational comedies or reality tv shows. Take a cold shower and get over it.

  22. Seraphic Spouse says:

    A horrible story, through and through. But I hope that those who will rejoice at the tale as more proof of the perfidity of Catholics will take note that the rapist is IN JAIL, that he was stripped of his priesthood by Benedict XVI, that the Canadian Bishops’ policy since 1993 has been to go directly to the police, and that Bishop Windle has gone to his final judgment.

    Sexual abuse of children and teens seems to be an epidemic. As Newsweek reported this week, Catholic priests are no likelier than other men to abuse them. This is not merely a “Catholic” problem. Catholics can at least feel hopeful for their future, now that the problem has been recognized and that serious safeguards (and a healthy disdain for the psychiatrists who gave terrible advice) have been put into place.

    Meanwhile, I agree that the idea that women are somehow supposed to prevent child and teen abuse by marrying perverts is appalling. The idea that celibacy (chastity according to the single state) causes sexual perversion is simply insulting to the thousands or millions of adult Single people who live decent lives.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    Thank you, Seraphic Spouse. Certain pinheads keep trying to get us women to take these perverts in. They belong in jail, not in our households.

  24. catholicmidwest says:

    Seraphic Spouse,
    One thing. I think it’s true a priest is no more likely to abuse someone than any other man. However, when priests abuse someone it’s more likely to be a boy than a girl. With the general population, it’s the other way around. Men abusers outnumber women abusers by a huge margin (almost 100 to 1), and men abusers (particularly married men abusers) usually favor girls.

  25. Thanks, catholicmidwest.
    And Randii: if we change the discipline universally, that married men may be admitted to the priesthood without distinction (I’m thinking here of the indult, according to canon law that requires this for a married man to be admitted to the priesthood), we would have more problems than you could shake a stick at. Why do I say this?
    For all the howling, protesting, shrieking, and hysterical “hissy fits” that are going on right now in the media; people have a respect for the celibate priest, as strange as that may seem. As someone raised in a Protestant church, the married preacher (minister) is completely different in all kinds of ways than a celibate priest; not only that, but with married priests as the norm, the financial, social and I might add moral aspects of the priesthood would change drastically…divorced priests? How about dealing with contraception/abortion? And the whole “preacher’s family” syndrome; many married deacons go through this right now…it’s not just peripheral; it’s real.
    And recent scholarship, as well as the tradition of the Church, indicate that men who were ordained as married men, lived in continence (as brother and sister) with their wives, once they were ordained. I don’t think THAT would go over very well!
    The consecrated celibate priest is the NORM in the Latin Church; he is to represent Christ, the Bridegroom, who is married to Her alone; who gives his life in imitation of His Master and Lord.
    Married priests, while they may be admitted for all kinds of reasons, live this mystery in another way; but the norm is consecrated celibate males. And it’s not impossible.

  26. Mrs. O says:

    According to popular logic, if homosexual men molest children, then what would that make Maciel? I mean if he had had a wife that would prove he wasn’t a homosexual, oh wait. Nevermind.
    Or what would it make the husband who abused his son who does not feel he is “gay”.
    Or…well, I could go on.
    I don’t doubt that some do/are consider themselves gay. But the largest age group is 11-14 not older teens.

  27. Mrs. O: If I may just say this: Maciel was a psychopath.
    There are many speculations as to exactly what motivated his perversions; it is alleged now that he molested his own sons and had photographs taken of the acts…figure that one out!
    This is documented; I am not making this up or sharing “idle gossip”…that man is beyond understanding, as far as I’m concerned.
    As for the “profile” of a sexual abuser of males ages 11-14; I’m sure someone here could give some good info.

  28. catholicmidwest says:

    Mrs O,

    I think there is plenty of evidence that Maciel was a very versatile man sexually. [Place snicker here.] Perhaps he was bisexual…or just a MONSTER?

    A man who abuses his son but does not feel he is gay is either bisexual or a closet homosexual, no matter what he says. Some men marry in attempts to escape their homosexuality; sometimes this happens even without full recognition that this is the problem, and there are some truly sad stories around that. Some people aren’t too smart about their own motivations but I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

  29. catholicmidwest says:

    And Mrs O,

    Referring to my last post, OBVIOUSLY, the Catholic church should not be ordaining the kind of men who are as clueless, evil and idiotic as your examples above seem to be.

    Mental illness, an evil turn of mind, extreme obtuseness and/or stupidity should be incompatible with ordination, one would think.

  30. Mrs. O says:

    Catholicmidwest, I wish you were right on that assumption, but from what I know and have read, those that are child molesters are not necessarily gay if they commit SS with a young child. Because they may go on and commit the same act AGAIN (relapse) with a girl or both. Now, they may reveal to you that they are, gay or heterosexual in orientation.

    I am sure some are in this study too.
    Maciel was a pyscopath indeed.

    11-14 are not older teens.
    Just hear me out.
    IF the ONLY thing done is to “weed” out all practicing homosexuals (which they need to) you are going to miss the others. You are.

  31. rosshalde says:

    DISAGREE WITH RANDI. Your view of Orthodoxy is much too Romantic.

    Orthodoxy, is divided and nationalistic. They can’t witness to anything! I pray they will be reconciled to the See of Peter and I also pray for our Catholic brothers in the East who are absolutely detested by the Orthodox.

    Do the Orthodox have good liturgy…great! God bless them.

    Rome will once again be the heart of the Church, it can NOT be otherwise, as that is God’s design

  32. rosshalde says:

    PS. Homosexuality is the problem!!!!
    Don’t even talk to me about pedophilia…Homosexuality is the problem and it is gravely sinful.
    This is not the military. There should not be a “don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Every seminarian’s natural sexual attractions should be known and the same sex guys, DISMISSED. They have zero place in the priesthood. They need a priest and possibly and psychologist, they do not need to become priests.

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    Look, Mrs O,

    I don’t know what your agenda is here, but there are 3 classes into which this stuff falls:

    a) pedophiles who are fixated on very small children and attempt to rape babies and toddlers. Both genders may be affected. Pedophiles are VERY, VERY RARE and exist across the population. Pedophiles are truly mentally ill and need to be under the care of a psychiatrist 24/7. The great majority of priest abusers are NOT pedophiles. The Catholic church’s sexual abuse problem is NOT pedophilia.

    b) predators who prefer girls of school age and up. This group is by far the most common among married males but rather uncommon among priests, accounting for less than 15% of all priestly abuse.

    c) predators who prefer boys of school age and up. This group is by far the most common target among the priest abusers, although it’s rather unusual among married men. This is homosexual abuse because it’s intentionally directed at same sex abuse. The John Jay report is very clear about the prevalence of this kind of abuse among priests. There is no statistical fuzziness about this. It’s a very clear and prominent pattern.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    IF we were to weed out homosexual abusers, particularly those in positions of power and influence, roughly 80-90% of our problem would disappear overnight, dear Mrs. O.

  35. rosshalde says:


    I like you!!

  36. Mrs. O says:

    Catholicmidwest, that may take care of some but not all
    I don’t have an agenda.
    It started with trying to understand and care for our own children (how to apply this).
    Pedophilia is a fixation on young children and you can be one without commiting an offense. They are usually not attracted to adults at all.
    Child molesters (if you consider 11-14 children – no older teens) is different.
    There are many different sub categories in that. Fixated (meaning liking one particular sex) Indiscriminate (not caring the sex of the child, etc).

  37. Richard Oliver says:

    What a loathsome tale. I am bruised and beyond saddened. Where be redemption amongst all this?

  38. Felicia says:

    THREEHEARTS (Comment of 9 April 2010 @ 6:00 pm): You are thinking of Constable Perry Dunlop in Cornwall, Ontario.

  39. rosshalde says:

    I once had a Bishop tell me that if there is ever Vatican III, it would be more aptly called TRENT II. I get excited just thinking about it. TIme to smack down the heretic losers that have been running around for the last 100 years or so.
    Just like we had the great Catholic Renewal of the 16th century surrounding the Protestant Rebellion, we need the great resurgence of the faith in the 21st century surrounding the Modernist/Liberal Rebellion. That Mr. Oliver is where change and redemption is to be found. When the faith is actually preached and lived again.

  40. catholicmidwest says:

    No, you can’t, Mrs. O.

    Pedophilia is a mental illness. Pedophiliacs seldom admit that they have a problem because they’re often not aware of it. It’s diagnosed by a psychiatrist in the same way psychosis is diagnosed by a psychiatrist. IT takes a shattered victim in order to diagnose it. It’s a very grave illness.

    On the other hand:

    A person usually becomes aware they’re homosexual because of experiences that they have in adolescence. Homosexuality is a perversion and can cause a person to be gravely unhappy and unbalanced but it doesn’t necessitate institutionalization. ON the contrary, it’s possible to live a reasonably normal and chaste life if one is a homosexual, albeit a very difficult undertaking at times.

    The problem with homosexual priests is difficult because priests often live in groups of men. This is a situation that makes celibacy even more difficult than it ordinarily would be. Add to that the fact that the priesthood is one of those professions that lends itself to intimacy with parishoners and you have problems. Indeed, some people become priests in order to gain intimacy with people for illicit reasons, just like some men become coaches, phys ed teachers or counselors for the same reason.

    Invariably some homosexuals will become homosexual statutory rapists because of their disordered orientation and because of the opportunity that keeps presenting itself in the man’s life. That’s just an honest fact.

    PS. IF you want to keep your kids safe from abuse, avoid one of the most common scenarios of abuse: Do not ever use a male babysitter. Do not leave your children in the care of a male, whether a relative or a priest or the boyfriend of a female relative. Listen to what your kids say about their teachers, particularly their coaches and phys ed teachers and take your kids seriously if they report being “creeped out.”

  41. Mrs. O says:

    This is from the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers

    Although virtually all pedophiles are child molesters, not all child molesters are pedophiles. Pedophiles have a clear sexual attraction for children. The focus of a pedophile is a child or children generally under the age of 13. Pedophiles often report they are attracted to children in a particular age range (DSM-IV). Child molesters are sexual offenders who have committed either intra-familial sexual offense (incest) against a child victim or extra-familial sexual offenses against a child victim or both.

  42. rosshalde says:

    Anyone ever notice that temptation is much greater when you are trying to be faithful and grow in holiness? After you commit a sin, the temptations subside because you are already “in” sin.
    The same is true in the priesthood. SATAN HATES PRIESTS and seeks to DESTROY them as a means to destroy the Church.
    This is not only about humanity it is a true spiritual combat and sometimes we have traitors working the plans of the enemy.

  43. Mrs. O says:

    I surely can not disagree with the struggle a homosexual person would go through (temptation) in the seminary.

    Unless someone is hiding figures that isn’t reported in the John Jay – for older teens – the largest group are children.

  44. rosshalde says:

    Mrs O.

    Did you forget that modernist BS psychology and its outlets are not to be trusted?

  45. rosshalde says:

    NEW QUESTION… Is there anyone on this blog that thinks having a gay priest (even chaste) is a good idea? I hope not, but you never know who has been drinking the coolaid.

  46. catholicmidwest says:

    And of course, there is an additional problem with homosexuality in the priesthood, to which I alluded above. We have communities of homosexual priests, the “so-called boys’ clubs” and “lavender mafias,” which I have no doubt exist. There have been things that are impossible to reconcile otherwise.

    I personally believe that slowly but surely they are being cleaned out of the system, but we still do have some of them, I’m quite sure. Alliances were often made in seminaries and other places and they rely on one another for cover, and have the goods on one another. They can be very dangerous and they protect one another and keep each other “in line.” This is the real problem that the Vatican is dealing with and has been dealing with for a long time. In its own blundering way, the news media has unwittingly done us a bigger favor than we could ever have done for ourselves. It will be okay, you’ll see.

  47. catholicmidwest says:

    Mrs. O,

    The largest group is young teen-aged boys (jr high and high school age). Don’t forget that pre-teens are often groomed for a period of time before they are raped. This is to provide the semblance of a shallow but manipulative relationship between the two so that the abuse stands a chance of a) lasting for some period of time, and b) being kept secret. And you know, after a man gets into the habit of this, ala Geoghan, he gets none to fussy.

    I can’t believe I’m having to tell you this stuff, Mrs. O. You have to be the most naive individual on the North American continent if you don’t already know this stuff. But if you knew it you wouldn’t be blathering on like this, I suppose.

    The John Jay report is good information. Go read it and get your facts clear. (I was going to say straight, but….it clearly doesn’t apply, heh.)

  48. Seraphic Spouse says:

    I think I should speak up on behalf of good, chaste men with same-sex attraction (SSA). They didn’t ask for this cross, and many strive to carry it as well as they can. I have no doubt that through the grace of God some of them have made and still make excellent priests.

    Underscore “good” & “chaste” men. Obviously not all Catholic men with SSA, even in ministerial positions, are chaste (and have convenient ways of redefining what chaste menas). But we shouldn’t harden our hearts against some really great guys whose SSA is not the totality, not even a very important part, of who they are.

  49. rosshalde says:

    That being said, I do pray that SSA who know that SSA is disordered will seek help both spiritual and psychological.

  50. catholicmidwest says:

    We shouldn’t be ordaining homosexuals. The Vatican has said so directly and very clearly several times.

    We also shouldn’t be ordaining men who have any other sort of odd sexual or personal history that might cause them to commit criminal or socially unacceptable acts. This includes being a pimp, drug addict or pusher, convicted felon, etc etc etc. It also includes any sort of mental illness and some sorts of physical illnesses.

    These things are just common sense and good management.

  51. catholicmidwest says:

    Seraphic spouse, the priesthood is not a right. The priesthood is a service to the Church for which men do not compete to steal something from God. The Church has the right to say who should and should not serve in any and all capacities. And she has spoken: The Vatican has written several times that homosexuals should never be ordained.

  52. Please don’t dominate the combox.

  53. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Of course the priesthood is not a right. Of course there must be no more lavender mafias. But NOT ALL men with SSA are incapable of chaste, holy lives. Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ most probably had SSA, and yet he lived an exemplary life as a priest.

    If I understood the directive properly, men who are active homosexuals, for whom celibacy would be very difficult, must not be admitted to the seminary. But if it is church teaching saying that no man with SSA may be admitted to the priesthood any longer, of course I’d agree to it. I’d like a link to it first, though.

    It must be so terrible to be a devout Catholic with SSA, resisting the advances of lousy faux-Catholic men with SSA, and yet being dismissed as a psychiatric case by other devout Catholics! This can’t be just. When an adult man is so fully released from SSA that he can marry a woman, it’s a miracle from God, not the result of psychiatric treatment.

  54. TonyLayne says:

    Did I miss it, or did no one correct Randii’s assertion that 50% or more of Catholic priests in the US are gay? Granted she said “supposedly”, but there would have been no need for her conclusion—as much of a non sequitur as it is—if she did not place some credence behind such an absurdly inflated figure.

    I have read that Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former seminary rector, estimates that “25-50 percent” of the presbyterate is gay. Such a wide range illustrates the nature of the estimate: it is what engineers call a WAG … a Wild-A** Guess.

    Some notes about homosexuality and ephebophiles: Although the American Psychiatric Association, as well as the American Psychological Association, caved in under lobbyist pressure and bought into the homosexual self-story of being gay from birth, there are a few reparative therapists that don’t accept that mantra. Some have noted that many homosexuals (unfortunately, there is no percentage given) were victims of assault as youths; the literature I’ve seen suggests that gay ephebephiles view their predations as “initiation”, even a kind of seduction. (Strangely—and sadly—enough, sexual assault by adult males also plays a significant role in female homosexuality, where the predator is driven mostly by anger toward and fear of women.) CNA has some good basic overviews, especially these two links:

    I also suggest reading Dr. George Weigel’s The Courage to be Catholic, especially where he discusses celibacy and homosexuality in the context of the 2002 scandals.

    Oh, and BTW, catholicmidwest, I babysat a couple of times when I was a teen. Not to chide you … just to remark that, while doing so, I felt as awkward and ineffectual as a truck driver in a sewing circle. :^)=)

  55. nzcatholic says:

    I think they should start to adopt the law of the church that people who have deep seated homosexual tendencies ought not to be ordained priest nor religious.
    However sadly if all Priest who experience homosexual attractions were asked to leave or retire to a monastery then I suspect we would have very few Preist

  56. Norah says:

    An excellent book on this subject:
    After Asceticism: Sex, Prayer and Deviant Priests
    Linacre Institute – Catholic Medical Association

    This book can be downloaded onto the computer

  57. Cathomommy says:

    Good grief, even for the welfare of the man’s OWN soul, we should not be accepting men with SSA into the seminary. Why would we want to intentionally place such a soul into the near occasion of sin?

  58. Scott W. says:

    I have read that Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former seminary rector, estimates that “25-50 percent” of the presbyterate is gay. Such a wide range illustrates the nature of the estimate: it is what engineers call a WAG … a Wild-A** Guess.

    Indeed. There are several things at work in the Most-Priests-Are-Gay canard. One is just plain ol’ salacious gossip. Another thing is the tendency of defenders of homosexuals to cling to silly notion that anyone who speaks out against homosexual acts must be secretly a self-loathing homosexual (well that’s a convenient metanarrative isn’t it?). Since the Church is an institution that teaches against homosexual acts, it must be loaded with homosexuals. It’s nonsense of course, but the metanarrative is too darn convenient for anyone to bother to substantiate it. Then there is the pure sleaze like we witnessed in the Episcopal Church. That is, defenders of the ordination of gay bishops threatened everyone else to keep their mouth shut or they were going to start outing others. There was a Catholic version of this in the form of a website were people could “register” gay priests.

  59. servusmariaen says:

    “It must be so terrible to be a devout Catholic with SSA, resisting the advances of lousy faux-Catholic men with SSA, and yet being dismissed as a psychiatric case by other devout Catholics! This can’t be just. When an adult man is so fully released from SSA that he can marry a woman, it’s a miracle from God, not the result of psychiatric treatment.”

    I would agree wholeheartedly with this statement. I know of priests who carry the cross of SSA and are very holy. I’m also convinced that there have been in the history of the Church many good and holy priests who carried this heavy cross and lived holy and saintly lives. To be sure there have been and are unfortunately scoundrels. That is a grave scandal to be sure. There is a big problem and i’m not underestimating the part played by homosexual scoundrels preying on pubescent young men and the gravity of the whole mess. I pray and offer sacrifices for priests and do my best not to sit in judgement. We are all sinners in desperate need of conversion.

  60. Hidden One says:

    I would like to note – relating to the actual post by Fr. Z, that the only bishop named who is still an ordinary of a diocese – Bp. Anthony Tonnos of the Diocese of Hamilton (a diocese that is one of the brighter lights in Canada) – responded immediately by denying the knowledge that Bp. Windle wrote that he had.

    I have it from a reliable contact in the diocese that a fax was sent out to all parishes yesterday.

  61. irishgirl says:

    nazareth priest @ 9:43- you are so right!

    The priest already has a Spouse-the Church. He represents Christ, the Bridegroom.

    I don’t want to see married priests in the Church. How would the wife and kiddies of a priest feel when they have to be uprooted every six to twelve years?

  62. Allan S. says:

    Am I the only one who thinks removing pederast priests from the clerical state is a really, really bad idea?

    First, you do that you lose control over them. Second, once ordained, always ordained – so why pretend the offender is not a priest?

    Here’s what you do: once the civil authorities are done with them, use canon law to “assign them” to a contemplative life at a special monastary on a remote island somewhere. No families, no children – just a garden and daily chores until the day they die. I’m in Canada, and we have lots of little arctic islands I’m sure could be leased or bought….

  63. G’Day,

    As a priest of the Pembroke Diocese, I can answer some of the questions posed here. Prince’s victims were indeed post-pubescent thus he is not a classic pedophile.

    Bishop Windle was an extremely gentle man who always gave the benefit of the doubt to a priest – big mistake when dealing with predatory priests. If you knew the man, you would know that he signed the letter but clearly he did not compose it. It’s a small point, but I just would not want people to think that he was deliberately being complicit in trying to commit any offense.

    Please pray for our small diocese of Pembroke. It exists in the Ottawa Valley, spanning a number of small towns and villages on both sides of the Ottawa River. We are only a handful of priests – and the diocese is small enough that we are all well known throughout the area. These revelations have shaken the faith of MANY people in the Church which has always held a privileged place in people’s lives. Given our few numbers, everyone seems to think that we all must have known about Prince (and a subsequent priest who has been similarly charged) and thus we have all come under suspicion in the eyes of many. It will take many years of faithful work and witness by all we priests to win back the confidence our parishioners.

    Pray as well that we can rid the Church of all predatory priests and weak Bishops so that we can be truly cleansed and sanitized of this horrific evil from our midst.

    Fr. Tim Moyle

  64. catholicmidwest says:

    No, Allen.

    Once they are imprisoned, they are convicts and need no longer be on the payroll. Among all of the rapists, criminals and miscreants of the world, they are but a tiny group, and they join that group.

    Putting them into a contemplative setting would only open the others in that setting up to abuse and evil. We need our contemplatives in the world; we don’t need to be abusing them too.

    If we want to do anything with them before we release them, we could gather information on them into a database and use that information to avoid getting any more like them. That would be wise.

  65. irishgirl: The proponents of married priests, as a norm, have not thought this through, at all.
    As raised a Protestant (although converting at a very young age…never bought it!) I can tell you that the whole “clergy family” situation is not what the Catholic Church needs. Married deacons are one thing; married priests, converts from other denominations (I am not including the whole “Anglican” phenomenon here, who knows how this will turn out?), well there are provisions for this; usually, they are not placed within parishes.
    The whole financial, psychological and ecclesial dimensions of this would change the face of how things run, how they happen. It’s not an answer, by any means, to sexual abuse; all kinds of information and statistics reveal that celibacy is not the cause for this; it’s just sexual anarchy! And that’s not present in married life? From what I know, forgetta about it!
    If this eventually happens (which I have my doubts) it will be for other reasons; changing the discipline of clerical celibacy at this point would be a disaster. Unmitigated.

  66. nazareth priest: AMEN!!!

    Fr. Tim Moyle
    Diocese of Pembroke

  67. Thank you, Fr. Tim. My prayers.

  68. Allan S. says:

    Midwest – I think I expressed myself incompletely. I mean to say that the contemplative island where they would live out their days would ONLY be for pederast priests, and no one else. I’m trying not hard to actually call it the “Holy Pen” but I think you get the idea. Think hair shirts and hoes….

  69. CMW and Allan S:If I might add something here; pederast/molesters of teens are not interested in adult contact, for the most part; placed in an ascetical environment, under proper supervision, i.e., a monastic community or something like it, they COULD spend their days in prayer and penance; from what little I am aware of, some of these priests are terribly contrite, horribly shamed by what they have done (others, well, not so much!)…but this option, other than prison, where all kinds of dehumanization and debauchery could be the outcome; they are priests, after all. They might be criminals, but they are priests. Isn’t some kind of dignity for even the most horrid of sinners among priests something to consider?

  70. Patrick J. says:

    With all due respect to those who do know what they are talking about,

    These issues are never so “black and white” and the amount of “expert” testimony here is truly astounding, and not much hard facts to back up pronouncements from
    “on high.” That does not mean “common sense” is completely out the window, but nuanced understanding is.

    I do think the “Orthodox”/Eastern approach to these issues is historically true to the church..After all, there is the requirement, usually, if not universally, for the bishop to be celebate, or unmarried, (never married?) It also works pretty well for the Eastern Catholic rites, so I don’t see the big dust up over this point, except to agree that it would cause a bit of “getting used to” for the Western Rite, should it be adapted, but it would not be the cataclysmic event predicted here, especially if introduced gradually, in stages. Perhaps starting with the Anglicans, and widening. Celibacy, biblically, was seen as an extraordinary state, a charism, to which not everyone was called, not even all priests, as per the early church writings, especially the New Testament.

    Is celibacy a “preferred” state? Indeed, as Scripture attests, though it is not for everyone, and not, necessarily for all called to the priestly state. This is not to affirm any connection with the child molestations or pederasty, but there is the issue of loneliness now in the priesthood, which should not be overlooked as a contributor to at least some of this. Married clergy would be an antidote here, though, as someone stated, not without its own problems. My, humans are so messy. So a messy married clergy, (but not bishops), OK by this Eastern Rite Catholic.

  71. TonyLayne says:

    @nazareth priest: If you don’t mind my building on your response to irishgirl?

    One passage in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians speaks well to this issue: “I want you to be free of anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or virgin is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor 7:32-35). The demands of marriage and priesthood as vocations are strenuous enough without bringing them into conflict; in practical terms—not to cast any aspersions on married clergy of any stripe!—it must be similar to the stresses and demands placed on a bigamous husband.

    Moreover, the celibate priest, as both the conservative Dr. George Weigel and the liberal Fr. Andrew Greeley have said, functions in our world as a sign of contradiction (or, if you prefer, a dissonance producer). He shakes us up by deliberately not “fitting in”; he’s the “fifth wheel” at any social function who makes us uncomfortable; his happiness and security in his singleness is a prod in our complacency. Moreover, by giving up marriage and physical paternity, he reminds us that marriage and parenthood are good things … for what religion offers to its gods something filthy or repugnant as a sacrifice?

    Celibacy keeps getting dragged into the issue because we’re still caught up in the meta-narrative of sexuality (BTW, thanks, Scott W., for such a marvelous word!) given to us by the “flower children”, which I tend to blame on the conflation of the psychological and political senses of the term “repression”. (Not surprising, given the inundation of psychobabble and Marxist dialectics that swamped the language of the Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras.) The human mind naturally gravitates towards defining things in terms of polar opposites and to assigning “good-bad” values to them. Repression of women and racial minorities is bad; repression of free speech is bad; therefore it must follow that repression of sexual urges is bad, right? And if repression is bad, then expression must be good, n’est-ce pas? Thus was the complexity of human sexual dynamics flattened by bad semantics, and a surfeit of social dysfunctions seeded in a fallacy of equivocation.

  72. TonyLayne says:

    @Patrick J.

    So you suggest the solution to our current problems is to exchange them for another set of problems? Forgive me if I don’t quite see the wisdom of that.

    I hope you don’t take anything I say here as a slur or degradation of the Eastern rites, or that we of the Latin Rite are “more Catholic than thou”. But as I’ve said above, I truly believe that marriage and priesthood are demanding enough vocations without mixing them. Moreover, as much as defenders of the married clergy speak of celibacy as a “preferred state”, wiser heads than mine have noted that “optional celibacy” would quickly become a virtual obligation to marry, as it has for other rites and denominations.

    Besides which, this is exactly the wrong time to give up the celibate priest, precisely because we need them as a sign of contradiction now more than ever, when both outside and inside forces are pushing us to give in to the “signs of the times”. To surrender on this point of discipline would be construed as a sign that the Church is weakening in its resistance on points of moral dogma … it would appear as the crack in the dam which presages its collapse. Just taking in married priests from the Anglicans and Lutherans is problematic enough! Maybe some year in the future, when Western civilization regains its sanity, the Church could relax to some extent; right now, let us content ourselves with having the “Eastern lung of the Church” filled with married clergy.

  73. Patrick J. says:


    You could not degrade the Catholic Eastern rites. They are affirmed, solidly.

    First, I am not, per se, suggesting a solution. I am going by the Scriptures AND Church tradition. Let us remember, priests and celibates were not always lockstep the same. So it is not my WISH for anything, problems or no. It was my polite way of dismissing the “alarmist” reaction to those sets of possibilities for the Latin rite, IOW, for the Latin rite to return to its own roots, as Peter was married, etc. No one fretted too much then, at least as per the Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers, at least not with very much “alarm.”

    I did not say celibacy was wrong for the priesthood, nor having celibate priests, quite the contrary – as per (as you noted) my affirmation of its “preferred” (as per Jesus, Paul) status.

    Your phrasing, “let us,” “we need,” “I truly believe… etc….” all of which I could (and most should) give a tinkers damn about, as well as my own set of “wishes.” It ain’t about me, or you, honey, or what I/you think. The Holy Spirit is still guiding the Church, thank Him very much. At times, and places, celibacy, ( non-optional), is in and sometimes it is out. I am just pointing that out, not wishing for it because “I think” it to be or ought to be. I grew up in a church where “my opinion” mattered very little, (really, not at all) and I kinda like that. I trust the Pope here. Makes me think it is not “my” church, but Somebody Bigger’s.

  74. catholicmidwest says:

    Allan S,

    Nice. A whole island dedicated to debauchery and perverts, maintained by the Catholic Church. What would the NYT do with that, I wonder? Not to mention these mens’ claims to civil rights and all that…..

    Put your feet on the ground, Allen.

  75. PostCatholic says:

    There are two such ‘islands’ near St. Louis, Missouri. The Servants of the Paraclete run one of ’em.

    Anyway. One reason celibacy gets dragged into it is that the state of being sexually immature is more easily hid within the cover of clerical celibacy. That is, some people do not develop adult sexuality of attraction to peer relationships. Of those folks, a percentage are highly likely to engage in the criminal abuse that a small percentage of clerics have done. Is it fair that clerical celibacy is scrutinized in this way? To an extent, yes, but that simply means that the Catholic church needs an alertness to how a minority of people chose that lifestyle for inappropriate reasons.

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