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heads they win, tails we lose

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 07, 2005

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.

If Allen's source is right about the Three Year Plan, we'll be considerably worse off than we were before. Inasmuch as the earlier instructions made no provision for exceptions, this latest doc will be trumpeted in the media as a Vatican about-face: "For the first time in history, the Catholic Church has admitted that gay men are fit to be priests, provided etc., etc."

The bottom line? No document will fix the problem, because the problem is the people.

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Show 37 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 15, 2005 6:02 AM ET USA

    We will not be responsible for the failure of a Bishop (or a Pope, for that matter) to do his duty properly. Bishops will have to answer for what they did. We can make sure we are solidly in the Church and with the Magisterium. We will be asked about our personal activities and what we did for the poor and the "least of the bretheren."

  • Posted by: Eleazar - Oct. 13, 2005 10:29 PM ET USA

    How will we answer the Father, when, at our Last Judgment, He asks us how we defended the Faith from these abominations (aka prudential judgments)? Somehow, I don’t think that responding, “I received the teachings and directives with docility,” is going to cut it.

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 12, 2005 7:58 AM ET USA

    We need to see the document itself. But, assuming these words are an accurate description then the "prudential judgment" will be exercised by the Bishops. They are charged with this duty. Since they are part of the Magisterium (check the Catechism) when they exercise such judgment in carrying out a Papal instruction their act is magisterial. Note well: this does not mean infallible; they could be wrong in such judgments. But they would be magisterial nonetheless.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 11, 2005 8:50 PM ET USA

    "Instead, the official said, the document reflects a "prudential judgment" that in the three cases noted above, admission of a homosexual candidate to a seminary constitutes an unwise risk." Ok, theology fans. Where, magisterially speaking, does a "prudential judgement" rank in terms of levels of the magisterium?

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 11, 2005 9:08 AM ET USA

    The rape and abuse of seminarians is not and never was a pronouncement of the Magisterium. Confusing revulsion at the child abuse and homosexual scandal with a Magisterial act of the Church is, I say in charity, confused. If the Pope issues and/ or approves an instruction on the ordination of priests it is from the Magisterium and should be accepted. Maybe asking for "docility" if a bit much for some, but accepted it must be nevertheless .

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Oct. 10, 2005 7:37 PM ET USA

    Cupertino, the phrase "the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms" presupposes that these "teachings and directives" conform with the Sacred Tradition of the Church. Let's be very clear about this; the phrase you cited can be a cover for abuse - as thousands of boys discovered as they were brainwashed into "receiving with docility the directives" of their pervert pastors and allowing themselves to be raped.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Oct. 10, 2005 2:19 PM ET USA

    Losers have a habit of doing just that ... losing. In this case we have the loss of a perfect opportunity to make some headway against the lavender mafia and their minions. Nothing will change. This boil on the body of the Church will continue to fester.

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 10, 2005 1:29 PM ET USA

    St. Catherine would have deferred to the Pope as she made clear in all her writings. She wanted the Pope to do his duty not to impose her own will. Docile means amenable to discipline. The Catechism says in Section 87 concerning the Magisterium "the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms." because "He who hears you hears me." Check it out!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 10, 2005 11:48 AM ET USA

    I would like to clarify...I said acceptance, but to me, "docile acceptance" means an "Oh well, that's the way it went, nothing more to be done about it," which would not be what I meant. If the Church makes a prudential decision that I believe to be mistaken and harmful, I believe that am obligated to hope and pray for its reversal as well as to respectfully and charitably make my concerns known to those in a position to change the decision.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 10, 2005 8:48 AM ET USA

    "But it is a matter of Church governance requiring docile acceptance. " I do wonder how St Catherine of Sienna would view this?

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 09, 2005 11:31 AM ET USA

    Verum Res makes the point exactly. Although I can see why the instruction says what it apparently does I most definitely do not agree with it. Even homosexual inclination in a gay culture should disqualify for ordination. But it is a matter of Church governance requiring docile acceptance. Those who "take up arms" against it have a problem with their fidelity. Let us pray for one another.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 09, 2005 1:24 AM ET USA

    Of course, I trust God and will never leave the Catholic Church. My "way of being church" (what an irritating neologistic twist [yes, pun intended]) will be as Uncle D described it earlier: a bit here, a bit there -- a rootless believer who will have to seek the sacraments where he finds them rendered free of the homosexual ueberkultur. Sad, and a waste of alot of precious OPEC fuel oil.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2005 11:39 PM ET USA

    How do we know the seminarians are gay?are they assessed by the rector?do they self-report?Again, can we know that they will be fine after three years of celibacy even if wild stuff was happening before?But what is more important here than the particular issue of homosexuality is the nature of the seminary education: spiritual direction, liturgical life, ascetical life, the theological formation.Maybe this homo. problem would take care of itself if virile theology and ascetical life was restored

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Oct. 08, 2005 9:24 PM ET USA

    OK, "FrScott," if the report is true, in humility & obedience I will do the same. AND I will wonder, along with Diogenes, & in private discussions with brother priests: WHY is an exception to the rule being introduced? WHO came up with this sorry exception & presented it to the Holy Father? WHAT is to be gained by admitting homosexual men to the seminary? WHAT is to be gained by admitting "gay" men (men who've led the sodomite lifestyle) to the seminary? St. Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.

  • Posted by: florentine - Oct. 08, 2005 6:14 PM ET USA

    to Cupertino's question..."who can say a homosexual can't ... ie. be chaste?" You might want to start with those 8000 plus cases, victims of sexual abuse, whose lives have been devastated by homosexual priests. Homosexuality differs from heterosexuality in that it is intrinsically disordered, unnatural to begin with. We don't know all the reasons, but we do know the consequenses - damaged lives, a billion dollars worth of damages, closed parishes, and a holy priesthood severly tarnished.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2005 4:14 PM ET USA

    It is possible to be a faithful Catholic and say that a decision to ordain homosexuals may well be a huge mistake. The Church is protected from error in Her official teaching on matters of faith and morals, but not in prudential judgements. The Church has the authority to make this decision, but it doesn't necessarily follow that the decision will be the correct one. And though we are bound to respect and accept the decision of the Church on this matter, we are not obliged to agree with it.

  • Posted by: peco - Oct. 08, 2005 4:03 PM ET USA

    Here's a novel idea:ASK seminarians if they have homosexual tendancies! You'd be suprised what you would find. Another:Find seminary rectors who are unwavering in their support of the Church. Another:Get to KNOW the men: Seminarians should have FREQUENT intense spiritual direction led by FAITHFUL directors. Another:Watch for and encourage MANLY behavior and activities. Enough sissified feminization of the seminaries and seminarians.We need manly soldiers for Christ willing to do battle.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 08, 2005 3:20 PM ET USA

    I suggest viewing Rad Trad schismatics as the Albigensians of the 21st century. We need true ascetics to deal with them and bring them back.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2005 3:02 PM ET USA

    Amen, Sir William! Prayer IS our most powerful weapon: Our Holy Father needs our prayers to strengthen him in his mission; Bishops need our prayers to be good shepherds, rather than hired men; Priests, especialy those who have faltered, need our prayers to live holy lives; Seminarians need our prayers to be protected from the wickedness & snares of the evil one; Young men need our prayers to heed God's call; Families need our prayers to become the domestic church laying the groundwork for it all

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 08, 2005 2:31 PM ET USA

    We need to pray for those who are ready to throw over the authority of the the Pope and hope for "better luck next time." It is alarming that many conservative Catholics believe they do not have to conform to the Church. They know best and apply "private judgment" to conclude that the protocol for ordaining homosexuals is wrong. You can leave the Church through the right hand door as well as the left.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Oct. 08, 2005 11:50 AM ET USA

    "Ideas please." writes Peter. Here's a few: Pray, Fast and do Penance, practice great patience and mercy; attend the Sacraments with devotion and love; suffer & offer even small things joyfully in sacrifice for your own salvation and for all sinners. I have it on good authority that these are the only ways to affect any REAL change in the Church or the world. "Sanctify yourself, and you will sanctify society." - St Francis of Assisi

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2005 11:08 AM ET USA

    Is there anything we can do except vote with our feet as Millions and Millions of Catholics have already done? We don't get a vote! There seems to be no way to tell our leaders, who have absolute power from God, that perhaps as they do this (not from the Chair of Peter) they are making a mistake? That the Catholics in this country (USA) need a change in how the pipe line that supplies our child abuser Priests works. And I thought we had a Pope with courage. Perhaps next time. Ideas please.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 08, 2005 10:21 AM ET USA

    I think Punch and Eusebius have it. If the powers that be cannot determine who has been chaste for three years, which some folks have already questioned, how can we expect them to be able to determine who is gay? What the seminaries need is discipline, and the current bishops and faculties just don't enforce the rules. Seminarians, both straight and gay, need an environment where they're encouraged to practice the chastity to which they are called.

  • Posted by: Eusebuis1 - Oct. 08, 2005 8:53 AM ET USA

    If true, this just shows how many bishops and cardinals have homosexual "leaning" or worse.

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Oct. 08, 2005 7:43 AM ET USA

    Those who talk about the strict prohibition against ordination of homosexuals in the 1961 Instruction should actually read it. Men are not to be ordained who have the "evil tendency" to homosexuality. A chaste, spriitually well grounded and instructed man could be ordained because he did not have such "evil tendency." Augustine was a libertine yet he was ordained because he was judged free of such evil tendencies to heterosexual sin. Who can say a homosexual cannot be the same?

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Oct. 07, 2005 9:20 PM ET USA

    The more I think about this story the more troubled I am. If the story is true consider this: would we, using the same standards, advance a heterosexual man to Holy Orders if they ran around with the babes during 2 years of pre-Theology and in his 1st year of Theology IF he become chaste for the last 3 years of Seminary??? On this basis it appears to me the report is UNtrue...but IF it is true---Heaven help us!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 07, 2005 8:18 PM ET USA

    Assidet Boethius stupens de hac lite, Audiens quid hic et hic asserat perite, Et quid cui faveat non discernit rite; Non praesumit solvere litem definite. (Discarded Image by C.S. Lewis, translation): By them sits Boethius, lost in hesitation. Hearing upon either hand learn'd asseveration, Wondering which side to take in this disputation; So he dus'n't bring the case to a termination.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 7:51 PM ET USA

    I questioned some time ago that our jubilation at the closing of the cafeteria was premature. I hope I am wrong. *sigh*

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 6:54 PM ET USA

    Do we expect heterosexual men to prove their ability to live chaste lives? I do hope so. This is not a gay verses straight argument, this is about the ability of these men to give themselves to Christ and to his Church. I care not about how a man might live out his sexuality if not bound to chastity – I care about how he sacrifices it for the greater glory of God.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 6:05 PM ET USA

    Fr Scott may be right but The Society of Saint Pius X is starting to look better and better.

  • Posted by: Lucius - Oct. 07, 2005 5:39 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di is right about how the three-year rule will be viewed: gays can be ordained under certain conditions. No doubt the problem is the people but the root problem is the unwillingness of the Holy See to discipline people who are sources of the problem. Dissidents remain in place. The Abp of Dublin announces that there is no reason to exclude gay from orders. munus of governance in Holy Orders cannot be fulfilled by documents alone. There has to be ecclesiastical penalties.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 5:27 PM ET USA

    If this report is true, the priests will be wearing rainbow chasubles in more than half the parishes in Los Angeles. Is homosexual orientation disordered or is it not. If this report is true, we no longer have a true guide to the Faith in the CCC.... the CCC becomes as relevant as the US Constitution when looked at by Souter, Kennedy and Ginsburg. If our Holy Father, for whatever the reason, can not hold the line on this issue, there is little hope for the more difficult issues.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Oct. 07, 2005 4:42 PM ET USA

    Di, you say: "... it will be implemented by bishops who -- with impunity -- rub down triathletes for fun." We know that this may well be true, look at the list of indicted Bp's (or those who were otherwise 'caught'). However, with the use of such basically unveiled accusations, I would hope that (1) you know for sure of other fallen Bps; and (2) that their their names and any evidence has been given to the proper Church authorities. Lord, have Mercy on us all.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 4:01 PM ET USA

    Who knows if Allen's report is true? It sounds like it is, since his source provided details (e.g. the date, 16 pages long, naming the prelates were present when it was approved, etc.) If this is the case, I think orthodox Catholics should support it. After all, the Church is not a democracy. Pope Benedict served for almost 25 years as a defender of orthodoxy in the CDF. If he has approved this document, I will respect his judgment as the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Oct. 07, 2005 3:09 PM ET USA

    With this as an "exception", the rule will never be applied and the exception always will.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 07, 2005 2:38 PM ET USA

    Pope Benedict XVI is not turning anything like the way I had hoped. Abuses continue unabated. He does nothing on Card. Mahony or on pro-aborts receiving. I trust to God he is not a theological Souter!

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Oct. 07, 2005 2:22 PM ET USA

    I hope his report is not correct... if worded as reported it would be better to not issue such a document at all.

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