We Need to Stand with Faithful Priests Who Happen to be Homosexual

Many of our priests are homosexual.

This is a much-known but little talked about fact of Catholic life.

Some of these homosexual priests are not faithful priests.

That is also a much-known but little talked about fact of Catholic life.

But most homosexual priests are truly devout, faithful priests who are loving pastors.

That is a very well known, but again, little talked about, fact of Catholic life.

As we move forward into this post Christian world, all of us, laity and clergy alike, are going to be challenged by the larger culture. We will find ourselves having to “choose this day” whom we will serve over and again.

We will have to choose between our political parties and the teachings of Christ.

We will have to choose between old friends we love like family and the teachings of Christ.

We will sometimes find ourselves standing alone, harried by professed unbelievers and fallen believers working in tandem to force us to compromise our followership in Christ to go along with the crowd. It may get quite ugly.

As all this winds through, our need for one another will become important to our emotional strength and peace of mind. We are settling in for a long fight. We need the sustenance that only true Christian community can offer to carry us through.

Our priests are going to have to lead us through this. The need for priests who are on fire for Christ and His Church has never been greater. We need their leadership.

And they need our support.

Scripture says that without vision the people perish. The vision that will sustain us and enable us to re-convert our lost culture must come from the clergy.

These priests, most of whom are totally unprepared for it, are going to have to dig down inside themselves and find the courage and the faith to lead us through the storms ahead. It’s won’t be easy for them. Many of them will and are failing the test.

There is no doubt — none — that at least some of the ones who stand for Christ will be attacked for doing it. Which leads me to the crux of this post.

Homosexual priests are especially vulnerable to being “outed” and blackmailed by threats of being “outed.” I personally know a priest (who is not from Oklahoma) who was “outed” to his parish as punishment for his support of traditional marriage.

When this happens, we are going to have to stand with these men. It does not matter whether a priest is homosexual or straight. They are, or should be, celibate men who have given their lives to Christ and His Church. The only concern we should have is whether or not they lead us in the authentic teachings of the faith.

We need them to shepherd us through these times, and as the times get uglier, we are going to have to support them when they are maliciously and unjustly attacked.

I am not in any way talking about hiding child abuse or turning a blind eye to reprehensible behavior. I believe that we in the laity have a right to expect authenticity from our priests.

I am talking about something quite specific, and that is the threat of blackmail of faithful priests who happen to be homosexual by “outing” them as gay to their parishes. When someone decides to “out” father so-and-so, we need to look at father so-and-so with the same tenderness that he offers us in the confessional. We need to judge him by his works, his walk with Christ, and not by the attacks which are leveled against him for his fidelity.

A priest who preaches Christ and who does it fearlessly, who consoles us in our grief and forgives us in our shame, is literally a gift from God. When such a priest is attacked, we owe him our support in return.

  • JT Rager

    Catholics definitely should stand behind gay priests. They could do a better job with the pedophile priests though, that’s something that should be made out and in the clear.

    • hamiltonr

      I am referring to faithful priests, who teach what the Church teaches and who live their vows.

  • Laura Lowder

    Here’s my concern: homosexuality isn’t about lack of sexual chastity. It’s about one’s orientation to the same *and the opposite sex* in every dimension of human experience and relationship. Can homosexuals be good priests when their homosexual nature pulls them toward an unhealthy, negative attitude toward womankind? I suspect some heavy-duty counselling (reparative therapy, to be exact) would be advisable.

    • pesq87

      Homosexual priests have an “unhealthy, negative attitude” towards women? Really? So, then do straight priests have an “unhealthy, negative attitude” towards men? I think you’re making things up, Laura.

      • hamiltonr

        You’re coming close to accusing Laura of confabulation, which is not the same thing as voicing her opinion. I think she’s just voicing her opinion, as you are.

        • pesq87

          I respectfully disagree, but only Laura can tell us which of us is correct. Laura, is it your personal opinion that gay priests’ “homosexual nature pulls them toward an unhealthy, negative attitude toward womankind? Or you stating that as a fact?

          And I had to look up confabulation in the dictionary. Thank you. You’ve saved me thousands in therapy and explained half my family with one word. ;)

          • hamiltonr

            :-) Glad to give you a usable word.

            As for Laura, don’t interrogate her. Let’s go for conversation.

    • SisterCynthia

      Not every guy who leans toward “gay” hates women. In fact, most of the ones I’ve known identify far MORE with the feminine than they do the masculine and if anything, would have a harder time relating to their male parishoners. There’s probably a LESSER liklihood of a “woman hating” homosexual priest than a mysogonistic heterosexual priest, because the latter has not been forced to square his natural assumptions about gender with Scripture the way a gay man has had to if he has really sought to be faithful to God.
      As for therapy, I do think that can help some folks, in that some times distorted sexuality (whether homo, bi, or messed up plain ol’ heterosexuality) does have its origins in abuse or specific events that can lose some or all of their power over the person once prayerfully and consistantly addressed in a setting such as counseling or a confidential group. But that process, barring a miracle, is usually years long because it pertains to the core of the person’s understanding of humanity and how to interact with and love/be loved by others, things people take for granted when their core is fairly intact. I don’t mean a person can’t function honorably outwardly during that time, because behavior IS a choice. I mean the inner promptings towards behavior you know better than to engage in may take a long while to be brought to heel. And like a “dry” alcoholic, a person’s bent may not depart entirely (sometimes it does, and thank God for that!), even if it no longer presses on the person as it once did. Or so has been my experience, based on time spent in a ministry aimed at the “sexually and relationally broken.”

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber
    • FW Ken

      Laura, the argument I’ve read is that a man disordered in a fundamental manner, as in sexuality, cannot have healthy relationships, particularly among his brother priests. I don’t happen to agree with that argument, but it’s an argument that is made. Priests, like all of us, are going too struggle with something. I’m not convinced that sexual attraction is a special case.

      It may be part of the Vatican restriction on those with deep-seated same-sex attractions, although I think that is more along the lines of trying to bear two crosses at one time. In any case, it’s hardly only an issue of same-sex attraction. Alcoholics are also restricted from pursuing priestly orders.

      • pesq87

        It’s my understanding that a homosexual is not “a man disordered in a fundamental manner.” First, i’m CERTAIN that medical and mental health professionals say that homosexuals are not disordered and homosexual sex is not disordered. Secondly, I BELIEVE that the RCC says that a homosexual is not disordered, but engaging in homosexual sex is against God’s plan for humanity. Like stealing or telling a fib.

        • FW Ken

          I was relating an argument with which I don’t agree, although I spent enough time working with mental health professionals to not bow down to their corporate opinions, backed with little science. Psychiatry as an art of human interactions is a wonderful thing. Used politically, not so much.

          • pesq87

            Ken, I feel compelled to point out that you make it very difficult to hold a conversation on these topics because so many of your posts (like the preceding one) in essence ask the reader to be influenced in their thinking by people that FWKen says he has met. I encourage you to do a disqus search of your comments (as I have done). They are replete with mere anecdotes of FWKen’s life. You have said that gay people are X or behave in certain ways because FWKen knew some in the 1980s. Or yesterday. Same with Protestants. Now you’re commenting on the filed of psychiatry as a whole because you’ve spent some time with psychiatrists. I’m not trying to rattle your cage, I’m just saying that I’ve noticed this pattern and it shuts down the discussion when you ask us to ignore what we’ve read about gays/Muslims/psychiatrists/lawyers/women, etc. because FWKen has met some people.

            • oregon nurse

              Why are the people Ken has first hand knowledge and experience of a less ‘valuable’ source for discussion than the wiki articles you’ve read?

              • pesq87

                Oregon Nurse, please don’t insult me by suggesting my scholarship and research is limited to internet junk. There’s a huge difference between (A) written constitutions, written statues, published case law, agency decisions and regulations and peer-reviewed journal articles on the one hand and (B) one man’s conclusions from his personal life in Texas. I also note that in at least 2 prior threads on this very site you just drop out of the conversation when I have presented facts and reasoning that contradicts you. How i wish you would reply to me on those matters.

                • hamiltonr

                  pesq87, I allowed Ken’s rather rude reply because it balanced your rather rude critique. Please try to keep it on the issues and not the other commenters or what you judge to be the value or merits of their comments. If you don’t think a comment is worthy of you, just don’t reply. No need to insult people.

                  • pesq87

                    R, I will do my best. Question, though: is there a more polite way to ask someone to debate with objective facts that a reader can research?

                    • hamiltonr

                      There isn’t any way to ask that politely. You might, instead, ask them, kindly, if they are aware of any studies that say that same thing. However, they aren’t defending a dissertation in these com boxes. They are also not sitting in the witness stand. The POLITE thing to do is to say your piece and let them say theirs

                    • pesq87

                      Reflecting on this some more. “The polite thing to do is to say your piece and let them say theirs.” Agreed. That is polite. But if I posted something that was blatantly incorrect and easily countered by referring me to an established authority, would you let me sit here in my ignorance or would you present facts that educate? , Given a choice, I request the latter.

                    • hamiltonr

                      It’s all in the tone. There’s nothing wrong with offering other information.

                      I’m glad you’re here pesq. I know you’ve been dumped on a bit yourself. I appreciate your willingness to come back and try again.

                • FW Ken

                  Actually, I dropped out because you were rude once. And another time I couldn’t find the page, although I did read the Lawrence decision and found that, once again, you were being disingenuous. I will say that you are grossly misrepresenting my posts, as you generally misrepresent texts that don’t support your ideology. And I will leave out at that.

                  Rebecca, my apologies for offending you. You are a much nicer person then me. But then, I’m nicer than Fabio. :-)

            • FW Ken

              Feel free to ignore my posts. I certainly ignore yours.

              For conversation, I prefer someone with integrity and wit, and one who’s reading extends beyond last week’s edition of The Blade. “Rattle my cage”? Thirty years of being called a homophobic bigot (or bigoted homophobe) has made me pretty immune to narcissistic rage.

              Oregon Nurse,

              Of course, a great deal of my commentary comes from things I’ve read, even Wiki articles, as well as many people I’ve known. But what’s actual experience have to do with anything. This fellow is just torqued that he can’t slid his propaganda by me. He has a history of quoting out of context and making claims that don’t hold up. Like your typical gay rights advocate, he can’t make an honest case.

              • pesq87

                FW Ken I’m choosing my words carefully and respectfully as Rebecca asked. Please don’t tell other readers here that I lack integrity and quote out of context without a t least one supporting example. It’s unfair to both me and to those others who read your words. I suspect you’re referencing our old argument where I say “marriage is a fundamental right” and I support that with citations to 14 separate USSC decisions, including page numbers, and you reply with no countering authority other than to say I am dishonest.

                • hamiltonr

                  Nuff said. Cool it gents.

        • AnneG

          Pesq87, regarding medical professionals, I can tell you that sexually active homosexual men have a shorter life expectancy than heterosexual and particularly, monogamous men. This is due in large part to the kind of sexual practices they engage in, sodomy being only the most common. It causes a number of very serious ailments including Gay Bowel Syndrome, hepatitis C and B among other diseases. I don’t want to be more graphic.
          Suicide, depression and other psychological problems are also common. It is no longer called a disorder by professional psychologists. Look it up. There are facts. People try to whitewash these problems but they are there. Just the facts.

          • hamiltonr

            Anne, I have heard about these statistics, but I haven’t actually examined the causes behind them. So this is just a guess, but I’m guessing that the widespread incidence of hIv positive gay men and the attendant health problems that go with this may be a big contributor to the statistic itself. When we eventually get a vaccine for hiv, it may take a while, but the statistics will change. How much and in what way, I don’t know.

            • AnneG

              Hi, Rebecca, the Hep B and C epidemic started years before HIV was recognized, though I saw my first case in 1975 of HIV. We just had no idea what it was. GBS is completely unrelated to HIV. There are other problems as well. It isn’t all HIV related at all. There are also drug issues, violence, etc. I don’t want to go into a lot, but I worked in a downtown hospital long enough to see some of these things and they are behavior related complications. Lots of HIV +people are living for years now, but the life expectancy is lower than would be expected.

              • hamiltonr

                Thanks for the clarification Anne. This is something I don’t know too much about, but probably should learn more.

          • pesq87

            AnneG, you’re treating several important issues in one short post, but let me reply to three of them. My post said that homosexual sex is not disordered (for homosexuals) and I think your sixth sentence says the same thing. As regards the life expectancy of gay men, are you referencing the flawed and discredited 1994 document by of Paul Cameron entitled, “The Lifespan of Homosexuals?” As to suicide, I’m not aware of any peer-reviewed studies on the topic, but I know that in the 1950s many people said that homosexuality causes depression and suicide and in the 2000s many people said that straight bullies of gay people cause depression and suicide.

            • AnneG

              Sodomy is disordered because, on a purely anatomical level, of the use of two organs for purposes and in ways they are not intended. That causes harm to both organs.

              • pesq87

                That’s a fallacy. Body parts are not “ordered” towards A but not towards B.

          • FW Ken

            Anne, your comments sent me looking for actual stats by googling “mortality rates of gay men”, which indeed have improved with better treatment of AIDS, leading to longer lives”. Many articles were pumping same-sex marriage by reporting, uncritically, of reduced mortality among “married” men. The implied message was that, as we all know, implies causation. What I didn’t find was much data on mortality of men with multiple partners. It’s would be an interesting thing to study, if you could get reliable information.

            One cautionary note: HIV infections have been rising rather dramatically for the past decade or so, mainly among younger gay men who don’t remember the bad old days. Crystal meth also appears to play a role in this. Hopefully the gay community gets a grip on this quickly.

            And I also found three gay hookup site advertisements in the middle of all this. :-)

  • SisterCynthia

    Agreed. One of my favorite writers, Fr. Henri Nouwen, kept his particular sexual leanings under wraps until after his death, and it is not hard to see why. His focus was on Christ and His people. Being “outed” would have lead to attacks and slapped the “by a gay guy” label on all that he said, as tho that was the truest reality about him, truer than “child of God,” “faithful priest,” or “thoughtful brother,” and implying that his observations were of limited importance. Some would have assumed he couldn’t know God if he had this tendency, others would have assumed his writings were only of use to those with the same tendency, and others would have assumed everything he wrote was tainted because he was “repressing his true self.” One of the things I think is most destructive to those with same-sex issues is that they are almost made into a “separate species” by both those who hate them and their self-proclaimed supporters. Those in the Church should not play into either camp but treat them with the same equity Jesus treats all of us, no matter which sins our particular inclinations would lead us to indulge in if we were to give in to temptation.

  • Dale

    I am talking about something quite specific, and that is the threat of
    blackmail of faithful priests who happen to be homosexual by “outing”
    them as gay to their parishes. When someone decides to “out” father
    so-and-so, we need to look at father so-and-so with the same tenderness
    that he offers us in the confessional.

    Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    When I saw the title of this article, my first thought was: “Why would we even know if a priest was gay?” I have no interest in my priest’s sexuality, and I don’t see why he would feel a need to share it with us.

    But Rebecca points a very serious problem, and our duty, both as Christians and as good Catholics, is to support priests who are innocent of wrong-doing and yet are being attacked by those opposed to God’s moral law.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      One older lady, trying to badmouth our priests, told me how most of the priests she had known were either homosexual or alcoholics. I told her that what the priest does outside of mass, or speaking to the media is simply none of my business, and it isn’t.

      I will stand with any homosexual who takes a vow of celibacy and keeps it- clerical or not. Love isn’t innate- love is a choice.

      • Digital Hairshirt

        Love IS a choice – it is the choice to follow God’s law or your own wants and desires, ignoring the conflict when they conflict with God.

        What the priest DOES outside of Mass is the business of the Body of Christ, especially if it brings scandal to the Church. A priest is a priest 24/7/365, just as we are Catholics 24/7/365. The secular world would like us to limit our practice of the faith to “just Mass” but that is not how it works.

      • AnneG

        I agree that id will stand with any priest who takes a vow of celibacy and acts in a moral, Catholic way. We are Catholic always and everywhere.

  • ponerology

    I disagree with your personal assessment given in the 5th and 6th lines of this article. How would you know that most homosexual priests are ‘faithful’? And what makes you think that such a thing is well known but little talked about?
    A homosexual will be extremely hard pressed to be a ‘faithful’ priest’ since he is burdened with a proclivity toward one of the sins crying to heaven for vengeance.

    • hamiltonr

      Homosexual sex is a sin. The temptation to homosexual sex is no more a sin than the temptation to commit any other sin. We are all weak and useless; frail before our temptations. We all need the Holy Spirit to lead us away from our particular weaknesses and into true holiness. There are no exceptions.

      Aside from that, we are in a war with powers and principalities and we’re not winning. The priests we have are the lieutenants, captains, commanders and generals in our army. If they do not lead us, we cannot fight effectively.

      It behooves us to encourage them in their faithfulness and when they are faithful, support them, with all our might.

      • ponerology

        Sure, but that doesn’t address my question. How would this blogger know if most homosexual priests are faithful given their proximity to mainly other males and given their proclivity to homosexual attraction? And homosexual sin is somewhat more than “any other sin” as you put it, since it is one of the four crying out to heaven for vengeance. One must remove oneself from the the proximate cause of sin.
        Would you trust a drug addict (even one who is recovering) as a pharmacist? Would you trust a pornographer with your daughter? Would you allow a prostitute to teach children about chastity?
        Let us really give an honest effort to stop kidding ourselves.
        A homosexual should never be a priest. And the fact that so many of them were permitted (actually encouraged) into seminary is telling.

        • hamiltonr

          I don’t know about the private sins of any person except myself. Neither do you my friend.

          If you chose not to stand by a priest just because somebody yells “homo!!” at him, then that’s your call.

          But I don’t/won’t agree.

          • ponerology

            As is often the case in the comm boxes, words and/or actions, are attributed to people who never said them or committed them.

        • Matt Kososki

          How do we know most heterosexual priests are faithful? How do we know Fr. So-and-so isn’t looking at pornography or keeping a mistress? Don’t judge one group of priests by a standard you don’t apply consistently.

          I would also like to add that according to some scholars “one of the four crying out to heaven for vengeance” isn’t homosexual sex but rather anal rape, which is not always committed by same-sex attracted men but is often done as a cruel and vicious form of humiliation (It has been known to exist in Middle Eastern cultures).

          • ponerology

            Agreed. And sodomy is being promoted all over ‘western’ culture (or what remains of it because it’s in tatters) as something to ‘experiment’ with.

            I’m NOT judging those with homosexual inclinations with one standard and men who aren’t burdened with that vice with a different standard. I’m stating that a man who is suffering with homosexual desires will have a rather difficult time of avoiding the ‘near occasion of sin’ in the priesthood. I think I said it several times before, but people want to pretend to be dense and wriggle around the truth.

            Isn’t there a biblical verse about plucking ones’ eye out if it causes one to sin? New Advent and its bloggers are consistently working against the Catholic faith by trying to promote shades of gray rather than stating what is black and white and too obvious to ignore; but they have and continue to do so with the blessings of the ‘church’. This is just another example of that.

            • Matt Kososki

              “I’m stating that a man who is suffering with homosexual desires will have a rather difficult time of avoiding the ‘near occasion of sin’ in the priesthood.”
              –And a man with heterosexual desires won’t have a difficult time avoiding the “near occasion of sin” in his parish? That strikes me as utterly ridiculous, and it seems to treat men with same-sex attraction as so utterly depraved that they automatically see a man as an object of lust (Last I checked, heterosexual men don’t automatically see women as objects of lust).

              “New Advent and its bloggers are consistently working against the Catholic faith by trying to promote shades of gray rather than stating what is black and white and too obvious to ignore”
              –Insisting on a difference between same-sex attraction and homosexual sex is not “promoting shades of grey”, but drawing a very important distinction between temptation and sin (The Church Fathers also draw a distinction between temptation and commission). Are all heterosexual men inherently adulterers because of their desires that come without a deliberate act of the will?

              In any discussion of sexual ethics, we must necessarily draw a distinction between those feelings and temptations that arise unbidden, without any deliberate act of the will, and those times we take delight whenever we deliberately imagine committing sin. That’s how the Church understands lust, not merely the spontaneous desire or temptation.

              • FW Ken

                Forgive me for butting in, because you are making a fine argument. I would like to add that while the majority of sexual abuse by Catholic priests was homosexual in nature, the percentage of priests is relatively small, meaning that most homosexuality inclined priests did not commit child abuse, no more than heterosexual priests. To smear either group as depraved is calumny.

  • Gordis85

    “It does not matter whether a priest is homosexual or straight. They are, or should be, celibate men who have given their lives to Christ and His Church. The only concern we should have is whether or not they lead us in the authentic teachings of the faith.”

    Amen!

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    If they are faithful to their vows, I will stand with them against ALL comers. If they preach the Truth of Christ rather than the whims of fad, they will find a willing servant in me.

    I stand in solidarity with our priests.

  • TapestryGarden

    The Church calls this Same Sex Attraction. Calling a priest a “homosexual” indicates he is actively involved in same sex relationships which is completely incompatible with his being a priest. A faithful holy priest who has this challenge in his life is to be admired just as a heterosexual priest is to be admired for keeping his vows. I know there are many priests who have this issue. Unfortunately the few who failed to keep their vows have made their lives even more difficult. A priest’s “sex life” is non existent. That someone would “out” a priest for admitting to his inclination to be attracted to males is beyond disgusting. I holy priest is a holy priest. What demons he is fighting is between him and God.

    • 90Lew90

      Are a homosexual priests’ “demons” any more “demonic” than those of a heterosexual priest? Does calling a heterosexual priest a heterosexual priest indicate that he’s sexually active too? For the record, a priest’s “sex life” is not non-existent, it is suppressed.

  • jebny

    How does a priest know that he is homosexual if he is celibate ?

    • Erdos

      How does a priest know that he is heterosexual if he is celibate? How does anyone know their sexual orientation if they haven’t had sex yet? Is having sex with someone the moment in which that’s decided? [I would hope you see my point by now.]

    • 90Lew90

      How do you know you’re straight if you’re celibate?

    • kenofken

      The same way heterosexuals know their own desires when they’re celibate. Celibate does not mean asexual.

  • FW Ken

    This has set me to thinking. I’ve known two priests who violated their vows. I know about one because he told me about a long history (30 years) of have sex with women in his parishes, plus using prostitutes. I see no reason to “stand behind him”. As an order priest, he should be been laicized and sent to an order house, or dismissed from the community.

    Another priest of my acquaintance had sex with 12 year old boy 38 years prior. This came out through our diocesan paper. It’s not gossip. I don’t know if he was generally afflicted with same-sex attractions, but I do know that he was a good priest to me, and when he died, grown men who had been in his youth groups were openly weeping. He did a bad thing almost 40 years prior that was homosexual in nature, but I saw waves of affection shown for him at the wake and the funeral.

    And I can’t find anyplace to put this, but it has me close to tears, so I’m going off-topic. Edit at will, Rebecca, but this is a key to understanding Papa Francis.

    http://www.newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=0314-manion

    • kenofken

      What the second priest did was not “homsexual in nature.” It was predatory and criminal. It was also very unlikely that he only crossed that line once in his life or career. He had no business being in ministry or even society at large, however skilled he may otherwise have been in his vocation. The first guy almost certainly had no business being in the priesthood either if he can’t live his vows or didn’t even have an interest in trying, but there’s a gulf of difference between the two situations, and their respective orientations were the very least of these men’s problems.

      • FW Ken

        No Ken, sex between two males is a homosexual act.

        Actually, most sex offenders in general, and the Catholic clergy in particular, have one victim. A true predator has many victims. In the SO population, again, true predators, and true predators, like true pedophiles, are a rather small sub-group. The rest is Oprah mythology and your opinions. BTW, my point was that these matters should not be judged by sexual preferences. Perhaps we share that opinion.

  • AnneG

    Rebecca, I haven’t read all the comments. I agree with you generally, but have you read “Goodbye, Good Men”?

    • hamiltonr

      Yes I have, but it was a long time ago.

  • Christopher R Weiss

    I attended Catholic school for most of my K12 education. I was also an altar boy, and I had wonderful interactions with many of the nuns and priests involved in our parish. Fortunately, I had none of the bad experiences that many young men and woman had.

    My favorite nun who I shall fall B was a wonderful young woman. She was my 6th grade teacher, and she had a way of dealing with children of that age that was the perfect balance of no nonsense discipline, humor, and patience. Similarly, Father C was the primary priest over the altar boys, and he was like having a young uncle. He helped me train for track, he looked after each and every altar boy, and he thanked us for our service with outings a few times a year. B & C became friends, and what I didn’t know until later was that they fell for each other. Eventually, they left the church and married, resulting in excommunication, etc.

    I view the loss of B and C as terrible tragedies for the Catholic church. Here were two model clergy who were forced not only to leave the clergy but to leave the church because of the greatest gift we have for each other – love.

    Rather than defending homosexual priests, maybe the bigger issue should be why the church continues at great cost to push the failed policy of celibacy. The original clergy were not celibate. This was a later church doctrine which emerged with a very aesthetic view on faith and worship that is not practiced anymore. It represents an anachronism, and it is is also the source of the clergy crisis for the church. The church probably wouldn’t have so many homosexual clergy if it allowed clergy to marry.

    • margaret1910

      Most of us know, or know of, at least one priest who “left” the priesthood to marry. This does not mean that they were excommunicated or had to leave the Church. One can request to be laicized and dispensed from celibacy, then marry and remain a faithful Catholic.

      Nuns, of course, are not in any sense clergy, but they may also be released from their vows, marry and remain Catholic.

      I have no particular opinion on the Latin discipline of celibacy for priests, but I think you are oversimplifying the issue. For one thing, it is not “church doctrine”, but is a discipline which could be changed to allow married men to be ordained in the manner of the eastern rites of the Catholic Church.

  • Bro AJK

    Dear Rebecca, et al.,

    The question was raised regarding what the Church teaches on homosexuality. From the Catechism:

    Chastity and homosexuality

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

    • hamiltonr

      Thank you.

    • Sus_1

      “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

      If Catholics/Christians followed this, there wouldn’t be people who feel free to to call hypocrite and bigot. This rule/teaching is violated by Catholics every day in these comboxes and blog posts at Patheos.


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