Cultures, Like Organisms, Attempt to Reproduce Themselves and Minimize Threats to Their Existence

Among the concerns of American prelates are reports that an aggressive gay ethos has arisen on campus, manifesting in unwelcoming cliques and ecclesiastic flamboyance—a tendency to embrace the stagier elements of the liturgy, for instance. Witnessing this, some may conclude that the men are freely breaking their vows, but there is no evidence of this. Regardless, books on the subject argue that heterosexual seminarians feel so uncomfortable in this culture that they question their vocations. “People I know quite well have left the seminary either in disgust because people are not keeping vows, or in alienation because they’re not gay. In some cases it’s a serious problem,” says R. Scott Appleby, a history professor at Notre Dame. The Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, who heads the bishops’ group, has come to a similar conclusion. ”[T]here does exist a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual men think twice,” he said last month. Such complaints irritate gay clergymen and their defenders. “I think straight priests and seminarians shouldn’t be whining,” says the Rev. Charles Bouchard, president of the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. “I just don’t think it’s a big deal.”

This is a curious passage. The writer tells us, “Some may conclude that the men are freely breaking their vows, but there is no evidence of this.” Then he follows it up with… evidence of this: “People I know quite well have left the seminary either in disgust because people are not keeping vows, or in alienation because they’re not gay. In some cases it’s a serious problem,” says R. Scott Appleby, a history professor at Notre Dame. The Most Rev. Wilton Gregory, who heads the bishops’ group, has come to a similar conclusion. ”[T]here does exist a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual men think twice,” he said last month. And, of course, the 90-95% rate of abuse of boys, boys, boys, boys, boys and boys would suggest that at least some of our guys are indeed breaking their vows in rather dramatic ways. Perhaps he means the current crop of seminarians is not doing this, just the Woodstockized guys of yore. Hopefully so. But since we were assured everything was hunky dory 20 years ago, it would perhaps be wise for Rome to “trust but verify.”


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