Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr got his hands on an audiotape made by Paul Shanley back in the 1970s that, in hindsight, is a chilling warning of what would come. (paid subscription required)
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.