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Seminary ouster of outspoken gay points up issues
The Boston Globe ^ | February 26, 2002 | Sacha Pfeiffer

Posted on 11/25/2002 5:28:36 AM PST by american colleen

Edited on 04/13/2004 2:08:36 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

As a student at Harvard and then Yale, where different lifestyles mix uneventfully, Gavan Meehan found it easy and comfortable to be publicly gay. But after an inner tug to the priesthood drew him last year to St. John's Seminary in Brighton, his upfront acknowledgement of his sexual orientation brought a far different response.


(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: homosexuals; ordained; priests; seminaries
Where do I start?

Father Coyne is supposed to be one of the more "orthodox" priests in the Boston Archdiocese. Has he not seen, or is he not aware of the 1961 Vatican directive that indicates NO men of homosexual orientation shall be ordained?

I am fit to be tied and I am searching for Fr. Coyne's e-mail address so I can send him the statement from the Vatican barring homosexuals from being ordained. So far no luck, but I will find it.

1 posted on 11/25/2002 5:28:36 AM PST by american colleen
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To: Aquinasfan; maryz; saradippity; Polycarp; narses; Maximilian; NYer; Siobhan; sandyeggo; sitetest; ..
GRRRR...
2 posted on 11/25/2002 5:31:43 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
''A man who is same-sex oriented can be ordained as long as he understands and is accepting of the promise of celibacy as the church understands it,'' Coyne said. ''The judgment call is not based on whether a man is gay or not. The judgment call is whether or not a man is committed to a celibate lifestyle and all that entails.''

At the same time, a man is who opposite sex oriented can be ordained as long as he understands and is accepting of the vow of celibacy. Why is it when a heterosexual seminarian is dismissed we don’t hear about it and when a gay candidate is dismissed they use the dismissal as a platform to complain about the Church?

Also, at a church gathering in Hartford, he was critical of the seminary for teaching that homosexuality is a moral choice and for discouraging discussions about ordination of women.

Bishop Lennon made the right decision not to ordain Meehan. He would have been a problem.

3 posted on 11/25/2002 6:09:04 AM PST by pegleg
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To: american colleen
As for homophobia, Meehan said he sometimes heard students make cruel jokes and derisive comments about homosexuals, especially after the sex abuse scandal erupted in January and the issue of whether gay priests are partly to blame for the scandal became a matter of public debate.

<> Oh my,...Tsk, tsk, there must be action taken...<>

4 posted on 11/25/2002 6:25:21 AM PST by Catholicguy
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To: pegleg
You are right, Meehan would have been a problem. My beef is with Fr. Coyne's statement:
''A man who is same-sex oriented can be ordained as long as he understands and is accepting of the promise of celibacy as the church understands it,'' Coyne said. ''The judgment call is not based on whether a man is gay or not. The judgment call is whether or not a man is committed to a celibate lifestyle and all that entails.''

When the Vatican clearly says:
"Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination," because priestly ministry would place such persons in "grave danger".

There was a second collection taken up in my parish (probably all parishes within the Arch. of Boston) a few months ago for the St. John's Seminary. I remember my parish priest told us we should contribute because the seminary has been cleaned up. He must have forgotten to add: "of course, it depends on the meaning of 'cleaned up'."

I'm just disgusted.

5 posted on 11/25/2002 6:26:39 AM PST by american colleen
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To: Catholicguy
LOL!

But the issue to my way of thinking, is how did this guy get in the seminary in the first place? He was up front about his sexual orientation and it was known that he was afflicted with same sex attraction. Do the powers that be just throw out the disruptive homosexuals who are vocal and leave in the quiet homosexuals? How does this square with the Vatican directive of 1961?

6 posted on 11/25/2002 6:30:23 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Still, the Catholic Church has no uniform policy on gay priests and guidelines on admitting gay men vary by seminary.

WHAT???
7 posted on 11/25/2002 6:38:51 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: american colleen
Meehan sent an angry letter to Lennon and other church officials accusing two students of violating their celibacy vow by having sex in a Boston department store dressing room, although he now acknowledges that he had no direct evidence to support his charge.

Ok, so he bears false witness in addition to being a sodomite and he wonders why he won't make a good priest? I think he's missing a few basic points.

"I felt like I had to point out the hypocrisy," said Meehan. "If you talk about being gay, even if you're celibate..."

I wonder, when he "talk(s) about being gay", does he ever use the word "Abomination?"

8 posted on 11/25/2002 6:48:50 AM PST by FormerLib
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To: Desdemona
I know! The statement should have read "Still, the AmChurch has no uniform policy on gay priests and guidelines on admitting gay men vary by seminary."

Hey, I've been dying to tell this to someone cuz the glow is still on... I attended Mass and had lunch with Deal Hudson yesterday!!! He flew into Boston just to meet with some of the faithful who deal with VOTF (VOTF is really strong and divisive here). He did this for nothing, he only wanted to give moral support. Anyhow, he was fantastic (and lest I change the subject) he cited the stats he printed in the December edition of Crisis magazine (and we each got a free copy, too) detailing how 72% of Vat II generation priests say Catholics can disagree with Church teachings and "remain faithful" and only 60% say that JPII's moral views are "about right."

My point is that the statement you cited is really no surprise when the majority of priests disagree with, and do not teach what the magesterium teaches, but still consider themselves "faithful Catholics."

9 posted on 11/25/2002 6:59:23 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
"Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination," because priestly ministry would place such persons in "grave danger".

That’s my point. The key word here is perverse. Fr. Coyne was correct when he stated The judgment call is whether or not a man is committed to a celibate lifestyle and all that entails.''

Granted a homosexual orientation is disordered however, I wouldn’t conclude it’s impossible for someone with a homosexual orientation to be celibate.

10 posted on 11/25/2002 6:59:53 AM PST by pegleg
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To: FormerLib
I wonder, when he "talk(s) about being gay", does he ever use the word "Abomination?"

My guess is no.

11 posted on 11/25/2002 7:00:13 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Coyne visits at St. Edward the Confessor on weekends.

Rev. Christopher J.Coyne Visiting Priest Weekends 616-254-2610

12 posted on 11/25/2002 7:04:40 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: pegleg
Granted a homosexual orientation is disordered however, I wouldn’t conclude it’s impossible for someone with a homosexual orientation to be celibate.

Me neither. However, in light of the current "situation," I would err on the side of no admittance. After all, ALL priests take the vow of celibacy freely and are taught (I think) all during seminary that they are to be celibate. Taking into consideration the abusing priests is one aspect of homosexuality, but lest we forget, priests are dying from AIDS at a rate approx. four times greater than the average of the homosexual population. Something ain't right with "Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality" it seems.

13 posted on 11/25/2002 7:05:52 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
reverend_chris_coyne@rcab.org

Let me know if you get a response.

14 posted on 11/25/2002 7:10:56 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: american colleen
However, in light of the current "situation," I would err on the side of no admittance.

It appears that's the current situation and if that's what it takes so be it. I just didn't see anything wrong with Father Coyne's statement.

15 posted on 11/25/2002 7:14:26 AM PST by pegleg
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To: american colleen
but lest we forget, priests are dying from AIDS at a rate approx. four times greater than the average of the homosexual population.

And this number should be ZERO.
16 posted on 11/25/2002 7:14:43 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: pegleg
The key word here is perverse.

No the key phrase is perverse inclination along with the definition of perverse. The bottom line is that the ordination of homosexuals and pedophiles was banned in writing in 1961, whether they are in the closet, out, celibate or active. Coyne and all the other homosexual apologists in the episcopacy and laity want to split hairs and that is a right they do not have in the Church.

perverse (per-vûrs´, pûr´vûrs´) adjective
1. Directed away from what is right or good; perverted.
2. Obstinately persisting in an error or a fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn.
3. a. Marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict. b. Arising from such a disposition. See synonyms at contrary.
4. Cranky; peevish.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

17 posted on 11/25/2002 7:18:07 AM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Wow! Thanks very much. I did a search on the Archdiocese website this morning and found nothing... you are a better man than I am (no kidding!).

I will write a short and concise (I hope) note to him and ask him to clarify his stance and the 1961 Vatican directive. If I get a reply, I will post it here. I'm just sick and tired of the lack of adherence to magisterium teaching that I find here. Plus, VOTF supports the ordination of homosexuals (and women and married priests)... that should tell us something.

18 posted on 11/25/2002 7:19:15 AM PST by american colleen
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To: pegleg
I'm having a hard time understanding where you are coming from... I read Fr. Coyne as saying that homosexuals can be admitted and ordained as priests as long as they embrace celibacy. But I read the 1961 Vatican statement on homosexuals as saying that they cannot be admitted or ordained because it would put them in grave danger.

I don't see any "wiggle" room here, what am I missing?

19 posted on 11/25/2002 7:25:10 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Do you know what parish he is in.

Go to USCCB site, then Archdioces/Diocese, then parishes and you should locate him. If that fails you can email the Archdicocese about his whereabouts. Maybe he is of their staff?? (Hopefully wrong there, Salvation!)
20 posted on 11/25/2002 7:49:00 AM PST by Salvation
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To: american colleen
**who said he was celibate**

Why do I find this difficult to believe at the age of 30?

Hmmmmmm.
21 posted on 11/25/2002 7:50:14 AM PST by Salvation
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To: american colleen
**AmChurch**

But in reality, there is no AmChurch! We are "one, holy, catholic and apostolic" church. And I think some American Bishops and Archbishops are finally grasping this concept.
22 posted on 11/25/2002 7:53:18 AM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Smedleybutler found Fr. Coyne's e-mail address. He is actually in charge of the Liturgy for the Archdiocese of Boston and he teaches at the seminary. He does not have his own parish.

I'm not doubting the fact that Mr. Meehan is celibate, he said he is (was) and I'll take his words at face value. He should have been bounced out of the seminary because he is a loose cannon and following down the road of Fr. Shanley... openly expressing his "gayness" and making that the center of his life. My problem is with Fr. Coyne's statement that seems to say that admittance to the seminary and subsequent ordination depends on adherence to celibacy... homosexual tendencies don't matter. I have a problem with that when the Vatican expressly said back in 1961 that homosexuals should not be admitted to seminaries. Haven't we learned the lesson?

23 posted on 11/25/2002 8:08:29 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen; SMEDLEYBUTLER
I read Fr. Coyne as saying that homosexuals can be admitted and ordained as priests as long as they embrace celibacy.

My point is if you’re celibate and remain that way what difference does it make.

But I read the 1961 Vatican statement on homosexuals as saying that they cannot be admitted or ordained because it would put them in grave danger.

OK. I will agree that is the best way to nip the problem at its source. As SMEDLEYBUTLER stated whether your in the closet, out, celibate or active. Then sexual problems in the clergy would be limited to the occasional falling of heterosexual priests.

24 posted on 11/25/2002 8:31:20 AM PST by pegleg
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To: american colleen
I don't see any "wiggle" room here, what am I missing?

"Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination," because priestly ministry would place such persons in "grave danger".

It is possible to wiggle around this "directive" till the cows come home.

"Those affected by...". Who is to know who is truly "affected"?

"...should be excluded...". Very strong word isn't it? SHOULD. This is so much stronger than MUST.

Wiggle room indeed.

25 posted on 11/25/2002 8:37:41 AM PST by OLD REGGIE
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To: OLD REGGIE
Good point but the directives of Rome on this matter are well known, just not followed.

Vatican spokesman's comments highlight debate over gay priests

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican official's comments on the priesthood and homosexuality have drawn public attention to an issue that has been quietly debated at the Vatican for several years.

Vatican sources said that, in general, church leaders are pressing harder so that people of permanent homosexual orientation are screened out as candidates for the priesthood.

So far, this has been handled through prudent local decisions rather than explicit orders issued from the Vatican, they said. But it is something Vatican officials have emphasized to bishops in recent discussions on priestly vocations and seminary programs, the sources said.

A new document on the issue also is being considered. A study on the question of homosexual candidates to the priesthood was completed last year at the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, and sources said a set of guidelines for seminaries may follow.

In January, the same congregation examined proposed guidelines on psychological testing for seminary candidates. Church officials view homosexuality as a potential problem that could be disclosed by such testing.

Last year, a top Vatican doctrinal official spoke of the negative effects of homosexuality within the priesthood and said: "The Holy See views this as a very serious problem and is determined to take steps to correct it."

The issue was raised again in early March when Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told The New York Times that "people with (homosexual) inclinations just cannot be ordained."

"That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality," he said. "But you cannot be in this field."

In response to questions by Catholic News Service, Navarro-Valls declined to elaborate on his comments. He said he did not want to draw more attention to this topic, especially while U.S. church leaders were dealing with the more immediate problem of sex abuse by clergy.

Yet many at the Vatican see the two issues as related -- if not causally, then at least circumstantially. Most publicized cases of sex abuse by clergy against minors have involved homosexual acts.

Church officials, who asked not to be named, said the Vatican was not trying to impose an arbitrary norm against homosexuals, but was trying to make "prudential decisions" based on individual cases at the seminary level. They noted that the Vatican views the issue as mainly dealing with future priests, not those already ordained.

As for objections that screening homosexuals would violate their rights, the sources said the priesthood was a question of vocation or divine grace, not human rights. In the church's view, no one has a "right" to be ordained, they said.

Some church officials have questioned whether some ordinations might even be considered invalid because of homosexuality. But the sources said that is not how the Vatican plans to approach the issue. For one thing, the validity of orders is a thorny church law question that would in turn raise pastoral problems -- such as the legitimacy of past sacramental acts carried out by a priest whose ordination was judged invalid.

The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" teaches that homosexual acts are a grave sin against chastity and that the homosexual orientation is "intrinsically disordered."

In an interview in 2001 with CNS, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation, explained why church leaders view a homosexual orientation as a potential problem in a seminarian.

Archbishop Bertone said that while the homosexual inclination is not sinful in itself, it "evokes moral concern" because it is a strong temptation to actions that "are always in themselves evil."

He defined the homosexual inclination as "a temptation that, for whatever reason, has become so predominant in a person's life as to become a force shaping the entire outlook of the person."

"Persons with a homosexual inclination should not be admitted to the seminary," Archbishop Bertone said.

In 1961, a Vatican document on the selection of candidates to the priesthood said much the same thing. The instruction was issued by the then-Sacred Congregation for Religious and concerned those entering religious orders.

"Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination," it said. It said the community life and priestly ministry would constitute a "grave danger" or temptation for these people.

The document recommended that any person with serious unresolved sexual problems be screened out, saying that the chastity and celibacy required by religious and priestly life would constitute for them a "continuous heroic act and a painful martyrdom."

The 1961 document has never been abrogated, so is still technically valid, officials said. But now, the Vatican is considering a reformulation of these principles, so that the message gets through more clearly to local churches.

END


26 posted on 11/25/2002 9:03:22 AM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
I keep thinking, all the policies, "Dallas," "one-strike," "zero-tolerance" or otherwise, are not going to regain Church's moral authority or change a thing for the better as long as perverts and pervert-promoters keep upper hand anywhere in the Church administration.

Non-admission of homosexuals to the Holy Orders cannot be a "local matter" differing from diocese to diocese. Either the Catholic Church believes homosexuality to be an intrinsically disordered tendency, OR it's considered morally equal to heterosexuality.
And, if it's equal, then…. As long as one is celibate…. blah….blah…

27 posted on 11/25/2002 9:04:20 AM PST by heyheyhey
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To: american colleen; pegleg
AC,I am happy you posted this article and surprised and happy the Globe ran it.

There has been a virtual blackout of information about the sexual nature of predators and victims for some time now as well as a relative silence on the ages of the "young boys". This precludes progress by bishops,priests and laity in developing measures that will support Church Teaching and the Truth.And while I pray for the Vatican to produce a derective which bars ordaining homosexuals and believe it will establish policy,we need to be aware that to effect a policy,procedures must be drawn up.

This incident with Meehan forces a look at some of the problems that will occur as they write procedures for a screening device that will eliminate homosexuals from seminaries. Scrupulous honestly or very low sex drive might eliminate some very excellent candidates in the absence of an advanced understanding of the elements of sexuality.

While Meehan should not be acceptable with that history,to close the door to those who have thought about it,even fleetingly would be an error also.They must be very careful to not introduce something that will either eliminate good candidates or cause them to be dishonest in answering questions. I am commenting only to try to alert Freepers to consider this very carefully.

I am quite sure the Amchurch bishops would be delighted to comply with a directive from the Vatican that would be so rigid and harsh and unforgiving that a holy,heterosexual saint could fail to pass their screening procedure.No priests would suit their purposes almost as well as as as a preponderance of homosexuals.To be forewarned is to be forarmed.

Colleen,I hope you have time to fill as in on the visit from Deal Hudson.Were there lots of people there,oppurtunities for discussion?Please tell us your thoughts about it.Thanks.

28 posted on 11/25/2002 9:16:57 AM PST by saradippity
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To: american colleen
I hope you understand that I am only pointing out that Amchurch bishops might,if required,set up a screening procedure that would eliminate anyone from becoming a priest and then sit back and smile.

We must not react to everything said that sounds like it's too soft until we think it through.

29 posted on 11/25/2002 9:30:13 AM PST by saradippity
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To: saradippity
It is a fine line to walk, isn't it?

Maybe direct questions along the lines of "have you ever had a homosexual relationship" or "are you battling same sex attraction" --- I don't know. However, the minority of priests are gay and the vast majority of victims are male. Then you have that disgusting site RCF exposed... and I haven't seen a heterosexual counterpart to that site. Then you have the fact that priests die from AIDS at 4 times the rate of the general homosexual population. I've never seen a stat indicating that priests suffer from STDs even at the same rate as the general heterosexual population.

I think if there is not a direct directive from the Vatican barring gays from ordination, we will head down a slippery slope... look at the mainline Protestant churches that do ordain gays.

Deal Hudson was fantastic. Basically, he was here explain his misgivings about VOTF and to let us know that we are not alone in trying to expose them for what they are. He paid for the plane fare out of his own pocket when he realized just how pervasive VOTF is in the Archdiocese of Boston and how few of us understand their agenda or what to do to combat it.

His visit was not publicized except on the TCRNews website and word of mouth. Sadly, only about 20 people attended.

30 posted on 11/25/2002 9:36:31 AM PST by american colleen
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To: saradippity
I should add that the discussion went along the lines of dissention and how VOTF would not exist without the help of the priests. Most of the attendees were from various parishes and most of them can not find a parish with a priest that is totally faithful to the magisterial teachings.
31 posted on 11/25/2002 9:39:27 AM PST by american colleen
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To: saradippity
Check this site out" "Magisterial Fidelity" - the woman who writes this blog is the one who was contacted by Mr. Hudson initially. She wrote a good synopsis of yesterday's gathering.
32 posted on 11/25/2002 9:44:47 AM PST by american colleen
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To: pegleg
If it is made perfectly clear that homosexuals are not welcome at seminary, they will be soon as rare as one-armed baseball players.
33 posted on 11/25/2002 9:50:57 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: american colleen
Good point but the directives of Rome on this matter are well known, just not followed.

When is a "directive" really a directive and when it it nothing but high sounding words? The Vatican certainly knows how to word something such that there is no room for "interpretation".

BTW, this is not merely an AMChurch problem. It appears to be so simply because we live here.

34 posted on 11/25/2002 10:47:09 AM PST by OLD REGGIE
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To: american colleen
Deal Hudson

Can you tell me more about this gentleman? A DMN arctile says they have a chapter at a church in Paris, Texas, and a Texas co-ordinator.

35 posted on 11/25/2002 10:54:34 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: american colleen
Meehan never wanted to become a priest in the first place. His goal from the beginning was to be thrown out of the seminary, making a pro-gay, anti-Catholic statement.
36 posted on 11/25/2002 4:34:14 PM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: american colleen
Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality
37 posted on 11/25/2002 5:20:03 PM PST by onedoug
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To: Salvation
But in reality, there is no AmChurch! We are "one, holy, catholic and apostolic" church. And I think some American Bishops and Archbishops are finally grasping this concept.< P>And some never will short of Judgment.
38 posted on 11/27/2002 4:15:46 PM PST by arthurus
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To: Salvation
Hello. Father Coyne is actually the director of Pre-theology at St. John's Seminary. You can check out the St. John's Seminary website at www.sjsc.edu
39 posted on 11/27/2002 5:17:26 PM PST by seraphim31416
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To: arthurus
**And some never will short of Judgment.**

You got that right!
40 posted on 11/29/2002 5:56:51 PM PST by Salvation
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To: seraphim31416
Thanks for the link.
41 posted on 11/29/2002 5:57:16 PM PST by Salvation
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