Father Bernard Lynch, a homosexual Catholic priest and activist known for defying Vatican teachings, has once again challenged the Roman Catholic Church by revealing that he has been married to a man for the past 14 years. Lynch also blames teachings on celibacy for the child sex abuse cases gripping the Catholic Church.
Roman Catholic doctrine calls on all priests to be celibate, but Lynch, who has served in the ministry for over 40 years and moved to London from New York in the 90s, revealed in his new book, If It Wasn't Love: Sex, Death and God, that he is married and has been helping closeted gay priests in the English capital in his counseling program. He has also been marrying gay and lesbian couples in the church, despite Catholic doctrine prohibiting such a practice.
Explaining why he doesn't support celibacy for all Catholic priests, Lynch shared in an interview for SiriusXM radio that he believes celibacy is a special gift that only a select few receive – and those on whom this 'gift' is forced are in danger of repressing their nature, which leads to the sexual abuse cases the Catholic Church has been been facing in recent times.
"The other point is that I do not believe celibacy can be mandated. I believe celibacy is a gift from God and it's a very small minority of women and men who are gifted with this. They are such a small minority and to equate priesthood with that gift is an abuse of the priesthood. Most priests, straight or gay, do not have the gift of celibacy. They get twisted in their own psychosexual development," Lynch suggested.
"We enter seminary at the young age of 17," he added. "It is my belief that we were and are seriously arrested in our own psychosexual emotional development. As you know, unfortunately [with] a lot of priests who are guilty of the abuse of children, it's ephebophilia [sexual attraction to adolescents, usually aged 15 to 19], not pedophilia [attraction to prepubescent children]. In other words, they start off where they're left off. They start abusing kids who were their age when they entered seminary."
Lynch, born in 1947 in Ireland, was himself accused of abusing children, but that claim was dismissed in court when the man who made those allegations was proven to be a pathological liar. The gay Catholic priest claims that people angry at his pro-LGBT views pushed the man to create such charges against him.
The Vatican expelled Lynch from the order last year, and he is under threat of suspension from the priesthood altogether, he revealed in the radio interview.
"I believe in Christ, and I believe in the Gospel of justice," he said, revealing that he plans on staying in the Catholic Church no matter what. "There is gross injustice in my church, therefore I feel a duty to stay within and say this is not the way I see it, as Christ would have it. I believe the Gospel is about human and civil rights, for all people."