Friday, October 07, 2005

Good news on The Document

I have to break my silence, because I'm just too happy. According to several reports, starting with the Milan daily Corriere Della Sera, the new Church document on homosexuals in seminaries will not impose a per se rule againat all men with same-sex attractions. Those whose Italian is up to it can see the first reporting here). Language wimps like myself can read the first pick-ups from by Reuters and then as independently confirmed by the Associated Press. The most comprehensive English report is from the National Catholic Reporter

These are the money paragraphs from NCR:

A forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries will not demand an absolute ban, a senior Vatican official told NCR Oct. 7, but will insist that seminary officials exercise "prudential judgment" that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases.
Those three cases are:
• If candidates have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;
• If they are part of a "gay culture," for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point, the official said, which applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
• If their homosexual orientation is sufficiently "strong, permanent and univocal" as to make an all-male environment a risk.

In addition, the article goes on, whether these criteria are met in a given case will be decided "in the context of individual spiritual direction." The specificity of detail -- the three-year period, the Gay Pride parade example, the three adjectives each referring to something different (degree, length, and mix) -- makes me think the document is completed and, at a minimum, that reporter John Allen's source (and possibly Allen himself, though he'd be bound not to say that) has actually seen it and was able to quote from it.

This is a relief, I must say. It is consistent with both the need to act against homosexual cliques and uphold the overall Church teaching on homosexuality. Appearances aside, I actually don't object to the notion that, especially in this time and place with the dangers of a widespread "out" homosexual culture, men with homosexual attractions have to be put on a shorter leash during formation. Men with SSA have a steep mountain to climb -- and none of us are under any illusions about the constant banana peels the broader culture strews around us -- and so we tend to fall hard. That's a legitimate concern. Also homosexuality itself can underlie a legitimate cause for exclusion

What this rule would do, and this may turn out a good or bad thing depending, is put the ball in the hands of the bishops and seminary officials, to make sound judgments. Which is what they should have been doing all along. Now there's a specific instruction with criteria that can't be ignored. Oh, those determined to ignore it, either from ideological wilfullness or personal blackmailability, may in fact do so (the Church really isn't the top-down tyranny most of its haters and a few of its more rabid supporters believe it is). And I take second place to nobody in my distrust of the judgment of, say, Cardinal Mahony. But in such cases there really is a much more fundamental problem, one that no rule from Rome, whatever its content, could affect. Ultimately, there really is no substitute for holiness in the trenches.

2 comments:

radiofreerome said...

So, the next crop of priests will be the usual self-loathing closet queens who don't have the balls to defend a gay kid being brutalized for what he is. Fr. Martinez was one such priest I knew; Fr. Martinez told the boys in his Theology class they would go to Hell for masturbating. He impressed conservatives with his orthodoxy.

He died (for the last time) in a tryst with a convict. Fr. Martinez was raped and stabbed more than 100 times by his trick.

A pity your definition of "courage" doesn't inculde the courage to be honest.

CourageMan said...

So, the next crop of priests will be the usual self-loathing closet queens

As opposed to the self-loving (in every sense) pervert queens fouling up the public sphere and their own Crystal-and-Condom-soaked existences in the name of their authenticity, their Own Marvelous Selves?

Hard as this might be to believe since you're So Super (Thanks for Asking), people like you remind me of everything despicable about the gay lifestyle. Why, no matter how heavy the cross, it's preferable to being someone like you.


who don't have the balls to defend a gay kid being brutalized for what he is.

There are no "gay kids," properly understood. And "gay" is not "who he is" apropos of anyone, any more than sin defines anyone else.

And second of all, you have a very curious method of reasoning ... the truth of something is measured by the virtue of who says it. You'll have a very long search on this earth trying to find anyone who perfectly lives up to his professed ideals, whatever their source.


Fr. Martinez told the boys in his Theology class they would go to Hell for masturbating.

And if unconfessed and committed with full knowledge, this is true as far as we can tell. You think it false because ... ?


A pity your definition of "courage" doesn't inculde the courage to be honest.

I am quite honest with the people who have reason to know. You tell everybody everything? I guess that's possible ... I realize that your type values as "honest" queeny gossip about what Tab A fit into what Slot B from how many people last night and what brand of lubricant you used.


p.s. When your tone and content indicate you're ready for a civil and serious discussion, I'd be happy to have one. I am honestly not an asshole. But if you wanna act like a self-righteous little priggish queen, I can dish it back at you in spades.