Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Afraid of a Witch-Hunt?

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 27, 2004

The review board's report mentions that more than 80 percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature. The report theorizes that the problem reflects a cohort of gay priests, based on their figures that the percentage of male victims rose from 64 percent in the 1950's, to 76 percent in the 1960's and 86 percent in the 1980's.

Think you see a pattern here? Well, you're wrong.

James Levine, dean of graduate studies and research at John Jay, who coordinated the study, likened the phenomenon to male prisoners who have sex with men, not because they are gay, but because that is who they have access to.

C'mon, Jim. That'll sound-bite us though Bishop Gregory's press conference this morning, but there are folks out there who know that most priests don't live in locked mountaintop monasteries, and your clients are going to need more convincing rationalizations in the long term. The following theories are at least as plausible as the Sing Sing Romance Hypothesis.

  • The boys were not abused by gays, but by straights with very poor eyesight who thought they were tumbling the housekeeper.
  • Most victims were right-wing girls who only later claimed to be boys in order to discredit gay clergy.
  • The abusers were not gay but adikematophiles, i.e., persons with a compulsive sexual attraction to partners forbidden by law. And the age of consent is lower for females, Q.E.D.
  • Correlating the ratio of boy to girl victims with the dates (lowest in the 1950s, highest in the 1980s) we find that the key factor is not attraction to males but revulsion at Mary Kay cosmetics and skin care products.

Regardless of the explanation eventually offered for public consumption, we can be confident that the same passion for problem-solving that initiated this study will see it through to its oblivion. I can think of no finer augury for the future than the reaction of Bishop William Skylstad (Gregory's almost certain successor as USCCB president), when confronted with the revelation that Spokane Bishop Lawrence Welsh had tried to throttle a male prostitute in his hotel room:

"Obviously, he had a very serious drinking problem," Skylstad said. "Certainly, it's very sad behavior associated with that drinking. That would be my observation."

Bishop Skylstad, go to the head of the class.

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