Friday, April 10, 2009

A Humble Proposal for Solving the Homosexual Problem in the Church

When Bishop John Keating was alive Fr. Haley took the homosexual problem to him as his shepherd. At that point he had lived in a rectory with a priest who was physically involved with another and the walls of the rectory were thin. Initially, Bishop Keating offered him the door, but Bishop Keating was a fatherly man who loved his spiritual sons. To illustrate, once a year (I think between Christmas and New Year's), he set aside the entire week for his priests. Everyone was encouraged to make an appointment. It wasn't compulsory, but many priests welcomed the opportunity and went. The bishop usually gave his visitors a gift. One priest I know, who has family in another state, said the bishop sometimes gave him an airline ticket so he could fly home.

Bishop Keating offered something very important to Fr. Haley. He listened when Father asked the forbidden question. Bishop Keating and Fr. Haley began to meet regularly to talk about the homosexual problem in the diocese. Presumably, those meetings caused Bishop Keating to ask the question in Rome the day he died, "What can I do about my homosexual priest problem?"

Why such a question? Doesn't a bishop have total control? Not if he's honest and does things by the book. There is nothing in Canon Law about homosexual priests. There are canons about relations with women, but not about men in relationships with other men.

What is needed?

No one is suggesting that every homosexual priest be thrown out on his heels, particularly those who are struggling to be chaste both physically and mentally.

One possible solution, however, is to add two Canon Laws: one that clearly states homosexuals may not be ordained, and a second that says, if a homosexual is ordained and discovered later, he may not occupy a position of authority as a pastor or a bishop.

Why? Because that's exactly how we ended up with a homosexual cabal in the Church which led to the sex abuse crisis. In many places soliciting homosexualls for the priesthood was (and may still be) the norm. At least a dozen bishops have resigned or been removed for abusing boys and how many others are living in secret in their chanceries like homosexual priests in their rectories?

Homosexual clerics in positions of leadership enable homosexuality. It's been suggested that the reason some dioceses have not fought more vigorously for pro-life and against the gay agenda is because so many bishops are homosexual and vulnerable to the threat of "being outed." As gay marriage becomes more likely in the United States, how many homosexual clergy will lead the fight against it?

The Church must take action on this. It isn't enough to have pastoral letters or diocesan policies that may or may not be followed. Writing legislation into the Code of Canon Law would eliminate ambiguity and offer a real solution to the homosexual problem.

6 comments:

  1. There is no adequate enforcement mechanism. Also there are canonical laws on Due Process that are routinely ignored. The answer is a better vetting of Bishops. Cardinal McCarrick signed the Land O Lakes declaration on Catholic schools which demanded autonomy from Church authority when he was president of CU in Puerto Rico. How did that happen?
    Two audit teams are necessary: one from the particular diocese; and another from the Vatican. No one is paying attention to writings or other communications of some of these guys. Picking a bishop is engaging in ecclesial roulette. We need more guns and less bullets.

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  2. The ONLY real solution is to allow priests to marry and for woman to be allowed in ministry and in postions of power within the Church.

    The "experiment" of celibacy began over a thousand years after Christ's time with the apostles. It is failed. The lives ruined by sexually acting out priests; their lonliness; and the money paid out in lawsuits are signs of the failed experiment.

    It is no surprise that the all male clergy attracted same sex attracted males. Hmmm . .

    Forget the "Gaydar" and witchhunts, help the lost and lonely priesthood, allow priests to live as God has designed, "no man should live alone."

    At this point in history, it is highly unlikely that the Church can attract an all male, celibate, but non homosexual clergy. Fine. Why is the Church trying to reinvent the laws of human nature, as if they could re-write how gravity should work.

    I would argue with my sons is they wanted to consider the priesthood to NOT go NEAR!

    The time to life the celibacy and woman ban is NOW, before the Church loses more ground as a credible moral institution.

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  3. If celibacy were the problem, denominations that allow marriage would have no sex abuse, but the opposite is true. Protestant denominations have just as great or even more of a problem than the Catholic Church. (See http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0405/p01s01-ussc.html)

    The John Jay study showed that the primary issue was, indeed, homosexual perversion among the priests. How would allowing priests to marry help that? It won't.

    It is not a witch hunt to say that gays are not acceptable to be priests. It puts them in a continuous, unrelenting occasion of sin for their entire lives. It also puts them in a situation of enforced secrecy, i.e., living a lie. People presume they have "sacrificed" marriage and family, so they achieve a false respect when in fact they have gained a "brotherhood" of benefit where they can enjoy the companionship of other men who may be a constant source of temptation. There is a reason that convents and abbeys do not have mixed sexes. Putting gay men ("girls") in with heterosexual men and other gays is foolhardy as we have all seen.

    As for women priests, the Church does not have the authority to allow them, as Pope John Paul II said. A woman cannot be alter Christus to "the bride" of Christ, the Church. Women cannot fulfill the role of the groom. That will never change and it has nothing to do with denying them "equal rights." The doctrine of the all-male priesthood is just that - a doctrine. Women will never be priests. (See http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2ORDIN.HTMand http://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/MALEPRIE.TXT)

    Frankly, knowing the women who want to be priests is the greatest argument against it. They aren't interested in service, but power. Most also support abortion and other feminist positions. Let them take their "ungodly rage," as author Donna Steichen put it, out of the Church which is where they already are philosophically.

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  4. Protestant denominations don't have bishops to facilitate the abuse of children. Protestant denominations respect the rule of law and do not believe themselves to be above it.

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  5. It really doesn't help to compare our experience with that of Protestants. We differ too much on the nature of ordained ministry, etc. Better to compare ourselves and our priests to those of Eastern Rite Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Churches. They have true apostolic succession, true priesthood, true sacraments, etc. What have they experienced with respect to clerical sexual abuse (especially of a pederastic nature) while having married priests? Also, what is their experience with homosexual priests? I agree that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, and I'm not willing to write off celibacy as the norm for Latin Rite clergy. Nonetheless, the all male celibate priesthood sure makes a good hiding place for a homosexual Catholic man, and does so in a way that a married or mixed clergy could not. Note please, I mean a hiding place not only from his family and society, but from himself. I think many of these men approach the priesthood in good faith. They live in denial of their homosexual difficulty. Perhaps many of these are good, pious types from families where the very idea of being homosexual is "off the radar". I come from a mixed eastern and western church family background and frankly find the eastern approach to most things preferable and more attractive (especially the liturgy). I would have no trouble at all with seeing both married and celibate priests in the Latin Rite and wonder whether we might then have healthier, more mature, and masculine clergy.

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  6. It would be simple to cure the Church of Her homosexual problem.

    Remove the money.

    Gays are notorious for their love of luxury. Make their lives a true sacrifice, one of real poverty, and the gays will leave.

    No fancy cars, no maids, no long vacations, no fancy retreats, no well-stocked liquor cabinets, and a cut in pay and you can kiss the gay men goodbye. Same with all the others who are not suited for the priesthood. That goes double for the religious orders and all bishops.

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