In April 2002, Michael Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men shed light on the presence of gay subcultures and “heterophobia” within Catholic seminaries. The book documented the retaliation faced by heterosexual seminarians who either reported sexual misconduct or refused to engage in homosexual relations with their superiors or peers.
More than 20 years later, Rose’s findings reverberate in the experiences of heterosexual priests, deacons and seminarians who have fallen prey to the Lavender Mafia of homosexual bishops and seminary superiors.
One has only to look at the cases of Fr. Michael Briese, Fr. Mark White and Dcn. Wieslaw Walawender as well as former seminarians Anthony Gorgia, Karl Discher and Timothy Passow for corroboration. They are heterosexual men who had their vocations destroyed because they spoke out about clerical sexual predation and homosexual misconduct that was being covered up by their superiors.
Victims With Vocations
Father Michael Briese, who was ordained by the now-disgraced Cdl. Donald Wuerl, faced suspension by Cdl. Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., after Briese confronted him over the reinstatement of Fr. Adam Park into ministry. Park had been implicated in a lawsuit for allegedly preying on seminarians at the North American College (NAC) in Rome.
Briese also raised questions about the $2,012,639 that Gregory had allocated to Wuerl in a single year for so-called ministerial duties and sought responses to claims concerning Gregory’s alleged involvement in homosexual relationships during his tenure in Atlanta, where he reportedly acquired the nickname “the African Queen.”
Despite his suspension, Briese has persisted in providing aid and spiritual support to the impoverished, the needy, and the homeless in Southern Maryland — a community that, according to Briese, Gregory has declined to visit despite having received multiple invitations.
The author of Ordained by a Predator, Fr. Mark White, was also a priest of the Washington archdiocese. He was ordained to the priesthood by disgraced and defrocked ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick. White received permission from Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington at the time, to be transferred to the Richmond diocese.
Fr. Mark White
There, he thought he would not have to work under prelates like McCarrick and Wuerl, who were known to have engaged in or covered up the sex abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. He did not anticipate, however, that Barry Knestout, who had been McCarrick’s secretary and Wuerl’s vicar general and auxiliary bishop, would later be appointed bishop of Richmond.
When White wrote in a blog about McCarrick’s predatory behavior and the prelates who covered up for him, Knestout locked White out of his rectory, suspended him, and is currently seeking to get him laicized.
Interestingly, Knestout reprised his attack against White around the same time a former seminarian revealed in sworn testimony that Knestout and accused sexual predator Bp. Michael Bransfield were present at McCarrick’s infamous New Jersey beach house on the weekend of his own sexual assault.
While studying for the priesthood for the archdiocese of Baltimore, Transitional Dcn. Wieslaw Walawender reported being drugged and sodomized by Msgr. Edward Staub. In response to these serious allegations, Cdl. William Keeler assigned Msgr. William Simms to conduct the investigation. This decision was controversial, given that Simms himself faced accusations of abuse from multiple individuals.
When Keeler, Simms and Staub learned that Dcn. Walawender had reported the assault to friends at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., they were concerned that Staub could face arrest for the assault, and both Simms and Keeler could be implicated for failing to report the crime.
Consequently, Keeler had Walawender thrown out of the rectory and offered him a one-way ticket back to Poland, which he refused to accept. To cover up Staub’s alleged criminal behavior, the archdiocese fabricated a story that Walawender left the seminary of his own volition because he wanted to marry and have a family in Poland.
The Big Question
How can the Catholic hierarchy enforce the Church’s teaching on homosexuality when many bishops and priests are thought to be homosexually oriented or at least heavily in support of sodomy? Now, there are even claims that Abp. Víctor Manuel Fernández, the head of the Church’s doctrinal watchdog, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, is a homosexual. It’s a point many Catholics and Catholic media don’t want to address.
Rather than leaving ministry or enforcing the Catholic Church’s teaching on the immorality of homosexual behavior, pro-LGBT prelates like San Diego’s Cdl. Robert McElroy and priests like Jesuit Fr. James Martin are attempting to change Church teaching to approve of gay sex despite authoritative Church pronouncements that “God cannot bless sin.”
Interestingly, a number of homosexually-oriented priests have spoken out against the trend of rewriting Church doctrine to accommodate sexual activity among the clergy. One such homosexual former priest decried the hypocrisy and double lives of many among the presbyterate by writing, “Most ordinands these days are sexually active homosexual men. It is not unusual for many of these guys to have gay sex with a man or men on the eve of their ordination and on the night of their ordination.”
Although the former priest identifies as gay, he divulges, “I do not like the utter sexual permissiveness that currently pervades seminaries and the priesthood. It’s reminiscent of the excesses of Godless, pagan Rome, and I can’t see whether Jesus and Christian morality feature in it.”
The United Methodist Church and other denominations are splitting over the debate about what is truly the Christian position on homosexual behavior, including the marriage and ordination of members of the LGBT community. When senior prelates are not disciplined for advocating the blessing of same-sex relationships that are deemed sinful both in Scripture and Tradition, some wonder if Pope Francis’ vocal support for same-sex civil unions may be paving the way for Catholic priests to enter into open homosexual unions like their Protestant counterparts.
Catholics who are disturbed by the hemorrhage of heterosexual vocations are speaking up both with their voices and their wallets. Rather than financing corrupt Church leaders and their armies of defense attorneys through weekly collection baskets and diocesan appeals, more and more Catholics are using their funds to support those who have been victimized because they had the courage to tell the truth about sexual predation and cover-ups in the Church. Donating to fundraisers such as the Save Our Seminarians Fund can be a step forward to holding accountable those who sought to destroy the vocations of talented and devout men who took a stand against corruption.