Two consenting adults engaging in sexual activity is just as sinful as pedophilia if those two adults are of the same sex, according to a Roman Catholic bishop in Wisconsin.
> Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, conflated the abuse and rape of thousands of children by figures within the Church to gay sex, extramarital relations, a cleric having sex and the abuse of authority.
Morlino joins a lengthy list of Catholic church officials who equate homosexuality with the sexual abuse of children:
> Last week, US Cardinal Raymond Burke blamed sexual abuse scandals on a “homosexual culture” within the Church, adding that homosexuality was a “tendency that is disordered” and should be “purified at the root.”
> Like Morlino, he was responding to a grand jury’s report which indicated that thousands of boys and girls in Pennsylvania had been raped and sexually abused by more than 300 Catholic priests.
Morlino wrote in the Madison Catholic Herald that “we have refused to call a sin a sin – and we have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy,” adding that “in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics.
> “We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals.
> “We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all.
> “To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further,” he added.
Morlino appeared to recognize his conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia, saying “There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of paedophilia.”
> “That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of paedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary.
> “It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more.”
The bishop then moved to what he perceives to be the root of the problem: homosexual priests.
> “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.
> “The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest.
> “And the decision to act upon this disordered inclination is a sin so grave that it cries out to heaven for vengeance, especially when it involves preying upon the young or the vulnerable,” he added.
Setting aside the demonizing of homosexuality, Morlino fails to appreciate the number of girls and young women who have been sexually abused by priests, choosing instead to lump together homosexuality and child sex abuse in a way that betrays the lived experience of a great many victims.
> Bishop Morlino then appeared to compare gay sex to a demon when he invited followers to join him in fasting and abstinence, explaining that “some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.”