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 Post subject: Vatican Document on Homosexual Admittance to the Priesthood
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:13 pm 
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John Allen Jr.

The Word From Rome Friday, July 08, 2005.

Vatican Document on the Admission of Homosexuals to the Priesthood


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Sources indicate that the long-awaited Vatican document on the admission of homosexuals to seminaries is now in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI. The document, which has been condensed from earlier versions, reasserts the response given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2002, in response to a dubium submitted by a bishop on whether a homosexual could be ordained: "A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency, is not fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

That reply was published in the November-December 2002 issue of Notitiae, the official publication of the congregation.

It is up to Benedict XVI to decide whether to issue the new document as it stands, to send it back for revision, or to shelve it on the basis that for now such a document is "inopportune."

Several American bishops were in Rome last week for the June 29 pallium ceremony, and I spoke to some of them about the document.
Privately, some hope Benedict will decide to put the document in a desk drawer for the time being, on the grounds that it will generate controversy and negative press without changing anything in terms of existing discipline.

As one bishop put it to me, the policy against ordaining homosexuals is already clear -- the only interesting question is, what do you mean by a "homosexual"? At one end of the continuum, it could refer to anyone who once had a fleeting same-sex attraction; at another, it could be restricted to someone who is sexually active and openly part of a "gay pride" movement. Most people would exclude those extremes, but where is the line drawn in between?

Vatican sources have made clear the document will not enter into these details, and hence this bishop believes it's an unneeded headache.
Further, the bishop said, the document may make candidates less likely to be honest with formation directors about their psycho-sexual development, even though some degree of experimentation and ambivalence about orientation is not unusual, and by itself should not disqualify potential priests.

"The risk is that we drive the conversation underground," he said.

Others, however, hold that the document is needed for two reasons.

One, it will come with a higher level of authority than a response to a dubium published in the bulletin of a curial agency. This document will come with the clear authorization of the pope, perhaps in forma specifica, meaning that it draws on his personal authority. In that sense, the bishop said, it's like the relationship of John Paul's 1994 document Ordinatio sacerdotalis, on women priests, to the 1976 document Inter Insigniores from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the same subject. The teaching didn't change, but the level of authority and clarity did.

Two, the document will reject a solution that some seminaries, religious communities and bishops have tended to adopt in recent years -- that it doesn't matter if a candidate is gay, as long as he's capable of remaining celibate.

"I suspect some people, in good will, have gravitated to this idea," one bishop said. "But that's not what the church is saying, and this document will make that clear."

To date, there's been no indication of what the pope intends to do.


Source: http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/

*****

The timeliness of such a discussion can not be overestimated, though some would say "a little late". In the wake of the priestly scandal in America for the last three years, many have argued that the root problem is the admittance of homosexuals to the priesthood, whereas others have found such an answer lacking, using homosexuals as a scapegoat for a problem that trancends sexual orientation.

We can't be afraid to rock the boat in the Church for the sake of pleasing a progressive majority. Christ set this example for us in the Gospels, esspecially in John ch. 6, where he not only allows his disciples to leave him in the midst of a "difficult saying" about the Eucharist, but even turns to Peter and the others saying, "Will you also go away".

If Servant of God, John Paul II, could "rock the boat" on Women's Ordination, reiterating the Church's teaching on the priesthood being ordered toward men and yet respecting the good of women at large, can not Benedict himself respect the difference between sexual orientation vs. sexual act, and yet reserve the priesthood to men of heterosexual orientation, by discipline, for the good of the Church?

I think he can, and should. This issue is long overdue, and Ratzinger, I think, is about to "bite"... at least that is my hope.

Justin

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:06 pm 
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i would Love to see homosexuals out of the priesthood...
How would You men like to have to deal with a person that hated You because of Your gender. Well we women have been doing it for years.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:32 pm 
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mots137 wrote:
i would Love to see homosexuals out of the priesthood...
How would You men like to have to deal with a person that hated You because of Your gender. Well we women have been doing it for years.


What do you mean?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:11 pm 
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Question: If sexually active heterosexual men can enter the seminary and become priests, oath of celibacy understood. Why can not homosexual men do the same? I thought it was the active lifestyle that was wrong not the sexual preference.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:23 pm 
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I have a problem with acknowledging homosexuality as a state of being... As in someone is a homosexual... Thus, I can not see barring any man from the priesthood based on sexual neurosis, since that is what homosexuality actually is, and since we all have them... The person truly seeking the priesthood accepts his celibacy, and all that means... Someone suffering from "homosexuality" can do this as well... The people we should not admit are those that clearly struggle with celibacy... homosexual or heterosexual... Having been in seminary, and being one of those that the administration knew struggled with celibacy, I know all too well that quantity sometimes means more than quality...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:30 pm 
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Heh... btw... When I say that the admins knew I struggled with celibacy, that doesn't mean they knew I was sexually active (which I wasn't), but that they knew that it was celibacy that was my biggest obstacle to a vocation... I met my wife during Junior Year, and I made sure everyone knew about it... And for some reason they let me stay until graduation... Hmmm... looking back, I would have been a good candidate for the boot! I hear in the old days you would be expelled for just being seen with a girl in a questionable situation like having a drink in a restaurant... Methinks this strickness is what has led to the demise of the American Priesthood...

FJ

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:59 pm 
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tryinghard wrote:
Question: If sexually active heterosexual men can enter the seminary and become priests, oath of celibacy understood. Why can not homosexual men do the same? I thought it was the active lifestyle that was wrong not the sexual preference.


The problem seems to be that a certain percentage of homosexuals seem to experience an escalation of their disorder . The end result being what we saw in the sex abuse scandals. The majority of those cases were homosexual. We don't have the right formula yet for therapy etc to help those men so we need to not risk the children of the world. We can't be sure that living with men and working more with men etc doesn't attribute to that escalation. With the removal of homosexuality from the list of disorders by the APA we saw a decline in therapies. We are seeing a resurgence of this now but these doctors are being persecuted.

So for the time being the church should err-if there is any error with this policy- on the safe side. But it does have homosexuals within the priesthood and every effort should be made to keep them form experiencing an escalation of symptoms and physical practicing of this disorder.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:48 pm 
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Seatuck, my hobby is fiber art which includes wood working/carving, fiber spinning and weaving. So not only do I occasionally get accusing remarks that I must be gay, I'm anything but, but the nature of the hobby throws me together with a lot of women and some gays. I have never had any gay person act inappropriately toward me nor in a generally offensive manner, but I have experienced occasional flirtation from women. Of course I'm not a young altar server or boy scout either, that could make a difference. I wonder though, if we're assuming a lot of behavior like uncontrolable desire based on extreme exhibitions such as Gay Pride events? I've always felt the gay community was hurting itself with those exhibitions. We could be doing a disservice to gays who genuinely desire to become priests, celebacy and all. I'd rather see them in the seminary, under close observation if you want, but we should give them a chance.

How does the current situation of having more young girls than boys as altar servers affect the risk from either gay or straight priests?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:16 pm 
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One reason is that a priest or religious has to live with and spend time alone with other men. A priest will have to sleep next to the room of someone who he may find very attractive.

We should also keep in mind that the US and Europe are different than many other parts of the world too. In poorer contries priests and seminarians often have to sleep in the same room.

The thing is not every man can become a priest. There are alot of other things that bar men from becoming a priest. Mental illness, physical incapabilities, etc. Homosexual attraction is only one of many things.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:29 pm 
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OK, sounds like my view is off the track. I got the answers I was looking for. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:16 am 
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tryinghard wrote:
Question: If sexually active heterosexual men can enter the seminary and become priests, oath of celibacy understood. Why can not homosexual men do the same? I thought it was the active lifestyle that was wrong not the sexual preference.


The preference itself is disordered.

The heterosexual male gives up something which is naturally ordered in order to dedicate himself to a life of service to God: He gives up something which is good for a greater good.

The homosexual male, on the other hand, gives up something which is unnaturally ordered. He is giving up something he must give up anyway.

You cannot compare the two.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:21 pm 
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The person truly seeking the priesthood accepts his celibacy, and all that means... Someone suffering from "homosexuality" can do this as well... The people we should not admit are those that clearly struggle with celibacy... homosexual or heterosexual...


Exactly. It's giving into the temptations where one sins, a homosexual or heterosexual. Both either give in and sin or they fight the temptations and do not give in and don't sin.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:30 pm 
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Quote:
One reason is that a priest or religious has to live with and spend time alone with other men. A priest will have to sleep next to the room of someone who he may find very attractive.

We should also keep in mind that the US and Europe are different than many other parts of the world too. In poorer contries priests and seminarians often have to sleep in the same room.


Good point Bono...

Well, I just read this after I posted my comment above...And, I'd have to agree with this one too, so i guess I have to rethink a little...I know there could be some uncomfortableness between both persons, or maybe just one, but I'd have to say I don't know how I'd deal with this, except not let homosexuals to be priests, because if we did, how could we stop these situations that I quoted above, from Bonaventure? It would be too much for both priests, homosexual (temptations), and heterosexual (the uncomfortableness of sleeping in same room or next to a homosexual)...But, all we are doing in the above situation is increasing the temptations for the homosexual which is not good for his soul...It's like placing an attractive woman in the same room or right by a heterosexual, which is not good for him and his soul...it increases his temptations and makes them stronger; unless, there may be some special graces given to that man by God, which might be the case, but for many, it is not, which is the problem...

But, I still stick to both comments that I posted...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:02 pm 
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Heh... Sorry for the error in typing... Let me rephrase that...

"Methinks the RELAXING of this strictness is what has lef to the demise of the American Priesthood."

Sorry for the confusion...

Edited by Administrator

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:52 pm 
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Thanks for clearing that up, FJ. As St. Pius X said in an Allocution to Bishops on the anniversery of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:

Venerable brethren, there is only one piece of advice that I offer to you: watch over your seminaries and over candidates for the priesthood. As you yourselves know, an air of independence which is fatal for souls is widely diffused in the world, and has found its way even within the sanctuary; it shows itself not only in relation to authority but also in regard to doctrine.

Because of it, some of our young clerics, animated by that spirit of unbridled criticism which holds sway at the present day, have come to lose all respect for the learning which comes from our great teachers, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the interpreters of revealed doctrine.

If ever you have in your seminary one of those new-style savants, get rid of him without delay; on no account impose hands upon him. You will always regret having ordained even one such person: never will you regret having excluded him

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:29 am 
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Matthew wrote:
Thanks for clearing that up, FJ. As St. Pius X said in an Allocution to Bishops on the anniversery of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:

Venerable brethren, there is only one piece of advice that I offer to you: watch over your seminaries and over candidates for the priesthood. As you yourselves know, an air of independence which is fatal for souls is widely diffused in the world, and has found its way even within the sanctuary; it shows itself not only in relation to authority but also in regard to doctrine.

Because of it, some of our young clerics, animated by that spirit of unbridled criticism which holds sway at the present day, have come to lose all respect for the learning which comes from our great teachers, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the interpreters of revealed doctrine.

If ever you have in your seminary one of those new-style savants, get rid of him without delay; on no account impose hands upon him. You will always regret having ordained even one such person: never will you regret having excluded him


Nice, Matthew! Where is that from? I want to save the text with the citation on the computer.

Thanks

Justin

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:39 pm 
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Does anyone subscribe to the Wanderer? I heard there was an issue awhile back, accusing Cardinal Mahoney knowningly ordaining homosexuals to the priesthood. From what I heard, there was no counter to that accusation. This is very scary. Cardinal Mahony has to go.

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