***Need a “safe” babysitter? Get a gay guy!
***Which brings us to Fr. Stephen J. Rossetti, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) favorite sex “expert” and Arlington’s choice to address our priests at the biannual priests’ convocation held in two sessions May 24-28 in Fairfield, PA. The topic for the meeting was “the joy of the priesthood.” Fr. Rossetti is CEO of St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, MD, a controversial treatment center founded by a homosexual priest who died of AIDS. For years part of their “treatment” for priests with problems was a test measuring the patient’s arousal response while viewing pornography. [Out of modesty we prefer not to describe how it was done. Suffice it to say the slang term for the measuring device is the “peter meter.”] In a June 9 e-mail to Judie Brown of ALL Fr. Rossetti said, “One of my first acts as the President of Saint Luke Institute was to discontinue using the penile plethysmographies. No pornographic pictures or suggestive materials are allowed on site for any reason.” Sounds good!
So we did a little more research and this is what we found. Fr. Rossetti succeeded Fr. Canice Connors in 1996, but as recently as April 2002, a Baltimore Sun article on St. Luke described the test and quoted Dr. Fred Berlin (a Kinsey disciple and former St. Luke employee) defending it. So the test was apparently still being done six years after Rossetti took the helm. If getting rid of it was one of his “first acts” he wasn’t working much.
So we e-mailed Fr. Rossetti on June 10 sending him the Baltimore Sun article and asking a few questions. “Since you have been practicing at St. Luke for over a decade, a period when the penile plethysmography was part of the standard protocol, did you use it with your patients? If yes, how many? I've attached an article I have from the Baltimore Sun (April 2, 2002) which seems to indicate the test was still going on after you became president of St. Luke. Can you please clarify? When did you become president…and when did you cancel use of the test?” Fr. Rossetti e-mailed back saying, “we discontinued using or recommending the use of the penile plethysmography shortly after I became the President. When I was in a position to make a decision about the test, I did so. Since that time, it has not been used or recommended to my knowledge.” Well that failed to answer our very specific questions so we e-mailed again repeating the three questions. “What date did St. Luke discontinue the penile plethysmography? Was the penile plethysmography being used in 2002 as the Baltimore Sun article indicated? Did you use the test with your patients during your eleven years at St. Luke?” This was the reply: “Thank you for your interest...if you need additional information about SLI, please feel free to access our website at www.sli.org. I have attached some information that I put together for those who want more personal information on me. [A document entitled “what I believe and how I pray.”] There is also personal information on the website. I am off for several weeks to give workshops in Australia and New Zealand. Please say a prayer. Thanks.” No answers.
So, did Fr. Rossetti eliminate the porn and test as one of his “first acts?” Or did the Baltimore Sun have it right and it was still in place six years later? Is Fr. Rossetti the man he portrays in his personal description or is he a politician protecting his $300 a day facility where dioceses often send priests for MONTHS at a time? [Do the math.] We’re asking questions, but not getting many answers.
***Fr. Rossetti has an interesting background. Graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1973, he was an active duty intelligence officer for six years. Later he was ordained for the diocese of Syracuse and worked in two parishes before becoming Director of Education for the House of Affirmation, another questionable treatment center based in Whitinsville, MA with several satellite facilities in other states. It closed in 1990 amid serious scandals including financial irregularities and allegations of sexual abuse against priest founder, Fr. Thomas Kane. So Fr. Rossetti has worked at two treatment centers founded by homosexuals. Both released abusers back into the community who abused again.
***Germaine Grisez and Fr. John Harvey have questions for Fr. Rossetti as well: Germaine Grisez, professor of Christian Ethics at Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD finds Rossetti’s opinions on homosexual priests a problem. In his Submission to the Ad Hoc Committee on Sex Abuse, Grisez quotes Rossetti, “The majority of perpetrators are involved with postpubescent children. All things being equal, they are more amenable to treatment. One of their goals is to develop satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers.” As Grisez points out, “In other words, men who have engaged in criminal sexual behavior with adolescent boys and young men can be treated effectively, because no change in sexual orientation is necessary. Such men…are homosexuals who have found underage partners attractive and conveniently available, and have been willing to commit crimes. With treatment, they can stop committing crimes and enjoy ‘satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers.’ ‘Age-appropriate’ is a telling statement. Priests should and usually do enjoy satisfying nonsexual relationships with many of their spiritual children, from the cradle to the grave. Only unchaste relationships must be limited to age-appropriate peers – to consenting adults. Rossetti apparently considers that limitation a successful treatment outcome.” [Fr. Rossetti says homosexuality is not a problem.]
Fr. John Harvey, founder of COURAGE (a support group for those with same sex attraction who desire to live a chaste Catholic life), also questions Fr. Rossetti. [Good luck getting an answer.] “Grisez regards Rossetti as justifying such adult homosexual relationships by priests who formerly were involved with teenagers. Rossetti needs to clarify his position. One wonders why he uses the word ‘perpetrators’ when he is referring to homosexual priests.” [Fr. Rossetti says homosexuality is not a problem.]
***Why Rossetti? Why now? The timing of Rossetti’s invitation is interesting in view of the diocesan controversy over “safe environments” for kids and the recent leap onto the VIRTUS bandwagon. According to the VIRTUS website, Rossetti is an “expert” adviser. Is his invitation all about building the case for VIRTUS’ classroom program? Bishop Loverde announced Rossetti’s selection to keynote the convocation in a November 22 letter to the priests after several heated clergy meetings on Good Touch Bad Touch (GTBT). Opposition from both clergy and laity sank GTBT, but the bishop has repeatedly said he WILL have a classroom program for little ones as young as Kindergarten despite Church teaching on the inviolability of the latency period and a statement by Kathleen McChesney, Director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection that classroom programs are NOT mandated by the bishop’s charter.
Rossetti is a natural ally in propagandizing for these programs although he did not address safe environment issues at the convocation. [There’s always another day, another time.] When the bishop and chancery officials said parents shouldn't teach their children because they "might be abusers" they expressed the opinion of the sex abuse industry including Fr. Rossetti who considers everyone a latent pedophile, especially mothers.
***Yikes! Did Rossetti say that? Yes indeed! In the article entitled "Salt for their Wounds” [posted on our website] author Leslie Payne provided this appalling information: “In the introductory essay that opens his book, “The Myth of the Child Molester” (which was written before he came to St. Luke's), Father Rossetti suggests that most people have pedophiliac urges, but are able to repress them. [Sounds like Kinsey.] He believes that most instances of pedophilia are never discovered [If they’re “never discovered” how do you know they happened?], and this is especially true of the pedophiliac acts committed by women. Rossetti is particularly suspicious of mothers, explaining that it is ‘easier for a mother in our society to disguise inappropriate contact with youngsters as maternal acts of cleaning, grooming, and dressing.’” [Rossetti’s book featuring this essay is Slayer of the Soul: Child Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church.]
While Rossetti’s offensive opinion may raise questions about his relationship with his own mother, it is not likely to increase parents’ trust of Church authorities who consider him an “expert.” [There’s that word again. What makes someone an expert on sex abuse – working at two treatment centers founded by homosexuals that released abusers back to an unsuspecting public?] Targeting families instead of those who committed abuse, i.e., homosexual priests, seems to be a politically correct diversionary tactic. Dioceses around the country are requiring tens of thousands of employees and volunteers to be fingerprinted and get criminal background checks. Imagine all parochial school and CCD teachers, playground aides, cafeteria workers (mostly moms) getting the third degree treatment. [Just the facts, ma’am.] Sounds like airport security who body search little old ladies while letting Arab men in turbans pass right through the checkpoint. Homosexuals aren’t the problem, says Fr. Rossetti and the sex “experts.” It’s moms bathing their children. Meanwhile parishes close as money is diverted to the expanding “safe environment” bureaucracy. [There’s only one appropriate response to this nonsense, but ladies don’t talk like that.]
***Heretic, New Age Occultist and Terrorist? Les Femmes reviewed a handout of the slides Fr. Rossetti used to accompany his talks and spoke to several priests who attended. Interspersed with facts and surveys on priest attitudes, challenges, job satisfaction, etc. were quotes. Pope John Paul II, Bishop Wilton Gregory, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano shared the screen with Carl Jung (new age occultic psychologist), Peter Steinfels (dissenter to Humanae Vitae who approves of the separation of sexual intercourse from procreation which led to the abominations of contraception, abortion, and sodomy), Meister Eckhardt (13th century pantheist philosopher whose heretical teachings were condemned by Pope John XXII), Nelson Mandela (advocate of violent overthrow of government), Dag Hammarskjold (U.N. globalist who crafted Sweden’s law creating the welfare state), and Teddy Roosevelt. Strange choices for a retreat on the “joy of the priesthood.” The Catholic tradition is rich with holy priest saints like St. Jean Vianney, St. Padre Pio [to whom Fr. Rossetti claims particular devotion.] St. Francis deSales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. John Bosco, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Dominic, etc. Is a 13th century heretical monk the best Fr. Rossetti could come up with? One priest described the meeting saying it was, “nothing great; nothing really bad. Pray and be happy. Smile more, and all that.” [Ah…the self-esteem workshop. Look in the mirror, smile, and say, “I’m worth it.” Dare we call it psycho-babble?]
A few questions: Whose idea was it to invite Fr. Rossetti? Since there are so many orthodox priests without his baggage why wasn’t one of them chosen? Our short list: Fr. Robert Bradley, Msgr. Michael Wrenn, Msgr.William Smith, Fr. Joseph Wilson, or Fr. George Rutler.