An Inclusive Litany

4/27/02

A letter to the editor, in the Boston Globe, April 26, 2002, identifying homosexuality as opportunistic behavior rather than an innate characteristic that is indelibly tied to one's personal identity:
I am tired of hearing the intolerant and uninformed lay the blame for the abuse of priests on those priests' sexual orientation. Gay men are not any more prone to depravity or unable to live celibately than their heterosexual counterparts.

The reason that most of the victims in the abuse cases are boys is that girls are more protected from predators.

These abusive priests rely on the trust of their victims' parents and community to give them a degree of access to boys—on camping trips, in vestries, in bedrooms—that would never be considered acceptable if the children were girls. We must recognize that sexual abuse is not about lovemaking or sexual orientation. It is about violence and power and the violation of trust—in this case, the trust of the faithful in their priests, and in those priests' superiors.

—Jennifer Spencer,
Norwood

Another letter from the next day, calling for a dramatic reduction of the percentage of gay priests:
By refusing to address the issue of priestly abstinence, the Roman Catholic Church has not addressed a major underlying cause for abuse.

The church needs to acknowledge that for many, the human urge for sexual activity can overwhelm the priestly obligation to God. Priests should be allowed to have marital relationships and the benefit of marital experiences.

—Bryce Nesbitt,
Cambridge

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