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Greeley takes the high road

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 12, 2004

Last month's Catholic World Report took a parodic poke at Fr. Andrew Greeley. It seems that Greeley now wants to parodize himself. He gives us the right and wrong interpretations of the National Review Board's findings in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Although 81 percent of abusers were homosexuals, it does not follow that all gay men or all gay priests are abusers.

Gosh. You've got me there, Father.

In fact, my own research (reported in Priests: A Calling in Crisis, published recently by the University of Chicago Press) shows that ...

(I am not making this up.)

... shows that some 16 percent of priests are gay and three-fifths of them have lived celibate lives (as opposed to four-fifths of heterosexual priests).

Exactly. Patrick Ziemann lived a celibate life from August 1978 to February 1979, not counting the Fridays of Lent. And 60% of his chums can say the same.

Mature gay men seek sexual partners among other mature gay men. Immature gays go after junior high school boys.

And mature gay bishops ... use their beeper and the building fund? "But he was almost eighteen, Your Honor!"

Blaming homosexuals for the sex abuse crisis is part of a larger syndrome in which a certain proportion of American society (and of American Catholics) display their deep-seated hatred for gay men and women. Shame on them for not realizing that God loves them as much as He loves everyone else!

Put that way, God loves the guy with a weakness for bestiality too. I'm unaware that I have a deep-seated hatred for such a man, but I wouldn't buy a ham salad sandwich from him. OK, let's leave Father Greeley to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes and bring his pulse back down while we revisit his 1987 autobiography, Confessions of a Parish Priest:

It is not unlikely, in my judgment, that sexuality, indeed perverse sexuality, will be to the Bernardin Archdiocese of Chicago what financial corruption was to the Cody Archdiocese of Chicago. I hasten to add that I do not question the Cardinal's own sexual orientation. (Some who do not know him but are aware of the prevalence of it in Chicago do have their doubts.) From the years during which I knew him well (or thought I did), I would say that he is at least as heterosexual as I am and enjoys women as much as I do. The difficulty is his apparent unwillingness to face a terribly serious crisis and act decisively on it.

Edifying, isn't it? -- not like the shabby innuendo and unscientific generalizations that right-wingers are prone to use. It's always better to keep to the moral high ground in these matters. Now that Father has regained his composure let's return to his article:

Scapegoating gays for the problems of the church (and society) is a sickness not unlike racism and anti-Semitism and anti-Catholic Nativism, and appeals to the same kind of twisted personalities as these other prejudices.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2004 7:13 PM ET USA

    BTW Let's talk about those numbers - three fifths = 60 out of a hundred - that means that 40 homosexual priests out of a hundred are sexually active! Is that supposed to comfort me? Or the comparison to the four fifths of hetrosexual priests means that only 20 out of a hundred are sexually active. Gee whiz, isn't that something. Am I supposed to be edified that a good portion have remained faithful to solemn vows before God to chastity for the sake of the Kingdom?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2004 8:59 PM ET USA

    Excuse me, but I think we've grown so used to talking about homosexuality as if it is an acceptable thing, that Greeley's comments seem normal and sane. But if you substitute say murderers for homosexuals in the sentences, you will once again see how horrendously perverse this situation is. I for one never assented to a homosexual priesthood and I think no homosexuals should be priests PERIOD! Are we supposed to accept them as if they are normal? Lord have mercy on us all.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 12, 2004 3:23 PM ET USA

    I could accept a bit of what Greeley argues if we had one example of a non-abuser gay priest who was part of the solution, that is, he worked to obtain the arrest and conviction of an abuser priest. On the contrary, when gay priests and bishops appear in the reports it is always to obscure, misdirect, excuse, and enable the abuse. The profiles in courage among the priests and religious have been heterosexual, some of whom were persecuted by cooperating homosexuals in the process.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2004 2:22 PM ET USA

    One surmises that if Fr. Greeley had been writing from Berlin in 1942 he just might have said: "Scapegoating the SS for the problems of the Nazi party is a sickness..."