The Chicago Sun Times had a story that makes on go hum. Seems a priest was pocketing the collection plates to the tune of $200,000. Yes gentle reader, that is two hundred G's that didn't go to do God's work but did pay for some quality time with a male stripper. The claim was made that the priest did not have sex though.
First off the guy is stealing money, second he is in a freaking gay bar, third he is spending parish funds on a stripper, fourth the stripper is a guy. Not being entirely clear on Vatican Two reforms, it is still doubtful that it's ok for a priest to be kanoodling with a gay stripper.
Look at the particulars again, there is no way this priest was not getting some "special attention" from the stripper. The stripper is not owning up because to do so would to be admitting to prostitution. The priest gave the guy a freaking car, fully insured to boot! Plus there were other very nice gifts that the stripper got from the priest. There is no way that this relationship was chaste. The priest was doing something more than lovingly gazing into the strippers eyes, a lot more.
The only person in this whole sorry mess who garners any sympathy is the strippers wife. This had to be a real blow to her. Talk about a double life. There is no way she was saying to her husband "have a good time stripping at the gay bar and while your out pick up some milk honey." More than likely she is going to be talking to her lawyer very soon.
The parishioners, unfortunately, are well and truly screwed. That $200,000 is gone. The diocese can't be happy either, nor the church in particular. The Los Angeles Archdiocese just spent some six hundred million to settle pedophilia suits dating back to 1940. This is just another black eye for the church. Not that the church is going to use these incidents to rethink it's position on sex. Oh no, if anything Ratzinger is making the Roman Catholic Church even more sexually repressed. He is pushing her gay congregates and her gay priests even deeper into the closet. Here is a prediction, long after the Hitler Youth Pope is dust there will be yet another scandal involving pedophilia or a massive outbreak of AIDS in the priesthood or some such. The scandal will have it's roots in Ratzinger's decision to root out gays in the priesthood. There have been gay priests since the very first holy orders were laid down. Men will lie about their orientation to join the priesthood. They might even lie to themselves about their orientation. There is no way the leaders of the church will be able to separate the gays out from the straight. Even if they did, then the sex scandals would revolve around straights behaving badly. This will be a recurring theme until the Vatican rethinks it's position on celibacy and sex in general. One of these day they will have to face up to the facts on the ground, but don't hold your breath, it going to take a long time for that to happen.