From the Inside Flap
The publication of my dissertation broke the seal on the Vatican's gay secret. The press dubbed me "The Gay Priest," but my research and what it implies made patently clear that I wasn't the only gay priest. In fact, there is a sizable segment of the clergy population that is gay and these men are forced to live duplicitous lives of repression in secret.
The Church's single-minded effort to quash the emerging story and silence me showed that I needed to be "dealt with" in the most severe fashion; an example had to be made of me. If other priests started coming out of the closet, demanding to be treated with dignity and respect it would certainly undercut the entirety of Catholic sexual moral theology--there is no place for non-reproductive sexuality in that paradigm.
The irony is that at the same time my story was unfolding an unimaginable scandal, involving hundreds of Catholic priests across the globe, was also brewing. Cardinals, bishops and provincials worldwide were, and still are, furtively shuffling pedophile priest from one crime scene to another. They were, and still are, involved in a massive corporate cover up of their own crimes and those of their brother clergy.
While I am being singled out for 13 years of Church vitriol, public character assassination and communal shunning--my superiors claim that they are simply trying to protect the Church from scandal--these same Church leaders and others are lying, prevaricating and sabotaging any effort to uncover the burgeoning clergy sexual abuse scandal that would soon rock the front pages of newspapers all over the world.
The public panic, among Church officials, exhibited toward me--a single up-front gay priest in their midst--is in stark contrast to their apathetic and anemic response to the systemic clergy sexual abuse that engulfs them.
I am confident making the comparison between my struggle and the clergy sex abuse scandal, because I have first-hand knowledge of this abuse criminality. I was repeatedly sexually molested as a 14-year-old boy in an Oblate seminary in southern Illinois.
My story is the story of a Church that will go to any length, even to violate its core principles--Gospel values that form the fundamental tenets of faith--to protect its public image. In other words, this is a story of a Church out of control.
About the Author
Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS -- Psychotherapist, Clinical Sexologist in private practice for over 30 years.
He is the only Catholic priest in the world with a doctorate in Human Sexuality. His practice includes a special outreach to survivors of clergy sex abuse and has had many opportunities to work with clergy offenders. He is available as an advocate for clergy abuse survivors -- as a consultant, expert witness and/or therapist.
He is currently working on a follow-up book detailing the sexual molestation he endured at the hands of his Oblate superior while a 14-year-old seminarian in Southern Illinois. And how all subsequent religious superiors he told about these incidences did nothing. The book will investigate the psychological and emotional trauma of clergy sex abuse and its impact on the psychosexual development of abuse victims.
Richard designs, develops and produces long and short-term seminars and workshops for healing and helping professionals including religious leaders. He has provided individual therapy and facilitated support groups for gay clergy of numerous denominations.
He's also been involved in many other sex education and sexual enrichment projects. He's been writing an online sex advice column for over 15 years. His column and weekly podcasts can be found at: drdicksexadvice.com. He also contributes to several other websites as a guest columnist.
He is developing a new site, gaycatholicpriests.org, which is a clearinghouse for news and information about gay clergy worldwide.
He often writes and speaks in the public forum on policy issues related to religion, human sexuality, aging and death and dying. He has been a keynote speaker and/or presenter at numerous conventions and symposia.