The New York Times takes the predictable line on the Instruction on homosexuals in seminary, plugging in comments from those in favor and those opposed as if the two sides were equal in weight and authority. One unattributed claims stands out: “On both sides of that divide, there was general agreement on Tuesday night that the document presented a strong deterrent to homosexual men, but with some limited room for seminaries to make exceptions.” Really? Only a tendentious reading of the document would find any wiggle room. I don’t see any place for exceptions to be made. Of course, the reporters say that this remark comes from those “on both sides of the divide,” but only quote one guy, from the other side of the divide.
Fr. Mark Francis, superior general of the Clerics of St. Viator, says, “You could say, ‘I believe I am gay, but that the tendencies toward being gay are not deep-seated. What constitutes deep-seated homosexual tendencies?” Deep-seated tendencies are ones which are not transitory, as clearly indicated by the following paragraph. In other words, if the homosexuality was not a passing phase of youthful indiscretion, then it is deep seated and is cause for dismissal or refusal. If someone says, “I believe I am gay, but that the tendencies toward being gay are not deep-seated,” then he must overcome that tendency to gayness, reject it, embrace heterosexuality with an emotional maturity, and live that way for at least three years.
It’s also curious that they quote one priest opposed to the instruction, Fr. James Martin, and identify him as a Jesuit, but they also quote Fr. Joseph Fessio, and don’t identify him as such.
Martin is quoted: “It raises the bar so high that it would be difficult to imagine gay men feeling encouraged to pursue a life in the priesthood.” Ya, think? That’s because they’re not being encouraged to pursue “a life in the priesthood.” (What a strange phrase. It makes it sound like they’re enlisting.)