Over the past twenty or thirty years I have watched the Catholic priesthood go from being a very mixed bag of men to becoming an almost exclusively gay profession.
And this development is very bad.
When I was in seminary between 1970 and 1976 homosexuality was hardly ever whispered about in the seminary.
Clonliffe Seminary in Dublin had 120 seminarians there in my time. There was a little homosexuality happening but it was rare and well below the surface.
In St John’s Waterford from 1973 to 1976 it was even less common and I was only aware of one active homosexual. I became aware of because he came on to me. I rushed in panic to discuss it with my spiritual director and nothing happened.
As a young priest I was “hit on” by two older priests and a monastic abbot. I did not respond to their overtures- mainly because I saw it as a big sin that would lead me away from God and damage, if not destroy, my priesthood.
I am not saying that my repression was either good or healthy. But it did teach me how to say “NO” to myself and to situations I could not handle.
There has to be a place in all our moral lives for saying “NO”.
How have we gone from a situation in which seminarians struggled with themselves to practice celibacy and chastity to where we are today – with seminaries being little better than gay saunas?
There have been changes to culture and religion.
1. The more sexually liberal society.
2. The fall off in belief and church attendance leading to the ignoring of religious rules and dogmas.
3. The fact that more people are more educated than before.
4. The cultural changes that facilitate younger people having sex earlier in life.
There are others I’m sure.
Of course there was too much emphasis on sexual sins in the past.
But now, at least as far as seminaries are concerned, the pendulum has swung the other way.
Many seminaries are just hotbeds of orgiastic gay sexuality.
We must have Christian ideals when it comes to sex.
Sex should never be used to exploit, abuse or use.
Ideally sex and love should always be connected.
I dont think that, for a Christian, there is just recreational sex.
I’m not saying that we all live up to that ideal ALL the time.
But we should be trying to.
The fact that the priesthood has become homosexualised and homoeroticised is NOT good.
Sex, like many things, can become an addiction.
Many current priests and seminarians are full blown sex addicts.
Addicts often end up doing great harm to themselves and others.
People like JP, Gorgeous, Rory, McCamley are sex addicts.
Addiction requires recognition, compassion and treatment.
Did you know that alongside AA for alcoholics there is SA for sex addicts.
There are branches of SA all over Ireland and the UK.