In Light of Perverted Priest Problem, Cardinal Baldiserri’s ‘LGBT’ Language is Terrible Timing

By Jennifer Roback Morse Published on July 31, 2018

We might as well call it the Perverted Priest Problem. Some men of homosexual inclinations are using their place within the Catholic Church to gratify themselves sexually. More disgusting than Cardinal McCarrick’s behavior is the widespread network of prelates who must have been covering for him. But even these men aren’t the whole story.

The very day the news about Cardinal McCarrick broke, the Vatican released the working document for the upcoming Synod on Youth.It used the “LGBT” acronym, the first such use in a Vatican document. This shows that high-ranking prelates are running interference for people like McCarrick.

As everyone knows by now, the Vatican removed Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from ministry, due to credible allegations that he abused a minor 47 years ago. As events have unfolded, more credible witnesses have accused the cardinal, each more revolting than the last.

Compared with horror of this magnitude, vocabulary in a Church document may seem like a trivial matter. But these two issues are related. Ideas matter. Words matters.

Words Matter

In its official documents, the Church has distinguished the person, the inclination, and the actions. Homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered, … under no circumstances can they be approved.” Regarding inclination, the Catechism states, “Men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies … do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.” CCC#2357.

And the person himself or herself? Feelings, and even behaviors, do not define a person. The Church has refrained from using language that suggests otherwise. The Catechism uses “homosexual” as an adjective, not a noun. The word “gay” does not appear in the Catechism. The Church holds that God created us male and female, not “straight” or “gay.”

In contrast to this precision, the politically-correct “LGBT” is a philosophical and scientific mess. The L’s, the “Lesbians,” are at war with the “T’s”, the “Transgenders.” Speaking of “Transgender:” that is blatantly a political term, not a medical or psychological one. The “G” term, “gay,” has no precise and commonly accepted scientific meaning, as I have discussed elsewhere. “Gay” has embedded within it unsupported ontological and scientific claims. Daniel Mattson, a member of the Courage International Catholic apostolate for same sex attracted persons, made these points in his highly acclaimed book called “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay.”

Given all this, what in the world is “LGBT” doing in a Church document?

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The document in question is the working document (so far available only in Italian, relevant passages translated here by Vatican correspondent Edward Pentin) for the Synod on Youth, a meeting which will be held in October. Working documents form the agenda for the meeting. As any sensible person knows, controlling the agenda of a meeting greatly increases the control of the outcome of the meeting. Or as we used to say in political science, “the agenda setter always wins.”

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, had a ready answer. He claimed in a press conference that the acronym “LGBT” had been taken from the pre-synodal document compiled by young people at their pre-Synod meetings in March. Synod organizers, he said, were “very diligent in taking into account the work done by the bishops’ conferences, but especially the results of this meeting with youth.”

Baldisseri’s statement is not true. The document from the Synod did not use the ‘LBGT’ acronym. Nothing new happened at the Synod on Youth to change human reality. Every single person, regardless of their sexual inclinations or behavior, finds their identity as a beloved son or daughter of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ. Nothing happened at the Synod to change the philosophy, metaphysics or theology that maintains this ancient position.

So, no fair blaming the young people. The ‘LGBT’ acronym is in the working document because some adult put it there for reasons of his own. If the Cardinal and others mean to say that adopting a ‘gay’ identity is a good step for a young person to take, let them say so plainly.

What’s the Connection?

What does this have to do with the McCarrick revelations? During the 2002 round of Catholic clergy sex abuse news, the media described the issue as a “pedophilia” scandal. This framing allowed people to cordon off the crisis from homosexual activity, with the mantra: “pedophilia has nothing to do with homosexuality.” Anyone who was so inclined could gloss over the overwhelming preponderance of illegal homosexual activity with under-aged teenage boys. Not surprisingly, quite a few people were so inclined, including the bishops’ conference itself. The Dallas Charter made no mention of sexual harassment of subordinates such as seminarians and young priests.

Because of this history, astute faithful Catholics are not likely to let themselves get suckered into calling Cardinal McCarrick a “pedophile.” We should be equally diligent about not giving philosophical ground away by referring to him and his scandal with the term “gay.” I respectfully suggest different, more precise, vocabulary. We need to use words with no ontological baggage. We need words that make no pseudo-scientific claims, such as the widespread claim that “people are born gay.”

People of faith should refer to this whole sequence of events with the term I opened with: The Perverted Priest Problem. That’s the word we should use to should call men who nurture and cultivate “deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” especially those who secretly exercise those tendencies on other men and boys under their care.

This matches Vatican directives, recently reinforced by Pope Francis, that “those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’” should not be ordained. Now that the Church has not followed its own rules and has ordained some such men, the criminals among them should be defrocked.

And some men “who support the so-called ‘gay culture’” have been messing around with Church doctrine. The LGBT sleight of hand in the Youth Synod document shows as much.

Memo to Cardinal Baldisseri: bad timing on that whole slipping-the-LGBT-political-terminology-into-an-official-church-document thing. You can’t slip that term by an unsuspecting public anymore. We’re watching now.

How about you just slip it back out, ok?


Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, and the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies are Destroying Lives and How the Church was Right All Along, forthcoming from TAN Publishing.

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  • Craig Roberts

    The problem with the word ‘perverted’ is that it includes such a broad spectrum of behavior that nobody can agree where the line is at between what is normal and what is perverted. Is oral sex perverted? Is staring perverted? Some people think so.

    • Howard

      That is a problem with just about any word that deals with things being right or wrong. “Nobody can agree” on what is a lie, on what is theft, on what is murder — you should be able to recall for yourself disagreements on these terms. Yet there are real lies, there are real thefts, there are real murders, and there are real perversions.

    • Ronky

      OK then, let’s say “the priest sodomy problem”, or “the priest homosexual activity problem”.

    • Micha_Elyi

      Yes. Yes, in rare contexts.

      Those who wish to hush up use of the words “pervert” and “perverted” wish to see the moral people silenced and to disarm all potential whistleblowers.

    • samton909

      The problem with the word “word” is that it includes many different concepts. It could mean “The Word” as in Word of God. It could mean “werd” which is an Anglo Saxon term for the top of your foot. It could mean worm, if they don’t hear you right. Oh, if only people only used the right wird to describe things.

  • eddie too

    any and all of us who deliberately engage in any sexual activity outside of a permanent and exclusive relationship with a member of the opposite sex is committing an EVIL action. the gravity of these evil actions, according to the apostle John, require MORE THAN prayer to be forgiven.

  • Patmos

    With all this rubbish bubbling to the surface, the devil knows his time is short.

  • Michael

    They need to be called out for what this is: GROOMING behaviour. The question is, however, who can make them listen?

  • Aliquantillus

    The problem isn’t about timing.

  • samton909

    At this point, no trust is left. We mist assume baldiserri is a homosexualist.

  • Jamerican

    As a former DRE, I had to go through training called “Protecting God’s Children.” It was and is mandated for all who work with the vulnerable, especially the young, as employees or volunteers. THIS was the Church’s response to perverted priests — train the laity. Now even the Vatican is pushing the homosexual agenda. We are not being tossed to the lions anymore, but any practicing Catholic who truly loves the Church has to be suffering greatly at the direction the Church is taking. We’re walking on the water toward Jesus and we’ll sink if we look in any other direction.

    • Micha_Elyi

      “THIS was the Church’s response to perverted priests — train the laity.”–Jamerican

      “Train” as in ‘train a dog’, yep that was our bishops’ response–as if “the laity” ran the seminaries, the chanceries, or Bishop McCarrick’s beach house. One did not need to be a highly schooled semanticist or logician to see how misdirected our bishops have been.

      I won’t be treated like a dog, nor will I be treated as a suspect in order that bishops may cover up their guilt by commission or omission in the grave matter of homosexual clerics living la vida loca. Thus, I gave up anything to do with being a DRE or even any activity for which the bishop requires such “training”.

  • Jay Champagne

    More specifically, LGBT is a term used to promote the idea of intersectionality. Under this abominable philosophy, some people are seen as inherently victims, and must align themselves with other victim groups. That’s why people with exclusively same-sex attraction are lumped together with people who identify as bisexual or transgender.

    • Louis E.

      And the constant extension (e.g. “LGBTQQIA+”) tries to pretend common cause with any manner of conditions or concocted identities…the interests of those with a condition defined by the beliefs of only some of them as part of the propaganda.I would say the interests of asexuals are opposite to those of the obsessively sexual,yet they are lumped together for leverage.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    “Every single person, regardless of HIS sexual inclinations or behavior, finds HIS identity as a beloved son or daughter of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ.”

    That is how this sentence should read in English.

    • Andrew Mason

      Except that woman aren’t males so his isn’t appropriate.

      • Ken Abbott

        How about “his or her” or the nonspecific pronoun “one?” Mr. McGowan rightly decries the use of the third person plural as a generic substitute for the gendered singular, although there is evidence of the former’s use among speakers and writers of English going back into the 16th century.

        • Richard A

          Because “his or her” is clunky and adds nothing to comprehension except illuminating either the author’s groveling before the zeitgeist or complete submission to a forced ignorance more profound than that of an illiterate 13th-century milkmaid’s.

          • Ken Abbott

            Eh. I’ll take the understanding of an illiterate 13th-century milkmaid over that of some of my contemporaries (present company excluded, of course). I agree the formula “his or her” is awkward but it–or something like it–seems necessary nowadays to minimize offense taken where none was offered. I certainly prefer it to the forms of the third person plural.

      • Richard A

        Except that “his” (and its variants) is the correct generic pronoun to use when the sex of the human subject is unknown or irrelevant to the context.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    “Defrocked” is a Protestant term.

    • Andrew Mason

      Protestant, or AnglicanMethodist? And is it even that, or standard English? Apparently laicization is the formal term used by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox officials, but I suspect that’s less commonly used.

      • Micha_Elyi

        “Anglican/Methodist” is also Protestant.

        Using the Protestant term “defrocked” only adds to confusion. Those who apply the term to the sacramentally ordained begin to believe that men can undo a sacrament of God. From there it is but a tiny further slide into believing that the State can undo a marriage. Most Protestants have already slid that far and farther away from Christ’s teachings.

        • Andrew Mason

          Actually Anglicans may not identify as Protestant – they weren’t part of LutherCalvin’s rejection of the Papacy. And while Brethren or Pentecostal are considered by some as Protestants, they wouldn’t use the term defrocked as that seems to apply exclusively to denominations with priests.

          Not quite sure your point about Protestants sliding away from Christ’s teachings. Christ didn’t ordain priests, in fact the whole notion of church leaders largely didn’t occur until after His ascension. As for the state undoing a marriage, Jesus Himself gave grounds for undoing them, and Paul listed another exception.

        • samton909

          Using the term “term” only adds to the confusion. “Term” can mean a segment of the school year, a period during which an office holder holds office, There is long term and short term. Let’s use the Catholic word “Turm”

    • Jay W. Richards

      The word Laicized is the common word among Catholics, but rarely understood among non-Catholics. We try to use words that will be understood across different Christian communions. Catholic readers will know what “defrocked” means. No one other than Catholics would likely know what “laicize” means.

      • Micha_Elyi

        No, you don’t want to use the Protestant term
        “defrocked”, Jay W. Richards. I disagree that “Catholic readers will know what defrocked means”. Many think they do but every nominal Catholic I’ve heard use the term thinks
        that priests can somehow be unordained and they’re soft on divorce too. The Protestant term “defrocked” rests on the idea that men can undo a sacrament of God. That’s a Protestant error.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    My comments and prayers regarding the Synod on Youth had been ‘rain down’ heavy. No longer pouring out. The outcome has been designed. We await the execution.

    The world will applaud. The exodus from the Church will go full throttle. Catholic ‘conservatives’ will comfort themselves posting untold millions of articles and comments. As with the last synod, nothing will come of it – except the acceleration of Francis’ revolution.

    Occupy parish offices, diocesan chanceries, and Vatican City. Tell the present occupant of St. Peter’s Chair we love the Lord’s sheep more than he does.

  • JBQ21

    The “cat is out of the bag”. This is all about “normalizing” the gay lifestyle. Women can see right through the hoax.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Saint Bernardine of Siena was a famous preacher, celebrated for his doctrine and holiness. Regarding homosexuality, he stated:

    “No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy…. Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin.”

  • swordfish

    “How about you just slip it back out, ok?”

    An unfortunate turn of phrase on which to end.

  • Mark Geraty

    you part of the problem, Bro?

  • JMJ

    “Not get suckered into calling McCarrick a pedophile”? But he is a pedophile and that’s what I do call him:an 11 year old boy is a child.

    It seems to me, Robak-Morse, that you’ve been suckered into calling a lot of things ‘faithful’ and ‘Catholic’ that aren’t–like yourself and the church you belong to, but it seems you’ve been suckered by choice.

    • Micha_Elyi

      You’ve been suckered into misunderstanding the meaning of “pedophile”, JMJ.

      • JMJ

        An 11 year old is not a child? Oh my my my my my. If Samuel had abused David in the field where he was tending sheep instead of anointing him King; if Eli had abused Samuel in the night instead of pointing him toward God, sure you wouldn’t call that pedophilia (or blasphemy) either, but like I say Micha–it’s you who think you are faithful and Catholic who have been suckered (by your own choice) to calling a rose by another name so that you don’t have to think you’re accompanying pedophiles to hell and calling them ‘priests’ leading you to heaven (and birth control ain’t a mortal sin either, is it?). It stinks like pedophilia. It cries to heaven for vengeance like pedophilia and when God’s vengeance struck Sodom everyone in the city was destroyed–not just the sodomite perverts, but those who made excuses for them too.

    • im4truth4all

      You need an adjective with pedophile in this case. It is called sodomite. Sodomite and homosexual are essentially the same. Many sodomites are drawn to pubescent boys. It is called sodomite Hebephilia.

      • JMJ

        Are you saying 11 year olds are pubescent? An 11 year old isn’t even a teen ager. You have been corrupted w/your fancy pervert words while children are being molested. How astute, faithful and catholic you are–while 60 million babies are murdered in abortion, sodomite marriage is legalized, and 11 year old boys crotches are being groped by their family priest friend, you’re watching Glee and your child is joining GLSEN and getting raped at basic training because ‘gays’ are now in the military. All the 2002 priest pedophile crisis taught you (so that you can all parrot in unison every time another pedophile is exposed) is that it’s not REALLY pedophilia! I can’t wait for the next pervert one of you who thinks you’ve learned another big word to reply to me that an 11 year old is not a child. You are the ones that are going to ensure pedophilia is legalized in the U.S. because it’s not pedophilia–because children are going through puberty at 7 now! That’s why the Ohio seminarian is going to Mexico to buy a 2 year old and all the Vatican priests are distributing child torture videos and the Bishops like Lahey are flying to Thailand every other month to rape boys! Abortion doesn’t kill babies, but clumps of cells! When is a baby really a baby? What’s the definition of “is”? Were you trained by Jesuits? Do you know what coprophilia means? Wow–Pope Francis has taught you all another perversion (too bad you aren’t astute enough to see the forest for the trees). What we need is more six year old altar boys dressing up like drag queens and marching in the St Patrick’s pride parade w/Cardinal Dolan! We got sodomite marriage out of the 2002 priest pedophile scandal–out of this one we’ll get legalized pedophilia. But you ain’t been suckered because apparently you perverts want to be trained in perversion and that’s why you follow ravening wolves. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. But your fathers are demons and their father is Satan.

  • im4truth4all

    Here is a quote from one of the greatest saints ever regarding homosexuality. St. Catherine relays words of Our Lord, about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referrng to sacred ministers, He said: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [ of fallen human nature]…but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid having dimmed the light of the understanding, they do not recoginze the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that , for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the jugdment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them…It is disagreable to the demon, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being commited. It is true that it is the demons who hit the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demons leave.

    St.Catherine of Siena, El diabolo, in Orbas de Santa Catarina de Siena

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