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Old 11-15-2005, 12:31 PM   #1
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gay Catholic clergy fighting back

[q]Vatican instruction on gay priests to be issued November 29

The Reverend Fred Daley, a gay Roman Catholic priest, had grown increasingly disturbed by Vatican pronouncements over the years that gay men were unfit for the clergy.

Then the situation escalated—some church leaders suggested that gays were responsible for the clergy sex abuse crisis. Daley was so angry, he did something last year that almost no other gay Catholic cleric in the country has done: He came out to his bishop,his parishioners, and his entire community to show that gays are faithfully working in the church.

"I'm as much a member of the church as anybody else," said Daley, of St. Francis de Sales Church in Utica, N.Y., who was ordained in 1974 and said he has never considered leaving the priesthood. "I love being a priest."

Researchers have estimated that thousands of gay clergy across the United States have dedicated their lives to a church that considers them "intrinsically disordered" and prone to "evil tendencies." Soon the Vatican will back up that teaching with a document that could set new restrictions on candidates for the priesthood—a pronouncement U.S. bishops may discuss in private during their national meeting starting Monday in Washington, D.C.


The document would not apply to gays who have already been ordained, but gay priests said it would challenge anew their decision to work within a church whose pronouncements they consider discriminatory.

Anticipating the Vatican pronouncement, some gay priests are discussing collectively staying away from pulpits some Sunday to show how much the church relies on them. Other priests said they were considering revealing their sexual orientation to parishioners. Some are contemplating "outing" gay bishops who would be called upon to enforce the new guidelines.


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Old 11-15-2005, 05:04 PM   #2
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Pardon my cynicism, but I'll believe it when I see it. American Catholics are notoriously mute, and that's probably the main reason I couldn't stand staying in the Church anymore.


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Old 11-15-2005, 05:11 PM   #3
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Originally posted by melon
Pardon my cynicism, but I'll believe it when I see it. American Catholics are notoriously mute, and that's probably the main reason I couldn't stand staying in the Church anymore.


The strange thing is, in my part of the world American Catholics have a reputation for being outspoken, compared with European Catholics. But I guess it's all relative, as the current Pope is perhaps more likely to cleave to a reactionary agenda than some recent popes, and seemingly less likely to tolerate dissent.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:14 AM   #4
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apart from his reactionary agenda, the current pope seems to be shaping up to the invisible status shared by his turn of the (20th) century predecessors. I almost wonder if he's still alive.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
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seeing as priests are supposed to abstain from any sort of sexual activity... why is what sexuality you are even part of the discussion?

hypocrisy at it's finest... you're not allowed to be atracted to anyone... but if you'd be attracted to men if you were allowed? no dice... you gotta go.

and people ask me why i don't go to church..
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:46 PM   #6
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Anti-Homosexuality Sermon Suspiciously Well-Informed

November 16, 2005 | Issue 41•46

BOSTON—The Rev. Francis Sebastian's Sunday sermon condemning homosexual behavior was suspiciously rich in detail and nuance, parishioners from the Adoration Of The Savior Catholic Church noted Monday. "For a celibate man of the cloth, Father Sebastian is very specific about which code words not to use on which forbidden chat rooms at which times of the night," said Betty Riegert, 67. "He also seems to have done his homework on what happens if you flash your headlights at certain rest stops along Route 16." Riegert and other parishioners expect Sebastian to revisit his usual well-worn themes, "Consider The Lilies," "Back Street Sodom," and "Christ The Bridegroom," next Sunday

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Old 11-16-2005, 01:56 PM   #7
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more Christians with balls:

[q]Wedded Bliss for All or None
To Protest Ban on Gay Unions, Arlington Pastor Refuses to Conduct Marriages

By Annie Gowen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 15, 2005; Page B04

Clarendon Presbyterian Church Pastor David Ensign has an alternative air about him. He wears an earring and has been known to pick up his guitar to play a few hymns during Sunday services.

But he surprised even some of Arlington's die-hard progressives Nov. 3 at the county's annual human rights awards ceremony, where his church was honored. He used the occasion to announce the church's new wedding policy:

Traditional marriages are out. "Celebrations of commitment" are in.

To protest Virginia's laws banning same-sex marriage, Ensign and the church's governing council decided recently that Clarendon Presbyterian will no longer have any weddings, and Ensign will renounce his state authority to marry couples.

Any heterosexual couple who has their union "blessed" in a "celebration ceremony" at the tiny church will have to take the extra step of being officially wed by a justice of the peace at the courthouse.

"What we're saying is that in the commonwealth of Virginia, the laws that govern marriage are unjust and unequal," said Ensign, 45, who has served as the church's pastor since 2003. He said that the matter had been bothering him for months and that he suggested the policy to the congregation's leaders because his conscience would not allow him to continue performing legal marriages on the state's behalf.

Clarendon Presbyterian's stand comes as the state's General Assembly is set to take up for the second time a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, similar to amendments that have been passed in 19 states. It was cleared by the General Assembly last session and will have to be approved again before a statewide referendum in 2006 or 2007.

Supporters of the amendment said that the ensign's protest would have little effect -- and that he was only hurting his congregation.

"I think it's a shame that this clergyman would seek to undermine traditional marriage, which is the foundation of American society," said state Sen. Nick Rerras (R-Norfolk), one of the legislation's sponsors. "It's a terrible message to send to our youth."


Ensign, who is married and a father of three, said he is counseling other couples who support his protest. However, he said he expects debate about the new policy within the church as well as the national Presbyterian community.

"I don't have patience for harassment or people who are ignorant, but serious engagement, we welcome," he said after church services Nov. 6.

"We're not seeking trouble," the pastor said. "This is a statement of who we are."


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