The Roman Catholic Church is once again in hot water after claiming that several priests are using the Grindr gay hookup app, The New York Times reported.
According to a blog post by The Pillar, a conservative Catholic media organization, priests from several churches and the Vatican were caught browsing the app after analyzing cell phone data.
“The first report, released late last month, resulted in the resignation of Bishop Jeffrey Burrill, the former secretary general of the American Bishops’ Conference,” reports the NY Times. “The second, posted a few days later, made allegations about the use of Grindr by anonymous people in unspecified parsonages in the Archdiocese of Newark.”
But it doesn’t stop there. A third report, released days after the second report, “claimed that in 2018 at least 32 mobile devices transmitted dating app data signals from areas of Vatican City that are closed to tourists.”
So far, there has not yet been a public mea culpa from the American Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican officials reportedly met with representatives of the blog in June and currently have no plans to respond to the reports’ allegations.
But the information claimed in the reports is sure to leave some priests clinging to their rosaries.
John Gehring, director of the Catholic program of Faith in Public Life, a progressive rights group, said: “When there are reports that claim to expose such activities in parishes across the country and also on Vatican land , it’s a five-fire alarm for church leaders, there’s no question about it. “
The whole situation puts the Catholic Church in a difficult position when it comes to the use of technology, the NY Times reported. And there are still many questions such as how the cell phone data was collected in the first place.
The reports have also been criticized for making vague attempts to link homosexuality to pedophilia.
“This confusion between homosexuality and pedophilia is part of a long-standing effort by Catholic conservatives to blame the church’s sexual abuse crisis on the presence of homosexuals in the priesthood,” reports the NYT. “The reports raised a host of questions: How did The Pillar get the data from the cell phone? How did it analyze the data, which is commercially available in an anonymous form, to identify users of individual applications? What is the extent of the use of dating apps among Catholic priests, and what has The Pillar been able to learn about specific individuals? “
Much to wonder. Even more to discover.