December 03, 2005

The recent declaration by the Catholic Church banning gay men (even non-practicing ones) from entering their seminaries and becoming priests has drawn a lot of public notice. This has caused people who might not normally evaluate their feelings toward GLBT people to take stock of their views. One such person is columnist Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe, located in one of the main bastions of Catholocism in the nation (and a diocese up to its neck in the church's sexual abuse scandal).

In a recent column, Goodman address the fact that there is a growing body of evidence that homosexuality is a genetic trait. She also quotes polling data that states the overwhelming majority of people who support that view support gay rights, while a similar number who believe homosexuality is a concious choice oppose them.

Here's the keeper line from a very well balanced and thoughtful column; "All and all, Americans seem reluctant to condemn people for who they simply are." You just don't find intelligent common-sense writing like that in a major newspaper very often. I encourage you to read her entire piece.

Anyone like myself who has been even casually involved with the Catholic Church realizes that, if they go a step further and start removing gay priests, there will be an awful lot of job openings in a church that doesn't have enough clergy to go around even now. Is it any surprise a career path that forbids men to marry would attract a disproportionate number of gay men? Common sense, people--use it.

Who gets hurt here are men willing to commit their lives to God but are now turned away (or removed), and the parisioners who would have been blessed by them.

In The Great Commission, we are called out to serve God and spread his word. The qualification in the Bible is for people to give their heart to Jesus and accept him as Lord and Savior. As man so often does, the Catholic Church filters this through its beliefs and decides who can be allowed to perform this work under their sanction. By limiting the scope of who can serve, isn't the Catholic Church working against what God wrote?

Please join me in prayer that the minds and hearts of the leadership of that organization, and all other religions that restict the involvement of its GLBT members, will be opened to receive God's unfiltered word. I pray that they can accept all people who have given their hearts to Christ as full members to serve in whatever way best utilizes the gifts God blessed them with.


  1. Of course this 'crack down' is the culmination of the sex scandal within the church. The big mistake is, there has been an inordinate connection made between pedophilia and homosexuality. Statistics show a person's orientation has practically nothing to do with their chances of being a pedophile. I submit that the greatest contributor to sexual abuse is the mandate for celibacy itself, where a normal God-given libido is repressed, but this is another matter altogether.

  2. Jarrell said: "I submit that the greatest contributor to sexual abuse is the mandate for celibacy itself, where a normal God-given libido is repressed..."

    After 20 years as a RC priest, Jarrell, I wholeheartedly agree. I say this as someone who has been faithful to my celibacy commitment all along. The issue is not celibacy per se -- the Scriptures extol it -- but FORCED celibacy. It just doesn't work -- at least, for some priests. The Scriptures say that celibacy is a gift from God, not merely a personal discipline. The RC pigheadly refuses to acknowledge this, despite the tragic consequences that are now all too obvious.

    The Vatican's 'crack down' on gay celibate priests is a frantic effort to restore its credibility. But this crack down is insane, irrational, and deeply demoralizing to us who have been every bit as faithful to our commitments as any heterosexual priest is.