Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

the episcopal perspective

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 27, 2005

Perhaps a little historical background will help put some recent controversies in a more balanced perspective. In an e-mail of six years past, the Very Reverend Reginald M. Cawcutt, Auxiliary Bishop (now emeritus) of Cape Town, South Africa, calmly discusses the prospect of a Vatican Instruction on homosexual seminarians with fellow clergymen on the Saint Sebastian's Angels listserv. Note that His Excellency believed the document would issue from the CDF, rather than the Congregation for Catholic Education. Take note too of the charity, tranquil benevolence, and deep love for the Church evident throughout.

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999 22:03:00 +0200
From: "Reg C"
Subject: Ratzinger and other minor problems

Hi guys
kill him? pray for him? why not just **** him??? any volunteers --ugh!!! Martin [Badenhorst, O.P.], you told us ages ago about the possibility of a letter from him -- can YOU give us any update? Certainly bishops of the world have not yet received anything like this -- certainly not anything to do with gay students or whatever. I do not see how he can possibly do this -- but, if he does, lemme repeat my statement earlier -- that I will cause lotsa **** for him and the Vatican. And that is a promise. MY intention would be simply to ask the question what he intends doing with those priests, bishops (possibly "like me") and cardinals (and I might as well put in popes) who are gay. That should cause **** enough. be assured dear reverend gentlemen I shall let you know the day any such outrageous letter reaches the desks of the ordinaries of the world.

Father Badenhorst's e-mail, to which His Excellency was responding, had been sent five months earlier:

Now for some bad news -- Reg do you have any inside on the next "important document" due from Der F├╝hrer's Oberst Ratzinger? I was reliably informed that SCDF and the Congregation for Religious and the thingy for priestly formation are working together on a declaration due in October - and surprise, surprise, it bans homosexuals from entry into religious life or the taking of Orders - what other horrors they contemplate against about 75% of the clergy I shudder to contemplate. I just hope that things become much more toned down than they appear to be at the moment. I am reliably informed that [a since-retired cardinal's] secretary is as flaming as they come (silence on the good [retired cardinal] though), if this idiocy gets through then the queens on the Vatican hill are piercing their own insteps with their stillettoes. Unfortunately I don't have much more information than this. On this rather miserable note... greetings and courage. Martin

What's important, you see, is not orientation but commitment to celibacy.

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