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Featured Four in five Vatican priests are gay, book claims

Discussion in 'Religious News' started by Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:06 PM.

  1. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Four in five Vatican priests are gay, book claims

    Some of the most senior clerics in the Roman Catholic church who have vociferously attacked homosexuality are themselves gay, according to a book to be published next week.

    Eighty per cent of priests working at the Vatican are gay, although not necessarily sexually active, it is claimed in the book, In the Closet of the Vatican.

    It is being published in eight languages across 20 countries next Wednesday, coinciding with the opening day of a conference at the Vatican on sexual abuse, to which bishops from all over the world have been summoned.

    Martel, a former adviser to the French government, conducted 1,500 interviews while researching the book, including with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignors, 45 papal ambassadors or diplomatic officials, 11 Swiss guards and more than 200 priests and seminarians, according to a report on the Catholic website the Tablet.

    Many spoke of an unspoken code of the “closet”, with one rule of thumb being that the more homophobic a cleric was, the more likely he was to be gay.

    According to Bloomsbury’s promotional material, Inside the Closet “reveals secrets” about celibacy, misogyny and plots against Pope Francis. It uncovers “a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself”.

    Francis has riled his conservative critics in the Vatican over his apparently softer tone towards gay people. A few months into his papacy, he told reporters who asked about a “gay lobby” at the Vatican: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

    Last year Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of sexual abuse, said Francis told him in a private meeting: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”
     
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  2. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    Ew, I don't want to be related to a catholic priest in any way shape or form.
    Still, it's kinda sad if the numbers are true.
     
  3. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    So what?
    Does it matter? It is 2019, homosexuality is fine.
    There is of course the hypocrisy but otherwise, it is legal.
     
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  4. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    It's not really talking about the legality of it, just how much hypocrisy is involved.
     
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  5. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    I don't see anything wrong with the majority of Vatican-employed clerics being gay, if the statistics are correct, and that's not really the import of the Guardian article.

    The significance of this study is that some of the most homophobic among the hierarchy are actually gay themselves and some are living openly gay lifestyles while condemning it in public, and claiming to be celibate in accordance with their vows.

    It's long been a sort of open secret among the laity that gay people are probably well represented in the ranks of the clergy.

    An all-male environment, which many heterosexual Catholic males don't want to join because they can't, publicly at least, be sexually active or get married due to the rules introduced in the Gregorian Reforms of the 11th century.

    I think that many gay Catholic males, with perfectly good intent, come to holy orders with the rationale that, since they can't marry another man in the church, then they might as well serve the Lord as a celibate cleric.

    Unfortunately, the all-male environment presents them with certain unique difficulties in keeping to their vows, which straight priests don't face (unless they happen to be working a lot with nuns).

    But what is ironic, is that to cover up their own sexuality, a good number of gay hierarchs have apparently become outwardly very homophobic according to the study.
     
    #5 Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 12:24 PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 12:32 PM
  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Seems to me the problem is with religion. So if your Gay your Gay. Probably not a matter of choice, however religion, religious pressure makes who you are a sin. So folks go into the closet to hide who they are. Perhaps become a priest to deny or fight against who they are. Still you have access to all of these young men/boys. The desire remains. Outside of religion, there's nothing wrong with being Gay. Oughten it be wrong that religion forces you into being someone you are not?
     
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  7. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Not legal in many instances, since a lot of the cases involve underage boys.
     
  8. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    .

    It shouldn't come as any surprise considering that within the Catholic priesthood:

    [​IMG]
    .​
     
  9. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    The other possibility is because if it's pretty much populated with other gay men, that makes things much simpler than meeting other gay men out in the world. In other words, the numbers of gay men in the ranks is not a coincidence. The statistics are that high because it attracts gay males as a place for them to go.

    Yes. This is the same with politicians who are the most vociferous anti-gays, who invariably end up in a gay sex scandal or another.

    This is common psychological projection, heaping on others their own self-hatred in their own own repressed unconscious. It's the classic Jungian Shadow. Whenever I see anyone being so adamantly anti-gay, my first instinct is to recognize they are at war with their own homosexuality. Invariably, they are gays in denial of themselves. The sin we hate the most, is our own.
     
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  10. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Well you have moved the discussion on somewhat, I'd assumed consensual sex between males
     
  11. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    Just think of the centuries this has gone on unchallenged.
     
  12. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Undoubtedly, this is a factor as well. A seminary near where I used to live, became notorious in the local press for it's secret gay hook-up culture.

    Nothing paedophilic or criminal went on, it was all between adult men - but it did involve some young seminarians going public about their dismay at finding themselves plied with drink by older male clerics - including a bishop - and being made the recipient of sexual advances that were unwanted and hypocritical for a profession vowed to celibacy.

    It caused a huge scandal and led to the forced resignation of a senior clergyman who had been outwardly homophobic yet secretly chatting up young guys training to be priests.

    But I'm loathe to attribute this as the main cause, not least since it empowers the faction in the church who argue that anyone who is gay in sexuality should be barred from the priesthood.

    Being gay is not the issue, provided that one goes into holy orders intending to lead a celibate life.

    That said, it's obvious that for gay men who do hope to use the priesthood as a means of hooking up with other guys, we need better clarity and openness at the beginning about their sexuality and reasons for wanting to join an organization in which they will be surrounded by dudes and have to train young men as seminarians.

    If they are gay and of good faith, wanting to serve the Lord, then fine - but they should reflect on the fact that unlike straight men in the priesthood, they will be surrounded by temptation to break their vows because of the all-male, hierarchical environment.

    We do have to recognise that for most straight Catholic males, a nominally celibate all-male environment is not a sell, or rather is an exceedingly hard sell.
     
    #12 Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 2:31 PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 2:44 PM
  13. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read the book...don't intend to. It sounds like a version of "Jews and their lies," or "Mormonism Unvailed..." I really dislike that sort of thing.

    As to whether there are gays in the Catholic priesthood, I don't see a problem with it. Celibate is celibate; why should it matter which direction the temptations come from? Heterosexual priests have historically had just as many opportunities to break their vows as gay ones would. The important thing, it seems to me, is where one is going, not where one is coming from.

    I know, that's pretty idealistic, but hey, one has to be idealistic in something, yes? ...Oh, and I am not Catholic.
     
  14. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    No one is saying there is - the problem is that a sizeable number seem to be hooking up with other men, in violation of the celibacy vow and there is the added complication that if you are attracted to guys, then an all-male environment in which you live together and train new sets of young men who also live with you, is a good deal more tempting for a gay man than it would be for a straight one. That's just a matter of commonsense pragmatism.
     
    #14 Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 2:47 PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 3:04 PM
  15. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Frankly, I couldn't care less what a priest's preference is on this as long as he does his job and doesn't force himself on anyone.
     
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  16. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    I agree woleheartedly, but do you not still think that it's more than a wee bit hypocritical for a priest to be voicing homophobia in public (as some do, even though Catholic doctrine forbids such discrimination) and then engaging in sex with another priest (or a male prostitute, as the study claims) in private, while claiming to be under a vow of celibacy?

    We have a problem there, one of integrity. And the fact that a seminary near me hit the press over this type of hypocrisy, suggests to me that it may be rather a widespread phenomenon.

    It's obviously a world away from the evil of the sexual abuse crisis, if it's between consenting adult men (as it is, no doubt, in most cases) but it's still morally wrong to deceive people like this and not to practise what you preach. It's pharisaical.
     
    #16 Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 2:52 PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 3:05 PM
  17. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Not necessarily because just because one may be a Catholic, thus including a priest, doesn't mean that they necessarily agree with everything the Church may teach on all subjects. For example, surveys show that well over 90% of adult Catholics do actually practice birth control beyond "Vatican Roulette", so are we to say they're "not true Catholics"?

    BTW, I sorta ran across something similar to this when I asked my priest this last summer whether I could convert back to the Church, and then after talking for about 15 minutes with me explaining my background and finishing off with the fact that it simply is my nature to question just about anything and everything because of my science orientation, and yet he still welcomed me back to the sacraments.

    And then the roof shook. :eek:
     
  18. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    BTW, let me add to the above that I taught the RCIA program at our church for 14 years more than 20 years ago, but my role was not to teach what this Me'tis agrees with but to teach what the Church teaches.
     
  19. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Of course, but those Catholics are not in clerical garb with the authority to teach from the pulpit and under a vow of celibacy.

    If you undertake a sacred vow, it should mean something to you - if it doesn't, then it can't say much about your integrity as an individual or the depth of your devotion to your office.

    I'm not talking here about a man who becomes a priest under a vow of celibacy and gives into the temptation to have sex with another man on a rare occasion, because his flesh was weak like we all are, but still aims to follow his vow.

    I'm talking about someone who is habitually living this way yet telling others not to in public, indeed speaking homophobically yet living a secret gay lifestyle as some appear to be if this study (and the case of that unnamed seminary near me) is true.

    In my view, such a person lacks integrity and respect for his parishioners, whether he is gay or straight. A vow before God is a vow. If you have no intention of trying to keep it, then don't take it.

    As you are aware, the most important thing in Catholicism is adherance to the dictates of conscience, as best as one can (even if it is objectively in error). To live in habitual violation of a religious vow you made to consecrate yourself to God in a special way, is to violate conscience.

    It's completely different IMHO, to lay couples using the interior forum of conscience to decide to have contraceptive sex or indeed gay laymen doing the same in relation to other gay laymen.

    It really boils down to what Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount: "Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one." Saying yes to lifelong celibacy is a huge ask of anyone. But it's undertaken voluntarily and should be done so with due respect for the reverance of the vow, whether or not someone breaks it on occasion through weakness, which is different from habitually doing so with full intent.
     
    #19 Vouthon, Feb 12, 2019 at 3:12 PM
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 3:22 PM
  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Again, he is hired not to teach his opinion on this but the Church's. Ideally, I agree with you, but life isn't always so ideal.

    Hey, don't go by me on this because at a Catholic website I've already been told I'm committing a "mortal sin" because I question the accuracy of the traditional Catholic view on "original sin". IOW, at least one person there believes I'm going to hell, but I've been told that so many times that I'm sorta looking forward to the trip.
     
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