I happen to believe that clericalism properly understood is at the root of the Church’s sex abuse scandal . And yes, it can be homosexual or heterosexual clericalism.
But homosexual clericalism is the most virulent form of it. Let me explain with an Episcopal Church example.
A few years ago in Macon an Episcopal priest invited me to lunch. Somehow the conversation turned to gay clergy in the Episcopal Church in Macon (I suspect he wanted to know from me if I was gay or straight.) . He told me he was gay and living with a gay lover, a transitional deacon in another Episcopal Church in town. He told me his bishop knew of this arrangement and had no problems.
His own parish had no problems although he did concede that one woman on his vestry worried about public displays of affection during services or elsewhere when he was with his lover.
I asked him, could a heterosexual unmarried priest live with a woman in the same kind of arrangement as he had or a woman minister live with an ordained man? He said no, that would be frowned upon.
There you have it, actual privilege and entitlement not afforded heterosexuals. CLERICALISM! Homosexual clericalism.
The major problem in the Catholic Church is homosexual clericalism too. When bishops accept homosexual men to the seminary, problems start. Would they put heterosexual seminarians in a similar close living situation in an all women's environment as found in all men seminaries or religious orders? Would the Nashville Dominican Sisters allow young men to live in convents and in the same way religious women live in common? Absolutely not because it opens the door to sexual situations, courtship and marriage. In other words it goes against common sense! One doesn't need to be an expert in these things.
Heterosexual seminarians and priests who fall in love and are explicitly romantic usually do the right thing, they leave the seminary or priesthood and get married. This excludes them from active ministry. Homosexual seminarians and priests simply do as they please in their relationships which aren’t always monogamous and the bishop looks the other way as we have seen over and over again. Others presume on the heterosexuality of these men never thinking more might be involved. Or the worst kind of Catholic priesthood clericalism, the presumption that these men who have made a vow or promise of celibate chastity are in fact celibate and chaste!
But this is the horror of homosexual clericalism prior to the 2002 charter. Most parents trusted that priests were celibate and chaste and they could trust priests with their boys in parishes and seminaries because they thought these priests were heterosexual and celibate and would not not take advantage of their boys. Thus, presumed heterosexual and celibate priests who really were homosexual priests who believed they could break their vows/promises of celibacy could take boys on camping trips, vacations and the like without parents worrying.
But do you think these same parents would entrust their girls, daughters to heterosexual priests in the same way even though the priest was in fact celibate? NO, NO, NO! They knew that something fishy would be afoot! And they didn't want to tempt the celibate heterosexual priest to fall into sin with their daughters who while teenagers, could in many states marry at 13 or 16, South Carolina being a state taht allowed 13 year olds to marry with parental consent until the 1980's!
And most parishioners in the prudish pre-Vatican II days when modesty was still a virtue would read a woman or girl the riot act if they dressed provocatively around a presumed celibate Catholic priest. They wouldn't worry to much about a man/teenager doing the same because the the laity's presumptions of celibacy and heterosexuality.
Thus homosexual clericalism entailed homosexuals taking advantage of the belief of the laity thought they were heterosexual and celibate and no threat to their teenage and young adult sons! Celibate heterosexual priests would never think of close relationships with girls because parents wouldn't allow it anyway. And thus this explains why 82% of the cases of sexual abuse against teenagers and very young adults is homosexual and not heterosexual in the Catholic Church. Homosexual clericalism went unchecked by a trusting laity who never dreamed priests could be homosexual and actively so with their sons! At its root though, this is a bishops' problem for allowing this to happen over and over again and not warn the laity about allowing anyone heterosexual or homosexual to have such access to their children!
Yes, homosexual clericalism is the problem when homosexuals in the seminary and priesthood are given access to same sex situations that would never be allowed heterosexual seminarians and priests with the opposite sex.
There you have it!