06 March, 2010

Martin poses a great question to be answered by a "gay" priest. Here's hoping that someone will take up his request!

Hi Tim, The problem for gay priests is not that they must remain celibate (I am sure many are quite faithful and effective in their ministries). The problem is that they must remain invisible as gay men. That is the closet. There are elements within the Church that want a purge of all gays...whether or not they practice celibacy. In fact, your Church is actively screening for homosexuality among seminarians. I believe it is almost impossible now for an openly gay man to be ordained. It will be interesting to see where this all leads. Gay men have historically been a rich source of priests for the Church. As the Church becomes more hostile to gay men, and as secular society becomes less so...many gay men will no longer seek ordination. There are other options for them. I simply cannot imagine any balanced and self-respecting gay man signing up for a closeted and virulently hostile assignment. Perhaps some gay priests reading this blog might comment (anonymously of course) about their own experiences? Sincerely - I would love to hear from them. I would love to understand if they feel closeted? I would love to understand how effective they think their ministry is when they must continually deceive others about who they really are. I would like to know how it affects them to endorse a Church that is such inspiration for anti-gay bigots everywhere. Who will be the next generation of priests? The "young fogeys" that they now recruit? The Polish and Latin American men who they now import? I am afraid these men, who cannot speak the language, or cannot understand the culture, will be sorely challenged to fill the pews with anyone other than the 60+ demographic. Any gay priests out there care to comment? Cheers...Martin

2 comments:

  1. It seems to me that the problem here is we're arguing about the pros and cons of issues which shouldn't even be allowed in religion, so that the discussions themselves are inappropriate. We'll never get anywhere.

    Probably the most appropriate forum for expression of religion and spirituality I can think of is Alcoholics Anonymous and it's primary focus is not even religion.

    They don't have any clergy or full time leadership. They couldn't afford any even if they wanted them. It's democratic in the sense only that it is run by those who attend functions.

    Everybody is welcome. The only rule is that you want to quit drinking but there is no judgement, ostracism or punishment of those that don't.

    There are no churches of AA but anyone that wants, anywhere they are, can usually find a meeting anyplace they are, any time of the day or night.

    The positive aspects of spirituality are universally recognized in AA but no specific requirements of how people develop that spirituality or where they find it exist.

    AA has no big PR footprint in society, no lobbyists in Washington, no politicians that claim membership, engages in no organized missionary outreach efforts and yet the organization flourishes and is accepted as a positive influence by all.

    Originally Christianity was like AA. No longer. That is the problem. It's a big problem. Arguing about Gays, abortion, natural marriage or any of this other crap will get nowhere because they involve behaviors that people find functional and help them to thrive and become better people. In order to change these things you have to change people and people only change when it benefits them. Heavy handed punitive efforts to change specific behaviors are stupid, counterproductive and reflect badly only on those that engage in the punishing, not those that engage in the so called sins.

    Each person can do no more than try and become the best person they can be and hope that they may become, occasionally, a good enough person to act as an example for others when deciding what kind of person they want to be.

    I think I have quite a way to go before I'll be worthy as an example and hope I'll never feel righteous enough to tell anybody anything about what kind of a person they ought to be. On the other hand, I enjoy going someplace and being with others who are trying to become better people. There are always many things we can agree on. It's good to share our mistakes and failures as well as our hopes and aspirations. I admire those who are able to build better lives than mine. I am humbled by the efforts of those who still have far to go.

    Do you feel righteous enough to lead others to the truth, Tim? Oh, I'm sorry, that's how you make your living, isn't it?

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  2. If secular society gives Gays equal rights, the Catholic Church will not be able to discriminate against them as fully as it has in the past. This is, of course, an attack on religious freedom by secular humanist, atheist extremists.

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