Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Is it about active homosexuality or about clericalism? Yes!

May 9th, 2019, Promulgated by Diane Harris

An Unfocused Synod?

The four day synod held at the Vatican in February 2019 is informally most often identified as the “Sex Abuse Synod,” eschewing the more official title which seemed to imply that only the abuse of young children (pedophilia) was of concern. Most striking to observers familiar with abuse of prepubescent / preadolescent victims, is the absence of language from the synod relating such abuse to homosexuality, as if the word “homosexual” hadn’t been invented yet!

But studies and analyses of prior known sexual abuse by clerics have indicated that fully three quarters of such abuse has been homosexual in nature. The stark refusal to include such defining language raises the question “Why?” If homosexual activity is the sin which some clergy refuse to call a sin, it is not because the bible and catechism lack clarity, but because of their own spiritual disorder.

From the highest level, i.e. Pope Francis, the issue has been framed as a matter of “clericalism,” that the victims were too intimidated by the priestly role of the perpetrator to resist or to inform on him. By extension, clericalism also becomes an excuse for others with clear reporting or oversight responsibility not to have formed proper resistance in a hierarchical organization.

For the matter isn’t either homosexuality or clericalism alone. To be drawn into such argument is a waste of time and effort — the issue is both! Nit-picking vocabulary should cease, and the hierarchy get on with the work of preventing all abuse, especially of those most vulnerable. Failure to have addressed both elements has earned the “help” of the government, for which all those responsible can have no valid excuse for neglect of duty.

Charles Lwanga’s Example

To better see the connection between the issue of active homosexuality and the intrusion of clericalism, it may be helpful to understand the situation of the Ugandan martyrs, Charles Lwanga and companions. Discreet writings appropriate to the times and situation indicate that the private sin of the King, implicitly homosexual in nature, was frustrated by Lwanga’s shielding and counseling the young men to hold strong as Christians and to resist the king. Could any “clericalism” have the impact or trepidation associated with saying ‘no’ to an earthly and sadistic king with limitless power over life and death?

But such resistance would not have been necessary if not for the private sexual sin of that king, and his willingness to abuse the young and vulnerable for his pleasure.  Thus, clericalism would have no need to be faced and contradicted, were it not for the wanton sin of those in power. Yes, it is both.


It seems that Pope Emeritus Benedict, in writing recently, saw that need to call out the sin which had been neglected to be mentioned. But that discussion is for the next post, and for your comments in the meantime. Perhaps Charles Lwanga and companions would be good intercessors to whom to pray for help in the current crisis of sexual abuse? Their feast day is June 3rd, the day they were burned to death in 1886. Their blood watered the seed of the current and growing Church in Africa.


5 Responses to “Is it about active homosexuality or about clericalism? Yes!”

  1. BigE says:

    The church having a “homosexual problem” is a lazy and homophobic reaction IMO.
    The church’s sex abuse problem is way more complex than that.
    It could be the Church has a Pedophilia and Ephebophilia problem (along with clericalism).
    Numerous studies have shown that homosexuals are no more likely to sexually abuse than their heterosexual counterparts.
    And since pedophiles are ephebophiles are attracted to children or teens (regardless of gender), more boys getting sexually abused could simply be a matter of exposure (more young males available to priests).
    Or if a majority of priests ARE homosexual, and if the rate of sexual abuse is the same between homosexuals and heterosexuals – it would make sense that a majority of the abuse cases are homosexual in nature.
    The organization with the biggest sex abuse problem by far (significantly greater than the Catholic Church), is the U.S. Public School System. And more girls tend to be abused than boys. I haven’t heard anyone claiming there’s a hetereosexual problem in our schools.

  2. Mary-Kathleen says:

    The Church’s abuse problem is not a “homophobic reaction”.

    “Referring to the problem as pedophilia is incorrect, as Newsweek noted in 2002: “The great majority of cases now before the Church involve not pedophilia but ‘ephebophilia,’ an attraction to post-pubescent youths.”
    Thus, the abuse isn’t pedophilia, as it typically doesn’t involve pre-pubescent children; nor is it attributable primarily to a heterosexual clergy preying on females. The evidence in this current report shows the problem of priestly sex abuse stems principally from a homosexual clergy that is attracted to males who’ve gone through puberty.”

    “studies all conclude the same thing: girls of all ages and prepubescent boys make up a small percentage of the victims of clerical sex abuse. This leads directly to the realization that the current plague of sex abuse involving ordained predators, is rooted in those priests suffering from homosexual attraction.”

  3. Diane Harris says:

    @BigE: I do not see the term you quoted: “homosexual problem” in the post. I agree it IS much more complicated than having it all explained away. And much too important to ignore the very obvious factors.

    Today we have received notice of the Pope’s new motu proprio:

    “Pope Francis Signs Motu Proprio to Prevent and Denounce Abuses in the Catholic Church.
    Vos Estis Lux Mundi also concerns any actions intended to cover up a civil or canonical investigation into accusations of child pornography use, sexual abuse of minors or sexual coercion through abuse of power.

    The next sentence of the news report opens with a badly written sentence seeming to make seminarians into criminals, but I’m sure that is not what it means and it will probably be corrected:

    “New Vatican norms for the Church’s handling of sex abuse, issued Thursday, place seminarians and religious coerced into sexual activity through the misuse of authority in the same criminal category as abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. “

    The required system and process mandated in the link shown above has been ordered to be in place by June 2020. One hopes that the moto proprio means additional protection of all rights, and does not replace any other canon law, such as the one which Mr. McCarrick was found guilty of violating in his exploitation of the confessional. Time will tell if this is a feel-good exposition, mostly legalistic defense, or real clout.

    Unfortunately, as Church Militant has pointed out, if this system had been in place during McCarrick’s abuse, he would have been the metropolitan in charge of investigating! And so too Wuerl, Dolan, Cupich and NJ’s Tobin would have similar power. That is frightening. But hardly surprising!

  4. Guest "G" says:

    Guest Post for “G”

    Clericalism is a new word for some of us. But Fr. Z did a great write-up here:

    He writes: “There is a terrible clericalism in the Church, but its main exponents are NOT traditionalists or conservatives. Libs are the worst of all. For an example of the worst sort of clericalism, take the dreadful propensity of lib priests who condescendingly bring all sorts of lay people up into the sanctuary (to “clericalize” them) so that they can do things that the priest is supposed to do. Thats a way of saying, “Your dignity as a baptized Catholic isn’t enough. But I shall confer more upon you by my fiat.”

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