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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Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2005 11:42 PM ET USA

    Diamantina You have a point; but I think the "all male' environment around the clock would eventually become an overpowering situation where lasting relationships are not likely to be held as in boy/girl relationships The stress imposed requiring self-restraint for a seven year stretch seems a rough road to negotiate with a strong sex drive when in such an "all male" environment. Psychological screening before and scrtiny during seminary might be required with strong supervision by honest priors

  • Posted by: - Nov. 15, 2005 12:29 AM ET USA

    Mike, Why is it unrealistic for seminarians with same-sex attraction to resist their sexual urges? Are people w/SSA less able to resist temptation than heterosexuals? People w/SSA are probably not attracted to just any person of the same sex. Some devoutly Catholic young heterosexual men surrounded by young women for years should be able to resist temptation, especially if none of the women are the men's favorite physical type. The analogy should hold true for serious seminarians w/SSA.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2005 11:21 PM ET USA

    Its the apostolic visitation, reporting directly to Rome, that counts, not the document. I agree with Phil. Its not the written instructions to the players that counts from the owner of the club, its whether the coach will bench, fire and play those players according to their performance. First down. Goal to go. Hut one, hut two...

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2005 11:27 AM ET USA

    Well said, Cupertino. Many of us share C's sense of a 'pay back' animus. I do not want to put too fine a point on his remark, but I would add that, in speaking up in defense of Cardinal Law in these pages as steadily as I have for over a year, I have meant to suggest that the ferocity of 'orthodox' Catholic condemnation of him has been more irrational than rational. Historical events of recent years require us to be extraordinarily discerning. Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us ... all of us!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 13, 2005 11:52 AM ET USA

    Priests who are "straight" are surely tempted ocassionally with sexual thoughts of women and are expected to fight the temptation. Gay priests are surrounded constantly by the objects of their "interest", especially in the seminary. Expecting them to control their urges is unrealistic. Depending upon them to be truthful about their actions and feelings is worse than unrealistic. Church is now bent over doubled in pain. Why? No guts and no BACKBONE to hold it up!!! We need a HOLY CHURCH..

  • Posted by: Cupertino - Nov. 13, 2005 4:38 AM ET USA

    This instruction, when it arrives officially, will not be just another view of the issue which can be debated, doubted, disrespected and discarded by Catholics who want to "pay back" some Bishops however much that would be enjoyable. It comes from the Pope - he approved it - and it must be received with "docile acceptance." It is Peter talking. Di's comment is well over the top in my view.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2005 5:15 PM ET USA

    In so many of the seminaries where there is a strong homosexual culture and men of faith and paternal nature are made to suffer ridicule, this document will hopefully turn things right side up. Pray that the homosexual culture is supressed and the seminaries again fill up with men who have vocations to the priesthood.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 11, 2005 4:11 PM ET USA

    A setback, but not an occasion to despair. It is amazing to me how wantonly the supernatiral perspective is ignored by the modern Church, both liberal, conservative orthodox and un, as if "the Church" "belonged" to the laity and/or the clerics. The Pope might refuse to do anything decisive. and as for the bishops... Well bishops may well continue to be bishops... Ergo, NOTHING will happen??!! Bishops will be bishops..., BUT God will be God! I little more trembling is appropriate.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Nov. 11, 2005 1:15 PM ET USA

    jchrys, agree with you except: no matter how bad things are we need not despair; and, though advances might are not being made on the enemy strongholds, the Church is NOT vanquished.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2005 12:46 PM ET USA

    This is a triumph of timidity and cowardice, ably deconstructed by Uncle Di. There is every reason for continued despair, however. "Transitory" homosexuality means, in my experience, that one is a homosexual. Look for more sex scandals, the feminization of the liturgy, more priests dyeing their hair blond and sporting pinkie rings (I'm not making this up), and taking long walks to dirty bookstores in Las Vegas with their IDs in their shoes. The church is vanquished.

  • Posted by: Phil - Nov. 11, 2005 11:48 AM ET USA

    Sorry, Uncle Di; I disagree. It may be a missed opportunity, but not a loss. Gay activists will have trouble citing a document that emphasizes that homosexuality is a disorder. And although we don't yet have details, we know that this document will say that a man who is identified as gay is disqualified from the priesthood. Will rectors cite the small print, and use the loopholes to admit homosexuals? Sure. But they do that already. The scrupulous ones may now do so less frequently.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2005 10:55 AM ET USA

    I think this document will produce good in the Church. Seminarians with homosexual tendencies will be expected not to define their whole being by them, and to maintain celibate chastity. "Deep rooted tendencies" in the parlance of Rome means obvious tendencies, or acting out on them. Hence, the need to demonstrate three years of celibacy to prove they are not deeply-rooted. I think this document will result in more disciplined, faithful priests.