Friday, September 30, 2005

The Mychal Judge Question

I got an e.mail the other day with an old Mother Jones cartoon from 2002. It tied in pretty nicely with a piece from last Sunday's NYTimes I happened to find while sorting out the recycling last night.

Basically, thanks to Andrew Sullivan, the juxtaposition is being revived between Fr. Mychal Judge -- the openly gay Franciscan chaplain to the New York Fire Department who was among the first Ground Zero casualties on 9/11 -- and the coming instruction known as Gay-Ban. Now some are out there trying to say that Judge never disclosed his orientation and it didn't matter a fig and this is all a tool for an Agenda and the press is sacrificing their children to support the gays.... Etc. etc. etc.

Hmm.

That's not what the Times says

Father Judge was also, according to many of his friends of all sexual orientations, a homosexual. A celibate homosexual, he told friends, but a homosexual nonetheless. And reports last week that the Vatican is likely to try to bar gay men, even celibate ones, from the priesthood stirred anger among those who revere his memory.

The former city fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen, a close friend of Father Judge's, said Thursday that excluding men of his caliber from the priesthood would be simply "a shame."

Mr. Von Essen, a married, practicing Catholic who said that Father Judge came out to him years before his death, added, "To sacrifice your life to God and try to do so much good every day and to be prevented from doing that - it's no wonder they can't get anyone to join the church to become a priest or a nun."

But most surprising of all is a quote from the usually rightward-in-line editor of First Things
The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a conservative Catholic who edits the religious journal First Things, said that he doubted that the final document would include celibate gays in the ban. Such a policy, he said, "would raise enormous theological and moral problems in the teaching of the church."
That's Neuhaus, people. Not CMSM, not America, not VOTF. Neuhaus is saying a clear-cut ban "would raise enormous theological and moral problems." And Bill Donahue isn't such a ban fan, either. Are they now serving the heterodox Agenda?

Talk about your surprises....

-30-

14 Comments:

Blogger Worker7 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30/9/05 10:53  
Blogger Jeff said...

"Are they now serving the heterodox Agenda?"

You can just as well turn the question around--if there is a ban on celibate homosexuals, does that mean the Pope is a bigot?

And if such a ban raises "enormous theological and moral problems", where were those problem when Pope John instituted the ban that remains in place today?

30/9/05 11:08  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Fr. Neuhaus has been wrong before.

He is a "NeoCon" Catholic, to borrow some terminology. Good guy, articulate, an enjoyable speaker and writer.

But not always right.

One notes, e.g., that Neuhaus (at least as you quote him) is unable to mention ONE citation for his claim.

30/9/05 11:21  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Bill Donahue? BILL DONAHUE????

You cite Bill Donahue?

There is hope for you..but if you keep this up, purgation may be significant.

30/9/05 11:28  
Blogger patrick said...

"You can just as well turn the question around--if there is a ban on celibate homosexuals, does that mean the Pope is a bigot?"

An interesting question from a man who wrote that Cardinal Husar was a "scumbag" on the defunct Papabile.

30/9/05 11:37  
Blogger Jeff said...

Here's the 2002 Response to a dubium by CDW:

"Ordination to the deaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

Did that raise "enormous theological and moral problems"? Not to mention the Catechisms description of homosexuality (the tendency, not the acts) as disordered.

Neuhaus is a silly blowhard, I've never thought much of him.

30/9/05 11:39  
Blogger Jeff said...

Patrick:

Touche.

I ought not to have used the word of the Cardinal. But I DID apologize for it.

So skewer away, I deserve it. Of course, you COULD have adverted to the apology, not to mention engaged with the substance of my remarks on that occasion or this.

But I guess rhetorical triumph has its own charm, doesn't it?

30/9/05 12:39  
Blogger John Hearn said...

Neuhaus was quoted in the NYTimes, for Pete’s sake! I would be slow to credit this quote as being indicative of the good Father's complete thoughts on the subject without some sort of conformation.

30/9/05 12:42  
Blogger patrick said...

"not to mention engaged with the substance of my remarks on that occasion or this."

I should think a self-styled "orthodox" Catholic would not invite people to chastise the Holy Father before the document comes out. I decline your invitation.

30/9/05 12:57  
Blogger Jeff said...

Patrick:

You *KNOW* perfectly well that I didn't "invite" people to chastise the Holy Father, before OR after the document comes out.

What I "invite" them to do, as is clear to every honest reader, is to reflect on the ugly place to which their reasoning would lead them if consistently applied, and thus to abandon it.

Patrick, my friend, there's no need to PRACTICE cheap shots. You've obviously mastered the art already! One straw man slain!

****

With reference to my rude remark about Cardinal Husar, here is a precis of the context, int the unlikely event that anyone is interested:

Cardinal of the Catholic Church publicly denies that two defined Dogmas are part of the Deposit of Faith. He then proceeds to wish that his people had never become Catholic in the first place, but had remained Orthodox.

Response from Catholics? Deafening silence.

One scandalized Catholic shouts intemperately: "Scumbag!" Then retracts.

Response from Catholics? "Fie, out upon him, unforgiveable, attacking the poor Cardinal"...etc., etc.

Having retracted my untoward language, let me join myself with the Fathers of Trent, who defined the Doctrine of Purgatory which Cardinal Husar despises, and say more appropriately to His Eminence : "Anathema sis!"

30/9/05 13:38  
Blogger RC said...

If I read Fr. Fessio's comments aright, he seems to treat the presence of chaste homosexual men as a non-problem.

30/9/05 16:11  
Blogger Ben said...

Homosexual desires are a disorder. Just like having sexual thoughts about children is a disorder. Say you have a few thoughts about either one. These thoughts can be cast out and God can help you stay chaste and pure. But what if your ideology is that these thoughts are fine and normal and regularly stick up for them and those that have them instead of condemning the thoughts and casting them out. Say you call yourself a Homosexual or a lover of Children but still what to be a priest. The Church in Her wisdom says that it is not advisable to ordain people with such disorders that are not conquered yet.

30/9/05 17:03  
Blogger RC said...

By the way, is it truly correct to call the late Fr. Judge "openly gay"? Some people who thought they knew him well were surprised (even downright incredulous ) by the reports of his homosexual orientation that emerged after his death.

If he was only open about that burden of his to his closer associates, then it might not be so appropriate for gay-movement people to make him an icon for their own social-political purposes.

1/10/05 00:45  
Blogger George Collie said...

Have homosexual thoughts is what is called have a same sex orientation. There is nothing disordered, or particularly wrong, with this.

Equating homosexuality to sexual crimes such as pederasty is wrong and grossly misreads Catholic teaching. This is another why the ban on gay priests and seminarians is a bad idea. It would give comfort to bigotry.

1/10/05 23:04  

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