The Catholic Church is trying to sweep its gays under the rug again after Panorama, an Italian paper owned by prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, did a hidden camera investigation and found three priests living the gay life in Rome. A picture is worth more than a blockquote here:
As everyone in the gay community knows, the priesthood is full of gays. But for straight people the idea is still shocking, so the only thing really surprising here is that more magazines aren't doing short and sweet investigations like this one and getting cheap attention.
The Church responded in a statement:
"The essence of the Church of Rome is not found in those with "'double lives,' who haven't understood what 'Catholic priesthood' (is) and should not have become priests."
"Know that no one forces them to remain priests, exploiting only the benefits."
"Coherence would require them to come into the open. We don't wish to hurt them, but we cannot accept that due to their behavior the integrity of the all the rest might be tarnished."
"Before such facts we firmly adhere to what the Holy Father Benedict XVI has repeated several times in recent months: 'the sins of priests' call us all back to conversion of heart and life and to be vigilant so as not to 'pollute the faith and Christian life, damaging the integrity of the Church, weakening her capacity of prophecy and testimony, tarnishing the beauty of her face'."
They're mad because the newspaper's editor isn't releasing the priests' names. As he shouldn't, since any sort of "hypocrisy" that could be found here to justify outing them in a newspaper is most likely only because of their association with the Church, in which case the Church's behavior is the focus of the story, not these individual priests.
In related news, there is one "straight" (well, middle-aged, divorced, and homophobic) man willing to talk about homosexuality in the Catholic Church: William Donohue. And the Washington Post, for some reason, published a guest column from him saying that gays are pedophiles:
The conventional wisdom maintains there is a pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church; I maintain it has been a homosexual crisis all along. The evidence is all on my side, though there is a reluctance to let the data drive the conclusion. But that is a function of politics, not scholarship.
He goes on to cite the "scholarship" of an ex-gay quack and fudge a few numbers, and then conflate pedophilia and homosexuality to declare child molesters automatically gay if they have ever molested boys as well as girls.
Who knows how long the Church can keep up this complicated game of charades, hiding the sexualities of its priests while telling the outside world that they're celibate when they're clearly not. I visited a monastery this weekend built to house several hundred Catholic monks that only has about a dozen left, and the youngest seemed to be around 75, so I guess I have my answer.