Catholic Priests Caught Using Gay Hookup App Grindr

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday August 27, 2021
Originally published on August 27, 2021

The Roman Catholic Church is once again in hot water over claims that several priests have been using the gay hookup app Grindr, reported the New York Times.

According to a reports posted on a blog by The Pillar, a conservative Catholic media organization, priests at several churches and the Vatican have been caught cruising on the app after analyzing cellphone data.

"The first report, published late last month, led to the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, the former general secretary of the U.S. bishops' conference," reports the NY Times. "The second, posted online days later, made claims about the use of Grindr by unnamed people in unspecified rectories in the Archdiocese of Newark."

But It doesn't stop there. A third report, published days after the second report, "claimed that in 2018 at least 32 mobile devices emitted dating app data signals from within areas of Vatican City that are off-limits to tourists."

So far there has yet to be a public mea culpa from either the American Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican officials reportedly met with representatives of the blog in June and currently have no plans to respond to the reports claims.

But the information claimed in the reports is bound to leave a few priests clutching their prayer beads.

John Gehring, the Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, a progressive advocacy group, shared: "When there is reporting out there that claims to expose activity like this in parishes around the country and also on Vatican grounds, that is a five-alarm fire for church officials, there is no doubt about it."

The whole situation puts the Catholic Church in a tough situation about the use of technology, reported the NY Times. And many questions remain, such as how the cellphone data was collected in the first place.

The reports have also been criticized for loosely attempting to tie homosexuality to pedophilia.

"That conflation of homosexuality and pedophilia is part of a longstanding effort by Catholic conservatives to blame the church sex abuse crisis on the presence of gay men in the priesthood," reports the NYT. "The reports have raised a host of questions: How did The Pillar obtain the cellphone data? How did it analyze the data, which is commercially available in an anonymous form, to identify individual app users? How widespread is the use of dating apps among Catholic priests, and how much has The Pillar been able to learn about specific individuals?"

Lots to wonder. Even more to find out.