Homosexuality and the Clergy
Carrying a Gay Banner?
Fr. Germán Robledo
Fr. Germán Robledo, former head of the Church Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Cali in Colombia, recently released a 242 page book titled Carrying a Gay Banner? (¿Hacia un celo gay?). It is intended, he said, to "denounce a tendency that is growing inside the Catholic Church".
The book was launched in May 2010 to coincide with the Archdiocesan centenary commemorations. On July 7, 2010, the Archdiocese of Cali will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation by St. Pius X. Cali is the third largest city of Colombia with more than 2 million Catholics.
In an interview with Semana.com, Fr. Robledo describes the serious problem in the Archdiocese and explains why he wrote his book. That interview, granted in August 2009, received a new momentum recently when the book came to light and its accusations are raising a great turmoil. Here TIA presents our English translation of parts of the interview originally published in Spanish.
Fr. German Robledo releases an explosive book claiming homosexuality has invaded the Colombian priesthood
Semana: Why are you writing a book describing the sexual scandals of the Archdiocese of Cali?
Fr. Robledo: Two years ago I made some detailed denouncements to the Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti about very grave acts of ecclesiastical wrongdoings, which have increased during his government for lack of control and vigilance. All these denunciations were waved away and ignored.
Semana: Isn’t the title of your book Carrying the Gay Banner? very strong and unjust?
Fr. Robledo: It is strong, but real. What it does is to denounce a tendency that is growing in the Catholic Church. The experience of my 45 years of priestly life gives me moral authority to make this analysis.
What kind of denouncements do you make in your book?
Fr. Robledo: Of homosexuality, pedophilia, priests who fathered children, … in short, every kind of direct violation against celibacy.
Semana: Why do you say that your book is an “anti-history of a century”?
Fr. Robledo: Because in 2010 we are going to celebrate the first centennial of the Church in Cali. I took advantage of this event to relate how in the last 30 years, the Church has favored priests with effeminate characteristics, who are sweet, obedient, submissive, uncritical in accepting the authority of the Bishop and the other superiors.
Semana: How serious is the question of homosexuality in the Archdiocese of Cali?
Fr. Robledo: Thirty percent of the 120 priests who make up part of it are homosexuals.
Semana: Are there some priests who use Church funds to pay for homosexual favors?
Archbishop Francisco Sarasti of Cali ignored the accusations made by Fr. German Robledo
Fr. Robledo: In the book I detail – without names – episodes that took place in the Cathedral. For example, there were priests who asked for money for the poor and then gave it to those who went along with them in their homosexual tendencies.
Semana: Do you believe that celibacy is the cause of the problem?
Fr. Robledo: No. To be a priest is attractive for homosexuals because they can lead a double life. It is the refuge of those who do not dare to face their families. The Catholic Church is the closet of gays. …
Semana: ¿What is your situation inside the Catholic Church?
Fr. Robledo: Since I am now 65 years old, I declared myself a priest emeritus without parish responsibilities. Although here in Colombia only the Bishops have the right to be emeritus.
Semana: What kind of proofs do you give for the accusations you make in your book?
Fr. Robledo: The facts. There are documented proofs based on denunciations made before the law, in testimonies and tapes; to this I add an analysis based on my priestly experience.
Semana: What revelations are in the book?
Fr. Robledo: This is not a book of gossip, but - without names - I recount horrifying examples, such as a deacon who violated a seminarian. The latter denounced him when he found out he was going to be ordained priest. Also I speak of the gay group that a professor organized with his students from the seminary. This professor today is a Bishop.
Semana: Would you be in favor of doing away with celibacy in the priesthood?
Fr. Robledo: In my book I speak of celibacy and present some considerations. The first is that it cannot be blamed for the homosexuality [in the clergy]. The problem is in the selection process and the profile being sought in seminarians, which is such that it seems to strongly attract gays.
Posted June 11, 2010
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