Sex Expert Is Bad Choice for Priests Convocation

A major factor in the U.S. bishops' mishandling of priestly sex abuse was their reliance on a clique of "experts" whose psycho-sexual babble subverted the truth. Many of those "experts" have links to Alfred Kinsey whose experimental data was gathered using pedophiles and criminals who raped and molested little children including infants. To read Judith Reisman's expose of Kinsey is to see the diabolical in action.

Unfortunately bishops continue to defer to these "experts" and their institutions.

This week (May 24-28) Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington will subject every parish priest to a two and a half day convocation on the "Joy of the Priesthood" being held outside the diocese at the Carroll Valley Resort in Fairfield, PA. The meeting is keynoted by none other than Fr. Stephen Rossetti head of the notorious St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, MD. Rossetti, acclaimed as an "expert" by the media and the bishops, is frequently sought for interviews. He joins other "talking heads" like Fr. Richard McBrien and Fr. Andrew Greeley as a media darling. And like his brother priests, he rarely faces any hardball questions, for example about the immoral tests used at St. Luke's or some of his appalling views. Rossetti's interviews often have the gloss of orthodoxy in sharp contrast to his links to the Kinsey cohort and his insistence that homosexuality is not the problem, the family is. Perhaps Rossetti is the source for Arlington's Victim Assistance Coordinator telling religious educators that children are "safer with homosexuals than heterosexuals."

Why was Rossetti selected to speak to the Arlington priests? One possibility is Bishop Loverde's desire to convince the priests (and through them the laity) that the abuse scandals had nothing to do with homosexuality, Rossetti's mantra. The announcement of Rossetti's selection also coincided with Bishop Loverde's efforts to impose classroom touching programs on the children of the diocese. He told the priests of Rossetti's participation in a letter dated November 22 after several contentious clergy meetings about the impending implementation of Good Touch Bad Touch. Opposition from clergy and laity sank that program, but the bishop has publicly and repeatedly expressed his determination to impose a classroom program during the latency period on little ones as young as four years old. Rossetti is a natural propagandist to further that goal. When the bishop and chancery officials said parents couldn't teach their children at home because they "might be abusers" they were simply echoing Rossetti's belief that everyone is a latent pedophile, especially mothers.

In an article entitled "Salt for their Wounds" Leslie Payne provided this appalling information: (

In the introductory essay that opens his book, "The Myth of the Child Molester" (which was written before he came to St. Luke's), Father Rosetti suggests that most people have pedophiliac urges, but are able to repress them. He believes that most instances of pedophilia are never discovered, and this is especially true of the pedophiliac acts committed by women. Rosetti is particularly suspicious of mothers, explaining that it is "easier for a mother in our society to disguise inappropriate contact with youngsters as maternal acts of cleaning, grooming, and dressing."

Father Rosetti also stresses his belief that there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. In his concluding essay, "Challenge to the People of God," he reiterates his theory that most people have some degree of sexual attraction to children. He quotes a 1976 study by the late psychologist Robert Stoller, which concluded that it is not possible to find "a line on the continuum of sexual behavior that could separate normal from perverse." He faults the Church for cultivating "a climate of repression and/or obsession," which he says leads to deviant sexual behavior.

This is the man invited to discuss the "joy of the priesthood" with our beloved shepherds.

Below are excerpts from two articles that challenge Rossetti's view on treatment of homosexual priests.

The first is by Dr. Germaine Grisez, questioning whether Rossetti's goal is to reorient the homosexual priest abuser to more "age appropriate" lovers.

In the second Fr. John Harvey, founder of COURAGE, echoes the question in an excerpt from his article, "Ongoing Reflections on Priest-Bishop Scandals."

I'm asking you to do two things. First, and most important - PRAY - especially for Bishop Loverde. The nine days before Pentecost is a traditional time to say a novena to the Holy Spirit. Please join in the novena for priests, starting today. You'll find the prayers at

Second, please express your opposition to Bishop Loverde about inflicting Fr. Rossetti on our priests. Office phone: (703) 841-2511
FAX: (703) 524-5028 (Brother Eddy, Secretary)
Mailing address: Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde, Diocese of Arlington, 200 N. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA 22203.

Mary Ann Kreitzer
Les Femmes
Woodstock, VA
In the Diocese of Arlington, VA

"The first law of history is not to dare to utter falsehood; the second, not to fear to speak the truth." Pope Leo XIII


Stephen J. Rossetti, A Tragic Grace: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1996), explains that most of what he calls "child sexual abuse" is not pedophilia. In arguing that the Church should not regard clerical sexual offenders as incurable, Rossetti says (88):

The statement, "Pedophilia is incurable," is misleading. First of all, most perpetrators of child sexual abuse are not pedophiles. In a Saint Luke Institute sample of 280 priests who had sexually molested minors, only 20 percent were actually pedophiles. Pedophilia is a clinical term referring to someone whose sexual orientation is towards a prepubescent child. It is true that psychotherapy usually cannot change one's sexual orientation. The minority of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are actually diagnosable pedophiles. . . .

The majority of perpetrators are involved with postpubescent children. All things being equal, they are more amenable to treatment. One of their goals is to develop satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers.

Thus, in contrast with pedophiles, Rossetti describes ephebophiles: "There are others who are ephebophiles, i.e., sexually attracted to postpubescent children" (67).

Melvin C. Blanchette, S.S.S., and Gerard D. Coleman, S.S.S., "Priest Pedophiles," America, 25 April 2002, claim that ephebophilia is one of "five basic sexual orientations." They define it as follows:

A fixated ephebophile possesses a primary sexual desire toward children between 14 and 17, with the adolescent victim being at least five years younger than the perpetrator. This category becomes especially complicated when the victim is a 14- to 17-year-old boy, and the adult male's attraction might be one of homosexuality rather than ephebophilia.

In fact, there are two reasons to doubt whether an adult male's sexual interest in adolescent boys or young men often, if ever, manifests a basic sexual orientation distinct from homosexuality. First, if one looks for "ephebophilia" in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, one does not find it. Second, as Rossetti says (88), pedophiles are not amenable to treatment because "psychotherapy usually cannot change one's sexual orientation." But, Rossetti also points out (68): "Many times adults who are sexually aroused by minors may also be aroused by adults as well." Other things being equal, Rossetti says (88), ephebophiles are "more amenable to treatment," for they can learn to "develop satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers."

In other words, men who have engaged in criminal sexual behavior with adolescent boys and young men can be treated effectively, because no change in sexual orientation is necessary. Such men generally, and perhaps always, simply are homosexuals who have found underage partners attractive and conveniently available, and have been willing to commit crimes. With treatment, they can stop committing crimes and enjoy "satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers." "Age-appropriate" is a telling statement. Priests should and usually do enjoy satisfying nonsexual relationships with many of their spiritual children, from the cradle to the grave. Only unchaste relationships must be limited to age-appropriate peers-to consenting adults. Rossetti apparently considers that limitation a successful treatment outcome.

Every sexually abused person is a victim. In some cases, victims do not understand what is going on and/or are unable to resist; in such cases, those abused are simply victims. But in most cases clerical sexual offenses are not only abuse.

In an interview published on the USCCB website, Frederick S. Berlin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma, and a consultant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse from its inception to 2000, was asked: "What would be the range of sexual activity that you would find in priest pedophiles?" Dr. Berlin answered:

In priests, we rarely see the physical or assaultive kinds of behavior. It's very rare to see rape other than statutory. The most common thing we see with priests is that they enjoy the company of youngsters, like the companionship, want to do good for them, and then, unfortunately, as a bond develops emotionally, begin to feel sexually tempted and persuade the youngster to go along with sexual activity. That's the most common scenario that we see in a priest. Of course the youngster, in respecting the priest and in feeling that the priest is not going to lead him astray, is at a tremendous disadvantage [italics added].

In many cases, victims' own statements also make it clear that they were troubled about the ongoing sexual activity in which they were involved with a cleric, whose dirty secret they kept because he had lured them into making it their own. Such victims cooperated in the sexual activity: they were seduced.

In my judgment, therefore, the bishops of the United States ought to recognize and state publicly that a large and important part of the clerical sexual offenses to be dealt with are seductions by homosexual clerics of adolescent boys and young men.

by Fr. John Harvey

From the many recommendations that Grisez submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee, I shall comment on a few in this article. He takes issue with Stephen Rossetti’s A Tragic Grace: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse...

Rossetti, for example, says that acts with post-pubescent children by the "majority of perpetrators" are "more amenable to treatment". One of the treatment goals "is to develop satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers." But what does Rossetti mean? According to Grisez, Rossetti holds that no change in sexual orientation is necessary for the "perpetrators" - actively homosexual men; consequently, "with treatment, they can stop committing crimes with underage men and enjoy ‘satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers’ [Rossetti’s expression]...."

"Priests should and usually do enjoy satisfying non-sexual relationships with many of their spiritual children from the cradle to the grave. Only unchaste relationships must be limited to age-appropriate peers - to consenting adults. Rossetti apparently considers that limitation a successful treatment outcome." Here Grisez regards Rossetti as justifying such adult homosexual relationships by priests who formerly were involved with teenagers. Rossetti needs to clarify his position. One wonders why he uses the word "perpetrators" when he is referring to homosexual priests.