(Blogmensgo, gay blog of May 30, 2019) Since Frédéric Martel’s book Sodoma was published, it has been talked about in the media everywhere. It talks, among other things, about the – highly considerable – role of homosexuality and homosexuals in the Catholic hierarchy throughout the world, particularly in the Vatican.
The pope and his homosexual divisions
It is rare that a study of a French sociologist and journalist is published simultaneously in eight languages and twenty countries. And when a book speaks openly about homosexuality, such a scenario is all the more exceptional because it is accompanied by an unusual media hype – and even more unusual because the book reveals what many people already knew or have been smelling for a long time.
I leave it to each of you to read this book and assess its content. The book is the result, for the most part, of a field survey and interviews conducted under the seal of anonymity and secrecy. It is therefore difficult to verify whether a majority of Catholic priests and prelates are indeed homosexual, and whether nearly three quarters of seminarians are also homosexual.
Sodoma or not Sodoma?
The book is entitled Sodoma in French, Italian and Spanish, although the subtitles vary. In the United States, however, the book has the title “In the Closet of the Vatican:” and the subtitle “Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy”.
Why a shock title in Europe and a muffled title in the United States? Undoubtedly in order not to upset too much the evangelists, creationists and other God’s fools, who abound in this country and would be sufficiently harmful to disturb the peace of the book chain if it were to disseminate a work with an overly explicit title. We know the incredible cautiousness of the Americans – which they are trying to impose on the rest of the world through online commerce and digital social networks.
The second reason is more pragmatic in nature, let us say more statistical. In the United States, where Protestantism is by far the majority, only one in five people claim to be Catholic, according to Wikipedia. Only the Catholic Church imposes celibacy – even chastity – on its priests and prelates. It could therefore be considered outrageous to impose a shocking title by making it appear that the book also refers to the practices of non-Catholic Christian churches.
Amalgamations and ambiguities
Frédéric Martel's book explains why and how prelates have chosen to cover sexual scandals, especially pedophiles, in order to avoid exposing themselves to their own homosexuality. In other words, gay priests and prelates preferred to use openly homophobic speeches rather than denounce or prevent pedophile acts of which they were aware.
There has often been a strong temptation among homophobes to establish an equivalence link between homosexuality and pedophilia. It is true that the word pederasty, by its etymology, has been able to maintain the disorder, as well as great renowned writers – André Gide, Thomas Mann and many others – evoking, through an intermediary narrator, love affairs on the borderline of pedophilia.
Sodoma appeared the same week that a meeting of almost 200 Catholic prelates in the Vatican was trying to put an end to sexual abuse, especially pedophilia, perpetrated and covered up by Church people. Another coincidence, another amalgam.
Not long ago, François Ozon’s latest film, Grâce à Dieu (By the Grace of God), was released on French screens and worldwide. The film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale in February 2019, refers to a suspected pedophilia case in the Lyon region of France. The case involves the priest Bernard Preynat, who allegedly committed sexual abuse of minors, and Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who chose not to denounce his subordinate. Both men are presumed innocent until the case is decided.
Below, the trailer of François Ozon’s film, Grâce à Dieu (By the Grace of God).
But the combination of Martel’s book, Ozon’s film and the Vatican meeting is likely to further fuel the confusion between homosexuality and pedophilia in the minds of gullible or misinformed people – and in the words of homophobes.
Putting an end to Catholic aberrations
It is high time that the Catholic Church stopped prohibiting priests from marrying and having sex (whether straight or gay). Protestant pastors can marry as they see fit and this does not prevent them from officiating in the service of their faith, nor their religion from flourishing throughout the world – quite the contrary actually.
By denying its priests what it accepts for the common man, the Catholic Church has put a heavy burden on the sexuality of priests and prelates. The burden cracks and Frédéric Martel’s book explains its perverse effects. The Catholic Church will not lack seminarians and homosexual priests, as long as homosexuality is publicly prohibited or vilified in their country. But as soon as homosexuality is legalized or accepted, homosexuals will no longer need to use the seminary or rectory to live their homosexuality. As for straight people, it is enough for them to integrate any other obedience to live their sexuality too, without hindrance or prohibition of an era long gone.
If we are to maintain the amalgam, I advise the Vatican to act as quickly and forcefully as possible against pedophilia in the Church, but also against the celibacy imposed on priests and, as far as we are concerned, against the prohibition on women celebrating mass – and on gays becoming priests.
Frank-S / MensGo