Another week, another antigay religious leader caught behaving in a way unbefitting of a Christ follower. The latest offender is a 73-year-old priest from California who allegedly propositioned the church’s pool boy for sex then fired him after he turned down the unwanted advances.
Monsignor Lawrence McGovern is, er, was the pastor of Presentation Parish in Stockton. In a sexual harassment lawsuit filed late last week, the parish’s former pool boy, a married father of two, claims McGovern sent him nudie photos along with a text that read, “Oops. Sorry about that. The curse of the Internet. Shame on me. What is my penance?”
McGovern has been suspended from his duties pending an investigation, but he’s hardly the first, and most certainly won’t be the last, antigay man of the cloth caught with his finger on the “load more guys” button.
Scroll down for a brief history of other antigay religious leaders who have found themselves at the center of gay sex scandals in recent months and years…
Pastor Boyd Watson Holder Jr.
Pastor Boyd Watson Holder Jr. of Tennessee made headlines in May of last year when he allegedly stole over $60,000 from his church’s bank account to pay for subscriptions to gay dating websites like ManHunt and Farmers Only, a site that caters specifically to country folk lookin’ for love in rural areas. At the same time he was doing all that, he was preaching against homosexuality each Sunday from the pulpit. The jig abruptly ended, however, when he was caught “having relations” with another man in a church van in the middle of the day.
Reverend Peter Miqueli
Of course, $60,000 is nothing compared to the scratch Rev. Peter Miqueli allegedly spent on his secret “rent boy lover.” Last December, the New York preacher was accused of stealing a whopping $1 million–$1 million!–from his church’s coffers to pay for sex with another man, who he allegedly called “master” while engaging in S&M shenanigans that included drinking the guy’s pee. After the story broke, Miqueli stepped down from his position. A month later, in January of this year, the New York Post reported that he was still seeing his rent boy on the regular.
Pastor Jose Santiago
Before becoming the head of the House of Prayer Monte Santo in Puerto Rico, where he frequently warned his congregation about the evils of all things LGBTQ, pastor Jose Santiago was a gay adult film performer, appearing in a number of x-rated videos. He managed to keep his past life a secret… until February 2015, that is, when some of his old tapes reemerged online. When confronted about them, Santiago, who is now married to a woman, told reporters he used to be gay until God “touched” him, giving him “a woman who loves me and … my past” and assuring everyone that his well-documented homosexual phase “is over.”
Father Rory Coyle
The Catholic priest from Northern Ireland was outed earlier this year for allegedly keeping a secret Grindr account along with some rather scandalous photos of himself. An unnamed source contacted the local Catholic newspaper to say he had sexted with the holy man on several occasions, and that the priest had said he enjoyed participating in orgies and having romps at gay beaches. As a result, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Armagh said Coyle was taking “a temporary leave of absence” from his duties. That was four months ago and, as far as we know, he’s still on vacation.
Reverend Matthew Makela
And then there was Rev. Matthew Makela, the married father of five from Michigan who preached homophobia by day and cruised Grindr by night. Queerty was the first to break the story in May 2015. It went on to receive international attention. Makela, who once relished in telling gay teens they were destined to burn in hell for eternity, quickly resigned from his post and went into hiding. Officials told congregation members not to read our story, then deleted the church’s Facebook page. We haven’t seen or heard much from Makela since, but his personal Facebook profile says he’s still married to that poor woman.