Skip to comments.Jesuit official protesting expected Vatican ban on gay priests
Posted on 10/01/2005 6:31:29 AM PDT by NYer
NEW YORK -- A top Jesuit official is raising objections about an upcoming Vatican document that's expected to reinforce Roman Catholic teaching that gays are not welcome in the priesthood, while some U.S. leaders of men's religious orders are considering a trip to Rome to express their opposition.
The Rev. Gerald Chojnacki, head of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, said in a letter to his priests that he was asking bishops to tell Vatican officials who are drafting the policy "of the great harm this will cause many good priests and the Catholic faithful."
Chojnacki wrote in the letter, dated Monday, that he had participated in the funerals of several gay Jesuit clergy over the last few years.
"I find it insulting to demean their memory and their years of service by even hinting that they were unfit for priesthood because of their sexual orientation," he wrote.
Chojnacki said he would be working with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents leaders of religious orders in the United States including the Jesuits, Franciscans and others, and with bishops to fight "for the opportunity of a gay person to say yes to God's call in celibate service of priesthood and chaste religious life."
A priest who supports the protest provided the letter to The Associated Press. A spokesman for the New York province did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
The New York Times reported Friday that the Rome trip was mentioned in an internal memo to leaders of religious orders sent this week by the Conference of Major Superiors. The Rev. Paul Lininger, executive director of the conference, confirmed to The Associated Press that a memo was sent, but would not discuss its contents and said no trip was imminent.
The Rev. Alfred Naucke, of the California Jesuit Province, said he saw the memo and it stated that the idea of going to Rome was "under consideration" pending more information on what the Vatican document will say. Naucke said a trip appeared "more likely than not."
A Vatican official said last week that the upcoming "instruction" from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education will reaffirm the church's belief that homosexuals should not be ordained.
In recent decades, Vatican officials have stated several times that gays should not become priests because their sexual orientation is "intrinsically disordered" and makes them unsuitable for ministry. A Vatican-directed evaluation of all 229 U.S. seminaries is underway, and is looking for "evidence of homosexuality" in the schools among other issues, such as whether their instruction keeps with church teaching.
The evaluation was organized in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis that has plagued the church since 2002.
Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, who is coordinating the seminary visits, said in a statement Friday that homosexuality was a concern in the evaluation because "it is one of the issues of our times."
"Within this cultural environment, there can develop, even among men preparing for the priesthood, an ambiguity both about the Church's teaching with regard to homosexuality and even whether some homosexual activity could be compatible with celibacy," said O'Brien, who leads the Archdiocese for the Military Services in Washington.
O'Brien had previously said gays should not be ordained, but stressed Friday that he said he was expressing his own views, not those of the Vatican.
Religious orders are the most independent bodies in the church, with their own governance and election of leaders, although Vatican officials sometimes intervene to impose discipline.
David Gibson, a former Vatican radio newsman and author of "The Coming Catholic Church," said the gay issue is especially important to the religious orders because the number of homosexual priests is believed to be higher in these communities than in the rest of the Church.
About one-third of the 42,500 U.S. priests are members of religious orders. Estimates of the numbers of gays in the entire priesthood vary from around 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research on the issue by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."
"The reason you're seeing this happen is because this is the time -- before the document comes out -- that people can make their case," Gibson said. "These orders know that after the document comes out they'll be accused of dissent."
Chojnacki wrote in the letter, dated Monday, that he had participated in the funerals of several gay Jesuit clergy over the last few years.
No ages are specified but one can conclude by this statement that the acceptance of homosexuals into the Jesuit order predates VCII. Any concrete source information would also be appreciated.
The "orientation" itself is a sin, in the same way that lust and coveting are sins. In this case it may also be a mental/emotional disorder, but it's still a sin. At least address the disorder first. And the LAST thing that should happen to men with this disorder is that they live with a bunch of other homosexuals their whole lives. You don't see the church setting up house for heterosexual priests and hetersexual nuns and just telling them to be celibate. (Not that you can even compare natural sexuality with the unnatural type.) If they are attracted to men, wouldn't they be better off living in the women's quarters with lesbian nuns? One gay priest to one lesbian nun. At least that would make more sense.
I suspect St. Ignatius would prefer his order not to be nicknamed the lavender mafia, which I have heard the Jesuits referred to as more than once...
Funny...some of the holiest priests I've known were Jesuits, and some of the more wicked (in the sense of rationalizing their sins as ok).
Let's not beat around the bush. Homosexuality is a behavior. When that behavior is engaged in one is a homosexual. Before that point, one is not. If one gives that behavior up, then one is no longer a homosexual.
Even the CDC bases their statistics on BEHAVIOR.
Therefore, these Jesuits are idiots. To the extent that men had sex with men, these priests were unfit for the priesthood.
The pope is right. They are wrong.
It definitely does, but I suspect that far fewer of them acted on their inclinations, and furthermore, they were not self-defined as "gays" at the time of their application to or acceptance into their orders (which from what I can recall, made real efforts to weed out homosexual candidates, simply because of the danger they posed in an all-male environment).
One of the reasons for the dramatic increase after VatII was the sudden surge in the secular world in people "coming out" - that is, men who may have been vaguely attracted to men suddenly decided they had to act on it and announce to the world that they were gay, asexual people decided that it meant that they were really gay, and men who defined themselves as homosexuals but didn't act on it (that is, they were under vows) suddenly decided that they were being stifled and they had the right to carry out their homosexual activities with no apologies to anybody. This was tied to all sorts of foolish but aggressive "liberation movements" after 1968.
VatII didn't cause this, although it weaked Church discipline and even doctrine to the point that there was no effective way of opposing and controlling the bizarre currents that swept into the Church from the secular world. I think BXVI is trying to reconstruct the Church as the bulwark and barrier against the insane and destructive fads and even politically imposed policies of the modern world.
It might have been easier if we had stayed true to tradition and not let these things through the infamous "open windows" in the first place, but at last some attempt is being made to sweep the place out and close the windows now, before more get in...
Could you please repost the information from yesterday's thread to this one ... thanks.
I do think it might be good for men who bear this particular cross to seek the friendship of godly women. I don't know whether it's true or not that St. Charles de Foucauld had a difficulty in this area, but I know he chose to be a kind of groundkeeper/handyman for a convent of nuns for a couple of years, before he decided to be a hermit.
I believe if you type the title "The Repentant Psychologist" into your Web Browser's search window and hit enter you will come up with an article that will answer a lot of your questions'.
This secular, liberal movement started much earlier around 1962 or a little earlier than that. Vat II had a lot to do with with the move towards "Modernism". There was an earlier movement into "Modernism" in the late nineteenth century. I have an article on that and will send it or perhaps post it may be better.
I am so very happy and pleased theat BXVI is doing something about the Modernist Revolution within the church that overtook Vat II and made it into something it was never meant to be.
Having grown up during that period it was to be a change the accepted music for th echurch, some of the hymns from the Evangelical church and not very musch more than that. Certainly no change in the traditional Latin Tridentine Mass. or any of the secular trash we see today.
I can't wait until this Pope puts the hammer down on these Rogue Bishops and priests whoo have descrated the Catholic Church and Religion. This house cleaning and purge will cause the ranks of the priesthoos to begin to swell.
I grew up before and during VatII (I was in my late teens), and I agree. I recall that it was presented as intended to make few minor cosmetic touches to ritual, "update" the music or even include more Gregorian, and was not supposed to affect doctrine in any way. Two years later, they were ripping the altars out of churches, Fr. Limpwrist and Sr. "I Wanna Be a Priest" Snowflake were doing liturgical modern dance together, and doctrine and discipline were completely shot.
Obviously, the forces of evil had been just waiting for somebody to come along and "open the windows of the Church," in the naive words of John XXIII.
"Would appreciate it if one of the better informed catholics in the forum"
I ain't one of the better informed, but I have heard reports of priests dying of AIDS.
"because of their sexual orientation"
I think we need to work harder at taking the vocabulary back. That battle was ceded to the forces of evil without even a fight.
There is no such thing as a "sexual orientation."
Everyone is heterosexual. Unfortunately, some fall prey to same-sex attraction disorder, which manifests itself as a compulsion to engage in loathsome perversions.
The entire latticework of self-deception, myths, and outright lies that has been erected in the effort to present those disordered compulsions as healthy and normal must be pulled down, and it makes sense to attack the foundations first.
It is a well-known precept among "revolutionaries" that, if you want to change the way people think, first change the words they use. Pushing the acceptance of terms like "gay" and "sexual orientation" is a part of that.
"Obviously, the forces of evil had been just waiting for somebody to come along and "open the windows of the Church," in the naive words of John XXIII."
Obviously. And my question is, how could that have escaped the notice of a couple of popes? What in the world were they thinking to give the forces of evil that opening?
I am not saying that temptation is a sin, but I would argue that homosexual "orientation" in the context it is frequently used -- this one definitely applies -- is well beyond just temptation. Once you actually identify yourself as being so "oriented" then you have validated normality and lessoned the seriousness of the sin.
Let's choose another example. Is it a sin to be an alcoholic? That's a complicated question. Sin accomplished the state of alcoholism, but at the point a person is an alcoholic, they have lost control of their choices in many ways. But their sin got them there, so you can't entirely separate the two. Certainly it disqualifies a person to be Shepherd of a Church.
I just think anyone who is so sexually disordered that they term themselves as being homosexually oriented is not fit to be a Church leader. Let them repent and turn to God, and thereby have fellowship as a member of the church. But they are unqualified for leadership. Scripture is quite specific about qualifications for leadership.
For a priest who has taken a vow of celibacy to be tempted with sexual desire for a woman (before it hits a lust level) is at least a desire for something normal and not sinful in and of itself. But that's not the case with homosexuality. There is no context in which homosexuality is not sinful. So the desire is a desire for something which is at all times sinful.
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I can't cite any sources but it is my opinion that the priests whose funerals he might have officiated at are probably in the 60s -- Maybe the young 70s.
But then, if the HIV/AIDS is the cause of death they are probably dying in their 50s. Just my opinion.
**Let's not beat around the bush. Homosexuality is a behavior. When that behavior is engaged in one is a homosexual. Before that point, one is not. If one gives that behavior up, then one is no longer a homosexual.**
And this behavior of homosexuality is a choice! (Just like chastity is a choice!)
Link is below in # 16.
As a male, I have a natural, genetic proclivity to have sex with females. This doesn't make it moral for me to go have sex with every available female.
I must control my tendency....it is a choice.
Therefore, even if homosexuality were genetic, which it isn't, then there still would be no argument for it since the behavior itself is so destructive of the human body -- solid evidence that it shouldn't be engaged in.