African Cardinal: Homosexual Activity ‘Rocking the Catholic Church to its Roots’

In this file picture,Head of the Catholic Church in South Africa Cardinal Wilfrid Napier comemmorates the late Archbishop Denis Hurley's 9th death anniversary at the Emmanuel Cathedral Church in Durban on 10 February 2013. If Catholic cardinals want the next pope to embody the complexities and contradictions of the modern …
RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP/Getty

South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has decried media spins on the current clerical sex abuse crisis, declaring that the scandal is rooted in same-sex activity by predatory priests.

The cardinal was tweeting in response to a newspaper headline in The Mercury, which proclaimed that “Churches may have to allow same sex unions” as a result of the most recent revelations of sexual abuse and impropriety by bishops, priests, and cardinals.

Allowing same-sex unions won’t solve the problem, Napier stated, since it is precisely homosexual activity that “is the scandal rocking the Catholic Church to its roots!”

“Deviation from God’s law always brings grief,” he added. “Lord forgive us sinners!”

In addressing the homosexual roots of the clerical sex abuse crisis, Cardinal Napier has weighed in on a growing controversy among analysts of the scandal. While some are pointing to “clericalism” as the core problem underlying the scandals, many others have been indicating a significant “homosexual culture” among priests and bishops as the real — but unaddressed — cause of the crisis.

In an essay earlier this week, Father Roger Landry of the diocese of Fall River, MA, tackled this controversy head-on, noting that while both are important factors, “‘clericalism’ and ‘abuse of power’ seem to be the talking points of commentators who want to talk about reform while ducking the problem of priestly and episcopal unchastity in general and same-sex activity in particular.”

“As we see in the case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and page after page in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, however, the two go together,” he noted.

“This clericalism is something we’ve seen in all its ugliness among actively unchaste clerical gay networks — like the predatory homosexual child abuse ring in Pittsburgh — when they dominate seminaries, or dioceses or religious orders,” he said.

“The reform of the Church requires fighting both, but it’s a dangerous red herring to suggest that this crisis was caused mainly by priestly pride and not fundamentally by tolerated priestly unchastity and sexual sinfulness,” he said.

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