A Time for Caution

Deal W. Hudson

Passions are running high in response to the daily revelations of sexual misconduct by Catholic priests. I purposely avoid the word “pedophilia” because-in the rush to judgment-most of the instances of “sexual abuse” are being reported incorrectly as pedophilia.

Pedophilia is sexual contact with a child who has not yet reached puberty, say before age thirteen. Sexual relations with older adolescents past puberty is accurately termed “hebephilia” or “ephebophilia.”

Why is the distinction important?

The presence of pedophiles in the priesthood describes a group of psychologically disordered men who can be found among any group. Married men with children, for example, have more than a 3% likelihood of being pedophiles.

However, one group of men has a markedly higher percentage of pedophiles-homosexual men.

Homosexual males are more likely than heterosexuals to engage in sex with minors. One study shows that homosexuals are three times more likely than straight men to engage in adult-child sexual relations. Other studies demonstrate that 35% of all pedophiles are homosexual (see http://www.narth.com/docs/pedophNEW.html).

Most of the reported instances of priests having sexual contact are with teenage boys, and points in an obvious direction: There are a lot of homosexuals in the priesthood. And some of these homosexual priests are responsible for the alarming numbers of sexual misconduct among the clergy.

The secular media will avoid this conclusion. Its editorial bias will keep any fingers from being pointed in the direction of homosexuality. The “problem of pedophilia” will be the ongoing refrain with the solution somehow being found in a married or female clergy. All the while, a major facet of the problem will be ignored.

Others have already said that the encouragement of sexual activity among married priests is the strangest of all remedies for pedophilia – as if married sex will drive out pedophiliac desires!

But there’s a caution in this. In addressing the significant homosexual subculture in the Catholic clergy, we need to avoid at all costs a witch-hunt for homosexual priests.

Clearly, homosexuality does not necessarily lead to pedophilia or hebephilia. There are many instances, I believe, of homosexually disposed persons living chaste lives of heroic self-command. They may well be living among our priests.

To address the situation squarely the Church will have to submit itself to a rigorous investigation of homosexuality and the priesthood. This process should be undertaken in a measured and methodical way, with laypeople with genuine expertise in the areas of personnel management and sexual disorders.

Some in the Vatican have already gone on record saying that homosexuals shouldn’t be ordained at all. What happens if the Church reaches this as an official conclusion? Will it mean that all priests with homosexual inclinations are invalidly ordained? Will some Catholics actively demand they “out” themselves and “resign” their priesthood?

I raise these questions as a note of caution. Catholics are feeling scandalized. We’re looking for answers and explanations. We also want solutions and reforms. I recommend all of us look down the road a distance before we allow our present passions to make the damage worse than it already is.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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