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and the beat goes on...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 25, 2005

Father Timothy Radcliffe, former worldwide head of the Dominican order, tells readers of The Tablet how they should interpret the Vatican Instruction:

I have no doubt that God does call homosexuals to the priesthood, and they are among the most dedicated and impressive priests I have met....And we may presume that God will continue to call both homosexuals and heterosexuals to the priesthood because the Church needs the gifts of both.

Wait; doesn't the Instruction say that homosexuals should not be admitted to seminaries? Some people make that claim, Father Radcliffe tells us:

But this cannot be correct since, as I have said, there are many excellent priests who are gay and who clearly have a vocation from God.

The key to the logic of that sentence are the words "as I have said." If we're allowed to question the accuracy of Father Radcliffe's observation-- much in the same way that he questions the accuracy of the Vatican document-- we're back at Square One.

Alternatively, we could question the logical powers of the former Dominican leader. Especially when, in his discussion of "spiritual paternity," he writes:

If the role of the priest was to be a model of masculinity, then he would be relevant to less than half of the congregation...

Because, as we all know, women don't have fathers.

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Show 10 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 27, 2005 8:24 AM ET USA

    "It seems clearly to say 'A,' but since 'A' does not comport with my own experience, it cannot be read to say 'A.'" Sophistry, obviously. Irreconcilable with fellow traveler Rev. James Martin, S.J.'s comment that any honest reading of the instruction entails the conclusion that it bans homosexuals from the seminary. Of course, both predict that homosexuals will not seek to enter the seminary, and that other demoralized homosexuals will leave. Were that it were so, but no.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 7:53 PM ET USA

    Some pink feathers have been ruffled, and it looks like a mini revolution is beginning. I encourage the right of these individuals to revolt and start their own sect which would be filled with lots of flamboyance and drama. Please demonstrate your solidarity with each other and strike, out your secretive leaders and take a few empty buildings that have been sold to pay for your brothers' indiscretions in intiating young boys and men into the wonderful wacky world of man love. Please strike.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 7:35 PM ET USA

    If the role of the priest was to be a model of masculinity, then he would be relevant to less than half of the congregation... Because, as we all know, women don't have fathers. You know, Diogenes, some of us had only what amounts to a sperm donor due to divorce...which is why when I think of a priest as being an earthly father, I want him to be a man that I can admire and give credibility to because he's sincere in his beliefs, not one that repulses me because he thinks nasty thoughts.

  • Posted by: Lucius - Nov. 25, 2005 3:50 PM ET USA

    The fact that Fr. Radcliffe can so easily identify gay priests he's met is based on either his assumption they are gay or what he himself says ought to exclude them from the priesthood:a person whose orientation is so central to his self-perception,as to be obsessive and dominating his imagination. This latter observation of his is a good definition of the rooted homosexual. He tries to argue that the excellent gay priests he can readily identify do not belong this category. Wishful thinking.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 2:50 PM ET USA

    I have to say I am very confused as to why there is any ambiguity regarding the subject. Isn't scripture very explicit that homosexuality is a perversion and those who actively engage in such activity will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Hasn't the Holy See been clear on the subject? Why do we continue to pander to such a small group of people? Aren't the bishops supposed to be obedient to Rome rather than their own opinions? Do they even bother to read scripture?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 2:11 PM ET USA

    Could it be that the Holy Father is watching for open dissent against the instruction? If so, will he take appropriate action? This is truly a test for the Vatican, which cannot afford to allow dissenters to take over and run things.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 1:28 PM ET USA

    I take some consolation in the fact that this man is no longer the head of the Order, but wow, he has sure shown his cards in his statements about the document over the past weeks. Look at this guy's piece in the Tablet: it is a classic in post-Conciliar writing; hesitation here, qualification there, justice and brotherhood, but dissent all around. He says that opposing gay marriage looks like discrimination against homosexuals, but this appearance is a risk which must SOMETIMES be taken.What?

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Nov. 25, 2005 12:43 PM ET USA

    "I have no doubt that God does call homosexuals to the priesthood" Its a good thing that the charism of infallibility is extended to discernment by religious superiors, regardless of how heteredox their practices or theology, and that spiritual blindness doesn't result in any errors. I've been looking in the CCC and haven't found the passage in 3 years of searching but I'm sure its there, just like the Sacred Music instruction on the John Travolta movie Dance Fever, authorizing liturgical dance

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Nov. 25, 2005 12:31 PM ET USA

    When a phone call comes in to Dominican World Headquarters saying there is a resurgence of hardass Albigensians in the world, I take some comfort in the Pontifical rolodex not coming to a rest on the former sweatervest Dominican's business card. If there is a resurgence, however, in a radical sect of Richard Simmons' crytocatholics sweatin' to the oldies in the catacombs, I know exactly who they'll call to get their groove back, since models of masculinity are outdated.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 12:29 PM ET USA

    Now for a document that states homosexuals should be removed from the Priesthood and Episcopate due to this objective disorder.

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