Less than a ban?

Less than a ban?

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter is reporting that the new document barring gays from seminary will be less stringent than we’ve been told. He says that rather than an absolute ban, it will call on seminary officials to exercise “prudential judgment” on not accepting homosexual candidates under three different criteria:

  • 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.

If this is true, then this is worse than just a mere statement of status quo ante based on the 1961 policy. That document was an absolute prohibition on anyone with homosexual tendencies from entering seminary. The mainstream media would characterize this as an about face, throwing the doors wide to homosexuals (and it would be difficult to dispute that.)

Of course as one friend said, an absolute prohibition would be just as bad if it’s allowed to be routinely violated, making a mockery of Church teaching and “driving the wedge a bit deeper to separate the ‘unrealistic’ teachings from the ‘pastoral solutions.’”

What it tells us is that no document alone will fix what’s wrong with the seminaries, whether it’s homosexuality or rampant dissent or what have you. You can only fix the seminary by putting people in control who have the sincere desire to follow the Church’s teachings and to raise up the best possible priests for God’s people. And you have to have bishops, here and in Rome, who are willing to enforce these disciplines even up to yanking people from their posts if they won’t abide by them.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Yes that Aussie priest (is he a priest?) also said this in the same comment:

    “So too, Homophobia – I’ve never met an out-there homophone (sic) who didn’t have something to hide. Strange they’re the last ones to find out usually. One minute they’re denouncing the Sin that Cries to Heaven for Vengeance, the next you see pictures of them dressed as Marilyn Munroe in the Mardi Gras. I have encountered this dynamic heaps of times in seminarians”

    I find this argument by turns funny and frustrating.  I mean, it’s kind of a conversation stopper, isn’t it?  If you think homosexuality is a serious disturbance and must be recognized, why, then you must be closet queer yourself?  Stands to reason, right?

    And the new line that this comment is posted to at Rocco’s is that if you are what he calls a “self-proclaimed orthodox” then, watch out, you are almost certainly a closet queer, too.

    Well, I figure that if there are all those gays in the liberal camp, and all the orthodox people are gay, and anybody who likes incense or tears up at the thought of his Savior is gay, too, then pretty much everybody must be gay.  And that either means that the argument is ridiculous because if it were true there wouldn’t be any children in the world or that the gays are under every bed.  But—wait—I thought that latter was some kind of homophobe argument, right?

    Oh, well, the only thing is to ignore that silliness and ignore people who don’t even want to discuss stuff, but rather to taunt and insult and accuse.

    So, this Aussie “priest” or whatever he is (no collar in his picture anyway) is a lover of Trent and the doctrine of the Real Presence(good on him!) and a dragon against “homophobia” (back to the drawing board, Father!).

    Since when did “homophobia” stop being cant jargon and become a respectable word, anyway?

  • Is this really worse?

    The ‘61 pronouncement said that a man with evil inclinations shouldn’t be a seminarian because it creates risks. This one says that if the inclinations are strong enough to create a risk then the man shouldn’t be a seminarian. In particular, if the guy is into “gay culture” or has done something homosexual in the previous 3 years then he’s out automatically, presumably because in those cases there’s clearly a risk things won’t turn out well.

    The effective meaning might be about the same, assuming someone actually wanted to apply the ‘61 pronouncement, since someone applying it would have to decide whether the guy’s inclinations were really evil inclinations of the kind the pronouncement was aimed at. That sort of decision is never going to be an exact science and it’s always going to be guided by what the prohibition says is the goal (avoidance of risk). If you want to specify more exactly just what a rule means about something like homosexuality that has lots of degrees then you’re going to have to specify just where the ambiguities come in that the prohibition isn’t really aimed at. So you’re going to have to include something that someone might call wiggle room.

  • I sometimes suspect the Vatican of a holy naivete.
    I have to believe there aer a lot of saintly priests out there.  And we all tend to take for granted the virtues that come easily to us.
    I have a friend who never even kissed a girl till 2 years ago this New Year’s.  We’ve shared some pretty intimate conversations, and he was totally devoid of sexual temptation.  I kept telling him, “You need to be a priest.” 
    He just got married.  And when he *did* meet the woman he married, things totally changed for him.

    Put a properly-oriented man in a room full of women—particularly young women, and he’s going to feel urges.  It’s called pheramones.  I think that good priests and bishops are so good at suppressing their own desires, and so used to living in an “ivory tower” that they forget what it’s like (or, like my friend, they never really knew, because they were saved from that temptation).

    Have the most virtuous man live in a dorm full of women, and what’s gonna happen?
    Even if he manages to keep his hands of the girls, to be blunt, he’s not gonna keep his hands off himself.

    Have the most virtuous homosexual living in a dorm full of other men, and what’s gonna happen?

    Even if he doesn’t “do anything” with other seminarians, it’s an obvious occasion of sin, at least for self-abuse.

  • Have the most virtuous homosexual living in a dorm full of other men, and what that elected John Paul II and notes the inconsistencies there over how close Cardinals Giuseppe Siri and Giovanni Benelli were in their respective chances.


    2005-10-07 12:33:29
    2005-10-07 16:33:29


    2005-10-07 15:44:55
    2005-10-07 19:44:55
    Good article by Sandro! I did find this interesting:

    “On the eve of the last conclave, most of the forecasts released through the media were made of wishful thinking far from reality. Ithe point I often no longer go. I found most priests have this experience. That is important, because if you are not ready to suffer for your faith as priest, then you are not ready to be a priest.

    May I also say that the suffering comes from both sides. As I said during the attemped coup of the Church, (a/k/a the crisis) the biggest problem was not that we got proverbially shot from the front, it was that we were also proverbially shot in the back as well.

    (I hold two letters of reprimand for my actions of speaking out against the Head of the sponsoring agency for TAT and an executive at a Catechetics company.)