Outing Cardinal Egan

A priest's lawsuit alleges the Catholic Church is hiding pedophile clergy—and offers a stunning reason why

Four months later, she received $2.2 million for the project. Hubbard got his name cleared.

"If anyone should have been pitied during Fr. Hoatson's parish assignments," Goodness writes in the December 14 statement, "it probably would have to be the pastors who had to put up with . . . Fr. Hoatson's 'malingering'—shirking one's duty."

Hubbard spokesperson Kenneth Goldfarb has lashed out at the priest's Manhattan lawyer, John Aretakis, a leading foe of the bishop who has represented 100 or so people claiming they were molested by Albany clergymen (see "Who Would Take a Case Like This?"). "This is not the first time Mr. Aretakis has made those allegations," Goldfarb says, pinning the charge about Hubbard's alleged homosexuality on the lawyer, not his client. "This is all orchestrated by Mr. Aretakis. He has a long history of coming up with claims that have no basis in fact."

"It's time the church confronts this dysfunction," says Father Bob Hoatson.
photo: Jay Muhlin
"It's time the church confronts this dysfunction," says Father Bob Hoatson.

Details

Outing Cardinal Egan
Father Bob Hoatson Says Closeted Catholic Leaders Can't Protect Abuse VictimsóAnd He's Naming Names
by Kristen Lombardi

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    Two years ago, a flurry of allegations that Hubbard had sexual relationships with several men, including a teenage street hustler and three diocesan priests, rocked local churches. Hubbard, who denied the charges, called for an investigation, and his handpicked lay review board hired Mary Jo White, a respected former federal prosecutor in Manhattan. White was paid $2.2 million for a four-month inquiry that ended up clearing Hubbard of all accusations (see "About That White Report"). Aretakis represented the two main accusers.

    Aretakis puts little credence in the investigation, calling it "the most expensive piece of fiction ever produced." He denounced White for essentially investigating her own client, and he and his clients refused to cooperate.

    Now that similar allegations are written in a lawsuit, the landscape has changed. Now, Aretakis has the platform to try to prove them—and he says he's prepared to do it. He says he's accumulated a list of priests and witnesses who have agreed to provide "firsthand evidence of the sexual proclivities" of Egan, Hubbard, and Myers, if subpoenaed. Some have written statements relaying "homosexual relationships with these bishops," he maintains; others know people who have had the affairs.

    Aretakis declined to show the Voice any written documentation on the three bishops, saying, "I don't want to reveal my hand at a time when I don't need to." He describes the evidence against Egan and Myers as involving consensual contact with adult men. Egan has a sporadic history of gay affairs, Aretakis claims, most of them dating back to his time as a seminarian. The lawyer alleges Myers has had gay affairs more recently, some within the past five years.

    For Hubbard, it's a different story. On the condition that his clients' identities be shielded, Aretakis allowed the Voice to view videotaped interviews with two men who allege they had sex with Hubbard for money as troubled teens, one in the 1970s, one in the early 1980s. Neither was included in the White investigation, though their allegations do resemble ones it ruled unfounded.

    One of the men is now in prison and couldn't be reached before press time. The other, reached through Aretakis, told the Voice independently that the details on the tape are true and that he gave the testimony of his own free will. Now married and living upstate, he has sought help from Aretakis for a potential abuse case against an Albany priest who he says also paid him for sex and introduced him to Hubbard. He says he may sue Hubbard as well.

    Goldfarb, Hubbard's spokeperson, refused to let the Voice speak to the bishop about the tapes. "He's been through the mill with this and there's no reason to go through any of this again," he said. Goldfarb again cited the White report, which he said fully cleared Bishop Hubbard. Allegations like these aren't unexpected, he said—indeed, the report predicted there would be more and advised viewing them with considerable skepticism. Read the report, he said, over and over, adding, "It's as if all this preponderance of evidence is being weighed against two people who haven't filed a lawsuit and who won't identify themselves at this time."


    It's people like these two men, victims who are struggling to seek justice from the Catholic Church, whom Hoatson says he's aiming to help with his lawsuit. He's asking the courts for $5 million in damages, which he says he'd use for a 24-hour victims' ministry. The suit hinges on alleged harm done to him as a whistle-blower, but he says the real issue is that the bishops' sexual activities have compromised their ability to police predators.

    "I have to tell the truth," he says. "I've gotten enough information to indicate that promiscuity on the part of these bishops is the reason they're covering up clergy abuse."

    Whether his claims are true or not, Hoatson is making history. Richard Sipe, a former priest and scholar who has written about clergy sexual abuse and homosexuality in the Catholic Church, explains that it's rare for a priest to sue a bishop in court for retaliation—he has heard of only one case before this. It's almost unthinkable for a priest to say in court records that three of his area's top bishops are actively gay.

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    My Voice Nation Help
    2 comments
    gilhcan
    gilhcan

    James Goodness, spokesman for the Newark archdiocese, should be named James Badness!  He has constantly lied for his bishop and his diocese.  He is typical of all the clerical squalor that is destroying the church.  Like Jesus, the church must die and rise new again.  There is no saving it in its current sinful and criminal state.

    gilhcan
    gilhcan

    The problem is not that some priests or bishops are gay, the problem is that some are also mentally ill and sexually abuse minors.  Another problem is that so many priests and bishops are gay and violate their chastity with other adults.  That is considered a sin with them as with other unmarried Catholics.  That sin is also hypocrisy on their part.  They pretend publicly to be what they are not.

    Many young men have not matured at all when they enter the seminary.  Many gay young men, as a result of twisted mental processes that result from church teachings about sexual orientation and sex, as well as from other causes, really believe that their homosexuality is a sign for them from God that they have been set aside for the priesthood.  Celibacy, that requires chastity, goes together as a solution they presume they can live with because they have no attraction to the opposite sex and that form of marriage.  

    Hence, the Catholic clerical state becomes a kind of haven for all sorts of people who are disturbed about their sexuality.  That has been caused by the church's teachings about sexuality and sex and reinforced by the twisted thinking of some gay clergy.  Much of that mental illness about sexuality and sex has been caused, at least in part, by the church.

    The church needs to get off its negative notions about sex as well as its unnatural notions that a sexless life is natural or holier than a sexual life.  Besides celibate priests, we also have nuns and brothers who vow chastity.  That amounts to the same thing as the required celibacy of the clergy.  And many nuns and brothers, especially in earlier times, entered their religious communities thinking required chastity was a Godly way of resolving their sexual problems according to church teachings.  

    Not all gay people, by any means, who becomes priests or nuns or brothers suffer from sexual deviation that drives them to sexually abuse others. Chastity or celibacy cannot be considered holy because the church or a religious community says it is or requires it, but only when an individual freely chooses it for herself or himself as their personal way of life.  Even then, it is no holier than a life of respectful sex.  That is why celibacy should not be required for priestly ordination, only by individuals wanting to live that way.  

    That is why women and married people should be admitted to the priesthood.  Requiring celibacy and/or chastity by any institution of anyone in order to function in that institution is an invasion of a very basic human right.  We should not be surprised that since the church required celibacy for ordination since the eleventh century, when it was initiated to protect church property, not for any consideration of it being a holier-than-thou state, than a sexual state, that it has always been a problem.  Celibacy is unnatural.  And chastity should only be considered to be respectful sexual encounters with others--or none at all.


     
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