Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

trust us to fix it

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 16, 2005

The Washington Times reports that "the U.S. Catholic bishops will sidestep the issue of whether gay men should become priests at their semiannual meeting," which began today at the Chicago Fairmont.

And why, boys and girls, was it a foregone conclusion that the bishops would "sidestep" the issue? Because the question of whether gays should be ordained cannot be addressed without first addressing a considerably more explosive question: the number of bishop-disputants who are themselves gay and have a profound personal interest that there be no public examination of the connections between their sexual appetites, their convictions, and their conduct of office.

Let's do a little stock-taking of those U.S. bishops who are publicly known to be gay:

  • Retired Bishop Dan Ryan of Springfield, IL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Tom Dupre of Springfield, MA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, CA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Kendrick Williams of Lexington, KY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Keith Symons of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens of Sioux City, IA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Joseph Hart of Cheyenne, WY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Non-Retired Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? The papers reported his $100,000 sexual harassment pay-off to his communications flack.
  • Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, WI. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? His lover broke the news on Good Morning America .

Nota bene: this isn't a roster of gay bishops. This isn't even a roster of gay bishops who have misbehaved. This is list of only those gay bishops whose misbehavior has gotten them in trouble with the law -- and that so deeply that their proclivities were objectively undeniable. What percentage of the total of gay bishops do they represent? I don't know and you don't know. And about the only things we do know are:

1) the bishops won't be up front with us about names or numbers;

2) their clandestine gay brethren are voting, caucusing, doing committee work, legislating, cutting deals, and deciding (among other things) whether gays should be admitted to the seminaries;

3) all bishops, gay and not, will maintain in public that there is no reason to believe a gay bishop would use his vote -- on this or any issue -- in any way other than to advance the good of the universal Church.

The abuse scandal has already cost the U.S. Church $1 billion, as well as immeasurable spiritual harms, predicated on the grotesquely perverse intuition that personal sexual anarchy can co-exist in a truce with priestly life. The fact that the obvious reckoning can still be "sidestepped" tells us all we need to know about the episcopal will for reform.

Say hello to the future, folks.

What matters is his commitment to celibacy...

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