Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Prohibit Gay-inclined Men from Seminary, Archbishop O'Brien Says

He's leading the Vatican investigation of American seminaries...

Prohibit gay-inclined men from seminary, prelate says:

The American prelate overseeing a sweeping Vatican evaluation of every
seminary in the United States told a weekly newspaper that men with 'strong
homosexual inclinations' should not be enrolled, even if they have remained
celibate for years.

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien made the comments to the National Catholic
Register newspaper as Roman Catholics await word of a much-anticipated Vatican
document on whether homosexuals should be barred from the priesthood. O'Brien
and several other U.S. bishops have said they expect that document to be
released soon.

'I think anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong
homosexual inclinations, would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be
accepted into a seminary,' O'Brien told the independent newspaper.

6 comments:

  1. It seems reasonable to restrict gays from seminaries and the priesthood considering how many of them in the past have flouted the church's teachings on sexuality and celibacy, not to mention the vast majority of victims in the priest sex abuse scandals being boys. Someone said it would not be a charitable act to allow them into a males-only institution in this life only to tempt them into damnation in the next.

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  2. Wow, that was well said, Joel!
    I attended SS Cyril and Methodius seminary in Michigan for my Master's degree in theology back in the early 80's, and went to the head of the seminary to complain about the many homosexual young men in my classes, who were on their way to being priests. Their effeminate gestures, giggling, and flirting with each other was startling and distracting. "Saying Yes to the Call of Christ" did not seem to be the case for these young men choosing to go to the Seminary. The Seminary was a homosexual idyll, supplying all male dormitories, everything handed to them on a silver platter, guaranteed employment, vacations, luxuries and retirement, and the automatic respect of the community. The rector of the seminary - who is still there - told me "We are happy to have ANYONE applying to be a priest these days!" I was too young and shocked, to say anything in response to that, and mutely walked out of his office. I was also too young to know that i should have reported it to others. Now i will have the chance to bring it up to Archbishop O'Brien.

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  3. PS - i also want to add, that while i was in the Seminary, we had the infamous Fr. Anthony Koznik teaching us that homosexuality is fine, so long as partners are faithful to one another and not promiscuous, masturbation is also fine, so long as it doesn't take the place of having intimate relations with another human being, saying that the teachings of the Bible do not fit with our current culture, so we have to look at the Overall teaching of the Bible - which is to Love Faithfully. This was the reasoning behind teaching us that these behaviors were acceptable. Being young students, living in the pre-Medjugorje years and not having been well educated in our faith - we assumed what he was teaching us was true, and obediently wrote it down in our notebooks. One day we heard that the Vatican had censored him from teaching. He was a nice man, and the whole seminary went on strike and walked around the yard with signs calling for him to be allowed to teach. The Vatican said he could teach, but not moral theology. Today he is no longer in the priesthood, and recently got married. In books dealing with apostasy, his name is often cited. My parents had invited him to our home a few times for dinner. He was a nice, soft-spoken gentleman. This just accentuates the importance of Knowing Our Holy Faith. As they say, "If you don't stand up for your faith, you will fall for anything."

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  4. JMJ

    Well said, Joel. Even for the good men who have to fight that inclination, the priesthood (and especially the monastery) comes packed with occasions of sin built in. It's the worst thing for them.

    Let's hope the next forty years see a reawakening of common sense in the Church and of true manly priests, according to the model of Our Lord.

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  5. Can you imagine a loving mother or a loving father sitting down face-to-face with their child and saying: "you have a serious personality disorder." I can't. But that is what Archbishop O'Brien has said to gay people in his public statements about the Vatican Instruction to Seminaries. If we really believe that we are each a child of God, how can a Church leader - especially one we esteem with the title "father" - make a pronouncement as cold and brutal as that to all of God's children about some of God's children? It is completely unfatherly. Other similar statements come to mind which all loving parents would agree no loving parent would ever say to a child, especially with an inference to inferiority, such as: "you are seriously mentally retarded," or "you are seriously physically deformed." How is the Archbishop's statement differenct from these? To me it betrays a pervasive absence of a capacity to love a homosexual person as a fully equal child of God. Otherwise how could such statements be made - statements which result in real harm. And if regarding each other as fully equal children of God can't be the starting place from which we treat each other, what does that say about where we have arrived as fellow children of God?

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  6. Joel - The Catechism states that the Church does not understand the cause of homosexuality and that homosexuals should be treated with compassion and respect. In keeping with that Church teaching, there are without a doubt many more homosexual priests and seminarians who are faithful to the church's teachings on sexuality and celibacy, and who are leading good and holy lives of service to God in the Church. You should be more careful about making these overarching comments which disparage them.

    Furthermore, what other group of individuals upon which the Church imposes the incredible burden of mandatory celibacy for life, without offering help. Indeed Christ chastises the Pharisees for this: "Woe to you who would impose impossible burdens upon men, and not lift a finger to lighten them!" What are you doing to help lighten the burden of homosexuals in the Church?

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