Washington Post attacks Catholic group for identifying priests who use homosexual hookup apps – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) – The Washington Post has published a lengthy exposé attacking a Catholic organization for private communications with U.S. bishops alerting them about priests and seminarians who use homosexual hookup apps such as Grindr. 

According to the Post’s report, Denver-based Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal has spent upwards of $4 million to collect and analyze publicly available app-tracking data to identify clergy utilizing apps that jeopardize their vows of chastity and risk creating scandal within the Church, which has been repeatedly rocked in recent decades by homosexual behavior and predatory pederasty by priests and prelates.  

In a preemptive move, the Renewal group’s head, Jayd Henricks, penned an article for First Things one day before the Post published its 4,000-word article, explaining that his group of conservative Catholics “explored ways in which the laity might better assist bishops to identify healthy environments for priests and models to allow parishes and dioceses to flourish, while helping to spot dangers that could lead to more scandal and heartache for the Church down the line.”  

“The purpose was simple: to love the Church and to help the Church to be holy, with every tool she could be given,” continued Henricks, whose group “put everything at the disposal of the bishops, to treat any work we do as a service, freely offered and freely given, for them to use in the best ways they see fit.” 

“That includes what we’ve learned about the darker side of technology,” he said. 

It is the bringing to light of the “dark side of technology” that has not only The Washington Post riled up, but heterodox, pro-LGBT priests Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Fr. Bryan Massingale, and the dissident National Catholic Reporter (NCR).     

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“The project’s existence reflects a newly empowered American Catholic right wing that sees enforcing its interpretation of church teaching on sexuality and gender as an existential issue for the church and that no longer trusts bishops to do so,” lamented the Post’s Michelle Boorstein. “It is a flip of traditional church power dynamics, with the Colorado laypeople in a position to pressure bishops.”  

Boorstein continued: 

According to two separate reports prepared for bishops and reviewed by The Post, the group says it obtained data that spans 2018 through 2021 for multiple dating and hookup apps including Grindr, Scruff, Growlr and Jack’d, all used by gay men, as well as OkCupid, a major site for people of various sexualities. But most of the data appears to be from Grindr, and those familiar with the project said the organizers’ focus was gay priests. 

A report by NCR condemning Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal also complained about the outing of the general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, by an entity employing similar data and analysis.   

The bombshell investigation about Burrill by The Pillar was based on a massive trove of commercially available data from Grindr, which an analyst was then able to link to a mobile device used by Burrill, showing that he “visited gay bars and private residences while using a location-based hookup app in numerous cities from 2018 to 2020, even while traveling on assignment for the U.S. bishops’ conference.”    

The covert homosexual activity by Burrill was especially troubling because of his role at the USCCB directing diocesan and conference responses to clerical sexual scandals.   

Far-left and pro-LGBT Catholics condemned The Pillar at the time, attempting to ward off future reports by suggesting that both the investigation and publication of the Burrill report were unethical.   

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“This is a disgrace: spying on bishops and priests to see if they’re being chaste and celibate,” tweeted Martin, an outspoken force for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Roman Catholic Church.  

Martin was equally freaked out by the more recent revelations by The Post 

“Those familiar with the project said the organizers’ focus was gay priests,” tweeted Martin. “Why not spy on straight priests, or on the church’s lay employees, to see if any straight married men (or women) are using dating apps and breaking their marriage vows?” 

“The focus was on gay priests, not straight priests, and certainly not straight lay employees. But, of all the people in the church, why target gay priests? That’s not a hard question. Hatred is the reason [for] the targeting. The level of homophobia in the church is astounding.” 

NCR quoted “gay priest” Fr. Bryan Massingale who called the actions of Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal “disturbing and reprehensible.” 

“They are scapegoating gay priests, and homosexuality in general, as the principal threats to the Catholic faith,” he said.

READ: New USCCB head: Link between clergy sex abuse and homosexual priests ‘can’t be denied’

“We hoped to keep this work private,” noted Henricks, “so as to be able to have honest and frank conversations with Church leaders, and protect the privacy of those affected.”  

Henricks continued:  

The Washington Post, it seems, has a different view. To them, discussions about sex and celibacy, sin and salvation, are just fodder for clicks and titillation for readers. 

Collaborative intent and pastoral discernment are, to professionals in partisan politics, sinister and secretive. We see things differently.

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