Skip to comments.Keep the Ban
Posted on 10/21/2005 6:55:54 AM PDT by marshmallow
ATEAM of Roman delegates knocked on the doors of St. Patrick's Catholic Seminary in Menlo Park this week. The Vatican calls this a "visitation." Others call it an "investigation." For me, it's "quality control." The visitors are checking for theological orthodoxy in the classrooms and how seminarians are being formed for a life of celibacy.
At the same time, the media are quoting anonymous Vatican sources about a new document that may soften admission standards for seminary applicants with homosexual tendencies. Reportedly, if the candidate has been chaste for three years, if he is not involved in public demonstrations, such as Pride parades, and if his tendencies are not serious, the door may be opened to him.
Honestly, I have to reserve judgment about these anonymous reports. They just don't square with past Vatican teachings that kept the door firmly closed. Perhaps I sound like a cave dweller, since I was ordained 35 years ago, but why would anyone abolish such a wise prohibition?
The Catholic Church is just beginning to extricate herself from the greatest scandal and financial payout in her American history. As the human wreckage is acknowledged, and attempts are made at repair, what have we learned?
The John Jay Report, commissioned last year by the bishops, calculated that four-fifths of the abuse victims in the past 50 years were boys between the ages of 11 and 17, making both the sin and the crime homosexual in nature.
Some argue that the priests simply had easier access to altar boys. Nonsense! After 1975, priests had just as much access to altar girls and to girls in catechism and reconciliation. This scandal is not about "easy access" but sexual preference.
The existing ban on homosexual priests is also consistent with two points of Catholic thought. First, the Church is never going to accept that homosexuality is part of the Creator's plan.
Philosophically, the Church sees same-sex activity as a contradiction of natural law. Sexuality is ordered to procreation. Human anatomies are hard-wired to be complementary between man and woman. Scripture confirms this: Adam took for his wife Eve, not Everett.
Second, when a Roman Catholic man makes the sacred promise of celibacy, the object is the definitive renunciation of the good of marriage. Ecclesiastical celibacy has value precisely because an average Joe relinquishes the love of a wife and the joy of fatherhood for the sake of the love of God. This oath is appropriately taken by someone who otherwise would have made a good family man.
Canon Law and Vatican instructions provide seminary bishops and vocation recruiters with all the backing they need to say with respect, compassion and sensitivity, "Look, friend, if you're living with some degree of same-sex attraction, the seminary and the priesthood are not the place for you to serve God."
Until it is signed and promulgated, no one knows exactly what the new Vatican document says. Meanwhile, I contend that if the traditional prohibition is enforced, seminaries will be more apt to form psychologically healthy men into spiritually generous priests. In time, the unfortunate association between the priesthood and deviant behavior will diminish, and a new generation of seminarians will emerge.
The Rev. James Garcia is the parish priest at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Menlo Park. He and three other local columnists take turns writing for the Faith page
Excellent post. Thanks.
**Until it is signed and promulgated, no one knows exactly what the new Vatican document says.**
But there certainly is a lot of speculation out there! (Especially by the lamestream media!)
Thanks for posting this.
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
Seminary Reviews Not Just About Homosexuality, Says Prelate
Jesuit Official Rips Expected Ban on Gays
Jesuit Official Rips Expected Ban on Gays
Jesuit official protesting expected Vatican ban on gay priests
A Catholic Moment of Truth
Gay Catholics Angry Over Seminary Searches
New Rules Affirm Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays
New Report on Vatican Gay Priests Document Said to be Gay Lobby Rumor Mill
Gay men can be priests if celibate
Gay men can be Catholic priests if celibate-paper
No ban on gays expected in Vatican document; will advise 'prudential judgement'
African Cardinal Views the Vocation Shortage - With Full Seminaries, Ghana Shares Its Wealth
Let's repeat this just in case anyone missed that fact.