Things are getting ugly here in Washington over the efforts of the DC City Council to enshrine “gay marriage”. Archbishop Wuerl has eloquently defended the Church’s teachings regarding marriage, and the Archdiocese has warned that instituting this law will lead to discrimination against Catholic services to the poor and needy in the city.
Now, some people have decided to play dirty: a website has been set up in order to gather information on “closeted” gay priests in order to blackmail them into disobeying the hierarchy.
I know a good number of priests in this diocese, as our parish is one of the main parishes in which seminarians are assigned during their studies. As a member of my parish’s vocations committee, I have had many opportunities to interact with these young men. All of them are fine, outstanding men who embrace all of the Church’s teachings, and are true shepherds (and servants) to their flocks. I am constantly amazed at the quality of the priests here in the Washington, DC diocese.
Is it possible that there are “closeted” gay priests in the diocese? Of course. It would be naïve in the extreme to believe otherwise. However, this website is nothing more than a witch hunt. What if it reveals a certain priest as a “closeted” gay man? How in the world are we supposed to trust that information, coming as it does from hearsay and innuendo? It is nothing more than a way to silence those priests who have spoken most strongly to defend the Church’s teaching on sexuality and marriage.
Don’t get me wrong. If there is a priest who is breaking his vows of celibacy, either heterosexually or homosexually, that priest should be removed from his ministry. If a priest is engaged in the abuse of minors, he should not only be removed from his ministry, he should also be thrown in jail. But the intent of this website is not to support the Church’s discipline of priestly celibacy or to protect minors, it is to silence the Church. I for one will refuse to allow this website’s “outings” to influence my opinion of any priest. I support my DC priests.
Pray for all priests, especially those here in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.