Featured Image
Msgr. Jeffrey / screenshot

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The most remarkable outcome of the recent uncovering of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) general secretary as a frequent user of a phone app that facilitates anonymous homosexual encounters is that there has been more disgust expressed by Catholic commentators over the journalistic means through which the priest’s behavior patterns were exposed than over the priest’s homosexual dalliances.  

Last week, Catholic and secular news outlets rushed to publish stories which glossed over the actions of now-former USCCB general secretary Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill and instead focused on questioning the ethics of Catholic online publication The Pillar, which had conducted the investigation.

The Pillar had used commercially available data from the gay hook-up app Grindr, which an analyst was then able to link to a mobile device used by Burrill, showing that he “visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference.”

Catholic commentators fail: Burrill was inoculating his sodomy partners against the Gospel of Salvation  

Appalled by the revelations about Burrill’s personal life, far-left and pro-LGBT Catholics condemned The Pillar, while displaying no such vehemence toward Burrill, who until last week directed diocesan and USCCB responses to clerical sexual scandals, whose work may have been compromised because of his closeted life.

The misplaced disproportionate sympathy and outrage of Catholic commentators is shocking; a scandal in itself. 

“Report that led to priest’s resignation prompts journalism ethics questions,” blared the headline for Crux’s initial story about the Burrill affair.  

The Tablet’s Rome correspondent, Christopher Lamb, dismissed the report by The Pillar as nothing more than “opposition research” by a “group in the US Church who have felt disenfranchised during the Francis pontificate.”  

The Washington Post, Real Clear Religion, and uber liberal National Catholic Reporter all ran the same Religion News Service (RNS) commentary, headlined, “The Pillar investigation of Monsignor Burrill is unethical, homophobic innuendo.”

In his RNS commentary, author Steven Millies unselfconsciously wrote:

Like anyone else, Burrill’s sins are between him and God. Like any other priest, we can say his bishop belongs in that conversation too. But unless there is some reason to think he has harmed someone else, I feel sure his sins are none of my business, as much as my sins are none of yours. 

There’s ample reason “to think he has harmed someone else.” If Burrill was having sexual encounters with other men, then he most definitely was harming not only the other male involved, he was also presenting a terrible witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Burrill was inoculating his sodomy partners against the Gospel of Salvation.  

“This is a disgrace: spying on bishops and priests to see if they’re being chaste and celibate,” tweeted America Magazine editor-at-large, Fr. James Martin, SJ. 

“Of course it’s aimed at gay priests, and ‘gay apps,’ which shouldn’t surprise anyone,” continued Martin. “It’s part of the ongoing witch hunt against gay priests.”

“These witch hunts [are] usually aimed at vulnerable people working for the church,” claimed Martin in a separate Twitter thread. “They are not coming from God and they are in no way ‘Catholic,’” he added, strongly accusing The Pillar while treating Burrill with kid gloves.

Another America Magazine journalist, out and proud Michael O’Loughlin, wrote:

Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, the director of ministerial formation at St. John’s University School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minn., said more and more surveillance and tracking technology will not produce righteous men fit for ministry. Instead, she said, it will contribute to a culture of suspicion and perpetuate the lack of trust in the Catholic Church.

Mr. O’Loughlin and Ms. Zsupan-Jerome, please note: After the 2018 Theodore McCarrick bombshell revelations; after Cardinals Wuerl and Farrell lied about their knowledge of McCarrick’s decades of predation against young boys and seminarians; and after the Pennsylvania grand jury report launched a cascade of others, the distrust is already there, permanently etched into the hearts of millions of demoralized U.S. Catholics.

“Why not invest instead in formation processes that insist on a culture of honesty, transparency and integrity of character?” asked Ms. Zsupan-Jerome, implying that a “culture of honesty, transparency and integrity of character,” does not already exist among U.S. priests and prelates. Her question is a horrible but ostensibly true indictment against Catholic clergy in America. 

“Ultimately today’s big story won’t be the priest Pillar Catholic outed, but questions about the ethics of data mining and buying mined data to reveal personal information,” tweeted Mike Lewis, editor of Where Peter Is.

“Msgr. Burrill’s resignation and the events surrounding it signal a new phase in ecclesial polarization,” tweeted New Ways Ministry, a pro-LGBT self-professed Catholic organization that has been condemned by the Vatican and the U.S. bishops. “One impact already felt is the harm such nasty behavior does to LGBTQ clergy and religious.” 

New Ways Ministry should consider how the nasty behavior of LGBTQ clergy and religious heaps scandal on the Church while serving as an injustice to God.

How did ‘Msgr. Grindr’ come to be?

Either the U.S. Catholic Church in general and the USCCB in particular is deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to gay priests and prelates — or the judgement of many of its members is compromised because of their own histories of homosexual activity. There are no other plausible explanations.

The one Catholic commentator to present the big unvarnished truth regarding the Burrill affair is former gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

“Our Church is tainted and indecent, full of filth, nowhere more so than among the ranks of its most senior shepherds, who cannot even bring themselves to say out loud that there is no salvation outside of it,” wrote Yiannopoulos in a commentary for Church Militant. “It’s not a secret that our bishops have squandered their moral authority. What’s less obvious is how the consequences may play out. Because, while the Church is eternal, its dismal, corrupt, venal and petty bureaucrats are not.” 

Yiannopolous said:

Our bishops serve Satan. That's the heartbreaking but inescapable conclusion of the past half-century's horrors. They do not oppose the killing of the unborn — at least, not with any vigor. They were enthusiastic coconspirators in the shutdowns of churches during the fake pandemic. They turn a blind eye to sodomized children, where they are not themselves doing the sodomizing, and they appear aloof and indifferent to the devastation wreaked on innocent souls by their sins of commission, and, much worse, sins of omission.

Our bishops permit sacrilege by politicians who publicly celebrate their own hideous sins, giving Holy Communion to abortion enablers. Then, they dishonestly pretend to be appalled, concocting toothless documents and statements designed to do nothing at all while superficially sounding stern. So low have clerical standards fallen, the debate about unrepentant sodomite Jeffrey Burrill, now known to the world forever as “Msgr. Grindr,” is over whether journalists were right to use tracking technology to out him. Bitch, please.

“Christ died to save Monsignor Burrill from his sins,” wrote National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty. “The bishops were able to do him a favor by putting him into another line of work until he dealt with his state of life. For that we can thank Ed Condon and J.D. Flynn at the Pillar.”



Featured Image

Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.