A reader writes:

As a young boy I attended a Catholic elementary school.  In the confessional I struggled with my sexual urges and same-sex attractions.   When I asked my priest why this was happening to me, I was told that God gives all of us challenges in life and this was my cross to bear.  The path to salvation for boys like me, was to pledge my life to God by becoming a celibate priest.   He recommended that I attend a pre-seminary for my high school education. 

I attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago for my freshman year.  Struggling with same sex attractions, I was thrust into an all-male environment.  As part of our physical education, we took swimming lessons in the school’s pool where none of us wore swimsuits.  The coach told us that it was against school policy.  The pool was barely large enough for a class of 40 boys to fit.  Can you imagine a school today putting 40 naked boys in a pool?

Even at the age of 14 I realized that the church’s stance on celibacy was either a lie or insane.  When I raised that question with my confessor, he suggested that maybe I didn’t have the true calling.  Wisely, I dropped out and enrolled in public school the following year. 

The point is, the Catholic Church targeted young gay boys as potential priests.  The policy of recruiting 14-year-old boys stunted the young boy’s psycho-sexual development, and now they are shocked when adult priests behave like they are 14 year old boys.  They deserve all the criticism.

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