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Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex In The Catholic Church: The Systematic Destruction of an Oblate Priest Paperback – April 11, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
1 - Richard Wagner has my sympathies for his ten years of exile; living in a state of insecurity and tenuousness is not easy for anyone.
2- That the Catholic Church hierarchy should obfuscate is not terribly surprising; that Wagner's own religious congregation should treat him so shoddily (at least by his own telling) is unconscionable. The brotherhood they professed to each other should have risen above any other considerations, even the paranoid Roman fear of "scandalizing the faithful lambs" whom they claim to love and want to shelter from the reality of their clergy's personal/sexual lives. (That neurosis is the same root of the sexual abuse crisis that has crippled the church in this century.)
3- The attitudes of the church and the Oblates toward homosexuality foster, in unassailable ways, the sort of hatred and prejudice that gay people suffer daily and that can result in horrors like the Orlando massacre of gay people in June 2016.
Even with all this said, Fr Wagner's book was a major disappointment to me. The first half of it, after an interesting intro about the circumstances that led to his ten-year ordeal, is a repetitious and petulant representation of what might well have been an unfair ostracism of Wagner by the Oblate order. But his insistence that his expectations (and his alone) must be met, without any give or compromise, is grating and eventually unconvincing. This was a real case of the old chestnut: The story teller's plaint might be correct but, at some point, he has browbeaten you so hard that you just stop caring. Sorry, Richard, your arguments wore me out and I stopped caring or at least siding with you.Read more ›
"Secrecy, Sophistry and Gay Sex" is a chilling account of the author's decade-spanning battles with his religious order following the publication of his thesis. The work offers a series of glimpses into the inner-workings of the Catholic Church that depart radically from its publicly-espoused moral positions and ethical standards. It is primarily a story about how a secretive, profoundly self-involved institution whose highest ideal is that of self-protection deals with dissent in its midst, and of the sometimes criminal and very often near-criminal extent to which that institution will go to will go to silence a whistle-blower.
Following the 1981 publication of the author's doctoral thesis there was a firestorm of international publicity, the press dubbing its author "The Gay Priest.Read more ›
The book shows how the priest had been shuffled from one level of his order to the other while Richard Wagner was trying to be patient. The order also kept changing the charges to put him out. From that he was gay and did not practice chastity. When that did hold he was charged disobedience to that he would not come back to the main place of residence of the order. He tried all along during 13 years for them to make up their minds of what they wanted while still remaining true to both himself and the church before they finally made up their minds.
The is also the section that seemed to start the whole thing started with a thesis he had written of a survey he had taking that the order had endorsed of 50 gay priests within the Catholic church. He had several insightful questions of conflicts within the priests minds and the teaching of the church on celibacy and the thinking of what they thought the gay movement at time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book reads like a court transcript. There is nothing personal, nothing to let you know who the author really is. Read morePublished 21 months ago by g.schoellkopf
Dr. Richard Wagner's book has two distinct parts.
The first tells of his 13 year slow motion collision through the bullying bureaucracy of the Catholic Church as they... Read more
The old jesuit saying of "to understand the creature know the creator" applies here. I checked his site "drdicksexadvice. Read morePublished on March 27, 2013 by YD Hellmund
I thought the most interesting part of the book was the survey, which was very informative even though it was sobering. Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Mark E Davenport
Having been raised Catholic and personally knowing a victim of abuse by the Catholic Church, I was really interested in reading this book. Read morePublished on August 18, 2012 by James Dollar
This is one of the most compelling stories I've ever read about the Church's abuse of power. They simply didn't care if they destroyed a vocation. Read morePublished on September 29, 2011 by seadick
If this were a work of fiction it would be a murder mystery. Sadly, it is not fiction; it is a detailed retelling of an actual case. Read morePublished on September 28, 2011 by Marathon Man
Richard's first person account of his trials with the RC Church hierarchy is a fascinating documentation of a church in transition from one of social justice, mercy and... Read morePublished on September 5, 2011 by Jim Bussen
One of the challenges of reading a book that is so perfectly stitched together - as we find here in Dr Richard Wagner's searing indictment of the Catholic Church and his role in... Read morePublished on August 29, 2011 by Victor H. Hoff