October 06, 2005

Vatican should not discard all good men


Thursday, October 6, 2005

There are gay Catholic priests. It would be difficult to find a person of any age or faith shocked by that statement. Conservatives - and not just Catholics - want to purge homosexual clergy from churches. The Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II increasingly clamped down on the leadership roles played by homosexual men and women in the Church. Pope Benedict XVI, the dominant conservative voice behind John Paul II, is not changing course now that he is pope. Unfortunately, the pope is steering his ship into an iceberg, not toward open waters.

The Church was rocked by sex scandals because for generations predator priests were able to abuse children without legal consequences. These priests were shuffled from parish to parish, diocese to diocese, and in their wake left scarred children - predominately boys. The Church has a problem with pedophiles; it does not have a problem with homosexuals.

The Vatican does not see the difference. It is expected to soon release a document that would bar even celibate gay men from entering seminaries. This has caused a stir among clergy - particularly in the United States. A leading Jesuit official is working with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men to petition the Vatican to change its stance before the document is released. Religious orders have more freedom in how they screen candidates than diocesan seminaries. However, they too, must tow the line.

Posted by kshaw at October 6, 2005 07:08 PM