Outing Cardinal Egan

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

The Vatican's antics on homosexuality could change all that. Michael Mendola, of Dignity New York, the local chapter, says gay priests have kept their mouths shut about bishops' sex lives because they "don't want to jeopardize their relationships with the dioceses." But he knows plenty of good, caring gay priests who, in his words, "are tired of all the nonsense going on in the church with homosexuality these days." They're tired of the way the Vatican has pinned blame for the clergy-abuse crisis on homosexuals. And the way far-right Catholic groups have tried to purge the church of gays.

Some may grow so tired of being persecuted that they could break the veil of silence. Once news of Hoatson's lawsuit gets out, Sipe predicts, "I think others may follow."

Whether that happens remains to be seen, of course. In the meantime, Hoatson's suit must make its way through the courts. Attorneys for Egan, Hubbard, and Myers did not return a phone call from the Voice seeking comment for this article. But letters they sent to U.S. District Court judge Paul Crotty, who is presiding over the case, suggest that they intend to try to dismiss it on legal grounds. As Daniel Alonso, the Manhattan attorney who represents Egan and the New York archdiocese, writes in his January 19 letter, "We propose to move to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted."

"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.


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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  • Hoatson's suit could well get quashed before it ever reaches an open courtroom. Yet in the court of public opinion, he may already be winning. Survivors, at least, are rallying around the priest, cheering him on in listservs and Internet discussion boards, lauding him as courageous beyond belief. "Father Bob is no dummy," says Regan. "He's a priest who has a lot to lose by coming forward with this suit."

    And that's just what worries some of his allies who think he's crossed a line. They fear his allegations against the bishops may backfire, undermining his credibility and, worse, his victims' ministry. One fellow clergyman doesn't doubt that the bishops have targeted Hoatson for whistle-blowing. But he can't quite wrap his mind around why the priest decided to bring the bishops' sexuality into the mix. "Once you make those claims, there is no turning back," the cleric says.

    To Hoatson, though, it comes down to the truth. All he wants is to save his church, he says, and sometimes, you have to destroy something in order to rebuild it.

    "I answer to a higher authority, and this is what God has asked me to do," he says. "God is calling on me to dismantle the insanity and corruption."

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    My Voice Nation Help

    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.


    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.