... and still more darkness
Might it be relevant to Boston's fiscal crisis whether or not it had categories of expenditures not present in a healthy, burgeoning church?
If a diocese were financially flattened because of unanticipated medical expenses caused by destructive habits of tobacco use by clergy, one might expect the bishop to implement draconian anti-smoking measures from the pre-seminary through to the retirement homes -- even though no sin is committed, no doctrine impugned, no member of the flock directly harmed by a man's candid fondness for nicotine. Well folks, we know what appetites brought the Archdiocese of Boston to its present condition. Has a single priest been required to "kick the habit" or hit the road -- beyond those who fell afoul of the law? The only suggestion I've heard along these lines dates from 1999, pre-Scandal, by a Boston-area gay e-mailing his fellow priests at St. Sebastian's Angels:
Unfortunately, in the coming sexuality pogrom, I fear many of us will be casualties in one way or another -- if we insist on saying "We are here!" I've noticed that the idea of "activism" among the older gay clergy is a rather foreign idea. They feel no urge to slit their own throats in the name of Truth, Justice, bla, bla, bla. They simply go to plush old-gay-men piano bars in Boston and sit around the piano singing show-tunes and wishing their ***** still worked the way they did when they were young.
Do we have any reason to believe that, five years and $40 million later, the same clerical gang isn't working the Web or humming along to Les Miz, as their personal taste inclines? One doesn't get the sense that sordid details like school or parish closings are going to have much impact on the style of recreation to which God's anointed have become accustomed. And, since the clergy seem comfortable with the laissez-faire approach, it's hard to feel alarm about the pension shortfall, except insofar as it might adversely affect retired lay employees who served with honor. "Let's see, yours is a Perfect Rob Roy, isn't it, Monsignor?"
God loves a cheerful giver.
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Posted by: -
Nov. 15, 2004 7:39 AM ET USA
I spent four years at St. John's Seminary College in Boston during the late 90's. There were certainly many homosexual clergy (not at the seminary), however, I think the young homosexual clergy are leaving the priesthood at a far greater rate than young heterosexual priests. Now I have heard rumors of older homosexual clergy who are discussing the possibility of leaving the priesthood. Very strange days in Boston.
Posted by: -
Nov. 14, 2004 2:13 PM ET USA
The only way to eliminate this cancer is to starve it. The bishops may control the real estate, but they don't control our bank accounts. And even the good bishops need to be kept on a shoestring budget so that they don't develop this disease. I live in a fairly well-run diocese which was barely touched by the Scandal. Still, I don't give money to the diocesan slush fund no matter how many videos of the bishop saying he needs money are shown at Mass. Better to give it all to the poor.
Posted by: -
Nov. 14, 2004 12:49 PM ET USA
I am v sad. The email you report reminds me of one I received from a priest on the internet, with whom I was chatting about the subject above. He asked me how I dared to question his ability as a pastor because I didn't know him, and said practicing homosexuals are fed-up with that expression. In his words, "most of us are very good at it!" He then blocked me from continuing to try and reason with him about Christians having to be chaste whatever their orientation. May God convert them all