October 08, 2005

Bayly: Instead of scapegoating, church ought to repent

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Michael J. Bayly
October 8, 2005

Pope Benedict seems certain to issue a directive barring gay men from ordination as Roman Catholic priests. For the majority of Catholics -- and in particular gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) Catholics -- such a development is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's a desperate, misguided and futile ploy -- and one that signals the need for urgent reform within a Catholic Church rapidly declining in credibility.

For a start, how credible is the Vatican's appeal to the language of psychology in justifying its ban on "disordered" gay men, when the mental health and medical professional associations do not consider homosexuality to be any type of "disorder"?

The Vatican's frequent claim of an intrinsic link between homosexuality and pedophilia is similarly devoid of any scientific backing and is thus erroneous. Reactionaries within the church, however, continue to bolster such a claim with "research findings" from groups such as theAbuse Tracker Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality (NARTH). Yet what isn't reported is that neither NARTH's findings nor its methodology are seldom, if ever, offered to peer-reviewed journals for critical analysis. In short, the group lacks any respect from the wider scientific community.

Posted by kshaw at October 8, 2005 07:29 AM