Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm Confused .....

Catholic News Services article of September 7:

The archbishop overseeing a Vatican-run inspection of U.S. seminaries said there is no room in seminaries for men with strong homosexual inclinations even if they have been celibate for a decade or more. "I think anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations, would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be accepted into a seminary," said Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. Archbishop O'Brien, who is coordinating the visits to more than 220 U.S. seminaries and houses of formation, said even homosexuals who have been celibate for 10 or more years should not be admitted to seminaries. "The Holy See should be coming out with a document about this," Archbishop O'Brien said in an interview with the National Catholic Register newspaper. The call for the visits came after a wave of abuse allegations and revelations about how dioceses handled those cases.

Excerpt from the story about the media flap after the above statements:
"The church is trying to put out a very clear signal" that those seeking ordination "must embrace a life of celibate chastity," said Father Stephen J. Rossetti, president of St. Luke Institute, a facility in the Washington suburbs that specializes in treating priests and religious who suffer addictions or behavioral, emotional or psychological problems. "The question of homosexuality is an important one," he told Catholic News Service Sept. 16. He said there is a need to determine when it is appropriate and when it is not to ordain someone who is homosexually oriented. "Certainly someone who has a problematic history of sexual acting out, or an orientation that is so powerfully homosexual that it really overshadows the person's relational life, then those would not be appropriate people" for priesthood, he said.

So, help me out here ...... tell me if I've got this straight ....
Homosexuals who have been celibate for even ten years should not be admitted to seminary, that "there is no room in the seminary for them" because of their homosexual "inclinations" .... that someone who has an orientation "that is so powerfully homosexual that it really overshadows the person's relational life" are not appropriate candidates for the priesthood.

BUT ..... those who have engaged in heterosexual activity, or have sexual tendencies (of the "normal" type), who don't even need ten years of celibacy under their belt (so to speak {grin}) -- they're totally cool to apply to seminary. That if it is a heterosexual orientation that really overshadows the person's relational life --- well, then, hey, that's great!

Maybe I'm just confused, but I thought celibacy had to do with not having sex. Period. NOT not having sex with certain people. Shouldn't the celibacy training be intact for both inclinations? Shouldn't we be concerned if there is no inclination expressed whatsoever, that it's being ignored and not dealt with at all? I would think there'd be a LOT more damage potential to have someone who refuses to acknowledge their sexual side than for someone who might be outside the mainstream and yet works with their personal celibacy needs as a mature individual.

Yeah, so the seminary is a captive audience for the poor guy who has the hots for another guy in there. So what? Give him four years, and he'll move out on his own --- most likely trying to juggle four parishes by himself. Now, the "good" priesthood candidate, he doesn't have to really worry about the sexual attraction thing in the seminary, but when he moves out on his own, trying to juggle four parishes by himself.....

At least in the seminary, there are a whole bunch of other people around, helping to form you, able to challenge and call you on ways in which you might be living in a manner inconsistent with your calling. At least in seminary you'd learn up front what some of the challenges might be. Living by yourself in a parish rectory .... where's the accountability? Where's the challenge? Believe me, the phrase of "Father What-a-Waste" comes FAR more often from women.

Besides, if you go by the stereotypes .... you'd think we'd want gay men as our priests, given that they're so much more sensitive and caring than the "manly men".

It was funny .... as I was typing that bit about there being "no room in seminaries" .... made me think of another time when someone was on the outskirts because of a perceived sexual indiscretion ..... who was left out in a barn because there was "no room at the inn."

It shouldn't matter WHO you want to have sex with. If you want to become a priest, then don't have sex -- that should be the end of it. Is it really that hard a concept?

4 Comments:

Blogger Songbird said...

That is incredibly well-put. Bravo.

9/20/2005 9:23 AM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Amen sister. It makes NO sense. Which has me looking around for an alternate agenda. And not the "alternate agenda" we are often taught to look around for suspisciously when dealing with our gay brothers & sisters....

sigh.

Thanks Steph!

We seem to think a lot alike. I had a similar post last week.

9/20/2005 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Very well said, Steph -- this is just another ecase of the bishops scapegoating for the scandals. Let's face it: the only ones the hierarchy hate and fear more than women are gays.

9/20/2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger Natty said...

You go, girl. Well-said.

10/02/2005 11:02 PM  

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