It will be official

It will be official

Catholic World News is reporting that Pope Benedict has given the OK to an official policy barring men with same-sex attraction from the seminary. (subscription required)

The document will be an “Instruction” from the Congregation for Catholic Education signed by the prefect and secretary.

The text, which was approved by Pope Benedict at the end of August, says that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate, because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.

Whatever the mainstream media tells you, this is not a new policy. This has always been the Church’s policy, and it was codified under John XXIII, but was consistently ignored in the 70 and 80s (and beyond).

CWN says that the document will be made public after the Synod on the Holy Eucharist, which ends October 23.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Except that Yahweh is A)part of the inheritance that comes from the Jews into Christianity (while Allah is not), B)Yahweh is the proper name of God as revealed (whereas Allah is, at best, a general term), and C)if the group were Orthodox, they would be incredibly offended that you had just used the name of the Most High aloud.

  • A) The word Allah is part of the inheritance that comes from the arab world into Christianity. It is as much a part of our Christian heritage as it is to the Muslim heritage.

    B) The point still stands. Catholics do not generally refer to God as “Yahweh”. But, in the context of speaking to a Jewish group, it would be a worthwhile expression, to stress the common faith we share in the same God.

    C) Maybe so. But I doubt these Muslims were offended that he referred to God.

  • If you’ve belonged to the Catholic Church for more than five minutes, you don’t need Jack Chick to tell you that Islam has always been (and still is) a heresy.  Monotheism does not mean Muslims worship the TRUE God.  Does anyone notice that all the warm fuzzy “we all worship the same God” stuff comes from uninformed Christians and not Muslims.  They still consider “people of the book”  who believe in a trinity and think Jesus was God infidels. Until there is an official ex cathedra change in church doctrine, JPII’s quote is merely his opinion and one that is contrary to established dogma.

    “I am the Lord Thy God; Thous shalt not have STRANGE gods before me.”


  • In having just read the PAPALDOC that Jason provided, I read this to be a typical diplomatic addressing of the common elements one sees with any other group – in the spirit of good will and pursuit of further dialogue.  And given the size of the Muslim population worldwide, it’s inevitable that some kind of formal relations need to be recommitted time to time.  But, if you start down at the heading Christians & Muslims must strive for peace and justice, JPII is firmly reasserting that “On the other hand, we should not forget that the Trinitarian monotheism distinctive of Christianity is a mystery inaccessible to human reason, which is nevertheless called to accept the revelation of God’s inmost nature.”  In agreement with ‘orthodox’ on his/her fine points, JPII isn’t relinquishing any of the Church’s established beliefs.  Rather, he goes on to say that “The worship of the one God, Creator of all, encourages us to increase our knowledge of one another in the future.”  So that his writing here does not show any intent to acquiesce to watered-down ecumenism.  Rather, he is merely keeping the door open for more dialogue and mutual understanding, which Christ would’ve done automatically – that all may eventually see the Truth and come sit at His Father’s table.   

  • The Kettelkamp business and the McCarrick business are clearly unrelated.

    Re: Kettelkamp, the bishops are doing this to themselves – except for Bruskewitz who has openly and honestly blown off the charter nonsense from the start.

  • Of course you can trust Ms. Kettlelkamp to care about children.  Or can you?  Not unborn children – that’s for sure!

    Kettelkamp is a board member of the National Center for Women and Policing, a project of the Feminist Majority (FM) headed by Eleanor Smeal, a long-time abortion activist. The Feminist Majority is all about ABORTION.  You can visit their website to see the other projects they support.

    You will note when you visit the website that FM is an ABORTION ACTIVIST organization. Note the hotlink “Start a Pro-Choice Campus Group.”  This organization is all about teaching young people to accept abortion.  How can Kettelkamp claim to be Catholic and serve on the board of one of their projects and at the same time say she wants to protect children? This organization is all about killing children!

  • “An equally valid point would be made if, addressing a group of Jews, God was referred to as ‘Yahweh’.”

    Except that, (1) more than two millenia ago, Jews made a conscious decision *not* to speak the holy ineffable Name of the Deity out loud, and (2) we don’t really know how YHWH was pronounced, so that “Yahweh” isn’t so much how the Jews pronounced that Name before they decided to replace it with “Adonai” as it is the insertion of the vowels of the word adonai into the tetragrammaton.

    I think the effect of using “Yahweh” when addressing a group of Jews would be to annoy them by being patronizing.

    “Monotheism does not mean Muslims worship the TRUE God.”

    No, “monotheism” doesn’t tell us that; the Second Vatican Council tells us it:  “They [Moslems] adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth.”

    They worship the true God, but not in the manner He wants to be worshipped—just as, I might mention, do Jews and Protestants.  We should applaud those respects in which all of them (Moslems, Jews, and Protestants) get it right, but point out where they get it wrong, so that they might come to the full truth, and worship God in a way that is most pleasing to Him.  But I don’t think pandering to them is the way to accomplish this.

  • Pope John Paul II said “[Christians and Muslims] believe in the SAME God.”

    He can’t get anymore clearer than that.

    Of course he wasn’t pushing a watered down ecumenism, or denying the Holy Trinity. He was just recognizing a fact.

    Catholics and Muslims worship the same God.

  • An aside, I wonder if any two people really worship the same God?  Since none of us can comprehend God fully, and we all deal in partial images and imperfect relations with God, we can get to the point of arguing with every other believer in the world and to what point?

    I still think McCarrick was being a panderer in this instance.  He missed an opportunity to offer a prayer that was Catholic and still loving to those who aren’t.  If a bishop is not brave enough to stand for the faith, why is confirming young Catholics?

    It has been my experience that when I have quoted a scriptural reference describing an experience of mine that echoes another person’s, it often elicits tears in the hearer’s eyes.  The Gospel is powerful however imperfect the speaker.

  • always keeping your readers on their verbal digits, I see…

    I was struggling to untangle the “flogging a prostrate equine” phrase when I finally realized there was a extra “r” in there…..

    i was beginning to be worried about the horse…

  • Hmmmmm…

    Somehow, the single rather calm comment I posted on Tischreden has not appeared for viewing in the last 3 hours.

    “Editing” the comments must be exhausting.

  • What about the religious life? Say, for example, to become a Carthusian hermit? Does the document address this as well?

  • Well, that should be the beginning of the Big Show…

    Clearly, the sniping and low-level warfare conducted over the Seminary examinations was just the runup.

  • “The plan of salvation” that the Catechism quotes is a plan which the Church has taught, in keeping with the writtings of Augustine and Aquinas, involves both faith and reason. God reveals himself in natural creation and in his special revelation to the Chosen People, Israel.  All men have a desire for God in their heart, and this desire prompts them to seek out the first principle, as Aristotle says in Book I Chapter I of the Metaphysics—St. Thomas parrots this sentiment.  Using Aristotle’s Metaphysics, St. Thomas details his “Ways” for demonstrating the existence of god, which arrives not at the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, per se but at a single necessary being.  Thus in God’s plan of Salvation St. Thomas says that God provided man with the natural evidence to show the reasonableness of the existence of one god, but because this knowledge does not satisfy man’s natural desire for God, He also reveals Himself through supernatural means so that man may have surity in His existence and a glimps at His inner life to which man is called to share in through Christ.

    Now I am not sure about any of the scholarship surrounding the moon god connection, however it is quite clear that the high Islam of the 9th through 12th centuries incorporated this rational monotheistic “first mover” concept of God, from classical greek philosophy, into (high) Islam.  We see this fact in the fact that Thomas engages in dialogue with the Averoists, Aristoteleans of an Islamic bent, about Islamic misreadings of Aristotle, particularly how they used Aristotle against the Christian concept of God.  Aquinas makes the arguement that Aristotle’s first mover is in fact the same rationally known god.  The same god, i.e. the Altar to the unknown god, that St. Paul identifies with the God of Jesus Christ when he was converting the Greeks   Now of course we can have a legitamate discussion about whether Hellenized Islam is true to Mohammed’s Islam or to the radical Islam of much of the Arab world, but insofar as a branch of Islam equated this god known by reason, with Allah and with the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, the Creator God acknowledged by the Muslems does indeed fall into the plan of salvation, as does the simple concept of the divine seen in any religion.  Vatican II goes furthur than this and says that because they equate the creator with the God of Abraham they have an even closer relation to Christianity that say one of the handful of other monotheistic religions that do not make this connection.  This seems reasonable.

    Now to say that the plan of salvation includes those who acknowledge the creator, including the Muslims, does not mean that the Koran is part of the plan of salvation, except insofar as it is a manifestation of man’s desire for the divine.  The Koran is not being placed on the same level as the Holy Bible, and Mohammed is not being placed on par with Christ—this would be syncritism, a formal heresey.  No, there is no salvation apart from Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the light. Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus still holds true, but the Catachism simply means to point out that to those who are saved—granted by Christ, through his Church, even without knowing Christ or confessing his Church—can be lead to Salvation by means of God’s revelation in nature which is availible to all men and by means of the desire for God that God wrote onto the heart of man at creation.

  • Yes indeed, objectively-speaking, we all are worshipping the same God – given that He IS, regardless of whether anyone acknowledges Him to be.  If you add up all the virtuous pantheistic entities of the Greeks and Romans, for instance, you could equally argue that their sum adds up to the whole of our God.  But that can easily lead down a road of sheer sophistry – given that we already know what attributes comprise the real God by His very revelations to us.  So that I, most humbly, believe that Seamus – for one – has aptly described the matter acurately – that we’re to applaud any theistic belief systems that approach some of the truths of God that we already know and profess to be true, while also staying steadfast as defenders of what we know of God already.  And even an all-jealous, vengeful concept of a god is light-years away from the all-loving, patient Trinity that we Catholics know awaits us in our next life.  The Word Made Flesh has shown us The Way to Him. 

  • What you write is reasonable, RPF, but I don’t see how it changes the idea that Cardinal McCarrick should not pray to Allah.

    Knowing the fullness of truth, isn’t it equivalent to apostasy, and hypocritical to give people who do not share the Catholic faith the impression that you see God in the same terms that they do?  Where does that leave evangelization?

    To use the word “Allah” in a prayer that you share with Muslims is to imply to them that you believe as they believe. 

    Following Cdl. McCarrick’s lead, it would be reasonable for a Catholic to assume that praying with Muslims is acceptable.  Now remember, lex orandi, lex credendi.

  • Pshaw.  Mark’s got your number on this one.

    If you were in a crashing airplane, don’t you think you might pray together with your Muslim seatmate to the Creator God in whom you both believe?  Don’t you think you would want to remind him that both of you believe that God is Merciful and Compassionate?

    Look, we pray with heretics now; we pray with people who get it wrong in part.  And we acknowledge the Good and the True in what they believe.  We accent, as Blessed John XXIII said, what unites, not what divides.  Allah, the One God, is the God of the Christians before he is the God of the Muslims. 

    Kindness and generosity are sometimes not repaid in kind.  We need to practice them anyway.

  • Given that so many people with same sex attraction in this day and age support the gay activist ideology, and the likelihood that some people may have difficulties in remaining chaste, I would agree that restrictions are in order when it comes to holy orders.  Nevertheless, it is almost as if the Church is telling those of us with same sex attraction that it is impossible for us to remain chaste and therefore we should just give up.  I don’t object to the policy, but I do think that the Pope or someone high up should say something positive about the call to chastity for those with same sex attraction and how it is possible to live chaste lives, with the help of God’s grace.

  • Unfortunately, another document from the Vatican will do little to shore up this problem.  No doubt, wise bishops have avoided seminarians with same-sex attractions. And no doubt as well, weak bishops have opened the door to semiarians who have all sorts of unresolved problems as well as orthodoxy issues. 

    The Vatican’s decision to bar SSA candidates is a reasonable reaction – because same-sex attractions pose a psychological/developmental deficiency within the individual that must be resolved through good Christian spiritual development and therapy (either with a good Catholic therapist or through groups like Courage). 

    More positive developments toward fostering a more active and orthodox clergy would be shoring up good bishops to lead these dioceses.  Good bishops become beacons of attracting good men.  Another suggestion would be to focus on the family and strengthen the Church’s outreach to develop strong and healthy CHRISTIAN families in which good and faithful Catholics can flourish – to produce other good families and good priests and religious. 

    Sadly, the Church is losing alot of these battles in many dioceses and the proof is in the pudding. 

  • I disagree. We are not all worshipping the same God.

    There are objective truths about God which he has revealed through reason. His oneness, his eternal and almighty nature, are all communicated through the light of reason in the natural law.

    Muslims (and Jews) recognize these objective facts. Hence, the object of their prayer is the one true God. It is not necessary to know him fully by revelation, so long as you accept what is written on the human heart.

    A conception of God which denies one of those essental, natural truths (eg, that God is not one, or that he is not almighty) means that the object of your prayer is not the one, true God. It is a false God. You have failed to live up to the light of reason.

    Now, that doesn’t mean God can’t hear the prayers of those who worship a false God. But he is not the direct object of their prayers, as he is for Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

  • *I meant to reference Romans 1, where St. Paul expounds on the natural truths man can know about God. He does not list among them truths communicated through revelation (eg, God’s triune nature).

  • If the plane is crashing, I’m praying to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’m not going to pray to Allah just to make the Muslim guy next to me comfortable.

    I’m not saying McCarrick should have shouted, “Repent and believe, heretics!” at them and stormed out of the room. I’m saying that if he’s going to pray, then he should pray in a way that is compatible with the Truth.

    In the end, Islam is not the truth. If it were, then we’d have to convert, wouldn’t we?

    McCarrick wasn’t simply substituting the word Allah for God as if he were an Arab Christian. He was using uniquely Muslim prayer forms to call upon the principles and beliefs of Islam that the king and his entourage profess.

    I know the difference is subtle to some people, but if they stop and consider for a moment, they might get it.

  • I’m just stunned reading all this. OK, I won’t get into pointing out the painfully obvious that we have a Trinitarian God, nor will I mention how the muslims worship a bastardized version of God.

    Let me just state a few basics here that any Catholic above the High School level should know;

    1. The muslims have bastardized Sacred Writ by claiming that the legitimate lineage of Abraham is with Ishmael vice Isaac.

    2. muslims claim that Jesus never died on the cross. So much for His death opening the Gates of Heaven, ‘eh?

    3. Sacred Writ states that we either sit at the table of The Lord (Jesus), or we sit at the table of satan. Hmmm…. kind of reminds me of the whole “No man shall come unto The Father except through Me”. Sound familiar fellow Catholics?

    In closing, before the Ecumenical Group Hug Gestapo wants to rant and rave about how we all supposedly “worship the same God of Abraham”, do you REALLY want me to post example upon example from official Church teaching concerning the heresy of Universal Salvation?

  • I’ll wait to see what exactly the document says, whether it’s couched as contingent, a response to circumstances, or as necessary, something essential to the priesthood. Whether it emphasizes the universal call to holiness and chastity (and the current social degradation therein) or categorizes homosexual persons as a class apart.

    The first-named option in each pair would sting, but I’d accept it as collateral damage from the recent sexual indiscipline (part of the cause of which was poor formation) and the lavender mafia. The latter-named options … well, I don’t want to think about them. They would not be compatible with the last 30 years of teaching on homosexuality.

  • If only Cardinal McCarrick had known that Benedict XVI has said “unity doesn’t mean you have to deny your ‘faith traditions’”

  • Seamole:

    I’m not sure we disagree (or even that you’re saying we do, frankly). The very essence of a rule that can be suspended in a given case is that it be circumstantial rather than essential.

  • But bear in mind that the priesthood is a marriage in which a man is wed to a female spouse.

    But unless men with SSA thereby cease to be men (flatly not what the Church teaches), such attractions would not constitute a per se barrier.

  • You know, an all the Catholic blogs dealing with this issue, I’ve YET to see the simplest answer to this question.

    There was this “fellow” by the name of Sa’ul, running around in the early church, he was mistaken, however when he gave a protoge of his, another “fellow” by the name of Tim, and tried to settle who Tim and Sa’ul should put into leadership roles in those new churches.

    Sa’ul blurted out some BAD advice, which the later church was in a position to rectify with celibate clergy.

    Now we KNOW that if Tim had his way, Tim would be saying this to the leadership, but of course Tim was a fool for believing THIS INSTRUCTION would actually solve MOST of the problems.

    1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop { priest }, he desireth a good work.

    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

    4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

    5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)


    I have seen EVERYTHING discussed to death on this topic, BUT old Tim’s rulebook and qualifications lesson plan.

    I wonder why?

  • The marriage analogy breaks down here because we’re talking about church rules. Women only get one choice made as an act of will under particular circumstances, making the whole notion of a general rule (however uniformly applied) pretty silly.

  • CourageMan, the marriage analogy is perfect, and IMNSHO aptly applied to this situation.  The Church only gets one choice made as an act of some bishop’s will under particular circumstances, to choose to ordain or not ordain a man.  Each parish has one pastor, each diocese one Bishop. 

    There are some general rules which women (Catholic and not) use to choose their husbands.  Health (physical and mental), the means to support a family, lack of physical repulsion by either party of the other (at least at first), good character.  The woman may dispense with these general norms for good cause.

    As I mentioned on the other thread, the general rules of the Church can be dispensed in individual cases.

  • Yes, but I believe the theology is that the priest “marries” the Church as a whole, not the Diocese of Such-and-Such or St. So-and-So Parish. Obviously the Church only makes one choice about a given candidate, but as an institution, i.e., the sense in which it’s meaningful to apply rules, it “marries” more men than a gaggle of Mormons.

    And no, there are no “rules” applied to a person’s choice of spouse. Your choice is your choice. This isn’t to say that people don’t think about it or have no general idea of what they seek, but that the notion of “rules,” whether rigid or flexible, is such that I wouldn’t make too much of marriage terminology and imagery in this matter of the priesthood.

  • The Bishop is the leader of the Church in a particular location.  The Church is a hierarchy, not a gaggle.  If you don’t think the Church should be as picky in choosing Her ordained ministers as a woman is in choosing her spouse, then perhaps you do not fully comprehend the importance of the Catholic priesthood. 

  • The Bishop is the leader of the Church in a particular location.

    But the priest doesn’t thereby marry the bishop (the point at hand).

    The Church is a hierarchy, not a gaggle.

    I am aware of that, and never said otherwise. Metaphor, comparison, sense of humor, and reading comprehension lessons are available elsewhere.

    If you dong or minimizing the spousal metaphor you are attacking or minimizing the Faith that was handed down by Christ to His Apostles.  This deconstruction is untenable and I find it personally disgusting.  I will not continue discussing this matter with you.  Perhaps you should examine your conscience to see if you are falling off the wagon.

  • Sorry you feel that way. I hardly think noting that a metaphor doesn’t apply perfectly (that’s why it’s called a “metaphor” rather than “identical”) is “minimizing the Faith that was handed down by Christ to His Apostles.” I mean, the Church is also the Body of Christ. Does that mean ordination is a “Massachusetts marriage”? Hardly.

    And I really don’t take kindly to accusations of dissent or heterodoxy (if “falling off the wagon” means something else, I apologize, but that seems clearly the point). Particularly from a total stranger based on barely 400 words on a single, rather abstruse topic in a blog comment field.

  • Understand that I am angry not because I am hearing something that contradicts the Faith I was taught, but because it is being presented skillfully and convincingly. 

    I didn’t accuse you of dissent or heterodoxy, but of material heresy, which is not objectively sinful, and I made a suggestion as regards your spiritual life.  That’s all.

  • Gentlemen,

    Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est! 

    The issue at hand here is this.  Masculinity is an essential prerequisite to receive the Sacrament of Orders etc.).  Now, this rejection of masculinity is usually a pre-pubescent unconscious event that can be rooted in any number of things (physical/emotional abuse by male parent or other significant male, absentee father, early exposure to sexual activity [may be perceived as violence by a mind that does not understand sexuality yet], an overbearing mother and weak father, sexual abuse, etc.).

    While it is true that in-tact genital masculinity is the strict requisite to receive the Sacrament of Orders and, as such, it is an ontological possibility for homosexual men to be ordained, the question is er>

    2005-09-19 11:35:50
    2005-09-19 15:35:50
    “lipstick a piggy”  –  ROTLOL

    Mark wrote:

    The basic problem with this approach is simple: whatever the obscure etymology of a word may be, the important thing is “What does the word mean now?” Try it with the word “gay” and you’ll see what I mean.

    What “Allah” means now is “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His prophet”

    “Allah” means the God of Mohammed—a God who sent the prophet Mohammed into the world.  Mohammed being the founder of a religion contrary to the religion Christ established, a religion that believes Christ was a lesser prophet and Mohammed was the greatest prophet of Allah.

    Hardly the Catholic God.

    One wonders how Cardinal McCarrick and Mark would define a “false god”.

  • What exactly qualifies as a ticize bishops as a private citizen, I’m fine with that. But when she orders bishops to do things as an employee of the USCCB, as if she had a mandate from the Church to do so when she does not, and when I know some bishops will snap to and obey despite the serious moral deficiencies with what she orders, then I have a problem.


    2005-09-18 17:56:23
    2005-09-18 21:56:23

    2005-09-18 20:10:53
    2005-09-19 00:10:53
    I think Cardinal McCarrick was being true to his faith. Christians and Muslims DO worship the one, true God. The Church is not a Western entity at war with the Arabic world. The Church is PART of the Arabic world, and every other part of the world. We are not here to destroy authentic arabic culture. By using the Arabic word for “God”, Cardinal McCarrick made just this point. It helps dispel the common notion that Christianity is out to destroy the Arab world. The Church rejects nothing of what is good and true among Muslims. She is just here to bear witness to her faith in Allah as she understands him.

    Today I would like to repeat what I said to young Muslims some years ago in Casablanca: “We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection”

    —Pope John Paul II

    An equally valid point would be made if, addressing a group of Jews, God was referred to as “Yahweh”.