Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

twelve months on

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 29, 2006

Well folks, it's a year today that the Doomsday Doc was officially released, instructing seminaries that candidates with deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies are unsuitable for admission to Holy Orders. In the months prior to the issuance of the document, Off The Record was not optimistic about the bishops' alacrity in implementing it. Cardinal George stated that the U.S. bishops had pleaded with Rome to cancel, or at least delay, the promulgation of the Instruction, but were turned down. In September of 2005, OTR suggested the bishops would manage to spin defeat as a ho-hum victory:

For the USCCB, the easiest tack will be to welcome the document publicly, simultaneously declaring that it amounts to a Vatican confirmation of their own efforts, back when the U.S. bishops fixed the problem (of course you remember!) three, or five, or seven years ago.

Obligingly, Cardinal McCarrick responded exactly on cue (December 1, 2005):

"The Archdiocese of Washington welcomes the new guidance from the Congregation for Catholic Education on admission to the seminary, which affirms the long-held practices of the Archdiocese of Washington."

The emphasis, monsignori, is mine. And the presidential candy-gram was Bishop Skylstad's.

Generally forgotten in the public discussion that ensued was the accompanying letter to the bishops issued along with the Instruction by the Congregation for Catholic Education, a letter which gave some specificity to the Doc by insisting that homosexual men "are not to be appointed as rectors or educators in seminaries." The will of the Holy See in the matter is pretty clear. Notice all those offices mysteriously vacated over the past twelve months? The emptied desks, the puzzled secretaries?

Of course not. Remember the motive behind the U.S. bishops' frantic embassy to Rome: all the problems the Instruction was designed to address had already been put right.


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  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Aug. 15, 2010 2:19 PM ET USA

    However long it takes, it is still a few years too late.

  • Posted by: mae - Aug. 13, 2010 6:59 PM ET USA

    Don't hold your breath, Uncle Di! Things grind pretty much to a halt in Rome in August, especially around the Feast of the Assumption. 24 hours? That;d be like expecting the speed of light!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Aug. 13, 2010 6:28 PM ET USA

    Do you suppose the Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore might have had coffee or a glass of red with somebody in some anonymous office to keep him on the job a while longer?