Bishop Marian Eleganti’s views on the direct connection between homosexuality and clerical abuse were first shared during an interview at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin when he said: “The scandal of abuse shows clearly, it is related to homosexuality.”
Using the case of the 300 priests in Pennsylvania to substantiate his claim, he said that 90% of the abuse cases were “in direct connection with a homosexual inclination,” that the victims “were not children, they were 16 to 17 years old,” and “it would be blind to deny that we do have here a problem in the Church with homosexuality and that homosexuality plays here a role.”
He received a lot of backlash over his initial comments but has since posted to Facebook in response. “These are facts which may not be discussed in public, they are a taboo to which many leaders in the Church now bow down, pointing instead to clericalism as the root problem of the phenomenon.”
He continued, “No one denies that clericalism plays a role, but nevertheless it is in the Church proven that the abusers are mainly homosexual. The silencing of this fact is an additional form of cover-up. Whoever speaks about this fact in public, is being defamed and psycho-pathologized as being a homophobe.”
In response to some religious groups distancing themselves from his remarks, his post became even more inflammatory as he stated: “In a document published in 2016, Pope Francis maintains not to accept into the seminaries practicing homosexuals, men with deep-seated homosexual tendencies, nor those who support the so-called “homosexual culture.” This instruction had already been established in 2005 by Pope Benedict.”
Offering advice on how to deal with clerical abuse, he suggests “Part of it is the public admittance that in the clergy of the Church, we have been dealing for decades now with mainly homosexual criminals.”
His comments highlight what Fr James Martin told the World Meeting of Families when he described how the Catholic church made the LGBT+ community feel like lepers.
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