Paterno, Pedophiles, Homosexuals, and Cowards


Coach Jerry Sandusky, the now notorious pedophile, and his boss, coach Joe Paterno, have some Catholic background.  Paterno played football for a Catholic high school in New York.  The New York Times states that Paterno is a “practicing Catholic.”  The most I could ascertain about Sandusky is that his paternal grandparents emigrated from Poland.

To what extent either of these men were faithful to Catholic faith and morals is unclear.  On the day after Paterno was fired, I was unable to get more insight into their Catholic character despite calling both parishes in State College PA, as well as the Penn State Catholic Campus Ministry.  None of the three were answering their phones during business hours.  I’m guessing they were hunkered down in a state of shock.  At the diocesan level the family life director of the diocese, Mrs. Susan Stith, gave me the standard bureaucratic answer, “I’m sorry but I’m not authorized to give out any information.”  I’m afraid I lost my temper on the telephone and called Susan a coward.  Mea Culpa.

Most of the attention in the media in this latest sexual crisis has been on sins of commission by Sandusky, and on Paterno’s failure to report transgressions against minors to the government.  Speaking of the government, I’m tempted to go into the complicity of the U.S. government itself, especially the Federal Courts, in constructing the moral cesspool in which our country currently wallows.  Instead let me focus here on Catholics and their particular sins of omission – not the well known sins of commission.

Scripture tells us to fight the good fight with the wisdom of a serpent.  Instead we have gone tiptoeing around the militant homosexuality movement, confusing timidity with the virtue of being guileless as doves.

At last, hopefully, things are changing.  Much to the chagrin and outrage of influential people in the so-called advanced nations (like the French Foreign Ministry), the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, decided last year to call a spade a spade, or rather to identify abusers of adolescent boys as homosexuals – a common sense association unmentionable in polite society.*

So much for polite society.  As Admiral David Farragut put it at Mobile Bay, “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”  Bertone’s is exactly the correct contradiction to infiltration, especially infiltrators into the priesthood or into coaching or into anyplace where children are particularly vulnerable.  The Boy Scouts have got it right in standing firm against homosexual den masters.

Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines the word, infiltrate, as follows:  “To move into an organization… surreptitiously and gradually, esp. with hostile intent.”  Surely we have the right and duty to defend the high ground in the adolescent and college age subcultures against the entry of practicing sodomites.  Relevant here is St. Paul’s admonition (1 Corinthians 5:13), “expel the evil man from your midst.”

St. Paul had no qualms about calling out seducers who infiltrate households, to “capture silly women” (2 Timothy 3:6).  Or as Matthew 23:14 quotes Jesus, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.”

The influx of practicing homosexuals into positions of authority should be of particular concern to any Catholic.  The scandals have made us objects of ridicule.  The joke now making the rounds is, “I didn’t know that Penn State was a Catholic school.”

Since the scandals broke a few years ago, Catholic Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, are reviled for being too slow in defrocking pedophiles after the fact.  But the critics of the Catholic Church say little about our guarding the gates with vigilance beforehand.  Much as the Boy Scouts prevent homosexual rakes from infiltrating their ranks, so Pope Benedict has, to his credit, demanded that men with homosexual proclivities be excluded from seminaries.  Even the candidates who claim to be celibate represent a danger if they have disordered sexual inclinations.  God bless the Holy Father for his prudence and firmness.

By far the guiltiest of committing abominations against adults and children are the infiltrators themselves.  To them the principal blame is due.  Humanly speaking, they are the chief culprits.  And yet whenever the Church applies just discrimination against practicing homosexuals (in adoptions, for example), it gets labeled “bigotry.”

Cultural commissars in the West urge citizens to worship at the altar of a much-touted triune ethic – tolerance, diversity and choice. This secular trinity militates against the influence of righteous indignation.  It demands that people who express disgust at sexual sins be reprogrammed.  Teach them to reconsider their negative attitudes.  Show them that a tendency to look down on homosexual sex is wrong in itself.  Brow beat them with the notion that such a critical attitude is condescending and judgmental.

Of those who would thus revamp our spiritual instincts, the Sermon on the Mount warns: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).   In the spirit of St. Paul (Titus 2:15), let us “speak, exhort and rebuke with all authority.”

The late Bishop of the airwaves, Fulton J. Sheen, was no devotee of today’s postmodern shibboleths. On the contrary, in a prophetic essay 80 years ago, Sheen wrote:

America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance – it is not. It is suffering from tolerance…. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded…. Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil…, a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment…. Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory. Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.**

Let cowardice cease.  Down with the prevailing idolatry about inclusiveness.  We need, rather, to exhibit the militancy and intolerance that Jesus modeled when he cleansed the temple.

See part two, “Homosexuality/Pedophilia Correlation?

* In 2004 the Catholic League reported the following re priestly abuse: “Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals. Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University, found that “80 to 90% of all priests who in fact abuse minors have sexually engaged with adolescent boys, not prepubescent children.

According to the Boston Globe, “Of the clergy sex abuse cases referred to prosecutors in Eastern Massachusetts, more than 90 percent involve male victims. And the most prominent Boston lawyers for alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse have said that about 95 percent of their clients are male.

“In a database analysis of reports on more than 1,200 alleged victims of priests identified by USA Today, 85 percent were males. In another study by USA Today, it was determined that of the 234 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor while serving in the nation’s 10 largest dioceses and archdioceses, 91 percent of their victims were males.”

Catholic League report, “Sexual Abuse In Social Context: Catholic Clergy And Other Professionals,” 2004; Thomas Plante, “A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse,” 2010.

**Fulton J. Sheen, “A Plea for Intolerance,” 1931.


About Author

Writer, retired history teacher, lecturer for Knights of Columbus--Bremerton WA (c. 1379), author of new & as yet unpublished book, "Rekindling the Spirit of 1776: Insurrectionary Solutions for Postmodern Maladies."

  • Denise Smith

    ‘Political Correctness’ has been nothing more than censorship to wit we have willingly acquiesced. Enough. Americans need to again realize that you do not have the right not to be offended. Deal with it. Be frank, loving and true to our values. Great article.

  • goral

    The general thrust of the article makes a valid argument for the right reasons.
    The first paragraph, however, starts with a false or at best, a questionable premise.

    Paterno, for all we know, may just be a traditional Catholic with the typical American thinking that Sundays were made for football.
    Sandusky’s paternal grandparents were probably Polish Jews.
    The ethnic Catholic connection is only there to be exploited by those who would make the derogatory statement about Penn State being a Catholic school.

    There is not much we can do about the media types in this country making false accusations and associations.

  • I got some feedback on Monday, 11/14 from the diocese:


    I know nothing about Jerry Sandusky’s faith tradition. Joe Paterno is Catholic.

    Tony DeGol
    Secretary for Communications
    Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
    925 South Logan Boulevard
    Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
    (814) 695-5579

  • patrick_omalley

    This is child rape, not homosexuality. Its amazing that Catholics confuse the two. When a pedophile rapes a 10 year old girl, its child rape, not heterosexuality.

    Penn State was similar to the Catholic church because they hid a pedophile, but they hid ONE pedophile, and then fired 5 people that knew about it.

    The Catholic church had 4,392 accused priests accused of child sex abuse according to their own John Jay report of 2004. That’s right – over four thousand.

    The Catholic church has never fired anyone in a power position, and sent Cardinal Law of Boston to one of the best jobs in Rome after he mobilized 169 priests who raped 826 children.

    The Catholic church still fights and disparages the victims of their own child rape. This is all behavior that would horrifying Jesus, and everyone who is complicit in any way will answer for it on their judgment day.

  • GuitarGramma

    Actually, Patrick, this is BOTH child rape and homosexuality. Please read the stats given at the end of the article.

    Also, I must defend my own diocese here on the West Coast. My diocese has never disparaged any victims of sexual abuse; further, the diocese has been prompt in both investigating all accusations and quick to remove priests who have been accused. It is important not to paint with too broad a brush.

  • patrick_omalley


    I agree that there is a much higher percentage of homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood than anywhere else, but that is not the reason most victims are male. Most are male because altar boys were mostly male, and priests had sex with whoever they could get away with, so it was mostly the 10-12 year old boys that were around.

    Its interesting that you didn’t identify your diocese on the West Coast. I assume you are not from LA, where the diocese refused to report for the voluntary John Jay report.

    Four years later, LA paid hush money to 500 child sex victims of their pedophile priests. They didn’t disparage victims. They refused to acknowledge having any.

    It is important to paint with a broad brush when 197 of 199 diocese had at least one pedophile priest according to the voluntary John Jay report, and one of the two that didn’t report was LA.

    This is a world wide disgrace.