Friday, December 02, 2005

More on Catholicism and Gay marriage

Okay, at first I didn't want to post about the Vatican's new edict that bans gay men from becoming priests - even if they're completely celibate - but I read a great column by Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe that has compelled me to write something.

Goodman wrote a great piece on the new center of debate for gay rights, Nature vs Nurture. Here's what she so eloquently points out:

Well, it turns out that the more you believe homosexuality is innate, the more accepting you are of gay rights. A full 79 percent of people who think human beings are born with a sexual orientation support gay rights, including civil unions or marriage equality. But only 22 percent of those who believe homosexuality is a choice agree.

Okay, so people who tend to be accepting of gay men and women - what almost all scientific data on the subject has pointed out - are also more understanding of gay men and women. What does that have to do with the Catholic Church?

Thirty years ago the Catholic Church accepted the view that some [priests] were definitively gay. Church teachings said 'they do not choose their homosexual condition." Nevertheless, the new document doesn't just ban gays who 'practice" homosexuality, breaking the vows of celibacy. It bans all those with homosexual tendencies."
After the sexual abuse scandal, the church has shown that it is willing to do anything to avoid taking responsibility in its massive mistakes. Instead of admitting their sin, they blame it on gay men. Instead of admitting their fault, they categorize countless hardworking and innocent men with the perverted priests who committed the crimes. Meanwhile, those individuals - who were usually known to the church as sexual predators - were shuffled church to church by archbishop across the country. I'm certainly not saying that the sexual abusers who did these crimes aren't guilty. However, the church's solution should have been to purge sexual abusers from the church, not gay men who are completely celibate. It's not as if only gay men are sexual predators and dangers to the lay-people, just look at this case in Massachusetts:

SWAMPSCOTT -- The Rev. Jerome F. Gillespie resigned yesterday as pastor of St.John the Evangelist Church in Swampscott after he was accused of asking a 12-year-old girl and her mother to perform a sex act at an Italian restaurant in Chelsea Tuesday night.
Priest Resigns After Sex Act Accusation

The Catholic Church is quickly becoming morally bankrupt. As someone who has been raised Catholic and is currently still a member of the Church, I have become very disappointed. I don't know if I can remain Catholic if this is what it means to be one.


joe schlieff said...

I'm gonna let my normal satirical self take a back seat and be completly serious here.

First of all, it does not out and out ban gays; they are allowed in if they have overcome said homosexual tendancies for a period of 3 years prior to becoming a deacon. It's not so much a ban as a restriction.

Also: heterosexual priests have the same responsibility to remain celibate that a homosexual priest would.

The Catholic Church is not a democracy, it is a theocracy, and is bound by rules that were established over the last two thousand years, and the rules against homosexuality aren't new, they are among the oldest.

And to put something into perspective: Sean O'Malley, like many other Catholics, view abortion as murder. All argument aside, it is seen as murder. Perhaps that would better explain his absence from the event where Tom Menino is guest of honor. To you it is him being a bigot, but to him and many others, it is refusing to honor one who is perceived as supporting murder and behavior that is seen as an affront to God.

And never group together Sean O'Malley and Bernard Law, it is being stereotypical and making unfair generalizations. <--okay that was somewhat satirical.

Ryan Adams said...

The usage of words is pretty specific Joe, yes there could still be some wiggle room left, but not much. Furthermore, it also leaves open the possibility of removing priests who have been celibate and are shining examples for others to emulate.

The fact is that this is a policy that is vastly different than that of about 30 years ago and it can easily be viewed as - and probably is - a reaction to the sexual abuse scandal. However, it is an entirely innapropriate way of going about keeping children in the church safe. Furthermore, it alienates a lot of priests in the church who are gay, celibate and have kept all their vows from seminary.

As for Mayor Menino, if O'Malley felt that strongly about it - and he has every right to - he should have insisted Menino not be the guest of honor, Catholic Charities is a part of the Boston Archdiocese and O'Malley runs it; he could have made a call. I would have had no problem with that, especially based on the abortion issue (which, in all honestly, I think is a valid stance for any Catholic to take - one I disagree with, but deeply respect).

Instead, he didn't go to the event and hurt more people by not doing so.

joe schlieff said...

I'm not sure how I would have handled the situation if I was O'Malley. At the same time he supports gay marriage and abortion, he has admittedly done a lot of good for the city. Perhaps not going was his form of compromise, ok, I don't appreciate the stance you take, but I honor your contributions enough to let you have your night. That's just my speculations, though.

Ryan Adams said...

Hey Joe,

Here's another good op-ed from a former priest who was a fairly high ranking one at that.

Ryan Adams said...

Sorry, that didn't work, let me try that again:

James Carrol

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