Irish Catholic priests have revealed they regularly go to gay bars.
New research has revealed the sex lives of ‘celibate’ priests in the Church, revealing many of them have been sexually active and there is an ‘active gay scene’.
‘Thirty-Three Good Men: Celibacy, Obedience and Identity’ publishes new analysis of priests’ views from a series of interviews conducted by Dr John Weafer, a former seminarian who is now married with children.
‘Fr L’, a parish priest interviewed confidentially by Weafer, said he had sex with another priest after he was ordained in the 1990s.
‘Although we both vowed it would never happen again, it did and I was really very confused,’ he told the Independent.
Somewhat ashamed, but ready to experiment, he decided to go and visit the gay scene under cover of darkness.
It was at that point, in a gay bar in Dublin, when he recognized at least nine other priests.
It turns out that he had discovered a ‘strong clerical gay scene in Ireland’, with ‘quite a lot of gay guys in the priesthood’.
Once he realised that the Catholic Church was deeply hypocritical of its attitudes to homosexuality, he eventually decided to leave.
Weafer also interviewed Fr C, who revealed he was in a long term same-sex relationship. The preacher said he was ‘very happy with his life as a priest and a person.’
Weafer claims the higher-ups in the Irish Catholic Church are ‘aware’ and would ‘not be shocked’ by the book’s revelations.
‘As long as priests don’t go public and don’t flaunt those actions that don’t correspond with being a celibate priest’, they’d turn a blind eye, he claimed.
‘If a priest was to say in the morning "I am gay", he would be fired. Priests have learned to keep their heads down.’
Other findings include the majority of the Irish priests are unsurprisingly unhappy with mandatory celibacy. However, those who are most enthusiastic of retaining the celibacy rules are younger, more conservative priests.