‘Gay, but Celibate’

But time to be very wary…

By most accounts, the Catholic hierarchy has willingly trained and ordained priests who self-identify or are otherwise known as homosexual—all on the promise that they will be celibate. But those promises have been violated to such a degree that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has called for the “eradication” of “homosexual networks” within the clergy that are now “widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, [and] religious orders.”

 

Imagine this scenario. You’re an officer in an evangelical church. The congregation has been thriving and the spirit is good.

But now comes a thunderbolt. Your assistant pastor has just made it known to your church’s leaders that he struggles with a lifelong sexual attraction to other men. Not only that, but he has begun, through social media and otherwise, to let the public know about this. Through his dress, manner, and associations, he demonstrates his preference for a personal identity and lifestyle that is frequently associated with homosexuality. But he assures you that there’s no cause for worry, since he is sexually celibate.

How’s a church to respond? Well, probably not by doing what the Roman Catholic Church has been doing for the last few generations. By most accounts, the Catholic hierarchy has willingly trained and ordained priests who self-identify or are otherwise known as homosexual—all on the promise that they will be celibate. But those promises have been violated to such a degree that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has called for the “eradication” of “homosexual networks” within the clergy that are now “widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, [and] religious orders.”

Archbishop Viganò points specifically to former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, previously the powerful archbishop of Washington, D.C., who has been widely and credibly accused of abusing his power over many years in order to sexually exploit seminarians and young priests. As to sexual abuse of minors, Archbishop Viganò points to the report of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which found that over a period of more than 50 years, the vast majority of “child” victims of priests were male (81 percent) and were aged 10 to 17 (86 percent).

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