Cardinal McCarrick scandal inflames debate over gay priests

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The church says gays should be treated with dignity and respect, yet it has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

So let us treat them with dignity and respect rather than some sort of unjust purge.

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According to the article cited:
“Citing McCarrick’s case, Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute, which promotes traditional Catholic teaching, says there must be a “complete and thorough removal of all homosexual clergymen from the church.””
Seems like a good idea. Another possibility is to require all priests to marry before ordination.

Let’s get rid of chaste gay priests? That’s ridiculous.

Right. It is such a conflict of interest. You can’t serve two masters. I think if Fr. James Martin et al. keep pushing this homophobic argument against the teaching of the Church with respect to the subject of active homosexuality as a sin, the Church needs to re-assert its teaching very defensively and aggressively, the same way they would against any other challenge to their authority. It is an attack on the Church in the name of sin and it will not have a happy ending for anyone. In particular, this conflict of interest needs to be exposed and emphasized, personally and generally - if you know stuff, say it. A lot of faithful Catholics at all levels are being pre-emptively intimidated by emotional blackmail / bullying not to do this.

This has nothing to do with celibacy so unless the priest married his boyfriend it wouldn’t make a difference. The guilty priests are active homosexuals not frustrated heterosexuals.


It is worth noting that Michael Hichborn has been a contributor to OnePeterFive, a website run by Steve Skojec. Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong considers Skojec to be “a radical Catholic reactionary.”

What should the Church do then, about the, umm, sexually active heterosexual priests in the priesthood?

Maybe married priests would be a good idea. At least they could be sexually active in a context of proper chastity.

The more I think about this whole issue, the more I think it is because the Church is swimming against nature on sexuality. Sexuality is a normal, healthy process. Banning it altogether for some classes of people would seem to be trying to confine the forces of nature into a box that is not of God’s making. We are programmed to be sexual creatures. Sexuality needs to be properly channeled, that’s for sure, and marriage is the safest and most logical channel. It provides the proper context for sexuality and for its inevitable result (children).

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Yes. I don’t know of any married priests who have been involved in scandals like those that we have seen involving unmarried priests.

Just dropping this in here - this is left wing press, Axios, coming out today. It is fair to say this is a bipartisan crisis.

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Chaste or unchaste, homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood.


I have recently read many stories of homosexual activity in some seminaries that has been shocking to me. Seminaries should no more tolerate such activity than they would tolerate inviting women up to seminarians rooms for sex. The same applies to the priesthood. So yes, eliminate any sexual activity in seminaries, either homosexual or heterosexual. I don’t think that chaste gay priests should be dismissed from the priesthood as long as they remain chaste. But any kind of immoral behavior is corrupting to the priesthood and the Church.

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Thank you for posting this yankeesouth.

From Dr. Scott Hahn (quoting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and again a proverbial hat tip to yankeesouth) . . . .

Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI, in his 2010 book, Light of the World, explains why the Church sees homosexuality as incompatible with the priesthood, even for those who live a chaste life, insofar as “…their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity, i.e., from the intrinsic nature of priestly being.”

Actually, his words are worth quoting at length:

“Sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction which is not homosexual. The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and in this way give humanity posterity, children, future. This is the determination internal to the essence of sexuality. Everything else is against sexuality’s intrinsic meaning and direction. This is a point we need to hold firm, even if it is not pleasing to our age. The issue at stake here is the intrinsic truth of sexuality’s significance in the constitution of man’s being. If someone has deep seated homosexual inclinations—and it is still an open question whether these inclinations are really innate or they arise in early childhood—if, in any case, they have power over him this is a great trial for him, just as other trials conflict other people as well. But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed.

Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy itself would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway. For, in the end, their attitude toward man or woman is somehow distorted, off-center, and, in any case, is not within the direction of creation of which we have spoken. The Congregation for Education issued a decision a few years ago to the effect that homosexual candidates cannot become priests because their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity, from the intrinsic nature of priestly being. The selection of candidates to the priesthood must therefore be very careful. The greatest attention is needed here in order to prevent the intrusion of this kind of ambiguity and to head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality.” (pp. 151-3)

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You’re welcome. There is a talk by Dr. John Bergsma that also helps understand…

The Crucifixion: A Marital Act, A Priestly Act

Are marriage and the priesthood “opposites” of each other? Are they two opposing and exclusive ways to serve God? Or, are they somehow profoundly linked to one another?


This notion that marriage somehow helps men tamp down their sexual urges is nonsense. Look at the statistics on pornography among married men. Is sexual deviance lower among married men? Is sexual abuse? Certainly not. My sexual urges didn’t go away with marriage. I must rein them in and order them in the proper context, and still practice chastity and virtue to live within the bounds of my vocation.

Continuing to search for simple fixes acts as nothing more than placing Band-Aids on the problem.


I used to think the same. Now I’m not so sure. Yes, there are married pedophiles, porn addicts, etc.

What I am beginning to think is that the Church’s sexual absolutism is not working. Thomist theology against nature… just doesn’t seem to work. We have a conservative cardinal like O’Brien placing a heavy burden on the faithful… a burden that he himself could not bear. Sounds a lot like a certain sect of Judaism that Jesus would often call to task.

Even with married priests we will not have perfection when it comes to sex abuse.

But what we need also is to attract many good men to the priesthood. Normal men with a balanced normal sexuality. A celibate priesthood seems to be failing miserably at doing just that.

In other words I am not suggesting married priests to “tamp down” sexual urges. I am suggesting married priests so that the priesthood is made attractive to good men who are barred from the priesthood because they are married.

Let’s be realistic. Given the shortage of vocations, priests are spread pretty thin. We are throwing them out there to be all alone in many places. It’s a very lonely lifestyle and it’s not surprising that sometimes even good men go off the rails. Gone are the days when a rectory had three or four priests and a transitional deacon or two. At least regular priests (religious priests) have the support of a community. It’s why the Communité Saint Martin in France does not send priests alone to a parish.

A married priest is more than just addressing sexual issues. It’s about overcoming loneliness, it’s about companionship, it’s about making the priesthood attractive to men who wouldn’t qualify simply because of their marital status.


If you read through the church documents in the Pennsylvania report, it’s clear that the church leadership saw homosexuality and pedophilia as the same kind of thing. They treated them both as vices that could be treated, or even “cured” through self-discipline. So, yes, I agree that absolutism isn’t working.

Incorrect. Priests who have been found guilty of abuse are both homosexual and heterosexual.

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Even if married priests became the norm, remember that in the Eastern Catholic rites, married men may become priests, but priests may not marry. And bishops can not be married. I don’t think that would change either in the East or the West. So if married priests become the norm, where would we get our bishops?

Eastern bishops tend to be drawn from monastic orders, because monks are already celibate. In the Western context, the Benedictines, the Dominicans, the Jesuits, and so on would likely still insist on celibacy, which is fine. I don’t think there’d be a shortage of celibate men available to serve as bishops (although we could also just have married bishops, even if that’s not what the Eastern churches do).

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