A Catholic charity group known as Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal (CLCR) is said to have paid a total of $4 million to obtain data from various dating applications, such as Grindr, Scruff, and OKCupid.
This was stated in a story published by the Washington Post. This investigation was conducted to establish whether or not Catholic priests were living according to their vows to remain celibate.
CLCR, which has its headquarters in Colorado, has the mission of assisting clergy by offering resources supported by research, promoting excellent formation methods, and detecting areas of weakness.
The material gathered by the organization spanned the years 2018 to 2021, with the vast bulk of it concentrating on the use of the Grindr app to locate homosexual priests.
A Catholic clergy conformance organization has reportedly been buying mobile app tracking data to identify gay priests, and providing that information to bishops around the US. The group, Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal (CLCR), was formed in Colo… https://t.co/wqV2JiQEE4
— The Register: Summary (@_TheRegister) March 10, 2023
Reports were accumulated for Catholic bishops, according to the details gathered.
This allegedly originated from ad exchanges. In order to determine who was using the apps, location data was cross-referenced with a variety of church and seminary addresses.
The report did not specify whether any Catholic clerics had been removed from their posts as a result of the discoveries. On the other hand, the Post claims that CLCR has conferred with a dozen bishops over the findings.
It has been alleged that some people who worked on the CLCR project were complicit in the controversy surrounding Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, who served as the secretary general of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the past.
According to a Catholic news organization called the Pillar, which also monitored Burrill’s phone data, it was discovered that Burrill used the gay dating app Grindr in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
In the wake of the report, the President of the USCCB, Archbishop Gomez, made the decision to call for Burrill’s resignation and stated none of Burrill’s actions had anything to do with children or teenagers.
In an article for First Things, CLCR President Jayd Henricks discussed the project that the organization is working on.
Henricks noted the mission’s objective was to investigate the many ways in which the bishops’ most pressing problems may be addressed with the use of technology.
WaPo reported CLCR legally used data to uncover both homosexual and heterosexual priests and seminarians who used hookup apps.
WaPo doesn’t understand Catholic theology nor its culture’s imperative need for holiness in a world of hookup culture.https://t.co/EWiKtr8h3j
— Fay Moore (@MooreFay) March 12, 2023
He also said the work done to analyze the data had shown certain members of the clergy were openly displaying their interest in activities that remain direct violation of the vows they made to remain celibate.
He also underscored the report was not about gay or straight priests and catechists, but rather, it was about the overarching breaking of vows, which harms everybody involved.
Henricks rebuked the Post for being fixated on a minor portion of what CLCR does, pointing out the organization also undertakes studies on Catholic participation in social media and surveys congregants about their liturgical lives and needs.