Battle Lines Drawn Over Vatican Stance on Gays

Good move on the part of the Catholic Church. The Vatican must not cave in to media pressure. If we are members of the Cathoilc church, we must repect their policies ...

By the way, I was told (ahemmm ... thru a little bird) that there were already threads on this topic, (Gay Issues in the Catholic Church) but could not locate any? So I am posting this as a new thread. If anyone locates a similar thread which is not locked, please let me know. No need to create duplicate threads...

Battle Lines Drawn Over Vatican Stance on Gays (external - login to view)



Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:38 PM ET
By Jason Szep

BOSTON (Reuters) - Gay rights activists and liberal Catholics girded on Wednesday for a long battle over the Vatican's tougher stance on homosexuality, predicting the Church would lose thousands of followers in the United States.

The policy, drafted to deal with scandals over pedophile priests that erupted in Boston in 2002 and spread across the United States, says the Church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years.

But practicing homosexuals and those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred, it said. Conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church and in other religions welcomed the stand.

"We are calling on all Catholics of goodwill to speak to their priests and to express their outrage at this decision," said Harry Knox a director of Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group based in Washington.

"We'll seek to speak over the heads of the Pope to Catholics in the pews to urge them to take into consideration what Jesus would do if He saw His neighbor being treated in this way," said Knox. "Jesus would never exclude."

The Catholic Church would lose thousands of future priests in the United States, while those who remain will live in fear of "witch hunts," said Marianne Duddy-Burke of gay and lesbian Catholic group Dignity USA in Boston.

"A number of good, holy gay priests will probably quietly slip away from their calling because of the climate."

That is exactly what many conservative Catholics say should have happened long ago. They laud the 21-paragraph Vatican document for reinforcing a standing policy that many believe has not been properly enforced.

"This is not just about homosexuality or homosexual acts -- it's about an agenda and subculture that is in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church," said Michael Rose, author of "Goodbye, Good Men: How liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church."

Like many conservative Catholics, Brian Saint-Paul, senior editor of the Catholic journal CRISIS, sees a firm link between homosexuality and the scandal over pedophile priests.

"That was not a homosexual scandal. It was a pedophile scandal. There's a significant difference. But there was some kind of same-sex element to it," he said. "Rome has to look at all the factors. So we see them addressing that now."

Underpinning his concerns is a 2004 survey by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice which found that, of 10,667 people abused by priests between 1950 and 2002, 81 percent were male.

Gay rights advocates said the Church was turning gay men into scapegoats for pedophiles and should address deeper failings that allowed U.S. bishops to move priests known to have abused minors from parish to parish instead of defrocking them or reporting them to authorities.

Daniel Maguire, a professor of moral theology at Marquette, a Jesuit university in Wisconsin, said the Church's underlying problem is its policy of mandatory celibacy and how this is interpreted as meaning not getting married.

"Many gay seminarians who weren't planning on getting married anyhow were drawn toward the priesthood but not necessarily drawn toward a virginal life," he said, adding that the new policy "will lead to a tremendous amount of deception and a 'don't ask, don't tell' kind of a regime."

Implementing it and defining "deep-seated gay tendencies" will prove tough to do, said Donald Cozzens of John Carroll University in Cleveland and author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul."

"It is possible the vocation crisis will deepen," he said.

That would come at an alarming time for the U.S. Catholic Church, whose followers are in decline in proportion to the population.

There are currently 64.8 million Catholics in the United States compared to 45.6 million in 1966 -- or 23 percent of the population compared to 24 percent in 1966, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate in Georgetown.

What do you expect from a bunch of narrow minded old men who are stuck in the 1500's where discrimmination was a common practice. It is 2005 and time for that business er.. church to get with the times.

But yet what can you expect from a pope that tried to cover up sexual abuse when he was a Cardinal (thats as bad as aqctually abusing boys and should of been charged as a conspiracer). His word and anything he says carries no weight. He should be locked up.
Here's a good related article on the Vatican reconfirming that active gay men are not welcome in the priesthood.

Vatican Reconfirms That Gays Not Welcome in Priesthood



Tuesday, November 22, 2005

VATICAN CITY The Vatican says homosexuals who are sexually active or support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless they have overcome their homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.

The long-awaited document is scheduled to be released by the Vatican on Nov. 29. A church official who has read the document confirmed the authenticity of the Internet posting by the Adista news agency. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the document has not yet been officially released by the Vatican.

The document said that "the church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."

"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies," it said.

"If instead it is a case of homosexual tendencies that are merely the expression of a transitory problem, for example as in the case of an unfinished adolescence, they must however have been clearly overcome for at least three years before ordination as a deacon."

Vatican prohibitions on active homosexuals becoming priests are not new.

A key 1961 Vatican document on selecting candidates for the priesthood made clear homosexuals should be barred.

However, the sex abuse scandal among priests in the United States and elsewhere has led some to call for new restrictions.

Estimates of the number of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, a former seminary rector and author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."

The Vatican press office announced in November 2002, at the height of the clergy sex scandal in the United States, that the Congregation for Catholic Education was drawing up guidelines for accepting candidates for the priesthood that would address the question of whether gays should be barred. However, the document reportedly had been in the works well before then.

The document, called an "Instruction" is only five pages, including footnotes. It was signed by the prefect and secretary of the congregation on Nov. 4 and says it was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on Aug. 31.

The sex abuse scandals have forced an unprecedented introspection into the clergy and how to train future priests.

In September, Vatican-directed inspectors started visiting all 229 American seminaries. Part of their mission is to seek any "evidence of homosexuality" at a time when some Catholics have put forward the highly contested premise that gay priests were more likely to be responsible for criminal behavior such as serial, same-sex molestation.

The Vatican has often visited the issue of homosexuality, reflecting an unbending theological opposition but also an acknowledgment that discrimination based on sexual preference is not justified.

In 2003, homosexuality was described as a "troubling moral and social phenomenon" in a document by the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then headed by German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict this year.

Vatican teaching also holds that homosexuals are "intrinsically disordered." The church, however, says gays and lesbians should be treated with compassion and dignity.

This is the last time I am telling you about your spamming of the same topics. Post your gay and church threads in the endless threads on this topic

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