A Catholic who is a
long time prosecutor in the office of the DA in a large Midwestern
city wrote the following:
That Mahony is part of the Lavender Mafia has long been known. That
he perjured himself in depositions likewise is well known among
those who've watched him. His e-mails that were put on the Web a
couple years ago were a window into his soul. Likely he is
indirectly responsible for more kids being molested than Michael
Jackson was directly. Whether he is truly evil only God can judge.
It would be ironic if the LA DA who couldn't get OJ or Jackson got
More and more people
are expressing understanding of the fundamental issues underlying
and grounding the sexual problems of catholic priests and bishops
beyond sexual abuse—lack of understanding of human sexuality.
The larger issue is not mandatory celibacy or
abstinence, but a very narrow view of human sexuality itself.
Jesus' comments on the matter are rather limited, but Paul,
Augustine, Ambrose, et alia certainly expressed, if not hostility,
enmity with even "natural" reproduction. Many who occupy the
priesthood have similarly attitudes toward sexuality, and some
obviously have a pathological sexual compulsion. I suspect that the
Church's own teachings on human sexuality are largely to blame for
the sexual dysfunction throughout the faithful and clergy.
priest who served faithfully and well for nearly a score of years
wrote the following in an autobiographical account of his vocation.
Judged from the perspective of my own personal
journey and what I witnessed in the countless priests of my
acquaintance, I have come to the conclusion that the root of the
problems of institutional Catholicism is its inability to deal
honestly with sexuality. Clerics panic at the very idea of
revisiting the sexuality of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Perhaps this
fear is expressed most clearly in the law of compulsory clerical
celibacy. Say what you will about the many good works of countless
priests and religious men and women through the centuries, the law
of celibacy has also created a number who live a tortured existence
with homosexuality, which the church condemns. A very large number
of the rest suffer from arrested maturation and an unhealthy
obsession with sex. The mystique created around the concept and
practice of celibacy is a false one.
lighter tone is accorded some bishops’ human failings by some
observers and should be kept in mind along with all their dire,
hidden, darker activities, and real scandal. Perspective does keep
priorities in balance.
Misbehaving bishops are among the great comic
treasures of our time. Who could forget the wonderfully degenerate
Bishop Casey of Galway, who had a teenage son with an American
divorcee while strenuously urging the Irish hordes to improve their
morals? And what about the venerable Bishop Demetri Khoury of
Toledo, who got hammered in a casino and groped a passing stranger?
Such behavior cannot, of course, be seen to uphold the higher
ambitions of the Church, yet, for the slightly less po-faced, it
could also remind us that while even the most visible of religious
leaders speak like angels, they live like men.
is the opinion of a man dedicated to his celibacy and who
understands it well. He has practiced it honestly.
celibacy is coextensive with, embedded in, my Catholic faith, my
spirituality, my life in the sacraments, my ongoing communion --
ontological, physical -- with Jesus Christ. As Bernanos'
protagonist concludes in Diary
of A Country Priest,
celibacy is a way of believing, knowing palpably, God's life within,
experiencing how it makes one a kind of hieroglyph of God's love.
It is only within this dynamic that my celibacy makes any sense to
me and can be evaluated, articulated, and shared. I would not be
comfortable engaging it with another as a relativistic paradigm. (David
who is a layman)
listing is very unusual. It has to do with a highly charged legal
battle, and one that is not likely to be easily proved. Its
importance rests in the challenge to territory of sexual hypocrisy
at the top level of the church governance. There is no question that
such behavior has existed for centuries, but whether on not this
case will prove out is problematic, but should be given a fair,
calm, and objective hearing.
Shane Burke, 57, Superior General of the Franciscan Brothers of
Brooklyn, died on Wednesday, December 27, 2007, after a long
illness. When he was Principal of St. Joseph’s High School in
Trumbull, CT, in the Diocese of Bridgeport, he and then Bishop
Edward Egan commenced a homosexual relationship that lasted for
several years. When Br. Burke attempted to end the relationship,
Bishop Egan dismissed the Franciscan Brothers from Bridgeport and
St. Joseph’s High School. Fr. Robert Hoatson was contacted by the
family of Br. Shane Burke, who disclosed tape recordings of their
brother talking about the sexual affair between himself and Cardinal
more information contact: John A. Aretakis, Attorney – (917-
304-4885) This post
is listed 12/30/06.
The sexual abuse crisis is neither over or yet well
analyzed. Catholic tradition and teaching is not the only male
dominated (religious) culture in which homosexual behavior is
officially despised and deprecated, morally forbidden and
criminalized at the same time that it is practiced on a wide scale
even at high levels of authoritarian organization. Nazism and
Islamic-Arab culture at first glance may seem remote from Catholic
clerical culture. Not so when it comes to sexual practice.
(Cf. Klaus Theweleit, Male Fantasies, Vols. 1 & 2, University
of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, 1987 & 1989.)
The select SS troops were free to take sexual pleasure with another
man without it impinging on their sense of masculinity. That takes a
special split from women and identification with authority. There is
a common awareness. “About such things as
the flight from the feminine, the disdain for the world, the hatred
of the body, the ascetic denial of pleasure as primary
characteristics of religious dualism and as specifically negative
features of the patriarchal mentality…(also this) and power politics
among the clergy and hierarchy, all can be seen as versions of this
same fascist mentality…”
Jamie Glazov (December 29, 2006) reports on sexual
practice among the Taliban. There is a common thread that runs
through the celibate culture of the priesthood.
Bruce Dunne, “Power and Sexuality in the Middle East,” Middle East
Report, Spring 1998. For a further discussion on the widespread
homosexuality among men in Muslim societies in North Africa and
South Asia, and how married men having sex with boys and other men
is considered a social norm, and not “homosexual,” see Arno Schmitt
and Jehoeda Sofer (eds.), Sexuality and Eroticism Among Males in
Muslim Societies (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1992).
There is a basic and common sense empirical human reality: wherever
humans construct and perpetuate an environment in which females and
their sexuality are demonized and are pushed into invisibility,
homosexual behavior among men and the sexual abuse of young boys by
older men always increases. Islamic-Arab culture serves as a perfect
example of this paradigm, seeing that gender apartheid, fear of
female sexuality and
a vicious misogyny
are the structures on which the whole society functions...
Homosexuality is ‘extremely common’ in many
parts of the Arab world.  Indeed, even though homosexuality is
despised in this culture and strictly prohibited and punishable by
imprisonment, incarceration and/or death, having sex with boys or
effeminate men is actually a social norm. Males serve as available
substitutes for unavailable women. The key is this: the male who
does the penetrating is not considered to be homosexual or
emasculated any more than if he were to have sex with his wife,
while the male who is penetrated
emasculated. The boy, however, is not considered to be emasculated
since he is not yet considered to be a man. A man who has sex with
boys is simply doing what many men (especially unmarried ones) do.
And this reality is connected to the fact that, as scholar Bruce
Dunne has demonstrated, sex in Islamic-Arab societies is not about
mutuality between partners, but about the adult male's achievement
of pleasure through violent domination.
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