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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Get Out the Smelling Salts! The Vortex on Sacred Heart Seminary

UPDATE 7-25: Mike Voris comes back addressing the criticism leveled at Church Militant TV after running the initial report. I can't disagree with any of Mike Voris' comments and his conclusion that men with same-sex attraction SHOULD NOT BE IN THE SEMINARY. If men in towels are an occasion of sin to seminarians, those men SHOULD NOT BE IN THE SEMINARY! Check out Voris' response here.

UPDATE 7-22: And then again...maybe not. I received this email from a friend. Sometimes you aren't sure who to believe. But in view of Mike Voris' own words about the excellent teaching at the seminary...well...did his source have an ax to grind? Of course, the same thing was said about Michael Rose's sources for Good-Bye, Good Men. (Sigh.)

Hi (name redacted), Here's an email the faculty received from Fr. Battersby, the Vice-rector of SHMS, regarding Michael Voris's ivdeo:
Dear Colleagues, Before I address Michael Voris' scurrilous account of a house meeting which I conducted in the fall of the 2014-2015 school year, I would like to pose a question. Should we be surprised that as we (Dr. Smith, et al) host a conference on the whole issue of SSA that the enemy would fire broadsides at us? Let's pray to St, Michael and St. Benedict for our protection, also, let us pray for the courage to resist an evil report. First, the statement attributed to a faculty member was a misquote of a statement I made to the Theology House.
I do not use the term gay in dealing with our men, it’s too politicized, I use the term Same Sex Attracted. Second, we completely adhere to the Church's teaching regarding those who experience SSA and the suggestion that this is somehow overlooked would be highly inaccurate and deeply offensive. Mr. Voris says he checked his facts, he certainly didn't with me and I'm the alleged source and reason for his rant. He is either a bad reporter or there are other explanations which are not readily apparent. The issue arose because I saw several of the men go to the shower from their room with only a towel wrapped around them. I received complaints from other seminarians about this. I brought this up at the house meeting because I want the men to learn to be modest, to be sensitive to the immodesty of our age. Also, recognizing the charity they are called to grow in, consists in not simply considering their own druthers, but to be cognizant of the needs of the wider family. I explained this, and gave as my reasons for asking the men to wear bathrobes, as for the sake of a healthy modesty and a lively charity. I said, in these words or words of identical meaning: Please wear bathrobe's to the shower for decorum's sake and for the sake of charity. As an example of what the wider needs of the community might be, I used as an example of potential uncharity, the following example: what if unknowingly one of your brothers suffered from SSA? Your lack of modesty would be uncharitable considering your neighbor's needs. The men understood this completely. When the man who is likely the source of this misinformation shared his concern with his brother seminarians regarding my request (he, by the way, on several occasions, put it as it appeared in Voris' screed), his brother seminarians, repeatedly and in no uncertain terms explained that it was not about there being homosexual men in the house but about modesty and charity. They informed him that he had a problem and communicated their concern about this man to the Formation Team. This man is no longer in the seminarian and was asked to leave because his over-all profile was a concern to the Formation Team. As an aside, in a group of sixty men, the notion that none of the men suffer from homosexual ideation is naive. It may be helpful for Mr. Voris to grow up. We also have men who "submarine" while they are in the seminary, we decry this but human beings continue to be human beings. While perhaps my example is something which could have been more precisely appropriate, it nonetheless is vital that we not be handicapped from addressing the realities of life with the men, nor allow ourselves, to be bullied by the ignorant and the uncharitable. I realize some of the topics we cover may be offensive to pious ears, but not addressing them is even more problematic. The notion that there is a significant or even nominal presence of homosexually oriented men at SHMS is patently false. Had Mr. Voris checked with some of the men at this meeting he might have saved himself a great deal of embarrassment; had he checked with someone on staff he might have sought other attestation to bolster his suspicions. If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to contact me. Should you have concerns regarding my explanation please feel free to contact Msgr. Lajiness Peace, Fr. B. Fr. Gerard W. Battersby Vice Rector / Director of Seminarian Formation Sacred Heart Major Seminary 2701 Chicago Blvd. Detroit, MI 48206 Office 313 883 8563

The Vortex—Gay Priest Cavalcade


  1. Rene Henry GracidaJuly 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind !!! +rhg

  2. I was reading the comments at The Tenth Crusade blog and she makes some good points. If the seminary is bringing in SSA men who are so tempted by the sight of another seminarian's lightly clad body how can they be trusted around young men in our parishes? I think it's a legitimate question. You can check out the blog post at

    As she points out, there are many temptations out in the world. If those with SSA are so easily led into sin that a seminarian on the way to the shower with a towel around his waist is "an occasion of sin," how will those men act when they attend parish pool parties with young adolescent men in bathing suits?