writing in December 2002 about the U.S. Bishops' meeting in Dallas, mentions Dr. Bill Mochon
, teacher on human sexuality to L.A. catechists
as well as co-director
of Cardinal Mahony's MLGC
('Ministry to Lesbian and Gay Catholics'). Addressing the "gay-priest" question, Lawler writes:
From April through June, when the US bishops gathered in Dallas, the mass media gave heavy coverage to questions about homosexuality among American clerics. Although the scandal facing the American Church was ubiquitously described as involving "pedophilia" or "child abuse," honest reporters were unable to ignore the fact that in the vast majority of reported cases, the sexual misconduct of priests involved young men. During press conferences in Dallas, reporters persistently questioned bishops about their plans for addressing the issue. Would they exclude homosexual applicants from their seminaries? Would they refuse to ordain men with homosexual tendencies?
However, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was curiously silent about the issue of homosexuality. And in the weeks following their Dallas meeting, the American bishops showed no interest in following up on the suggestion that had been made--and ratified by Bishop Gregory--during the April meeting in Rome. Several Vatican officials have repeated their argument that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood, but the issue has not been addressed by the American hierarchy.
In July, a revealing article published by a gay-activist magazine shed an interesting light on the American bishops' silence. The Advocate, in an article entitled "The Dangerous Lives of Gay Priests," offered this perspective on the Dallas meeting:
"It [the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People] was almost anticlimactic for those of us expecting the gay issue to be a big battle," says Bill Mochon, an openly gay Los Angeles psychologist who has counseled priests accused of abusing minors. Mochon attended the bishops' conference as part of a panel of psychologists and psychiatrists. "Our job was to educate the bishops on the psychology of sexual abuse," he says. The fact that gay priests were not singled out in the adopted statement, says Mochon, "is a clear indication that the bishops finally got the message that sexual orientation is not an element of sexual abuse." If that analysis is accurate, then once again the American bishops are apparently prepared to accept a conclusion radically at odds with the position adopted by the Vatican and the US cardinals in April.
Dr. Bill Mochon, who is undergoing training for the permanent diaconate
in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was chosen by DIGNITY to be a speaker
at one of their recent conventions.