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August 11, 2005

Hypocrisy in NY - Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Monsignor Eugene Clark, a New York priest known for railing against our "sex-saturated society", has been accused of carrying on an affair with a married woman, Laura DeFilippo. The woman's husband, Phillip DeFilippo, has filed for divorce, citing adultery as the cause.

Clark has sought to "blame the decline in marital fidelity largely on a Hollywood he imagines to be dominated by gays and those who tolerate them."

"A whole generation of Americans has been solicited...by American popular culture which is Hollywood and the media, Hollywood taking the most advanced step in this," Clark says in one of a series of radio talks titled "Relationships with Monsignor Eugene Clark."

Here's more on Clark's hypocritical posturing:

The priest who currently is the rector at St. Patrick's Cathedral goes on, "Hollywood is not a Christian place at all, at all, at all. Most of the writers, the creative people are homosexually inclined or homosexually recruited."

Clark declares these homosexuals and their recruits to be "the enemy of Christian marriage and Christian falling in love and all the tenderness that goes with that....They are saying, 'Don't pay attention to that business of permanence and fidelity.'"

The particular radio talk in which Clark makes these remarks was recorded in May 1999. It is titled "Falling, Being and Staying in Love."

"Today I would like to talk to you a little bit about falling in love," he begins. "You'll have to be very patient with me, I'm a bachelor."

He contends that falling in love should necessarily be followed by "gliding into marriage," a sequence that he describes as "a great shock to some of our pagan friends." He suggests that marriage is "based upon real fact."

"Which is to say deep inside human nature - put there by the Lord, clearly it's so universal - is the desire and the need for companionship," he suggests.

Clark says that this need for companionship combines with an equally fundamental urge.

"A powerful sexual drive which He created with its pleasure and satisfaction - that's from the hand of the Lord," Clark proposes.

The two urges combine with an "instinctive love of children."

"Those three things, coming together, create...permanence, that is to say permanent companionship, a permanent commitment to the results of sexual activity....It simply doesn't work without that permanence and causes great suffering and great injury to all the parties."

Clark tells his radio audience that the Lord speaks a particular word to us.

"Fidelity," Clark says. "Fidelity. A serious business. We say faithful meaning faithful to one's spouse. Faithful to my wife. Faithful to my husband that I will not wander....I will not be unfaithful in the sense of having a sexual union with someone else and thinking it of no account. It's a shocking injury to your spouse and that's what the Lord is telling us. It destroys family confidence and trust."

He goes on, "There's no question that even the sexual side of marriage also requires permanence and fidelity for psychological health and for physical health - obviously the directive of the Creator."

Against these principles of fidelity and permanence, Clark imagines, stand his Hollywood homosexuals and their popular culture.

"We are in the midst of one of the great religious and intellectual and emotional battles in Christian history," Clark says.

He poses a question.

"Where are you at 45 if you're a wife who preferred a handsomer, more interesting man than the man you married?" Clark asks. "If your children are deprived of a father or mother because of your strong desire, you've done something terrible to them....No way you can make it up."

Clark and the woman says they weren't having an affair, even thought they were caught coming out of a hotel. They had also changed their clothing. The woman's husband, Phillip DeFilippo, "has a videotape provided by a private detective showing the priest and DeFilippo's wife at a Long Island hotel."

Of course, the archdiocese is standing beind Clark. A religious TV station is going to continue to carry his show where he rails against homosexuality and depravity, despite the allegations. Hypocrisy is alive and well in the Catholic Church.

Posted on August 11, 2005 at 08:24 AM | Permalink



The longer I'm out of the Catholic Church, the gladder I am that I made the decision to drop out.

After the first 15 years, I missed it and went back. I found that everything I liked about it was GONE anyway including the mass. What had been a beautiful, profoundly moving, almost medieval ceremony had been transformed into a hootenanny where guitars were played during the service and you shook hands with everyone around you periodically during the mass. Even communion was a joke where they handed you the host now and you just walked back to your seat with it to gobble it up there. I even witnessed a couple of kids dropping it after it was handed to them.

I left again that time for good and now that I hear of all these sex scandals, I'm sure glad I did.

A few friends of mine who stayed are telling me they have to contribute more monies now and do more fund raisers. They figure it's for the legal fees and settlements to the victims of the sex scandals.


I got out just in time.

Posted by: NYMOM at Aug 11, 2005 10:01:50 AM

Two sex scandals in the church in the last couple months and both involve women! Adult women even. I guess things are improving.

There has never been a time in the church's history since celibacy was made the rule for priests and nuns when priests and nuns weren't breaking their vows. When I was an altar boy, I didn't have to worry about preying/praying pederasts because all the priests in our parish were too busy chasing women. Every priest except Monsignor Hogan, who was 80, and Father O'Connor, who was a drunk, had a girlfriend at one time or another. Most of them wound up leaving the priesthood to get married. The celibacy rule is idiotic. It drives good men away from vocations, and gives bad ones cover. Not just the molesters but vile hypocrites like this guy.

And I'll bet they weren't having an affair. Blow jobs aren't sex, you know. That's not something Bill Clinton invented. Some time when we're all drunk I'll tell you the one about the priest, the novice nun, and the key to heaven.

Posted by: Lance Mannion at Aug 11, 2005 3:16:32 PM

I've probably heard it already; but feel free to share anyway.

Actually growing up all of my crushes were on priests.

I guesss we didn't watch enough TV then to become attached to MTV performers or movie stars; although in our own little microcoosm it was almost like the priests were stars. Since we were all little girls being raised by nuns, any man that came into our orbit was totally overwhelmed with attention.

AND actually many of the seminarians and priests then did have beautiful singing voices. Even during the masses they sang many verses by themselves. I remember we had one who was an Italian opera singer and everytime we went on summer day trips he would sing in the front of the bus for us all the way home.

But, of course, it was a different world then and I guess priests now just reflect the world we live in today.

Posted by: NYMOM at Aug 11, 2005 7:23:36 PM

"The celibacy rule is idiotic. It drives good men away from vocations, and gives bad ones cover. Not just the molesters but vile hypocrites like this guy.

I agree 100%. God only knows where that rule came from but I think it's totally wrong-headed.

I remember the principal of my old high school was a former priest who had left to marry a former nun and have four children. One of the kindest, most insightful men I've ever known. It's a shame he couldn't have continued in his ministry, as he was certainly ideally cut out for it and I don't think his wife and family would have been a drawback in any sense. It was the Church's loss, but our school's gain, I guess.

Posted by: Anne at Aug 12, 2005 11:39:22 AM

Anne, it came from Paul in the New Testament. I can't remember which book. It was his opinion that priests be unmarried. He didn't use the word "priest". I don't remember exactly which word he had used. I don't recall him saying anything about priests being celebate, but his reasoning for not being married was that it was too hard to focus all your attention on God's work and maintain a marriage and family at the same time. That's why he chose to remain unmarried. He recommended others do the same. There were those who had disagreed with him.

Two priests in my parish left the priesthood to marry. One other - my favorite - was sent to a place in Florida for alcholic priests who needed to dry out. That priest was a writer who had his poems published in The New Yorker. He liked my writing when I was a teenager, and sent one of my poems to The New Yorker. It wasn't accepted, but it was fun sending something to a magazine when I was a teen.

Posted by: The Countess at Aug 12, 2005 12:26:16 PM

Yes, I remember Paul talking about how it is good if one can devote oneself entirely to the Lord's work without worldly distractions, but he made it clear that there is nothing wrong with marriage if one needs it. Most of the leaders of the early church had families--Paul said they should be husbands of "but one wife." I'm not sure if he meant that they could not be divorced or that they could not be polygamous, maybe both. But pastors, as they were called then, were never excluded from marriage altogether as priests are now. It's funny how in his later letters Paul forecasted that after his time people would come along and introduce lots of pointless rules, including that it is wrong to marry--although God specifically created the institution for mankind's benefit and enjoyment. And sure enough during the second century of Christianity all these "chastity" cults began to appear that celebrated singlehood and perpetual virginity and encouraged even married people to live celibately and so forth, supposing that this would lead to greater "holiness." But it's always been hogwash, IMO. Just another attempt by mankind to improve upon God's work. I think the Song of Solomon tells us all we need to know about what the Christian attitude toward human sexuality ought to be--I remember your great post about it a while back.

Posted by: Anne at Aug 12, 2005 3:38:00 PM

Yes, you're right, Anne. Paul didn't order anyone to remain unmarried. He encouraged it for the reason you gave. He simply stated that it was of his opinion that it would be better for those doing God's work to remain unmarried so that they wouldn't be distracted. There were plenty of people who worked with Paul who were married. I believe that Prisca and Aquila (in Romans) were married. At least that's how I remember Biblical scholars viewing them. I don't recall anything specific about polygamy, but I think he recommended "one wife" for the same reason - fewer distractions. I, too, think it's ironic that celebacy and remaining unmarried became required years down the road, especially after Paul's comments about "pointless rules".

The Song of Solomon has to be my favorite Biblical passage. Thanks for the kind words about my post about it. If you want to find the old post, just type "Song of Solomon" in my search engine in the right sidebar. That should pull it right up.

Posted by: The Countess at Aug 12, 2005 3:58:33 PM

"He encouraged it for the reason you gave. He simply stated that it was of his opinion that it would be better for those doing God's work to remain unmarried so that they wouldn't be distracted."

I think people were older then and had already experienced life before they entered these vocations. I mean it's not such a big deal then. But when I was younger, I remember Catholic high schools starting programs for seminarians and novices.

THEN it becomes a bit much as you're just too young to know your mind. You haven't lived yet.

I don't know if anyone ever watched that Cadfael series about the former crusader who goes home to England and winds up as a monk.

Anyway one of the funniest episodes was when Caedael runs into a woman at the monastery that he was supposed to marry BEFORE leaving on the crusades. AND she has a son about 18 years old (which is when he left England) so he thinks it could be his son. As Caefael USED to be somewhat of a hellraiser when he was younger.

To make a long story short, it turns out its NOT his son and the lady eventually leaves the monastery and Caefael is allowed to return to his little herbarium to grow all these medicinal herbs he uses to treat people with.

The look of relief on Caefael's face when she leaves is priceless; however, because even though he was a total hellraiser when he was younger, he now appeared quite content in the quiet life of a monk.

My point being you can't expect young people who haven't lived to be content being a monk or a priest for that matter.

Posted by: NYMOM at Aug 12, 2005 6:17:00 PM

My understanding of the celibacy rule is that too much Church property was being left to wives and children after the priests died.

I have personally known several people (or their male relatives) who would have become priests had the Church allowed them to marry.

I have also heard that a huge percentage of current seminarians are middle-aged or even elderly men who are divorced or more commonly widowed, and would have been priests had the married-priest rule been rescinded.

Posted by: kohoutekdriver8 at Aug 12, 2005 11:09:53 PM

"My understanding of the celibacy rule is that too much Church property was being left to wives and children after the priests died."

Yes, that's correct but they got their arguments to justify it from Paul and others. I think the impetus for the change came from Italy.

"I have also heard that a huge percentage of current seminarians are middle-aged or even elderly men who are divorced or more commonly widowed, and would have been priests had the married-priest rule been rescinded."

Perhaps now. Forty years ago, when I was a child it was different.

I think a lot of young people who joined the church then as seminarians or novices (nuns) dropped out later. So maybe they changed recruitment strategies. I'm not so involved anymore and haven't been for a long time so I'm not sure.

Posted by: NYMOM at Aug 13, 2005 3:28:52 AM


I have to say that I think you are totally wrong about Priests being allowed to marry.

I think the priests who molested children were men who had a pre-dispositon to boys mostly.

Perhaps the church should better check the backgrounds of the men who go to their seminary before ordaining these men?

Also, is marriage such a sacred vocation today? It seems that divorce runs about 60% in marriages today. I don't believe that marriage would stop pedophilia. How many men molest and are married or have been married?

Morality is the issue!! Plain and simple and I don't believe that we are a moral nation! Our leaders aren't moral and neither are some of priests, ministers and the like.

Maybe, WE should start looking at ourselves and see what part we play in the grand scheme of things? Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!!! Jesus said so!

Love is patient and kind and love doesn't relish evil!! I find all of this very sad!!! Not something to be happy about at all.


Posted by: Dolores at Aug 24, 2005 10:31:04 AM

I cannot tell you how shocked and delighted I was upon hearing about that nasty ole priest Clark! Whoa...at first I thought that he must be blowing some kind of crack to behave like this? Now, I'm just tickled and have a cramp from laughing about that nasty rat and his piece of cheese. Real Cheesy to say the least. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Posted by: choco at Sep 3, 2005 4:58:41 PM

Are we heading into a full moon or something?

This is about the third really weird comment in the last two days...

Posted by: NYMOM at Sep 3, 2005 7:55:43 PM

No, we just had a new moon. I have a moon phase generator on my sidebar.

Posted by: The Countess at Sep 4, 2005 8:36:41 AM