So that’s what I think!
One assumption, skulking way in the background of Mark’s question and lots of the responses, is that same-sex attraction is a sort of genetic or otherwise uncontrollable but not defining little blip on the chart of a regular-type guy.
And here I always thought I had no opinion whatever about the origins of homosexuality and certainly never have posited it as “genetic”.
Most fascinating to me though is the curious statement that SSA is apparently “controllable and defining”. If by “controllable” Leila means, “People with this disordered appetite don’t have to act on it” I heartily agree. What else have I been saying? If by “controllable” she means “People can, if they are *really* spiritual, simply will away this feeling of attraction and start feeling heterosexual attraction” then she knows more than I do–and I suspect more than she does. She also knows more than the Church which attaches no moral value to feelings one way or another, since they are typically psychophysical responses which we can get rid of about as easily as we can get rid of our pulse or the urge to breathe. Can SSA people change to OSA people. I dunno. Probably in some cases (and what about bisexuals?) All this is talking through our hats mostly since neither Leila nor I have any experience of SSA (unless I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.) All *I* have experience with is OSA, and I can tell you that while, I control it in the first sense everyday. I can’t control it in the second sense when somebody flashes a picture of a hot babe past me on the Internet. What matters is what I do with that feeling, just as what matters is what a SSA person does and if they hand their temptations over to Christ like me, what’s the dif?
However, the supreme disjunction here is that SSA is “defining” of the person. This is frankly, dead wrong. We are not defined by our disorders any more than we are defined by our sins. Disorders and sins damage, not constitute, the human person. What I keep saying is that the *person* has to be kept in view, not just some template about what all people who experience SSA *must* be like. I quite agree that it is *likely* that a SSA man will probably not be a good candidate. But I don’t see any reason in the Tradition for saying he *must* not be a good candidate and that ordination of such a one, even if he were faithful to the teaching and morals of the Church, would be invalid or that he would be, by definition, a bad priest.