Fr. James Martin on a "Bombshell" to Come
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Fr. James Martin tweets:


Quote:James Martin, SJ‏Verified account @JamesMartinSJ

“Inside the Closet of the Vatican” will be a bombshell. Friends who've read it (I have not and the book is embargoed until the day before publication on 2/21) say it purports to reveal how some Vatican clergy who are critical of LGBT people are sexually active gay men. 1/

Its author, the French journalist Frédéric Martel, an openly gay man, hopes to expose hypocrisy in the church, specifically those Vatican officials who are themselves gay, including a few cardinals who are known for condemnation of the “gay lifestyle.” 2/

Martel reportedly spent four years researching his book and has interviewed a wide variety of people (prostitutes, police officials, taxicab drivers) and includes "extensive interviews with those in power." 3/

The goals is the exposure of hypocrisy and a culture of self-hating gay clergy--an effort to shine light on dark corners in the church. The promotional material read: “The more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay." 4/

I hope that this book, which as I’ve said I hope to read, will shine a light on clerical hypocrisy and lessen secrecy in the church. 5/
 
But I fear it will have precisely the opposite effect. Why? Because few people will wade through its 600 pages. Instead, most people will read screaming headlines and quick-take summaries, e.g., “Shocking New Book Says Most Vatican Cardinals are Gay, Sexually Active." 6/

This will inevitably lead to a renewed and intensified witch hunt for gay priests. Why? Because it’s far easier to scapegoat than it is to confront hypocrisy and address a culture of secrecy. 7/

Its publication the day before the Vatican’s summit on abuse is also bound to shift attention away from child abuse and onto gay priests in general, once again falsely conflating in people's minds homosexuality and pedophilia. 8/

So I foresee a threefold disaster: First, the book will distract from the hard work of combating child sex abuse in the church. 9/

Second, the screaming headlines, inevitable salacious excerpts and “quick takes” and sarcastic listicles will make it even more difficult for the celibate and chaste gay priest to avoid being the target of hatred and contempt. 10/
 
Finally, it will, based on admittedly deep reporting on one part of the church, serve to confirm the stereotype of the sexually active gay priest in all parts of the church. It will therefore make it less likely for gay priests to speak openly about their situations. 11/

I hope that I am wrong, but I fear M. Martel’s book will, in a word, backfire. And because of the inevitable and increased scapegoating of gay priests and LGBT people in general, rather than less secrecy, we will see more. 12/12

There'd be no "culture of secrecy" if these guys weren't homosexuals. And the problem isn't "pedophilia," as we all know.
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