UPDATED NOV. 22, 2005: A controversial Vatican document restricting the admission of gay men to the priesthood, set for official release on Nov. 29, was obtained by an Italian news agency, Adista, and published on Nov. 22. Other news agencies confirmed the authenticity of the document, which says that the church “cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture.”
There is much debate over what those three conditions mean, and especially what is meant by “deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies.” Some Vatican-watchers argue that the statement amounts to an outright ban on gay men entering the priesthood. Others predict more of a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” policy, leaving room for authorities to screen out candidates who they feel are not appropriate. Another view is that the policy will force gay men who want to be priests to either lie about their orientation or repress it. The statement will not affect men already ordained.
The policy was spurred by the clergy sexual abuse crisis that erupted in 2002. Experts say that homosexual men are not more likely to molest than heterosexuals and that heterosexual abusers may choose boys as victims because of their accessibility. Nevertheless, some critics of gay priests link homosexuality and abuse and see a ban on gays as a way of preventing more abuse.
The policy on homosexuals in the priesthood is being released during a Vatican-mandated inspection of all 229 American seminaries and institutions that prepare priests. The inspection, known as an apostolic visitation, focuses on two issues: “the need for fidelity to the church’s teaching, especially in the area of morality, and the need for a deeper study of criteria of suitability of candidates to the priesthood.” Sexuality is just one area of the inspection, but homosexuality is a big undercurrent of the investigation.
(The document obtained by Adista is in Italian. An unofficial English translation of the document by Robert Mickens, Rome correspondent for The Tablet of London, was posted at a popular Catholic blog, Whispers in the Loggia. Catholic World News, an online news service, also has an English translation. Various news agencies have used their own translations for key phrases.)
Why It Matters
Questions For Reporters
The Apostolic Visitation
The Vatican Statement
Articles Sympathetic To Gay Priests
Articles Critical Of Gays In The Priesthood
Accounts By Gay Priests
The Vatican inspection of U.S. seminaries and the focus on the sexual behavior of priests was triggered by the clergy sexual abuse scandal, which is considered the biggest crisis in the history of the Catholic Church in America. American Catholics are the largest single U.S. denomination, with about 65 million baptized members, nearly one-quarter of the population. The scandal has had implications for other denominations and faiths, too. It has affected how pastors are trained and how they conduct their ministry.
The visitation and statements on homosexuality by some church leaders have caused concern among priests, gay and straight, who fear the impact on vocations and the effect on gay men already in the priesthood. One Catholic leader described the situation as bad for morale. Given the sharp decline in the number of priests in recent decades, and the fact that some estimate that as much as a third of the priesthood may be gay, the fallout at the parish level could be great. Some argue that reducing the number of gay priests would encourage more heterosexuals to join the priesthood. Others worry that the new policy will only force seminarians to suppress their homosexual identity, creating problems that could fester and emerge later as serious dysfunctions.
• Covering these developments is a way to examine how the sex abuse scandal is changing the church in America. It shows how divided opinion is among Catholic leaders and lay members over the origins and resolution of the abuse.
• Is there evidence that homosexuality plays a role in sexual abuse, or in the priest abuses, as some contend?
• What do seminaries do to screen out potential abusers? Has current research and expert knowledge on this subject found its way into seminary screening and training, or is there a gap?
• Does your diocese have a seminary? How are the visitation and impending statement on sexuality affecting morale and opinions there?
• Are priests in your diocese organized? Is there a priest senate or a presbyteral council? Are they affiliated with the National Federation of Priests’ Councils? Do they feel they have a voice?
• The charter’s section on clerics in religious orders has been rewritten to clarify the orders’ internal autonomy while respecting a bishop’s authority within his diocese. How many order priests work in your diocese? How well are they covered by diocesan policies?
• The story illustrates how culturally different the United States is from most of the Catholic world. In Catholic strongholds of Asia, Latin America and Africa, the Vatican guidance on gay priests is not expected to cause a ripple because the existence of gay priests is not acknowledged.
• Are lay groups such as Voice of the Faithful active in your diocese? Are they allowed on church property or barred, as in some dioceses?
• The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is awaiting Vatican approval on a new Program for Priestly Formation, which it undertook as a result of the sexual abuse crisis. The document addresses a whole range of issues related to seminary education, but on homosexuals says only that the bishops will follow whatever policy the Vatican issues. Bishop John Nienstedt of New Ulm, Minn., was chair of the committee that drafted the document. His committee worked under the auspices of the Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry (see next item). Contact Bishop Nienstedt at 507-359-2966. Members of that committee come from around the country.
• The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry, which assists bishops to provide leadership regarding priestly ministry. It is chaired by Bishop Timothy M. Dolan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Contact 414-769-3497, email@example.com. The web site posts a list of committee members around the country, with contact information.
• Paul S. Rimassa is executive director of the Center for Sexuality and Religion, which serves clergy and laity, pastoral counselors, spiritual directors, faculties, chaplains, seminary students and religious educators. He has a good deal of background on the issues involving priests, celibacy and homosexuality. Contact 610-995-0341.
• The Chicago-based National Federation of Priests’ Councils is the leading voice for the nation’s Catholic priests, representing some 26,000 of the nation’s 43,000 priests. Contact the president, the Rev. Robert Silva, 312-442-9700 ext. 207, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Voice of the Faithful is the leading grass-roots lay organization to emerge in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal. Based in Boston, the organization pushes for church governance reform and holding bishops accountable, and promotes victims rights. It has been critical of an effort to ban gay priests from ordination. Contact John Moynihan, 617-558-5252, Moynihan_john@hotmail.com, or VOTF president Jim Post, 617-558-5252, email@example.com.
• The Conference of Major Superiors of Men represents religious orders in the United States. Unlike diocesan priests, the 20,000 priests and brothers in religious orders – Franciscans, Jesuits and Dominicans, for example – generally live in communities and by their orders’ rules. They are subject to local diocese mandates, but concerns have been raised about how to integrate the bishops’ charter with the orders’ historic autonomy. The conference is based in Silver Spring, Md. Contact the Rev. Bob Bozek, 301-588-4030, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is an association of leaders of Catholic women religious in the United States and represents about 95 percent of the 75,000 U.S. nuns and sisters. While male clergy commit the vast majority of abuse cases, victims’ advocates say abuse by women religious is an overlooked problem. The LCWR is also based in Silver Spring, Md. Contact the director of communications, Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM, at 301-588-4955, email@example.com.
• SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the foremost advocacy group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP has regional directors and local support groups. Or you can contact Executive Director David Clohessy in St. Louis at 314-566-9790, SNAPClohessy@aol.com, or President Barbara Blaine in Chicago at 312-409-2720, SNAPBlaine@hotmail.com.
• The Linkup, based in Louisville, Ky., is another leading victims advocacy group. It also has information on abuse cases from other denominations. Contact President Sue Archibald, 502-241-5544, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• BishopAccountability.org is a clearinghouse for information on sexual abuse by priests and on the hierarchy’s reactions. Contact the group’s co-founder, Paul Baier, 781-910-5467, staff@BishopAccountability.org.
• DignityUSA “works for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the Catholic Church” and elsewhere. It is not a church-approved group. Contact executive director Debbie Weill, 202-861-0017.
• Donald Cozzens is an author, a pastoral theologian and psychologist. He has written several books about the priesthood and is best known for his influential The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest’s Crisis of Soul (Liturgical Press, 2000), in which he wrote that many seminary faculties included a disproportionate number of gay men. “Straight men,” he wrote, “in a predominantly or significantly gay environment commonly experience self doubt.” Cozzens is a writer in residence at the religious studies department of John Carroll University in Cleveland. Contact 216-397-1731, email@example.com.
• Washington attorney Robert Bennett was part of the 13-member board of prominent lay Catholics appointed by the U.S. Catholic bishops to investigate the sexual abuse crisis. He chaired the research committee that interviewed some 100 victims, psychiatrists, theologians, seminary heads and church officials and prepared the report on causes of abuse. Bennett is a partner at the law firm Skadden Arps. Contact 202-371-7180, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Leon Panetta was also part of the 13-member lay board appointed by the U.S. Catholic bishops to investigate the sexual abuse crisis. He co-directs the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University, Monterey Bay. Panetta was an eight-term U.S. representative from California’s 16th District, director of the federal Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration and Clinton’s chief of staff for three years. Contact him through the institute, 831-582-4200.
• The Rev. Thomas J. Reese is a visiting scholar at Santa Clara University in California. Reese, the former editor of America magazine, can discuss key issues relating to the document, such as the number of gay men in the priesthood and who can be ordained. Contact 408-554-4399, email@example.com.
• Michael J. Bland, a psychologist with a doctorate in ministry, is clinical-pastoral coordinator for victim assistance ministry for the Archdiocese of Chicago and a clinical counselor at the Center for Psychological Services in Oak Lawn, Ill. The ex-Servite priest was on the 13-member board appointed by the U.S. Catholic bishops to investigate the sexual abuse crisis. He works nationally as a consultant to dioceses, religious communities and other church-related agencies and was, as a child, abused by a priest. Contact 708-424-0001.
• The Rev. John Harvey is founder and director of Courage International, the New York-based support group for men and women with same-sex attractions who wish to live chastely according to the teachings of the church. He wrote, in “Should a man with same-sex attractions be allowed to enter the seminary?” an article published in America magazine in 2002, that men who are attracted to other men can live a celibate life as priests but that it is more difficult to form them in a seminary than straight men. He lays part of the blame for the sexual abuse scandal on widespread theological dissent present within many Catholic institutions, including seminaries, which leads priests and others to question church positions on sexual matters. Contact 212-268-1010, NYCourage@aol.com.
• Thomas Plante is a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University and an expert on the causes and frequency of sexual abuse by clergy. His writings include Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (Greenwood Publishing, 2004). Contact 408-554-4471, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Dean R. Hoge is a professor of sociology in the Catholic University of America’s Department of Sociology in Washington, D.C. He is one of the foremost researchers on Catholic issues. He and James Davidson co-authored a 2004 study of American Catholic attitudes. Hoge’s books include, as co-author, Evolving Visions of the Priesthood: Changes from Vatican II to the Turn of the New Century (Liturgical Press, 2003); as author, The First Five Years of the Priesthood: A Study of Newly Ordained Catholic Priests (Liturgical Press, 2002); and, as editor, Young Adult Catholics: Religion in the Culture of Choice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001). See his paper, “The current state of the Priesthood: Sociological Research,” presented at a June 2005 conference on the Roman Catholic priesthood at Boston College. Contact 202-319-5999, Hoge@cua.edu.
CRITICAL OF GAY PRIESTS
• Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend http://www.diocesefwsb.org/ has been outspoken in favor of barring gay men from the priesthood. See a July 19, 2004, Boston Globe article on his views. Contact 260-422-4611.
• The Rev. Joseph Fessio, S.J., is a close friend and former theology student of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Fessio is widely considered one of the most influential conservative voices in the American church today, and he is an outspoken opponent of allowing gay men into the priesthood. Fessio participated in a panel on Pope Benedict at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Miami on Sept. 29 during which he and other panelists addressed the gay priest issue. Listen to the panel audio recording. Fessio is currently the editor-in-chief of Ignatius Press in San Francisco, which is the English language publisher for Benedict’s books. He spends much of his time in Naples, Fla., where he is Provost of Ave Maria University. Contact through Ave Maria University’s web page or their toll-free number, 877-283-8648. Or through Christine Valentine-Owsik, the Philadelphia-based media representative for Ignatius Press, at 215-230-8095, email@example.com.
• Michael S. Rose is web editor of the New Oxford Review, based in Berkeley, Calif. He wrote an influential book, Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church (Regnery, 2002), which argues that the priesthood is a largely gay profession and that many seminaries are run by a “lavender subculture” of homosexuals who are unfriendly to heterosexuals. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• John Trigilio Jr. of Marysville, Pa., is president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and pastor of two parishes in the Harrisburg, Pa., Diocese. He co-authored Catholicism for Dummies (For Dummies, 2003), The Everything Bible Book (Adams Media, 2004) and Women in the Bible for Dummies (For Dummies, 2005). He also hosts weekly television and radio programs for EWTN Catholic broadcasting. Contact 717-957-9309, email@example.com.
SUPPORTIVE OF GAY PRIESTS
• Sister Jeanine Gramick has defied Vatican orders to cease her ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics. Contact her through the organization she co-founded, New Ways Ministry, in Mount Rainier, Md., 301-277-5674, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Donald Boisvert, assistant professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, co-edited the collection of essays, Gay Catholic Priests and Clerical Sexual Misconduct: Breaking the Silence (Harrington Park Press, 2005). The book’s introduction says the Catholic Church is conflating homosexuality with pedophilia and warns of a “witch hunt” to weed out many good gay priests and seminarians. Contact 514-848-2424 ext. 3520, email@example.com.
• Joe Maher is the founder of Opus Bono Sacerdotii (“work for the good of the priesthood”), a lay group that defends the rights of priests accused of sexual misconduct. It assists priests and religious in crisis through a network of confidential experts in various fields. Contact 248-628-8500, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two previous ReligionLink editions on sexual scandal in the Catholic Church offer background and interview sources:
• “The Catholic Church faces new steps in dealing with scandal” (May 31, 2005)
• “Resources for analyzing survey of Catholic clergy abuse” (Feb. 16, 2004)
• Read the ReligiousTolerance.org section on “The Roman Catholic Church and Homosexuality.”
THE APOSTOLIC VISITATION
• The Vatican-led visitors already have begun examining all American seminaries to see that the values, methods and criteria by which priests are trained and ordained conform to church direction. The visitation is being conducted by the Congregation for Catholic Education, which is in charge of seminary education. Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services is organizing the work, which could continue into 2007. The “visitors” include 117 bishops and seminary personnel, working in small teams. Neither their names nor schedules are publicized. Their work is confidential. They’ll inquire into a seminary’s “formation” program, the training that prepares men – personally, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and communally – for a priest’s life. They will include questions about sex and chastity. Although just one question directly touches on homosexuality, gays are a big undercurrent of the visitation.
• Read the document that details how the visitation will be conducted. It is an Instrumentum Laboris, or working paper.
• See a Sept. 30, 2005, statement by O’Brien, posted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, explaining the purpose of the visitation.
• Read “Screening the priests,” an Oct. 9, 2005, Time magazine article.
• Read a Sept. 22, 2005, National Catholic Reporter story in which O’Brien, speaking unofficially, said that even homosexuals who have been celibate for 10 or more years should not be admitted to seminaries.
• See the Aug. 22, 2005, Catholic News Service article, “Apostolic visitation of all U.S. seminaries to start this fall.” It reports that in 2004-05, there were 229 U.S. seminaries or formation houses, with 4,556 students – 3,308 at the theology level and 1,248 in college. About a third expect to become priests.
• Read an April 30, 2005, Associated Press story, “Vatican expected to review American seminaries,” posted by USA Today.
• Read a CNS story, “Vatican officials plan U.S. seminary visitation in 2005,” from the Dec. 17, 2004, issue of The Tidings.
• Read the July 15, 2002, America magazine article “Seminaries Await Vatican Visitation,” in which the late James Gill, a Jesuit priest who was also a psychiatrist, wrote that many seminaries screen candidates by means of professional interviews and psychological tests and scrutinize candidates’ sexual histories. At seminaries, formation curricula may include human sexuality, sexual orientation, chastity, celibacy, the need for interpersonal boundaries and ways of coping with temptations.
THE VATICAN STATEMENT
• Vatican officials have said that the upcoming statement will be consistent with “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders,” a 1961 instruction regarding priesthood candidates, posted on the Roman Catholic Faithful site. It says, in part, “Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
• Experts in church policies predict no widespread purges of gays from parishes, schools and seminaries, reports an Oct. 14, 2005, Associated Press article on the visitation, posted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
• The National Catholic Reporter‘s Oct. 7, 2005, “Word from Rome” column reported that the Vatican statement on admitting gays for ordination is likely to authorize banning candidates who:
• have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;
• are part of a “gay culture,” for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point that applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
• have a homosexual orientation sufficiently “strong, permanent and univocal” as to make an all-male environment a risk.
• Read a Reuters article at ABCNews.com announcing the Oct. 7, 2005, leaked news of contents of the upcoming Vatican statement.
• Read National Catholic Reporter writer John L. Allen Jr.’s Sept 27, 2005, New York Times op-ed, “At the Vatican, Exceptions Make the Rule.” It’s posted on a blog called Mezomorf News of the World. Allen says that, whatever the document’s wording, it won’t have much practical impact.
• Read a March 2, 2004, CNS story on a bishops’ National Review Board discussion of homosexuality in the priesthood.
• Read a March 1, 2004, CNS story on the bishops’ Review Board’s discussion of celibacy.
• Catholic author and blogger Amy Welborn stresses that homosexuality comprises a tiny part of the 11-page-long document laying out the task of the apostolic visitation. “Why is it considered unfair to expect priests and seminarians to live by the values of the institution they serve?” she asks in a Sept. 28, 2005, New York Times op-ed, “The Sins of the Seminaries.” It’s posted by the International Herald Tribune.
ARTICLES SYMPATHETIC TO GAY PRIESTS
• Memphis Bishop Terry Steib wrote a May 19, 2005, column, “Church is home to all people of God.” It is on the site of the Archdiocese of Memphis. Steib was criticized for the column, although it does not mention gay priests.
• The Sept. 30, 2002, issue of America magazine was devoted to the topic: “Should Gay Men Be Ordained?” Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton wrote in favor of ordination. Gumbleton is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
• Read “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers,” a statement of the Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family that was released in September 1997.
• James Carroll, the Boston-based author and Boston Globe columnist, is considered liberal on this issue. He blasts talk of a possible gay ban in this Oct. 3, 2005, column.
ARTICLES CRITICAL OF GAYS IN THE PRIESTHOOD
• Read conservative Catholic commentator Michael S. Rose’s Oct. 18, 2005, Dallas Morning News (registration required) opinion piece, “Are gay priests the problem?” He says many heterosexual men are alienated from seminaries by a “lavender subculture.”
• The Rev. Andrew R. Baker, a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., was on the staff of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome when he wrote against gay ordination in an article called “Ordination and Same-sex Attraction,” published in the Sept. 30, 2002, issue of America magazine.
• See “The Church and the Homosexual Priest,” by the Rev. James Martin in the Nov. 4, 2000, issue of America.
• Read “Thou shalt not allow homosexuals to become Catholic priests,” an Oct. 2, 2005, New York Daily News opinion piece by the Rev. John Trigilio Jr., president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and co-author of Catholicism for Dummies (For Dummies, 2003).
• Matt C. Abbott is a conservative columnist who, in a Sept. 22, 2005, column at the RenewAmerica site, interviews three priests on why ordaining gay men is a bad idea.
ACCOUNTS BY GAY PRIESTS
• An Oct. 14, 2005, National Catholic Reporter article interviewed an anonymous gay priest about the prospect of the Vatican document about gay seminarians.
• The Rev. Paul Michaels, a pseudonym for a gay U.S. priest, wrote a Sept. 24, 2005, column in The Tablet of London.
• The Rev. Gerard Thomas, also a pseudonym for a gay U.S. priest, wrote “A Gay Priest Speaks Out” in the Jan. 28, 2005, Commonweal magazine and an open letter to Pope Benedict on Beliefnet.com.
• It is impossible to know how many priests are homosexual. Estimates and studies put percentages as low as 10 percent and as high as 50 percent. Psychologist and priest Donald Cozzens, a Catholic seminary president who wrote The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest’s Crisis of Soul (Liturgical Press, 2000) estimates as many as half are gay. The ReligiousTolerance.org article “Homosexual orientation among Roman Catholic seminarian students” includes a list of the primary people who study this question and their research.
• On Feb. 27, 2004, the lay-led Office of Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a survey on the cumulative toll of sexual abuse inflicted on children by priests during the past 50 years. The office commissioned experts from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to research most of the 194 U.S. dioceses. Read the survey questions, posted by Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a lay group that helps priests. Read a Feb. 27, 2004, New York Times article about the study at the Children First site. The John Jay researchers found that about 4 percent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950-2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor – a total of nearly 4,400 clergy (almost all of them priests) accused of abusing more than 10,000 minors. Three-quarters of the incidents took place from 1960-84. (Catholic News Service maintains an archive of stories on the report.)
• The Los Angeles Times did extensive surveys of U.S. priests in 1994 and in 2002. Read the story (registration required) with links to other aspects of the poll.
• An April 2002 Newsweek poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates found that Catholics were almost evenly split, 46 percent to 51 percent, over whether ending mandatory celibacy would alleviate the problem of sexual abuse. In addition, 29 percent of Catholics viewed the presence of homosexual men in the priesthood as a major reason for abuse, and 26 percent cited it as a minor reason, while 45 percent said sexual orientation was not a factor. About a third said that if the Catholic Church were to more effectively screen out homosexuals from the priesthood, it would reduce the sex abuse problem. Read a Bloomberg News report on the poll posted by The Detroit News.
• In a May 2002 CBS/New York Times poll, about one-quarter of Catholics said homosexuality in the Catholic Church had increased the likelihood that priests would sexually abuse children and teenagers.
• Read a Reuters article on the ABCNews.com site reporting that, in a poll of 875 American Catholics taken not long after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy, The Catholic Reporter found that more than two-thirds don’t think it is very important to have an all-male, celibate clergy.
• To some, the issue of homosexual priests is tied up in the shortage of Catholic priests. There are two points of view. Some believe that a gay subculture of priests discourages heterosexuals from the vocation. The other view is that, given the shortage, the church can ill afford to discourage earnest, qualified, celibate men because of sexual orientation. Many ask what will happen if the church bans perhaps a third of all potential priests, given the sharp dropoff in vocations. For statistics, see the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown, the nonprofit research organization that conducts social scientific studies for the Catholic Church.
• The priest shortage is severe in the United States, but it is worse elsewhere. The United States, with 6 percent of Catholics worldwide, has 12 percent of the bishops and 14 percent of priests – more priests than the top three Catholic countries combined. There are 41,000 priests in the United States, compared with 37,000 in Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines combined, with their 340 million Catholics – roughly a third of all Catholics in the world.
IN THE NORTHEAST
• The Rev. John Baldovin has taught at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and is now a professor of historical and liturgical theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. His books include Worship, City, Church and Renewal (Pastoral Press, 1991) and Bread of Life, Cup of Salvation: Understanding the Mass (Sheed and Ward, 2003). He recently delivered a paper, “Priesthood and Sacramental Ministry: History and Theology,” at a 2005 Boston College conference on the Roman Catholic priesthood. Contact 617-492-1960, email@example.com.
• Thomas Groome is a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, where he directs the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. His primary area of interest is the history, theory and practice of religious education. He wrote Educating for Life: A Spiritual Vision for Every Teacher and Parent (Crossroad General Interest, 2001) and is the primary author of various religion textbook series from W.H. Sadlier, most recently the Coming to Faith series. His most recent book is What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003). He delivered a paper, “The Future of Ministry in the Catholic Church: Our Best Hopes,” at a June 2005 conference on the Roman Catholic priesthood at the college. Contact 617-552-8449 or 617-552-3880 (department), firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE EAST
• The Rev. Stephen J. Rossetti is a psychologist and head of the St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., which treats psychologically troubled clergy. He told The Washington Post that he sees “unique challenges” for priests with homosexual inclinations. Contact 301-445-7970.
• Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry in Mt Rainier, Md., which serves gay and lesbian Catholics, has been critical of reports that the Vatican statement would target gay priests. Contact 301-277-5674, email@example.com.
• The Rev. John Strynkowski has worked in the Vatican and was executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops until recently. He is rector of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. James in Brooklyn. He was a speaker at a 2005 Boston College conference on the Roman Catholic priesthood. Contact 718-399-5900.
• The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the New York-based religious and public affairs journal First Things, has said he sees the upcoming document as an attempt to curb “a growing influence of gay lifestyles in seminaries and other church institutions.” Contact 212-627-1985.
• The Rev. Gerard McGlone, a Jesuit psychologist and a vice president of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, believes some tightening of the admission process is appropriate: “I think to a certain extent the Vatican is correct in trying to weed out unhealthy expressions of the homosexual experience.” But he is also worried that tougher guidelines might backfire by encouraging gay or sexually confused priests to deceive themselves about their own orientation, which could lead to a subsequent crisis and pathology. Contact 610-660-1388, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Rev. Anthony Figueiredo is a theologian at Seton Hall University in New York state and is involved with the seminary’s formation program there. Religion News Service quotes him as saying that the upcoming Vatican statement will be aimed at counteracting the growing influence of “gay lifestyle” on the priesthood. Contact 973-275-2060, email@example.com.
• Ronald E. Long teaches in the religion program at Hunter College in New York. He is the author of Men, Homosexuality and the Gods: An Exploration Into the Religious Significance of Male Homosexuality in World Perspective (Harrington Park Press, 2004). Contact 212-772-4987, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• John J. McNeill, a psychotherapist and former Jesuit, ministers to gays and lesbians with psychotherapy, workshops, lectures and retreats. According to his web site, “in 1988, he received a further order from Cardinal Ratzinger directing him to give up all ministry to gay persons which he refused to do in conscience.” He continues with this work and, among other books, wrote The Church and the Homosexual (Beacon Press, 1993). Contact email@example.com.
IN THE SOUTHEAST
• Mark Jordan is a professor of religion at Emory University in Atlanta and an expert on issues of homosexuality in Catholic life, especially in the priesthood. He is the author of The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (University Of Chicago Press, 1998). He calls on the church to recognize its many gay Catholics among the leadership and the faithful. He also posits that the culture of Catholicism and gay culture have much in common and that male desire has been a central fact of the priesthood. He is on sabbatical in the 2005-2006 academic year. Contact 404-727-0643, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Charlotte Rolnick Schwab is a psychotherapist and author who has lectured on the issue of sexual abuse and clergy, especially in Judaism. She draws parallels between what is happening in the Catholic Church and what goes on in other denominations and faiths. Schwab is the author of Sex, Lies and Rabbis: Breaking a Sacred Trust (1stBooks Library, 2002). Crucial issues, she says, are careful screening of candidates before ordination, policies for reporting by victims and follow-up to complaints, monitoring of clergy, and removal of offenders when it is established that abuse has occurred. She lives and practices in Delray Beach, Fla. Contact 561-638-4757, DrSchwab@DrCharlotteSchwab.com.
IN THE SOUTH
• Jason Berry, a Louisiana journalist, broke the first stories of sexual abuse by priests in 1985. He wrote Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children (University of Illinois Press, 2000) and, with Gerald Renner, Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II (Free Press, 2004). Contact 504-865-1793 or 504-329-7522 (cell), email@example.com.
• The Rev. Angelus M. Shaughnessy is a Capuchin friar stationed in Birmingham, Ala., as minister general to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word. He teaches on Eternal Word Television Network and through video and audio tapes. He is an orthodox Catholic. Contact 205-271-2900, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Paul R. Dokecki is a professor of psychology and special education in the department of human and organizational development of George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He is also on the faculty of the religion department. He wrote The Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis: Reform and Renewal in the Catholic Community (Georgetown University Press, 2004). Contact 615-322-8418, Paul.R.Dokecki@Vanderbilt.edu.
IN THE MIDWEST
• R. Scott Appleby is professor of religious history at the University of Notre Dame and John M. Regan Jr. director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies there. He teaches courses in American religious history and comparative religious movements and is the co-editor of Being Right: Conservative Catholics in America (Indiana University Press, 1995). Contact 574-631-5665, email@example.com.
• Edward P. Hahnenberg is assistant professor in the theology department at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He is a theological consultant to the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on Lay Ministry and is author of Ministries: A Relational Approach (Crossroad, 2003). He can discuss the role and future of lay ministers in the priest shortage. Contact 513-745-3517, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• James Davidson, a sociologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., specializes in the study of American Catholicism. He and Dean Hoge of the Catholic University of America co-authored a 2004 study of American Catholic attitudes. Contact 765-494-4688, email@example.com.
• The Rev. Richard J. Hauser directs the graduate program in Christian spirituality and is rector of the Jesuit community at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. He says that the commitment and ability to live celibately is the essential condition for ordination to priesthood, for gays and for straights. Contact 402-280-2700, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Rev. James Bacik is the pastor of Corpus Christi University Parish in Toledo. He is also a campus minister and adjunct professor of humanities at the University of Toledo. His books include Apologetics and the Eclipse of Mystery (University of Notre Dame Press, 1980) and most recently, Catholic Spirituality: Its History and Challenge (Paulist Press, 2002). He delivered a paper, “The Priest as Pastor: History, Theology and Practice,” at a conference on the Roman Catholic priesthood in June 2005 at Boston College. Contact 419-531-4992, email@example.com.
• Susan K. Wood is a professor of theology and associate dean for the School of Theology Seminary, St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn., and she is member of the Sisters of Charity order of Leavenworth, Kan. Her books include Spiritual Exegesis and the Church in the Theology of Henri de Lubac (Eerdmans, 1998) and Sacramental Orders (Liturgical Press, 2000). She can discuss the historical development of the priesthood, the current crisis in priestly identity, the shortage of priests and the role of lay ecclesial ministers who often fill in for pastors. Contact 800-544-1816.
IN THE SOUTHWEST
• Sarah Brennan is clinical director of the Samaritan Counseling Center in Albuquerque and an expert on sexual abuse and clergy perpetrators. During the course of a decade, Brennan treated hundreds of priests at a center for clergy sex offenders in Jemez Springs, N.M., operated by a religious order, the Servants of the Paraclete. The center closed in 1994. Contact 505-842-5300, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Robert Goodkind is a psychologist in private practice in Albuquerque, N.M. He also worked at the Paraclete center treating abusive priests in the 1980s and 1990s and is conversant with the pathology of the clergy abuser. Contact 505-256-1021, email@example.com.
IN THE WEST/NORTHWEST
• The Rev. Howard Bleichner is an adjunct faculty member in the department of systematic and historical theology at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, Calif., and is a member of the Vatican II Sabbatical Program, a continuing priestly formation program at St. Patrick’s Seminary near Menlo Park. Bleichner wrote View From the Altar: Reflections on the Rapidly Changing Catholic Priesthood (Crossroad 8th Avenue Press, 2004). He is a Sulpician priest with 40 years’ experience in seminary formation. He formerly was rector of the theological college at The Catholic University of America. He blames seminary problems today on self-actualization psychology, a seminary influence in the late 1960s and 1970s. Contact 202-756-4900, 650-325-5621.
• Spokane, Wash., Bishop William Skylstad, is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He recently wrote in his diocesan newspaper that “witch hunts and gay bashing have no place in the church. … There are many wonderful and excellent priests in the church who have a gay orientation, are chaste and celibate, and are very effective ministers of the Gospel.” Contact 509-358-7300, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through his executive assistant, Mary Cole, email@example.com.
• The Rev. Robert E. Goss is a former Jesuit priest who now is senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley in North Hollywood, Calif. He has been an activist in gay rights organizations, and among the books he has co-edited are Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible (Pilgrim Press, 2000) and Gay Catholic Priests and Clerical Sexual Misconduct: Breaking the Silence (Harrington Park Press, 2005). Contact 818-762-1133, firstname.lastname@example.org.