Gay Priests To Pope: Don’t Blame Us For Child Sex Abuse
ROME — The letter couldn’t have come at a better time. Just a week before Pope Francis convenes a crisis summit in Rome on systematic clerical sex abuse in the global Catholic Church, a group of gay priests from the Netherlands have written a letter trying to restore some perspective. In it, they ask the pontiff not to validate persistent gossip that a so-called “gay mafia” inside the Catholic Church is responsible for systematic clerical sex abuse of children.
In fact, orientation should not matter at all in the celibate world of the Catholic clergy. Priests and nuns take a vow of celibacy at ordination that prohibits them from engaging in any sexual act — including masturbation — no matter what their sexual orientation. But if the endemic clerical sexual abuse of minors, the majority of them boys, is confounded with homosexuality, that’s a convenient excuse for the church. The last three popes have pretended the pedophile scandal can be “solved” by getting rid of gay priests.
“We have the distinct impression,” the Dutch group wrote to Francis, “that the Vatican and the Congregation for the Clergy and perhaps even you yourself tend to suggest that those priests who are openly gay are the ones responsible for the sexual abuse of children and minors.”