It is not objectionable a priori that a man with an unsavory past be ordained a priest. There are plenty of priests throughout history, some of the saints, who did some nasty things before undergoing conversion. St. Paul and St. Augustine leap to mind. But you would think conversion would be the minimum requirement.

Thus when I hear about a former gay prostitute turned priest who is now running for Parliament in Canada, I do a double take. For one thing, Fr. Raymond Gravel opposes the Church’s teaching on same-sex marriage as well as the Vatican’s recent Instruction that gay seminarians should not be ordained.

There is the implication as well that Gravel received Vatican permission to run for office (since there has been a blanket prohibition on such for a couple of decades now), but nowhere is there mention of a specific order or a specific office or person at the Vatican who gave such permission. It is merely asserted.

Diogenes gives the contact information for a variety of Canadian Catholic and Vatican officials who should be queried about this very disturbing case. We might do well to join him in sending letters or emails.

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Domenico Bettinelli