An anti-LGBT, Catholic YouTube show interviewed far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay man who spent time in the spotlight thanks to the election of Donald Trump but is now reported to be millions of dollars in debt. During the show he repeated the long-circulated lie about a link between pedophilia and homosexuality.
Yiannopoulos appeared Jan. 16 on “Mic’d Up,” hosted by Michael Voris, who also heads the show’s parent organization, Church Militant, an ultra-orthodox Catholic propaganda ministry that pushes an anti-LGBT agenda. On the episode entitled “The Pope and the Homomafia,” the two discussed Yiannopoulos’s new book, Diabolical: How Pope Francis Has Betrayed Clerical Abuse Victims Like Me – and Why He Has To Go, which he released last October.
When Voris brought up the book’s chapter titled “Make the Vatican Straight Again,” Yiannopoulos had this to say about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church: “It’s quite clear, I think it’s beyond question, that this is not just a systematic failing of governments or human resources. This is a gay problem. This is a gay disease.”
He continued to claim that pedophilia and homosexuality are linked, saying: “The left cannot bear to have [this] pointed out. It’s not that gays are more likely to be into kids, but it is the other way around – pedophiles are much more likely to be homosexual.”
Voris, who has admitted he had homosexual relationships in the past, asked Yiannopoulos: “Why do you think that is? Why does the left, like, consider that, you know, taboo? … They [the left] cannot talk about homosexual men lusting after 14-year-old boys? Why?”
“When you look at the interrelations between all of these deviant sexualities, you realize that some of these things come from the same origins and they’re nurture, not nature,” Yiannopoulos responded.
The anti-LGBT right consistently links pedophilia to homosexuality – a falsehood that has been discredited – as a way to demonize LGBT people and drive anti-LGBT policy. The American Psychological Association has stated publicly that children are not more likely to be molested by LGBT people.
Since the latest sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic Church emerged last year, Voris and Church Militant blamed homosexuality in the church as the culprit and railed against Pope Francis. The sexual abuse allegations that broke last summer have breathed new life into a battle to undermine the Pope at the hands of the more conservative wing of the Catholic Church.
A November 2018 Washington Post article noted that Church Militant adopted the abuse scandal as a cause last summer when sexual misconduct allegations about former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick shifted their focus. Many top clergy in Rome and the U.S. are alleged to have known of rumors that McCarrick was harassing male seminarians, which merges with Voris’s and his followers’ beliefs that a cabal of gay top clergy is at the core of the church division.
Fordham University theologian Jason Steidl refers to this hardline, anti-LGBT segment of the Catholic Church as the “Catholic alt-right.” “We haven’t seen anything like this before,” Steidl told Newsweek, and he thinks they’re part of a bigger cultural movement. “These people have hitched their wagons to Trump’s presidency, to his tactics.”
Voris has rejected the “alt-right” label, although bringing Yiannopoulos onto one of his shows demonstrates that he’s willing to provide a platform for it, especially since Yiannopoulos’s book supports Church Militant’s anti-Pope and anti-LGBT campaigns, which may also explain why a man who identifies as gay and Catholic agreed to appear on an anti-LGBT Catholic platform.
Photo illustration by SPLC