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Is It Time for Co-ed Rectories & Religious Communities?

Este artículo: en español

A debate is raging as to whether homosexually inclined men should continue to be admitted to seminaries. America magazine has weighed in with an editorial (Nov. 11, 2002) arguing, to no one’s surprise, in the affirmative.

America tells us that “the majority” of homosexually inclined priests “lead chaste lives.” That’s curious. Why didn’t America say “the great majority”? Probably because America knows very well that it’s not the great majority.

A great majority would, in our estimation, be between 75 and 99 percent. A mere majority would likely be between 51 and 74 percent. One could therefore easily conclude that somewhere between 25 and 49 percent of homosexually inclined priests are violating their vow of chaste celibacy. Apparently, that’s good enough for America.

America goes on to speak of “the gifts that gay priests bring to the church,” quoting Michael Ford as saying that these “gifts” come from the “Divine Source.” But the Catechism speaks of the “disorder” that homosexual priests bring to the Church (#2358). If, however, homosexuality is a gift of God, then what could be wrong with it? And why shouldn’t a homosexual priest be able to share his gift with other homosexuals? And the more the gayer! Surely, America believes in sharing.

Earlier, America published an article by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (Sept. 30, 2002) that took that same tack, and Gumbleton quoted Fr. James Empereur, S.J., as saying that “homosexuality is one of God’s most significant gifts to humanity” (italics added). So maybe it’s the heterosexuals who are afflicted with the “disorder”? Now, Gumbleton did not say that homosexual activity is moral. (After all, he was writing in America, which is assiduously read in Rome.) However, that is Gumbleton’s position. Gumbleton spoke at a gathering of homosexuals at St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village, saying that “We need a new paradigm for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in the Church.” An astute reporter for Lesbian and Gay New York asked the Bishop what exactly he meant. The reporter said, “The Church’s official teaching is that sexual activity between two people of the same sex is always wrong. Do you mean to say that it can be moral?” Gumbleton answered, “Yes, I do.” This appeared in a very friendly source, Dignity/USA Journal, Winter 1999.

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