05 March, 2010

New Edition of the New Jesuit Review

The second edition of the New Jesuit Review has been published. Anyone who is interested in a serious discussion of today's issues from an intellectual and faith perspective would want to subscribe to the free online version. The editorial board intend for this publication to be part of an effort to recapture the authentic charism of the Jesuits (as compared to the modernistic and unorthodox offerings of many Jesuits today).

27 comments:

  1. The Jesuits are not the ones who need to be reformed.

    Benny and his red hats cringe in fear and loathing from the Jesuits, as well they should.

    Tom Reese for Pope! Hooray for Liberation theology! Let's have some women bishops and cardinals, too. If heterosexuality is so sacred, priests should start actively practicing it.

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  2. Hi Tim,

    I agree with reddog - the RCC is in desparate need of internal reform.

    When I was in priestly formation more than two decades ago, there was at least a sense that mature debate, and respectful dialogue were possible.

    Today the RCC hierarchy appears to contain no middle, and certainly no progressive wing. It is rigid, reactionary, exclusionary, literal, and legalistic. Today it appears to be run by a cadre of old, closeted and self-loathing homosexuals. It is a sick old man raging at the approaching pall of its own death...frantic to find a foothold on the mountain of privilege and power that it once could scale.

    The latest symptom of just how corrupt and "disordered" it has become can be found in this news item:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/04/vatican-gay-sex-scandal

    I am not saying that there is no one good within the RCC hierarchy, and I am not suggesting that it has never had some shining moments.

    I am simply saying that trend toward decay is clear. I grieve for the Council of Vatican II (surgically aborted by JPII), and the promise of real renewal that it once held.

    Cheers...Martin

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  3. Martin: While I don't agree with your assessment, I do point out that the Vatican "scandal" involves two lay employees who were caught in a sting operation (not geared towards sex but crooked construction contracts).

    There is much in the church that needs to be reformed and renewed. This particular example is not worthy for inclusion among these issues.

    Tim

    PS.. Great to hear from you again.

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  4. Hi Tim,

    Over the years I have certainly witnessed my fair share of senior Catholic clergy scurrying in and out of gay bathhouses, or sipping martini's in the gay bars along the strip.

    I assure you that closeted self-loathing homosexuals are abundant within the ranks of the RCC clergy. From where I sit, this was and continues to be, very common...not just in Rome but here in Canada.

    As for this being just a couple of "lay" people...I think you may have missed the fact that Mr. Angelo Balducci is a Papal Gentlemen, a ceremonial usher of the household of Pope Benedict XVI. He was an intimate member of the B16's household.

    Admittedly, far more damaging was the case of Monsignor Tommaso Stenico a few years ago:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2658464.ece

    I could go on...but it is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Cheers...Martin

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  5. Martin: I'll take you at your word as I don't think that there is a gay bar or club in Mattawa, so I have no idea who goes in or out.

    I do admit though that I don't have much knowledge about the "gentlemen", but given that he also ran a construction firm, I doubt he had much time to down a martini (or perhaps a Bavarian Pilsner) with B16. I know that under JPII (I checked with his biographer on this one), they were men from rich and influential Roman families who held a ceremonial function, not unlike that of a theatre usher or a doorman.

    Oooh... big scandal there. Who would have thought that a concierge might procure such services for someone. I would think that you might be more outraged that the Vatican and Roman authorities were tapping into people conversations as they were arranging for a gay liaison. Isn't that just another example of gay oppression by the Church?

    Look... for my perspective, this "scandal" ranks right up there with the misadventures of Pee Wee Herman.

    But it did give me an excuse to post the fish story... so thank! As always, you have given me food for thought and that is always appreciated.

    Tim

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  6. Hi Tim,

    LOL. I have not been to Mattawa, so I cannot say what kind of "release" the night life there might offer a closeted priest. If there are any closeted gays in your deanery, I am quite certain Montreal, Ottawa, or Toronto would be the preferred destinations. Less risk of being spotted by someone who might recognize them (unless of course they run across someone like me).

    In any case, the Church is engaged in a very tortured dance with homosexuality. My guess is that a true purge of its ranks would empty many (or most) rectories across Canada.

    I can only imagine what it is like for a gay priest to be in ministry today. It must be extremely difficult. On one hand, the recent gains made by the LGBT community demonstrate that one can live out and proud in many areas of the country. Hiding out in the priesthood is no longer as necessary as it once was. I suspect many interpreted their homosexuality as a sign from god that they were called to celibate service in the Church...it gave meaning to their sexuality and conferred a respect that that was not available in secular society at the time that they entered the seminary. With the recent sex abuse scandals, however, all priests are now viewed with suspicion. My guess is that automatic respect is a thing of the past.

    On the other hand, the fear of exposure drives them deeper into the closet. They cannot advocate for change, and they cannot affect change from within...it would only throw them into the spotlight of suspicion. With no marketable skills in the secular world, and with their pensions on the line, they have nowhere else to go. They have to put up and they have to shut up.

    And if one adds a good dose of self-loathing into the mix (which is likely given the current state of Church doctrine regarding homosexuality)the prognosis looks quite grim for the gay priest today.

    I actually feel sorry for these guys. As the LGBT community has been saying for years, the closet is a very destructive place. There are no prisons stronger than the ones that we build for ourselves.

    Cheers...Martin

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  7. Martin: I agree with almost everything that you wrote in the above comment, save for the bit about removing gays from the ministry would empty most of the rectories, and the characterization of the the churches teaching as promoting self-loathing. The challenge of celibacy demands that one resolve the questions of his/her sexuality in a manner that allows for its energy into positive and spiritual ways. Hopefully this takes place before ordination. Not to have done so would make for an incredibly frustrating and self-damaging life. Thanks to the wisdom of priests like Fr. Jack and others, I was prepared for this challenge. So you see, it really isn't any different for any priest, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

    If one cannot successfully and in a health way live faithfully the vow of celibacy, then they are not legitimately called to the Catholic priesthood.

    Tim

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  8. Hi Tim,

    The problem for gay priests is not that they must remain celibate (I am sure many are quite faithful and effective in their ministries). The problem is that they must remain invisible as gay men. That is the closet.

    There are elements within the Church that want a purge of all gays...whether or not they practice celibacy. In fact, your Church is actively screening for homosexuality among seminarians. I believe it is almost impossible now for an openly gay man to be ordained.

    It will be interesting to see where this all leads. Gay men have historically been a rich source of priests for the Church. As the Church becomes more hostile to gay men, and as secular society becomes less so...many gay men will no longer seek ordination. There are other options for them. I simply cannot imagine any balanced and self-respecting gay man signing up for a closeted and virulently hostile assignment.

    Perhaps some gay priests reading this blog might comment (anonymously of course) about their own experiences? Sincerely - I would love to hear from them. I would love to understand if they feel closeted? I would love to understand how effective they think their ministry is when they must continually deceive others about who they really are. I would like to know how it affects them to endorse a Church that is such inspiration for anti-gay bigots everywhere.

    Who will be the next generation of priests? The "young fogeys" that they now recruit? The Polish and Latin American men who they now import? I am afraid these men, who cannot speak the language, or cannot understand the culture, will be sorely challenged to fill the pews with anyone other than the 60+ demographic.

    Any gay priests out there care to comment?

    Cheers...Martin

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  9. Martin,
    I am not a gay priest, but have a question for you. Why do homosexuals say that their sexual orientation is "who they are". This doesn't make any more sense to me than saying that a man who craves chocolate cake is who he is because of it, or that a woman with a bent for grapefruit is who she is because of her bent. I don't mean to minimize the issue, but just wondering about the logic behind the statements made by some homosexuals.
    Also, do you really believe all homosexual priests are really closeted? Is it not more likely that most are practicing chastity and that therefore this issue is really a non-issue? One of my parish priests was very obviously effeminate, and most likely gay, and he was a wonderful priest. On the other hand, I have witnessed heterosexual priests who have not been faithful.
    I think the issue is not orientation, so much as faithfulness and the maturity to live out a life of celibacy. If there is any doubt at all about a candidate's ability to live a full life of celibacy, then it would be totally unfair to that man to allow him to take this on. It would be an unfair burden for him to carry. Whether or not a life of celibacy is more difficult for gays is another matter all together.
    CA

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  10. Hi CA,

    I would be the last person to suggest that one's sexuality is the only thing that that makes one "who they are".

    Having said that, I think that sexuality is central to a person's identity - in other words, how one relates to one's own self, and how one relates to others. Sexuality shapes who and how we love - something that celibacy allegedly channels into a non-sexual expression of love between the loved and the lover. Celibacy is not a denial that one has sexual attractions, but rather a channelling of that attraction and desire into non-sexual expression. A person without sexual attractions and desires would not be human - and therefore celibacy would not be much of a gift.

    To equate sexuality with chocolate cake trivializes identity and attraction. To equate the two ignores the fact that the former attribute is charged with social import, can be the subject of shame, can be a doorway to love and connectedness, and influences how one perceives and interacts with others, while the latter does not.

    So yes - your question does minimize the importance of sexuality.

    That you ask it demonstrates either an arid understanding of what it means to be human, or is motivated by a deep bias against anything other than a heterosexual orientation.

    I don't know your sex, but if you had to pretend to be gay just to get along in the world you might begin to understand the prison of the closet. If you had to avert your glance from a pretty girl and let it linger over a man just to signal to others that you were just as gay as they were - you might begin to sense the subtle burden of deceit.

    If you had to worry about being exposed as straight for fear of social ostracization (or becoming the subject of gossip and specualtion) - then perhaps you might begin to understand the sting of not belonging.

    If you risked rejection by your family, your friends, your community, for the crime of admitting that you found the shaply curve of a woman's form to be beautiful - then perhaps you might begin to understand the lonliness of alienation.

    If you had to always listen politely to ignorant gays who equated heterosexuality with the evils of prostitution, beastiality, pedophilia, and the scourge of venerial disease, you might begin to understand the corrosive effects of negative and baseless streotypes on your own sense of self worth.

    If you had to do to pretend to be gay everytime and everywhere and could not tell anyone that you were not...you might just begin to understand how the closet can destroy people.


    Cheers...Martin

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  11. Martin: Great response! It exemplifies what I hope the blog will facilitate - an intelligent and articulate exchange of views and opinion so as to make clear such issues as this.

    Thank you.

    Tim

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  12. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for your well thought-out response. I am a woman and I am not gay. I realize that my comments sounded like I was trying to trivialize the problems faced by persons with same-sex attraction. It was not my intent.

    At the same time, I am glad you agree that we cannot identify ourselves as “who we are” via our attractions, impulses, or feelings. As human beings, we also have a will and are capable of controlling our desires no matter what our orientation. Unlike other animals, we have understanding, choice, and freedom.

    Now the original problem you posited had to do with “closeted” homosexuality and the priesthood. Perhaps the real question to ask is whether men who knew they had this tendency ought to have been ordained to begin with. Ie. Were these ordinations valid but illicit?

    To understand what I mean, let’s look at celibacy as the Church’s chosen requirement for priestly ordination. If I am not mistaken, the Church of the West approved the practice of a celibate priesthood from the 4th century onwards. This practice has been promoted and defended ever since. The words of St Gregory of Nyssa express this beautifully: “the life of virginity is the image of the blessedness that awaits us in the life to come”. It is a living witness that there is something very awesome awaiting us in the life to come, that our life here on earth is but a fleeting reality.


    And so, with respect to homosexual males, perhaps the real issue of concern here is the life of celibacy and whether or not a person with same-sex attraction would be putting himself at risk of not being faithful to a freely chosen commitment. Although a priest could live alone, he still needs the company and support of his priestly brothers. If that person had to co-habit and deal closely with men he felt attracted to on both an emotional and physical level, it could really imperil his soul.

    My own opinion with regards to the above is that a person with this tendency, which as you say, appears to be central to him, would be wiser not to put himself in such a position, and that the Church has a responsibility to safeguard the priesthood and to ensure that the priestly celibacy of others is not jeopardized.

    Life-long celibacy requires great emotional and psychological maturity. I also recognize that anyone, even someone who is not “gay” can develop unhealthy psychological or emotional attachments be it to persons of the same or to persons of the opposite sex. A person who has been given the gift of celibacy needs to be aware of this and always be on guard. It is primarily the heart that needs to be guarded, but also one’s vision and the other senses. Acts against the virtue of holy purity are usually preceded by desires, which are usually preceded by phantasms. Although some say that we have no control over this, I believe that where there is a will there is a way. However, as a celibate, I would never endanger my calling by, say, co-habiting or dealing excessively with men.

    The choice of celibacy as you know is not ignorance or despisal of the sexual instinct or affectivity. If so, it would do much damage to the person’s physical and psychological balance. On the contrary it puts man on a higher level. I think with that you would agree.

    As far as the priesthood is concerned, it is the task of those who hold authority in the Church to determine who are to be considered suitable candidates for this service and what should be required of them. I am merely expressing an opinion, with which you and others may very well disagree.

    Kindest regards,
    CA

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  13. Hi CA,

    As someone who was committed to the rule of celibacy while in formation, I was always left a bit cold by a tendency by some to over-intellectualize it.

    CA, you suggest that the closet is not a relevant point to consider when discussing homosexual priests and the rule of celibacy. It is relevant because:

    a) So many priests are gay;
    b) The only way that many of these priests will be able to properly engage with celibacy is if there is more openness about sexuality in general – not less;
    c) The Church stigmatizes homosexuality;
    d) Stigmatization is what drives priests into the closet in the first place;

    You suggest that the “real” question is whether or not gay priests can be reasonably expected to thrive in fraternal settings given that celibacy is the expected norm of behaviour. This is a good question, because religious fraternities and sororities were instituted (in part) on a presumption of heterosexuality.

    Given that a heterosexual presumption is not warranted, it seems to me that removing the stigma of homosexuality is a good first step for the Church to better support its gay priests and lesbian nuns.

    In addition to some of the other reasons I cited earlier as to why I thought gay men historically gravitated towards the priesthood, I would also like to offer a thought or two about why gay men and women might be exceptional candidates for the priesthood (notwithstanding the anti-gay bigotry that has currently gripped the Church’s hierarchy):

    It is precisely because the LGBT experience is often steeped in alienation, rejection, and the need for the individual to stand up to a hostile world that many LGBT persons develop a great empathy for others. One who suffers deeply is often better able to relate to the suffering of others. It is this empathy that helps to inspire a caring attitude.

    Moreover, it is precisely because the LGBT person so frequently encounters a hostile world that they have learned how to question the world. Out of necessity they have learned how to challenge conventional assumptions and norms. If the Christian mission is to counter the prevailing cultural assumptions, this quality makes them particularly well suited to be intelligent critics of the world and the Church in which they find themselves.

    I believe that the Church’s growing hostility towards homosexuality is exactly the wrong thing to do. It stifles the voice and witness of gay priests and leaves them stranded in the closet – with little support and few options. It is cruel and it is a waste of a tremendous resource.

    Cheers...Martin

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  14. Hi Martin,

    I find your points very interesting. However, do you really have stats confirming that “many priests are gay”?

    And even if this were the case, if these men are truly seeking sanctity, why would it make any difference to them whether this were out in the open or kept to themselves?

    Personally, I would not want my struggles to be out in the open. It suffices that God and my confessor and spiritual director know about them, for they are the ones who can best help me in my struggle to live a holy life.

    I recently came across some reflections by Pope John XXIII made during his retreat in preparation for his 80th birthday. (10-15 August 1961):
    He begins by saying, “I am very far from attaining this holiness in fact, although my desire and will to succeed in this are whole-hearted and determined.”

    And then he goes on to quote a passage from a book by Antonio Rosmini.. “La perfezione Cristiana, Pagine di ascetica, page 591: ‘In what does sanctity consist?’

    Here it is below:

    “ Reflect on this thought, that sanctity consists in being willing to be opposed and humiliated, rightly or wrongly; in being willing to obey; in being willing to wait, with perfect serenity; in doing the will of your Superiors without regard for your own will; in acknowledging all the benefits you receive and your own unworthiness; in feeling a great gratitude to others, and especially to God’s ministers; in sincere love; in tranquility, resignation, gentleness and the desire to do good to all, and in unceasing work. I am about to leave and can say no more, but this is enough.”

    The reason I bring up the above is that I think that by putting your main focus on sexual orientation you are totally missing the real point. Sanctity is for all. Temptation of one type or another is experienced by all. God’s mercy and grace is also for all.

    Is a person with same-sex attraction called to holiness? Yes, I believe so. Does one need to be ordained or to live in a monastery or a convent to attain this holiness? I don’t believe so. Would it be more prudent for persons with same-sex attraction not to put themselves in situations that can endanger their resolve to lead holy lives? Yes, I believe so.
    Is this discrimination or stigmatization? No, I think it is loving prudence. It is also being smart.

    At the same time, I am not insensitive to the fact that some persons who live with this (I will call it “issue”) do experience unhealthy self-loathing. Temptation to self-loathing is just that –temptation. And it is often fuelled by pride.
    While each one of us has the capacity to fall miserably (again regardless of orientation), we have no right to hate ourselves. God died for us and loves us. He just counts on our willingness to get up again and again with a sporting spirit and not with hatred in our hearts. Again, if God loves us, we have no right to hate ourselves, this regardless of what others may think of us.

    Regards,
    CA

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  15. Hi Martin,



    I find your points very interesting. However, do you really have stats confirming that “many priests are gay”?



    And even if this were the case, if these men are truly seeking sanctity, why would it make any difference to them whether this were out in the open or kept to themselves?



    Personally, I would not want my struggles to be out in the open. It suffices that God and my confessor and spiritual director know about them, for they are the ones who can best help me in my struggle to live a holy life.



    I recently came across some reflections by Pope John XXIII made during his retreat in preparation for his 80th birthday. (10-15 August 1961):

    He begins by saying, “I am very far from attaining this holiness in fact, although my desire and will to succeed in this are whole-hearted and determined.”



    And then he goes on to quote a passage from a book by Antonio Rosmini.. “La perfezione Cristiana, Pagine di ascetica, page 591: ‘In what does sanctity consist?’



    Here it is below:



    “ Reflect on this thought, that sanctity consists in being willing to be opposed and humiliated, rightly or wrongly; in being willing to obey; in being willing to wait, with perfect serenity; in doing the will of your Superiors without regard for your own will; in acknowledging all the benefits you receive and your own unworthiness; in feeling a great gratitude to others, and especially to God’s ministers; in sincere love; in tranquility, resignation, gentleness and the desire to do good to all, and in unceasing work. I am about to leave and can say no more, but this is enough.”



    The reason I bring up the above is that I think that by putting your main focus on sexual orientation you are totally missing the real point. Sanctity is for all. Temptation of one type or another is experienced by all. God’s mercy and grace is also for all.



    Is a person with same-sex attraction called to holiness? Yes, I believe so. Does one need to be ordained or to live in a monastery or a convent to attain this holiness? I don’t believe so. Would it be more prudent for persons with same-sex attraction not to put themselves in situations that can endanger their resolve to lead holy lives? Yes, I believe so.

    Is this discrimination or stigmatization? No, I think it is loving prudence. It is also being smart.



    At the same time, I am not insensitive to the fact that some persons who live with this (I will call it “issue”) do experience unhealthy self-loathing. Temptation to self-loathing is just that –temptation. And it is often fuelled by pride.

    While each one of us has the capacity to fall miserably (again regardless of orientation), we have no right to hate ourselves. God died for us and loves us. He just counts on our willingness to get up again and again with a sporting spirit and not with hatred in our hearts. Again, if God loves us, we have no right to hate ourselves, this regardless of what others may think of us.

    Regards,
    CA

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  16. Hi CA,

    In response to your "interesting" points:

    "I find your points very interesting. However, do you really have stats confirming that “many priests are gay”?"

    As you well know, there are no reliable statistics. I do know, from my own experience in the Church that there are many gay priests.

    "And even if this were the case, if these men are truly seeking sanctity, why would it make any difference to them whether this were out in the open or kept to themselves?"

    What does sanctity have to do with being open about one's sexuality. I fail to understand how the two concepts are linked.

    "Personally, I would not want my struggles to be out in the open. It suffices that God and my confessor and spiritual director know about them, for they are the ones who can best help me in my struggle to live a holy life."

    Good for you. I fail to see how your experiences as a straight woman are relevant to a discussion of the closet.

    "Sanctity is for all. Temptation of one type or another is experienced by all. God’s mercy and grace is also for all."

    While this may be true, I am failing to see how your introduction of the idea of sancitity is anything other than changing the topic.

    "Is this discrimination or stigmatization? No, I think it is loving prudence. It is also being smart."

    Stigmatization is not loving prudence. Unjust discrimination can never be described as loving prudence. While you are entitled to your opinions CA - I would insist you use the same dictionary as the rest of us.

    "At the same time, I am not insensitive to the fact that some persons who live with this (I will call it “issue”) do experience unhealthy self-loathing. Temptation to self-loathing is just that –temptation. And it is often fuelled by pride."

    No. Temptation is not self-loathing. They are entirely different things....that is why we use different words for each concept.

    Cheers...Martin

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  17. Martin: You wrote in response to CA: "What does sanctity have to do with being open about one's sexuality? I fail to understand how the two concepts are linked."

    This is the key point of division between us. For me, sanctity means living as God intends us to - as revealed in His sacred scriptures and as understood through Councils and teachings of the RC Church. I admit quite freely that the RC Church has no monopoly on sanctity or holiness while still claiming the 'barque of Peter' will succeed in what is intended of it.

    This is where the two intersect. The Church's understanding of how we are intended to order our lives (at least for its adherents) is key to authentically living a 'sanctified' life. If one wants to claim membership within a community like a church (which if not a 'creedal institution', I don't know what would be), then it is necessary to do what is required by its beliefs, if one wants to remain in its "good graces".

    Do I deny that most (we both know of examples that prove both sides of that equation) people are born with their sexual orientation? No. Nor do I fall into the camp that superficially claim that various illnesses and sufferings are somehow God's judgment (a camp you seem to inadvertently belong to, given your position re: God & Haiti).

    I do not believe that the state lacks in any way, shape or form what is necessary to order its citizens by whatever rules they so choose.

    In this I know for a fact that the Pope shared the same opinion. He spent virtually his entire life fighting government oppression. He would not stand for it in the cause of denying ANY persons human rights.

    He simply argued for the right to argue in the debates of the public square; to be allowed to try to convince the majority of its model of the just life (a la the Augustinian/neo-platonic understanding of the such concepts of the role of law as forming a community and a citizen) is worth of codification in law.

    I don't understand how it is that anyone can level the charge that the Church, under JP II or B16 would promote any form of hatred or oppression. Aside from his leitmotif signature "Be not afraid!", (the first three words he publicly spoke as Pope) his "the Church must always propose; never impose" line was repeated in every country he visited.

    Thanks for letting me jump into this discussion between yourself and CA.

    Tim

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  18. The church never argued for the rights of homosexuals, or women, or children, or the poor. After these groups gained rights in society, the church pretends that they were there in support all along but they weren't, ever.

    If the church had it's way, there would be no democracy. Homosexual life and identity would be totally nefarious. Women, children and the poor would be chattel. Church law and civil law would be the same, as would church and civil government. Priests would be above the laity and above the law.

    Foul murderers. You would still burn heretics, witches and apostates if you could. Because you have lost power you pretend compassion. It is comically macabre.

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  19. reddog: That's one interpretation....

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  20. Fr Tim, thanks v much for your wise insights.

    Martin, you say that you fail to understand what sanctity has to do with sexuality, and yet you claim that sexual orientation is central to “who a person is”.

    Yet sanctity (or living God’s life) is much more central to ourselves than anything else. So yes, I do believe that who we are as persons, including and encompassing everything about us must be sanctifiable. If not, we will have missed the boat, for this life is but a preparation for the next.

    You fail to see how my experiences as a straight woman are relevant to the discussion of “the closet”. Do you thereby believe that the human nature of gays is any different from the human nature of anyone else? We are all created in the image and likeness of God, are we not? And each one of us has his or her “closets” that need airing out.

    Martin, you misread what I intended to say about “stigmatization”. Of course it is wrong to “stigmatize” anyone. This is not what I said. What I said is that I do not believe that not allowing someone with same-sex attraction to be put in a perilous situation is not stigmatization. It is not punishment, but prudence. Ie. a lesbian in a convent is not the best idea, sorry to be so blunt.

    Also, I did not state that temptation is self-loathing. What I said is that the temptation to hate oneself, which often stems from pride, is wrong. This is entirely different.

    Sorry for not being very clear, and perhaps I am not being very helpful either.
    CA

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  21. Hi Tim,

    The nuance of your argument escapes me. I still fail to understand how sanctity demands silence from anyone about their sexuality.

    Please excuse me if my words seem blunt and reductionary, but this is what I hear from CA when all of the polite religious phrasing is stripped away:

    I don't want to hear from the gay priest as a person. I don't need to know about his struggles. Remain invisible as a person and operate as the religious functionary that we ordained you to be. Now shut up and dispense me my sacraments.

    No matter how you dress it up, no matter how you wax poetic about belonging to a creedal community, this attitutde is justifying "the closet".

    Cheers...Martin

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  22. Whoa! I just reread my post and realize the use of too many negatives makes my statements very confusing. The above should read "I believe that not allowing people with same-sex attraction to be put in perilous situations is NOT discrimination, it is prudence.
    And Martin, when it comes to the spiritual life, all struggle is just that-- struggle. To make public one's intimate struggle is totally inappropriate. Why do others need to be made aware of what is going on inside of us? Is it not sufficient that God knows? Just a few questions to ponder.
    CA

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  23. Hi CA and Tim,

    Well...sanctity is a quality. It can exist along with other qualities.

    I don't think that sanctity precludes a person from having other qualities...unless you believe that sexuality and openess about sexuality are fundamentally incompatible with sanctity.

    If that is your position...then the Church has bigger problems than its anti-gay bigotry and stigmatization of homosexuality. I would suggest that such a view of sanctity borders on manichaeism.

    As for your point about conflating self-loathing with temptation and deducing the sin of pride - I honestly think you are over reaching here CA. Think about it - you are trying to tell me that self-loathing springs from pride. These emotional states, or frames of mind, seem mutually exclusive to me.

    But even if this were true - what does that tell us about anything we have been discussing?

    This line of discussion just seems like a clumsy way to add another sin on the backs of your gay priests: "Oh - think you feel stigmatized and slef-loathing Father John? Well that is not the closet you are experiencing Fr. John - it is the loving prudence of the Church. And that self-loathing you are feeling? - Why you just hate a part of yourself because you have too much pride."

    Seriously folks - none of this hangs together for me.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  24. Martin,
    On the humble can acknowledge their defects without getting angry at themselves... and by this I am not limiting the discussion to sexual sins either. Have you read Screwtape Letters recently? It is a good read.
    CA

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi CA,

    I have read most of C.S. Lewis' works -including the Screwtape Letters. Of all his works, it is my favourite.

    I have a copy somewhere at home...I may pick it up again sometime soon.

    Thank you for the suggestion.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete
  26. Enjoy! And sorry for my spelling bloops!
    CA

    ReplyDelete
  27. SmallTownGuy11 March, 2010

    You folks seem to be pre-occupied with the subject of homosexuality in the priesthood. What I think ought to be of much greater concern is the matter of salvation of your own souls. Some have talked about the need for reformation in the RCC, but the Reformation already took place 500 years ago. It was necessary because Martin Luther and other reformers had discovered that the doctrines being taught by Rome were far removed from what the Bible taught. One example is the way of salvation. Rome teaches if I am correct that salvation is by faith plus works (and perhaps plus the sacraments). The Bible teaches that salvation is by simple faith in Christ and what he has done for the sinner.

    ReplyDelete

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