Action Alert!

Murderer and victim

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 26, 2003

As the initial shock wears off, several thoughts on the Geoghan killing:

1) The accused (and confessed) murderer, we are told, was motivated by a hatred of homosexuals. Oh, then Geoghan was homosexual? For months the media avoided that issue, repeatedly telling us that homosexuality and pedophilia are unrelated. Then suddenly, out tumbled the truth that everyone knew, but few reporters acknowledged.

2) Geoghan was charged with molesting over 100 boys. But he was convicted of a minor offense-- fondling the buttocks of one boy. If anyone but a Catholic priest had been found guilty of the same crime, he would have served a matter of days in jail. And in sentencing, judges aren't supposed to consider pending civil lawsuits. The justice system had broken down in this case, even before the penal system failed.

3) The killer's father says that his son was sexually abused as a child. We might be just opening a new chapter in our understanding of the pathologies that can come from sexual abuse. We already know that a victim of sexual abuse is more likely to become abusive himself. Is he also more likely to harbor a violent hatred of homosexuals? Is he more likely to be homosexual? If all three consequences become more likely, it becomes more difficult to avoid the conclusion that homosexuality-- like pedophilia and like morbid hatred for homosexuals-- is itself a pathology.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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