Action Alert!

Italian paper quotes Doomsday Doc

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 11, 2005

Well folks, we lose.

Reuters correspondent Phil Pullella points us to an article in today's edition of the Milanese paper Il Giornale, whose author claims to have seen the final version of the seminary instruction -- dated November 4th and signed by Cardinal Grocholewski, he says -- and giving several direct quotes.

Titled, "Instruction on the Criteria of Vocation Discernment concerning Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to Priesthood and Holy Orders," the eight-page document is divided into three sections, "Affective Maturity and Spiritual Paternity," "Homosexuality and Ordained Ministry," and "Discernment of the Fitness of Candidates on the Church's Part."

Some quotes:

"The Church cannot admit to the priesthood those who practice homosexuality, who display deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or who support the so-called 'gay culture'."

"Tendencies that were merely the expression of a transitory problem, such as that of an extended adolescence, must be clearly overcome at least three years prior to diaconal ordination."

"This discernment must be made in the light of a notion of ministerial priesthood in harmony with the teaching of the Church."

Bishops Reggie Cawcutt and Patrick Ziemann will be doing cartwheels of glee if and when Il Giornale's text proves genuine. They got everything they could have expected and more. After all, no bishop and no religious superior anywhere in the Church will claim to have conducted his admission and formation program differently from the new norms over the past decades ("OK, we used to admit and ordain sexually active homosexuals who were deep into the gay scene, but in light of this Instruction I guess we won't any more..."). Thus the only concrete change is that, henceforward, those who notice homosexual tendencies in priests and seminarians and raise concerns will be told they are in the wrong for so doing, since the Church has declared there is no intrinsic obstacle in the propensity itself, and it is the formatores and superiors who are to determine how the norms are to be applied.

If the text is as reported, the Holy See will have handed a victory to Saint Sebastian's Angels -- at least in the short run, say, the next hundred years or so. A setback, but not an occasion to despair. Eventually the current generation of clergy will be replaced by one with a different set of liabilities and problems and enthusiasms, and they will read the Instruction through eyes other than those of Diarmuid Martin. I know it sounds grotesque, but I can imagine the Bishop of Greater New England in 2105 perusing the document and taking the words "affective maturity" to mean "affective maturity." In the meantime, backs to the wall, lads.

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