Homosexuality and the Clergy
Jesuits Defend Ordination for Homosexuals
Atila Sinke Guimarães
On the eve of the Bishops’ general meeting in Washington to deal with pedophile priests and related subjects, the magazine America printed an editorial (November 11, 2002) asking for the ordination of gay priests. Let me transcribe some excerpts that speak for themselves:
• “Healthy and dedicated gay men serving in the priesthood make an important contribution to the life of the Church.”
• “The main argument in favor of the ordination of gay men is far more convincing than the arguments against it – namely, the real-life example of thousands of healthy and hard-working gay priests and Bishops. These men lead lives centered on Christ and in the service to the Church – celebrating the sacraments, running parishes, schools and Dioceses and carrying out every type of Christian ministry. They do this in the face of withering criticism, frequent scapegoating and widespread prejudice, sometimes at the hands of those they serve. Their witness overcomes any argument against their ordination.”
• “One could also advert to the gift
s that gay priests bring to the Church. Their experience of suffering persecution, for example, can often make gay priests more compassionate toward others; and sometimes hard-won battle for self-knowledge can serve others in confession, spiritual direction and counseling.”
Priests march in a gay parade under the Dignity banner in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral
• “Preventing the ordination of gay men would deprive the Church of many productive, hard-working and dedicated ministers and would, moreover, ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who has called these men to holy orders.”
I will not analyze the merit of the statements, which each reader can do for himself. I will make only two side comments.
A first point to observe is that America, a quite well-informed source, considers that there are not only homosexual men already in the priesthood, but also there are homosexual Bishops. It is worthwhile to ask the magazine who they are. Otherwise, the American faithful have the right to start investigating all the Bishops. This would be more than fair. And should this happen, it should not be attributed to some obscure conspiracy against the power of the Bishops, like the recent statement made by Bishop Gregory, president of the USCCB (see my last column), who denigrated the good public reaction against pedophile abusers in the Clergy. It would be the natural reaction of a healthy public opinion that abhors homosexuality.
A second point to note is that, as far as I know, America represents the thinking of the Society of Jesus in the United States. Now, given that the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, was in the U.S. in late October, it is hard to believe that he was unaware of the content of this controversial editorial in America before it was published. Anyone who has dealt with Jesuits knows that their obedience, even today, is one of the most rigorous in the Church. Therefore, the position of America would represent the position of Superior of the Society of Jesus as well. That is, all the Jesuits around the world would be following the same path.
I was shocked reading this editorial, and I am not a man easily shocked by such matters. I knew that these same arguments had been made publicly by homosexual movements like Dignity and New Ways Ministry. But until I read this editorial, I had never seen these arguments defended by a serious organ of the ecclesiastical establishment. So here we are. Morally speaking, the whole progressivist establishment, if it agrees with this opinion taken in America, would not be so much different from the putrid “Anglican Church” that is preparing to accept homosexual priests. The editorial is a real sign of the times.
Posted November 22, 2002
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