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Surge Summary: Catholics investigating charges against a prominent priest who is accused of engaging in routine homosexual sex are being attacked as engaging in a “witch hunt”. All this because they are pursuing the truth about a real problem in some parts of the clergy.
“Critics of The Pillar, a Catholic investigative website, are using deflective propaganda,” said Ruth Institute President, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Two investigative reporters for The Pillar found evidence that Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, General Secretary of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference before his recent resignation, was using the gay hook-up app Grindr almost daily.
Bishop William Callahan, Burrill’s bishop, came to his defense, arguing, “The media reports establish no facts in truth about Jeff’s behavior.”
Morse responded, “Such sophistry is unworthy of a bishop of the Catholic Church. While admittedly we don’t know exactly what Burrill was doing, the circumstantial evidence is persuasive. What was he doing with the men he met on an anonymous gay sex app, discussing interior decorating or their favorite show tunes?” Morse asked. “It is perfectly reasonable to assume that he was engaging in what the Catechism describes as ‘acts of grave depravity,’ which can ‘under no circumstances … be approved.’”
Msgr. Burrill resigned in advance of the publication of The Pillar’s story. No one, including Burrill, has denied that he was using the app for gay sex.
“Having sex with strangers on what The Pillar describes as ‘a near daily basis,’ is not a ‘normal variation of healthy human sexuality,’” Morse charged. “The man is almost certainly a sex addict. He is evidently not in command of himself.”
In her July 30 National Catholic Register article, “Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill’s Resignation: Reflections on Deflections,” Morse responded to Jesuit Fr. James Martin’s charge that The Pillar was on a gay priest “witch hunt.” “This charge is a masterful instance of deflective propaganda. Since there really are no such thing as witches (all enlightened people agree on that), anyone who ‘hunts’ for witches is searching for a mythical creature. The phrase suggests, without explicitly saying so, that raising questions about the conduct of homosexual men in the clergy is unjustified and irrational. Witch hunters can be safely dismissed as deranged, unhinged and certainly more dangerous than the ‘witches’ they are hunting.
“Unfortunately for the Grand Gay Narrative, there actually are homosexual men in the clergy. Some of them are compulsive and narcissistic. Some are predatory. Each causes problems for the Church. But the label ‘witch hunt’ deflects attention away from these problems and offenses and focuses attention instead on the people who try to stop them.”
In the case of Msgr. Burrill, claiming he’s the victim of a witch hunt distracts from the significance of the charges against him.
The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization, leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.
The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge
Image:CC0 Public Domain; Adapted from: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1216626
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