Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Notre Dame Experts React to Potential Seminary Rules
Notre Dame Observer ^ | 9/28/05 | Maddie Hanna

Posted on 09/29/2005 9:01:09 AM PDT by marshmallow

Speculation about the release of a Vatican document containing restrictions barring homosexuals from entering the priesthood has stirred debate and emotions both across the nation and at Notre Dame.

The restrictions, which would require Vatican representatives to investigate the 229 U.S. seminaries for "evidence of homosexuality," have been reported by news agencies but not been officially confirmed. But R. Scott Appleby, director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an expert on the Catholic Church's recent sexual abuse scandals, called this possible move by the Vatican "sadly punitive."

"If a gay man feels called to the priesthood, [under the proposed new ruling] he must dissemble, or even lie, about his sexual orientation," Appleby said. "In a sense, the Church would be complicit in a lie."

This, Appleby said, would create an "unhealthy" and repressive climate like the one present in seminaries during the highly publicized scandals of recent years.

"We know how that's an unhealthy situation," Appleby said. "It can even backfire."

The reason for the Vatican's statement stemmed from "the concern that some seminaries in the U.S. are becoming a haven for homosexuals," Appleby said. "And the feeling on the part of some people that heterosexuals are intimidated from entering the seminary, or feel uncomfortable, because it's a gay climate."

Theology professor Father Richard McBrien agreed with the idea that a gay climate exists in seminaries. He said the Church's sexual abuse scandals were a major contributing factor to the proposed restrictions.

"The U.S. cardinals themselves asked for this investigation of seminaries in April 2002, at the height of the sexual abuse scandal," McBrien said. "At the time - and since - there were a number of charges, mainly from ultra-conservative Catholics, that homosexuals in the priesthood were responsible for the sexual abuse, 80 percent of whose victims were boys."

This statistic, theology professor Lawrence Cunningham said, sparked controversy.

"Since it was overwhelmingly young men, over young women [who were allegedly abused], the question is were they [Church officials] ordaining men who were homosexuals," Cunningham said. "Some people have criticized this ... that once there had been evidence of that, these people have not been removed from active ministry."

Appleby said he did not support the belief that homosexuals in seminaries were a cause of the scandals, a theory he attributed to "anxiety" in the Vatican.

"Cardinal Ratzinger has taught that the orientation to homosexuality is inherently disordered, but not sinful," Appleby said, referring to a statement made by the current Pope Benedict XVI in the mid-1980s that sin resulted from acting on, not possessing, a homosexual orientation.

"Even by the Church's teaching, this new ruling is harsh," Appleby said.

Appleby said throughout the 20th century, when priests were asked why they joined the priesthood, their "number one reason was to save their immortal souls, which means to become holy and do Christ's work."

The proposed restrictions are a commentary on this concept, Appleby said.

"What the Church seems to be saying is Christ can transform the lives of sinners who are heterosexual, but not those who are homosexual," he said.

Both Appleby and McBrien disagreed with the logic behind the Vatican's statement.

"It's hard for me to find a silver lining in either the ruling or attitude that stands behind it," Appleby said. "Most Catholics in this country know many good priests who are gay, but keep their vows of celibacy ... There are so many good and loyal and holy priests [who are also gay]."

Like Appleby, McBrien took issue with the discord between the restrictions and the Church's distinction view on homosexuality.

"Unfortunately, this latest anti-gay campaign seems to imply that merely being gay is enough to exclude one from seminaries and the priesthood, even if the gay person is sexually inactive," he said.

McBrien said the restrictions would "of course" worsen the current priest shortage facing the U.S.

"If a significant number of gay priests decide to leave the priesthood over this matter and if gays leave the seminaries and others no longer apply for admission, mathematically this will deplete the number of priests and future priests," he said.

Neither Appleby nor McBrien thought the number of heterosexual candidates for priesthood would increase as a result of the ruling.

"The problem for heterosexual young men is not the gay culture of seminaries, but the rule of obligatory celibacy," McBrien said. "That genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in. The Roman Catholic Church will have to address the problem of celibacy openly and objectively or the priest shortage will only worsen."

Appleby said the proposed investigations would be "rare."

"There are visitations of seminaries, but this type of visitation is for disciplinary purposes, what we might call housekeeping," he said.

If enacted, the regulations could require an investigation of Notre Dame's Moreau Seminary. Moreau superior Father Patrick Neary and Moreau seminarian Father J. Steele said they could not estimate the potential impact of the investigations on Moreau.

"It's all speculation," Neary said. "I would caution people not to get hysterical since nothing's been published. There's been a lot of emotion over this."

Speculation about the possible restrictions has been rising, Steele said.

"I've heard these rumors for some time ... If this comes out then we'll have to deal with it," Steele said.

While Neary could not speak to the potential for increases or decreases in the number of candidates entering Moreau, he said he "would be concerned if a statement came out."

Even though the Church has not released anything official, Appleby said anticipation of proposed Vatican investigations had already taken its toll on priests.

"I think many priests, heterosexual and homosexual, have already been hurt by the publicity about this visitation," Appleby said. "I can't imagine it having a positive effect on the morale of priests precisely because it would take on the aspect of a witch hunt."


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; General Discusssion; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: gaypriests; homosexualagenda; notredame; ruleone
No surprises here from the usual suspects.

So the Catholic Church officially forbids the ordination of homosexuals.....like 40 years ago. Know-alls like those quoted above ignore the ruling and follow their own agenda, regardless.

Result? The chickens come home to roost in the form of abuse cases in the hundreds and multi-million dollar law suits. The Church re-empasizes its teaching on the question of homosexual ordination in an attempt to root out the problem.

The usual suspects still don't get it and cry "witch-hunt".

It aint a "witch-hunt". It's a bitch-hunt. And that's what you get when you don't do the right thing to begin with and ordain perverts.

1 posted on 09/29/2005 9:01:11 AM PDT by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

For later.


2 posted on 09/29/2005 9:05:12 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
"Most Catholics in this country know many good priests who are gay,...

WTF, How does he know this? Sounds like BS to me.

3 posted on 09/29/2005 9:17:53 AM PDT by rllngrk33 (The RATs and Media are the enemy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

More kicking and screaming.


4 posted on 09/29/2005 9:20:01 AM PDT by murphE (These are days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own. --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
If a gay man feels called to the priesthood, [under the proposed new ruling] he must dissemble, or even lie, about his sexual orientation," Appleby said.

Right. We really want liars for our priests, don't we? Not even the suggestion that such a person should honestly recognize that no matter how "called" he "feels," he is not a suitable candidate for ordination.

5 posted on 09/29/2005 9:33:47 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
"Most Catholics in this country know many good priests who are gay, but keep their vows of celibacy ..."

Oh, yeah? Who made up this cr*p?

I can't think of a single priest who I know is homosexual. One or two of the substitutes we've had when our pastor is away have made me wonder, but (a) I don't know they're homosexual; (b) I don't know if they're good priests, overall, only that they turn up on time to fill in, and manage to get through Mass reasonably well; and (c) I couldn't say from my own knowledge whether any priest I've known has always been faithful to his vow of celibacy, no matter what type of feelings he has.

I expect that "most Catholics," if they thought it through, would come to similar conclusions.

6 posted on 09/29/2005 9:40:35 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

No surprises here. Unfortunately many of the powers that be at Notre Dame, especially in the theology dept and campus ministry, are heterodox liberals. The school paper, from which this article came, is also much more leftist than the campus at large. What you won't hear about are the many professors, students, and priests at Notre Dame who do approve of the Pope's action. When I was a student at ND, I knew many young men who were either seminarians or in the pre-seminary program. Most of them were very solid, smart, straight, and orthodox men. The ones that weren't eventually left the pre-seminary program; they didn't go on to become Holy Cross priests. One of these seminarians remarked to me a good 4 years ago that the presence of the "lavender mafia" in so many parts of the Church is really hurting vocations in young men such as himself. I do not doubt that he and many other future priests at Notre Dame are very pleased to see the Vatican cracking down on this nonsense.


7 posted on 09/29/2005 11:06:58 AM PDT by sassbox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
"If a gay man feels called to the priesthood, [under the proposed new ruling] he must dissemble, or even lie, about his sexual orientation," Appleby said.

This is what we call utilitarianism. Scripture does not look kindly on the argument "let us do evil so that good may come of it."

8 posted on 09/29/2005 11:27:28 AM PDT by Romulus (Quomodo sedit sola civitas plena populo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: murphE
Even for the seminaries:

The cafeteria is closed!

9 posted on 09/29/2005 11:55:37 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
"In a sense, the Church would be complicit in a lie."

Stupid line. If the guy (gay) lies, then he lies....him. He's a liar.

"The Church made me do it." is a defense to these folks? Numbskulls to the last one of 'em.

10 posted on 09/29/2005 12:14:31 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Cardinal Arinze - "Youth will embrace religious life with right role models"
Today's seminarians reflect growing trend
Number of Seminarians Increases - Please Decipher This!!!!
In Seminaries, New Ways for a New Generation
Seminary Springtime: Father Darrin Connall s Big Success

EVIDENCE GROWS OF DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE TO VATICAN IN MAJOR AMERICAN SEMINARIES
Pope to Church: Risky Seminarians Must Go
Priests Down, Seminarians Up
U.S. Priests and seminarians survey: more vocations in orthodox dioceses
Vatican Announces Surge in Seminaries during JPII Pontificate

Seminary Reform Needed in Wake of Sex Abuse Study ["the crisis in the Church is ... homosexuality"]
Homosexuals in seminaries? The latest.....
Priests 'In Orgy' at Seminary
Bishop urges gay ban in clergy; presses for overhaul in screening priests
A New Breed of Priest

AUSTRIAN SEMINARY SHUT DOWN FOR PROBE
Seminarians Show Support For Celibacy
556 Reasons for Hope [Seminarians Support Celibacy]
No Shortage of Vocations From Conservative Parishes
Oakland seminary housing sex offender priests

Phoenix bishop to helm Priestly Formation Committee [of USCCB]
Vatican Firms up Plans for U.S. Seminary Visitation in 2005
SIBLING VOCATIONS - Early calls led two sisters to same religious order
On the admission of homosexuals to seminaries
Catholic priests demand the right to marry

New Start For Austrian Seminary
Disciples of Pope John Paul (Faculty of Gregorian University Gripe About Piety of New Seminarians)
New Priests in U.S.: Older, and More >From Abroad (Survey Tracks Trends Since 1998)
U.S. seminarians welcome Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican review of seminaries to raise issue of gay priests

Some Decry Retirement Despite Priest Shortage
The Priesthood Ordination Class of 2005 “People would be surprised to know that I…”
(Catholic) Seminarians Double In 25 Years
Pope's death inspires would-be priests
Changes Add Up for Priesthood

Irish Bishops Apologize to Seminary Whistle-Blower
SIGNAL CALLING - UB quarterback foregoes family and career to train for priesthood in Rome
Pop Culture Heros Help Recruit Priests
Small Bible-belt (Catholic) diocese sees increase in seminarians
Dashing young priests turn heads at Youth Day

Vatican to Start U.S. Seminary Evaluations
Apostolic Seminary Visitation To Begin This Fall
U.S. Bishops to Begin Inspecting Seminaries
Prelate Says Gays Shouldn't Be Ordained
American overseeing Vatican evaluation of US seminaries says gays should not be ordained

Vatican to Check U.S. Seminaries on Gay Presence
POPE APPROVES BARRING GAY SEMINARIANS
Pope bans homosexuals from ordination as priests
Questions Arise Over Seminary Inspections
New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests

New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests (ABOUT TIME)
VATICAN: HOMOSEXUALS ARE NOT TO BE ORDAINED AS CATHOLIC PRIESTS
Homosexuals in the seminary; A Global Church in a Globalized World
Gay Men Ponder Impact of (Anti-Gay Clergy)Proposal by Vatican(Barf Alert)
Aquinas Seminary is First for Scrutiny

Vatican Begins Inspections At St. Louis Seminary (Rector: No homosexuality-pedophilia link)
The Sins of the Seminaries
Notre Dame Experts React to Potential Seminary Rules

11 posted on 09/29/2005 12:57:14 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Some of these comments are really outrageous:
"If a gay man feels called to the priesthood, [under the proposed new ruling] he must dissemble, or even lie, about his sexual orientation," Appleby said. "In a sense, the Church would be complicit in a lie."
So if you think God's calling you to something, you're required to lie in order to bring it about. Sounds like cutting-edge moral theology.
Appleby said throughout the 20th century, when priests were asked why they joined the priesthood, their "number one reason was to save their immortal souls, which means to become holy and do Christ's work."

The proposed restrictions are a commentary on this concept, Appleby said.

"What the Church seems to be saying is Christ can transform the lives of sinners who are heterosexual, but not those who are homosexual," he said.

What's the point, that if you want to be a priest but get turned down for some reason Appleby thinks is OK, you're a kleptomaniac or misogynist or have an IQ of 70 or whatever, then that shows the Church and Appleby have decided Christ can't transform your life?

Appleby was one of the two speakers the bishops chose to address them at the big pow-wow they had about the Scandal a couple of years ago. The other was even worse. Makes you wonder. Or maybe it doesn't make you wonder.

McBrien said the restrictions would "of course" worsen the current priest shortage facing the U.S.

"If a significant number of gay priests decide to leave the priesthood over this matter and if gays leave the seminaries and others no longer apply for admission, mathematically this will deplete the number of priests and future priests," he said.

What does mathematics have to do with it? The guy sounds like a clerk of some sort. If there's a definite identity to being a priest, and men admire that identity, then men will want to be priests.
12 posted on 09/29/2005 3:00:12 PM PDT by JimKalb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Your research is, as usual, comprehensive. God bless your work in His Most Holy Name.
13 posted on 09/29/2005 7:18:16 PM PDT by Robert Drobot (Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Robert Drobot

Thanks, it's mostly forming a habit that when a thread comes up, I note it.


14 posted on 09/29/2005 10:00:30 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick

Have you ever heard of Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies? It sounds like something someone made up to appear like an "expert".


15 posted on 09/30/2005 12:46:07 AM PDT by rudyudy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: rudyudy

I seem to recall reading that the widow of Ray Kroc, the McDonald's mogul, donated a bunch of money for squishy causes. It's not clear to me how "international peace" is related to homosexuality; the global confluence of leftist moonbats, I guess.


16 posted on 09/30/2005 4:12:05 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: sassbox

Thanks for the inside scoop on NDU. Our son is there, loving it. Sometimes the news from there makes me catch my breath, but I am always brought back to the fact that there are quiet, orthodox, 'silent majority' people everywhere.


17 posted on 09/30/2005 6:10:05 AM PDT by bboop (Facts are your friend.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick

Well my organization, The Acme Institute for a Safe Education has decided that anyone who enjoys getting it in the poopoo has no business in a seminary.


18 posted on 09/30/2005 9:42:11 AM PDT by rudyudy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: rudyudy

Did you get a Federal grant for that pronouncement?


19 posted on 09/30/2005 10:17:16 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

BFLR


20 posted on 10/01/2005 6:46:42 PM PDT by tuesday afternoon (Everything happens for a reason. - 40 and 43)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: JimKalb

The nuymbers game is what got the bishops in trouble thirty years ago. Fact is that in 1960 there probably more priests than were needed, or at least needed in the places they were. After so many seminarians left in the late '60s and early '70s, along with many priests, the bishops panicked and began to admit men who earlier would not have made the cut.


21 posted on 10/01/2005 8:15:02 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson