Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,417 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Why haven't you heard about THIS papal quote?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 30, 2010

If you want to drum up controversy on the basis of one quote pulled out of the Pope's book-length interview Light of the World, how about this one, found on page 152:

Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation.

Unlike the now-famous quotation about condom use, this sentence isn't pulled out of context. The Pope isn't merely speculating. He isn't raising a possible objection or exception to his own argument. His point is clear. 

Pope Benedict reminds his interviewer: "The Congregation for Education issued a decision a few years ago to the effect that homosexual candidates cannot become priests..."

Oh, sure; we all remember that decision. As soon as it came out, American seminary administrators rushed to "clarify," saying that the Vatican intended that rule to apply only to active homosexuals. The Pope thinks otherwise; he speaks of homosexual orientation, not homosexual activity. He explains that homosexuals cannot become priests "...because their sexual orientation estranges them from the proper sense of paternity, from the intrinsic nature of priestly being." 

This isn't a trivial concern, the Pope adds:

The greatest attention is needed here in order to prevent the intrusion of this kind of ambiguity and to head off a situation where the celibacy of priests would practically end up being identified with the tendency to homosexuality.

Somehow this passage of the book has, to date, escaped the attention of commentators. It does come 34 pages later. Maybe they'll get there soon.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($117,041 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,958.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: unum - Dec. 02, 2010 12:50 PM ET USA

    The U.S. bishops could learn a lot from the Holy Father ... if they would only listen.

  • Posted by: mamato085337 - Dec. 02, 2010 8:09 AM ET USA

    Thank you for this; I didn't know what the Pope said on this issue. I applaud our Pope for his courage and for his clear explanation of why a homosexual cannot be a Priest. I find it a teaching lesson, which is of course what a Pope is supposed to do. Vive il Papa!

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 16 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6