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By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, July 29, 2021
Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
On Monday of last week, the General Secretary of the USCCB, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, resigned ahead of reports that he had been a serial user of a gay hook-up app called Grindr.
The reporting that precipitated the resignation came from The Pillar, an upstart Catholic media outlet run by JD Flynn and Ed Condon. (Disclosure: Both are friends, and I recently wrote a brief piece of analysis for The Pillar.) Almost immediately, interest in the story spread beyond the Catholic press and the usual religion reporters. The story had more legs than an octopus.
There was the obvious problem of a priest in a significant position living a double life in violation of his vows. Moreover, while there is no indication whatsoever that Burrill’s misconduct involved minors, the Grindr app is notorious for putting minors at risk of exploitation precisely because the app allows users to remain anonymous. …
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