Friday, May 31, 2002

Not pedophilia


A story of 'evil' in the church

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        The media won't touch it. The Catholic Church won't admit it. But thanks to Cincinnati author Michael S. Rose, dozens of priests and former seminary students are telling the truth about sexual abuse by priests.

        “It's somewhat dishonest now to define the problem as pedophilia,” Mr. Rose said. “That's not what we're seeing in the priesthood. What we're seeing is predatory homosexuality, and that's an element of the gay subculture.”

        Mr. Rose, 33, is the former editor of St. Catherine's Review. His book, Goodbye, Good Men, based on hundreds of interviews, argues that liberal theology has allowed a homosexual network to infiltrate and control the church, spreading what one priest called “a great moral evil.”
       

Bombs away

        This is one book that lives up to the jacket blurb “explosive.” It documents attacks and rapes by seminary leaders, homosexual pornography and open “dating,” intense pressure to approve homosexuality and priests who cruise gay bars.

        A year ago, it would have been too much to believe. But recent headlines nationwide are no less bizarre.

        In Miami, Fla., local priests have been accused of running a gay prostitution ring of altar boys.

        In Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law is being pressured to resign over sexual abuse by 70 priests. The media label it “pedophilia,” but the victims are not little boys and girls — they're teen boys. Last March, a Boston Herald story, “Priest fears gays in ranks pose threat to church,” quoted a Boston priest as saying: “The problem is there's a subculture of gay priests and everyone knows it. I went through seminary with a lot of them and got hit on. And when I reported it, I was harassed to the point where, emotionally, it was very difficult to be ordained.”
       

Incoming flak

        Mr. Rose expects to be labeled a “homophobe” when he promotes his book nationwide next month. That's ironic, because his book is about straights harassed by gays. “Heterophobia is more of a problem in the church,” he said.

        And Cincinnati has its share of problems.

        “Cincinnati's seminary is one of the most liberal seminaries in the country, with a significant gay subculture problem,” Mr. Rose said. “Things are getting better, but it has a long way to go.”

        Maybe that's why his book is flying off the shelves at The Catholic Shop in Madeira, according to owner Dan Giroux. “I've never had a book even remotely approaching the sales of this one,” he said. “I've told everyone that comes in the store it's a must-read. You need it to connect the dots.”

        The church won't connect the dots because blaming pedophilia and celibacy covers up a far more serious problem, Mr. Rose said.

        And, “the media will strain to avoid making the connection, for fear of being accused of homophobia,” writes National Review columnist Rod Dreher.

        Mr. Rose knows how it feels to be called “the Catholic Taliban” for taking the politically incorrect side in a culture war that is spreading to nearly all churches and denominations.

        His reply: “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis — the cross remains constant while the world turns.”

        E-mail pbronson@enquirer.com or call 768-8301.

       



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