The Priest - Problem
I was amazed at the extent of the problem of many priests in the US: Sex. It is bad enough that seminary training since the past century is far from what the Holy Father would want it; they have been turning out priests who are not faithful to their vow of celibacy. But the problem has degraded even to unnatural sins: sex between two men or with minors.
Spiritual writers, like St. Thomas of Aquinas, have stated that in the spiritual life, one must progress every minute. St. Benedict described this as conversion of life. We must be converted continuously towards the perfection of Charity. They describe this as the three stages of conversions which we must undergo in the spiritual life. He who does not progress, deteriorates, St. Thomas of Aquinas states.
Let us look at the normal pace and direction of the Spiritual life towards the perfection of Charity. Let us start with children. They are born with a tendency to choose evil, the original sin we inherited from our first parents. But this tendency matures only at the age of reason. So before they lose their initial innocence, parents, god-parents and the Church should raise them to the supernatural level through Baptism and an act of faith, just as the parents of St. Therese did. From then on, the child grows in nature. But he should also grow in grace; this way he will not have much problem with regard to the devil, the world and the flesh. But if he does not grow in grace, these three enemies of the soul will bother him and cause him to sin. In which case he would need the sacraments of Penance, and perhaps of Matrimony. If he continues to grow in grace after Matrimony his journey will be smooth. If he does not grow in grace, he could commit adultery. Many remain in that sinful state. If they get worse, they could easily enter into other vices like avarice, gluttony, etc.
Now, let us go back to the seminarians. Like all children, after baptism, they had within themselves the spiritual tools to progress in the life of grace up to the perfection of Charity. But if their parents had neglected their growth in grace they could be unprepared for seminary life. If within the seminary, their life in grace is neglected, their concupiscence could start to act up. They would be attracted to girls. But since there are no girls in the seminary they could begin with self-inflicted impure acts. If they do not overcome this by ascetical exercises, they could tend to desire these impure pleasures from others. And since they are surrounded only by men, they could be attracted to each other. But because of "whistle - blowers" they could prey on children, instead. This is just the application of the above principle of spiritual life, "He who does not progress will regress." While great efforts are needed to progress, no effort is needed to regress.
Ignorance of the workings of grace and the spiritual life while living in the purely human level (in short, the absence of growing up in true Faith) is the cause such a problem.
Catholicism is the answer and solution to all problems from drug addiction to adultery; more precisely, monasticism. Didn't monasticism solve all the problems of Europe, transforming that pagan continent into a Christian one? And wasn't the neglect of monasticism that caused the return to paganism? Didn't Pope Benedict hint a return to St. Benedict's monasticism?
The "gay" problem had been tackled even as early as the time of St. Basil. He had such problems with his first followers who were new converts from paganism and who could still easily regress. St. Peter Damian discussed this problem lengthily and his solution was the monastic life.The Gregorian reform initiated by Pope Gregory VII was an attempt to stem this scourge among others. It is a problem that cannot be solved unless the individuals concerned take the initiative to grow in the spiritual life. Peter Damian, also a Benedictine monk, imposed both the rule of St. Benedict and St.Romuald in order to show the greater need to lead a stricter than the ordinary monastic life. (Painting is "Basil and Emperor Valens" 1st half of the 18th century by Pierre Hubert Subleyras.)