The image from Angelo Stagnaro's bigoted polemic
The image from Angelo Stagnaro’s bigoted polemic

Angelo Stagnaro bills himself as a professional magician. Stagnaro is principally a professional Catholic. In Wednesday’s National Catholic Register, Stagnaro writes: “In Pursuit of Innocence.” It is a smear; a treatise on the supposed predatory predilection for young boys by gay men.

We can comfortably presume that the reason for the smear is that the Catholic Church does not approve of gay people. The Church and Stagnaro presuppose that gays are “objectively disordered” (per Catholic teaching). From there it is a short leap for Stagnaro to characterize gays as child molesting perverts.

Are there gay men who have sex with underage boys? Of course. Just as there are heterosexual men who have sex with underage boys. Just as there are heterosexual men who have sex with underage girls.

According to Stagnaro:

Peter Tatchell, a British homosexual activist, has been campaigning to lower the age of sexual consent to 14 years of age — for no other reason than that underage sex is “mostly consenting, safe and fun.”


This is a transparent attempt on Tatchell’s part at making more children sexually available to him and those who support him. This is not a question of Tatchell’s homosexuality. Rather it’s a matter of his foolishness and depravity. Just because some children might want to have sex doesn’t mean they’re emotionally prepared to do so. Further, pedophiles would be Tatchell’s biggest supporters, whereas parents of young children would rally against any such possibility of allowing adults to have sexual access to their children. The insanely hypocritical part of Tatchell’s argument was how he rallied against Pope Benedict’s visit to the United Kingdom — specifically, so he claimed, because of the Pope’s alleged “cover up” of clerical sexual abuse of children.

Stagnaro claims that it is not about Tatchell’s sexual orientation and then goes on to claim that a gay man is a depraved child molester with no evidence whatsoever. Moreover, while Tatchell has campaigned to lower the age of consent in the UK, he proposes to leave in place the maximum three year age differential so it would not make more children sexually available to to him or anyone else (not that it was ever a valid argument regardless of the law’s configuration). Tatchell’s stated aim is to not criminalize teens for consensual, age-consistent sex.

But what really disturbs Stagnaro is the fact that Tatchell was critical of Pope Benedict for the Church’s cover-up of the abuse of children by priests. Stagnaro claims that Tatchell is hypocritical. Really? Vast numbers of children raped by Catholic priests around the world. These priests were perceived to be God’s representatives on Earth and were in positions of great power. Tatchell has never attempted to make rape, or even age-inconsistent sex, legal. Furthermore, it seems to have been the official policy of the Catholic Church to shield its priests from criminal prosecution, often moving them from parish to parish when complaints began pouring in regarding a specific man and that was the crux of Tatchell’s critcism.

The Vatican did not seem terribly interested in removing priests. For example, documents reveal that Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston had explicit knowledge of the sexual abuse of children by priests whom he moved around on the parish checkerboard to molest even more children. One of his priests is believed to have abused more than 100 children. To add insult to injury after Law was essentially forced to resign the Vatican appointed him Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. It was an enormous honor. Law retired as a pampered prelate living in a castle for his misdeeds.

But Stagnaro isn’t done:

Both Harvey Milk and Harry Hay, names associated with the homosexual
rights movement, were not only both pedophiles but were also associated
with NAMBLA (i.e., the infamous North American Man/Boy Love Association)
— though most homosexual activists are furious whenever you remind them
of this salient fact.

At one point it is true that Milk had a 16-year-old lover. 16 is the age of consent in about half of our states but California’s law was 18. I can find no evidence that Milk was associated with NAMBLA. Harry Hay, in contrast, was associated with NAMBLA. The intent is clear. Stagnaro insists that gay men are child molesters. I would wager that the overwhelming majority of LGBT advocates have never has an under-age encounter. The same is true for gay men in general.

For most of human history, the exploitation of young boys by men has been a heterosexual hobby. The practice in ancient Greece and then the Roman Empire is probably responsible for the proscription of gay sex in Leviticus that we are all so familiar with. Law enforcement has, for decades, asserted that the same is true today. Most pedophiles (including men who abuse boys) are heterosexual. Jerry Sandusky is the rule, not the exception. The gay man as predator is often a heterosexual projection.

But Stagnaro is still not done:

Consider what was understood to be the most heinous incidence of the homosexual abuse of a child ever prosecuted in the United States. In 2013, Australian citizen Mark Newton, 42, and his American companion Peter Truong, 37, paid a Russian woman to give birth to a child and hand him over to them. They paid $8000 to the woman for her troubles.

The homosexual couple started sexually abusing the child when he was just 20 months old. Police in Australia and the United States found 80 hours of videos recording the abuse. A great amount of it was uploaded to an international pedophile syndicate known as Boy Lovers Network.

The intended inference is that gay men are terrible parents. The research demonstrates otherwise. Furthermore, we do not judge heterosexual men by this Australian guy renting out his daughter:

The 42-year-old Australian, who was the leader of the so-called ‘Evil 8’ paedophile ring, was sentenced in June to 22 and-a-half years in jail for offences against his daughter over a two-year period, when she was aged between 11 and 13-years-old.

At his sentencing the unnamed man said: “It was fun while it lasted.”

Stagnaro is still not done:

Evil begets evil.

Moira Greyland, a Celtic music harpist, is the daughter of two American writers. Her mother, … Marion Zimmer Bradley, (d. 1999,) was a science fiction and fantasy novelist. … and Moira’s father, Walter Breen, wrote books on numismatics. Breen was a misogynistic, bisexual, incestuous pedophile.

“…My mother molested me from ages 3-12. The first time I remember my
father doing anything especially violent to me I was five. Yes, he raped
me. I don’t like to think about it.”


Greyland says that what sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial. “They really believe that the only way to produce another homosexual is to provide a boy with sexual experiences before he can be ‘ruined’ by attraction to a girl.”

Greyland had awful parents. Greyland is a victim of awful parents, both of whom were bisexual. This piece in the Washington Post is informative. Greyland’s statements about gay people are preposterous fiction. Her perverted parents were not representative of the gay community.

Might as well toss in the kitchen sink while he is at it:

And what ties all of this evil together under one perverted umbrella?
Several well-funded international organizations are pushing for
comprehensive sex education in our schools including International
Planned Parenthood, UNESCO, United Nations Population Fund, Sexuality
Information and Education Council of the United States, (SIECUS) and the
Population Council.

And the catechism of the Catholic Church:

If sex is stripped of love and the possibility of procreation, there
are no limits. And if someone were to then insist upon moral limits,
they are decried as anti-progressive, old-fashioned, uncompassionate and
a hater. And thus, under the guise of being “fair” or “open-minded,”
we’ve auctioned off our very souls which were erstwhile owed by Christ

Mr. Stagnaro is apparently a victim of political correctness. These folks always are victims of something. Usually they are really victimized by their lack of curiosity and critical thinking; trying to prove out the Church’s teachings without assessing whether or not those teachings make any sense. A good place to start might be some common sense acknowledgments:

  1. Many, if not most, kids in their later teens are having sex, with or without our approval and;
  2. Those teens are having sex with peers, not adults and;
  3. The Church’s teachings on sexual orientation are inconsistent with social science and do harm to gay people and society as a whole.

Back in the day, when he wasn’t burning witches, Stagnaro would be arguing that Copernicus had everything wrong.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.