Action Alert!

... and a medium slurpy to go

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 16, 2005

Father Bob Pierson, O.S.B., read the Vatican's instruction and blew out a head gasket:

"For quite some time I have wrestled with conflicting teaching by the church -- that gays and lesbians are to be respected, but that somehow we are not fit for work in the church," said Pierson, who announced his decision in an e-mail message Wednesday to staff and students.

"But with the new teaching, which says gay men are 'objectively disordered' and cannot relate properly to men and women, it became clear to me that I cannot continue in campus ministry," Pierson said.

"For me, I have decided that I am not disordered, that I can be an effective celibate gay priest, that I can relate effectively with men and women," he said. "I have chosen not to be dishonest about my thoughts and feelings, and to resign."

So the guy's got some navigational problems. Where did they put him to work? Campus ministry, naturally. His new position is uncertain; the article says, "Pierson said he will remain a priest, probably taking on some role at St. John's Abbey, where he lives."

In an e-mail message Thursday, Brother Dietrich Reinhart, St. John's president, said the school "deeply regrets" Pierson's resignation. "Father Bob is a person of integrity, courage and wisdom," Reinhart said. "He has thought and prayed long and hard about issues of sexuality and the Church. I support him in this decision to resign."

Not buying it, I'm afraid. First, the Doomsday Doc taught nothing new. At most, it disappointed progressives' hopes that a capitulation to the sexual revolution was in the offing. Second, it's highly unlikely that Fr. Bob, in his role as campus minister, had been working to uphold the sexual doctrines of the Church and only stopped doing so last Thursday. That makes it hard to take seriously the claims of "integrity, courage and wisdom" Brother Reinhart makes for him. Third, although it's good Fr. Bob is no longer a campus minister, he is still a Catholic priest, and whether he likes it or not remains an officer and representative of the Church that teaches and validates in herself the doctrines he rejects. Like all clerics, moreover, he made before his ordination an Act of Faith swearing to "firmly embrace and accept all and everything concerning the doctrine of faith and morals" proposed by the Church. Nothing unexpected has been sprung on him. I could respect the man, though deploring his opinions, had he moved into a trailer park and lived by stocking shelves at Target, but he hasn't. So where, please, is the integrity in his continuing to let the Church feed him, house him, and afford him access to the altar?

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