“Gay Priests and the Self-Loathing of the Catholic Church”
By Andrew Sullivan
New York Magazine, January 21-February 3, 2019, pp. 18-25, 82-83
I was an altar boy from 5th through 8th grade and served at masses at our parish church on Saturdays, Sundays, and weekdays. In my capacity as an altar boy, I regularly interacted with the pastor priest and his revolving cadre of assistant priests. I was certainly not an expert on human behavior at that young age, but I observed that the priests conducted themselves strangely, quite unlike the other adult men in my life like my father, my uncles and the adult men in my neighborhood. Those priests seemed uncomfortable in their own skins. Looking back at the situation now, I believe I was interacting with some very troubled men and was in a dangerous situation.
I don’t have much use for secular magazines at this stage of my life, but as I was walking through the aisles of Wegman’s supermarket last week, I noticed this current issue of “New York” magazine in the magazine rack with its provocative article title and cover photo and bought it.
“Gay Priests and the Self-Loathing of the Catholic Church” turned out to be a very interesting and informative article on the topic of the very large percentage of gay men in the Catholic priesthood. The author puts the percentage of gay priests at around 30 to 40 percent for parish priests and as many as 60 percent for priests of religious orders.
The current pedophile priests and cover-up scandal tsunami has opened up a can of worms for the American Catholic church and is prodding the laity and outsiders to ask questions that have rarely been asked before, such as:
- Why is there such a high percentage of homosexual men in the ranks of the Catholic priesthood? (see next question)
- Is there a correlation between Catholicism’s rule of clerical celibacy and the high percentage of homosexuals in the ranks of priests? (obviously)
- What correlations can be drawn between the high percentage of homosexual priests and sexually abusive priests whose victims have mostly been boys? (definitely not a PC question)
Catholic sociologist, Richard Sipe, asked these very questions twenty-years ago, but his research was ignored.
The author of this article has done a good deal of research as well. The unofficial history of the Catholic priesthood is thick with accounts of relationships between fellow clerics (the author cites famous Catholics, John Henry Newman, Henri Nouwen, Francis Spellman, and pope Benedict XVI) and also with accounts of prelates and priests who preyed upon underlings and trusting members of the laity. Cover-ups were not only a matter of “protecting” the church’s reputation, but also, in recent times, an I-won’t-tell-on you-if-you don’t-tell-on-me grand conspiracy.
Given the magnitude of the abusive priests and cover-up scandal, we can anticipate many more fact-finding examinations of the connection between Roman Catholicism’s mandatory rule of clerical celibacy and homosexuality. Magazine articles such as this one are only the vanguard of what’s to come.
The piece isn’t without its biases. Author Sullivan is a gay Catholic layman, journalist, and LGBTQ activist and his goals with this article are to unmask the reality of the large percentage of homosexual men in the priesthood and to add his voice to those of other activists who are prodding the RCC to accept homosexuality as a natural orientation. It’s more than ironic that a religious institution that teaches merited salvation is run to a great degree by homosexual men.
Catholic friend, God’s Word proclaims there is no longer any need for priests or perpetual sacrifice for sin. Jesus is not on Catholic altars in the hands of sinful men. God the Son, Jesus Christ, came down and paid the penalty for sin on the cross and offers forgiveness of sin and eternal life to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone. Will you accept Jesus as your Savior? Pray to Him today! Then, come out of Roman Catholicism and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.
“And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:11-14