... 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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  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2005 8:09 PM ET USA

    Any more examples of emotional immaturity? Also great drama. "I resign, brush back the tears, cry all night, as I plan to harbor myself away from public scrutiny and leech off the church while prowling for lovers within." What sacrifice is Father Bobalooey making as his bluff has once again been called, and his DISORDER been exposed. Maybe he was hoping the Vatican would haul out a sofa of understanding he could lounge upon. The US church will oblige him that luxury, and probably a hot tub.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2005 3:24 PM ET USA

    This is a classic, but by no means the only, case of the real problem with AmChurch. It does show integrity that Fr. Pierson has resigned his post for the reasons given and that his superior announced support for that decision. But the aftermath shows none at all: if prevailing g practice is any guide, Pierson will get a new role "in house." Multiply that by thousands, and you have AmChurch, undermining the Catholic Church from within.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2005 11:35 AM ET USA

    "Integrity" is also a favorite word of the Voice of the Faithful crowd....... to describe priests friendly to their causes. VOTF itself came out of the closet a week or so ago.......

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Dec. 17, 2005 10:37 AM ET USA

    If ANY person within the Church and the clergy CHOOSES to accept their homosexual orientation as a "norm" what other option but to resign do they have?

  • Posted by: Eagle - Dec. 17, 2005 9:03 AM ET USA

    The heart of this story is the response of Fr. Pierson's colleagues, rather than his histrionic gesture. There is no honor when a man, rejecting basic moral principles which he swore to uphold, eschews them on the one hand, but demands the financial support and continued status from the Order on the other. Honor would be served by a Petition for Laicization, not seeking a sinecure from his fellow Benedictines. But his fellows laud him for the gesture rather than demand the obedience of faith.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2005 7:50 AM ET USA

    "So where, please, is the integrity in his continuing to let the Church feed him, house him, and afford him access to the altar?" Gosh, Darn, Uncle Di, I very sadly almost have to side with Father Bob Pierson, O.S.B., on this one. If I were his Bishop, I'd kick him out. If I were the Pope, I'd kick out his Bishop, then him. But nobody has kicked him out, so, in theory, he's just as much of a Catholic as you and I. Yuck! *:-(

  • Posted by: - Dec. 17, 2005 12:09 AM ET USA

    Usually people, who are objectively disordered, are the last ones to know that they are objectively disordered. Father Bob Pierson must have been out to lunch for many years. Otherwise, Father Bob Pierson would have heard John Paul II speak about homosexuality and the mindset of homosexuality being objectively disordered. Father Bob Pierson says that he decided that he was not objectively disordered. Obviously, he still denies the truth. This is exactly why he is objectively disordered.