In Honor of Bill Lobdell
When I taught theological students what
was called “Practical Theology” (how to be a pastor) in the 1970s, I
counseled them that one rule of thumb for their behavior was:
Don’t do anything that you would not want published on the front
page of the New York Times.
Of the several hundred clerical students
I taught between 1967 and 1984 (and into the 1990s) some of them
disregarded that piece of folk wisdom. Several of my students have
made the pages of the NYT more than once. No need to add coals to
the fire by naming names. Too many people know their stories—sex
abuse of minors and prison; embezzling parish funds (by the
millions) and flaunting a lifestyle with a big car, a boat, a big
city pad, and a boyfriend. That kind of behavior from a parish
pastor will get the attention of the newspapers. They had photos.
What effects does seminary training have
on its students? It is meant to develop competent, responsible, and
spiritually mature priests. Several times prelates (Daniel Pilarczyk
among them) have reassured me that the seminary system does just
that. I have long protested that this goal is not reached in regard
I say celibacy is not taught in
seminaries. And priest after priest agrees that celibacy was not
given consideration in their seminary training. Rectors respond: you
can’t teach celibacy; that the whole system of study and
discipline—spiritual direction—inculcates knowledge and experience
of celibate living. Not so.
Monsignor Helmut Hefner, currently
rector of Los Angeles’s seminary at Camarillo, California, graduated
from the same institution in 1969 where he said, “Sexual issues were
taboo” during his time as a student. He now holds that “any problems
of immaturity, sexual and otherwise have disappeared” because
today’s student body is half foreign-born with an average age of 34
years. As if men from other countries are better equipped to be
celibate and age alone assures maturity. Not so.
Talk about wishful thinking, denial or
self-delusion! Take your pick, but the continuation of a refusal to
face squarely the need for a serious, series of courses and open and
honest discourse on sex and celibacy within seminary training is
close to criminal.
On July 20, 2007 the LA Times published
a long article under the banner Trail of Abuse Leads to Seminary.
It is classic because it is a piece of history that could have
been written about any one of number of seminaries I know of. It
outlines the system that selects, trains, and hides sexual activity
of men that can and sometimes does end in sexual abuse of minors and
the vulnerable. As of 2004 these are the recorded numbers:
10 percent of the (Camarillo)
graduates ordained have been accused of molesting minors.
30 percent of the graduating classes
of 1966 and 1972 have been accused of molesting minors.
11.5 percent of the LA priests
active in 1983 were subsequently reported for abuse.
75 percent of all the LA parishes
have had at least one priest-abuser on its staff and some
parishes had 5 to 8 on their staff.
Remember these figures only represent
priests who have sexually abused minors. But the figures raise three
important questions. Certainly most priests do not abuse children,
but would it not be presumptuous to think that these men are the
only priests who have sexual activity after their graduation? Some
priests have affairs with women or men, some priests father
children, some priests masturbate or use pornography, etc. in ways
that are not illegal.
Second, the figures are telling. As more
and more evidence comes out the more accurate percentages of clergy
abusing minors appear to be between and 9 and 11 percent. This is
considerably more than the 4.3 percent (or between 3 and 6 percent)
recorded by the John Jay Survey
or the less than the .02 percent claimed by the Vatican in 2002.
Third, what if anything, do seminaries
that should be the principle training ground for celibacy, do to
undermine or neglect that goal? “The John Jay survey determined that
the quarter-century from 1960 through 1984 was particularly
troublesome for alleged abuse by clerics nationwide.”
Records show that 15 percent of priests who graduated (from
Camarillo) during that period and served in LA were accused of
Many men (and priests) have written to
record their experience or observations about their seminary
I want to add more information about my abuser to your records. His
name is Fr. James Tully, a Xavarian missionary priest, and an
American citizen. We met when I was in the seminary in Milwaukee
and he was on the staff. He sexually assaulted me during the two
years I was in formation. It was a well-guarded secret until ten
years after I left religious life. As I matured and understood the
dynamics of that relationship with a seminary professor, I became
increasingly concerned about his ability to exploit other students.
I reported what happened to me to my former provincial. He was not
surprised. He supported my claims. He shared with me Jim’s
I made an
out-of-court settlement with the order in 2005. They initiated the
settlement. I have no confidentiality agreement, however they had a
specific request that I would have no further contact with any
member of the community. In some ways, this seems like an
excommunication and highlighted more than ever what the
institutional church is all about. (signed: WN)
Pringle’s LA Times article quotes the
testimony of a number of former students, both those who say they
knew or observed nothing sexual going on in the seminary and others
who observed small groups who “dressed up in nuns’ clothes,” and
those who claim they could not use the bathroom some nights “because
it was occupied by men having sex.”
Another former student at Camarillo
thought that many of his fellow students were chaste at the same
time “there was a great deal of sexual activity among students. I
saw it, and yes, I participated in it,” he admitted. He went on to
say, “It was like shooting fish in a barrel to seduce somebody
there,” adding that one learned how to hide it. The estimation of
sex at the LA seminary is not unique. A reliable source (a judge)
reported that the reputation of a seminary in Baltimore was
reflected in what gay men had said before the bench: “You can pick
up a trick there any time of day or night.”
Pringle’s investigation results raise
the questions: was the administration “ignorant about sex on campus
or turned a blind eye to it”? Or another question: did they tolerate
or create there a culture of permissiveness?
I have interviewed scores of men who
left seminaries because they were sexually harassed or abused by a
faculty member or a fellow seminarian. I have also worked with men
who went on to ordination after they were involved sexually with a
seminary professor. In some instances the sexual activity started
even before the man entered the seminary. Others continued the
relationship after ordination and into their parish assignments. It
is possible, and even easy, to trace coteries—small
exclusive groups—of priests who share the same sexual interests,
proclivities, activities, and partners.
I became aware of a seminary where fully
one-fourth of the faculty members were involved in long term sexual
activities—some in stable relationships with women, others with lay
men or other priests. Some of the faculty dallied with students
taking them to what could be called the “combat zone.” In
Washington, D.C. the area of gay and straight bars, pornography
shops equipped with “glory holes,” and pick-up sites (meat racks)
was along 14th Street and the Dupont Circle.
A few faculty priests partied here where
some staff members of the USCCB hung out. A number of up-scale gay
bars and restaurants in the Georgetown/DC area were notorious
“watering holes” of highly placed priests from the chancery office
and houses of study for religious orders. This atmosphere and social
activity created a sense of permissiveness condoned by authority;
and even more seductive, it excited the feeling of being on the “in”
with the movers and shakers of the U.S. church.
Partying was not confined to excursions
beyond the seminary walls. In-house parties were held regularly in
the 1970s and 80s on campuses where “dress-up” (in women’s clothing
and makeup) was welcomed. Girls’ names were assigned to each other
and some faculty.
These activities and their regularity
might have been underground, in the sense of not being officially
sanctioned, but they were certainly well known to anyone who had an
interest in seminary life. It was difficult not to be aware, even
for those faculty and students who had no inclination to
participate. First hand experiences were circulated not only by and
within the clerical community, but also occasionally a surprised and
embarrassed cleric or layperson was invited, and later reported the
scene with outrage.
Pontifical seminaries in the United
States were baptized “pink palaces” because homosexual activity was
so common in them. Did bishops know? Yes. In fact, some bishops and
cardinals are well known for their sexual activity with seminarians
and young priests. A number of my former students have related the
difficulty they have had in fending off the sexual advances of their
Why is this covered up? Where is a
priest who wants to stay in his ministry to go with complaints of
sexual harassment from his boss—a bishop or cardinal? To go outside
the clerical system will make him a pariah or destroy his ministry
altogether. Within the system there is no recourse. I have talked to
priests who have been sexually assaulted by a bishop or cardinal.
The common response of the superior is “who will believe you?” (Does
that sound familiar?) One highly placed church official who had sex
with a young priest even threatened to expose the priest and to
“sue” him if he went public.
The church is a formidable and powerful
Its history of martyrs and excommunications is testimony to the
church’s intolerance of critics within the ranks who dissent.
A priest who got himself into serious
trouble because he had sex with two teenagers related the story of
his path from the seminary to prison. Behind the newspaper headlines
there was a story beyond the personal.
When he was a seminarian he was serious
and quiet—and naive. He was troubled and uncomfortable when one of
the faculty members started to shower him with attention. He spoke
to his faculty advisor about his discomfort that was vague; because
he had never experienced anything like the mix of feelings he was
faced with. He was flattered and intrigued. He was confused and wary
without any basis for distrust. His confessor told him he was “too
uptight and rigid.” He was counseled to “lighten up” and enjoy
friendship. The confessor told him that he would have to be more
accessible and warm as a priest.
The seminarian took his advisor’s advice
and relaxed, entered into the friendship offered. But the priest
courted and groomed the young seminarian (21 at the time) into a
sexual partner of exquisite response. The way he describes his
experience one gets the idea of a first love affair with all the
trappings of elation and freedom—of being loved and completely
This love fit into his spiritual
striving. At first he felt some guilt, because the pleasure was so
intense and surprisingly welcome. Even his confessor was not put off
or disapproving when he confessed “sexual feelings.” It was contrary
to the teaching he was brought up with that every act even of
masturbation was gravely sinful. But his mentor reassured him that
love was natural and the friendship God’s will for him. It was
private, personal, and secret—shared only with God in his prayers.
He felt he was a better person. He knew the priest’s feelings for
him were real love.
The relationship lasted only a short
time after ordination. The young priest felt abandoned and lonely
beyond words. But he was popular, a good preacher, well thought of,
and considered a successful young priest. He began, however,
drinking alcohol to excess. He had learned to enjoy the comfort of
alcohol from his mentor.
When he started to counsel teenaged boys
he experienced some of the elation he had felt in the seminary. He
developed a strong response first to a 14-year-old who was sad,
tense, shy, and self-conscious. In his words he was responding to a
pastoral need he saw in the boy who had to be loved and comforted if
he were too grow and mature. And the boy did develop well and went
to college. The sexual friendship—as he experienced it—lasted for a
time, but work and distance diluted the relationship.
Drinking more and more as his loneliness
flourished, he found another young man he thought needed his love
and support. Of course, he was a skilled seducer; he did what he was
taught in the seminary. He was able to rationalize his sexual
behavior with his new friend in spite of misgivings about the
pastoral appropriateness of his feelings and behavior.
This boy’s experience once he got beyond
the confusion of seduction was one of assault and abuse. The
priest’s perspective had been seriously distorted by his seminary
involvement; he could not name his experience with a
priest/professor, abuse. It was so intricately and inextricably
interwoven with the clerical system.
When the boy’s family brought the abuse
to the attention of civil authorities the priest literally sobered
up. But sobriety did not abort court action and a prison term.
I have purposefully told this story from
the perspective of the seminarian/victim, priest/perpetrator to show
the system of denial, rationalization, prolonged adolescent
development, and spiritualizing of sex for what it is—a system of
The confessor, who all defenders of the
current seminary system point to as the cornerstone of seminary
training, has more power than just advising students about their
relationships with others. The confessor has a unique position.
Every seminarian is expected to go to confession weekly. He is
required to have a designated “confessor” who is to oversee his
spiritual development. The confessor is bound to secrecy (he cannot
vote on the student at faculty evaluations).
In exchange for the promise of strictest
secrecy the student (penitent) agrees to share his most intimate
thoughts, concerns—spiritual, vocational, sexual—with the confessor.
This relationship of trust can be, and
has proved to be perennially a fertile ground for distortion and
abuse in which the priest/confessor turns the confidences he
receives in that setting to his sexual advantage.
I can speak from experience with two
confessors in my own monastery. Each was my chosen confessor for
more than 4 years. They were the most popular confessors for a
majority of the young monks. One was the novice master of almost 20
years standing. The other was the sub-prior —the third in command in
the monastery—a canon lawyer, abbot’s secretary, once a rector of
the seminary, and latter abbot. Both had impeccable spiritual
credentials. They were models—prayerful, scholarly, hard working,
sociable and athletic.
My experience with them in confession
was unremarkable. They were fair, non judgmental, friendly, and
supportive. With confidence, I could have recommended both to others
looking for a good confessor.
Others were not so lucky. Later other
monks and young priests came to me with tales of abuse. “He fucked
me,” one desperate, tearful young priest said of the sub-prior. He
went on to describe the trail of seduction from reassurance over
sexual thoughts to deconditioning about being nude and laying
together and finally to penetration and orgasm. Getting heard took
the victim down a long and painful road. “Who could believe?” And
several officials chided him for “bearing tales.”
This man’s reputation and positions of
authority, and the multitude of other men who came to him for advice
and had only a good experience, formed a fire wall of protection
that was ready to torch anyone would dare to bridge it with
But other allegations came to light.
Although undeniable, a great deal of time, energy, and in the end
money was expended in trying to keep the facts undercover. That
process of secrecy was very destructive to many lives. And finally,
the process of cover-up contributed to the spread of abuse by other
The story of the novice master was a
little different. There were rumors. He was said to “stand close”
without any sexual touch, but conveying a certain hard-to-describe
feeling. He was reported to “kiss on the lips” and he admitted to
some of his close confidants that he “liked to suck ear lobes.”
These were all vague rumblings, passed
on or sealed with a wink and a nod by the more experienced monks,
but escaped the more pious and oblivious, because the spirituality
of the novice master was solidly established. Like the sub-prior who
went on to be elected abbot, the majority of the community trusted
the reputation rather than rumors.
The novice master went on to pastoral
assignments in various local parishes. Years later I was asked to
evaluate complaints from young men who alleged abuse by this priest
when they were boys. Their stories were consistent and credible. The
parents of the men trusted the priest and the monastery with firm
religious devotion. Allegations against this priest who enjoyed a
reputation for spirituality were difficult to believe even by the
But when the men told their stories that
were in perfect consonance with earlier vague rumblings (red flags)
it was clear they were telling the truth and that the priest had a
problem with relationship boundaries.
First the priest established a
supportive relationship with the parents. With the boys he built on
a base of trust, confidence, and secrecy established in the
confessional. He drew the boys close, was loving and reassuring, won
their affection and sucked their ears before he explored their
bodies and encouraged them to learn form him and his exposure. Both
confessors used the excuse that they were giving their penitents
I have counseled many women and men who
have been seduced by their confessor.
Many of the priests learned the process
during their seminary years. Abuse was introduced under the cover of
forgiveness and love. But the familiarity shared in the context of
secrecy cannot tolerate examination in the light of day. It feels
like love when the intimate sharing of guilt, concern, fear, worry,
and failings are confided in the warm and secret confines of a
“confessional.” Some priests delude themselves that what the front
page of the New York Times would call perverse, predatory, criminal,
and abusive, in their estimation participates in the love of Christ.
That’s how they feel about it.
That’s why education for sexuality and
celibacy is sorely needed in seminaries today.
Back to Top
OPENLY ADDRESSING THE REALITY
Homosexuality and Catholic Seminary Policies
Michael J. Maher, Ph.D.
is the author of Being Gay and Lesbian in a Catholic High School:
Beyond the Uniform (Harrington Park Press, 2001). He is
currently a lay chaplain and part-time instructor in the School of
Education at Loyola University Chicago. He worked as a lay Catholic
campus minister in Missouri for six years before coming to Loyola in
1996. He earned a Masters Degree in religious education at the
University of Kansas, a Masters Degree in pastoral studies at Loyola
and a Ph.D. in
education at Saint Louis University.
This article was published in the Journal of Religion and
Education, 2002. Vol. 29 (2) Pp. 49-68.
In the year 2000, a
Jubilee year for the Roman Catholic Church, an issue with which the
Church has struggled over centuries came once again into public
discussion through a number of published articles and studies. The
newspaper, The Kansas City Star, published a series by Judy
L. Thomas discussing the high rate of AIDS infection among Catholic
priests in the United States. The series also explored questions of
homosexuality among U.S. priests and how the issue was handled in
Catholic seminaries. A book by Fr. Donald Cozzens, President-Rector
of Saint Mary Catholic Seminary in Cleveland, The Changing Face
of Priesthood, was also published in 2000. Cozzens argues that
American Catholic seminaries were attracting larger and larger
numbers of gay students and that “Should our seminaries become
significantly gay, and many seasoned observers find them to be
precisely that, the priesthood of the twenty-first century will
likely be perceived as a predominately gay profession” (p. 103).
Recent years had seen attention to the issue by conservative groups
such as The Roman Catholic Faithful, which operate a web page and
have attacked organizations for gay Catholic clergy, such as the
Chicago-based Communication Ministry, Inc. and the now defunct Saint
Sebastian’s Angels web page (2000).
While not so widely in
the popular media, the issue of gay seminarians had been a subject
of study for the Catholic Church in the United States in the recent
decades. Popular Catholic sociologist, Father Andrew Greeley,
reported that a gay subculture of priests existed in most Catholic
dioceses in a 1989 article in the National Catholic Reporter.
An earlier example of concerns over homosexual Catholic seminarians
is a 1966 workshop for psychologists engaged in the assessment of
candidates for the priesthood and religious life which took place at
the School of Nursing of the Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical
Center in New York. Coville (1968) presented, “Perhaps the most
troublesome and most frequent appearing sociopathic features or
disturbances in assessment work concern the high incidence of
effeminacy, heterosexual retardation, psychosexual immaturity,
deviations or potential deviations of the homosexual type….A recent
study of 107 male candidates, for example, shows that 8% of these
were sexually deviant, whereas 70% were described as psychosexually
immature, exhibiting traits of heterosexual retardation, confusion
concerning sexual role, fear of sexuality, effeminacy, and potential
homosexual dispositions” (pp. 28-29). Coville was careful to point
out that the sample should not be assumed to be representative.
The issue is not
specific to the United States. Great Britain’s Channel 4
aired a documentary in 2001 entitled “Queer and Catholic.” In the
documentary, Fr. Kevin Haggerty, Rector of Saint John’s Catholic
Seminary, warned that gay students were forming “divisive cliques”
in Catholic seminaries. Elizabeth Stuart’s 1993 book, Chosen,
is a collection of stories from gay Catholic priests in Britain.
She found that the handling of the topic of homosexuality in British
Catholic seminaries had not improved greatly between the 1950’s and
the 1990’s. The Working Group of Catholic Gay Pastors of the
Netherlands published its “pastoral letter,” Called to Blessing,
in 1989. The group was founded in 1980 (Werkverband van Katholieke
In fact, the issue was
still the concern of Rome in recent decades. The Sacred Congregation
for the Religious, a Vatican congregation, stated in 1961,
“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to
those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or
pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry
would constitute serious dangers.”
While I am reluctant to connect the two issues, I must acknowledge
the 2002 media coverage of cases of sexual abuse of minors by
priests in the United States. While such cases have been reported
by the media for some time, this year has brought out more cases and
more offensive behavior than previously shown. Again, I am
reluctant to connect the two issues, but it is clear that the
American public has been forced to think more about the sex lives of
Catholic priests, especially where their lives involve sex with
males. In the face of priest sex abuse scandals in 2002, Pope John
Paul II, as well as Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls and
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, have all stated that seminaries must
screen out homosexual candidates (Thavis, 2002; Rossini, 2002).
The purpose of this paper is to report a case study I conducted in
Saint Louis, Missouri. I wished to investigate how homosexuality
effected the policies of Catholic seminaries in the 1950’s. I argue
that the Catholic Church has long been aware that a significant
percentage of its clergy are gay and that one demonstration of this
is through the policies of its seminaries. I have used two data
collection methods, document analysis of archival resources and
interviews with gay men who are former Catholic seminarians. I
focus on the Saint Louis Seminary System through archives of its
disciplinary policies in the 1950’s and through an interview with
one gay alumnus from that time, “Fr. Allen.” I then provide a
number of comparisons and contrasts to demonstrate that this was an
issue for Catholic seminaries and not just a reflection of the
policies for religious educational institutions in general. I
contrast the Saint Louis Seminary system with Saint Louis
University, a Catholic University, and with Concordia Seminary, an
all-male, Lutheran seminary in the Saint Louis area through archival
data of their policies in the 1950’s. I also compare the Saint
Louis Seminary System with Saint Stanislaus Seminary, another
Catholic high school seminary in the Saint Louis area again through
archival data of its 1950’s policies. Finally, I contrast the
interview data of Fr. Allen with an interview of a gay 1980’s
alumnus of the Saint Louis Seminary System (Fr. Bob”) as well as
interviews with two other 1980’s alumni from U.S. Catholic seminary
high schools (“Patrick” and “Dan”). I interviewed Fr. Allen and Fr.
Bob in 1994 and Patrick and Dan in 1996.
What becomes clear is that Catholic
seminary administrators were very aware of the homosexual interests
of a significant number of students in their institutions. This is
clear through a number of rules enacted specifically to avoid sexual
feelings and prevent sexual activity. These policies existed in
Catholic seminaries, but did not exist at Catholic universities or
at non-Catholic seminaries. The intent of these rules is further
made clear by the results of their elimination after the 1960’s;
without these policies, Catholic seminarians formed sexually active
relationships with each other.
I do have to make one
caution very clear; the idea that the rules studied here had
anything to do with homosexuality is totally a matter of
interpretation. Rarely do any of the documents I studied give any
reason for these rules, or for any rules. I can say that
Fr. Allen certainly saw the rules as designed to control sexual
activity and interests between students, and I would argue that the
nature of the rules tends to indicate that intent in many cases. It
should also be made clear that in a few cases, rules were not
written, or at least did not exist in the archives. I have relied
solely on Fr. Allen’s interview in a few cases.
I also should be clear
about my own background and how this created the lens through which
I viewed the data. I was a student in a Midwestern Catholic
seminary for one academic year, 1987-1988. While I was a student, I
was very aware of sexual relationships between seminarians, and I
was even more aware paranoid obsession it held for my fellow
students and for some of the administrators. Gossip about who was
gay and who was sleeping with whom formed a great deal of the
conversations. Students and faculty did occasionally talk about the
strange rules of “the old days.” I would say, however, that it was
not something that administrators and alumni liked to discuss. I
have an uncle who was a priest at the time that I was a seminarian.
He had attended another seminary in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I
remember that he told me more about these strange rules than I had
ever heard. When I asked him why they had these rules, he vaguely
said, “Oh, who knows?” When I pressed further and asked, “Do you
think it was to discourage sex between the students?” he responded,
“I think so. And then it turned out most of the faculty were gay!”
His seminary went through a scandal in the 1960’s that resulted in
most bishops pulling their students out of the school, and the
school almost closing. Clearly, there can be a variety of
motivations for seminaries to avoid discussing “the sin which dare
not speak its name.”
The rules I will be
discussing in this article deal with “particular friendships”
(basically, having a best friend), nudity, restrictions of visiting
certain places and people, and a policy of eliminating effeminate
students. In addition, I will explore the lack of discussion of
sexuality and an atmosphere of isolation and terror that existed for
gay seminarians in the 1950’s. First, I wish to give some
historical context to the topic.
The seminary system for the Saint Louis Catholic
Archdiocese dates back to 1818 when Saint Mary’s of the Barrens
Seminary was established in Perryville, Missouri. The system
underwent many changes in the following years, being located in
Saint Louis and in Carondolet, Missouri, under a variety of names.
The system did not operate between 1859 and 1893. The present
Kenrick building was opened in 1915. The Saint Louis Preparatory
Seminary (now known as Cardinal Glennon College) was opened in
1931. It housed the two-year philosophy program and the high
school. The three programs (high school, undergraduate school of
philosophy, and graduate school of theology) were each made into
four-year programs in 1957 (Kenrick, 1987).
Most historical accounts of gay life in the United
States in the 1950’s record the era as repressive and frightening.
In the public dialogue, homosexuality began to be associated with
Communism, the great threat of the decade. Russo (1987) provides
several examples of the comparison. In a 1950 New York Times
story, Guy Gabrielson, the Republican National Committee Chairman,
stated that “sexual perverts who have infected our government in
recent years are perhaps as dangerous as actual Communists” (p.
99). By December of that year, nearly five thousand suspected gays
and lesbians were fired from the Federal Government. Also in 1950,
Coronet Magazine described homosexuality as “the new
menace.” In 1956, Time Magazine quoted psychologist Edmund
Bergler who described the gay man as “Unreliable…and always hates
his family. There are no happy homosexuals” (p. 107).
Russo further argues
that movies of the 1950’s were effected by these popular attitudes
about homosexuality. Two documentaries were released in the
1950’s. Children of Loneliness warned the viewer of the
dangers of homosexuality in a style similar to Reefer Madness.
Ed Wood’s now famous documentary Glen or Glenda begins with
Bela Lugosi giving a monologue among smoke pots and skulls. In
“buddy films” of the time, the closer the relationship of the two
men, the more the characters acted out violently (to prove their
manhood). While openly gay characters were virtually non-existent,
characters who were implied to be gay inevitably came to a violent
death in 1950’s films.
At the same time, the Gay Movement was beginning to grow in the
United States. Berube (1990) has demonstrated that World War II had
a profound effect on the lives of Gay Americans. Young gay men from
small towns were suddenly put together with thousand of men in the
armed services, and there they discovered that they were not as
unique as they had previously thought. Discharge from the military
for homosexuality forced many to publicly acknowledge their
homosexuality. After the war, many gay servicemen did not wish to
return to their hometowns. Often, they stayed in the large port
cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans upon
return from the war.
Society was founded in Los Angles in 1950 by Harry Hay. It was
the first U.S. national gay organization. Harry Hay, a member of
the Communist Party USA, was thrown out of the party in 1951
for his homosexuality. He was also thrown out of the Matachine
Society in 1953 for his political beliefs (Timmons, 1990). Other
organizations were formed at this time as well. One was
founded in 1952 and began publishing One Magazine in 1953.
The Matachine Society began publishing The Matachine Review
in 1955. Also in 1955, The lesbian organization, The Daughters
of Bilitis formed and began publishing The Ladder the
following year (Alyson, 1989).
To understand how gay
life in the United States intersected with life in Catholic
seminaries in the 1950’s, some discussion of the Catholic history on
the topic is necessary. An early policy to prevent gay
relationships in a Catholic institution for men comes from Saint
Basil’s Fourth Century writings on monasticism. His writing is
significant because he defines the purpose more clearly than later
sources. “It is frequently the case with young men that…the glowing
complexion of youth still blossoms fourth and becomes a source of
desire to those around them. If, therefore, anyone in the monastery
is youthful and beautiful…you sit in a chair far away from that
person….Do not be found with him either indoors or where no one can
see outdoors…no matter how necessary” (Boswell, 1989, p. 12). Saint
Benedict, writing The Rule in the Sixth Century, also has rules to
prevent homosexual activity, but does not explain them as being for
this purpose. “All monks are to sleep in separate beds….If
possible, they should sleep in one room. However, if there are too
many for this, they will be grouped in tens and twenties, a senior
in charge of each group. Let a candle burn throughout the might.
They will sleep in their robes….The younger brothers should not be
next to each other” (Boswell, 1980, pp.187-188). Both Benedict and
Basil restricted their monks from having close friendships with each
other (Boswell, 1994).
Love between monks and
clerics seems to have not been uncommon in Medieval Europe. Saint
Aelred had several love relationships with his monks and compared
them to the “marriage” of Christ and Saint John the Beloved
(Boswell, 1980, 1994). The Fourth Lateran Council of the
Thirteenth Century condemned sodomy by Priests (Boswell, 1980).
Saint Peter Damian presented his treatise against clerical
homosexual practices, The Book of Gomorrah, to Pope Leo IX in
the mid-eleventh century. Damian had traveled throughout Southern
and Central Europe and was appalled by the large number of clerics
who engaged in homosexual acts and the evidence that the practice
was becoming more common among clerics. He called for all clerics
who had engaged in any such acts at any time to be expelled from
religious life. Pope Leo IX responded by thanking him for his
research, but cautioned expulsion should only be used in extreme
cases (Boswell, 1980 and Payer, 1982).
for women also developed similar rules and concerns. Saint
Augustine warned his sister about lesbians when she entered the
convent in the year 423. The Council of Paris (1212) and
the Council of Rouen (1214) required nuns to have separate
beds and also required that a lamp burn all night in their sleeping
rooms. From that time forward, rules began to be written for nuns
ordering them to stay out of each others’ rooms and to leave their
doors unlocked so that the abbesses could check on them (Brown,
The 1950’s were a time
of both repression and growth in the Gay Movement in the United
States. For gay seminarians, however, the institutions in which
they lived had a very long history of controlling homosexual
thoughts and behavior.
RULES OF THE SAINT LOUIS SEMINARY SYSTEM OF THE 1950’s
As I stated above, the
rules I will be discussing deal with “particular friendships”
(basically, having a best friend), nudity, restrictions of visiting
certain places and people, and a policy of eliminating effeminate
students. In addition, I will explore the atmosphere of isolation
and terror that existed for gay seminarians in the 1950’s.
It is important to
understand that rules were a major part of life in the Saint Louis
Seminary System, and the seminary system itself had a tight
schedule. Documents from the archives confirm an incredibly
rigorous schedule allowing virtually no free time for students.
Documents show that students were restricted from leaving campus
without permission, especially overnight. Dating as far back as
1910, long lists of inexcusable reasons for absence were recorded in
the documents. In a 1931 document from Cardinal Glennon College,
leaving campus without permission was one of four violations listed
which incurred dismissal. Fr. Allen told me that the prohibition of
leaving campus was strictly enforced. He had summers off, two weeks
at Christmas, two days at Easter, and 12 hours at Thanksgiving.
Reading materials were restricted from 1910 to 1960. In 1910, even
daily newspapers were restricted. Reading material had to have a
faculty member’s approval. Students had to wear clerical garb most
of the time. This ended in 1982 (Cardinal Glennon College, 1982).
No guests, not even parents, were allowed in the 1950’s. Dating
back to 1910, students were prohibited from talking with “externs”
(People from outside the seminary) and servants. While smoking was
allowed, alcohol had restrictions. (Alcohol restrictions were true
also for Concordia Seminary and Saint Louis University. No records
for this topic were available for Saint Stanislaus Seminary.)
Fr. Allen said reasons
were never given for rules. He believed at the time that the rules
discussed below had to do with homosexuality, but thought straight
students didn’t understand. Few students transferred into the
system in the 1950’s; most began in high school and continued.
Those who transferred into the system found the rules strange.
Rules were never discussed with the administrators.
“Particular friendships” (“PF’s”) were restricted in the
Saint Louis Seminary System. In short, this meant that students
were not to have a best friend. Little documentation was found that
referred to this very specifically. From the 1940’s to 1964 The
Rule of Kenrick Seminary urged students to converse with all
their classmates. Fr. Allen told me that students were warned at
the seminary not to have close friendships. These did exist, and
often times students scrutinized them as closely as the faculty. If
a pair became very “obvious” in their close friendship, the seminary
administration would often investigate the relationship. He was
aware of one investigation which resulted in one of the students
leaving the seminary. Another priest writing about life in the
Catholic seminary in the 1950’s called “Particular Friendship” a
code word for homosexual relationship (Fr. Paul, 1989).
In the 1950’s, high school seminarians who did not live
near the campus had to live on campus. All high school seniors and
college students were required to live on campus. High school
students lived in large sleeping dormitories while the college
students had individual rooms but used common bathrooms. According
to Fr. Allen, students had to wear robes to and from the shower. In
the sleeping dormitories, students would put on their robes over
their pajamas, undress under their robes, go to
individual shower stalls, return and dress under their
robes. Students never saw each other nude, and very rarely without
a shirt. He told me about one college student who transferred into
the system who had been in the Marine Corps. On his first day, the
student walked from his room to the showers in the nude with a towel
over his shoulder. When he began this the next day, other students
informed him of this rule. The Saint Louis Preparatory Seminary
Disciplinary Regulations for 1950 specify that robes were to be
worn to and from the showers and to the swimming pool, but were not
as specific as Fr. Allen’s report to me. The Student Rules:
Cardinal Glennon College for 1965 (p. 6) were specific,
“Bathrobes are to be worn to and from the showers and in dressing
and undressing in the dormitories.” While I do not have data from
the Saint Louis area on how this compares with other Catholic
institutions, data from another study indicates that during this
time, at an all-boys Catholic high school in another U.S. city, it
was common in gym class for boys to swim in the nude (Maher, 1997 &
2001). This would tend to indicate that this is not simply part of
“Catholic school culture,” but was particular to the Catholic
By reading the archival documents, I could be convinced
that the greatest sin a seminarian could commit would be to be in
another seminarian’s room with the door closed. The rule existed in
the system dating back at least until 1910, and the 1931 Saint
Louis Preparatory Seminary Disciplinary Regulations gives it as
one of four reasons for dismissal. The rule persisted at Kenrick
until 1964. Several 1950’s documents from both preparatory (high
school) seminary and Kenrick state that a student must receive
permission to visit another person’s room, state length of time and
purpose, and leave the door open. Documents for Cardinal Glennon
College (1950 & 1953) indicate the same. Students were never to sit
on another’s bed, and visits were never allowed after night prayer
(Cardinal Glennon College, 1950 & 1953). Fr. Allen told me that
students actually did visit each other in rooms with the door
closed. The common practice was to stand behind the door in case
someone came in. This usually took place after night prayer. If
caught, the two students would face an investigation.
There were also regulations on visiting faculty in their
quarters. High school seminarians and undergraduates were not
allowed to visit faculty after 9:45pm (Cardinal Glennon College,
year? 1953-1965). “Fr. Paul” (1989) wrote that he was warned not to
visit older students when he entered the seminary in the 1950’s.
There were also a number of restricted areas. From 1910
through 1960, many places were listed as off limits for students.
The places varied over the years, but often included the kitchen,
mechanical rooms, the convent, faculty quarters, servants’ quarters,
the attic, the dining room when not in use, and outdoors after
dark. Students were not allowed into the dormitories except at
prescribed times (Cardinal Glennon College, 1950 and 1953).
It is difficult to describe this as a “rule” because
there is really no documentation of it being written or even
verbally articulated to students, but Fr. Allen told me that any
student showing signs of effeminacy was dismissed from the school.
The documents can only be seen as referring to this through a great
deal of interpretation. They do indicate that students who were a
“bad influence” or who acted with “conduct unbecoming” or with
“ungentlemanly behavior” could be dismissed. Student Rules
(Cardinal Glennon College, 1965) did state that the administration
had the right to dismiss a student without giving reasons to the
student or to others.
Fr. Allen told me that sexuality was not discussed
except at some lectures and retreats. It was never addressed at the
academic level until the third year of graduate school in classes.
All classes were lectures without discussion.
When I asked Fr. Allen what it was like to be a gay
student in the Saint Louis Seminary System in the 1950’s he
described it as “total, continuous fear of being discovered and
kicked out.” Students who were dismissed left in the middle of the
night with no explanation given to other students. For much of his
time in seminary, Fr. Allen believed that he was the only gay
student there. While he was a graduate student, he attended a
private party with other seminarians over the Christmas break. He
and another seminarian went outside to urinate during the party.
The two began to engage in some minor sexual play with each other
through this act. After this, he became more aware that other
students were also gay “through looks people would give.”
Again, I wish to emphasize that the intent of these
rules is subject to interpretation. Explanations for them simply
were not provided. I do believe, however, that the nature of these
rules indicates their intent to control sexual behavior and
thoughts. In comparison to many all-male environments of the time,
why else would students be so restricted in their bathing habits?
Why else would students not be allowed to visit another room with
the door closed? Why else would effeminate behavior result in
expulsion? Why else would having a best friend be a threat?
Further comparison and contrast provides evidence that it cannot be
argued that these practices were typical of Saint Louis, typical of
seminaries, or typical of Catholic education. They were specific to
Catholic seminaries. The results of their removal from Catholic
seminaries in the 1960’s also indicate their intent.
In this section, I will contrast the Saint Louis
Seminary System to two other institutions in the Saint Louis area in
the 1950’s, Concordia Seminary and Saint Louis University.
Concordia Seminary is a Lutheran seminary. In the 1950’s its
student body was completely male. The students were actively
discouraged from marrying at that time, so it may be assumed that
they were single, and presumably thought to also avoid sexual
activity. Saint Louis University is a Catholic university in Saint
Louis. It was coeducational in the 1950’s, but men and women lived
in separate dormitories. I will also compare the Saint Louis
Seminary System with Saint Stanislaus Seminary. It was a Catholic
high school seminary located in the Saint Louis area. Students were
preparing for priesthood in the Jesuit order. They were required to
live on campus. Finally, I will contrast the Saint Louis Seminary
System of the 1950’s with the same system in the 1980’s, when many
of these rules had been relaxed. I will also provide data from
other U.S. residential seminaries from the 1980’s.
At Concordia, I found
no indications on restrictions of reading materials in the archival
information for the 1950’s. While students were restricted from
areas with mechanical equipment, other, non-threatening areas were
not restricted. I found no evidence that visiting other students’
rooms was prohibited in any way. Students were allowed to sunbathe
on campus and be on the athletic field shirtless (Concordia
Seminary, 1953, 1958, and year? between 1948 and 1953). Students
were not restricted from leaving campus, and were encouraged to
visit sights in Saint Louis (Concordia Seminary, 1953 & 1958).
Students did have a curfew, but they could be out overnight if they
informed the proctor before or after being gone (Concordia
Seminary, 1953 & 1958). Women were allowed into the dormitory
buildings at certain times, and arrangements could be made for
overnight male guests. I found no restrictions on forming best
friends in seminary. In short, despite being a Christian seminary
for single men, the policies for students at Concordia were totally
different from those in the Saint Louis Seminary System.
Saint Louis University
Archival information for Saint Louis University was very
lacking. Most observations here come from a 1947 Housing
Directory and Regulations, but a document from 1952 and one from
1956 were also helpful. For men’s dormitories, I found no
restrictions on visiting rooms except that doors had to be open
“when playing games.” This was in a section that prohibited
gambling. I found no restrictions on reading material. Men did
have a curfew, but could be out past curfew if they obtained
permission before 6:00pm. Women were never allowed in men’s
dormitory buildings, and male guests were only allowed on the first
floor of the building. While these regulations show some greater
strictness than at Concordia, still Saint Louis University, a
Catholic institution with all-male dormitories, was a very different
life than at the local Catholic seminary.
This Catholic seminary in the Saint Louis area
demonstrated a great similarity to the Saint Louis Seminary System.
The Selection of Faults for Chapters (year? 1930’s – 1950’s)
includes violation of the rule of not touching each other, speaking
to members of “other divisions” without necessity and permission,
and being too often with the same companions. The 1957 Regulae
Communes of General Congregation XXX (a document which would
have applied to Jesuit seminaries throughout the world) prohibited
touching (“even in a joke”), entering another’s room without
permission of the superior, being outdoors after dark without
permission, talking with externs or servants, writing about internal
affairs to outsiders, and restricted reading material. It is clear
that individual shower stalls existed in the dormitories at the time
(Saint Stanislaus Seminary, 1951b). Family visits were limited
(Saint Stanislaus Seminary, 1959 and year? 1920’s). Students were
restricted in the number of letters they could write, and had to
keep letters unsealed (Saint Stanislaus Seminary, year? 1950’s and
year? 1920’s). In Use of the Pool (Saint Stanislaus
Seminary, 1957), silence was required in the bathhouse and in the
showers. The same was true in Swimming Regulations (year?
1950’s) which also required two-piece swimsuits and restricted
sunbathing. Other documents from the time indicate that the pool
was to be for exercise, not place to socialize or lounge. In her
2000 series for The Kansas City Star, Thomas interviewed some alumni
who attended Saint Stanislaus Seminary in the 1960’s. They reported
that particular friendships were forbidden. They were told not to
be in pairs; “Non quam duo, semper tres. Not in two’s always
three’s.” One alumnus she interviewed reported that sexuality was
never discussed there. In deed, many of the rules at the Saint
Louis Seminary System were also very present at Saint Stanislaus
Catholic Seminaries in the 1980’s
By the 1980’s, many of the rules discussed here were
dropped in the Saint Louis Seminary System. Fr. Allen believed that
the Second Vatican Council “changed everything.” I will go over
some of the changes that the archival data indicate. I will also
provide data from my interview with “Fr. Bob,” an alumnus from the
Saint Louis System in the 1980’s. Finally, I will include some data
from another study which give a picture of life at other U.S.
Catholic seminaries in the 1980’s.
Leaving campus moved from sign-in/sign-out to simply leaving a note
on door in 1980’s (Cardinal Glennon College, 1981 and 1986a). High
school and college students were not allowed to be “palling” with
each other (Cardinal Glennon College 1981 and 1986a). One
restriction on dress still remained; the wearing of earrings was
forbidden. “Despite the acceptance of this in certain circles of
our society…it is not universally accepted and, in fact, has
negative connotations with many people” (Cardinal Glennon College,
According to Fr. Bob, the restriction of older students
socializing with the high school students tended only to be enforced
when it became a problem. He believed that some older students
would frequently break the rule because of their sexual interest in
the younger students. He did not believe, however, that these
relationships were physical. He also saw the rule as used to create
a distinction between high school and college so that high school
students would make friends with college students when they
graduated rather than continue to socialize with old friends still
in high school. He said that curfews were rarely enforced in the
1980’s. Kenrick students did sunbathe on the building’s rooftop,
and a few even discretely did so in the nude. Quite a few students
transferred into the system by the 1980’s; only half of Fr. Bob’s
ordination class was in his freshman class of high school.
Fr. Bob vacillated
between describing the seminary as supportive or unsupportive. He
felt that there was support for gay students except in cases where a
relationship between two students became “unhealthy.” One faculty
member advised students “Until ordination, be prudent.” Some
students moved from being homophobic to coming out of the closet.
Sometimes, factions would develop over the gay issue. Sexuality was
addressed in the spiritual formation program rather than in the
academic sector. Homosexuality was not really discussed. Celibacy
and sexuality were discussed as part of identity, but not sexual
I also rely on data from two subjects I interviewed for
another study (Maher, 1997 & 2001). Both “Patrick” and “Dan”
attended Catholic boarding seminary high schools in the 1980’s.
Patrick was familiar with many of the rules of the 1950’s, but said
that these had been abandoned at his seminary. He also said that
homosexuality was discussed in classes such as psychology. He
viewed his school as more progressive than public schools in this
regard. He also said that gay cliques would sometimes form among
the students, and sometimes conflicts developed between gay and
straight students. Several straight students left the school
because there were too many gay students. His intense fear of being
caught prevented him from forming a relationship with another
student while he was in school. This contributed to a deep sense of
isolation and loneliness. He said that in actuality only two
students were expelled for homosexuality while he was there; one was
having a relationship with a man in his thirties outside the school,
and one had been very sexually active with a large number of
students. He felt affirmed by the priest who was his spiritual
director in high school. He believed that the school was very
tolerant due to many of the faculty being gay.
At Dan’s high school seminary, homosexuality was still a
taboo topic. It was not discussed openly in class or other venues.
Dan saw his school’s administration as focussing on a very masculine
identity for the students. “It was also a formational issue a lot of
times. A character issue was that a male student was not supposed
to act that way. They made an effort; if you were feminine, they
really tried to ‘butch you up’ so to speak. It would be brought up
in your evaluation if they thought you were taking on feminine
characteristics.” One interesting thing was that it was a common
and encouraged practice for senior students to take a freshman
“under their wing” while there. These students would spend a great
deal of time together in each other’s rooms, and even sleep in the
same bed at times on the weekends. The administration did nothing
about this practice because, as Dan saw it, that would have forced
them to deal directly with the topic of homosexuality. Dan did have
the sense for part of his time in seminary that he was the only gay
PERCENTAGE OF GAY SEMINARIANS AND FREQUENCY OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY
questions in this study are, “Just how many seminarians were gay,
and how common was sexual activity between them?” To a great
extent, these questions can only be discussed, not quantified. Some
studies indicate that between 10% and 50% of U.S. Catholic priests
are gay (Nugent, 1989). Wolf (1989) found that gay priests were
more likely to be more sexually active after ordination than before
ordination. Wolf also found that gay priests who were ordained in
1960 or before estimated on average that 50.9% of seminarians were
gay when they were in seminary, while those ordained from 1981 to
1984 estimated that 70.5% of seminarians were gay when they were in
seminary. Sipe (1990) found that the percentage of clergy reporting
homosexual behavior or identity increased from around 20% in the
1960’s to around half by the mid-1980’s (also Jordan, 2000).
Thomas (2000) argues that the rate of AIDS infection among U.S.
Catholic priests is at least four times the national average, and
she argues that this is due to a large percentage of priests being
gay. Fr. Allen said he was certain that 10-12% of his class was
gay, but believed the real percentage was probably higher. Fr. Bob
believed that 50% of his class was gay, and thought this was true in
all classes at the seminary in the 1980’s.
Fr. Allen didn’t think
any sex was going on in seminary in the 1950’s although “PF’s” were
common. “Fr. Paul” (1989) wrote that sex in the 1950’s seminary was
“unheard of,” but he had a “PF.” Fr. Bob thought 50% (all the gay
seminarians) had a gay relationship some time in seminary that was
always sexual. He also thought 50% had a relationship with a
woman. He believed there was some overlap; some had relationships
with both men and women while in seminary. Fr. Bob distinguished
between “healthy” and “unhealthy” relationships. Unhealthy
relationships were those so secret that they became only sexual;
students would meet in a room for sex but not speak to each other
all day because they were afraid of others becoming suspicious. He
was involved with another seminarian for three to four years. The
relationship began when he was an undergraduate and ended in
graduate theology school. He also had some shorter relationships
with other seminarians while he was in the Saint Louis Seminary
System. Fr. Allen began cruising parks and bathhouses in St. Louis
after ordination in the 1960’s. He also met other priests there.
Fr. Bob chose celibacy after ordination.
“Patrick” from my
other study believed that a very high percentage of students in his
seminary high school were gay. He also believed that many straight
students engaged in sex with other students while they were there.
He claimed that over 30% of his class was gay, and that over 85% of
his class had had sex with another seminarian while they were in
school. At his school, students slept in large sleeping dormitories
divided into cubicles with partitions. Older students were prefects
for these. He said that the prefects were very tolerant of students
having sex with each other, which was a very commonly known
occurrence because the sound traveled through the partitions at
night. “Dan” from my other study also reported frequent sexual
activity between students, and even encounters between the priests
who were faculty and the students. He told me that he had sexual
encounters with over one third of the students in his class and the
class behind him. His school did have one case of pedophilia
involving one of the priest faculty and a student. Dan himself
joined the order that ran the school, and he developed a sexual
relationship in his college freshman year with the priest who had
been his dormitory dean in high school.
In the 1950’s, the Catholic Seminary System of the
Archdiocese of Saint Louis had a number of rules for its students
that it abandoned by the 1980’s. The documents gave no reasons for
the rules discussed in this study, but some of its students saw
these rules as designed to prevent homosexual activity among
students. It seems to me that the nature of these rules would
indicate that this was their purpose. The fact that homosexual
activity between seminarians seems to have increased when these
rules were abandoned also indicates that this was the purpose of
A comparison between these rules at the Catholic
Seminary System of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis and similar
institutions seems to show that these rules were typical of Catholic
seminaries but not other Catholic, all-male educational institutions
or other all-male, non-Catholic seminaries. Historical documents
from earlier centuries indicate that similar rules existed for
Catholic institutions for clergy. I conclude that the Catholic
Church has been aware of a high percentage of gay Catholic clergy
for some time and had instituted policies in its seminaries to
prevent homosexual activity among seminarians. This case study of
the Saint Louis Catholic Seminary System is one example of this.
This study does pose a question; what works? A further
question arising from this is; how do we define “works”? From an
educational perspective, if a goal of Catholic seminary education is
to prevent seminarians from having sex with each other or other
males, then the strict rules of the 1950’s have the better track
record; seminarians in the 1950’s were not likely to have sex with
each other. On the other hand, the educational goals of seminaries
do not end with the ordination. Their goals are a formation that
should last a lifetime for their graduates. In this case, the
strict rules of the 1950’s failed; Fr. Allen did indeed have sex
with other men after he graduated. Fr. Bob on the other hand, while
not chaste in seminary, did choose a life of chastity after
ordination. I am reluctant to draw a more general conclusion from
these two comparisons, however.
The goals of the seminaries must also pay some attention
to the candidates they attract. It would appear that the removal of
strict rules after the 1960’s has allowed more openness for gay men
in seminaries and more freedom to have sex with other men. A
secondary effect of this, it seems from other studies, is that the
percentage of gay men in seminary has increased.
It may be easier to discuss what hasn’t worked. Knowing
that a large number of gay men were attracted to seminary, the
Church enforced strict rules for centuries. This has not prevented
Catholic clergy from engaging in sex with each other and other men.
When these rules were removed, what remained was silence, which also
did not work. Silence is not the answer.
are also questions raised beyond the simple educational goals of
American Catholic seminaries. Should there be a more public debate
about gay priests in the same way that debates about married clergy
and women’s ordination have been in the Catholic dialogue? Can
American Catholics accept that while their priests are celibate
(specifically, unmarried), they may not be chaste. Can American
Catholics accept an ever-increasing percentage of gay priests? Does
a lack of chastity among gay priests present different issues than a
lack of chastity among straight priests. With the shrinking number
of priests in the United States, do these questions matter as much?
The Church and its seminaries should be able to
discuss these issues; they have been dealing with them for
centuries, although not with as many eyes of “externs.”
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