Devious "Gay" Priests

July-August 2003

Este artículo: en español

We all know that actively homosexual priests are living a lie. Could a homosexual priest write an article admitting he’s sexually active and get away with it? No. Or let’s make that: We hope not. But could he do so if he writes anonymously? Yes, but surely not in a Catholic publication.

Or maybe he could. We turned with interest to “Made in God’s Image: A Homosexual Priest Speaks Out” by Anonymous in Commonweal (April 11). Nowhere does Anonymous say point blank that he’s celibate. Rather, he treats the subject of celibacy rather slyly. He asks himself, “Could I live a happy, meaningful celibate life…knowing that the church I wanted to serve considered an integral part of my person ‘basically disordered’?” He doesn’t answer the question, but you do notice the word “celibate,” don’t you? Anonymous also says, “Living a celibate life does not erase one’s sexuality” — which is pretty ambiguous. What does it mean? We do know that many homosexual priests define “celibacy” very narrowly as abstaining from marriage (to a woman). That’s why it’s becoming increasingly necessary to specify “chaste celibacy.”

Perhaps you recall the article by Ron Belgau (not a pseudonym) in the June 2003 NOR. A lay member of Courage, Belgau admitted to same-sex attractions, but he said forthrightly that he has never given in to those attractions. We admire such candor, which is one reason we printed his article.

But Commonweal’s Anonymous is far from candid. He throws around the word “celibacy” without ever confirming that as a seminarian and priest he’s abided by it — that is, that his celibacy, however he defines it, has been chaste. We do note that the subtitle of his article was not “A Chaste Celibate Homosexual Priest Speaks Out.”

Anonymous says, “Throughout my seven years of seminary formation, I struggled with the issue of my same-sex attraction….” What does that mean? Did he give in now and then? Was his struggle a success or a failure? No answer.

You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.

New Oxford Notes: July-August 2003

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this note!