Listen: Sex Abuse Scandal Deepens Divide Over Gay Priests
"New revelations about hundreds of priests molesting children, mostly boys have plunged global Catholicism into a deep crisis. The scandal has also deepened longstanding divisions within the church around issues of sexuality NPR's. Tom gjelten reports the uproar over clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church is no longer just about sex abuse. Some church leaders are using the crisis to promote a campaign against gay priests. Bishop Robert Marlena of Madison Wisconsin at a letter last month to Catholics in his diocese said, quote, we are talking about deviant sexual almost exclusively homosexual acts by clerics. Here's asked about that comment later in an interview on the eternal word television network WTN, Raymond Arroyo was the anchor some will say Bishop reading this letter that you are blaming homosexuality for the problems in the church and for the sex abuse crisis. You would say what? I would say that homosexuality is at the root of this researchers who have studied patterns of clergy sex abuse. So they have found no evidence of a link with sexual orientation, but the notion that the problem of priests molesting boys and young men is related to the number of priests. Tour gay has been echoed by several conservative Catholic leaders. A few say the abuse crisis. Justifies a purge of gay men from the priesthood those reactions reflect continuing arguments in the church over sexuality and even over pope Francis himself. He has advocated a more, tolerant church culture with algae BT people in particular and some Catholics. Don't approve official church doctrine holds that a deep seated homosexual orientation is a moral disorder. The debate is now front and center. Our church is very unhealthy attitudes about sexuality in general and HAMAs sexual. In particular. Really need to be addressed Marianne daddy Burke of dignity USA, a Catholic LGBT advocacy group sees some church, homophobia, and the reaction to the clergy abuse crisis. Whenever the church is under stress, particularly around the issue of sexual abuse of minors and the cover up by the clergy gate-race have been scapegoated another cleric who is connected clergy abuse to gay priests is archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican embassador to the US in an open letter released last month bigger, no blasted what he called a homosexual current in church circles, but Vigano also made a point that even critics like James Martin have to acknowledge clergy abuse, mostly involves male on male assault. Clearly, the vast majority of cases are men preying on boys and adolescents, we have to be clear about that. But that does not mean. That every gay priest is an abuser. Martin is a Jesuit priest who writes often about LGBT issues and Catholicism the reason we have that stereotype is because there are so few public counter examples of the healthy celebrate gay priests of whom there are hundreds if not thousands Martin thinks as many as thirty or forty percent of Catholic priests are gay, but he says they're terrified to be as such in the current environment. The crisis also has political ramifications in his letter archbishop Vigano singled out, several top Catholic cardinals and bishops as being complicit in the abuse crisis almost all have been allied with pope Francis and supportive of his agenda Francis himself figure no said should resign for having accommodated those men. In fact, Vigano is among the longstanding critics of Francis in the church again, James Martin, what's happening. Unfortunately, is that the suffering of children and the crimes of sex abuse are being used by people who have always been pope. Francis. Critics as an excuse to dump on him, basically. And it's apparently having an effect. A new CNN poll shows pope Francis is now viewed favorably by just forty eight percent of Americans down from the seventy three percent who approved of him at the beginning of his papacy. One more sign of how this sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church has"