Monday, September 19, 2005

CWN: Gay Ban Green-Lighted

Lawler's saying it....
Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has given his approval to a new Vatican policy document indicating that men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained as Catholic priests.

The new document-- which was prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education, in response to a request made by the late Pope John Paul II (bio - news) in 1994-- will be published soon. It will take the form of an "Instruction," signed by the prefect and secretary of the Congregation: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Michael Miller.
The report anticipates a Post-Synod release.

-30-

22 Comments:

Blogger patrick said...

Too bad, if true. It will be interesting to see what the document actually says. The devil is in the details.

19/9/05 15:04  
Blogger Jon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

19/9/05 15:24  
Blogger Jon said...

The bugle sounds from beyond the hills. The cavalry has arrived.

19/9/05 15:30  
Blogger Jeff said...

Patrick is wrong with his "too bad," of course, but right that it will be in the details that all of this shakes out.

Obviously, there are people who might have had the occasional homosexual temptation or fling and there are those who might have once felt "defined" as homosexuals, but who no longer feel those temptations. How will policy deal with them?

And how will it play out in countries such as Canada in which "discrimination" against homosexuals is fast becoming a Crime Against the State?

Nevertheless, almost anything in the direction of scrutiny will be an improvement; heck, even the clarity of the statement that those who characteristically experience such temptations are not in the ordinary course of things fit material for the priesthood is an advance. But heck, those plagued with recurrent bouts of deep depression and chronic alcoholics aren't the ones we would select either, though they all have their paths to holiness.

It will be a judicious and slowly advancing cavalry and its martial call may not stir everyone's blood, but it does arrive in the end, doesn't it?

19/9/05 17:21  
Blogger Jeff said...

Oh, hang on a sec.

"Hey, Jeff:

"Homophobe!"

"Bigot!""

...

Just thought I'd save you guys the trouble.

It will be interesting to see if you folks start applying these words to the Holy Father now that he seems to have adopted the course so many of us "bigots" were urging on him.

19/9/05 17:24  
Blogger Bob da Greek said...

Are those priests who currently strive to serve the church faithfully and chastely 'in spite of' a homosexual orientation now to consider their ordination some kind of mistake?

19/9/05 17:29  
Blogger Fr. John said...

Once again, I must ask, does this mean that God does never call men with same sex attraction to the priesthood? Or did he once call some such men (though not, obviously for all such men who were ordained, and now has changed his mind? Or has the Lord not changed his pattern to call some men with SSA, and are we, for our own political and sociological, and perhaps psychological, reasons decided to ignore the call?

And if a seminarian has left job and security and pension plan, and during all the time of discernment and formation has been honest about his past with the recruitment and formation personnel, is the church ready, as a matter of justice, to make him whole, financially and in his career? If not, is the church willing to endure the rounds of lawsuits that will result?

19/9/05 18:25  
Blogger Jeff said...

Bob da Greek and Fr. John:

All these questions can be answered in the same way you would answer the questions, "Did God call alcoholics to the Church; did God call pedophiles to the Church?"

Do either of you think everyone who has become a priest should have? Or have people ever been ordained in the history of the Church who should not have been?

Priests who are ordained and are homosexual will still be priests, OF COURSE, and they can and should keep their vows. If they "live out" their homosexuality--especially if they embrace the "lifestyle"--then they should be taken out of ministry. If they fall into sin and repent, that should be dealt with on a case by case basis. It's really not so hard to figure out. It's just hard if you don't want to do it in the first place.

We should avoid ordaining people with this inclination to sin in future, that's all.

But all you guys know that all of this--even if the document is very uncompromising--will be applied slowly, gingerly, and with charity. The best/worst we can hope for/fear is that there will be a process begun for weeding out seminarians. More likely, only the most egregious cases will be dealt with like that and there will simply be a heightened scrutiny of new applicants slowly forced into place against resistance from some diocesan and seminary personnel. And some will get by, of course, just as some other bad risks will get by and always have.

But those who want to "live it out in celebration" will slowly but surely over the years find the air disappearing. Hosanna in excelsis!

19/9/05 18:58  
Blogger Fungulo said...

Well, that seems to be seminarians taken care of.

So what do people think of the idea of 'weeding out priests' 'weeding out bishops' 'weeding out cardinals' who might be gay?

19/9/05 19:18  
Blogger Fr. John said...

a reply to Jeff,

If you had read my post carefully, you would have noted that I did indeed indicate that not all those who have SSA and have been ordained were genuinely called by the Lord.

But I think that it is indisputable that some have been. As have some alcoholics, and some who suffer in other ways. God chooses the weak. Not always. But at least sometimes. What I find most troubling is the failure to acknowledge that this is primarily a theological issue, not a sociological one. It is as if the church is being run by an alliance of lawyers and sociologists and publicity agents.

You say that I know how the document will be applied, gingerly, tentatively, etc. I don't know that. Partly, it will depend on what is in the document. And different formators will apply it differently, giving different emphases to different aspects. But there is great potential, at least, for injustice, and arbitrariness, and general wrong-headedness.

Obviously, priests should live their vows, and structures and patterns of formation should identify men who can do this, and then teach them how to do this well. I just don't think that this rumored new policy will accomplish that goal.

19/9/05 19:41  
Blogger Jeff said...

Father John:

God "calls" people to the priesthood through the Church. People are forever saying that they are "called" although they are married, etc., etc. Well, if the Church didn't call them, they aren't called, despite their interior certainty.

If you mean that it's possible that there are some homosexuals and some alcholics that could make good priests DESPITE their sinfulness, well, of course there might be. Just read THE POWER AND THE GLORY. So what? We can't know which ones! We're looking for mature, healthy people not people with moral disabilities.

"Well, folks, we hired this alcoholic to be your priest, because--Who knows?--God might have been calling him. Now he's in the drunk tank permanently and won't be returning to be your minister. We're hiring a new fellow who has had a serious addiction to pornography for years. But we're hoping he works out anyway!" A fine way to run a diocese!

Priests are supposed to be moral exemplars. We know that some of them may not in fact be. But we don't deliberately choose people who have serious moral weaknesses. But perhaps you think we do! All I can say is, Thank goodness you won't be making the decisions!

I would have more confidence in these objections if those who made them showed serious concern for the number of active, practicing homosexuals in the priesthood today. That came BECAUSE the ban of previous years was relaxed in practice. But most people who object to this new policy either don't recognize a problem or don't take it with any seriousness. They're happy enough if things just continue on as they are.

I'm glad that Rome ISN'T happy. Let's try NOT ordaining a few homosexuals who might be called for a while, instead of ordaining gobs of homosexuals who, by their performances to date, have obviously been called to something quite different.

19/9/05 20:11  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Fungulo's post suggests an interesting theoretical question with very practical consequences.

Is this ban of gays from the priesthood to be retroactive?

If so, do we have enough eucharistic ministers to take up the slack?

19/9/05 23:44  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Bush has his "interest" in New Orleans to detract from the Iraq debacle.

The Vatican has this issue to detract from the sorry state of a church that proclaims the Eucharist to be our reason for gathering each Sunday.

Once the gays are eliminated from sems, orders, etc. and the problems still persist, who will be blamed next? Non-supportive parents? The liberals? The US materialistic society? Secret judaeo-masonic infiltration of the Magisterium? Aliens from outer space? Where there is a will there is a way to always find another scapegoat.

Besides, it will be so much fun to see those big, butch, high testosterone real men prance around in their watered silk dresses and old lace table cloths. And let us not forget those cute little pillbox hats with pom-poms.

20/9/05 02:13  
Blogger Dom Dominic said...

To take the comments of Fungulo and Gyrovagus even further "in theory:, perhaps the retroactive ban should only go back so far. No need to punish well meaning queers with good and holy intentions, ESPECIALLY if they entered back in the day of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Tridentine Mass. I mean, really now! Could they have even known the beast within them?!? Certainly can not punish them for their ignorance

A situation like this calls for non-stop ejaculatory prayers to Ss. Sergius and Bacchus, Ss Perpetua and Felicity, as well as St Aelred and St Maximillian Kolbe, for the intention that a commission be formed to determine the retroactive date and how to implement it.

HEY! How about putting the SSPX in charge of it?

20/9/05 03:29  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Pope Benedict is right.....
There will be less chance of young boys being abused if the priests are free of homosexual tendencies.

20/9/05 08:45  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The proper understanding of the term "God calls..." includes the little fact that He 'calls' THROUGH His Church, which happens to be making the rules.

20/9/05 10:30  
Blogger patrick said...

Hold your horses everyone. We haven't seen the document. We don't know what it says. Probably CWNEWS hasn't seen it, but just got word that the document - whatever it says - has been approved.

20/9/05 10:45  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

And there is less chance of young girls being abused by their fathers, uncles, etc. if they are free of heterosexual tendencies.

And there is less chance of wives being abused by their husbands if they are free of uber-macho HETEROSEXUAL tendencies.

20/9/05 14:18  
Blogger Tony said...

Oooooh... Jimmy. Are you some sort of heterophobe?

20/9/05 15:50  
Blogger Fr. John said...

It is of course true that God calls in and through his church, and through the interior sense of call of an individual. But this dual discernment - or the candidate and the representatives of the Church - is a discernment of God's will. It is not a discernment of what is convenient, politic, what will appeal to the crowd, or any such thing. It is a mutual discerning of God's will. Hence, my questions above.

20/9/05 18:29  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Tony ... absolutely.

What is given will be returned, 7-fold.

20/9/05 19:47  
Blogger christianspectator said...

Jimmy Mac,

Regarding the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, the overwhelming victims have been young boys - NOT young girls - which points to homosexual tendencies in the priesthood.

Benedict is right, the Church can't have homosexuals in the priesthood.........

21/9/05 10:36  

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