Listen Live


Homosexuality in the Church

Download Audio

The sexual abuse crisis facing the American Catholic Church has brought several issues onto the table that the Church has traditionally not wanted to talk very much about: pedophilia in the clergy; the feasibility of celibacy; the possibility of the laity taking a more active role in the governing of the faithful.

But perhaps no issue that has been raised in the Church in recent weeks is more controversial than the question of homosexuality in the priesthood. Depending on whom you ask, estimates range from over 10% to 50% of all American priests are gay.

Some conservatives are blaming the sex abuse scandal on gay priests, saying most of the cases of abuse do not involve young children but rather teenagers. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls declared that homosexuals should not be allowed to be priests. Last week, Bishop Wilton Gregory, head of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, said a "homosexual dynamic" in Catholic seminaries is scaring away potential heterosexual priests.

Others fear that gay priests are being made the scapegoat in the current crisis.

This hour, a look at homosexuality in the priesthood. How prevalent is it and what are the implications?


Jason Berry, author of "Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children"

Father Thomas Rausch, director of the Theology Department at Loyola Marymount University

This program aired on April 30, 2002.


More from On Point

Listen Live