The Homosexual Network: News, No News, and Exploitation
A few Catholic organizations are suddenly very excited about “having the goods” on the so-called “gay mafia” within the Church. They seem to believe an epic story has broken, and they are apparently jostling with each other to appear to be the first to convey this momentous news to their fellow Catholics and the world at large.
Thus we have ChurchMilitant.tv (Homosexuals in the Conclave 02-25 and The Papacy and ‘Gay Mafia’ 02-26) and LifeSiteNews (Catholic expert details ‘Huge homosexual underground in the Church’ and With the Pope against Homoheresy) making a big splash in their headlines and mailings. For example, today’s LifeSiteNews emailing proclaimed:
Today we publish a summary article and then the more useful full text of an incredible document about the entire homosexual problem in the Catholic Church that has recently exploded into the media…. We have never read anything that presents so well and so fully, in relatively few pages, the whole tale of how non-celibate homosexuals entered the Catholic clergy, stayed there for many years, rose to high or other influential positions in the Church, been by far the main cause of the sexual abuses and been extremely difficult to remove by Popes, faithful bishops, priests and laity.
Now the only problem with all this is that the document in question—an article by a priest professor in Poland, F. Dariusz Oko—is merely an extended commentary arising from his study of gay propaganda and his experience with certain well-known difficulties in the Diocese of Poznań. There are no new names, new dates, new circumstances. The one thing this is not is any sort of exposé.
Instead, this is merely an interpretation, based largely on widely-available news reports surrounding the sex abuse problem in recent years, which almost any knowledgeable Catholic could have collected. The author draws his own conclusions, which are provocative, and he makes his own recommendations, which are fairly general but certainly sound.
But the timing is particularly delicious because this seems like a Heaven-sent response to the Vatileaks report concerning a homosexual network in the Vatican. But wait. The presence of such a network in that report is only a rumor started by journalists. Nobody in the press has seen the report.
This kind of “Catholic” journalism simply has to stop. Not only that, but these latest sensationalists are very late to the party. Our own Catholic World News service had already reported the Vatileaks rumors as speculation on February 21st. And news director Phil Lawler further evaluated the impact on Pope Benedict’s resignation on February 22nd.
And guess what? Our news director also reported and commented on Fr. Oko’s “revelations” about a week before this most recent furor, on February 18th. He gave them exactly the attention and the importance they deserved, and he called Fr. Oko’s work exactly what it really was—not a scoop, but perceptive commentary.
I hate to criticize other Catholics who are trying to do good and valuable work. But it is important for people to know that there is a right and a wrong way to handle alleged news. Sensationalism is always a form of exploitation. Our Catholic World News service handles news right. If this is as important to you as it is to us, don’t touch that dial.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: opraem -
Feb. 28, 2013 11:04 AM ET USA
that there are gay priests/bishops/cardinals should come as no surprise. donald couzzens, who used to run the seminary in cleveland, wrote a book about how the priesthood is becoming/has become a gay profession. that gay clerics socialize is also no surprise. but to suggest they plot to take over the church is a little too dan brown.
Posted by: dover beachcomber -
Feb. 28, 2013 12:56 AM ET USA
I think that CatholicCulture.org is the cream of the Catholic journalistic crop, and I recommend it to others every chance I get, but your criticisms sound too harsh to me. The Oko article has proven surprisingly powerful. Sure, "any knowledgeable Catholic" could have written what Fr. Oko did -- but few, if any, have done so, and none have done it in more forthright language. That's what startled people, turned it into a blockbuster story, and sent it viral. Be glad.