The author of “The Gay Priest Problem” speaks

The author of “The Gay Priest Problem” speaks

Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, one of the good Jesuits and a chaplain with the Navy and Marines, was the author of the groundbreaking article, “The Gay Priest Problem”, in Catholic World Report, back in November 2000, when I was interim editor. How groundbreaking was it? The newsstand copies were pulled from magazine racks in stores at the Vatican because the cover was too provocative. All it had was a black cover and pink type that said “The Gay Priest Problem.” Too bad no one was listening.

Now Fr. Shaughnessy has been interviewed for San Diego News Notes. In the first part of the interview, he discusses Just War Theory. In the second part, he talks about homosexuals in the priesthood and how that relates to the Scandal. It’s very informative.

  • Anyone who knows Fr. Shuaghnessy would laugh at your contention that he is an innocent. He is not. Did you even read the interview? His conclusions have been corroborated by many other priests.

    Chastity (which everyone, married and celibate, must strive for) is not a function of sexual orientation, but for a homosexual priest it’s very different.
    Who would find it easier to remain chaste? A heterosexual man living with other heterosexual men or a hetero man living with hetero women? How a homosexual living among homosexuals?

    Fr. Shaughnessy’s not saying that there are a few chaste homosexuals scattered throughout the priesthood in proportion to their presence in the population as a whole. He’s saying that there are many, many active homosexuals, evidenced not the least by the rate at which they’re getting AIDS.

    As for the Scandal, there are two related issues (I can’t believe I still have to make this argument 18 months later): the crime and the coverup. The crime was mainly (about 80 or 90 percent of the perverts) that of adult male homosexuals having sex with adolescent males. If you can’t take those numbers and conclude there’s a homosexual problem in the priesthood then you have your head in the sand.

    I don’t know what you mean by turning back the clock. What seminaries need is to stop admitting men based on their “openness” to heterodox belief and return to admitting chaste, heterosexual, and most importantly, holy men.

    Seminary candidates are no more prone to sexual immaturity than the rest of the population, although psychologists I have heard from say gay ones are.  There’s a message right there.

    Todd, you fall into the trap of casting everything into the power category. The crisis is not one of power and control, but one of holiness. What we need is a return to holiness by the clergy and laity.

  • Don’t kid yourself, Todd. An adult male having sex with a post-pubescent teen male is homosexuality, nothing more or less. All the word play and psycho-babble in the world won’t change that. In fact, psychologists do make the distinction between pedophilia and sex with post-pubescents. Is an adult man having sex with a 17-year-old girl pedophilia? Almost everyone would say not. So why is it different when it’s same sex?

    And I didn’t defend the old system because I don’t know that it was any better or worse than the current one. If we’re going to judge them on the basis of their product neither system scores all too well. Perhaps, the immediately pre-conciliar system wasn’t too good, but perhaps an even older one worked better.

    Your claim that without Vatican II the Scandal would be worse is unprovable and therefore unwarranted and not deserving of a response.

  • I don’t care how “sexually immature” you are, whatever that even means, but just because you have “access” to males doesn’t mean a heterosexual is going to seek them out for sex. If he does, that’s not immaturity, that’s pathology.

    There’s no sneaking around the conclusion that guys who seek out other guys for sex are homosexuals. Period.