Social work lecturer and activist Vincent Wijeysingha has made an unusual claim at an unusual time when tensions between the LGBT community and some Christians have gone up a couple of notches over the Pink Dot event being held this Saturday.
The 44-year-old wrote in his Facebook page that a priest molested him when he was 15.
The former politician who revealed last year that he was gay said the priest of his youth would “play wrestling” with him in an attempt to touch his crotch.
Wijeysingha also recalled being shown a stack of pornographic magazines by the priest, whom he did not name.
“I haven’t till now disclosed this sorry incident publicly. It never seemed momentous and so far as I’m aware, it didn’t damage me.” But he added that the Catholic Church has faced numerous cases of sexual abuse by clergies around the world.
Wijeysingha said the church has no right to participate in a moral debate on the LGBT community given its own “hideous record” of “systematic rape and abuse of children committed to the care of a clergy ostensibly vowed to celibacy.”
In his Facebook note, he criticised Singapore Archbishop William Goh’s letter earlier this week.
“Goh’s statement waters down the church’s real disgust for LGBT people.”
Goh’s letter stated that the Catholic Church regards anyone as a child of God, therefore worthy of respect and love. But Goh said the church does not condone LGBT relationships and lifestyle.
Wijeysingha retorted: “I will take no moral instruction from those who seek to police my bedroom while turning a blind eye to the priests who lured little boys and little girls into theirs, to rape and bugger them with the connivance and the complicity of the episcopacy.”
Wijeysingha’s note gained him much sympathy on social media, but some netizens urged him to see the other side of the coin.
Evan Ong wrote on Wijeysingha’s Facebook: “I do think that even if an individual member (or leader) of the church felt differently about LGBT issues, when it comes to an official position their hands are tied, so any official statement would not go beyond that of encouraging compassion and non-discrimination. And that’s exactly what Archbishop Goh has done.”
Pope Francis had earlier this year given his stance on LGBT when he said: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with goodwill, who am I to judge?”