By Diogenes (articles ) | January 26, 2005 5:41 AM
Commonweal has an article written by a gay Catholic priest "pre-acting" to the upcoming Vatican document on the admission of homosexuals to the seminary.
Gay priests like myself are caught in a double bind. If we speak the truth and discuss freely our existence in the church, and, more important, our experience of leading fulfilling lives as celibate men, we will be censured or removed from ministry. If we remain silent, though, we guarantee that the positive example of the celibate gay priest will remain hidden. Voiceless, the gay priest cannot defend himself within the church.
Sorry, pal, but gay clerics reap huge advantages from this system. Look at it from the other side of the fence.
Take the case of Bishop X, who holds a very high-profile position in the U.S. hierarchy. His demeanor, dress, moods, speech inflection, resentments, affections, politics, and conduct of office announce to all of us that he's gay. You know it. I know it. But we can't say it in public. This means that we cannot have an honest discussion about the problem of special pleading -- i.e., whether Bishop X's twisted sexual libido leads him to make decisions to the detriment of the Church that gratify some occult need. It looks to us as if X's shocking and baffling conduct is self-serving tactical subterfuge, but until he joins Weakland and Symons and Ziemann (et al.) by attracting the attention of the district attorney, we have to pretend that there's a more complex and innocent explanation for his vagaries.
Face it, gay clergy have a massive history of dishonesty. Remember Cawcutt's claim that he was defending celibacy? Remember Weakland's imposture in the Paul Wilkes New Yorker profile, where he announced he was especially attracted sexually "to intelligent women"? Gay priests typically surround themselves with defensive lies like concentric fortifications around a castle. Suppose you have doubts about your associate pastor, Father Y. First his defenders claim that Y's effeminacy is no clue to his homosexuality; when that's exposed as false, that Y's homosexuality is no clue to his sexual activity; when that's exploded, that Y's sexual activity is rare and episodic; when that collapses, that Y is finding himself, or adolescing, or at any rate passing through some maturation process ("chastity is the condition of being affectively present to all"). By the time it's demonstrable that Y is regularly doing the bar scene without any hesitation or remorse, we're reminded that he has so many years of valuable ministry and service to God's people behind him, that it would petty and unjust to rebuke him for one particular area of his complex and fruitful life, etc. Most Catholics, faced with this set of obstacles in making their concerns heard, just give up. "Let it take its course. And then let the cops handle it."
Now if Bishop X and Father Y and their chums were working hard to fortify the Church teachings most at risk in the current culture, we might shrug off their duplicity as moral cowardice. In almost every case, however, their sympathies are with the opponents of Catholic doctrine -- especially sexual doctrine -- and they cautiously seek to undermine it. The name for this is treachery.
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Posted by: Vincit omnia amor -
Jan. 27, 2005 10:22 PM ET USA
Fisherman: the article was in "Commonweal"... there is a link to it at the beginning of Diogenes' piece.
Posted by: -
Jan. 27, 2005 7:20 PM ET USA
Has anyone ever known of a dissension from Church teaching that did NOT have moral deviance as its motive?
Posted by: Fr. William -
Jan. 27, 2005 3:12 PM ET USA
You're right on again, Diogenes. So, can the Holy Father or one of his Cardinals make a visitation to dioceses & remove such treacherous traitors who prowl about the Church as traitorous priests & bishops? Or, e.g., can the USCCB be told that voting for Bishop Trautman to chair the liturgy committee, a bishop who has vocally & in print opposed the Holy Father & the Church's Teaching, was a traitorous act? Make them all hermits, offering Mass each day & doing penance the rest of their lives.
Posted by: -
Jan. 27, 2005 12:46 PM ET USA
The unwillingness of clergy to speak the truth of their personal witness to Christ is the most tragic flaw of our Church. It stems from the blasphemous vow/promise to obey another man, who, God knows, is fallible. It reeks of cowardice and self-preservation.
Posted by: fisherman129 -
Jan. 27, 2005 10:22 AM ET USA
a quick question... who wrote the article? from whose newsroom did it flow?
Posted by: -
Jan. 26, 2005 10:31 PM ET USA
In the present climate of so much doctrinal and moral confusion in the Church, we need priests who not only believe what the Church teaches in all areas, especially sexuality, but also teach what the Church teaches. From my knowledge, homosexual priests are unable to teach what the Church teachs on homosexuality. I believe that there are very few, if any, homosexual priests who not only believe but also teach that the homosexual attraction is an intrinic disorder. Leonard
Posted by: -
Jan. 26, 2005 3:21 PM ET USA
Fr. Thomas misses the point. It isn’t simply the presence of homosexuals in the clergy that is the problem; it is their presence, combined with a burgeoning “gay subculture” (the existence of which was so well documented by Michael Rose) that created the opportunity for abuse. Think, Fr. Thomas: Homosexuals make up, perhaps, 2-3% of the general population, yet by your account, they’re 25% of the Catholic clergy. No wonder the Church had a shipwreck of Titanic proportions.