Steve Mosher, head of the Population Research Institute (PRI), said that the media are "misrepresenting" and "exaggerating" the "pedophilia crisis" in the Catholic Church. According to him and other speakers at a recent PRI pro-life conference in Santa Clara, Calif., a major problem in the American Catholic Church, and specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area, is homosexuality. Mosher contended that the present Church crisis is not about pedophilia, but about homosexuality.
"Only a tiny fraction of the priesthood has ever been guilty of this kind of indiscretion [pedophilia]. The vast majority is engaging in homosexual acts with young men after the age of puberty. True pedophilia is very rare," Mosher said. "This is not pedophilia if it is past puberty. These are priests who are acting out on homosexual impulses and preying on adolescent young men. So you have to understand that is why the Vatican is saying homosexuals shouldn't be ordained into the priesthood."
The Vatican, according to Mosher, has always considered homosexuality to be a grave sin and therefore has said that men with that inclination should not to be allowed into the priesthood.
He said that the Church wants to protect young men who could become victims of homosexual predators. At the same time it also seeks to protect young men who might become predators by keeping them out of a role in which they could abuse their authority. He thinks these and other homosexuals need to be reached out to with the message of God's mercy.
"We need to reach out to people of homosexual inclination with the same message of the gospel that I was reached with when I was a sinner. I don't claim any moral superiority here. I think all grave sins are potentially fatal to the soul. I was reached by my wife and children," Mosher said, "but I think when you become a member of a subculture, it's very difficult to reach you. We need to reach people like that with a message that will not only save their soul, but, with the scourge of AIDs as well, save their lives."
Mosher related that this issue was of " particular concern" to him because he has a sister who, after a bad marriage, went to San Francisco and became part of the lesbian community. He said, "We are still praying for her today. So this is an issue that has touched our lives."
According to Dr. Stanley Monteith, M.D., an author and talk show host in Northern California, the "tragedy" is that a lot of people are "trapped" in this lifestyle with no hope of getting out.
"They are being told, 'You can't get out of this. You are born this way.' But the average homosexual needs to be told that God loves him. They can leave that lifestyle anytime they want because they weren't born that way," Monteith said. "It becomes a sexual addiction, but they can get out of the gay lifestyle. If they couldn't, then how did Ellen DeGeneres' partner just happen to leave her and marry a man? No one wants to point that out, because if she was born that way, why is she married now?"
The Catechism of the Catholic Church agrees with Monteith when it states in section 2357 that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered ... under no circumstances can they be approved." Nowhere in the Catechism is there the "political agenda" that presumes an "unchangeable" natural biological or genetic basis for acts it calls "intrinsically disordered."
"The argument over genetics is a curious one. If homosexuality is genetically inherited, then ... [i]dentical twins must be either both heterosexual or both homosexual, and we know this is not the case. It has been documented in cases of identical twins where only one was homosexual," Director of Family Life for the Diocese of Duluth, Minn., Dick Frost said. "Biologically, two men do not fit together to procreate, nor do two women. Biologically, it is impossible."
Moreover, Dr. Monteith said that there is a difference between being homosexual and being gay. When one is homosexual, there is a same-sex attraction; but when the term gay is used, one becomes part of a "political agenda." According to him, the pedophilia Church crisis is part of the media's political agenda to discredit the Catholic Church because of its stance on homosexuality and other moral issues.
"This is being exploited and media-driven to actually challenge the faith of Catholics," Monteith said. "My Protestant faith wasn't broken by Jimmy Swaggart and Jessie Jackson and other ministers who have betrayed their calling."
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, Ph.D., an internationally known philosopher, agreed with the doctor. She said priests who have betrayed their calling wouldn't break the faith of Catholics. But she did give a stern message to the American bishops.
"He permitted Judas to betray Him. But He did rise on the third day and re-conquered. So the last word of the Catholic or Christian is Christ is risen and He will conquer," Hildebrand said to the bishops of the United States. "Go on your knees and pray and make sacrifices and ask God for the gift of faith for realizing in many ways you have failed your sheep."
When Steve Mosher was asked what message he would give the American bishops if he were given the opportunity, he said his message would be that "there is no priest shortage in the dioceses, which are led by bishops who preach the fullness of the truths of the Catholic faith.
"We have actually done studies in those dioceses where there is a willingness – a courageous willingness – to speak about the biblical/moral issues of our day. To speak about premarital sex and why it's wrong, to speak about the need to practice chastity both before and after marriage, to speak about the fact that homosexuality is a grave sin," Mosher said. "Those bishops who are preaching on this issue have no shortage of young men who are brought by the Holy Spirit to them, to join them in their teaching ministry."