The Times on the gay seminarian rule

The Times on the gay seminarian rule

The New York Times weighs in today with a front-page story on the forthcoming document from the Vatican that would bar homosexuals from seminaries.

A couple of things strike me. First, they claim to have a “Church official” with firsthand knowledge of the document. That’s pretty remarkable in and of itself since there are a lot of reporters banging their heads against of the doors of the Vatican trying to get that kind of access. Interesting.

Second, almost of the anonymous priests make a point (or the reporter makes a point) of mentioning that they remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. Yet everything we’ve heard about this document emphasizes that it will only apply to seminarians and will not apply retroactively to the ordained, especially if they are living according to the vows they took before God. So what’s the fear about?

Third, the unnamed official gives the standard that we’ve been speculating about: “...the document called for barring even celibate men who considered themselves homosexual because of what he contended were the specific temptations of seminaries.” The temptation bit sounds like what Archbishop O’Brien said.

And so even chaste men with same-sex attraction won’t be admitted. I also notice that it says “men who considered themselves homosexual.” It’s unusual for the Times to formulate that in such a way as to leave any doubt that homosexuality is an objective genetic predispostion, ingrained from birth and unchangeable. Instead, it makes it sound like a subjective understanding.

  • The NYT article refers to the “1961 document that recommended against ordaining anyone who has ‘perverse inclinations to homosexuality or pederasty.’”

    There are three subsequent curial documents on this topic that are not as well known. They are cited by Fr. Andrew Baker in a 2003 article in Lay Witness (see footnote 4).

  • The annoying thing about the MSM:  they’ve screamed long and lustily for the Church to *do something* about the sex abuse.  Now that it’s being done… we go again.  “Wah wah wah, not fair! Big mean Catholic church…”

    It gets tiresome.   

  • ….the 1961 document that RECOMMENDED against ordaining anyone …..

    Recommended? we don’t need any more empty recommendations which will continue to be ignored by those who would call God’s laws the ten ‘suggestions.’

  • One can have some degree of same-sex attraction and not consider oneself a homosexual.  Just as one can have some degree of attraction to some of today’s very mature appearing 16 year old girls and not consider oneself a pedophile (or ephebophile.)
    It’s ironic that you seem to have switched places with the Times and want to argue that homosexulity is not subjective and changeable.

  • Dear Jeff,

    Could you get me the titles of the articles Fr. Baker cites?  I do know the Church proclaims the Truth boldly and would like to read for myself her words.  I speak of footnote 4.