John M. Becker

New Book Reveals Strong Gay Scene Among Irish Priests

Filed By John M. Becker | December 01, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Catholic Church, celibacy, gay priests, Ireland, Roman Catholic Church

catholic-clerical-collar.jpgA new book reveals the existence of a strong gay subculture among Irish Catholic priests, the Irish Independent reports:

'Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' publishes new analysis of priests' views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr. John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.

The book, which has just been published by Columba Books, reveals that one parish priest interviewed confidentially by Weafer is in a long term gay relationship.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, the author said 'Fr. C' was "very happy with his life as a priest and a person".

More, after the break.

The Irish Independent continues:

Another priest interviewed, 'Fr. L' was ordained in the 1990s. It was only when he was ordained that he finally ended up 'sleeping' with another priest.

"Although we both vowed it would never happen again, it did and I was really very confused," he said. When he ended up in bed "fumbling around" with another priest, he decided to try the gay scene.

Fr. L then "discovered a strong clerical gay scene in Ireland", although it was not easy to access because of the clerics' need for secrecy.

He believes that there are "quite a lot of gay guys in the priesthood" and on one occasion when he went into a gay bar in Dublin, he recognized at least nine priests in the bar.

While the book's revelations are sure to shock some, Weafer says they aren't likely to surprise the Irish Catholic hierarchy, who he says "are aware" of the situation.

Weafer, who served as the first lay director of the Irish Bishops' Council for Research and Development, claims that as long as non-celibate priests keep quiet, they're usually safe:

"As long as priests don't go public and don't flaunt those actions that don't correspond with being a celibate priest" they turn a blind eye, he claimed.

Dr. Weafer's research also found that a majority of Irish priests disagree with mandatory celibacy. Most of the subjects he interviewed said they identify as heterosexual.

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