Friday, October 07, 2005

Evil Tendencies?

Allright, so if what John Allen's saying is right, CWNews has got some splainin' to do.

At the start of September, Lawler & Co. said
The text, which was approved by Pope Benedict at the end of August, says that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate, because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.
But by contrast, and to repeat, Allen reports that the Instruction
[W]ill insist that seminary officials exercise "prudential judgment" that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases....
  • If candidates have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;
  • If they are part of a "gay culture," for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point, the official said, which applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
  • If their homosexual orientation is sufficiently "strong, permanent and univocal" as to make an all-male environment a risk.
If anything, that sounds like a liberalization of the 1962 "evil tendencies towards pederasty and homosexuality" line. It acknowledges the presence of gay seminarians, and sets extreme, subjective conditions under which they will not be admitted to formation. This new policy seems to want questions and openness in the seminary process, not silence.

Fessio said on Fresh Air the other day that you don't bring even celibate gay men into seminaries because "it'd be like a pyromaniac applying to serve in a fire department." He may have to eat those words now and apologize.

We don't see much word-eating, however, from Diogenes
John Allen is now reporting that a Vatican official told him the Doomsday Doc will not, as earlier suggested, ban all homosexual candidates from the seminary, but only those who use the wrong fork for their salad.

OK, what his source actually said is that the text would exclude gays who "have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years" -- (verified how? by checking with the candidate's laundress?) -- but it amounts to the same thing: business as usual.

The issuance of the Instruction could hardly be expected to change Church practice. However it's worded, after all, it will be implemented by bishops who -- with impunity -- rub down triathletes for fun.
And he's got a photo of Bob Lynch up. How typically contrite.

The universal ban wasn't just "suggested" earlier, darlings. It was reported by CWNews. ("Pope approves barring gay seminarians" is not a headline which implies suggestive indications.)

You can see the semantic exercises of a rowback beginning.... But Lawler's trying hard to play-down the NCR report

Philip Lawler, conservative editor of the U.S.-based Catholic World News Web site, urged caution because he had been told the document as approved by the pope "did not have that sort of maneuvering room."

Lawler believes "people who have homosexual tendencies, whether or not they're active, should not be in seminaries." He said that "what the document says ends up as much less important than how the document is followed up and enforced."

So what if the document clashes with the Golden Calf of The Conservative Agenda? What then? Widespread conservative dissent? Again?

And I think our Fresh Air friend is back again.

A gay American priest, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals from church leaders, said the policy would be a step forward for homosexual candidates for the priesthood.

"If they actually put something like this out, it will be the first time that the church will have formally said that gay men have been and can be accepted by seminaries," the priest said.

All's clear, Father -- you can show your face now. Just beware of the homophobes.



Blogger Jeff said...

What is "gay" or "homosexual" if not that you have a "strong, permanent, and univocal" attraction to the same sex? Hmmm?

If you have had an untoward thought in high school or an drunken uncharacteristic episode in your fifties, are you "gay"? Dom Bettinelli may think so, but I certainly don't.

Read Allen's report carefully. The wording suggest that the Church once again is rejecting the notion that some people are homosexual by nature; Allen reports that is the difficulty of defining who IS homosexual that is the cause of the careful wording. To the person who says, "This is the way I am; this is my identity; I need to celebrate it; I can't change," the Church once again says, "Nonsense!"

But, whatever one's definition, if you have powerful, not fleeting, attraction to men (strong); you can't seem to shake or change that (permanent--remember, it's heresy to say that homosexuality is curable); and you don't have any attraction to women, but only to men (univocal) then it's not a question of "sufficiently", it's a question of "completely", isn't it? Which means that you shouldn't be a priest.

Try another reading that makes plausible sense of the words, if you like; I can't find one.

So, it seems to me that on a careful reading, CWNews and the New York Times (which reported all this too, you remember) were right.

7/10/05 17:25  
Blogger RC said...

If Fr. Fresh says gay men [...] can be accepted by seminaries, he's already misconstruing things. Men who identify with "gay culture" are specifically excluded.

We need a new term for the celibate male with same-sex attraction: e.g., the non-gay homosexual.

7/10/05 20:38  
Blogger Dad29 said...

The "Three Years of Celibacy" is obviously an attempt to put definition to 'what's a gay?'

Bearing in mind that few have seen the document as it will be issued, the reports still are very consistent, as underlined by the Cardinal who said 'anyone who knows the teaching of the Church will not be surprised.'

At any rate, it's irrelevant: the VocDir and Bishop still have to make the call.

As demonstrated in Superior Diocese just last week, they still make BIG mistakes.

8/10/05 12:08  
Blogger Richard said...

Hello kids,

It's all fun and games now.

But I'm all in favor of cooling our jets until we can actually read the blasted document.

11/10/05 17:30  
Blogger Fr. Fessio, S.J. said...

Rocco Palmo whispered on Oct 7th:
"Fessio said on Fresh Air the other day that you don't bring even celibate gay men into seminaries because "it'd be like a pyromaniac applying to serve in a fire department." He may have to eat those words now and apologize."

Dear Rocco: You may now eat your words and apologize.

22/11/05 23:05  

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