It Isn’t Always Kids

For a time, the news media maintained a seemingly endless flow of accounts of allegations and proven charges of sexual abuse on the part of Catholic priests and religious. Most of the reports that I have read dealt with sexually predatory acts against children by priestly pedophiles. There has been no shortage, however, of reports concerning priestly sexual misconduct involving youths in their teens by ephebophile priests and religious.

Most of the cases I am familiar with had to do with crimes against male children and teens by apparently homosexual Catholic clergy. In the pathology of today's politically correct entertainment media, the formerly closeted sexual preferences and activities of homosexuals have been revealed in detail that I consider distasteful and offensive. It should be noted that defenders of queerdom frequently argue that homosexuals typically are not interested in having sex with kiddies.

Having had my eyes opened, as it were, to the ‘romantic’ aspect of homosexuality, I have wondered why virtually every media report I am aware of has concerned sexual crimes against kids and teenagers. Are we to understand that women or males over the age of 19 are no longer sexually appealing to queer Catholic priests? That seems unlikely. Perhaps queer priests and religious have no trouble finding willing adult partners. It could be that still in the closet adults, for reasons that we can only speculate on, elect not to go public with their grievances.

It is difficult, in these “free spirited” times, to find a television program or movie—even those supposedly directed to an audience of youngsters—that does not involve unabashedly brazen sexuality. Though my ‘education’ in this area is admittedly limited, it does appear to me that adults with hard bodies are attractive to queers of the same gender.

Where better to find lots of hardbodied young men than in our Armed Forces? During the time of my military career, one of the fastest ways to get out of the forces, with a bad conduct discharge, was to confess to being queer or to be caught in homosexual activity. Often, to my knowledge, men sharing living quarters and showers with guys even suspected of being interested in men often were administered troop justice behind the barracks or out on the parade ground. Just before I retired, things changed. Troops no longer had to reveal aberrant sexual preferences. The rules for dealing with sexuality issues became, “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.”

Troops in the Forces frequently participate in extended field exercises or deploy to foreign lands for lengthy stays. In the modern times, women and men share dormitories on land and livings quarters at sea. I don’t know how troops in maneuver units handle sleep and sanitary arrangements in the field, but there isn’t a whole lot of room in a foxhole or in the back of a Bradley.

I’ve never read of sexual misconduct among the body of priests and ministers who handle the religious needs of our fighting forces. Never, that is, until today. A Christian friend wrote to let me know that an Army chaplain, on loan from the Owensboro, Kentucky diocese, had been charged with several counts of sexual misconduct.

I went prowling on the Web and ran across an article in The Stars and Stripes, the newspaper that helps troops afield keep up with things at home and around the world.

A military chaplain in Bamberg, Germany, has been suspended from his duties while the Army looks into allegations that he forced himself sexually on soldiers, a 1st Infantry Division spokesman said Monday.

Military prosecutors preferred charges last week against Capt. Gregory Arflack, 44, a Roman Catholic priest with the Bamberg-based 279th Base Support Battalion, in connection with incidents that took place March 21, 2004, in Doha, Qatar, and July 29 and 30, 2005, in Bamberg, said Maj. Bill Coppernoll.--Steve Liewer, Bamberg chaplain suspended during sexual assault probe>, Stars and Stripes European edition, © 2005 Stars and Stripes

There may have been kiddies for predatory Catholic chaplains to set their sights on at home base in Bamberg, Germany, but the charges filed against Father Gregory had nothing to do with children. Given the often enforced separation between U.S. military personnel and local folks in Arab nations, it likely would have been difficult for any American, priest or troopie, to make contact with children in Qatar. So, what options are available to horny military priests in those areas? One could take advantage of something known as situational homosexuality

The accusations include three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of indecent acts, two counts of fraternization with enlisted soldiers, two counts of disobeying orders, one count of indecent assault, and one count of conduct unbecoming an officer, according to a 1st ID news release.

Coppernoll said Arflack is accused of fraternizing and other rules violations with three male enlisted Marines last spring in Qatar. The Bamberg incidents in July involved alleged acts of forcible sodomy with three male enlisted soldiers, one of whom reported them to his chain of command.—Ibid.

“Forcible sodomy? Against Marines and soldiers in an infantry division? I have to wonder how a 44 year old priest managed to force his apparently unwelcome attentions on Marines and solders, who surely must have been physically fit? I haven't seen a picture of Arflack, but perhaps he is built like a young Schwarzennegger. How else could he have compelled Marines and soldiers to yield to him? Some might suggest, armed with legal training acquired by watching television cop shows, that the modifier forcible may not mean that force was involved. Could be, I suppose.

According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, sodomy is defined as “unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex.” To be defined as forcible, the act must have occurred with force and without the consent of the other person.Ibid.

It’s beginning to look like Chaplain Greg just might have done more than beg for favors. Details may not be forthcoming, for the chaplain waived the military equivalent of a grand jury. In so doing, he greatly speeded up the process, and was originally scheduled for trial on October 14th, 2005. Things happen, however, and the trial was re-scheduled to begin on November 1, 2005.

Breaking news! There’ll be no trial. Arflack copped a plea on November 1st, admitting that he was guilty of three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of committing an indecent act and a few other things.

Capt. Gregory Arflack, 44, pleaded guilty Tuesday to counts related to incidents in which he plied young soldiers with alcohol and forced oral sex on them. Those incidents occurred in July, while he was posted in Bamberg, Germany. He also pleaded guilty to an incident involving fraternization with three enlisted Marines while stationed in Doha, Qatar.—Jonathan M. Katz, AP Writer, Army Captain Banned From Being Chaplain, Yahoo News, November 2, 2005

So much for Arflack’s career as a military chaplain. He’ll never again be able to ply his priestly trade in America’s Armed Forces, a military source informed. If this had happened in a civilian diocese, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a Catholic priest, defrocked for similar offences against decency, would continue to work in a ministerial capacity—perhaps running a Church summer camp or a Scout troop. Mama Church is, as we all know, very forgiving when it comes to priestly foibles. The partying that led to the charges against Arflack happened in the Military environment, however, and that’s a whole different ball game,

He was sentenced to 5 years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., dismissed from the Army and ordered to forfeit all benefits.Ibid.

Some readers may know something of former chaplain Arflack. Seems he was featured in an EWTN program.

Arflack was featured in a recent Military Archdiocese documentary called "Fight of Faith," which aired on the Catholic television station EWTN. According to a description, "the program presents Fr. Gregory Arflack, both in interviews and in footage, interacting with new recruits and other soldiers."—Jonathan M. Katz, Military Chaplain Charged With Sodomy, Assault, August 31, 2005, © 2005 The Associated Press; quoted in Capital Hill Blue, © Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue

Home | History Stuff | Catholic Stuff | PTG Forum