Tuesday, November 29, 2005
by Wayne Besen
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.
There is no such thing as "overcoming homosexual tendencies."
What is your evidence for this? Especially in light of the reality that there are many men out there who used to engage in gay sex acts and have gotten help and now are married to a wife and raising children?
Girls make claims without evidence or facts to back them up. Are you just talking like a girl here or do you have real evidence to back up your claim?
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