Chicago Cardinal: Gay Priests Not the Problem

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  August 8, 2018   

Cdl. Blase Cupich blames 'clericalism' for priestly sex abuse

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CHICAGO ( - Cardinal Blase Cupich is denying that homosexuality is the core of the clerical sex abuse crisis riddling the Church.

Asked by America magazine Tuesday if ordaining gay men was the problem, the archbishop of Chicago questioned the acceptance of that conclusion, saying such claims were purportedly refuted by the 2011 report conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JJCCJ). This report solicited by U.S. bishops referenced by Cdl. Cupich, however, proves just the opposite.

The initial JJCCJ report released in 2004 by the National Review Board, which was commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to research the child sex abuse crisis in America, showed that "eighty percent of the alleged victims were male, and nearly 90 percent were post-pubescent." The updated 2011 report to which Cupich refers similarly found that "81 percent of sex abuse victims were boys, and 78 percent were post-pubescent."

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What's more, the U.S. bishops' annual reporting on clerical sex abuse released in 2016 and 2017 both continued to show that the clerical sex abuse crisis was predominantly homosexual in nature. These consistent facts, along with the news of former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick's homosexual predation of adult seminarians, led Fr. Regis Scanlon to recently admonish bishops to stop ordaining homosexual men.

The presence of homosexual activity among bishops and seminarians was so widespread and connected, especially in seminaries, that it is impossible to believe that it was not known to many, if not most, of the bishops in the United States — especially to high-ranking prelates who deal with the daily affairs of the Church, like problems in seminaries. Consequently, many are saying that the bishops who knew about this "homosexual predation" upon seminarians — and did nothing to stop it — should resign.

Check out Church Militant's #CatholicMeToo coverage.

Cardinal Cupich, nevertheless, all but dismissed the homosexual angle altogether, saying that he "would be very careful" in drawing that conclusion.

The presence of homosexual activity among bishops and seminarians was so widespread that it is impossible to believe that it was not known to many, if not most, of the bishops.

"I really believe that the issue here is more about a culture of clericalism in which some who are ordained feel they are privileged and therefore protected so that they can do what they want," said Cupich.

He claimed that identifying the sexual abuse crisis as homosexual was purposefully misdirected. He emphasized that he "would not want to reduce this simply to the fact that there are some priests who are homosexual." He added, "I think that is a diversion that gets away from the clericalism that's much deeper as a part of this problem."

Like Washington Cdl. Donald Wuerl, Cupich wants to keep any investigation or reporting system of abuse under the control of bishops, saying there was no need to "invent any new machinery." He also focused on updating policies rather than calling delinquent bishops to task for covering up the sex abuse of adult seminarians by the likes of McCarrick.

"If there was a misstep in this, so that people did not have the means by which they could put forward a complaint with objectivity and security, [knowing] that it would be acted on, then we need to put [that] in place," he said.

Catholic media is pointing out, however, that McCarrick is far from being the only prelate involved in sexual abuse that went unreported by the bishops. This has led good clerics like Fr. Scanlon to say the only way for this systemic homosexual crisis to be fixed is for good bishops to speak up warning them that if they "are not willing to do this, then they should resign."

Watch the panel discuss the crux of the crisis that bishops avoid in The Download—Homosexuality Is the Problem.


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