I generally do not comment on sexual charges among priests; I have said all I could say in my book Sacrilege.

But Father George Rutler has made the New York Times. The allegations are that he hired a security guard for his church in concern of disturbances after the election. He then told her she was free to sit in his office when she was not making her rounds at night. She was there about 1 AM, texting her mother, when he came in, said hello, and watched the election returns on his computer, after which he watched gay pornography and did something gross. She was astonished and filmed it on her phone. He then got up and groped her. She claimed sexual assault, but it may have been his attempt to get the phone away from her (still assault).

Rutler is 75. I have met him on many occasions. He is very funny, but can also be very serious, and is very strict and orthodox in his opinions. My wife finds him a bit twee. If the story is true, it shows even at age 75 he has not disciplined his sexual desires, however they may be directed.

LGTB advocates in the churches claim that LGBT ministers in the churches are very orthodox. The late rector of Grace and St. Peter’s in Baltimore had a reputation for being orthodox, but he was in a gay relationship. Whether it is possible to be theologically orthodox while holding a distorted anthropology is questionable. Do you really believe that God became man in the incarnation if you hold a false idea of what man is?

Rutler espoused orthodox and traditional views on sexuality; perhaps he did not follow them completely. That would hardly be astonishing news, not would it make him a hypocrite, merely a sinner, like all of us. Male sexuality is chaotic and explosive; it is part of the tohu bohu, the chaos over which the Spirit of God hovered and brought order out of chaos, but over the course of time, not instantaneously. David, the man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and committed murder to cover it up. Capitalism-free enterprise enables and gives impetus to the sexual revolution: entrepreneurs seek to satisfy the desires, whatever they may be, of consumers. Classical ethics taught that our desires, for sex or possessions or drugs, were not self-justifying: they had to be disciplined in the light of reason and the law of God. That has been forgotten, and multitudes (see the NYT article on Pornhub) seek to satisfy any and all of our desires in order to make a profit. Only virtue, natural and supernatural, can protect us from the corrupting power of such a system.

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