Beware of the Self-Anointed "Orthodox," Part 23,465
Years ago, I befriended an ex-seminarian who had been let go by his diocese - one of the extremely liberal dioceses that are supposed to be gay-friendly. He was aggressively "orthodox" and was constantly dismayed by the lack of commitment to the magisterium by his fellow candidates and seminarians, and he believed that his bishop and vocations director had it in for him because he was a conservative. He also confided that he was homosexual, which I am sure was a difficult thing for him to do. He was a nice, well-meaning guy who seemed a little bit lost and was working a job that was way beneath his abilities. As time went on, however, it became clear that he was indeed very troubled. Everything he said and did was in disturbingly lugubrious tones. He became strangely devoted to the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. Over time, his romantic interests in me became more pronounced and obsessive, and it became necessary for me to cut off contact with him. He did not get the hint, so he kept on leaving messages on my voice mail every few days, to my annoyance. At some point, he moved back to his hometown (I think) and that was the end of that. A couple of years later, I ran into him by accident, and he bitterly chastised me for rejecting him. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he had become an obsessive pest.And in the latter lies the crux. But of course, being nuanced, discerning and intelligent doesn't serve The Agenda -- because it's not really about getting gays, it's about getting *GASP* liberals. (Because the gays and kid-touchers are all liberals and never use Latin or obsess about things Marian. Puh-leeze. Cipolla, anyone?)
It seems clear that the diocese did the right thing by getting rid of him... he was fighting too many demons to be of much pastoral use. While it would be unlikely that he would have ever become as screwed up as Father Erickson, he seemed to have just enough self-knowledge to damage himself and others but not enough to be able to actually come to terms with himself. And, remember, this diocese is well-known for its gay-friendly clergy. My conclusion is that, if it is true that the diocesan priests there are as gay as claimed, then they must do a fairly reasonable job of keeping the well-adjusted gays and getting rid of the maladjusted gays.
According to this theory, conservative gays can just be kept inside the closet and left to take their self-hatred out on others as cassocks, incense and altar boys (no girls in the Sacristy, hmm-hmm) swirl around them and Father cries at the consecration on Respect Life Sunday... And, most importantly in this parallel universe of 1958, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors. And that's seen as OK. And that's what's demoralizing good priests and tarnishing the repute of their priesthood these days, people.
It almost seems as if someone really wants to let a thousand Ericksons bloom. But that's what happens when the life of the People of God is turned into a vehicle for flawed political agendas. And this is one agenda item too far.