Maike Hickson

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German bishops’ website quotes pro-gay Fr. Martin to refute link between homosexuality and sex abuse

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September 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The German bishops have finally published their sex abuse report, which caused a stir when it was leaked two weeks ago. The report showed a high percentage of homosexual abuse.

The website of the German bishops has now published several articles denying the connection between homosexuality and priestly sex abuse, quoting Father James Martin, SJ against the views of Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Robert Morlino.

On Tuesday, Katholisch.de, the news website of the German Bishops’ Conference, published an article written by Thomas Spang, who denies that there is any connection between homosexuality and clerical sex abuse.

“Conservative U.S. Church leaders blame a 'homosexual culture' in the Church's hierarchy for the abuse scandal. Experts are opposed to a generalization,” says the subtitle of the article.

Spang first quotes Cardinal Burke as saying that studies have shown that the abuse scandal is mostly “about homosexual acts with male teenagers.” Additionally, Burke is quoted as pointing out that there is a homosexual culture “not only among clergymen, but also within the hierarchy.”

Spang mentions in this context that Burke “has fallen from grace with Pope Francis.”

He also refers to Bishop Morlino of Wisconsin, who recently made similar comments about the significant role of homosexuality in the abuse crisis. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is also mentioned as one of the prelates who is pointing to a “homosexual network” within the Church.

“The problem,” claims Spang, is that “there exists no evidence for such a connection between homosexuality and abuse, as Viganò and Burke now construe it.”

The article then refers to the famous John Jay Study to refute the notion that homosexuality plays a role in abuse, even though that very study showed an obvious link between the two.

Spang then refers to Fr. Martin and his pro-LGBT book Building a Bridge. Spang quotes the Jesuit as saying that the only reason “why we have such a stereotype is because there are so few public counter-examples of healthy celibate homosexuals priests, of whom there exist hundreds or thousands.”

The German journalist adds: “James Martin has not yet heard from the Pope, but he has already received praise from cardinals.”

Moreover, another source is being quoted against these putatively “arch-conservative Churchmen.” Her name is Marianne Duddy-Burke, and she is the executive director of DignityUSA, a pro-LGBT organization. She says that one should consider what she calls the “very unhealthy attitude of our Church with regard to sexuality in general and to homosexuality in particular.” Duddy-Burke further claims that homosexual priests are being unjustly accused.

Spang comments, “It is quite possible that the arch-conservative Churchmen who now raise their voices are less concerned about the consequences of the abuse scandal than about a possible change of the Church's attitude toward homosexuals.”

Spang's final endorsing reference is to Pope Francis: “Some statements of the Pope indicate a change in dealing with homosexuality.”After all, the Pope himself pointed to “clericalism” and the misuse of “power” as the root problems of the current abuse crisis.

Another Katholisch.de commentator, Björn Odendahl, argued yesterday in a way similar to Spang. He quoted the new controversial German sex abuse report as asserting, without substantiation, that there is no connection at all between homosexuality and abuse, even though nearly two thirds of the victims were male. For Odendahl, the higher percentage of male victims is due to “availability” since for a long time, there existed only altar boys and not altar girls.

But, for this journalist, the even greater problem is “the right handling of one's own sexuality on the part of the clergy.” Suppressed sexuality creates an opening toward abuse and the fact that the priestly office was held in such “high esteem” added further fuel to the abuse problem, according to Odendahl. For homosexual priests, there is an additional problem since they “cannot speak with anybody” about their homosexuality.

Odendahl's conclusion: “There is only one way: welcome homosexual priests and accept them as being equals.”

An orientation such as this is now to be incorporated into the loyal Catholic Faith?

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Maike Hickson

Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli, Catholicism.org, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana, Katholisches.info, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.