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I think we have a winner ...

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 06, 2004

Vision Book Cover Prints

As a specimen of pure episcopese, undiluted by any admixture of honesty, it's hard to beat this why-bother-your-pretty-little-head letter from Bishop Joseph Adamec to a concerned Catholic laywoman (available as a pdf file from Roman Catholic Faithful).

Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Office of the Bishop

November 21, 2003

[recipient name & address deleted]

Dear Martha,

Thank you for your reminder of August 21, 2003. Even at this late date, I wish to respond to your letter.

Please be assured that I have not knowingly ordained (nor do I intend to do so) an individual who is a homosexual. I can appreciate your concern in regard to this matter but the Bishops that I know are very vigilant in this regard. I do not know where you get the impression that this was a common practice. Perhaps, some of the regretful reports in the mass media precipitated that.

Your comment about us bishops spending our lives in cushy offices is insulting. You may wish to know that I rarely come into the office. Much of my time is spent on the road visiting parishes, schools, prisons.

May the remainder of this year of our Lord 2003 be abundantly filled with signs of favor from him in your regard.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,

+Joseph V. Adamec

At a press conference eighteen months earlier, Bishop Adamec was -- don't be shocked -- singing a different tune:

Although some Roman Catholic dioceses screen out would-be priests because of gay sexual orientations, the eight-county Altoona-Johnstown Diocese does not, Bishop Joseph Adamec said Monday. But Adamec said the diocese does take into account the prospect that a seminarian will keep his vow of celibacy after he is ordained. ...

"What needs to happen, according to me, is that we need to talk with that individual and determine whether that person is celibate or not. In other words, we either have heterosexual tendencies or homosexual tendencies. If the person is able to live a celibate life, in other words the orientation is one thing but acting it out and living it is another, then I think that we would need to take that into consideration."

Hey, trust me! Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things; I can't imagine how you get the impression that ordaining homosexuals is a common practice. Let's be clear about one thing. The regretful reports in the mass media that the diocese recently settled with 21 plaintiffs for $3.7 million as a consequence of non-traditional sexual recreations are an exaggeration.

Trust me.

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