realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Catholic Stuff (Yawn!)

This blog has been hanging around Catholic arguments for the last little while. In light of the new Vatican document on homosexuality and the priesthood, I'm going to back to some Catholic stuff....
A search on Google News shows how this issue and other Catholic related stuff is handled by the "meejah".
The Independent (UK) has forcefully restated its hostility to homosexuals
From Arizona
- The Roman Catholic pastor of Mesa's Queen of Peace Church has resigned in protest of the church's tougher and what he calls "hostile" stand against gays in the priesthood.
Given the Church takes an uncompromising stance on separating the sinner from the sin, words like force and hostile perpetuate the false illusion that the Church hates all homosexuals. In the light of the meaning of priestly vocation, which includes a broad spectrum of potentially virtuous behavious including celibacy but also obedience, that priest's actions smack of an overdose of diva behaviour.
And from our own Examiner Not surprisingly, the gay community is outraged over the thrust of the document, describing it as a blatant bid to scapegoat them for the problems besetting the church.
With the aim of dissuading gay seminarians from lying about their sexual orientation, the document urges them to tell the truth and warns it would be “gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality”. If anything, gay candidates are less likely to be up-front in future.
On the vexed question of whether homosexual men should enter the priesthood in Ireland, it is telling that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin believes those who are stable and capable of celibacy can move through the system.

As an average practising Catholic I've no real problem with this document. As the quote from Diarmuid Martin above shows, those how are willing to practice the celibacy bit of their vocation are no different for heterosexualal priests.
However, the gay community are not being scapegoated for the recent paedophillia scandals - there is a considerable amount of evidence that suggests that homosexual activity in seminaries is quite widespread and this in itself has huge implications for how celibacy and indeed sexuality are viewed by priests.
As for gay candidates for the priesthood lying - psychological evaluation is part of the overall spiritual evaluation of men who feel that they are being called to the priesthood - the Church does not ordain everyone; maturity is a huge part in deciding whether or not one is able to both properly discern and answer a vocation as well as live up to its challenges. Anyone who lies about anything in this process is simply not suitable.
From the first magazine I ever subscribed to - First Things has a succinct little say about it. (Yes, I was a very intense and rather pathetic 16 year old - I don't think I was even aware that magazines like Bliss and Sugar existed then!)

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