Theologian opponent of ‘Humanae vitae’ reveals himself as an “active homosexual

Imagine how shocked I am at this news.

From Catholic Culture:

Theologians’ conflicts of interest

Gregory Baum, one of the influential theologians who led the charge against Humanae Vitae, has now revealed that he is, and has been since the 1960s, an active homosexual.  [What a shock. Still, I guess that’s better than being a passive homosexual.]

Are you surprised? No; it’s a familiar story. [Nah… I was just kidding about being surprised.] A theologian writes that it’s unrealistic to expect people to live in sexual continence, and eventually we learn that the theologian isn’t willing or able to control his own sexual impulses. So he has a vested interest in changing Church teaching; that teaching is an indictment of his behavior. [It’s like the seminary prof who taught moral theology – HAH! – at my old seminary.  He wrote and wrote against Veritatis splendor… before he outed himself and left active ministry (a good choice – fidelity would have been better, but I’ll take it.  It’s like a vocations director of my native place who… never mind.  You get the idea.]

The editors of medical journals understand the danger involved in conflicts of interest. If a researcher wants to publish an article on the effectiveness of a new drug or device, he is required to certify that he has no financial ties to the manufacturer. The reasons for that policy are obvious.

I propose a similar policy regarding the work of theologians who question the Church’s teachings on human sexuality. When submitting an article for publication, they should send along a signed statement, testifying that they have lived chastely, in accordance with their state in life, for the past ten years. Then at least readers can feel some degree of confidence that the article is not a special pleading, an elaborate excuse for the author’s personal weaknesses.


Look.  I have serious admiration for those who suffer from “same sex attraction” who live chaste lives.  They must bear a truly painful burden.  Yesterday I ranted for awhile about how we need to be willing to suffer when we resist temptations.  HERE  I imagine that that affliction must be a real cross to bear.  It could very well be that these people, striving for holiness, will eventually have very high places in Heaven because of what they endured in this life.

To all those out there who have this affliction (no, it is not a blessing), our prayers and high hopes are with you.  Avoid temptations and avoid scandal.  Be strong.  Persevere.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. LeeF says:

    Oh if we could burn heretics at the stake today, where would we start? So many possibilities.

  2. Probably best to start with ourselves, sinners that we are. A worthwhile reminder to go to confession, and often.

  3. Peter Stuart says:

    Having this affliction sure isn’t a blessing. Not that the institutional Church gives a damn. I’m thankful you do.

    [Indeed I do. But I also take my cue from the CDF’s document on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. I think the “institutional” Church does care.]

  4. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Surprise surprise.

  5. DisturbedMary says:

    “When submitting an article for publication, they should send along a signed statement, testifying that they have lived chastely for the past ten years…..”

    Excellent idea. I would extend this to a verbal acclimation when giving a sermon at Mass that in any way touches on homosexuality. I would also include a statement as to whether Father believes that the Church is right in its teaching about homosexuality or should be updated to keep up with the times.

  6. MarylandBill says:

    To be a faithful Christian is to, in some sense be a hypocrite. After all, if we are faithful, we know we are going to fall short of the standard that God sets… which is why God gave us the sacraments. However, I will happily accept that I am that sort of hypocrite as opposed to the other type… which is the person who professes to be a faithful Catholic while actually trying to undermine the teachings of the Church.

  7. Benedict Joseph says:

    Peter Stuart, the Church does care. I regret that you have not yet confronted that reality. Believe me, it does very much. The issue these days is that license is not care. Don’t mistake it for real spiritual guidance. I think we forget that homosexuality is a problematic symptom of a deeper wound.
    As for Gregory Baum, his situation has been fairly discernable for decades. His real problem is not homosexuality, but ambiguity of faith. Baumism is not and never was substitute for assent to the Faith. He never seemed to get that .

  8. Joe in Canada says:

    I like the Eastern approach – theologians are first of people people of prayer, famous for their devotion to the liturgical life of the church.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m failing to understand how he can be an “active homosexual” and still be a Roman Catholic priest. Are not Roman Catholic priests taking a vow of celibacy? Has that been done away with? In what sense is this person, “active”?
    This festering wound on the Church is coming to a great, big, ugly head. It is causing significant pain to the Body of Christ, and until it is lanced and disinfected, it is going to continue to make the Body sick indeed. We can ignore it, put a bandaid on it, but it is going to remain there until it is surgically excised and cleaned out.
    Lee F. I’m with you. If not burning at the stake, then at least kicking out of the Church. They commit blasphemy, sacrilege, and heresy, and we have all become complacent in tolerating them. Now look. They have our church by the throat.
    Father Maurer, we are all in need of forgiveness, but many in our church are raging, flaming heretics. We need to see the beam in our own eye, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying heretics. In fact, it is our duty, and as we see, it is very late already. They should not have gotten as far as they have.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    Clearly there are psychological issues related to homosexuality. One cannot dismiss the obvious relationship between the orientation of homosexuality and dissension from what we would call orthodox Roman Catholicism. What the spiritual or psychological foundation of that is, I’m sure I don’t know, but of course it is there. There are concomitant serious defects, pederasty being another one. The first problem gives us heresy and destruction of Catholicism. The second one gives us a holocaust of little boys and young men’s lives, ruined by vile men who put their hands on them to corrupt them.

  11. Ivan says:

    Try to imagine than why is that so-called ‘liberation theology’ so populair for some people.
    Take for example the (very populair) writings of Henri J.M. Nouwen, who has the same ‘problem.
    In his book ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son’, he actually NEVER came back to the Father.
    In some another book his thoughts were that there must be a Hell, but it must be empty, because God’s ‘infinite mercy’…
    Most of us will see and hear many more ‘surprises’ in the coming days. That’s for sure.

  12. Justalurkingfool says:

    Those who believe that continence is not possible are self-deceived.

    Since my wife abandoned our marriage when I was 35, I have remained faithful to our vows. At 62, it may be easier to abide by
    our vows due to the physical consequences of aging, however it is not easier based upon a decrease in temptation.

    In fact, as our marriage has been abandoned by the Church and the nightmare I continue to live goes on, as the powers that be mock my faithfulness with increasing intensity and frequency from the hight clerical levels, my personal, face to face struggle with temptation is increasing.


    It is as if these people(clerics) are intentionally trying to seduce me and abandoned spouses like myself, into rationalization to justify adultery for me.

    If the Church does not do an about face, these people(clerics) may well succeed in their endeavors.

    I do not see the Church doing an about face. So, since I will not return to the Sacraments until that about face happens in a very public and forceful manner, in most likelihood, I will succumb to temptation.

    Only time will tell. My faith is dying. No kind words or encouragement are desired by me. These people(clerics) must be crushed, openly and in public or my soul will go to serve Satan, unless God personally intervenes.

    It seems that my fidelity was a joke from my wedding day.

    Those who I hurt most for are our children.


  13. Cranky Old Man says:

    Father Z raises an interesting point about conflict of interest, special pleading and self-dealing. Some folks my age will remember the Australian novelist Morris West, whose novels Shoes of the Fisherman and The Devil’s Advocate were very popular. It is my recollection that he remarried after having divorced his first wife and then waged a long crusade to get the Church to change her marriage laws so that his situation would no longer be considered irregular. Alas, he died a Pontiff or two early. By coincidence (regarding the following blog entry) he died, as I recall, while working on a book about Giordano Bruno.

  14. Clinton R. says:

    It is not surprising Gregory Baum revealed himself as an “active homosexual”. Not only did he oppose Humanae Vitae, he also was the composer of Nostra Aetate. Thanks to that document, the Church no longer has a mission to preach the Gospel to the Jews. Instead the novelty of ‘parallel covenants’ was introduced. It could very well be argued homosexual prelates are behind the radical departure from Church doctrine, teaching and praxis that the faithful have been forced to endure the last 5 decades. Surely, there has been an absence in manliness in that the heresies that are plaguing the Church have gone unchecked and heterodoxy has reigned supreme.

    How much credibility should we place in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, when men such as Baum, were allowed to transfer their opposition to sound doctrine and tradition, and to make such novelties official Church teaching? Is it indeed true the Second Vatican Council was a counter council to Trent? It has become quite difficult to believe otherwise. Let us all pray to Our Lord that He may raise up good and faithful men to combat these assaults against His Bride. Domine, misèrere nobis. +JMJ+

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    Karl, you did not come all this way just to cave in at this point in your life. Do not think you are alone in your situation, far from it, you have much company, other Catholics who understand that by making this sacrifice they unite themselves to God in a particular way. With age comes wisdom, let that be enough. No amount of fornicating at this point is going to give you near the contentment of seeing this through to the end. Your reward will be great!
    Your understanding of what God intends for you surely has never been reliant on the opinions of men, has it? No, you built your house on rock, not sand, and anyone who has already done what you’ve already done know the truth and won’t let go of it so easily. You would not be robbed at this point. Stay the course. Keep the faith.

  16. Barnacle says:

    How much credibility, indeed. Rorate Coeli has just posted a great interview with Archbishop Schneider where he answers this question in depth. Everyone, go there and listen; you will be mightily heartened! He also talks about SSPX and AL.

  17. Benedict Joseph says:

    Karl: Good sir, you are not alone in the experience of yet greater temptation during this incredibly undermining period in our collective history as Roman Catholics. The past four years have been a crucible for me — and I am in your age group. But persevere! Prayer is absolutely essential. The Rosary, the morning offering. Chaplets while you are driving (I use the bumps on the steering wheel to keep count.) The Liturgy of the Hours is my backbone.
    Do not allow yourself to be discouraged by stumbles. Go to confession as often as required, or even more, and above all — no discouragement. That is the Adversary’s weapon. Our Lord knows what you are suffering. He knows why. He is with you.
    Finally in just the past few months there has been some release for me from this difficult and humiliating trial. It will come to an end — just don’t allow yourself to be discouraged.
    You are remembered in prayer.

  18. DeGaulle says:


    Kathleen and Benedict Joseph have said it far more eloquently than anything I could hope to say.

    All I can add is to encourage you to continue sticking it to these despicable, and almost certainly atheistic, liberals, as you have done so honourably all your life. To red-blooded men, women are awesomely attractive. Some of them are worth it, some are not. Honour the best of them by sticking it out.

  19. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    Dear Karl,

    Keep the Faith, as others have written, you are not alone. The liberal press, and bad priests, may mock and tell us, over and over and over again, that continence is impossible. I used to think so too, but they are wrong. We are surround by provocative images and immodest people, see them as a grace to allow you to practice your continence more perfectly! Give thanks for them, as your redouble your efforts. And above all pray, as Benedict-Joseph says, the Liturgy of the Hours, in Latin or English, and make it habitual, and you will have the armour you need to fight the demons.

    Don’t forget, Our Lord was fully human too, that means that He also felt these human temptations – by His perfection He resisted them. That is what He asks of us, and gives us Grace to win, which is a reflection of His own perfection. Never let anyone tell you it is impossible, not even bishops, as we see these recent weeks: that would be to deny both the gift of Grace and Christ’s own words.

    Oremus pro invicem!

  20. oldconvert says:

    Karl, I walked the same path as you for many years, keeping faithful to the teaching of the Church, until the death of my ex-husband. I know how difficult and lonely it can be. The Devil talks to us using many disguises; some of those wear the appearance of virtue; do not fall for his wiles! I will keep you in my prayers.

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Justalurkingfool,

    You know how I feel. Hang in there. Go to confession. You stand a better chance of converting your wife if you, yourself, are pure.

    I will write more, maybe, tomorrow. I am not feeling well, today.

    The Chicken

  22. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Kathleen10 asks “how he can be an ‘active homosexual’ and still be a Roman Catholic priest?”

    While history unfortunately records many such occurrences, it does not in this case. Baum is not a priest. The “OC” after his name stands for “Order of Canada”, a political award of the Canadian government. However, Baum is very popular with those who are described by your question.

  23. hwriggles4 says:

    Peter Stuart:

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Here are two suggestions on the east coast for finding a Courage group:

    1. Contact Fr. Paul Scalia in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington. You could find his contact info through the Diocese. It may take him a week to call you back, so be patient.

    2. Contact Fr. Check in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He has discussed Courage numerous times on Catholic Answers Live. You can go to and listen to a saved rebroadcast. Fr. Check is now a seminary rector in Connecticut.

    Why do I suggest this? Both might be able to give you contact information for the Courage group closest to your home. My old pastor moderated a Courage group, and my thinking is that screening is involved for attendees, in order to protect confidentiality.

    It may take a while for someone to call you back. I would call instead of email, since email contacts may not be up to date. A Parish in my area held a fundraiser for Courage a few months ago, and I was surprised that when my old pastor became a bishop, Courage did not have an official priest moderator for a year and a half.

    Peter Stuart, I hope this helps, and the Church does care.

  24. Justalurkingfool says:


    Feel better, my friend.

    The kindness of all who have replied is appreciated. To insult any of you by not acknowledging that is not who I am or how I operate.

    But, it has long been clear to me that only direct and very serious intervention, with real, in the present, consequences would address the damage that priests and bishops are still doing. It must come from the Pope, or it would be rationalized away.

    This is the only way to begin to heal our marriage and it would begin the process to heal the Church in marital matters, if only the Pope had the eyes to see it. Both my wife and he must change course.


  25. Chiara says:

    Father – Like you, I am not shocked by this man’s personal revelation. Sometimes people tend to fiercely attack the truth when they have a guilty conscience. He is seeking justification for acts which he knows, in his heart, are immoral.

    I must tell you, I was very touched and heartened by your final paragraph in this posting. My Godfather, who is also my uncle, and whom I have loved all my life, is a bachelor. He is a bit of an introvert and a little prickly, but he has a kind, sympathetic, and generous heart and is a fine Catholic. I could not have dreamed up a manly Catholic example for a Godfather than he.

    He was my grandmother’s caregiver, living at home, keeping the house up, and paying the bills year after year. He served our country in the Korean War, and he worked nights for 8 years until he earned his college degree. He sacrificed his personal luxuries, like traveling, to do the right thing. Instead of travelling to Rome, Ireland, or other places he dreamed of, he spent his vacations on a ladder, painting their 2-1/2 story house.

    He suffered countless indignities and humiliations at work and from non-family members, who found it hilarious that a man his age lived with his mother and did not date women, go out drinking, or look at pornography and indulge in indecent jokes. They assumed he was a homosexual, and they made his job, which he liked, a living hell.

    I have no idea if my uncle is homosexual or that he never found the right woman, or maybe he is simply happy being single. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as he is happy and God is happy with him. But you are right to pray for those who live a solitary life chastely, and who endure humiliation because they do not fit in with the worldly way society expects us to behave. It takes a lot of character and bravery to live every day, remembering their duty to God, and then facing the world and its shallow expectations.

    Thank you so much for remembering to pray for these good people, who often are forgotten and misunderstood.

    God’s peace and best blessings to you and all your readers – Susan, ofs

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