Archbishop, Ex-Michigan Seminary Dean, Dates Church Woes to '60s

Associated Press, carried in Detroit Free Press [Seattle WA]
October 12, 2004

SEATTLE (AP) -- When Seattle Roman Catholic Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett was academic dean at a Roman Catholic seminary in the 1960s and complained about homosexuality among students, he was reassigned to parish work.

Brunett, a Detroit native, is a former academic dean at St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Mich. He has been Seattle archbishop for seven years.

Brunett says the subculture he was fighting, including drugs and hippies, is at the root of many of the sexual abuse cases besetting the church today.

He says that many of the priests cited in sex abuse cases coming to light in recent years were ordained in the '60s.

"It seems to be the period from which all these problems are coming from. I was one that fought that, because I thought it was unhelpful," Brunett said. "I was right on the mark with these people."

Brunett, 70, said he told his archbishop that the seminary had a "large colony of homosexual people" who went to gay bars, and he tried to keep some students from being ordained.

In response, Brunett said, he was branded "counterproductive" and removed from the seminary.

The seminary was not identified in an article in Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His biography does not say what years he served at St. John's. John Dearden was archbishop of Detroit from 1958 to 1980.

Brunett said some of the gay seminarians he knew turned out to be pedophiles. He also cited a recent national study indicating 81 percent of minor victims of sexual abuse by priests were male.

"One would not want to draw a tie (between homosexuality and child abuse), but I think it does raise the question," he said.


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