Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Scandal is "about Homosexuality, not Pedophilia" says Former Catholic School Superintendent

The Scandal is "about Homosexuality, not Pedophilia" says Former Catholic School Superintendent

Monsignor Edgar McCarren is a former superintendent of schools from dioceses in New York and Arizona. He served at Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara for over a decade.

Q. How and why did you decide to become a priest?

A. Well, I was in the 6th or 7th grade, and I started thinking about becoming a priest. One reason was because there was a priest that I admired as a priest. I started to think about going to the preparatory seminary, but I was afraid to mention it to anyone, including my parents. Then in the eight grade a Josephite nun called me to the front of the class. She asked what school I was going to go to next. I said St. James. She said, "No your not. You are going to the preparatory seminary." And that was what I wanted, but I was afraid to mention it.

This was in the middle of the depression in the 30s. When I told my parents, they didn't bat an eye, even though it cost. I learned later that my mother was praying that one of her sons become a priest. Both of them did.

Q. What is your most difficult experience as a priest?

A. In the mid-sixties the Catholics tried to change the New York State constitution, which was biased against the Catholic Church. I was a superintendent of a diocese in the state of New York. We put on a campaign. I spoke to the leader of the state assembly and appeared on TV a number of times to debate. The answer the opponents gave was that this would cost the state of New York a lot of money, which was greatly exaggerated. But, we couldn't overcome it. We lost when the time came to vote.

Q. Tell us about Our Lady of Peace?

A: I was [at Our Lady of Peace] for eleven to twelve years. It is a unique parish. The Blessed Sacrament has been exposed around the clock for 20 years. There are confessions before every Mass on weekdays and on Sunday.

Q. I understand you have a lot of knowledge in psychology. What is your take on the "pedophile crisis" in the Church?

A. I have a PhD in education from the Catholic University in Washington DC, but most of my classes were in psychology. On this subject there are some scholars who have investigated this. They say pedophile is not the right word to use in this case. Almost all the problems -- in this cases -- with priests is with teenagers not children. And almost all the priests are homosexuals. So, the crisis is really about homosexuality, not pedophilia.

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