Friday, April 12, 2002

A major problem in the priesthood in the United States has been the domination of homosexual priests in the ranks of vocation directors. When I taught in the seminary the Rector use to spend breakfast each morning detailing his dismay at the vocation directors and their obvious homosexual orientation (it must be added that the Rector himself was later accused and dismissed for having molested a number of young men). To be fair to bishops I think there is a reasonable reason for why this is a problem. If you think about it a bishop surveys the priests in his diocese and thinks, "who will do the best job in recruiting young men to the seminary?" He sees Father X who seems to be a magnet for young men, always seen in the company of young men and thinks "there is my man." The bishop presumes (I'm being charitable here, I think) that Father X is a chaste celibate. Father X who it turns out is not a chaste celibate but in fact an active homosexual recruits others who see in his lifestyle the perfect way to cloak their own. Thus, you end up with a presbyterate that is not based on faith in Christ but rather in providing a haven for a particular sexual orientation. This in turn leads to weak preaching, avoiding any mention of morality and as Dr. Leon Poddles has said the "femization of the Church."

Today, in the St. Lousis Dispatch there is yet another abuse story, this one involves a vocation director:

The Rev. Bryan Kuchar, who was one of the St. Louis Archdiocese's chief recruiters of young men to the priesthood, has been charged with six counts of sexually abusing a male minor in 1995.

Kuchar was arrested Wednesday night by police in St. Louis County and charged in a warrant issued today charging him with six counts of second-degree sodomy, a Class C felony. He is believed to be the only current priest in Missouri to be taken into police custody for abuse allegations since the nationwide abuse scandal began in January.

Kuchar, 36, is the associate director of the St. Louis Archdiocese's vocations office, headquartered at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He lives at St. John the Baptist High School in the city's Bevo neighborhood.

Students at St. John the Baptist received letters announcing the priest's arrest and investigation on the allegations at the end of the school day on Thursday. That follows the archdiocese's six-week old policy of informing parishes and schools immediately about any credible allegations against a priest.

If I am right, and I think that I am, bishops in the future need to look for models of holiness to be vocation directors and avoid placing young priests in those positions.