New report: strong link between homosexuality and clerical abuse – #sodoclericalism

Here’s a strong cup of wake-the-hell-up coffee from my friend Jennifer Morse and Ruth Institute. The National Catholic Register conveys the news.

Is Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Related to Homosexual Priests?
An interview with sociologist Father Paul Sullins, whose new study documents a strong linkage between the incidence of abuse and homosexuality in the priesthood and in seminaries.
Matthew E. Bunson
On Nov. 2, the Ruth Institute published a new report that dares to ask a question many researchers — and Catholics — have been afraid to ask: What has been the role of active homosexuality and homosexual subcultures in the priesthood and in seminaries on the sex-abuse crisis?

The report — which indicates a very strong correlation between homosexual priests and homosexual subcultures and the incidence of clergy sexual abuse — is in part a response to the two important studies commissioned by the U.S. Bishops in the face of the sex-abuse crisis that were conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The 2004 study was entitled, “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States,” and the 2011 report was called, “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.”

The 2011 report was heavily criticized at the time of its release for its assertion that it found no evidence that homosexual priests were to blame for the abuse crisis, despite the fact that more than 80% of the victims were male and that 78% were postpubescent. Critics claimed that the report bowed to political correctness and fear of a backlash in academia.

Seven years on, the Ruth Institute has weighed into the research of the sex-abuse crisis, specifically addressing the issue of homosexuality. A global nonprofit organization, the Ruth Institute was founded by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., to help study and find solutions to the toxic impact of the sexual revolution. The new report was the work of Father D. Paul Sullins, Ph.D., a senior research associate of the Ruth Institute. Father Sullins recently retired as professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., and has focused on same-sex parenting and its implications for child development, the trauma that women suffer following abortion, and the impact of clergy sex abuse. A former Episcopalian, Father Sullins is a married Catholic priest.

The central thrust of the report is that the share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s, [Sweet Jesus, save us!] a trend that was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse. At the same time, a quarter of priests ordained in the late 1960s report the existence of a homosexual subculture in their seminaries, rising to over half of priests ordained in the 1980s, a second trend that was also strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.

Father Sullins spoke to the Register about the report on Oct. 31. Aware of the controversy that will surround any effort to research the possible role of homosexual priests in the clergy sex-abuse crisis, including the likelihood he will be demonized and called a homophobe, he said bluntly, “To people who hate the truth, the truth looks like hate.

What follows is an interview with Fr. Sullins about the report.   One of the things he points out is that we don’t know with accuracy which seminaries were the most involved in promoting deviant men and “de-selecting” those who are straight and faithful.

This work is urgently needed.

The problem is not “clericalism”.  The problem is homosexual clericalism…. sodoclericalism.

Until this is addressed fully, the problems won’t be dealt with.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. bigtex says:

    This was all written about in Michael Rose’s book “Goodbye, Good Men”. The infiltration of the Church started with the Communists back in the 1930s, who then actively recruited homosexual seminarians. Also, many straight priests left the seminaries in 1960s due to the sexual revolution, where Freudian psychologists were telling them it was unhealthy to be celibate. Same for the gay priests who stayed, so is it any wonder they abused teenage boys? . $5 to anyone who can identify the common thread here.

  2. Nicholas says:

    On the one hand, it is good that this report come out. Further evidence and detailed data on these things can only be helpful.

    On the other hand, this was already known. If this report can get published, then maybe I can make a pretty penny on my report coming out next week, “The Correlation between Rabies Infections and Bites by Squirrels Foaming at the Mouth.”

    See it in Biology Today.

  3. richiedel says:

    But, but, but…clericalism!

  4. Gaetano says:

    The bishops report would have us believe that heterosexual men attracted to adult women preyed upon younger men because they are more accessible.

    It takes real sand to attempt an argument like that.

  5. The Masked Chicken says:

    The article quoted Fr. Sullins as saying:

    “So something was going on beyond just mere sexual orientation to encourage this horrible immoral activity that has wrought such harm to so many victims.”

    As I mentioned, before, there is no mathematical model to describe the abuse crisis, so I am making one. My first attempt, using standard epidemiological modeling techniques nailed the abuse graph in the John Jay Study, but there was a problem in that abused boys don’t go on to abuse other boys (at least, not most and not immediately), so that approach had to be modified. I am writing the computer code for the updated model and I should have results by next week. The model is more complex, because it treats the abusive priests as vectors and the boys as non-contagious hosts, much like in Lyme disease: the tick (vector) bites an infected mouse (reservoir of infection) and then bites a human (host), who gets the disease, but does not pass it on. In the model, the reservoir is the missing link that Fr. Sullins is talking about, causing the infection or “activation,” of a priest, who becomes a vector for abuse.

    The rise of homosexuality is correlated with abuse R=.98, according to Fr. Sullins’s work, so, this gives information I needed, namely, the rate of priest activation, which is, probably, a power law relationship. So, I can use his data to refine one of the variables in the model.

    In the original article, which I am rewriting for publication, I was able to identify four reasons why the abuse crisis of minors decreased so rapidly after 1980. I am pretty sure I know what happened and you’re not going to like it. In fact, the abuse crisis never ended, it just jumped population, much as a disease will under environmental stress. I call it, “abuse zoonosis,” after the process in biology where a disease will pass from, say, pigs to humans.

    As to the cause of the crisis, one has to ask what activated the priests. I have heard hypotheses of Communist infiltration, the sexual revolution, clericalism and none of them is satisfactory. That something, radically, change in 1960 – the data is clear – but the process is very complex and involves at least two stages and two World Wars and two generations of youth. A mathematical model cannot isolate the infectious agent. That takes field work and historical sleuthing. All I can do is make a reasonable guess, but my hypothesis does seem to satisfy all of the facts.

    The other issue of homosexual networks can definitely be dealt with, mathematically. Indeed, network modeling is being used, extensively, to model the spread of disease, memes, etc. It is well-suited for modeling the abuse crisis. Unfortunately, we don’t have the data we need – but we can get it. Someone needs to make a database of abusers and the seminaries they graduated from and professors they studied with as well as any classmates who became abusers. Then, one can build a network model (its called a small-world network) of how the abuse was spread.

    Why the bishops aren’t doing this, I don’t know. Maybe they don’t want to know. I can’t say. What I can say is the Dallas Charter was locking the barn door after the horse had fled. By 2002, the abuse crisis of minors was over – it has jumped to a new population. While their efforts were useful, they were not a treatment, merely a preventative. They isolated young boys, effectivelt quarantining, them by virtue of the safeguards they put in place, but they did little to track down, isolate, and destroy the actual infectious agent.

    Fr. Sullins and I are on the same page. If the updated model has some interesting results (and it will use a geographic component to associate abuse with priest population density), I will send Fr. Z a copy of the paper and try to get it peer-reviewed as soon as possible. The problem is that the academic publication process can take anywhere from a week, for rapid communications in physics, to two years in the humanities. Also, being an outsider (epidemiology is not my field, but math is math), it may take longer to go through the process.

    In any case, there is too much rhetoric and not enough facts in this entire abuse crisis. As good as the John Jay study is, I think the bishops should have hired the CDC instead of a College of Law. The CDC would have had the sense to track down patient zero and develop a transmission map.

    The Chicken

  6. QuietContemplative says:

    Having agreed with this argument for some time, I found his report unsurprising. However, his last comments I found rather startling, namely that Cardinal Weurl was his bishop and that he disagreed with the general opinion about the man. I find that circle difficult to square, but it does make me appreciate that Card. Weurl is perhaps less infectiously toxic than events and media appeared to point to. I’m shocked he didn’t shut down Fr. Sullins. Though, he still has plenty of time to reassign him to Antarctica before he ACTUALLY retires so maybe we throw out a little prayer for Fr. Sullins.

  7. AA Cunningham says:

    “I think my own bishop, Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, has been maliciously and unfairly characterized, and he’s done a lot better job on this issue than is generally known.” Father Paul Sullins
    With all that is already known about the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington that statement is absurd. I would wager a hefty sum that when all is said and done and the layers of the onion are peeled back by the DC attorney general, Karl Racine, as well as U.S. Attorney William McSwain, Donald Wuerl may very well end up being indicted by a grand jury and ultimately being sentenced to prison.

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I like your math and thought processes, but I dont think there is a typhoid Mary for this problem.

    Homosexuality seems to affect the rich, the poor, the Catholic, the pagan. As you state, most victims do not go on to abuse.

    I think some perverts are attracted to the priesthood like they are attracted to becoming scout leaders, teachers, etc: these positions give the would be predator access and authority over the victims they are interested in abusing. Co-predators abet and promote eachother. Homosexuality is particularly easy for a priest to hide, easier than heterosexual unchastity assuredly.

    In any case, the homosexuality prevalence to abuse R value is pretty striking (even in a world of often unlinked associations). When combined with the fact 80% of victims were teenage boys by older men it becomes so obvious and seemingly irrefutable from a logic standpoint to me.

  9. ChrisP says:

    Oh dear. Someone should tell Jesuit psychology apologist Thomas Plante about Fr Sullins actual study. Plante might learn a thing or two about studying the population in question instead of melding data of normal people to dissipate the pathology of the offenders – which is what he did at Amerika magazine.

  10. Robert_H says:

    “To people who hate the truth, the truth looks like hate.”

    That’s got the makings of another Fr Z coffee mug and bumper sticker set.

  11. DeGaulle says:

    I’ll second Robert_H, and can I pre-order half a dozen?

  12. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    “Aware of the controversy that will surround any effort to research the possible role of homosexual priests in the clergy sex-abuse crisis, including the likelihood he will be demonized and called a homophobe…”

    He should also be aware of the possibility of being falsely accused as well as being unlawfully surveilled, harassed, and intimidated by law enforcement or other entities.

    This commentator has published multiple articles criticizing and labeling homosexuality as both psychologically and spiritually disordered. This commentator has rebuked liberalism in general. This commentator has also rebuked and criticized Islam on several occasions. And this commentator has rebuked his bishop and multiple priests for their apparent support of several liberal causes.

    Apparently as a result of merely engaging in free speach, this commentator has apparently been put under unlawful surveillance. The surveillance is not solely surveillance, though, but also includes harassment, intimidation, and even likely being forcibly drugged – twice. One priest may be aware of this forced drugging and he has a duty to inform me of what he knows. It was likely an assault with a chemical weapon, and it was done in a Catholic Chapel and later at the hospital Emergency Room.

    One needs to be aware of the possibility (likelihood) of there being a large presence of liberals – pro-“gay”, pro-Islam, pro-fornication, pro-abortion, pro-socialism, etc. – people in authoritative positions within law enforcement.

    A fact of life is that liberals will be liberals – or, in other words, gravely evil people will do gravely evil things. This means that these liberals in authoritative positions within law enforcement will abuse their authority. There is no question about it; they will abuse their positions of power to get revenge on people who criticize their false gods (homosexuality, abortion, contraception, Islam, fornication, etc.). There are many examples of liberals with too much (and almost entirely un-regulated) power who apparently abuse that power to cover up for evils.

    There is likely a secret police entity in America which operates through an apparently large presence of plain-clothed persons. Notably, these plain-clothed persons are in churches and chapels, and some of the (apparent) females involved in this plain-clothed police operation may even wear veils! (I say “apparent”, because one that wears a veil looks a lot like a transgender, and the veil may be used to hide male features.)

    One of their tactics is intimidation through reckless driving. They literally act like a mob. They are accurately labeled the “Gaystapo” due to their apparent support of homosexuality and other liberal causes. They apparently harass other civilians and even priests to get them to participate in their diabolical harassment schemes which involve the propagation of false accusations against their targeted person. They apparently intentionally mis-lead the public so as to gain support for and assistance with their harassment. And they harass and intimidate before, during, and after the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    So, being called a homophobe should be the least of a person’s worries when criticizing homosexuality or when rightly diagnosing the problem within the priesthood as homosexuality and sodo-clericalism. There is a Gestapo in America and they appear to be pro-“gay”.

  13. bigtex says:

    The chicken, I think you’re making a mistake ruling out the communist infiltration and sexual revolution 30 years later, when the Church is busy being crippled by Vatican II. The two are inextricably linked (think Freud and Willhelm Reich among others). Homosexuality is not a mentall illness or disease, it’s a disorder resulting from childhood trauma. And Atra Dicenda makes a good point that many were naturally attracted to the priesthood (not the first time this has happened in history). But who let them in the seminaries? Those out to corrupt the Church…our 2000 year old enemies. And what better way to do so than by attacking the Church’s Achilles heel – priestly celibacy.

  14. Jacques says:

    When the share of homosexual men in the priesthood already was twice that of the general population , on feb 2nd 1961 Pope John XXIII wisely issued the Instructions “Religiosorum Institutio” which in my opinion was the latest important document written before the Council VATII.
    Among other things one can read:
    “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.”
    These instructions never were enforced: The euphory of the council, the “opening to the world” made them utterly disregarded, forgotten, despised as an obsolete remain of a bygone age.
    If the rectors of the seminaries did heed them certainly the shameful crisis the Church is undergoing would have been avoided.

  15. jaykay says:

    bigtex says: “Homosexuality is not a mentall illness or disease, it’s a disorder resulting from childhood trauma.”

    It may well be, but let’s not forget sinful nature. We can have many disorders resulting from trauma, childhood or otherwise, but we don’t have to act on them when we know they’re wrong.

  16. un-ionized says:

    Chicken, are you saying that the abuser population is different now or that the victim population is different?

    I have had personal experience with mental abuse by gay priests who are closeted and who feign orthodoxy so well that no one believes they are gay except someone familiar with the way gay men behave in a group (they are Friars living in a Midwestern priory), ganging up in women who are alone. They act like a more vicious version of the Ashleys on “Recess.” They recently had a day of reparation for “clergy abuse,” they can’t even call it what it is. Needless to say, it was a hypocritical farce.

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear bigtex,

    You wrote:

    “The chicken, I think you’re making a mistake ruling out the communist infiltration and sexual revolution 30 years later, when the Church is busy being crippled by Vatican II. The two are inextricably linked (think Freud and Willhelm Reich among others). Homosexuality is not a mentall illness or disease, it’s a disorder resulting from childhood trauma.”

    As for the sexual revolution, the John Jay Data is clear: there is a sudden, rapid escalation of young boy abuse starting in 1960. While it is true that there was an undercurrent of liberal sexual culture coming to the surface in the 1950’s, especially with regards to birth control and the stirrings of what would become the Counterculture movement a decade later in the Beat Movement, nevertheless, the 1950’s were a time of Ossie and Harriet and Bishop Sheen. If there were a direct connection of abuse with the Sexual Revolution, the spike would have started later in the 1960’s. The inciting reason must exist before 1960.

    Secondly, with regards to Communism, the 1950’s was smack dab in the middle of the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism. Yes, there could have been Communist infiltration in other countries (almost certainly, Latin America), but it would have been hard in the U. S. in the 1950’s and we are talking about abuse statistics in the U. S.

    More and more, I am becoming convinced that the key year was 1958. More, later.

    The Chicken

  18. bigtex says:

    The Chicken,
    McCarthy was later proven to be right with the release of the Venona papers, at least in many of his accusations. So yes, the US gov’t had been infiltrated, so why not the Church in America? It was the Frankfurt School from Germany that set up shop in universities like Columbia and Cal Berkeley in the 1930, and ever since has been pushing the cultural Marxism that is wrecking our schools and country. Anyway, you bring up some interesting points and I will be interested to hear what you find out.

  19. bigtex says:

    Jacques, so even Pope John XXIII recognized the problem in the seminaries ad early as 1961, but even by then it was probably too late. Vatican II was just the crowning achievement of the Church infiltrators. The Jesuit 5th column played a huge part in this as well.

    JayKay, you’re exactly right.

  20. Dismas says:

    @Masked Chicken – I will await with much anticipation. I’m not sure that a true “Patient Zero” can really be found, as this is more of situation of a major outbreak of something that has existed in the background for centuries. I suspect that this is more of a scenario where some critical threshold is cleared, then takes root. Perhaps this is already included in your analysis, so again I must wait with what little patience I have.

    1958 is an interesting plot-hook, as it is only a year before the Pill cleared the FDA…

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear un-ionized,

    You wrote:

    “Chicken, are you saying that the abuser population is different now or that the victim population is different?”

    Neither. I am saying that the fall-off in young boy abuse during the 1900’s was because of several factors, which lead to abusers moving on to greener pastures and abandoning the young boys as a primary target of opportunity, so the numbers dropped. They never stopped being abusers, however. They just found a different population to abuse for which no statistics exist to see that the abuse jumped populations, but continued on.

    Does anyone know if there are published records of seminarian and adult male abuse by clergy? If my hypothesis is correct, it would show the zoonosis.

    The Chicken

  22. un-ionized says:

    Chicken, thank you, I see. The victim population is simply older now. Unfortunately too little time has been spent on dealing with female victims, this isn’t entirely a homosexual problem. Though in my case I believe the perpetrators are homosexual malignant narcissists. Who got away with it. One is now in charge of formation for part of his Order.

    Oh well, the Bible predicts all of this and tells us what to do. We just have to read the manual.

  23. maternalView says:

    “bigtex says: “Homosexuality is not a mentall illness or disease, it’s a disorder resulting from childhood trauma.”
    It may well be, but let’s not forget sinful nature. We can have many disorders resulting from trauma, childhood or otherwise, but we don’t have to act on them when we know they’re wrong.”

    You are so correct. But we live in a time where if you had a trauma you are excused from behaving in a proper manner. I know people who believe they had a “trauma” and so choose the incorrect path and continue to act like a victim. These traumas are often “just life” situations that one needs family to navigate. The reason the Church identifies these things as sins is because it knows we can overcome them!

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