Vigilantes out homosexual priests

Vigilantes out homosexual priests

It’s one thing to desire a more faithful priesthood and even to take exception to priests of your diocese who engage in sinful conduct in public. It’s another thing to harass priests you suspect of being gay and outing them in public.

A self-appointed watchdog group in Scotland is seeking to purify the priesthood using whatever tactics are required. They’ve evidently never heard of “the ends don’t justify the means” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and so on.

Catholic Truth, a right-wing newsletter edited by Patricia McKeever, has demanded that Edinburgh-based Father Ed Hone reveal his sexual orientation. She has even threatened to “doorstep” him unless he answers her questions. The tactics follow McKeever’s promise to gather information on same-sex practices in the Church. She launched her “heavenly witness protection programme” in the autumn, a scheme that involves naming gay priests. Catholic Truth believe outing gay clergy would be a “great work of charity”.

This is no better than the “brownshirt” tactics used by radical gay groups like “Act Up!” Zeal without charity is useless and is in fact easily turned toward evil.

Of course, this also gives people an excuse to lump orthodox Catholics in with people like this and call them “Catholic Taliban” and fundamentalists.

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  • What I see on their site is better than what the newspaper says, but I’m still not sure. They don’t seem to refute the heart of the allegations.

    If they were doing what Roman Catholic Faithful did in Illinois that would be one thing, but if they’re acting on their own to determine who’s gay and who isn’t and then making that information public, that’s a problem.

  • That is all we need, people coming after us and calling us gay and not knowing if we are actually gay or not.  I think it would be better to support the priests in their calling to a life of holiness and servitude.  It is already so grim for us priests in the English speaking world.  It would be great if there was a group of laye persosn who can organize support services for priests, who are all very human.

  • You’re painting with a too-broad brush. You don’t know Fr. Ethan and your comments are out of line.

    Yes, there have been priests who have coddled the misbehavior of other priests. Fr. Ethan is not one of them.

    But let’s not absolve ourselves either. There are plenty of laypeople who have done the same thing, both for priests and other laypeople. There’s more than enough blame to go around.

  • Fr. Ethan writes:

    It would be great if there was a group of lay persons who can organize support services for priests, who are all very human.

    Want to expand on this over at your blog, Fr. E.?  What would help? 

    (By the way, when I click on your blog link above, some blog in Japanese comes up.)

  • You will have a hard time proving that I don’t acknowledge that there’s a big problem with faithless and sinful priests. (Of course, the problem is matched or even exceeded by the numbers of faithless and sinful laity, but that’s another matter.)

    But witch hunts, show trials, and smearing priests you don’t know are not a solution.

  • Why do some people’s solutions to problems in the Church sounds more like the tactics of Stalin—purges and all—than the tactics of Christ?

    It is necessary to clean up the Church, but it is also necessary to do it the way Christ would have us do it. St. Paul talks a lot about reform and a return to holiness. Not much talk of purges.

  • Mark, You must be new here. I’ve spent the past five years writing on this blog about the depradations of pervert priests.

    What you miss in your comment is that this group is not reacting to the public behavior of priests but is preemptively demanding priests respond to their inquiries about their sexual orientation.

    Even if they are straight and orthodox, it’s understandable that they would take exception to such brazen questioning. By what right do they do so?

    I completely agree that we should out molesters and that homosexuality among priests is destructive of the priesthood. But there are right ways to do it and wrong ways.

  • Mark: You obviously haven’t read the story and don’t know what you are talking about. The group isn’t asking them if they support the Church’s teachings. They are asking them if they happen to have same-sex attraction.

    You are leaping to conclusions based on very little research and evidence, which is just as bad as, if not worse than, what you have accused me of.

    If there is even such thing as false charity, it has had nowhere near the evil consequences that excessive zeal has had in world history.

    Until I see evidence that you’ve read the article and what else I’ve written on this, I see no point in continuing this conversation. Otherwise it will be an exercise in frustration.

  • What the Amazon banner displays is based on both the context of this page and things you have looked at on their site.

    For instance, I see ads for an XBox 360 memory upgrade and a book called “How Not to Say the Mass,” because I’ve looked at electronics and Catholic books on Amazon.

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