Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Church's Hidden Shame?

The church's hidden shame | Mary Kenny | Comment is free |

I have, of course, known gay priests: or priests who certainly had a gay orientation. They have been among the most delightful, funny and cultivated of all. And holy. It is claimed by some that Pope Paul VI was homosexual in orientation: I do not know whether this is true or not, but he certainly was a most thoughtful and sometimes anguished pope. Some of his writings were wonderful. 'Humanae Vitae' – 'On Human Life', which famously didn't endorse artificial birth control in the 1960s, is nevertheless the most poetic document you could read about sexual union.

I have been a Roman Catholic for 30 years now (I became a Catholic aged 18). I too have known scores of priests. And I both knew gay priests who had sex with other adults; along with many others who eventually choose to leave the priesthood and get married.

I was a very cute 19-21 year old, and I went and discussed my sexuality with a number of priests. None of them was anything less than helpful, and none made passes at me.

In later years I have sought through much writing to explain there is a place of LGBT people in Catholicism. See my Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Catholic Handbook.

There clearly have been sexual scandals, but the biggest problem for the celibate clergy, I am sure, is loneliness and alcoholism, not sexual abuse.

Even those who faced these problems that I have known have almost universally worked for the common good.

I protest absolutely all efforts to portray the Catholic clergy as intrinsically abusive or demented.

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