Since the age of eight my closest friend was, what later came to be called ‘gay’, although the word did not exist in those days. All I knew was that he was, and always has been my best friend, not least because we were complimentary to each other, but most of all because he would never let me down. Vincent was a brilliant pianist and had most of the classical repertoire in his head when I couldn’t read or write with any proficiency. By the time I could he had a degree in English from Cambridge and became a lecturer for the rest of his life. He hated sports of all kinds and I was good at almost all of them. When I was in dire straits and in danger of being left homeless it was Vincent who offered me a home. At his funeral I cried for the first time in living memory. After his death my wife and I became close to another ‘gay’ friend equally talented and equally committed to the Catholic faith for which he, like Vincent, would have died. He lived with a ‘gay’ friend whom he loved, but with whom, as he explicitly insisted, he never had any sexual relationship. For him the very idea of gay marriage was utterly abhorrent.
Power In Weakness
I have begun with these two stories because I do not want to be accused of being homophobic for what follows. The truth of the matter is I have met many so called ‘gay’ Catholics, who have inspired me to such an extent that I now have no doubt that there have been many such mystics and saints. These ‘gay Catholics’ were generally born with what others may see as a weakness just as I was born with a weakness too. But for St Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9) what others call a weakness can become a person’s greatest strength, as dyslexia has been my greatest strength.
It is perhaps understandable that in the past ‘gay’ men were attracted to communities of men as the safest and most desirable place to seek God. When I tried my vocation even before the Second Vatican Council, of forty five others at least six were ‘gay’ although I only realise this with hindsight. At the time ‘gay’ seminarians kept their heads down, they were there but they were latent. I know several who went on to become excellent priests.
50,000 left the Priesthood
A massive disillusionment after the Council led many tens of thousands of young priests and religious to leave the priesthood and religious life. The usual figure quoted is 50,000, but I think that is an underestimation. For obvious reasons the vast majority of ‘gay’ seminarians and priests remained behind. When in the sixties and seventies celibacy in general became taboo for the majority of the younger generation vocations to the priesthood suffered, except for many ‘gay’ Catholics, who continued to be attracted to the priesthood and the religious life. When in 1979 I was giving a lecture tour in South Africa I found that St John Vianney seminary in Pretoria was almost entirely populated by ‘gay’ seminarians. I found the whole atmosphere sick and depressing. They openly admitted that for them the vow of celibacy meant that although this obliged them to refrain from sex with women it did not prevent them from having sex with other men, and they did quite openly.
The Troubles at Maynooth
When I returned to Europe I met a young religious priest while lecturing on Mystical Theology in Rome only to find the same sort of mentality had infected his own order, or at least at the house of studies where he returned to teach, and where he found that as a heterosexual male he was treated as a pariah. Returning to England I was made the Dean of Studies at the National Radio and Television Centre at Hatch End. When a large group of Franciscan students came to make a video recording of their musical on the life of St Francis I found they all seemed to be ‘gay’. My feelings at the time were confirmed by a Franciscan Priest who I met in London only a matter of weeks ago who was a student at that house of studies in Canterbury at the time, where he described how the ‘gay’ seminarians gradually took over and ruled. In more modern times a similar situation was discovered at the great Irish seminary of Maynooth and, as those who read the Catholic media will know, there have been long and bitter struggles to try and remedy the situation. However all these examples from my own personal experience are as nothing compared with the situation in the USA at the present. Just as later Rome forbade all talk about women priests, in the nineteen-nineties Rome forbade all talk about homosexuality. It was strictly forbidden. It was and has been the green light for homosexual males to flood into and take over many, if not most seminaries. Then later this happened to whole dioceses with more and more homosexual bishops, archbishops, and cardinals, encouraging and promoting their own with what now appears to be disastrous consequences. One of the most conservative but highly respected Catholic moral theologians in the USA, Professor Janet Smith, has said that now most dioceses in the USA are full of homosexual priests and many are run by them. In fact well over seventy percent of clergy from top to bottom are ‘gay’.
They are pushy, pugnacious and partisan
I don’t just mean ‘gay’ as friends of mine were ‘gay’ as many good priests have been and still are ‘gay’ ‘ – but militantly ‘gay’ – not as celibate individuals but as pushy, pugnacious partisans with agendas hardly distinguishable from secular LGBT communities that they wish to impose on the Church. This can be seen in parishes they have taken over in the USA.
I am not a psychiatrist, but it seems clear to me that whereas individual seminarians and priest can make excellent pastors, when they become the majority in a seminary or in a whole diocese the consequences can be extremely serious. Evidence has already shown many times over that attractions, flirtations, love affairs, envy, jealousy and all the other love making shenanigans soon become the norm and traditional spirituality is all but outlawed, as are new heterosexual vocations who either have to keep their heads down and fit in or get out, as many do. The impression is at present being given from ‘on high’ that the sexual horrors that have depraved the Church for all too long now are all but over, but that is far from the truth. If paedophilia is finally under control and dealt with, which I very much doubt, then pederasty is all but out of control especially in some countries like the USA.
The Elephant in the Church
It is the ‘elephant in the room’, or I suppose I should say in the Church and as Cardinal Muller said recently, over eighty times more prevalent than paedophilia ever was. There can be no going forward without this whole matter coming out and into the open, and being dealt with as it was in the early Church. I admit that despite my experiences I found the matter so detestable that I pretended that I had been mistaken and looked the other way, hoping I had been unlucky enough to have stumbled on rare anomalies that would simply go away. But in subsequent years, like insidious fungus, the proliferation of pederasty has grown underground only to mushroom all over the Catholic world, but in the USA there are now whole drifts of them almost everywhere. In recent months I have been shocked beyond shocked. I am only speaking out now because I remained silent before and contributed to the growth of the pernicious poison that will choke the life out of the Church, if it is not rooted out immediately. I am sick of remaining silent for fear of giving scandal to the laity, when it is with them, that it now seems, is our main hope of deliverance.
Cheers and Jeers for Cardinal Hume
I listened to a ‘gay’ speaker who was cheered when he said that Cardinal Hume was ‘on our side’ immediately followed by jeers of derision when he went on to say – ‘as long as we don’t do it’. For communities of ‘gays’ the very idea was unthinkable! Let me be quite clear, sodomy was not only considered an abomination in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament too. If it was committed in the early Church it had to be admitted publicly and the offenders had to undergo the sacrament of reconciliation throughout Lent with all the appropriate penances. If they continued to offend after that they were permanently excluded from the Christian community. Nothing has changed nor can it change – sodomy is a very serious sin and permanent offenders who are priests, bishops or cardinals, being in mortal sin, cannot administer the sacraments lawfully whether there has been an official condemnation from Rome or not. It would be the same if your parish priest installed a mistress in the presbytery. Their seriously sinful actions ‘ipso facto’ (by the very act of performing them) instantly separate them from the mystical body of Christ. They cannot therefore perform any of the sacraments lawfully, nor is it lawful for any of the faithful to approach them to do so. Parishes run by such priests are in effect under an interdict whether such an edict has been issued from Rome or not. They simply do not belong to us nor we to them despite all the external similarities.
Time for transparency
The time for secrecy and cover ups is over. It is now the time for truth, transparency and accountability. Everything is about to come out into the open anyway and in the very near future. However, I will now take my bow, because other journalists will expose and comment on the scandals that will go on and on. My job will be to do what I do best and that is to offer the solution. I have said what I have said to make it plain that I am not just an old ‘has-been’ who lives in ‘cloud cuckoo land’ endlessly peddling pious platitudes. Nor do I intend to act like a nouveau Nero playing my fiddle while Rome is reduced to ashes, my job is to offer the solution? But more of this next time.
First published in The Catholic Universe 19th October 2018