Bill Donohue

Pope Francis is obviously worried about “fags” in the seminaries, and even in the Vatican.

On May 28, it was reported that in a private meeting with 250 Italian bishops the week before, the pope said he opposed having openly homosexual men in the seminaries. He said the seminaries were already too full of “frociaggine,” or “faggotry.” After being criticized, the Vatican said the pope “extends his apologies.”

Now the Italian news agency, ANSA, is reporting that when the pope met privately with priests at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome on June 11, he said, “In the Vatican, there is an air of ‘faggotry.’”

The use of the gay slur is not the real issue, though it is surprising to hear the pope speak this way twice within three weeks, and just two weeks after his apology was issued for the first infraction. The real issue is the prevalence of homosexuals in the seminaries and in the Vatican.

As I recount in my book, The Truth about Clergy Sexual Abuse: Clarifying the Facts and the Causes, the damage that homosexuals—not pedophiles—have done to the Catholic Church cannot be overstated. They are responsible for 81 percent of all the cases of the sexual abuse of minors from 1950 to 2002; almost all of the males were postpubescent.

Pope Francis didn’t need the data to know that homosexuals have taken over too much of the Catholic Church. He has previously spoken openly about the “gay lobby” and the “gay mentality” in the Church.

When a bishop told the Holy Father that it was no big deal that several priests in his diocese were homosexuals—it was just an “expression of affection”—the pope strongly disagreed. “In the consecrated life and in the priestly life, there is no place for that kind of affection,” the pope said. He also warned priests against aligning themselves with the “gay movement.”

Pope Benedict XVI has also warned of the damage that homosexuals have done to the priesthood. This explains why he said that those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be ordained. Pope Francis has continued this policy.

It is not just Pope Francis who has expressed concern about the number of homosexuals in the Church. Father Andrew Greeley said in 1989 that “Blatantly active homosexual priests are appointed, transferred and promoted. Lavender rectories and seminaries are tolerated. National networks of active homosexual priests (many of them administrators) are tolerated.” In 2000, he testified that seminary professors “tell their students that they’re gay and take some of them to gay bars, and gay students sleep with each other.”

In 2002, Bishop Wilton Gregory (now a Cardinal) said, “One of the difficulties we do face in seminary life or recruitment is when there does exist a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual men think twice” about joining the priesthood. He said it is “an ongoing struggle” and that the Church must be careful not to be “dominated by homosexual men.”

Pope Francis is clearly worried that there are still too many homosexuals in the priesthood. Calling gays “fags” should not mask what is bugging the pope. His critics are trying to divert attention from the real problem.

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