Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Some celibacies are more equal than others

I'm a little confused by this news from the Vatican.

The new Pope faces his first controversy over the direction of the Catholic church after it was revealed that the Vatican has drawn up a religious instruction preventing gay men from being priests.

The controversial document, produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the body overseeing the church's training of the priesthood, is being scrutinised by Benedict XVI.

Huh? Uh, last time I checked, all Catholic priests were required to be celibate. So what possible difference could it make if a priest is attracted to men or women if he isn't supposed to be having sex with anyone?

The typical conservative protestant position is that it's the act that's a sin. Most protestant churches that have rules against ordained GLBT people specify that they cannot be in relationships or sexually active. I don't agree with that, but at least it makes sense. If you view the act as sin, then it's only the act that should be judged.

But what this recommendation to the Vatican is saying is that the gay man himself is unworthy, regardless of whether or not he abstains from the "sinful" act.

Wow. So much for love the sinner, hate the sin. Here's hoping the Pope nixes this ridiculous proposal.


At 4:00 PM, Anonymous adam said...

Obviously this is a bad thing, and most of the social vision coming from the Vatican is bad, too. But this position acknowledges that some people ARE gay, and that nothing can be done about it. That's not so bad; it's progress, in a way--at least better than the people that think gays can be reformed and that they "culturally reproduce" by infecting youngsters with "gayness" or homosexuality. But come to think of it, some "Q" folks argue that no one is innately gay/straight/bi, anything.
But why can't a celibate gay man be a good priest?

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

I've always found the "nature vs. nurture" argument to be a red herring. It's important in terms of a person's personal experience, but as an argument one way or another for rights, not so much. I'm a female by birth and a Christian by choice. I don't want to be discriminated against for either. Neither should GLBT people be discriminated against regardless of whether they are born gay or somehow "became" gay.

But your last question hits the nail on the head. Celibate is celibate is celibate. To me, this decision smacks of the belief that gay men are inherently more promiscuous and unable to control themselves, or worse, that they are more likely to be pedophiles.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger freethnkr said...

I pop over here every once in a while when I need a boost. Thanks so much not only for your support but for your public support. It helps like you will never know.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger catholic_girl said...

I think the Vatican's position in the past has been that sexual orientation is not something anyone can change and that only the act itself is sinful. That makes this initiative doubly confusing. I won't be holding my breath that Benedict nixes it. :(


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