*** Warning to the reader***
This posting deals with the subject of homosexuality in the seminary, and is based upon my personal experiences and opinions. It deals with a subject that I have stayed silent on for too long, and may offend those who are sensitive, or who simply may not believe me. If this is the case, you should not proceed on. Nonetheless, I believe people have a right to know these things and to try to understand the effect it had and has on those who went through similar experiences.
The scandals to hit the Catholic Church are not going away any time soon, and in fact, will only continue to fester and increase until they are properly dealt with. These problems have taken decades to come to fruition, and are not going to disappear with a few “I’m sorry’s” and some token gestures. This is really gut check time, and time to make bold statements and to get rid of the problem people now.
Despite the fact that these scandals have been known and publicized for the past 15 years, it is still a shock to most people’s sensibilities when more stories and allegations emerge. One would have to wonder if there are lessons learned on any level, as we now are seeing the once bustling and alive Church in Ireland, coming to a near standstill. The fruits of this sin or plague, if you will, are truly ripening and seemingly multiplying. I saw a headline on Spirit Daily yesterday that read “Vatican: Abuse in Church less than in society. And is this supposed to be a comfort? Sounds like a sell out to me.
The homosexual culture was very ingrained into Seminary life when I attended in the early to mid 80’s. By the time I reached Theological College in Washington, D.C. (nicked named Theological Closet, Pathological College, Pink palace) I had been fairly indoctrinated to believe that homosexuality was quite ‘normal’ in the Seminary, and found out to my chagrin, that it was actually a protected status at this particular Seminary. Speaking out against it labeled one ‘homophobic’ very rapidly, and brought on a considerable amount of isolation from much of the faculty, and this large subgroup. (It seems proportionally the numbers of homosexuals in the seminary at that time would have dwarfed those found in the general public)
There were three classifications that we had for the men at this particular Seminary, those that were straight, the questionables, and those who were open about their homosexuality. It is of my opinion and that of the other straight men that were there, that we were outnumbered by the homosexual and questionable groups, and that the majority of the straight men ended up leaving prior to ordination. Now, what I cannot comment on were the numbers that were sexually acting out, but again, it was considerable, given the number of times some of the straight men reported being hit on (This included me as well).
The problem was that reporting this behavior GOT US INTO TROUBLE, and kept most of the straight men from saying anything. There was a lot of personal anguish in some of these men, and I am aware of at least one individual that had contemplated suicide during my year at Theological College. It was the comfort level of this subculture that was most disturbing to me, and the fact that the majority of the faculty, either condoned it or at least gave implicit permission due to their silence on the matter. Those of us that trusted each other in the straight group, understood quite clearly who was running the show and we spent much time with each other discussing this, and wondering what kind of faith do we have, if this ‘crap’ is promoted.
It dawned on a lot of us that many of the men, and faculty, saw the priesthood as a club to join, and the faith we were supposed to espouse seemed to be more of an annoyance than the centerpiece of why we were there. (That is why when people ask me if it was difficult to leave, I tell them it was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made… the most heartbreaking as well). I believed I would be serving the Lord in the highest capacity and saw Seminary as akin to “Sitting at the feet of the Apostles” and absorbing as much knowledge and wisdom as humanly possible. Theological College could not have been any further from this, and the culture and impact it had on my faith is still with me to this day. What a betrayal, and the Church wants to minimize this and protect the perpetrators.
It is difficult to discuss this with others who have not gone through this experience, as it seems so surreal at times, and like a nightmare that would not end at other times. It took years before I would take any active role in the Church and to this day it is still very minimal. However, I believe I have a much stronger Faith, and would love to have the opportunity to debate those faculty members and Seminarians who wanted to justify the homosexual lifestyle and entrance into ordained ministry back then. I know I will no longer blindly follow the precepts of any Bishop or Cardinal, if they dismiss or minimize the teaching of this Church, and will have no difficulty in letting them know this either through written word, spoken word or both. It is our Church too.
It has been only recently, that I have encouraged anyone to consider the priesthood or religious life. I have personally witnessed lives destroyed and faith lost due to the weak faith of those given the responsibility to safeguard and teach the faith as it should be taught. I have struggled with this question for nearly two decades; whether to support those wanting to go into ministry, or try to dissuade them knowing the filth and corruption that had been in place for so long. It seems lately, that some of the Seminaries have been cleaned up, and I have some hopes that good men are going back in and making it, due to more stringent formation, and activities now required by many of the Seminaries that challenge those to stand up for the Faith. I only wish it had been that way when I was in.
So far, I have given only general terms and conditions, and have not been specific and named anyone. I don’t know if it will ever get to that point that I would, but it sickens me to no extent that after all the warnings, the book “Goodbye, Good Men” the numerous scandals in many countries, that the Church seems to have learned nothing. The rot started in the Seminary, once it was infiltrated by the secularists and the homosexuals, and it passed on from there. No one wants to point out these two groups, due to the inconvenience and political incorrectness of it, but I am sick of these groups being the “sacred cows” and having this protected status. Until the church confronts, and throws out these two groups, it has sold out to them, and in essence, sacrificed the children, the good men and others on the altar of convenience and comfort.