October 20, 2005

Keep the ban

San Mateo County Times

A TEAM of Roman delegates knocked on the doors of St. Patrick's Catholic Seminary in Menlo Park this week. The Vatican calls this a "visitation." Others call it an "investigation." For me, it's "quality control." The visitors are checking for theological orthodoxy in the classrooms and how seminarians are being formed for a life of celibacy.

At the same time, the media are quoting anonymous Vatican sources about a new document that may soften admission standards for seminary applicants with homosexual tendencies. Reportedly, if the candidate has been chaste for three years, if he is not involved in public demonstrations, such as Pride parades, and if his tendencies are not serious, the door may be opened to him.

Honestly, I have to reserve judgment about these anonymous reports. They just don't square with past Vatican teachings that kept the door firmly closed. Perhaps I sound like a cave dweller, since I was ordained 35 years ago, but why would anyone abolish such a wise prohibition?

The Catholic Church is just beginning to extricate herself from the greatest scandal and financial payout in her American history. As the human wreckage is acknowledged, and attempts are made at repair, what have we learned?

Posted by kshaw at October 20, 2005 12:03 PM