A new Vatican document on homosexuality says the Church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years. It also stated practicing homosexuals with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred. In essence, the Vatican has adopted an "ex-gay" viewpoint, stealing a page from evangelical Christianity.
The Vatican's campaign to "purify" the church is completely out of touch with reality. There is no such thing as "overcoming homosexual tendencies." However, people can hide in the closet, which is exactly what the Vatican is ordering priests to do.
All sexuality - homo or hetero - is "deep-seated", so the Vatican's document is essentially meaningless. It is, in essence, a "gag order" meant to crush dissent within the church. What the church unrealistically seeks is one official, ironclad position that buries disagreement under the carpet, while making its sexual abuse scandals vanish. But molestation is clearly not a gay issue. It is, however, a problem that has cost the Roman Catholic Church nearly $1 billion for settlements and jury verdicts.
The sad thing is, the Vatican's hard-line stance will only increase sexual abuse. The more stringent the regulations, the more it will attract the deeply disturbed and disturbingly repressed who want to use the priesthood as an uber-12-Step program for salvation. The Vatican's backwards policies have made it a magnet for closeted homosexuals and sick pedophiles who use positions of authority to abuse and manipulate vulnerable people under intimate pastoral care.
If the Vatican wants its hideous sex abuse scandals to end, it will put policies in place that will attract healthy people. This means allowing openly gay priests, women and married men into the priesthood. Officially limiting the priesthood to the straight and celibate is a farce that invites future disaster and disgrace.
"At a time when the Church should be taking responsibility for the harm created by a devastating sex abuse scandal, they are instead using gay people as scapegoats," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This decree is a diversion that neither keeps children safe nor holds criminals responsible."
I feel truly sorry for the dedicated gay priests who have given their lives to help people, only to be insulted and humiliated by the new Pope, who has always had a queer obsession with homosexuality. However, my deep reservoir of sympathy is about to run out. From 1965 to 2000, the number of priests in the U.S. dropped 30 percent, the number of nuns, 54 percent. If a critical mass of gay priests came out of the closet and left the priesthood, the Vatican would collapse within weeks.
The Vatican sees homosexuality as "objectively disordered". So, to remain in the Catholic Church as a gay priest is to be the abused wife that runs back to her husband. If a gay priest sees the church as merely a jobs program, than I can understand staying. But, priests with a conscience who care about God, the church, the gay community and the truth, will realize that it is time to leave this increasingly intolerant institution in protest.
To stay is to perpetuate the problem and be a willing actor in active persecution. It is a betrayal of self and pastoral values. The writing in this document is also the writing on the wall for gay Catholics. The Church has left you. Isn't it time to leave the Church?
Sadly, the Catholic Church's mimicry of evangelical radicalism extends beyond gay issues. During the 2004 elections, some Catholic bishops threatened to not give communion to pro-choice politicians, including presidential candidate John Kerry. Never mind that these righteous priests made no such demands of politicians who broke with the church by supporting the war in Iraq.
On Sunday, Missouri Roman Catholics who attended Mass heard sermons against embryonic stem cell research and a statewide petition drive that would allow Missourians to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect the research.
In a recent column, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke referred to the study of embryonic stem cells as "intrinsic evil" and said that signing the petition "is to promote the culture of death."
Once again, the Catholic Church is standing in the way of science and social progress. I'm sure these moralizing hypocrites will be the first ones in line to take advantage of any medical breakthroughs that come as a result of stem cell research.
A new non-profit organization needs to be formed where disgruntled Catholics (as well as people of other religions) can redirect their donations and tithes to more enlightened charities. Each time this new charity would receive a gift it would send a letter to the jilted religion letting it know it had lost money because of its backward social policies.
As religions veer sharply to the right, it is simply wrong to continue supporting and underwriting their destructive campaigns against a free, fair and just society.
I think the American Psychiatric Association should have a word in RATzi's shell-like ear. Clearly this is a church in decline, rotting on the vine, and not soon enough. Ratzi again has sounded the death knoll. The sooner it disappears into oblivion and irrelevance, the better off the world will be.
Rotten Bastards!!! My contempt for this church and its pathetic leadership is beyond words. I'm literally shaking with anger and disgust as I type these words into my keyboard and I hardly ever get angry. But I am now. Who are these fucking supposedly celebate people of god to judge the character of others in such a harsh and false manner. Do they really think that purging gay priest from this shithole of an organization is going to do anything to stop child molestation? It will do FUCK ALL! Their backwards policies banning sexually active people and requiring people to not have sex is what has caused this problem. I hope that gay catholics leave this organiztion in droves and others also go in protest. I am fucking sick of this church and most other fundie churches for that matter. Puke my guts out.
posted by Tim W, at
11/29/2005 9:58 PM
Hi, I am Gay and I am Clergy. Entering into the priesthood is much more than a job, if is a calling. No, the Church right now is not doing what is right, but abandoning the Church or my calling from God isn't the answer either. I don't think you really understand the position that priests around the world find themselves in or the strugles one goes through to even enter into the priesthood.
Until the people in the HRC and gay lobbying organizations learn to start building relationships with their allies in the Church and religious community they will never reach their goals of true equatlity. Most peoples openions on homosexuality are changed by personal experiance with someone who is GBLT.
Your article really does nothing but inflame already sore openions, and burn brindges we should be building to implament real change.
posted by Anonymous, at
11/29/2005 10:58 PM
What is so appalling about this renewed "edict" promoting homophobia, violence and injustice against gays is the fact that its inference that we are all suffering from "tendencies" that are considered deviant and intrinsically disordered, is that it officially subscribes to the notion that homosexuality can be equated with pedophilia on the basis that 80% of the molestation cases were perpetrated by gay priests. What about the remaining 20% committed by heterosexual priests? What about their philandering for that matter? What about the alleged molestation charges in Brazil, supposedly more than 10% of the clergy, probably more? What about the priests who father children and continue their ministry? I've read nothing in the document that would deal with any of it. This document is nothing but blatant homophobia of the worst kind, the hypocrisy is mindboggling. It is a vile institution and a sick one at that.
To Anonymous who is Gay and in the clergy. What insanity are you speaking? Calling? To be a priest in the Catholic Church? Use your calling to be a priest in a church that does ALL the work of Jesus and then work toward getting the RCC to see how wrong they are. Listen to great and wonderful people who TRULY follow the examples of Jesus instead of following these morons who are nothing but the Pharisies that Jesus spoke out against! What is it with you guys, the opportunity to wear lavish gowns? Impressive Head Pieces? Drink Wine at the Communion Table? AND Please don't get me started on the confessional. Your Religion does more harm to the poor, especially the uneducated, than it does to help them. Shame on you. This isn't only a Gay problem with the RCC, but you/we are getting the brunt of this, this is a world wide change of ideals you need, and you certainly cannot do it from the inside because there is just too much for the rich and powerful of the church to loose!! Come on down to reality and leave the RCC and do your "Calling" where it will be of good!
HEY!!! Leave him/her alone! He/she's absolutely right, the gay communities have done practically nothing to respectfully approach people of faith, or religion in general. We all detest it or are afraid of it, and few of us take the time and effort to study it and understand it, as well as the fact that for many people, their lives aren't so simple and privelaged that they have the wish or the ability to up and leave their religion and their communities.
Furthermore, the poster after him was right - that the people of faith should be making an effort to reach out to LGBT people as well, and that the bridge should be two sided. Religion (or spirituality, if you don't like the "r" word) and homosexuality are both fundamental human attributes. We need to find ways to coexist.
Many gay people grow up in Christian households and understand their world through that viewpoint. You can't expect them to give them up just because their leadership has been corrupted. True, we CAN expect them to make their own efforts toward learning about the world and getting over their fear of us, but we have to hold ourselves to this as well. This is all about the fact that we shouldn't have to choose between our religion and our romantic/sexual feelings.
The pope is psychotic. Direct all of your hatred and abuse his way.
My friends, I offer you the perspective of a former R C priest who has had the advantage of both 33 years as a Catholic and 33 years and more now as a non-Catholic. I've been improving on web sites that I started publishing 8 years ago beginning with http://www.LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/ which shows that anybody who wants to follow Christ is going to have to learn to be a LIBERAL.
My more recent http://CatholicArrogance.Org/ shows that this church has huge logs that it will have to remove from its own eyes before picking at the specks in the eyes of others.
Wayne, I've just discovered your blog and I invite you to discover my web sites. You might want to join the 200+ other sites and blogs that are linking to us already.
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posted by Anonymous, at
5/19/2008 3:18 AM