Friday, October 20, 2006

Uh, No, Father, "Everybody" Doesn't Do That...

So, former congressman Mark Foley revealed the name of the priest who abused him when he was a teenager, and the priest, while denying that the relationship was sexual, did reveal that he has what we might politely call some confusion regarding "boundaries."

The priest, a Fr. Mercieca, now lives in Malta, but was quite willing to talk about his nauseating behavior:
Mercieca told the AP that he and Foley would go into saunas naked when he was a priest in Florida and Foley was a parishioner, but he said "everybody does that."
Oh, really, "everybody"? Even allowing room for hyperbole, that's quite a claim.

Well, Father, I know that I have never been in a sauna naked with a 13 year-old boy. In fact, no priest that I know has ever been in a sauna (naked or otherwise) with a teenage boy. I'd even go so far as to say that precious few normal, heterosexual adult males have ever found themselves naked in a sauna with a teenage boy. So I wonder who this "everybody" is?

(Hey, let's do a survey! All adult male readers, please indicate in the comment box whether or not you've ever been in a sauna with a teenage boy. I'll total it up and let everyone know the results.)

Oh, wait, I restricted my statement to "normal, heterosexual" males. That may be where Fr. Mercieca and I differ. Perhaps what he means by "everybody" is "everybody like me", that is to say, predatory homosexuals. Because that's pretty clearly what the good father is. A homosexual predator.

Fr. Mercieca also described among his activities with Foley, which he imagines "everybody" does, such things as "massaging the boy in the nude... and being nude in the same room on overnight trips while he was a priest and Foley was a parishioner."

Truth-telling time again! I've never massaged a teenage boy, clothed or unclothed. Indeed, I've never given another male a massage under any circumstances. So, again, who is this "everybody"?

Come to think of it, though, Fr. Mercieca does have some company in giving other males unwelcome "massages". After all, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg Florida, otherwise known for his steadfast and brave defense of Terri Schiavo's right to life, did have a little problem with his spokesman misinterpreting a well-intended attempt on the bishop's part to lend a soothing touch to his thigh. So maybe I'm the oddball here. Again, to all the guys out there: how many times have you given massages to another man? (Athletic trainers and professional masseurs need not answer.)

Seriously, what's the one word conspicuously absent from this story? Hmmm... how about "homosexual"? Indeed, the word "gay" only appears once, referring to Congressman Foley. What other word is missing? How about "predator"?

We couldn't have the words "homosexual" and "predator" appearing together in a mainstream press article. Why, that might give people the impression that there was something just, well, abnormal about homosexuality. And we couldn't have that.

H/T to Dom for the link.