Matt C. Abbott
That 'gay priest' debate...
By Matt C. Abbott
May 7, 2011

A reader recently sent me a link to a commentary titled "Are Gay Priests the Problem?" by author and ABC News religion contributor Father Edward L. Beck, C.P.

Father Beck's commentary, which can be read by clicking here, is problematic in certain respects, so I thought I'd ask Father Richard Perozich of the Diocese of San Diego — a promoter of the Courage Apostolate — if he'd like to respond to Father Beck.

Father Perozich graciously emailed me the following response (slightly edited):

    'Father Beck's commentary expresses an opinion not in accord with Catholic truth. It uses language of practicing or promoting homosexuals (PPH) rather than that of the Church. It cites a particular group of statistics without respect to other studies. It uses PPH terminology adopted by secular society, which is often dominated or threatened by PPH in psychology, psychiatry, politics, education and social sciences.

    'Sexual orientation is a term invented by PPH to reclassify homosexuality from its traditional abnormality to merely an alternative expression. The Catholic Church recognizes chastity as the successful integration of one's sexuality as man oriented toward woman and woman toward man. Sexual attraction to members of the same sex is a disordered desire, as is an adult's sexual attraction to children or object fetishes.

    'Same-sex attractions fall under the classification of iniquity: the tendency toward a disordered act or toward a disordered consumption of an ordered act such as sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Sin is trying to live out the truth yet falling short out of weakness, malformation of conscience, or psychological problems in which behaviors can be more compulsive than chosen. Transgression is the deliberate rejection of the teaching — and acting according to one's desires.

    'Studies have shown that priests who abused minors overwhelmingly preyed on teenage males. While a person who has this age preference might be called an ephebophile in psychiatric terms, it's still a disordered sexual desire. Since most have been directed toward males, it's also a manifestation of homosexuality. That is what homosexuality is: attraction to one's own sex. It's dishonest to classify it only as ephebophelia when both ephebophelia and homosexuality are present as dual components — each being an immature sexuality.

    'While this information is neglected or hidden by PPH, homosexuality in males frequently develops early by a defensive detachment disorder, often to the father, and an envy of other males that develops into a predominant sexual attraction in an attempt to bond with one's own gender through sexual acting out rather than sports, competition, conversation and normal socialization. Such manifestations are evident in homosexual literature.

    'The range of domination by homosexuality of a man is different, with each individual depending on his maturity level to self-identify as a man and never as a homosexual; to quell fantasies and preoccupations of homosexuality and practices of autoeroticism and acting out with other men; to dissociate from the PPH community and live as a chaste man; to be magnanimous and satisfied with himself as a man without the envy of other men's attributes in physicality, assertiveness and sexuality; and to make good male non-sexual friendships.

    'American and European cultures do not do this for men. Unless the men are very involved in the Church with groups like Courage, they often continue to fail to attain chastity. The culture, in fact, does the opposite. Men who act out with other men are often attracted to the bodies of teenage males because of the virility they perceive in the teenagers and the lack of it in themselves. Priests who have acted out with teenage males have been pansexual with adults as well, a point ignored in the study.

    'A certain degree of maturity is required before seminary admission for men who have not attained chastity, regardless of the object age preference. Homosexuality is not an orientation spiritually, but an iniquity, a nagging tendency to sin which can and must be dominated by Our Lord Jesus Christ and shown to the bishop before admitting a man to an office of leadership in the Church.'

Pertinent links:

The Courage Apostolate

"Homosexuality and the Church Crisis"

"Tactics of the Homosexual Movement"

"Gay Marriage"

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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