Homosexuality and priests

So I’m debating this uber-liberal who used to be a great Catholic on Facebook. He made a joke about gay priests, and said that it was “grounded in reality.” I asked him for some proof, and he came up with this:

Estimates of the US population give a range of 2% to 10% of American men are gay. US census says it’s less than 2%, gay advocates say 10%. Survey’s of priests estimate between 15% and 45%, many serious studies and books claim 50%. Of the 3 people I’ve talked to from seminary, they say 50% easy. At a minimum there are 10 times as many gay priests as compared to the general population. religioustolerance.org/hom_rcc.htm for starters

How exactly does one respond to this? Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about these polls? I would assume that most of them aren’t true in some way. Thanks!

I don’t know that it is that high, but given the sexual pressures that exist today, I could see many more heterosexual men saying no to a celibate lifestyle, and choosing marriage instead. That would certainly inflate the numbers.

He’s getting his “facts” from a site that obviously has an agenda. Too bad he’s willing to belief them without question. The onus is on him to prove these “facts” not on you to disprove them. It would be better to get the information directly from the dioceses themselves, except they aren’t going to divulge to the public how many of their priests are SSA, if any. That would be private information. So, how does he think this group of “anything goes” group has such information? Really, why will people just accept whatever they read on any old website? Because they want to believe it. There’s more going on with this guy than his having a problem with the homosexual issue. It’s an excuse not a reason. He needs our prayers not refuting because he will not listen until he is willing to, and if he is taking the word of a group like that as true, he certainly isn’t ready to listen.

I would start by pointing out that whoever typed that paragraph obviously has no sense of math and is therefore not a legitimate source of comparison.

For example, the range of general population homosexuality given is 2-10%, the range given for priests is 15-45%. That means that the minimum difference is attained at:
General population: 10%
Priesthood: 15%

The minimum is that priests have 1.5 times the probability of being gay, or a general 50% increase over general population. (this compared to the cited 10 times increase, or 900% increase in rates of homosexuality).

An error that egregious is inexcusable in a source… as well as citing unnamed “studies” (other than the US Census, which is probably the only accurate number given).

My sense is that the percentage of priests who are gay exceeds the percentage in the wider population. Why?

 1. Many gays wrestle with their sexuality and might feel that if they become priests they either will be cured of these carnal desires or be truly celibate. 

  2. Many gays, like all people, want a fulfilling career where they receive respect. The priesthood had been such a career.

  3. Gays know that if they are priests they will not be questioned by family or others as to why they haven't found the 'right woman' yet.

  4. Some gays are attracted by the idea that the fraternity of priests all are fellow males.

  5. Gays who feel guilty about their sexual orientation hope that as a priest they can banish that guilt and become, in effect, non-sexual.

  6. The priesthood has certain ceremonial aspects, with colorful vestments etc, that can appeal to people with a particular interest in theatre, the arts, etc.  Gays are more likely to be drawn to such attractions than heterosexual males.

  There probably were a few - very, very few - priests who thought they might be able to practice their gay lifestyle within the church, probably with fellow priests. But this number is tiny. Most gay priests who broke their vows of celebacy simply could not handle the sexual drive without yielding to it - often rationalizing this behavior.

  My guess would be that as high as 20-30% of priests are gay, another 10-20% could practice gay sex if other sex is unavailable to them, perhaps 10% are genuinely bisexual and would have sex with either sex.

  Sadly, the sex scandal has only increased the priest shortage because many heterosexual men are skeptical of becoming priests out of fear that they may be seen as gay. Plus, our sexual revolution had made sex into the preferred and normal lifestyle, bringing with it intimacy, joy, bonding, romance and, of course, the blessings that come with children and family life.

My question is this: what’s the big deal? Why do people make such a big deal out of a gay priest? Can a homosexual not be as holy as a heterosexual? Are homosexuals not fit to be priests? As long as they are not sinning by engaging in homosexual relations of any kind, why is it seen as a bad thing if a priest is gay?

I personally think that these hyperinflated statistical claims are used by proponents of the gay agenda to bolster their arguments for acceptance and protect their own identity and ego. It makes ppl feel better about themselves if they can say that 10 percent or 20 percent or 50 percent of other ppl are just like them. if they have to admit that they are part of a measly one percent? ooh, ego damage!

A coalition of 31 leading pro-homosexual activists groups did not use the 10% figure for the number of homosexuals in America in their amicus brief filed in a 2003 supreme court case. Instead, this coalition used 2.8 percent of the male and 1.4% of the female population.

It seems ludicrous to me that there would be a statistically significant greater percentage of priests being gay than any other profession.

See, banap.net/spip.php?article79

A recent event in the development of the “modern homosexual” is significant, but may not yet be considered historical. In a legal brief filed in a June 2003 Supreme Court case, Lawrence vs. Texas, a coalition of 31 leading pro-homosexual activists groups did not use the 10% figure for the number of homosexuals in America. Included in this coalition are some of the leading national organizations the Human Rights Campaign; the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force; Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); and the People for the American Way Foundation. They filed an amicus curiae brief (or ‘friend of the court’ brief) with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Lawrence vs. Texas. These groups cited in their legal brief, from a study that was published in 1994, the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). The results of this study are in a book by Laumann, et al., The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States. This study reported that “2.8 percent of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.” The admission of these figures by these groups in their legal brief is in stark contrast to what has been historically cited in the popular myth that 10% of the population is homosexual.

the actual amicus brief is found at supreme.lp.findlaw.com/suprem…er.ami.hrc.pdf the referenced study is in footnote 42

Isn’t the percentage of abuse against minor boys something really high, like 80%?

I don’t know… doesn’t seem like a good idea to accept men with un-natural attractions into the priesthood.

The answer to your question can be found here: Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders

The answer appears to be basically, you don’t relate either to women or men in a properly ordered way as “Father” if you are suffering from deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

In addition there is the additional factor (from my mind, not really from the Instruction as I recall) of avoiding near occasions of sin. If you are suffering from SSA and wish to be chaste, you are unwise to enter seminary, where you will be surrounding yourself with men only. Even if all of them are heterosexual, you are still tempting yourself to sin in thought. And in priestly life, even if the temptation is diminished somewhat, you are still more liklely to be living in closest contact with other men, so it does not go away.

But to answer one of your questions specifically, a person suffering from SSA has if anything more opportunities for holiness than one that doesn’t. For example, I hardly ever drink. For me, that is not a virtue, because I have never been an alcoholic. A recovering alcoholic has more opportunities for holiness (all other things being equal of course) than I do, because for her, not to drink is a virtue, while for me it is just a normal thing. She can be virtuous by not drinking, and I can’t. (I have my own temptations of course, but this is just an isolated example.) The same is true for someone with SSA. By avoiding acting on those SSA tendencies, he or she is demonstrating a very high level of virtue, and I respect and admire him or her for it.

OTOH, in the same way that it would be a lot more sensible for me to take a job as a bartender than it would for the recovering alcoholic, it is a lot more sensible for only heterosexual men to enter the seminary.


As far as I recall from what I learned in college, the original 10% figure came from the infamous Kinsey report. The sample for this research had a disproportionately large number of men in prison and male prostitutes. The respondants were largely self-selected, because many people would refuse to answer the questions in the survey (this was somewhere aound 1950), and the kinds of people who would agree were not representative of the general population. In addition, the survey results were entirely based on self-report data, which is singularly unreliable regardless of the subject matter, and especially unreliable (I would imagine) if you are dealing with criminals.

People believe what they want to believe.



This book shows how during the last few decades the seminaries were actively recruiting gay men and turning away those who were straight and orthodox. That would account for the percentages being higher than the general population.

The pendulum is swinging back now, and young priests I know say that there are many strong, young, straight and orthodox seminarians.

By being srewd as a serpent and as simple as a dove. By clearly preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and shaking the dust off your feet and moving on if they will not listen to you.

Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. (Matthew 10:14-16)

I wouldn’t even go near homosexual priests. I would change the subject. I would ask, “Do you believe in God?” and if they brought up priests again, I would ask them how they thought the world came into being. If they continued to bring up priests, I would ask if they believed there was a higher power which created the universe. And if they continued, I would ask who they thought Jesus Christ was. Explain to whomever you are speaking what Jesus has done for you personally, and then move on. Turn the subject to spiritual things, belief in God, creation and beauty, forgiveness and mercy, God and man, Jesus Christ and your life.

If they force you, simply state that you believe the statistics are not true, that society is biased against any group which shows the world that sexual self control is possible, and then move on. Forget arguing about the number of homosexual priests. Two percent? Ten percent? Fifty percent? Who cares?

It’s a battle you will never win and no one will get to heaven even if you do.


A good resource.:thumbsup:

And they were rejecting as unfit for pastoral duties men that were devout and prayerful. Satan has created much damage here.


Homosexuals are attracted to bright, pretty colors??


Thanks for all the replies, they helped a lot. Now he’s saying that I’m ignoring the Bible’s black and white text, and trying to downplay the importance of the culture at the time, while I’m trying to convince him otherwise. I think I’'m just going to leave it at that. TimothyH, you hit it on the head. Thank you. :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the information! I am grateful for the correction :slight_smile:

Your analogy of the alcoholic being virtuous by not drinking reminds me of the parable that Jesus tells the disciples about the servant who is more in debt loving the master more . . . I think it’s a similar concept!

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