Multiple Priests Caught Using Gay Sex Hookup Apps

News: US News
by Jules Gomes  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 10, 2023   

Catholic group spends millions tracking lecherous seminarians and clergy

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DENVER (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Catholic group has spent millions of dollars to identify a significant number of seminarians and priests who use homosexual dating and hookup apps. 

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Mgr. Jeffrey Burrill, caught using Grindr for gay sex

On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Grindr was the gay hookup app most frequently used by clerics, with priests also using lesser-known homosexual dating apps like Growlr, Scruff and Jack'd. Some were also found to have used heterosexual dating apps and casual hookup apps like OkCupid.

Casual Clerical Sex 

Last Friday, Jayd Henricks, president of Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal, admitted that the group had obtained "publicly available data, bought in the ordinary way," that exposed clerics who were violating their promises of celibacy.

"As we analyzed it, it became clear that heterosexual and homosexual hookup apps were used by some seminarians and some priests in some places, and with volumes and patterns suggesting those were not isolated moral lapses by individuals," Henricks revealed.

"It should be noted that these sorts of hookup apps are designed specifically for casual, anonymous sexual encounters," the president of the Denver-based nonprofit stressed.

Grindr has become a very widespread phenomenon in seminaries and priests' meetings. 

"It's not about straight or gay priests and seminarians, it's about behavior that harms everyone involved, at some level and in some way, and is a witness against the ministry of the Church," Henricks explained. "The Church desperately needs holy priests." 

"Msgr. Grindr"

Two people with firsthand knowledge of the project told The Washington Post that the CLCR group, who have spent $4 million tracking clergy using hookup apps, was behind the outing of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, then general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference. 

In July 2021, The Pillar reported that Burrill, who was the highest-ranking American cleric in the USCCB who was not a bishop, used Grindr for sex with men in gay bars and private residences in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the USCCB.


Moreover, "during a period of 26 weeks in 2018, at least 32 mobile devices emitted serially occurring hookup or dating app signals from secured areas and buildings of the Vatican ordinarily inaccessible to tourists and pilgrims." 

At least 16 mobile devices emitted signals from Grindr on at least four days between March and October 2018 in the Vatican's secured sections. Both heterosexual and homosexual sex cruising apps were used by 16 other devices on four or more days in the same period.

These sorts of hookup apps are designed specifically for casual, anonymous sexual encounters.

"It's true, as part of our data analysis work, we learned that some clergy were publicly advertising their interest in actions that contradicted their promises of celibacy," Henricks wrote in First Things. "And there have been news reports about priests arrested for criminal use of such apps."

Henricks defended the use of data to identify errant clergy, explaining that his organization had chosen not to make the information on clergy using hookup apps public. 

Instead, the policy of CLCR is "to put everything at the disposal of the bishops, to treat any work we do as a service, freely offered and freely given, for them to use in the best ways they see fit," Henricks emphasized. 

Liberal Outrage

Liberals responded with outrage to the news of CLCR's investigations. "They are spying on priests to make sure they keep it in their pants," Michael Sean Winters wrote in the heterodox National Catholic Reporter.

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Fr. Yannick Poligné seduced a 15-year-old boy on Grindr

Winters compared the outing of priests using causal sex hookup apps, to the Salem witch trials, the Stasi and the KGB, asking, "Have the culture wars so consumed the Denver conservative Catholic mafia that such villainous analogies spring to mind?"

"Before Grindr there was Peyton Place and before that there was Lady Chatterley's Lover and before that there were ancient Roman Bacchanalia. So what? Violating people's privacy is sinful too," Winters argued. "The people involved in this effort to spy on priests are creeps."

Grindr in the Vatican

In his controversial 550-page book titled In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy (published in 2019), gay journalist Frédéric Martel revealed that Vatican clerics were using Grindr and other sex cruising apps. 

"My team and I have also managed to prove that Grindr does its job every evening inside the Vatican state," wrote Martel. "Often priests spot each other without meaning to, having discovered that another gay cleric is a few meters away."

The people involved in this effort to spy on priests are creeps.

According to Martel, several priests report that "Grindr has become a very widespread phenomenon in seminaries and priests' meetings." One priest told Martel that "he was trying to stay pious by not having sex with his Grindr contacts until the third date."

To evade the high level of digital surveillance used by the Vatican to screen phones and computers, "Curia prelates" bought "second private mobile phones" to "hook up on Grindr" allowing them to "get through the firewall" to erotic sites, Martel revealed.

Priests Raping Minors

In 2016, St. Patrick's Seminary in Maynooth, Ireland, was rocked by a scandal forcing the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, to rusticate several seminarians who were using Grindr to hook up with homosexuals. 

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Fr. Robert McWilliams, arrested for using Grindr to rape minor

"If this is going on a large scale in the seminary and it hasn't been noticed in the seminary, then there is something wrong," Martin confessed. The use of Grindr "would be inappropriate for seminarians and not just because they are going to be celibate priests." 

In 2021, Fr. Robert McWilliams from the diocese of Cleveland was arrested for using Grindr to meet a 15-year-old boy, whom he paid for sex on multiple occasions. 

McWilliams used apps like TextMe and TextNow to hide his phone number when communicating with minors and apps like Craigslist and Grindr to locate young males for sex.

The former priest, who was laicized and sentenced to life imprisonment for child trafficking, child abuse and child exploitation, committed suicide last month. 

In Nov. 2022, Fr. Yannick Poligné from the French diocese of Rennes used Grindr to seduce a 15-year-old boy. The 52-year-old priest drugged and raped his victim in a Paris hotel room. The priest told investigators he was a regular on Grindr.

 

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