Pope Emeritus Benedict Is Right: The Sexual Revolution Is Part of the Problem

Pope Emeritus Benedict Is Right: The Sexual Revolution Is Part of the Problem

So let’s be part of the solution. 

National Catholic Register, May 24, 2019.

Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote an extended essay on the clergy sex-abuse and cover-up scandal, where he cited the sexual revolution coming of age in Europe in 1968 as a contributing factor.

Some critical commentators thought Benedict’s attention to the sexual revolution was misplaced. Some, such as seasoned reporter and Vatican watcher Christopher Altieri, observed that the problem preceded the sexual revolution. Some say the problem is bigger than sexual morality. And to be perfectly honest, some want to say that the problem is anything but the sexual revolution and/or anything but homosexuality.

I’m willing to concede that clergy sexual abuse didn’t start in 1968 and that the clergy sexual-abuse crisis has many other important facets.

In spite of this, however, I maintain that the sexual revolution really is a significant factor. I will go further. We will not get a full grip on this problem until we confront the toxic ideology of the sexual revolution and the damage it has done.

And yet I fully sympathize with the desire to set it aside. Let me explain. Continue reading “Pope Emeritus Benedict Is Right: The Sexual Revolution Is Part of the Problem”

What Did Author Hope to Accomplish With ‘In the Closet of the Vatican’?

Originally published at the National Catholic Register, March 18, 2019

The reception of Frederic Martel’s widely anticipated book In the Closet of the Vatican has been surprising. The tantalizing hints dropped before the “bombshell,” “salacious” book’s release exclaimed, “80% of Vatican priests gay.” After an initial international media flurry, the book has dropped out of sight. Two questions arise in my mind. First, what, if anything, can we infer from this deeply flawed book?  Second, what did Martel believe he was accomplishing?

The author, Frederic Martel, is a self-described “French gay atheist.” His overarching theme is that the Church’s stance on homosexuality is hypocritical and harmful. Many priests are living “double lives,” professing Church teaching by day and seeking homosexual sex by night.

The solution, in Martel’s mind, is to change Church teaching so that these clergy can live openly homosexually active lives. In this, he, no doubt, has many supporters, both inside and outside the Church.

But all sides of the Catholic debate over moral issues have panned Martel’s book. They make essentially the same critique: Martel trades in stereotypes, gossip and innuendo. He is grossly unfair to prelates he (evidently) does not like. Continue reading “What Did Author Hope to Accomplish With ‘In the Closet of the Vatican’?”

Weaponized Self-Pity, Part II: ‘Gay’ Clergy

Originall published at the National Carholic Register, February 27, 2019. 

In a recent column, I introduced the concept of weaponized self-pity. I noted how often I’ve seen divorced parents become defensive when I talk about the impact of divorce on children.

Numerous times, my friend Leila Miller and I have assured people that, yes, of course, spouses have every right to remove themselves from a genuinely abusive environment — although these assurances often go nowhere with some of those divorced parents to whom we speak.

In a similar way, I was about to respond yet again to someone claiming that the “Catholic right” seeks to “purge” all “gay priests” from the priesthood. Then I caught myself doing for priests who identify as “gay” what Leila was doing for divorce: repeating myself.

I am an outspoken proponent of the research that links homosexually inclined clergy and the incidences of clergy sexual abuse. My colleague, Ruth Institute senior research associate Father Paul Sullins, is the author of the important report “Is Clergy Sex Abuse Related to Homosexuality?” showing such a connection. Continue reading “Weaponized Self-Pity, Part II: ‘Gay’ Clergy”

British blogger covers Ruth Institute Report on Clergy Sex Abuse

British blogger Mark Lambert (pictured, with his wife) covered the high points of the Ruth Institute’s Clergy Sex Abuse Report. As he says:

“Much effort has been made to disassociate homosexuality from paedophilia to the point where this has become received opinion:”

This predominantly secular paradigm has been adopted by the Bishops of England & Wales, who in 2010, publicly broke with the Vatican directive banning men with a deep-seated same-sex practice to be allowed into Seminary.

In 2010, Marcus Stock, now the tenth bishop of Leeds, then appointed General Secretary for the Bishop’s Conference of England & Wales by Vincent Nichols (a well worn career path) stated:

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse.
“The consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is not a question of sexual ‘orientation’, whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attraction or ‘fixation’.
“Many abusers of children have never developed the capacity for mature adult relationships. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or both.
“In the sexual abuse of children the issue is the sexual fixation of the abusers, and not their sexual orientation.”

There could be something to his statement, I know many readers will find these words eminently sensible, except that, as has been demonstrated beyond doubt before and since, the vast majority of victims of abuse (over 80%) are adolescent boys, many of whom are post-pubescent.

This reality has been confirmed by a new report which argues that the evidence strongly suggests links between sexual abuse of minors and two factors: a disproportionate number of homosexual clergy and the manifestation of a “homosexual subculture” in seminaries.
I especially appreciate Blogger Lambert’s notice of not only the homosexual connection, but also the fact that clergy sex abuse has been creeping up since 2002. That is the part of our report that has not gotten enough attention.

“I found that clergy sex abuse did drop to almost nothing after 2002, but then it started to creep up,” he continued. “It’s been increasing. And there are signs that the bishops or the dioceses have gotten complacent about that.”

“It’s not at the great heights that it was in the mid-1970s, but it’s rising. And it’s headed in that direction,” he added.

Read the entire blog post here.
Read the entire Ruth Institute Clergy Sex Abuse Report here. You can download the whole report, and even download the data for yourself. We aim to be transparent at the Ruth Institute.

Continue reading “British blogger covers Ruth Institute Report on Clergy Sex Abuse”

Why I Won’t Ask the Pope to Resign (and Neither Should You)

A lot of people are upset about Pope Francis. Some have called on him to resign. Some have gone so far as to make the outrageous claim he is not really the pope.

Mosaic of Christ giving the keys to St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica. (2013 photo, Luis Santos / Shutterstock.com)

Although I don’t agree with some of his actions, I will not be calling on him to resign, nor claiming he is not really pope. However, that does not mean that I plan to sit around doing nothing about our current troubles in the Church. I am making some serious demands on myself in this matter. I encourage you to do the same. Let m Continue reading “Why I Won’t Ask the Pope to Resign (and Neither Should You)”

Clarity is Charity: What celibacy means

Evidently, some Catholic clergy have difficulty understanding what “celibacy” means. Fr. Dwight Longenecker catches Fr. James Martin, saying in his 2010 book, (page 216) that celibacy is “the restriction against marriage for members of the Catholic clergy.”

Fr. Longenecker reports the unsurprising consequences of this sort of muddled thinking. Continue reading “Clarity is Charity: What celibacy means”

Our Clergy Sex Abuse study covered in Germany

Can anyone read German? Here is a article in German on our Clergy Sex Abuse Study. The headline means, “Stop Denying.”
According to the Google translator function:

(Fr. Paul) Sullins’ proposal for resolution looks like this: To deal with the homosexual subcultures in the seminars, “the first thing that needs to be done is to stop denial.” You have to realize that there is a problem. This includes admitting that there may be a connection between “homosexual behavior in seminaries or in the priesthood and this kind of mischief,” the abuse. The impulse “that we do not want to say anything that could stigmatize homosexuals is understandable. But this must be weighed against the damage potential for the victims. How many times do we want to repeat that and continue to deny what is becoming more and more obvious? “When do we take action to address it?

Please keeping sharing the study. People need to have the courage to face this issue directly.

Clergy abuse victim Mark Gallegos shows the scars on his wrist from failed suicide attempts during press conference outside the courthouse in Los Angeles, California USA, 16 July 2007. A 660 million dollar settlement for some 500 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy was approved in LA courtroom this morning. EPA/PAUL BUCK +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++ |

This is the homepage for the study.

Here is where you can download the report and/or request the data on which the study is based.

Here is the Ruth Institute’s press release announcing the availability of the study.

Here is the Backgrounder on the study.

Here is a printer-friendly 2-page download of the Backgrounder.

(This photo, originally from the LA Times, accompanied the German article.)