Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

all things to all men

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 22, 2010

Imagine that someone was a youthful revolutionary. After his fling with radical activism he pledges to refrain from any further violent efforts to overthrow the government (and since we are all gentlemen here, we’ll assume that he has honored that pledge). But he still identifies himself as a radical, still keeps in touch with his comrades in The Movement, still sees his mission as one of service to the cause. We’re happy that he now eschews violence. But would we want him working for Homeland Security?

Or take the case of Father Joseph Palacios, a Jesuit professor at Georgetown.

Honoring his vows as a Catholic priest, Palacios is celibate, but gay nonetheless.

Let’s be honest. Someone who struggles with a same-sex attraction might remain a good and faithful Catholic, unfortunately afflicted with a disorder. Someone who identifies himself as “gay” chooses to embrace that disorder: to make his sexual preference an essential element of his identity.

…Palacios's gay identity is as central to his being as are his other components.

Moreover, to identify with the “gay community” is to make common cause with a group that rejects Church doctrine, a group that works actively to promote public policies and private attitudes that conflict with Catholic moral teaching (not to mention with natural law).

If I'm going to be a priest of authenticity, I have to be with my people. I'd been with the Latino community all along. Now it's my moment to serve the gay community in a new way.

Speaking of homosexuality as a disorder is foreign to Palacios.

At the time I entered seminary, there wasn't this whole discourse on "intrinsic moral disorder" in the church.

Actually the reference to same-sex attraction as “intrinsically disordered comes from Persona Humana, which appeared in 1975: 8 years before Palacios entered the seminary. But quite possibly that document was not on the reading list for his classes.

Then I entered the Jesuits in '92 to really have the capacity to finish the doctorate I never finished

St. Ignatius, that indomitable champion of spiritual warfare, would no doubt be delighted to learn that a recruit for his order was motivated by the desire to finish a doctoral degree.

 I was trained by a wonderful professor of social ethics that we're there to neither preach an ideology of the church, nor are we to commit to set an agenda.

So now Father Palacios passes along to students the message given to him by that wonderful professor. He will not preach Catholic “ideology.” Which is OK, really, because the Catholic Church does not have an ideology. The Catholic Church preaches the truth, which can be found in Jesus Christ. Yet if someone promises not to preach Catholic “ideology,” it’s not much of a stretch to think that he looks upon as ideological rather than simply as true.

We're there to take the gospel on Sunday and interpret it in a good way, a scholarly way, present contextual situations, and let people form their own consciences regarding things.

The Gospel will be preached on Sunday. On the other 6 days of the week, folks, you’re on your own. 

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

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

There are no comments yet for this item.