Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And Now For Some Honesty And Coherence

Ah yes, there's no place like Rome. Love the Ruby Red slippers and the traveling companion--I think I know which one he is. It's not the Cowardly Lion or the Tin Man. This may be one time Pope Benedict wishes clicking his heels took him someplace other than Rome.

The following comment from the Vicar of Rome is in reference to an article in Silvio Berlusconi's Panorama Magazine. This link takes you to BBC coverage of the Italian article. The article is an undercover expose of three gay 'party boy' priests cavorting at night in Rome's gay bar culture and then praying with pious old women during the day. It's from Bloomberg

The Vicar of Rome today called on homosexual clergymen in the Catholic Church to “come out” and leave the priesthood.

The Vicar of Rome, one of the most important positions in the Vatican, was responding to a report today in Panorama Magazine that said Catholic priests were conducting a double life, citing secret video footage.

“No one is forcing them to stay in the priesthood to exploit the benefits,” the Diocese of Rome said in a statement posted on its Web Site. “If they are coherent, they should come out into the open.”


I doubt the Vicar of Rome is serious about gay priests coming out in the open. Well, he might be, but I seriously doubt the same applies to the Vatican. First, the numbers would be an embarrassment to a Church bent on 'praying the gay away'. If all gay priests got honest and left that evidence might not lend much credence to movements like Courage. Who prays more or engages in more ceremonial ritual than priests? If the prayer thing didn't work for the priesthood, why would it work for any gay lay person? I suppose one could argue that if all those gay priests were in Courage they wouldn't be cavorting at night. Moving right along......

Secondly, the prime strategy used by the Vatican to explain away the clergy abuse problem is to blame it all on gay priests. Based on the changes in seminary admission standards, bishops would more or less find themselves in the position of having to remove all their gay priests from active ministry. This would result in a significant reduction in available priests, especially in the Anglo world. Some estimates put the percentage of gay priests in the 50% range which would be a really significant reduction. In some dioceses unsubstantiated rumor would have it very close to lethal.

But the real reason I can't take this seriously is that all those suddenly thrown out honest gay priests would have all kinds of information about all those bishops, Cardinals, and other Catholic officials that their suddenly found honesty might compel them to reveal. For some reason I can think of one media empire led by a high ranking Italian politician who might jump at the chance for that kind of expose--because it would be a service to the Church, not because it would generate lots of income, and never, never, never because paybacks are a bitch.

I'll be keeping an eye on this story. It has some real potential in it. Which might be what the expose was all about. Silvio Berlusconi might just be throwing a few seeds out to see which one's sprout.


  1. Aha!!! There's no place like Rome!!! I was in stitches laughing for five minutes straight at the picture and the caption!

    Follow this story .... take the yellow brick road Colleen!!! Watch out for the wicked witch of the west!!

  2. Great post Colleen.
    I was struck by this odd choice of phrase used by the Vatican
    "If they are coherent, they should come out into the open.”
    No matter which of the following definitions I apply to the word coherent makes any sense in the context of the sentence !! Or are they now implying that homosexuals, apart from their sexual orientation are not capable of logical and consistent speech or thought?
    Do they men that they should literally stick to each other before they walk out into the open ?
    Coherent :
    1.capable of logical and consistent speech, thought,
    2. logical; consistent and orderly
    3. cohering or sticking together

    Excuse me but aren't the Vatican being incoherent themselves here?

  3. Phil, I took the use of that word somewhat differently, which probably speaks to how much my mind has been trained out of typical Western thought processes.

    I took it in a quantum sense, and in this sense the Vicar is correct, especially on a spiritual level. A person must be coherent in thought, behavior, emotion, and spirit in order to be effective spiritually. It is the lack of coherency in these four attributes which makes priests spiritually ineffective--especially for themselves.

    On the other hand you are correct. It is the Vatican which is incoherent because they are the ones both mandating and protecting the incoherency in the priesthood. It is this incoherency which people probably really can't articulate well, but are never the less acting on when they leave the Church. No evangelization is going to bring them back unless this fundamental incoherency is addressed.

  4. Now, why didn't he say the same thing about the Italian priests whose mistresses wrote to the pope? or to the Austrian priests with mistresses who have organized themselves into a formal support group? And we really do not need to raise yet again the sexual abusers whom the Vatican won't allow to leave....

    But the hypocrisy of the church over gay priests in the light of its own history is a big part of what has been driving me at Queering The Church. For a summary of my previous findings on the long history in the church of clergy having sex with men, see

  5. 1) If all the gay priests/bishops left......very few would be left:p VERY few!

    2) 'Praying the gay away' is ludicrous. Ignoring for the moment that it is something which is not a personal choice & not the fault of the person. Most priests have NO faith in God. Mere pretense. They were taught this in the seminaries: to live double lives. To pretend to pray. Do anything they want - as long as they don't get caught & the bishop gets his $$$.

    3) To be sure, one may pray for the Grace to be chaste. I did not say literally 100% perfect, as that is not what 'chaste' means. To have the mental, emotional & spiritual balance not to be a slave to lust. Even if you 'fall' once in a while. That internal balance is the correct meaning of 'Chaste":

    Without this balance, any REAL spirituality is impossible; a fraud. The point is not how many times you fall; but that you get up & try again. And again.

    And such 'Chaste' applies to ALL....married AND single. That one seeks such a correct balance.

    3) A priest can be Celibate & be a normal functional person.But NOT if he was in an all male Dominant/Submissive 'priest culture' of minor/major seminaries from the age of 13 up!!! NOBODY could possible emerge 'normal' from that mileau. Except perhaps for the extremely rare & priviledged soul, destined by God from Eternity for literal sainthood!!!

    One must first know oneself, & the world around you. Have real relationships with women - and men. So that you understand normal adult interaction & human relationships AS EQUALS. Otherwise, you are an accident waiting to happen....viz the gross dysfunctional personas of 90% of priests.

    4) Gay men in the priesthood are absolutely incoherent integrally. For the key reason that they have never learned who they are, nor been allowed mature relationships with other adults AS EQUALS.

    The other reason which makes many gay men 'incoherent', in OR out of the priesthood is what the Catholic Church has done to them as a group & as persons:

    a) it has made them social pariahs
    b) persecuted them
    c) marginalized them
    d) made them fear & hide their true identity.
    e) told them that they are intrinsically evil - for that over which they have no control.

    This has made many gay men into self-loathing, grossly dysfunctional persons, as a result of abuse, abuse, and abuse. From early childhood on up. How could many of them NOT be messed up with these crosses to bear?

    So the next time you see some really wacky, super-effeminate, really 'out there' queen (young or old), just think what made him that way? The Catholic Church & its vast societal influence for some 1600 years.

    Gay men should not be priests? Well certainly not the self-loathing closet/basket cases!

    Considering the rampant sex abuse in the HitlerJugend (men on boys AND boys on other boys), perhaps Ratzy doth protest too much.....

    Anon Y. Mouse

  6. Colleen -

    If you think about it, the intentional cultivation of Incoherence is the essence of mind altering or mind control. Whether we speak of MK-Ultra or some 'kinder/gentler' method, the aims & methods are similar.

    A man enlists in the military. In basic training they 'break him down' to turn him into a killing machine.

    In Seminaries, men are indoctrinated into two principle things:

    1) OBEDIENCE to superiors, and conformity to a Dominant/Submissive mode of relating to other clerics.

    2) Correct Thought. Both in Canon Law & in factoids & talking points of various Doctrines.

    In most this will yield either raving fanatics (useful idiots), or 'wise ones' have are led to understand that this is all a massive sham. To subjugate & control the laity. They learn it is all a joke & make light of it. Especially of the "morons" in the pews.

    Both types have an elitist view. But normally only the latter - the 'wise ones' - will become Chancery officials or Bishops.

    Both have been trained in Incoherence. Though only the 'wise ones' realize this & are thus capable of using it to their benefit.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  7. I don't know if you saw this, Colleen, but it's a well-written article that links to one of your previous posts: "The Catholic Crisis, Part II: When faith is challenged, Catholics must grow up," from the Tikkun Daily Blog.

  8. As a former member of the priesthood I feel compelled to weigh in on both the Vicar's statement and Anony's. Anonymous, you are spot on about the virtually inherent dysfunction of seminary training and clerical life. It took me two years of intense psychotherapy and years and years of constant spiritual direction for me to recognize that I could not function as an integrated and self-affirming gay man and priest. My one caveat to your observations (and others) is that I highly doubt the 50% homosexual level in the priesthood. Of course, every diocese and religious order is different, and I have no data--nor does anyone else--but I would put the figure more at 30%.

    Now on to the Vicar. His statements are so ingenuous they invite mockery. It is well know (I speak with some inside info) that Cardinals have ongoing "relationships" with many of the Swiss Guard, that bishops and archbishops, are gay. One report I heard during the Dallas NCCB meeting which passed the protocols for child sexual abuse is that during a closed session, many bishops "came out" to their brethren as gay. What's insane is that the dear Vicar knows this. It's all a PR stunt. I can see more and more how Martin Luther could rail against the Curia. Bennie has given them full reign. It's a nightmare.

  9. Mouse I'm glad you went further into the notions of incoherency in the priesthood. What I liked about your explanation is that there really is only two ways to 'solve' the incoherency. You either accept the entire package without question--which can lead to years and years of dysfunction,and addictive coping strategies which are then all too easily justified by a form of clerical victim elitism. Or you see through the whole shebang--sometimes groomed to do so--and you take advantage of all the opportunities the system provides.

    I'd love to hear from priests who have maintained any pyschological health in this system. To be honest a lot of the healthier priests I've run into did it through 12 step programs or intensive therapy, usually at their own expense for privacy reasons.

    Thanks for your honesty on this note Kevin57. I for one really appreciate it.

    This whole clerical system makes me vacillate between sadness and compassion, or real anger depending on what I focus on. It doesn't have to be this way at all. The only thing I can really put my finger on as to why this system is so important to keep in place untouched is because it allows for all kinds of ways to handle all kinds of sources of MONEY and secular power.

  10. Best Word Verification ever! = blessid

    Honesty and Coherence...

    A man unable to accept his sexual orientation and forced to repress he most basic instinct will not be "coherent"... Thank you Terence Weldon, mouse and Kevin57 for expanding and clarifying the issues raised by Philomena Ewing.

    I guess I'm a bit naive about some things. Terence's reference to the mistresses of priests caused me to do some googling. I was saddened to see similar stories on adultsabusedbyclergy.org and others too about the prevalence of this practice and the fate of priests' children.

    Please comment on the psychopathology of these types of clergy behavior. It seems to me, a lay person, that there is more danger here of doing serious damage to oneself and the lives of others than in other types of paraphilias because of the authority and trust placed in clergy. Experts please weigh in; Do you think the Church is inadvertently promoting sexual perversity?


  11. p2p I could write a whole lot on this, but I am going to try to keep it short.

    We know the Institution practiced systemic wide enabling behavior which mandated covering up sexual abuse across the board. No strategy no matter how abusive or coercive was left untouched when it came to silencing abuse victims and their families. In my opinion this takes things beyond enabling behavior and into promotion of pervision because the idea was to protect the illusion of the ontologically superior male priest no matter how much damage was done to anyone else.

    The truth is they haven't just been promoting sexual perversion, they have also been promoting a form of spiritual perversion. It is this perversion of Catholic spirituality that is the constant message in Marian apparitions for almost two centuries. These started during the papacy of Pius IX, who is, by the way, my personal favorite candidate for the anti christ--if such a thing actually exists.

    There is also an added component for Catholics who are abused by a priest. For most Catholics a priest is conceived of as God's representative. Very few kids are capable of separating the man from the myth. Since the myth is entrained in the brain in childhood adults don't fare much better at this separation business either. I have no doubt the Institution is well aware of this entrainment process and uses it to their advantage.

    Mouse points out how this kind of thing plays out in seminary training and how confusing it all is for gay priests who are by definition both ontologically superior and intrinsically evil.

    The whole system is a perversion and not one part of it is validated in the Canonical Gospels. On the contrary, Jesus teaches it's exact opposite. How much more perverted can it get?

    Actually it's an inverted system but this is already too long.

  12. Look at the website of these priests -- it is very gentlemanly, a refreshing change from the usual sex-obsessed gay sites.

  13. Does the Vicar long for "coherency" or "congruency"? I'm guessing the latter. A priest friend of mine who died two years ago talked often about how impossible it was getting to be, trying to live with his inside and outside self at one. Fortunately, he had a very strong supportive family and friend network, but if the heart attack hadn't killed him, I think he might have left.

  14. p2p:

    A great deal has been written about clergy sex abuse. Related to adults. Not only does the secrecy harm the person(s) involved, but the whole parish suffers.

    See Marie Fortune's book, Is Nothing Sacred?, for just one example:


    This is a problem in any and all churches, of course, but worse in the RCC since the women can never expect the priest to marry them - unless the priest leaves the priesthood!

    This too is incoherent. For anyone to live a double life is not good - for all involved. To love another and give oneself to another, as we know, is not just a "sexual thing" - it is a willingness to join lives together into one. It is highly irresponsible of priests to enter into a "relationship" where they gain something but do not give their life to the other person. It's nothing more than "using" the other person. It involves a total lack of ethics. It's not just one personality type. But it does involve lying, subterfuge, deception and the "using" of another person. (Often it takes a long time for the other adult to realize they've been "used".)

    I wrote about that here:


    A bit dated, perhaps, but at the end I wrote:

    It's not the sex that's wrong. It's the treatment of the other that is wrong. Catholic priests who engage in sexual relationships, all the while staying in the priesthood, are exploiting and abusing the honest, caring feelings of other people. Their flocks. And the ones they secretly love. This latter betrayal is not usually clear to those whom they love - often not for many years. The beloved may feel "special," raised up to a high caste, but eventually it takes a terrible toll. For the one who wants to "love a Catholic priest" must do all the sacrificing. The priest's role comes first. There is never any "union" of two lives. The kind of self-sacrifice and equality that should be part of any "marriage" (whether actual marriage or simply a partnership of long years) will never come about. One party has dictated the terms of the relationship. And that is what abuse means. That is abuse of authority. That is exploitation.

    Anyone in such a relationship is in denial if they fail to see they're being exploited. I have compassion for their plight. I have tremendous compassion for those laboring under enforced celibacy. But if you fall in love with someone and want to have an honest sexual relationship, which is not exploitative, by all means, leave your marriage first, leave your priesthood first. And if you refuse to do so, I cannot condone the behavior.

  15. PS... If you click "publish" and you get a Google message that it's "too large" to publish, it HAS ACTUALLY PUBLISHED! Just go back and refresh the page and you'll see that!

  16. Therap glad to see your vacation from blogging doesn't mean vacation from commenting!

    Your comment brings up what I too consider the litmus test for any sexual relationship--IS IT EXPLOITATIVE. When I still taught high school CCD it is from this perspective that I taught sexual morality. I suspect the reason it was effective is because it went right to the heart of the typical sexploitation engaged in by high school kids. They began to understand that yes indeedy sex could be an issue of power over others.

    PS, there's another wierd thing blogger will cough up for longer posts, but it works the same way. Just refresh the screen and it posts.

  17. Yes, Colleen, the problem lies in the exploitation.

    And the problem of clericalism and "celibacy" is this: The church fails to recognize that priests will "stray". Thus they are never given training in the ethics and morality of the relationships they may encounter - except as temptations. So, bereft of moral guidance with respect to living out a love relationship, and instead having been inculcated into a duplicitous clerical system, where relationships are implicitly condoned while explicitly condemned, all too many priests are lacking in the kind of conscience-formation which should steer them away from exploitation of any kind. The "coherent priest" - faced with entering into a love relationship - would leave the priesthood or leave the relationship. Anything less is duplicitous and exploitative.

    Yes, my sabbatical is "from posting TPM blogs" but not from commenting - but only at places with topics and a community like this one. I'm even being very selective about commenting. (You made the cut!) ;)

  18. Here are two things which need to become part of the discussion. The first link is to an article on evangelicals converting to Catholicism (and why). The next relates to two books and the idea of an "authoritative text" as a sentence (or maxim) plucked from a text is viewed as so important, so life changing or life-filled, that many people are moved to learn from it, to put it into practice etc. It gives us another meaning to "authority" - and I wonder if that partly is what some evangelicals are looking for in converting. Something more substantial. Substance. Grounding. Authority.

    If you refer to the article on the conversions:


    you will see that the ones converting are people raised as evangelicals who came to question the tradition as not "meaty enough" - even though their parents perhaps left one tradition for evangelicalism due to a sense that something more "freeing" was needed.

    As we ponder the current problems of clericalism etc, we need to keep in mind that there are waves of people converting (for a myriad of reasons) - who later may rue their choice when they find it constricting. Yet, how important are liturgy and an intellectual grasp of one's faith - and for evangelicals this is apparently a lack many are now recognizing.

    How will these converts ultimately change the church? Or how will the church (as it is now) change them?

    These too are important questions to ponder.

    And the second book gives us "food for thought" - how reading is food and how that goes back to Hugh of St. Victor:


    These thoughts are percolating in my head. Take a look at the links and see if they prompt some pondering for you. (I'm just not up to blogging... even though the mind continues to ponder deeply "in the vineyard of the lord".)

  19. More food for thought. And this is hugely important, I think. (amazing how one links from blog to blog and sometimes comes across gems)


    The link is to a blog post which discusses how the term "Body of Christ" versus "Mystical Body" changed - in fact the two reversed in terms of what they referred to! And this reversal, to me, seems very connected to clericalism. For St. Paul referred to the people as Christ's Body - but this has been reversed into venerating the Eucharist as primary and more important than the Presence of God among His People. But by flipping the meaning, the whole idea of the exaltation of the priesthood as this "great gift" then becomes clear. (the great gift...as those who "conjure up" the Presence, the Body of Christ)

    Forgive me if some of the above sounds almost sacrilegious - but I fear something sacrilegious has occurred in "switching" the "place" of God's presence, from something "inside" the believer to something the believer must wait to come from outside, and only via a (supposed) pure and celibate, elevated and consecrated, priesthood (deemed only available to the unmarried but absolutely-heterosexual male).

    Also read the comments. The blog and the comments dovetail so nicely with what this blog has been pursuing, I think. (And honestly, for me, they only reconfirm my comfort with how the Orthodox Liturgy handles this.)

    Read the link. It's by a Cistercian nun. These "coincidences" (of which there are none, as some have remarked) today are affecting me profoundly.

    For it seems to me that subtle changes have occurred as the hierarchy has dispossessed the laity of God's Presence and insisted to them that they must depend upon priests to provide that for them. When Jesus, himself, told us: The Kingdom of God is among you. The Kingdom of God is within.

    The deeper I look at this, the worse it all appears. As if slight of hand has been at work for so long. And as some have said above of late, some are naive to this and others "know" but cynically cooperate in the slight of hand - and they are the ones elevated ever higher!

  20. Kevin57-

    The "50%" figure will naturally vary by region & seminary/diocese. That much is to be expected. After all, we are dealing with people, not ciphers.

    ...though sometimes I wonder O.o

    In some places it could be as high as 80%; others 30%. It all depends. Then we have the question: how are we determining 'gay'?

    By those to whom out 'Gaydar' easily alerts us? This could possible miss many deeply closeted men. If you are an 18yo junior seminarian, you will likely not 'know yourself' too well. "Closet issues' may not surface into conscious thinking until years (or decades) later.

    There have been priests in their 60s & 70s who have carefully concealed their true selves from all around them. Including....themselves.

    No point in arguing over numbers. And there are just as many hetero priests who are sexually dysfunctional as they have never had a mature relationship with the opposite sex. That is just as damaging.

    I have met many, many priests. How many have I met whom I could honestly say were normal, functional human beings? Two.

    Most of them are so seriously twisted by all of this that it boggles the mind. And it is truly sad.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  21. "Cardinals have ongoing "relationships" with many of the Swiss Guard, that bishops and archbishops, are gay........during the Dallas NCCB meeting which passed the protocols for child sexual abuse is that during a closed session, many bishops "came out" to their brethren as gay."

    Neither of these statements are surprising; and both I firmly believe are true (and know via other sources). We have the sworn deposition of Fr James Hoatson, if nothing else, as a confirmation.

    But we need no such confirmation, as it becomes obvious. Clergy are known for being duplicitous & lecherous. Historically this is shown via the incredible amount of brothers, concubines (of both genders), lovers, etc. as documented fact.

    Those 'relationships' are, for the most part, not mature ones. They are using the (boys, young men, Swiss Guards, etc.) as sex toys. While in theory some could be real adult relationships, most will fit this definition.

    What they are counting on is expressed by the words of the late Cardinal Francis Spellman of NYC:

    "Who would believe that?"

    He is correct: most Catholics would react with extreme Cognitive Dissonance if the Bishop were exposed as having a paramour.

    And who would want to imagine Archbishop Timothy Dolan or Bishop Robert Baker (of EWTNland) in love, much less having sex?


    Anon Y. Mouse

  22. Good God Mouse quit it with the visuals. Somethings don't belong in the imagination. Even Disney knew that.

    Seriously though, it maybe it will take a really serious dose of cognitive dissonance to convince a lot of well meaning Catholics that the there is a significant chunk of the clerical system that is not well meaning.

    The thing that actually keeps me going is I know this type of exploitive behavior is way too common in all spiritual systems, especially amongst men. One can hope that some day some where some one might ask why this is.

    The thing about Catholicism that makes it unique is the incredible amount of systemization. It pervades everything about the Church. As Therap's linked article suggests, it's even effected our notions of Mystical Body vs Body of Christ to underscore the worship of the Host as opposed to searching for Jesus where He Himself said to search.

    His Way is about seeking vs worshipping, but that Way doesn't elevate the priest to godlike status deserving of bowling alleys and tennis courts and seminaries over food for starving Hatians.

    TheraP what I liked about the article written by the Cistercian is the emphasis on changing consciousness. This seeking to return to what Christ really taught is not about archeology, it's about an evolution in consciousness.

  23. Colleen, the Cistercian has, since I last had read her blog, left her order. And is joining the Orthodox!

  24. @ TheraP and Colleen,

    Thank you for your considered and forthright answers. It will take me a while to explore all the links.

    Although my adolescence came shortly after the sexual revolution, I was not a part of it. The repressed Catholic upbringing, so prevalent at the time, was more damaging than I ever realized back then.


  25. "Somethings don't belong in the imagination. Even Disney knew that."


    I knew that would get to somebody, which is why I wrote that:p

    While we must affirm Transubstantiation & the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.....I am truly clueless as to the origin of the notion of the 'Mystical Body of Christ'.

    Paul correctly refers to 'life in Christ'.....and other imagery indicative of correct Christian unity & living of the Gospel as being spiritually joined to Christ. But the problem arises in the confusing imagery of the two notions of the 'Body'.

    We are not Christ....nor another Christ. There is only ONE Jesus of Nazareth. At the same time, God is in everyone & everything. So, as He taught, we should see Christ in others. And treat them as such.

    The major point of confusion is the assertion that the Roman Catholic organization run by the Vatican IS 'the mystical body of Christ'. It is not. Yet some Catholics are truly 'members of His Body'; as many are not.

    But the man-made/run entity is NOT one & the same with the spiritual, supernatural 'family' Jesus founded. To say it is.....is a 'bait & switch'. Very clever!

    Does anybody have any historical perspective on the origin & development of this construct?

    Anon Y. Mouse

  26. Here you go mouse.

    The Eucharist in the West” by the Irish Jesuit Michael McGuckian (New Blackfriars, March 2007), which also draws on De Lubac’s work which had showed that prior to 1050 the term Body of Christ had referred to the Church and that the Eucharist had been referred to as the Mystical Body, but that that after this the Eucharist became the Body of Christ and the Church came to be referred to as the Mystical Body. Father Mc Guckian comments:

    De Lubac opines that the change can be considered ‘good because it was normal’, but it seems to me that the change in terminology betokens a most profound change in mentality, and it is from this shift that I take my cue as to what is going on here. I suggest that the change results from the loss, among Western Christians, of the sense of the mystery of Christ’s presence in the Church. (146)


    I'm not surprised this change came around 1050. Wasn't this also the time frame for St Damien's call to clean up the clergy? It would be logical to stress the Eucharistic host over the communion of the faithful if the clergy was in the midst of another dose of sexual scandal. It reinforces the place of the priesthood at the expense of the people.

  27. That time frame is very interesting. It coincides with mandatory celibacy, primogeniture, etc. We really need to look into what was going on - how the church was consolidating power, consolidating its ability to control the laity and garner wealth.

  28. They really don't realize what they are saying here do they?

    Aside from not responding to the dicussions of Heterosexual priests who are sexually active, they also seem to be saying that all Gay priests are out.

    What planet are they on?

  29. newtocorinth, I don't know what the real answer to your question actually might be. I can think of some very sinister reasons to make the threat that all gay priests must leave. For one it puts a very insecure group of men further in the closet and makes them that much more usable. If you get my drift.

    Heterosexually active priests may or may not fall into that category and if they are truly in love, they are truly wild cards because in reality there are two people to control, not just one.

  30. Colleen -

    My understanding - based both on sources, observation & the informed writings of AW Richard Sipe, et. al. is that most gay priests are 'out' to each other.But even that can be compartmentalized.

    A given priest will have a peer group/clique of priest friends. If he is out at all, it will be with them. But NOT necessarily with other priests in his diocese. Often this is due to fear of exposure by another. As that can be used for career assassination.

    Yet at the same time - unless the Bishop is literally blind, deaf & dumb, he will know which of his priests are gay. And which (gay or str8) are sexually active. Word/gossip would get around. The most important thing is the APPEARANCE of discretion.....to the laity. The veneer of respectability.

    If one were to say the a high chancery official of a key metropolitan archdiocese is known for frequenting gay resorts, clubs, baths, escorts, etc......most ppl would be steadfast in denial. Even if photos were produced! Because image is everything. And as long as the laity remain in denial - and the wealthy benefactors as well (and keep writing the checks), all is well.

    ...until a dead call boy is found in his hotel room. Or he is found shot to death in his own car in a deserted area, robbed by the teen aged hustler he picked up.

    The above is a composite of several very real Chancery officials. In very real Dioceses.

    "For one it puts a very insecure group of men further in the closet and makes them that much more usable. If you get my drift."

    Indeed. I have seen such priests - whose previous behaviour mirrored the above- suddenly sporting cassocks, brandishing Rosaries, leading Novenas. Doing a 180 degree turn to 'conservatism', as a matter of career survial.

    Not out of genuine conversion. Hence your point.

    Anon Y. Mouse