In the tape, called “Straight Talk about Gays,” Shanley jumps from point to point. He begins with why so many young homosexuals decide to become priests:
“Your life is going to be a very difficult one – living as a homosexual in America is the bottom of the barrel. … Now what’s a way out? If you were to become a priest, your parents would love you, the Church would love you, society would love you. You would have a profitable ministry to people. … It seems to me as though the seminary would beckon the homosexual as a way of leading what he would see as a decent life. The percentage of homosexuals among the clergy is larger, as it is in hairdressing. ….”
So here is Shanley advocating the priesthood as a gay profession. Didn’t anybody at the time find his comparison of the priesthood to the stereotype of the hairdresser something to be concerned about? And doesn’t it seem a wee bit dysfunctional to enter the priesthood, not out of love for God or a sense of service to God and His people, but so that others would love you? I think that’s bit of a red flag.