Named Witness to Brett Kavanaugh’s Alleged Attack Blames Gay Priests for Sexual Abuse

Brett Kavanaugh, left, and Mark Judge

A conservative writer named as a witness to allegations of attack by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has previously blamed gay priests for the clergy sexual abuse, an opinion which has been widely discredited by competent authorities.

Mark Judge, named by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as witness to her alleged sexual attack by Kavanaugh when they were in high school, has made a number of controversial claims in his writing. These include comments about gay priests, according to LGBTQ Nation:

“Judge has written about gay priests, harkening back (yet again) to his glory days at Georgetown Prep about which he has written not one, but two books. In the second, he wrote that ‘homosexuality in the clergy’ was ‘rampant.’

“Judge has taken the conservative Catholic perspective that homosexuality is the root cause of the Church’s pedophilia scandals. Any reporting that suggests otherwise is just wrong, in his opinion.

“‘In the 1960s and 1970s, the Catholic Church was overrun with far too many gay men, many of whom were given positions where they were around too many boys and young men,’ Judge wrote just last month.

“‘I’ve reported on the gay Catholic mafia for over 10 years. I am sick of the continuing misdirection. It was mostly boys and young men, who suffered at the hands of homosexuals.'”

Such views are not unique to Judge, and appear regularly among conservative Catholics. The right wing Napa Institute, which until this summer hired former Archbishop John Neinstedt who resigned in 2015 while facing criminal charges for mishandling abusive clergy, is hosting a conference on church reform that includes “The Problem of Homosexuality,” a session by gay-negative speaker Janet Smith.

But many Catholics, including survivors of abuse and some bishops, have rejected such thinking.

SNAP, a peer-support and advocacy group for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, held a press event outside the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. at which they denounced “Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s statements conflating homosexuality and sexual violence by clergy.” The archbishop made these comments last month in a controversial letter in which he called for Pope Francis to resign.

Colm O’Gorman, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Ireland, also rejected conservatives’ claims about a “homosexual culture” in the church. He poignantly told Crux:

“‘That sort of commentary is just evil,’ said O’Gorman, who is gay.

“‘This is a commonly held view, and it’s obscene,’ he said, pointing to the deep sense of shame and unworthiness that many gay people, especially those who are victims of abuse, feel.

“‘Those kinds of statements cause people to end their lives because of the judgments that come from them, which is so strongly internalized for many people, and the despair and hopelessness that they instill,’ he said.

“‘So when a cardinal says that, there’s a good chance that people will die as a consequence.'”

Bishops also have opined against the scapegoating of gay priests. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, reported Cruxsaid in an interview that such priests were not “the sole root” of the problem, adding, “It’s not about gay or straight, liberal or conservative, Viganò or Pope Francis. . .It’s about right and wrong.” Bishop Steven Biegler of Cheyenne affirmed in a blog post the findings of a psychologist that “Homosexual clerics aren’t the cause of pedophilia in the Church.”

Other voices have joined these condemnations. Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University and Stanford University who has studied psychology of Catholic clergy for three decades,  said “people conclude that if you get rid of homosexuals in the clergy, then you’ve got the problem solved. And it doesn’t work that way,” reported Crux.

DignityUSA’s Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke told NPR“Our church’s very unhealthy attitudes about sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular really need to be addressed. . .Whenever the church is under stress, particularly around the issue of sexual abuse and minors and the cover up by the clergy, gay priests have been scapegoated.” She wrote in The Advocate that as a result of the sexual abuse crisis, the Catholic Church has “lost all credibility” on sex.

An editorial from the Wheaton Business Journal concluded:

“The Catholic church as an institution is in an existential crisis. Many Catholic writers have offered wrenching testaments of sorrow and regret. The most touching are those that do little but humbly align their interests with those of victims, and, insofar as they do, the faithful might see a way forward for the church. Outbursts of homophobia will only impede what progress is possible and are an affront to every community where Catholic churches minister.”

Finally, Dr. Catherine R. Osborne has published “A Catholic Abuse Crisis Syllabus” with crowdsourced recommended books, articles, films, and more for those persons interested in learning more. The syllabus includes the writings of gay scholar Mark Jordan and a few other references to gay priests. You can find the syllabus on the blog Daily Theology by clicking here.

One way to show support for gay priests is to promote New Ways Ministry’s upcoming retreat for gay priests, religious, and brothers. Led by theologian Fr. Bryan Massingale, Living in Truth: The Call to Authenticity will be held Tuesday-Thursday, October 2-4, 2018 at the Siena Retreat Center in Racine, WI. The cost is $275. For more information, click here, call (301) 277-5674, or email info@newwaysministry.org.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 22, 2018

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