While a recently published book claimed that 80% of Vatican priests are secretly gay, The New York Times just published an in-depth feature interviewing 24 closeted Catholic priests from 13 different states, and it’s pretty pathetic.
Early on, the story says “thousands of the church’s priests are gay, adding, “Fewer than about 10 priests in the United States have dared to come out publicly,” and “gay men probably make up at least 30 to 40 percent of the American Catholic clergy, according to dozens of estimates from gay priests themselves and researchers.”
These men feel compelled to stay in the closet, lest they lose their employment benefits or be scapegoated for the church’s rampant, ongoing child sex abuse scandals. But the priests claim that the church’s largely homosexual clergy is an open secret. And yet “a conspiracy of silence” requires that no one expose themselves by speaking openly about it.
One unnamed priest blamed the church for discouraging any close relationships whatsoever, citing its informal seminarian rule, Numquam duo, semper tres (“Never two, always three”)—a way to keep priests from sliding into “particular friendships” with other men or women. Thus, a priest’s life is solitary and without any deep, personal attachments.
Related: Priest blows the lid on “secret gay cabal” in the Catholic church
Some priests enter the seminary at age 18 before they’ve properly understood their own sexual identities. Some don’t realize they’re gay until 30 or 40 years of age. And if these men ever do have sex with another man, they risk being outed, tainting their formative experiences with dread.
Others seek to build a bridge between the LGBTQ community and the church by signing petitions “against church-sponsored conversion therapy programs,” secretly sneaking away on gay weekend events or unofficially blessing same-sex unions.
But the church has a million miles further to go. In 2017, 90-year-old priest Father Greg Greiten came out to his congregation as gay and celibate, and they leapt to their feet with applause. After his story went viral, he received hate mail accusing him of being a child rapist.
His superiors in the church have said they wish he hadn’t come out at all.
Tour lives suck because you CHOSE to be members of The Cult of Hypocrisy!
Ahaha really, they themselves are to blame!
Being a spiritual leader and dealing with the myriad of sexual emotions deserves recognition and compassion not shitty remarks like these two above.
Choosing to lead is a choice but subjectivity of your lifestyle is not. If celibacy was removed as a requirement it would lead to wonder if molestations and peversions would decrease. Obviously years of repression affects a mans CHOICES.. but with limitless self expression and community embrace, one can be whole.
I suggest you take the latter and stand with your brethren – do not continue the cycle of hate.
Oh please. You got into the loony cult because you were taught and believed your sexuality was a bad thing so you run from it. A study found 80% of Priests to be gay and I believe it.
Don’t expect sympathy for representing an organisation that systematically oppresses homosexuals and has done for centuries.
Name me one religion that hasn’t oppressed homosexuals in some way. It wasn’t from Catholic priests that I heard angry denunciations of gays and their “lifestyle” growing up. It was usually from Protestant televangelists pushing raw homophobia over the airwaves.
OzJosh, the Catholic Church welcomes gays and lesbians. Every Catholic Church I have attended has had gay parishioners including in a small town in Montana. The Catholic Church I attend where I live has almost exclusively gay and lesbian Alter Servers. Our past Administrator who has since past away used to advertise Christmas and Easter Services in our local gay magazines. Gays are welcome, step out of the dark ages and educate yourself.
According to the Catholic Church, being gay is not the problem, acting on it is.
It’s always easier to condemn others for their choices, especially when they don’t match up to your world view, or even society’s current, enlightened views.
Growing up in a religious household is never easy when one realizes they are not straight. That many gay catholics decide to become priests doesn’t surprise me. Even one thought about going against something you’ve learned to believe all your life is wrong can be paralyzing. If you haven’t had to experience this then count yourself lucky.
After 17 years of trying to “repent”, and finally readjusting my thinking around my sexuality, it was still traumatizing leaving the church. It took me several years to get to a point where I finally feel I’m being my authentic self. I had felt trapped by what I believed to be true about myself, and my employment wasn’t at risk like a priest’s is. As much as things have changed, there’s still a long way to go for them to find acceptance, within themselves perhaps, and definitely within the only home they know – the church.
Condemning all priests for the abuse that some priests have committed isn’t any more fair than condemning all men as abusers of women because some men have abused of women.
It’s too bad, however, that the church hasn’t done a better job of dealing with the abuse. They had to know if would eventually come back to haunt them. It even says in their bible that their sin won’t stay hidden.
Dear GC, Thanks for your genuinely thoughtful comments…
You no playa da game, you no maka da rules
I have three close friends, one from high school and two from college days who all went into the Roman Catholic priesthood. None of them are priests any longer. The one from college is heterosexual but also quite liberal in his views on homosexuality. He was suspended by the church when he disagreed in writing with certain positions the church was taking on political issues which he believed violated the role of the church in American society. The other two were both gay and entered the priesthood at a time when to be a known gay in their community was a serious scandal personally and for the family. So they did what gay Catholic boys had been doing for centuries, they went into the priesthood.
The interesting thing from all three of these men who all joined different religious orders is that they all said that the seminary was the biggest gay club they had ever been to. I once asked Bart, who is completely straight, what this was like. He said he was hit on all the time by other seminarians as well as by some instructors. Another guy, Greg, said he fooled around a few times and felt horrible about it. I asked him if people ever were expelled and he said not unless they were a slut and slept with everyone. He also said most of the gay priests tried to observe their vow of celibacy but some seemed to simply ignore it. A lot of those guys died in the AIDS epidemic which eh said cut a big swath through the church.
The simple fact is that the Roman Catholic Chruch is in a real conundrum over sex, straight and gay. The fossils in charge of everything are either too conservative to change or too afraid to change.
Celibacy in the priesthood used to make sense back when priests had to own and work church property. It was to ensure that priests could no be tempted to split up church holdings by willing things that belonged to the church to their families.
Now that the Catholic Church can afford to simply employ spiritual leaders, celibacy doesn’t really serve a purpose any more. The longer they maintain it as a policy, the longer these abuses will go on.
Sex and sexuality should be celebrated, not shamed and condemned. Nobody should grow up ashamed of their sexuality or their orientation.
Who cares? Seriously.
Catholic Priests are some of the worst human beings to have every lived. The damage they have caused is immeasurable.
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