NEUHAUS ON GAY PRIESTS

He basically agrees with me about the current document and its impact. And he should know, since there are very few people in America as close to the current Pope as Neuhaus:

There are priests and bishops who are afflicted by same-sex attraction, and it is by now no secret that some have acted upon that attraction. Those who are afflicted but have been chastely celibate protest that the instruction cannot possibly mean that, were they candidates for ordination today, they should be refused. But that is precisely what the instruction seems to say.

That does not mean they cannot continue as good and faithful priests. Most certainly it does not in any way throw into question the validity of their priesthood and therefore the validity of the sacraments they administer. But it would seem to mean that they should not have been ordained in the first place, and those with a similar lack of ‘affective maturity’ should not be ordained in the future.

So priests who should not have been ordained should nevertheless stay as priests. Go figure. Notice also the following somewhat hysterical point made by the spokesman for the Pontifical Council for the Family:

At the same time, he said, the church affirms the validity of the ordination of its priests, including those who may have homosexual tendencies. While such priests may need special support, he said, the Catholic Church is committed to ensuring that they are not attacked and do not become the objects of gossip. “One vigorously must oppose denunciations and all forms of suspicion and innuendo which could attack the personal dignity of ordained ministers,” he said.

Smear all gays as a threat to priestly life; but keep up the closet for the thousands of gay priests who are still functioning. That sounds like an institution with “affective maturity,” doesn’t it? In practice, the only gay priests who will make it through the screening process in future will be those who have so thoroughly repressed their homosexuality that they are barely aware of it, and will seek in the newly butched-up clergy a way to live lives of self-deception. Eventually, of course, like those screwed up homosexuals ordained in the 1950s and 1960s, they may well go on to act out on their stunted sexual and emotional development, and abuse minors and children. But self-aware, well-adjusted, openly gay men who vow celibacy will be excluded. This will compound the problem of child abuse, not resolve it. It will preserve the self-loathing, clericalism and repression of dialogue that made the abuse possible in the first place.

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