Since the news reports a week ago that the Vatican is about to ban
new gay priests, whether or not they remain celibate (see our prior
would discuss the topic. So far, there has only been one MOJ post,
which quotes at length from a column written by a gay and celibate
American priest, but offers no commentary.
Two days ago, a self-proclaimed “serious Catholic” sent me a link
by its editor Michael H. Brown — “If the Church Gets Tough — Very Tough —
with DEVIANCE, Pope Will Make His Mark.” The sender declared that
“it is an excellent article, written with honesty and a clear understanding of
the Church’s teachings.”
The message of the article is, to my mind, quite remarkable and sad. After
declaring that homosexuality is a “deviance,” caused by “demonic” forces,
the article states
“the truth is that those who are homosexual grapple with a
disorder that requires deliverance. It is a spiritual issue. And
while they struggle with that disorder they do not belong in a
position of any spiritual authority.”
After recommending a purge of homosexuality from the clergy, it concludes:
“We must purify the Church at all costs. Nothing else will work. A gay should
not become a priest. He should seek out a good priest for help and deliverance.”
To me, this message is hateful and not the least bit “Christlike.” Jesus, who
loved sinners, surely loved non-sinners who merely had tendencies — biological
urges and preferences apparently given to them by their Creator.
As a Catholic grammar school pupil, I was taught by nuns and priests that any
sin of a sexual nature — including “impure thoughts” not immediately purged
from our minds — was a mortal sin (leading to eternal damnation if not confessed
before death). I guess the Vatican believes that gays can never win the fight
against such impurity, and that merely abstaining from acting on the impulses
is not enough. I would hope that this kind of thinking is quite worrisome to the
thinking Catholic, even those who pledge their obedience to their Pope.
It’s estimated that perhaps as many as 30% of
priests are gay. For generations (centuries?), an adolescent
male’s lack of normal teenage interest in girls was seen by his
Catholic family and clergy as a sign that he might have a
“vocation” from God to enter the priesthood. Ironic, huh?
As a former Catholic, I know my perspective may not be clear or objective
enough. That’s why I hope to hear from practicing, serious Catholics on
this subject. Help me understand. Better yet, help your Pope avoid the
turning of an ancient form of fear and discrimination into a policy that should
have no place in the Church that claims to speak for Christ on earth.
September 29, 2005
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