…and that’s why the Roman Catholic Church is so homophobic.
No, it’s more like 90% of priests are Gay these days but sadly a lot are repressed or self loathing and blindly accept the Vatican teaching. Very few Straight people take a vow of celibacy these days or remain in a celibate priesthood. Celibacy can be a wonderful way to devote your life to serving a community but sadly all too often it is a cloak for the repressed or self loathing homophobes to hide behind.
Yes, the figure is definitely higher than 50%.
A few years ago I thought it would be interesting to look up the parish priest who had such a powerful influence on me and everyone else in the parish in which I lived. My how he used to lay down the law from the pulpit every Sunday.
So I didn’t let on that I am now an atheist. We exchanged emails and he found his way to photographs of me and was clearly getting quite excited. Stupidly, I hoped he was getting excited about seeing someone from the past.
When I arrived at his retirement apartment the Monsignor opened the door and instantly I saw an aged gay man. I’d never ever thought he might be gay!
Anyway, he’d prepared a dinner, we drank wine, and pretty soon it was clear he wanted to talk rather saucily! At one point he took me to his window and indicated that it overlooked a men’s public toilet. He related with obvious glee that it was busy. I suddenly realised this old priest was hoping for something after dinner!
So . .
So . . . while doing the dishes with him in his kitchen I very gently dropped into the conversation a word or two which indicated that I was no longer a subject of the “holy” Catholic Church. He continued talking but lost his enthusiasm for me!
By the time the dishes were done, he’d clearly been doing some thinking and had decided that the safest thing to do was get me to hell out of the flat!
He took me to the door and told me that I was welcome to send him a Christmas card every year but as for anything other than that he was afraid nothing else would be possible! And then he said goodbye and almost pushed me out!
Yet earlier in the evening he had related how so often he had wished he had quit the priesthood, found a lover, and settled down with him. He’d also related how much fun he and another priest-friend had had in the gay hot-spots of certain European cities!
He’s still there, holed up in his retirement flat overlooking the sea. And full of regret and confusion.
Thanks for sharing that experience, Eddy.
I also have memories of gay priests and monks…. nuns too, for that matter.
Yes, you are totally correct !
I’m a psychological therapist, and have studied homophobia for 15 years, I also lecture on it. You hit the nail exactly on the head when you say that gay men who are in denial of that (as a result of catholic teachings) do indeed use the “cloak of celibacy” to hide behind. As a result of supressing their TRUE sexual orientation, their “self-loathing” (caused by the inner-conflict of not conforming to the “do not be gay” conditioning) manifests itself as homophobia (ie their inner self-loathing being projected outwardly onto openly gay man).
Homophobia is actually CAUSED by supressing one’s own gay feelings/desires, thus by definition is hypocritical.
…and the other half are bisexual.
Come on, that wouldn’t leave any portion left for the paedophiles…
VP, very few paedophiles hole themselves up in religious orders.
You make the mistake of thinking that a man who gratifies his sexual needs by taking advantage of children in his care is a paedophile.
He’s a frustrated celibate and culpable. He’s unlikely to be a paedophile.
Peter Tatchell is mulling whether he should out several gay clergy and MPs who opposed the equal marriage bill. I think he should go ahead and do it. It’s more than warranted in this case, although I wouldn’t usually support outing anyone unless they are in power and who vote to discriminate against us. I can’t imagine any gay cleric or MP voting no knowing that they could face exposure. Not even Cardinal O’Brien was immune. I have no sympathy for any of them, they deserve everything they get.
If he did I might actually have some respect for him. To be aware that there are clergymen who are gay but openly condemn the LGBT community and do nothing with that knowledge is unforgivable. Sh*t or get off the can Peter.
So where was Mark Dowd when O Brien and his friends were at their self declared war with us over same-sex-marriage?
Where were you Mark? What rock have you now crawled out from under?
This is starting to remind me of the Jimmy Saville saga when all the good and great suddenly crawled out from under the carpet saying they knew all along….
Better to encourage people to crawl out from under those rocks, Paul AP, and to congratulate them for doing so, don’t you think? That way we can help bring an end to this odious institution.
Clearly you haven’t seen any of O Dowd’s work?
When Dowd made ‘Trials of A Pope’ for Channel 4, he painted Benedict as some sort of saviour of the world, but accepted Benedict had some ill-placed words in relation to gay people, but, Dowd didn’t really see this as a problem.
Nowhere in this gushing pro-Benedict programme did O Down make his statements as he does today.
I’m sorry, but there was an opportunity for Dowd to make a strong case against Benedict, this he failed to do, instead the docu made Benedict out to be what Dowd described his as a fair man who dealt well with complex issues.
He also interviewed Benedicts brother and I can’t even bring myself to write about this bit.
But yes, perhaps you’re right?
I don’t know. I don’t like people who make imbalanced telly programmes about Benedict.
Dowd also claims that Benedict went further than most to reach out to victims of church abuse.
I know that to be untrue.
50% is quite a reduction, I was told years ago it was 2/3rds, but no one was allowed to talk about it.
Completely agree with this article. In fact I spoke to a Catholic Priest last week on Grindr! He was as bold as brass… and full of it. He was highly accepting of the fact that he was gay and a priest at the same time. From what was said I got the impression he was fully sexually active frequenting saunas and setting up meetings to indulge his sexual fantasies. Interestingly this priest was only interested in men, not kids, but seemed happy enough to be teaching the doctrine of the church while satisfying his own sexual needs under cover. I’m not a Catholic but this whole scenario makes me repulse all religion.
I’d say something if the clergy were getting paid a fortune to spout their contradictory ideals but I’m guessing they live off benevolence of the church going community. All those donations spend on trade.
I once met a Catholic priest who was so desperate for sex he blurted in my face, “I just want someone to f*ck tonight!” (Yeah, well, not me, honey!).
Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to get to know how his brain ticked so I kept in touch with him.
Soon he was telling me he’d found a guy on the Internet in Canada and was ditching the priesthood and moving to Canada to be with him! (He had not even met the guy!)
Anyway, that’s what he did. Went to Canada, lived with the guy, but found that no one would give him a job involving a similarly high status to that of a parish priest . . . of course!
Eventually, he said he missed his life of prayer and realised he need God, and so returned to the priesthood, leaving the Canadian lover!
Truth is, he missed the privileged life of a priest!
I think in the past, joining the priesthood was a convienent choice for gay men in the days when everyone was expected to get married and have children. That way they didn’t need to face up to their sexuality or go to great lengths to hide it either by getting married to a woman.
Yes, it would be a get out of jail card for when the “have you not met a nice young lady yet” question surfaced. Fortunately I think that question is less likely to arise as routinely as it would have done in the past.
Also, single men could not get council houses/flats right up to the seventies, so it was a place to go to get a roof over their heads and food and company. Unless you had a professional career or had your own money single men were very vunerable in the past. A lot also used to go into the army.
Yes, and do you know that there’s been a rise in recent years in the numbers wanting to get into religious houses? The reason is of course the recession, the lack of jobs.
Three meals a day, roof over your head, lots of singing and theatrics in the church, a bit of sex now and then on the quiet, and a nice young monk to push you’re wheelchair round when your aged! That’s the deal basically.
and to think that catholic parents would pray for a priestly vocation in the family lol
wasn’t that like praying to have a gay son. ? ?
Interesting to me that articles commenting on the resignation of O’Brien add “leaving Britain unrepresented” in the selection of the next Pope. Fact is the selection committee represents only the church and the needs of the church, not the needs of the poor, the changing context in which the church exists, or wishes of the parishioners who live in conflict with the church teachings. Britain unrepresented? Pffft. It never was.
Why any gay man would want to go near this demented lot is beyond me!
In the past I think it was an obvious choice. Take O’Brien for instance, born and raised in a small fishing town in Northern Ireland 44 years before sex between men was legal (NI was the last place in the UK to decriminilise this in 1982), where society was (and largely still is) incredibly religious whether RC or Protestant and still almost completely intolerant.
The seminary offered a shield against questions about why you weren’t with a woman, enabled you to hold a a place of respect within the community and will look after you for the rest of your life. Sure it’s a life in hiding but a very comfortable one, without fear of persecution and ending up pennyless and alone. I think that’s why many gay priests oppose gay rights so vehemently. They chose a life of celibacy with no companion because they thought it was their best option, only to see the world changing into a place which undermines the choices they’ve made. That must be a very bitter pill to swallow.
I think the problem with Keith O’Brien is he left it too late and started imposing himself on eighteen or nineteen year olds when he was in his mid-forties.
Absolutely. There’s probably a great many more who’ve done the same thing, finding themselves in position whereby they feel they still have to keep their sexuality a secret, leading them to prey on those who are less likely to blow the whistle on them. How many cases like this have been hushed up by the Church? I don’t condone what he’s allegedly done or that the probable reasons for it make it in any way justified, but I do think that if it’s true then it’s incredibly sad for all concerned.
This is just sickening. It’s probably almost impossible for many of us to empathise with those whose lives have been squandered because of their faith but it’s equally difficult to sympathise with their way of dealing with that when it’s involved causing hurt to others in the way that they have and continue to. This is what homophobia does. It’s what any hatred of difference does. It limits and damaged everyone. Those who participate, be it through weakness; fear; arrogance; or even sincere belief, just need to stop.
If it’s even half true, it’s desperately sad to think of all those blighted lives, and the lives that were damaged in turn by these frustrated people.
Catholic priests are gay? Duh!!!
Everyone of them I have ever met (and that’s been a lot) have been either actively gay or suppressing it. I don’t understand why anyone would be surprised at that news.
..one of the most disgusting aspects of the Catholic Church is rightly that, that they all are homosexuals in the closet but fear the fact of nature and oppose it and hide behind their grotesque-clownish uniforms…
‘Half of all Catholic priests are Gay
Yes, and the Pope is a catholic, Bears sh….
If you are a Gay man what better place to be than among men, in a male only institution.
I have been to so many gay parties where there have been priests attending. It has been not so unusual to find they are the ones making off to the bedrooms to be bonked by someone.
I always feel a bit angry when I find out the person is a priest and they are cruising for sex. They can do what they want but I don’t like them coming to the gay community just to get their sexual needs meet and then backing the arguments that our relationships are a threat to families.
It is perhaps ironical that in reality the Catholic priests have been the biggest threat to families for all kinds of reasons.
I believe that . Nobody expects you to marry, so no one starts to gossip about you being 40 and unmarried , no loss in social standing. It’s the perfect way out .
“The cardinal, who denied the allegations of inappropriate behaviour last weekend”
What is so sad and disturbing is that these guys are so dishonest to the core. Even in the face of pretty hard evidence they continue the lie. This is the actual root cause of their problems is that they don’t know how to be honest with themselves.
This article and the accompanying comments are based on the erroneous notion that equates pedophilia with being gay. These are two different concepts. This mistake only serves to deepen the ignorance and hate of anti-gay fundamentalists and other bigots.
The two real reasons for the child abuse are:
(1) PTSD. Being a prelate is a high stress job with the managerial functions impairing the spiritual functions of the person leading to high stress. These people need informed psychiatric and spiritual help but don’t expect them to get it.
(2) It is elementary problem of confusing libido with the spiritual emergence process. This is due to the close proximity of the genitalia to the initial formation of spiritual energy (known as Kundalini).
Whilst you’re quite right that paedophilla and homosexuality are two completely different things, although your reasons for child abuse (in particular point (2)) are a bit beyond me, I don’t see anywhere in this article that refers to child abuse. The alleged inappropriate behaviour was with grown men, they were young men but they still adults. I’d appraise yourself of the facts being discussed rather than jumping to conclusions if I were you.
Peter, you’re right that paedophilia and being gay are two separate issues, but why are you making that comment with regard to the article when the article does not even imply that gays in the church are paedophiles or prone to paedophilia!
As for your reasons for child abuse, both refer to things spiritual and are therefore absurd. There are no spirits, angels, fairies, elves, ghosts, etc. And when you indicated the physical proximity of genitals to the “formation of spiritual energy”, well, you just made me laugh at such a ridiculous assertion.
Whatever mumbo-jumbo it is that you have quoted, dump it. It’s nonsense.
A recent poll shows 60% of priests are Gay and the other 40% are liars.
“Mr Dowd said the basis for his claim was on conversations with members of the Catholic Church, as well as personal experience.”
Don’t wish to be picky but if I go in to some gay bars I might find 100% of patrons are gay – it doesn’t mean 100% of the population is gay — it’s a silly old mathematics / statistics thing ! You can’t extrapolate 50% of the people I’ve met or talked about are gay thus 50% of all priests are gay.
Good hiding place, all male in most cases, a bit of power over others (perk), and free accommodation, and you get to do philosophy – some may even thing the experience might “turn” them straight. Instead it’s the sort of job which locks you in, is controlling, destroys your own personal feelings of self-worth, turns you in to a hater of the very people you want to love and be loved by, and results in extreme cognitive dissonance. It is not well known but there are high levels of alcoholism in the clergy. I’d be surprised if it was more than 30%.
and by the way, my 30% figure is based on an utter guess. I’m figuring that if it was 50% or more there would have been a revolution inside the church some time ago, with gay members having enough power and influence to change how interpretation of scripture is viewed.
Far too many people seem to move forward with some kind of assumption that because some people think scripture condemns (actually the term is prohibits, in strict translation terms) same-sex sexual acts – not people’s attraction. But even that is flawed. I’ve looked in detail at the texts and when you go back to more original Hebrew and Aramaic (Jesus spoke the latter) and then see word-for-word translations, and you look at the culture and suss out the context, then you would see, as Rowan Williams did, that there is no absolute condemnation of same-sex relationships, but rather such interpretations (sadly widespread because of deliberate twisting of the passages by the Catholic church, Islam, etc,) are wrong.
Gulliver wrote: “I’m figuring that if it was 50% or more there would have been a revolution inside the church some time ago”.
Gulliver, you are vastly underestimating the power of the church, the esprit de corps. It IS a cult, remember. The bonds between the fellow members of that cult are extraordinarily strong. There is a gulf between the laity and those in religious orders. And those in religious orders are participating in the administration of the cult, the perpetuation of the myth.
“It is not well known but there are high levels of alcoholism in the clergy.” Not well known? Are you kidding?
Yes, Guglielmo, you’re right. There are extraordinarily high levels of alcoholism amongst male clergy, particularly parish priests, as they live alone and those endless evenings are lonely despite the “redeeming power of prayer”!
When they get down on their knees in the loneliness of their rooms, I wonder what it is they are praying for?
Hi, Robert. I remember a young curate taking me into his bedroom once. I can’t remember why. Maybe he was hoping for a bit of nookey. Anyway, being a very artistic young thing myself I was appalled at the mess it was in! Clothes littering the floor, everything in a shambles, but, worse than anything else, a wooden crate almost full of beer bottles just sitting in the middle of the carpet, not far from the bed!
At least hide your booze away, Father! :-)
It’s not only the priesthood where you come across gay hypocrites. They’re in other professions, too.
Yes, especially in politics! That’s why I’m hoping Peter Tatchell will out the hypocrites leading double lives as well as those closeted gay self-loathers in Parliament who voted no on February 5th. If this doesn’t justify outing them, I don’t know what does. So if Peter is reading this, please go right ahead and name names.
I slept with a priest once and afterwards he said he would have to go to confess for what he had done…i was raging….never spoke to him again….
LMAO, what did you expect from someone living a lie? Lunch at the Savoy and a spending spree on underwear at Prowler?
That is quite unnecessarily swinophobic. What have pigs ever done to you?
“Blessing” my arsehole in the Seminary.
There is a huge confusion here. The definition of “paedophile” is NOT the same as “homosexual”. It would be truer to assume that those drawn to the seminary life are paedophiles. And what a hero Pope Benedict would have been if he had swept the Catholic Church clean of the filth of paedophilia!
The only one who seems to be confused is you and Peter (see above). Nobody’s talking about child abuse or paedophiles.
75% not 50%!
Mark Dowd says “about half if not more, of all the people attracted into seminaries in the priesthood are gay themselves” but I have just seen that a poster in the Guardian column today on this same subject, and who says he/she has experience of three separate Catholic orders, reckons on the figure being closer to 75%!!!!!
The BBC has just reported and dicribed Cardinal O’Brien, as “a vulnerable adult!”
The BBC’s arrogance is breathtaking how dare they say he’s a vulnerable adult after what this church has done.
A vulnerable adult! I don’t believe it!
Why, oh why, are people so gutless when it comes to the church! Why are they so fearful of calling a spade a spade? Is it fear of retribution in an afterlife? It must be! Which means that the Catholic Church has this almost subconscious power over one hell of a lot of people, never mind the conscious control it has over millions of others.
The BBC was quoting someone else.
It wasn’t the BBC describing him as “a vulnerable adult” – they were merely quoting a “source within the Catholic Church”.
(Although for anyone to describe him as a vulnerable adult after some of the hatred that’s poured forth from his mouth is priceless).
You need to remember that the Catholic Church is the biggest boys club in the world ruled by men who are all now in their 60s 70s or 80s.When these guys were young if you were Gay and from a Catholic family you had two choices get married and lie or become a priest.Can you imagine giving your life to an organisation that rejects you….. it only leads to self hatred and repression.No wonder they are so obsessed with Homosexuality it is because we are living the life that they could not and they hate us for it…
Which half, the top or bottom?
I quit religious life as a novice, because I could not live that way, and I could see that this kind of hypocrisy was damaging to those around me. Deceit, jealously, sexual frustration &/or denial screws up most people trying to live celibate lives. What actually goes on is an open secret in many seminaries, convents, monasteries and friaries. It is time what began in the reformation was finished; these poor people should be liberated from a life of torture where they project their demons onto others, and given a chance of happiness.
This is a whole world of screw-ups (in all senses!).There were stories of RC priests shagging around on the gay scene when I came out in the 1970s. One of them on our local scene notoriously claimed that ‘celibate’ only meant ‘unmarried’. An ex-monk I knew said that he had naively told a confessor that he and another monk had fallen in love and faced prurient questions about whether they had had anal sex. A priest I knew who had a new incumbency unselfconsciously said that, as soon as he was settled in, he would start looking for a boyfriend.
I suspect that none of this is uncommon. It is not only in their doctrines that religions are mad and incoherent.
I’m surprised at this only because I didn’t think it was a secret. I had a friend who attended seminary back in the 80′s and said it was true then. Gay men were attracted to the priesthood because it was easy to meet other men who were closeted.
which is why there are less and less priests coming thru, its a lot easier now for gay men to live honest lives, less need to hide in that institution