Here's another beauty from the feedback page. Seminary really did wonders for this poor kid. Text in brackets is mine.
Did seminary make me lose my faith?
Submitted by Joe C., 28 March 2002, 6:07 p.m.
I haven't read the book yet, except for the excerpts. I just have some thoughts about the premise. I am a former heterosexual seminarian. [One wonders what this ambiguous statement means...] I first contacted the vocation recruiter in July, 1989. I entered formation in January, 1990. I was in formation until September, 1995. I hung in there six years trying to keep my mouth shut in that environment.
I was in a religious order that was supposed to be vowed to poverty. Initially, it was the upper middle-class lifestyle that bothered me most about my experience. Within a couple years, I slowly became aware that I was surrounded by gays. Eventually, in a formation house of 39 residents, 22 had "come out" to me, and I was pretty certain that at least 4 more were gay. There were some older men who seemed to be good priests by traditional standards. But they were in their seventies, and I was in my twenties.
At the theological union I attended (Washington Theological Union), men flirted with each other daily, and prayed that Pope John Paul II would have a happy death, "...and soon," they would add with a smirk. In the classroom, I was listening to professors, some of whom I still don't know what they believed.
I entered seminary fairly conservative. Like many Catholics prior to 1994, I was open to women's ordination, but willing to support the Pope. I had hoped that I would learn the theology for his side in the seminary. I was even open to the possibility of married priests, but thought that I might have a genuine calling to celibacy regardless of whether priests married or not. I was healthy according to the psych tests. I liked sports, voted moderately Republican or pro-life conservative Democrat, and had a taste for apologetic theology.
By the end of formation, I was on the verge of atheism, and had to drag myself to Mass each week until I recovered some sort of faith. I was furious with the Church. My faith has become very different -- even to this day.
By the day I left, I had become convinced that celibacy for the clergy was a big lie forced on the Church by repressed homosexuals who were finally coming out of the closet in the 20th century. I know there were a few straight men in there, but I felt pity for them. I even began wondering whether Jesus, in his humanity, was gay. As true God and true man, he had to have a human sexual orientation didn't he? I still wonder this.
I am now a thouroughly liberal-progressive Catholic angry at Pope John Paul II over Ordinatio Sacerdotalis....[Clearly, this poor kid had his spirit broken. There's a big millstone waiting in Heaven for someone...]
posted on 04/11/2002 7:45:15 PM PDT
To: Antoninus; sinkspur
Another very immature screed. I think Sinkspur has a point. It may be necessary in this very demanding profession to have been considerably annealed by the experinces of life. That gives you a certain moral courage to cut your own path, and resist deflective pressures.
posted on 04/11/2002 7:52:07 PM PDT
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