Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weakland and the weakest link theory.

Scandal and compromise.
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It is well known that in the past at least, the CIA explicitly barred homosexuals from service because it was believed they were more prone to blackmail and therefore greater security risks, than their heterosexual peers. (I believe that has changed today.**)
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Franklin Kameny, a member of the Washington, D.C., Commission on Human Rights and a gay activist, dismisses the idea that homosexuals are especially susceptible to blackmail, many intelligence experts disagree. Says Cord Meyer, former CIA assistant deputy director for operations: "The Soviets specialize in homosexual cases. They assign KGB agents who are homosexuals themselves to entrap our agents." Another U.S. expert cites the case of a homosexual British clerk with the naval attaché's office in Moscow in the mid '50s, William Vassall, who passed Admiralty secrets to the Soviets. - Source
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Banning homosexuals in the clergy.
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Perhaps the reasons for banning homosexuals from ordination have been well demonstrated, albeit inadvertently, by the Archbishop Weakland scandal - which he doesn't seem to have any qualms about capitalizing on in his memoirs. On some level what happened in Weakland's case parallels well with the concerns once shared by the military and CIA , as the Archbishop was just as susceptible to blackmail as a spy may have been, and not only that, prone to involvement in a sort of sub-culture within the clergy - which some once identified as a lavender mafia.
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After his own personal scandal broke, Archbishop Weakland assured his flock he had opted for celibacy after public disclosure of an affair, claiming he was in emotional turmoil over Marcoux and that he had "come back to the importance of celibacy in my life." Begging the question - you mean it hadn't been important before?
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Weakland now writes about his failures to stop sexually abusive priests. In a videotaped deposition released last November, Weakland admitted returning guilty priests to active ministry without alerting parishioners or police. "Any deposition is just a part of a whole picture and that picture has not been painted yet. And anybody can take out of that any sentence they want," Weakland said in the interview. "I try to deal with this, I hope in an honest way, admitting my weaknesses in not being able to see this earlier, but at the same time doing what I could confront it." Advocates for abuse victims said that Weakland’s cover-up of his own sexual activity was part of a pattern of secrecy that included concealing the criminal behavior of child molesters. - Source
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So, the Archbishop comes out - and although he is now celibate - he seems to be saying homosexuals in the priesthood isn't such a bad thing after all. I try really hard to remain neutral on that issue - that is, keep my mouth shut - but I find it more and more difficult as these kind of things come up. I cannot but agree with the Holy See and those priests and bishops who teach that men with "deep-seated" attraction to other men should not be ordained. As another priest suggested, Weakland's bad example may be proof enough that such a ban should be in place. As for the club atmosphere which inevitably forms within homosexual groups, this too may be reason enough to exclude such men from ministry - especially since it is proven Weakland protected his own.
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In fact, at one time it appears the CIA held similar views, one agent claiming that although another agent might be safe from blackmail and compromise by revealing his orientation from the start, as a group homosexuals could still pose a problem:
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Full disclosure (of sexual orientation) helps, but that is only part of the problem. Says a former CIA official: "Homosexual agents tend to flock together. Once you get a homosexual cell, they take care of each other." His prime example is the case of Harold ("Kim") Philby in England, who led a small group of Cambridge-educated homosexuals who sold British secrets to the Soviets during and after World War II. - Source
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Indeed, the Archbishop took care of his own, hiding payouts, transferring priests, lying to his flock. Perhaps seeking sympathy, the Archbishop claimed the episcopacy to be a lonely place, although loneliness is often exacerbated by duplicity and deceit. It should be noted that the experience of loneliness can also be made more intense by the homosexual condition itself. I doubt a well balanced person would experience the office in quite the same manner.


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Thank God there are an increasing number of solid bishops and priests who continue to defend the teachings and disciplines of the Church. Fr. Z suggests we pray and fast for them, as well as let them know of our appreciation and prayers, if not for their own edification and encouragement, for the consolation of letting them know we support them.


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Pray for the disgraced Archbishop as well.


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Photo: Pictures at a deposition.

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**Please note: The excerpts from Time date back to 1981. I believe the CIA would be unable to make similar claims today due to political pressure. I just happen to think it makes for an interesting parallel nonetheless. Be assured, I am not comparing the Church and Her policies to the CIA, nor am I making any sort of case in support of CIA policies unrelated to this topic. I simply recalled reading about the prohibition of homosexuals in our secret service.

5 comments:

  1. Interesting post, Terry. Good info.

    You mentioned Kim Philby - if you like to read fiction, an interesting book I read earlier this year was Declare by Tim Powers. It's part-spy story/part-fantasy/part-sci fi. It was a great read (although it took time to get into the story, but it was worth the initial struggle).

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  2. I mentioned Philby because he figures prominently in the novel.

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  3. Larry, thanks - I'll check it out.

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  4. Now The Enquirer has spoken. I was waiting. I just hope Fr. Cutie doesn't feel slighted- he didn't get the CIA treatment.

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  5. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Re Weakalnd: Does this guy sit up nights plotting his next black eye to the church?

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