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Old 08-29-2005, 11:46 AM   #1
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Vatican to scapegoat, purge gay priests

Vatican plan to block gay priests

Jamie Doward, religious affairs correspondent
Sunday August 28, 2005
The Observer


The new Pope faces his first controversy over the direction of the Catholic church after it was revealed that the Vatican has drawn up a religious instruction preventing gay men from being priests.
The controversial document, produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the body overseeing the church's training of the priesthood, is being scrutinised by Benedict XVI.

It been suggested Rome would publish the instruction earlier this month, but it dropped the plan out of concern that such a move might tarnish his visit to his home city of Cologne last week.

The document expresses the church's belief that gay men should no longer be allowed to enter seminaries to study for the priesthood. Currently, as all priests take a vow of celibacy, their sexual orientation has not been considered a pressing concern.

Vatican-watchers believe the Pope harbours doubts about whether the church should publish the document, which has already been the subject of three drafts.

'Inevitably, such a directive will be met with opposition,' said John Haldane, professor of moral philosophy at the University of St Andrews.

The instruction tries to dampen down the controversy by eschewing a moral line, arguing instead that the presence of homosexuals in seminaries is 'unfair' to both gay and heterosexual priests by subjecting the former to temptation.

'It will be written in a very pastoral mode,' Haldane said. 'It will not be an attack on the gay lifestyle. It will not say "homosexuality is immoral". But it will suggest that admitting gay men into the priesthood places a burden both on those who are homosexual and those they are working alongside who are not.'

The instruction was drawn up as part of the Vatican's response to the sexual abuse scandal that surfaced in the American church three years ago, which has seen hundreds of priests launch lawsuits against superiors whom they accuse of abusing them.

As the former head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body charged with looking into the abuse claims, Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was made acutely aware of the scale of the problem. He is thought to have made clearing up the scandal one of the key goals of his papacy.

Next month the Vatican will send investigators to the US to gauge the scale of the scandal. More than 100 bishops and seminary staff will visit 220 campuses. They will review documents provided by the schools and seminaries and may interview teachers, students and alumni, then report directly to the Vatican, which could choose to issue the instruction barring homosexuals from entering the priesthood as part of its response.

Studies show that a significant proportion of men who enter seminaries to train for the priesthood are gay. Any move signalling that homosexuals will not be allowed to join the seminaries, even one couched in the arcane language of the Vatican, could reduce the number of recruits to the priesthood.

In a further sign of the instruction's deeply controversial nature, it is expected the document would be signed by a cardinal rather than the Pope himself if the Vatican decides to publish it.

The Vatican has been carefully trying to soften Benedict's image since he was elected earlier this year. In recent weeks he has reached out to the Jewish and Muslim communities as well as young Catholics during the church's World Youth Day. The initiatives have been seen as a significant PR success. A decision to publish an instruction that would underscore his religious conservatism would be detrimental to Benedict's standing as he enjoys his 'honeymoon period' on the world stage.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/inter...558063,00.html
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:53 AM   #2
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So how are they going to determine if the priests are gay? Is that what the interviews, etc are for? It will only make these men go to great lengths to keep who they are under wraps. The Catholic church is in desperate need of GOOD priests, gay or not. The notion that the priests involved in the abuse scandal, that they were gay and that's what created that problem is ridiculous and just serves as a scapegoat. They just don't get it. They sure seem to be saying that gay man = pedophile.

There are plenty of Catholics who don't condone this sort of thing. I still love my faith and the church I attend in spite of being so angry w/ the church hierarchy over many things.
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:56 AM   #3
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When a man wants to begin to study for the priesthood (at least in certain orders), he has to consent to lengthy psychological examinations, conversations with spiritual formation directors, and a time of questioning by priests in which they can ask them anything they want.

I know because one of my best friends from school--one of the kindest, most thoughtful, most devout men I have ever known--is in training right now.

And he's gay.
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
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And he's gay.


but don't you see? this simple fact negates all his good qualities.

and it's amazing how many gay people -- this one included, until fairly recently -- believe that as well.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:07 PM   #5
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it's amazing how many gay people -- this one included, until fairly recently -- believe that as well.
I'm sorry you believed that

I think that is so sad, and so sad that we can't have a wonderful priest just because of his sexual orientation. So disheartening, not to mention the church should be teaching acceptance and love by example not just by words.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:16 PM   #6
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The Vatican banning all gay priests? So who are they going to have left *for* priests?

At least more people now know the true colors of the Catholic Church, and I hope more people will register their disgust by ending their contributions to the church and, even better, no longer attending their services. Otherwise, it is implicit support for their bigotry.

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Old 08-29-2005, 12:20 PM   #7
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Originally posted by melon
The Vatican banning all gay priests? So who are they going to have left *for* priests?

Melon

Wow, that was wicked funny. Got any other good ones?

The Church is not perfect but it does more to help people than any other organization on the planet.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:23 PM   #8
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thanks for saying I'm a bigot melon(ok not in those exact words)

Sorry you feel that way, but I think it's my personal decision. Just like it's yours to feel the way you do and practice your faith the way you choose.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:24 PM   #9
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thanks for saying I'm a bigot melon(ok not in those exact words)
I never said you were a bigot in any terms. But by going to church and contributing to their coffers, you are implicitly saying to the Catholic Church that their behavior is okay.

And if you can live with that, then go right ahead living your life the way you are. But I can guarantee that if the Church started engaging in blatant racism or anti-Semitism, we'd have a lot more people leaving the Church with no second thoughts.

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Old 08-29-2005, 12:27 PM   #10
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No offense, but I answer to myself and to God, not to you Melon

The implications in what you say are clear, but I have no interest in fighting w/ you. As a Catholic and merely as a human being I love and respect you no matter what.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:33 PM   #11
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This story does nothing but make me angry.

Just another reason why I have a problem with organized religion.

So, if someone were a homicidal maniac but wanted to "find God" and become a priest, that would be fine, but only if he was straight, right? (Just a hypothetical question, albeit one that's far into left field, but still...)
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:34 PM   #12
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No offense, but I answer to myself and to God, not to you Melon
Again, you misunderstand my words. You don't have to answer to me or even give a rat's ass as to what I have said. I'm aware of American Catholic culture, and, as such, I'm aware that most American Catholics are perfectly contented to live duplicitous religious lives: one where they proclaim themselves "devout Catholics" and the other where they bite their tongue every time the Catholic Church berates homosexuals or, more commonly, when it says that women should stay at home and keep on having children.

For years, I was contented to live this way too, but there just came a point where I had to wake up out of my stupor and realize that I could no longer, in good conscience, keep on supporting a hateful institution merely because it was familiar and comfortable.

But this is me. You are free to do what you choose, but it is of my opinion that truly "duplicitous" Catholics (and, by all means, I'm not implying automatically that you are one of them; I do not know your conscience) are merely fuelling the monster. The best thing they could do is leave the Church and never turn back.

Melon
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:39 PM   #13
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Originally posted by melon


But by going to church and contributing to their coffers, you are implicitly saying to the Catholic Church that their behavior is okay.
I have to agree. Sorry, but how can that not be true?
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:40 PM   #14
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Originally posted by melon

But I can guarantee that if the Church started engaging in blatant racism or anti-Semitism, we'd have a lot more people leaving the Church with no second thoughts.
I'm not disagreeing with that. Maybe there is hope that one day the Church will change. I haven't given up on that hope yet, obviously

The Catholic church has also discriminated against women for years, people didn't leave in droves over that. So am I implicitly supporting sexism and betraying my womanhood by attending Mass and/or giving money?

I don't mean to be harsh with you, as meaningless as it might be to you I completely sympathize w/ your pain and anger about the Church. I'm sorry you might feel a certain way about me because I still attend Mass, but I understand why you do. No you don't know my conscience, and I don't think I'm in a stupor either. I don't consider myself duplicitous either, and I don't bite my tongue.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:44 PM   #15
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
The Catholic church has also discriminated against women for years, people didn't leave in droves over that. So am I implicitly supporting sexism and betraying my womanhood by attending Mass and/or giving money?
No offense intended at all, but I am forced to answer "yes." The lack of protest within any organization, for better or for worse, is an implicit vote of support.

I guess I would feel better if I felt that American Catholics would, at the very least, be more vocal about their grievances. But it seems the best we could muster, as a nation, is organized protest over their blatant and downright arrogant mishandling of the sex scandals.

Quote:
I don't mean to be harsh with you, as meaningless as it might be to you I completely sympathize w/ your pain and anger about the Church. I'm sorry you might feel a certain way about me because I still attend Mass, but I understand why you do. No you don't know my conscience, and I don't think I'm in a stupor either. I don't consider myself duplicitous either, and I don't bite my tongue.
Likewise, I don't mean to be harsh with you either. And, as you can see, I certainly don't bite my tongue in here.

Melon
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