An Irish Gay Marriage Ethics Quiz: Ethics Hero, Ethics Dunce…or What?

gay-marriage

It’s comforting, I think, to realize that the U.S. isn’t the only Western nation that is in cultural upheaval over the gay marriage issue.

The  Irish Government, for example, will be holding a referendum on same-sex marriage at the end of May, only two decades after homosexuality was decriminalized.  Now polls suggest that  almost 80% of the Irish people favor legalizing same-sex marriage. Kowabunga, or rather, Faith ‘n Begorrah!

 Father Martin Dolan, the long-time priest at the Church of St Nicholas of Myra in Dublin’s city center for 15 years, called upon his congregations at the Saturday night Mass and Sunday morning service to support same sex marriage in the upcoming Irish vote. Then he announced that he was gay himself.

Dolan’s revelation received applause and a standing ovation.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for the day:

Was this conduct by the priest ethical?

I have some observations.

1. Since the Catholic Church does not approve of homosexuality, I believe that it is doubly unethical for a gay man to be a Catholic priest. First, it is dishonest, and second, it is hypocritical.

2. Announcing that he is gay is a good campaign tactic, as his parishioners presumably admire him, but it is making a national and cultural decision personal.

3. Father Dolan, being gay himself, has a personal interest in the result. He is therefore not an objective advocate, and as a priest, giving guidance to a congregation, he is obligated to be objective and without conflict.

4. Yes, it is more ethical for him to disclose his bias than not. It is still a bias, and still taints his judgment and credibility on the issue.

5. If this is a moral, religious issue, then Father Dolan has jurisdiction to provide his guidance and advice. If it is a political question, then he is abusing his power and influence, and that is irresponsible. This involves a vote that isn’t binding on any church, which means the referendum is a political issue, not a religious one.

6. Verdict: abuse of power.

7. Is it ethical for a priest to directly challenge Church teachings as an official, employee and figure of authority in the Church, with a public statement he knows would not be approved by his superiors? No. It is a betrayal of trust.

My view:

The priest’s advocacy was unethical.

_______________________

Pointer: Fred!

Facts: Irish Central

122 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Leadership, Professions, Religion and Philosophy

122 responses to “An Irish Gay Marriage Ethics Quiz: Ethics Hero, Ethics Dunce…or What?

  1. It looks like another European nation is about to collapse into apostasy.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Come on, Steve, you can do better than that. If you’re going to say that Europe’s values are deteriorating and in the long run that won’t be good for them (which I believe, but not primarily over LGBT issues) that’s a discussion we can have, but apocalyptic statements like that aren’t going to get you very far.

      • It seems to be a matter of fact that Europe has lurched into widespread agnosticism while Moslems colonize their soon-to-be-former countries.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          And those issues: loss of the local moral compass, lax immigration policy, failure of new immigrants to assimilate into the culture they have chosen to be part of, are certainly all up for discussion, as is the problematic nature of Islamic culture. But that’s not what this article’s about.

          • I think it naturally follows, Steve, as it lies near the heart of the root cause of Europe’s self-destruction- to include Ireland’s. What makes Ireland’s case so tragic is that this country played such a large role in the maintenance of the Christian faith historically and was (until recently) counted as one of the most devout nations on Earth.

            • Michael Ejercito

              this does beg the question of why Europe is much more willing to embrace the whole LGBT issue than the Mideast.

              • When they forsook God, their values, principles and traditions went with Him. When you have nothing to define yourself as a man or a citizen of a nation, then the scourges of multi-culturalism, moral relativity and creeping dictatorship via a paternalistic socialist structure sweep in to fill the vacuum. It’s like draining a man of blood and replacing it with a transfusion of the wrong blood type. The result is death.

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              There is certainly a legitimate case to be made that the discarding of the moral compass and any sense of tradition leads ultimately to collapse. We’ve seen it happen throughout history time and time again. Not sure LGBT issues are necessarily at the root of it, BUT, the loosening of the last big taboo COULD be symptomatic of a general loosening of morality, boundaries, standards, etc. It was the last to go not because it was particularly evil, but because it was the most deep-seated taboo.

    • Where were you when Europe started its collapse? Like a century ago? And finalized it in the 30s and 40s? It’s only currently nailing the coffin.

      • True. I was just referring to how, in addition to their other shortcomings, the Europeans have largely abandoned the faith of their fathers and the ultimate source of their one-time greatness.

  2. charlesgreen

    “Since the Catholic Church does not approve of homosexuality, I believe that it is doubly unethical for a gay man to be a Catholic priest. First, it is dishonest, and second, it is hypocritical.”

    Since it’s the worst-kept secret around, known most particularly including the leadership of the Catholic church, that the clergy is heavily gay, this amounts to more than the sum of a lot of unethical individuals. It approaches the level of institutional hypocrisy.

    By your terms, doesn’t this suggest the institution is unethical? Isn’t that the implication? And if that were to be true, does it make sense to say that someone who goes against the grain by going public, is himself unethical? Wouldn’t he be the ethical one?

    • First, we have to accept your statement that the Catholic clergy is largely perverse and thereby in denial of their professed faith.

      • charlesgreen

        Agree. I await the estimation of the commentariat.
        But while we’re waiting, see this from US News and World Report
        http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/29/catholic-priests-its-empirical-fact-that-many-clergy-are-gay

        • Can’t access it on this damn laptop. Frankly, I don’t hold anything coming out of Time, Newsweek or U.S. News & World Report to be of high reliability. Nor does the contention make any sense. If we were to accept it, then the entire Catholic Church, from priesthood to laity, would have to be condemned. There are many pro-perversion types who would like nothing better and would say or do anything to bring down the most dominant arm of Christendom. Some, of course, have infiltrated it. Others play up the popular myth that true men cannot stay celibate. All of these are those whose lives revolve around nothing higher than a quest for sex; a state of mind that often lends itself to perversion if contracted early. Such people cannot identify with those who honestly seek a higher value and goal for their lives.

      • Humble Talent

        You’ve always been a bit dense on this subject, especially when it comes to subjective matters, but this isn’t subjective, it’s well documented.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Roman_Catholic_priests

        “Studies find it difficult to quantify specific percentages of Roman Catholic priests who identify as gay priests,[12] although the John Jay Report reported that “homosexual men entered the seminaries in noticeable numbers from the late 1970s through the 1980s”,[13] and available figures for homosexual priests in the United States range from 15–58%” Angeles Times nationwide poll of 1,854 priests (responding) reported that 9 percent of priests identified themselves as homosexual, and 6 percent as “somewhere in between but more on the homosexual side.” Asked if a “homosexual subculture” (defined as a “definite group of persons that has its own friendships, social gatherings and vocabulary”) existed in their diocese or religious order, 17 percent of the priests said “definitely,” and 27 percent said “probably.” 53 percent of priests who were ordained in the last 20 years (1982-2002) affirmed such a subculture existed in the seminary when they attended.[14]

          • Humble Talent

            Oh no, I agree that standing up in mass and encouraging something that directly contravenes the position of the church isn’t ethical. I think there’s room for gay clergymen, but that’s almost irrelevant. Charles’ question was if the prevalence of gay priests makes the institution hypocritical and unethical, SMP disputed the numbers, and I cited the numbers… Which fulfills the dual purpose of supporting Charles’ point and putting a burr in SMP’s bonnet. My night in complete.

        • If your source is to be believed, Humble, then a good 15% of the Catholic priesthood is homosexual (or worse) and the entire church is thereby rotten to the core. Well… Charles Green advanced some article from U.S. News and you’ve tossed the inevitable “wiki” junk into the pot. Now… let’s find out what Catholics themselves are saying. If the Catholic Church is as perverse as you say (and would like it to be), then it must be a hot topic among the numerous Catholic groups and orders on a worldwide basis. Show me some data from someone who doesn’t have an ax to grind. As you might note, I’m not “dense” enough to accept sources merely because they reflect an opinion I favor; a common failing among those who are seeking a specific result rather than the truth.

          • BTW, Humble: Some of us have to work for a living. If you don’t have to and have all the time in the world to post the arrogant idiocies that you do, I grant you a qualified envy; for your time, not your proclivities.

          • Humble Talent

            The thing is, Wikipedia has citations, the three in that paragraph alone were:

            12. Martin, James (November 4, 2000). “The Church and the Homosexual Priest”. America.
            13. John Jay College of Criminal Justice (2004). The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-60137-201-7. Retrieved December 21, 2012
            14. Stammer, Larry B. (October 20, 2002). “15% Identify as Gay or ‘on Homosexual Side’”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2013.

            But what you’re doing, denying objective facts because they don’t fit your worldview, is the dictionary textbook of ignorance. You don’t have to believe me, you can do a Google search, and find your own source…. This isn’t “my position” or “like… your opinion, man” these are facts, and the blinders you wear hint to me an element of laziness and fear. If you don’t have the honesty to approach even your own faith with open eyes, you have no right to point to the way others choose to live, you dishonest, small, petty man.

            • Not at all. I’m simply raising questions about a source that has proved inaccurate and notoriously unvetted or unmonitored by its administrators. It’s truly ironic for YOU to accuse me of THIS!

              • Humble Talent

                What questions did you raise? Wikipedia articles include citations, therefore your argument isn’t that Wikipedia isn’t reliable, it’s that the citations are unreliable, and one of those citations was an internal church review. You’re playing pigeon chess SMP, and it reflects poorly on you.

                • Humble Talent

                  Pigeon chess: Flapping around madly, knocking over the pieces, taking a shit on the board, and then strutting around like you just won.

                  • Another little flop of hypocrisy from the Left! Frankly, I don’t care if Einstein is your source. The question remains as to whether these sources reflect a reality or and agenda. That’s not easy these days. Once upon a time, when it came to academic questions, we could follow the source. That, however, was before politics- through infiltration and government grants- inserted itself in the process and thereby corrupted it to the extent we see today. Therefore, before accepting a thesis as being reliable, we must not only research the previous worthiness of the author, we must also follow the money to his doorstep. You can find yourself wandering in Wonderland, otherwise, and believing in aberrations that common and experience and logic would tell you are nonsense. Now… what the hell is “pigeon chess”??

                    • Humble Talent

                      Pigeon chess: Flapping around madly, knocking over the pieces, taking a shit on the board, and then strutting around like you just won.

                      And the logical fallacy you’re trying to hide behind here is called: Appeal to ignorance, where because you don’t know something, you discount the knowledge of other people. If you aren’t willing to know. If you aren’t willing to read an article, read a reply, take in any new facts or information, if you’re just going to sit there with your fingers in your ears, that doesn’t make you right…. It just makes you ignorant. And wrong.

                    • charlesgreen

                      Love the “pigeon chess” term for content-free adjective-slinging haters, thanks.

                    • Then beware of pigeon poop, Charles.

                    • Just keep telling yourself that, Humble.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Save the Catholic-bashing, Charles, or risk being shown up as a bigoted asshole.

      • Boy, THAT discussion deteriorated in record time!!!

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Sorry, Jack, I just hate Catholic-bashing.

          • charlesgreen

            Can we please find room to distinguish between being a bigoted anti-Catholic on the one hand, and criticizing the bureaucracy of the church as being hypocritical.
            Much of the great deeds in the world are done by selfless priests and nuns, gay and straight.
            And I think it’s hypocritical of their own church to deny them full status within the church.
            Not the same thing.

    • I think we have to analogize it to any qualification required of any organization or position. Just to be irritating, let’s take the requirement that the President be a natural born citizen. Is a President who runs for office knowing he is disqualified by law unethical? (The rationalization you’re looking for is #30) Sure he is. He’s also hypocritical, since he is sworn to uphold the Constitution. Is he suddenly virtuous, having become President and becoming popular enough that he feels safe, announcing “Ha Ha! I was really born in Sri Lanka! Fooled you all!”?

      • Humble Talent

        I wonder at what point a sin becomes so egregious it precludes someone from ministry. Eating the wrong food? Doing laundry on Sunday? In theory, a practising catholic woman is required to sit on the roof of her house every time she has her menses, and then burn the clothes she wore afterwards. Catholics don’t follow the rules as laid out in the bible, they pick and choose. So how do they as an institution decide what is the line? It’s an interesting question. But one thing is clear: If homosexuality was a precluding sin, that’s an issue that should have been brought up 40 years ago when gay men started entering the seminary, openly, in large numbers.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Homosexual nature is not considered sinful, homosexual acts are, which is why someone like Mychal Judge could remain a priest, even a revered one, and ultimately a hero, since he remained celibate and did not act on his orientation. He also advocated for a revision of the Church’s position as to gay activity, and said things like “is there so much love in the world that we can deny any?” Had he not become the first recorded victim of 9/11 (slain by falling debris as he gave the last rites to a mortally wounded fireman) I think he might have become that much more powerful a figure in a revision movement. However, I don’t think he would have engaged in the naked politics and dirty tactics here.

          You are right that if it was a precluding issue it should have been dealt with then. It wasn’t, I think because the powers that be didn’t want numbers to shrink and assumed that priests once ordained would keep to their vows. Eating the wrong food, although the dietary rules are now greatly relaxed, etc., probably wouldn’t bar one from ministry, but it was decided in the later Middle Ages that the sacraments were always efficacious if performed by an ordained priest, lest people fear that if the priest was fooling around with a local girl or tapping the till their confessions wouldn’t work etc.

        • I see. There’s a moral relativity involved in those who don’t- say- eat fish on Friday and those who commit gutwrenching acts of perversity on themselves and others. Like most atheists and agnostics, you confuse the concepts of church doctrine (which derives from Man) and the Holy Gospel (which comes from God). When you’ve learned the distinction, then perhaps your comments on the subject will be worthy of attention.

          • charlesgreen

            SMP, just so we’re clear, am I correct that you equate “gay” with “perverse?” Does that come from church doctrine, or the Holy Gospel?

            You want to hear from a Catholic? OK, hear from James Carroll, a graduate of Catholic High School, then Georgetown, then the Paulist Fathers seminar. He was ordained in 1969,left the priesthood in 1974. He’s an author (main book: Constantine’s Sword) and columnist (Boston.com, New Yorker).

            Here’s what he has to say about celibacy: that it was largely a church power play instituted by Pope Gregory in the Middle Ages, to prevent the wealth of the church being drained away by way of inheritances to the children of priests. Boom, priests are celibate – no more heirs. Problem solved. Now, was that the Holy Gospel, or church doctrine?

            My understanding is that Steve-O’s description of the “gay-is-OK-as-long-as-you’re-celibate” view accurately reflects the view of the current Pope Francis. Here’s what James Carroll has to say about the recent embellishments on celibacy:

            “…in late 1965, Paul VI made his second extraordinary intervention to forbid any discussion of priestly celibacy. “It is not opportune to debate publicly this topic,’’ he declared, “which requires the greatest prudence and is so important.’’

            “A Council had initiated the clerical discipline of celibacy, but a Council was now not qualified even to discuss it. The power play was so blatant as to lay bare power itself as the issue. And just like that, Catholics had reason to suspect that celibacy was being maintained as a requirement of the priesthood because of internal church politics — not because of any spiritual or religious motive. God was not the issue; the pope was.”

            He goes on to say, “WHY HAD celibacy come to matter so much to those in charge of the church? The answer is familiar because celibacy, like other issues having to do with gender, reproduction, and sexual identity, is not really about sex — but power. The hierarchy found in the imposition of sexual abstinence a mode of control over the interior lives of clergy, since submission in radical abstinence required an extraordinary abandonment of the will. In theory, the abandonment was to God; in practice, it was to the “superior,’’ who always thought he was. The stakes were infinite, since sexual desire marked the threshold of hell. “Gravely sinful’’ defined every priestly deviance, including the minor and intensely personal matter of erotic fantasy. The normally human was, for priests, the occasion of bad faith.”

            You’re entitled to your view of gay people as depraved, sinful or immoral. I think that view is rapidly becoming a dinosaur view, and thank god for that, because that’s true bigotry. Many catholic individuals, including priests and nuns, have done wonderful work around the world helping others. The Catholic church uses the notion of celibacy, itself highly suspect, as a fig leaf to maintain logical consistency, but still continue to avoid dealing with fundamental human issues.

            There’s no sin in being a gay priest. The tragedy lies in the fact that many good people were drawn to the teachings of God, only to be betrayed and sold out by the very organization that claims to speak in God’s name.

            • Well… there was a nice, extended rant with correspondingly little content. Charles; the reasons for a celibate Catholic clergy may or may not be what you claim. I honestly don’t know. That’s the business of the Catholics themselves. And of course it’s not Gospel, but church doctrine- as any Christian would know. You never mentioned why this James Carroll character actually quit the priesthood after only five years and then attempted to achieve personal notoriety with an “expose”. Doesn’t that sound a little like John Kerry in Vietnam… if you get my drift? And as for the rest; please refrain from getting cute with your leftist redefinitions, huh? Pervert, deviant, homosexual, pederast, pedophile, “gay”, queer, etc…. peas in the same rotten pod. We “dinosaurs” who actually care about the nation we’ve sacrificed to preserve and the children whom you would corrupt or destroy outright are not going to quietly disappear into the night. This is our country. Not yours. To get rid of us, you’re going to have to kill us. Lots of luck on that one, Chuck.

              • charlesgreen

                “Pervert, deviant, homosexual, pederast, pedophile, “gay”, queer, etc…. peas in the same rotten pod.”

                And, we finally have a winner in the bigotry category.

                • Here comes the expected “bigotry” charge! You know that’s a corruption of the term, Chuck. But I’ll explain your delusion to you, anyway. Bigotry is when you exhibit prejudice or bias toward someone because of a more or less inherent trait- such as nationality or race. Perversity is not one such. Even the more vocal leaders and supporters of the Deviant Doctrine now shy away from “genetic predisposition”, as it has proven an embarrassment, being as discredited as it has. In fact, GP is yet another outstanding example of defending a false position for political purposes; knowing from the onset that it was false, but being arrogant enough to think that the “masses” wouldn’t be able to see through it with just a mild exertion of logic. Bigotry is just an easy charge to make, like racism, homophobia (I’m surprised you haven’t thrown that one at me yet!) and various other manufactured terms intended to intimidate or slander those who will not submit themselves to Big Brother’s will. That’s okay. I can handle it!

                  • Steve-O-in-NJ

                    In all fairness, Steve, being oriented isn’t being perverse, and I think it’s for the moment accepted that orientation is immutable, although there’s no rock-hard scientific proof that orientation is genetic. Now, acting weird when one is old enough to be self-aware is a choice, and I am with you in finding over-the-top gay pride parades and displays tacky and vulgar. That goes double for adding such displays to an otherwise not-gay-themed event just to prove a point or prove progressive bona fides, and triple when those additions are jarring or shocking (Irish Pride marching with a green banner with a rainbow stripe alongside the cops, firemen, and veterans, ok, marching in a state of undress and acting sexed up, I think there might be a problem) Then it’s not about being gay, it’s about being an attention whore.

                    Coercion is also wrong, and I am of the opinion that forcing someone to do something they find morally objectionable, particularly when other compelling interests aren’t involved, just to prove a point, is wrong, ultimately counterproductive, and probably is against a lot of what this country stands for. If it was possible to find a way to keep the Quakers, the Anabaptists, and the Mennonites out of combat duty in WWII, when the whole world was in peril, there should be a way to keep sincere believers from participating in actions they find sinful.

                    These are legitimate discussions. However, if you bury them under name-calling and accusations, with really little support for it other than anger and disgust, no one is going to get to the legitimate discussions. OK, when you were 16 it was normal to have an “ick” reaction. It’s probably still ok to have an “ick” reaction since feelings are feelings and no one should be told their feelings are not legitimate. I still intellectually don’t “get” same-sex attraction because it’s not something I feel. When you were in high school it was normal to call names because that’s what kids do, particular in reaction to being angry, hurt, shocked, or feeling uncomfortable. However, to let those kid of feelings congeal into contempt and hate as we move into adulthood and ultimately mature adulthood, when we’re supposed to have moved past that? That’s not right, and it’s frankly beneath you. (it’s also not ok for the other side to bait and hate back, because it’s tit for tat and counterproductive) There is a place for accusations of perversion and deviance: i.e. adults of any stripe misusing kids’ trust, public vulgar displays, but simple orientation isn’t it. You have to bring more to the table than this.

                    • “although there’s no rock-hard scientific proof that orientation is genetic.”

                      The latest I’ve read indicates that orientation IS NOT genetically determined, rather “likelihood” is genetically determined, but that in-the-womb contact with certain hormones “flips the switch” on those genetics.

                      So it is a post-conception-pre-birth thing…

                    • Steve: When I see others being disingenuous in their facts, condescending in their words and doing so for the sake of a movement that, besides representing a physical threat to our innocents, likewise seeks domination over all aspects of public life… I’m going to say something about it. It wasn’t that long ago that virtually every state in the union had stern laws against not only sodomy, but contributing to the delinquency of minors. And rightfully so. Those who refuse to yield to their demonic urges and seek help for their afflictions have my sympathy and support. Those who, in essence, deny their human heritage and then go so far as to force its acceptance and tenets onto others are a danger to society. So are those who enable them. I don’t really know of any polite way to point out something that evil without being forceful about it!

                  • Steve-O-in-NJ

                    Interesting. Certainly helpful in proving the point that it isn’t really a choice, but it sounds like the question of cause isn’t absolutely concluded yet.

                    • Yeah, that’s why it is safe to assume that this falls into three “camps”.

                      1) Those who are so from birth- be it genetic or gestational in source.

                      2) Those who are so via a series of unfortunate events leading to disordered mental state – and yes, that happens…there are heterosexuals and homosexuals alike whose sexual proclivities have been “engineered” through a string of abuses when they were children.

                      3) Those who choose for the hell of it because hey it’s a free country. Of course, this category, after discernment, would probably be subdivided and filtered into 1 or 2.

                      The watershed is this:
                      SMP types believe that #2 represents the vast majority of homosexuals and therefore are in need of a fix.

                      The other viewpoint is that #1 represents the vast majority of homosexuals, and out of respect for that, we tolerate the #2s as long as they aren’t committing crimes as a result of their imbalances.

                • “SMP, just so we’re clear, am I correct that you equate “gay” with “perverse?” Does that come from church doctrine, or the Holy Gospel?”
                  Perverse: Wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive.
                  Seems it comes from the dictionary.

                  • Humble Talent

                    Interesting. We can label whole swathes of humanity as perverse because we find their behavior morally wrong. I think from now on I’m going to refer to people who refer to gay people as perverse, perverse. I mean, that hits me as a pretty shitty thing to do. Perverse fits! SMP is a pervert.

                  • “Perverse” as in “sexual perversion”, Granny. Unless they’ve managed to turn the dictionary on its ear for political correctness, that term should still be there. Unnatural cravings and pseudo-sexual actions.

        • Rich (in CT)

          The rules “in the bible” that you cite never applied to Gentiles…
          The Old Testament only ever applied to the Jewish people.

          Even if the laws applied to Gentiles, the church explicitly teaches that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament law, thus it would no longer apply (even to modern Jews). Baptism is further taught to permanently make the faithful ritually clean; baptism literally means “to wash”. Thus, there is no longer any need for ritual purification following menstruation, touching lepers, etc.

          In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains that mercy precludes the harsh punishments for sin dictated by the Law of Moses (the Old Testament Law). Jesus did not, however, say that individuals were free to sin. When Jesus pardon the adulteress about to be stoned to death, for instance, he spared her life, but he told her to “Go and sin no more”. Jesus condemned sexual sin, but preached that repentance and redemption were possible. Thus, even though Jesus never explicitly discussed homosexuality, there is no reason to believe that he disagreed with the Old Testament condemnation of such sexual practices. He however preached outreach and compassion, when possible, to turn the heart away from sin.

          • The rules “in the bible” that you cite never applied to Gentiles…
            The Old Testament only ever applied to the Jewish people.

            A full and proper answer would need to address the rest of your comment, in particular the ramifications of New Testament interpretation, but I think it is fair to address this remark in isolation.

            While the Mosaic Law only applied to Jews, in its full form, nevertheless that did not make the other peoples lesser breeds without the law; they were considered to be subject to the Noahide Law. On many matters, the two bodies of law aligned; on some they were in conflict (so that others ought not to comply with some parts of Jewish Law, and vice versa); and on some matters one or the other was silent, or both were.

            This is no quibble. It is generally understood that Sodom and Gomorrah are condemned in the Bible for their breaches of the law they were under (and note that their story has a parallel and an antiparallel with Jewish experiences as recorded towards the end of the Book of Judges), and that the Canaanites forfeited their lands in a similar way (it wasn’t like John Wayne’s reputed remark about “the Indians who were squatting on our land before we got here”, a claim that others had an anyway better right that extinguished or voided the inhabitants’ claims).

            • Rich in CT

              Your comments and elaboration are very welcome, particularly to fill in the gaps left by my cursory response. Charles made the facile observation that Catholics are in “violation” of the bible, without understanding the Catholic view of the Old Testament. His presentation of Jewish ritual purity laws as an example was particularly egregious, as Gentiles would never be permitted to enter the Temple anyways.

          • That was a very good summation, Rich.

    • Maybe, but only if Jack’s #1 is a valid assertion. It isn’t, and Tim LeVier below demonstrates why.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Dirty tactics, plain and simple, and unnecessary, if indeed almost all the population favors “making gra the law,” as a current campaign slogan says. (gra being Gaelic for love, hence some Irish performers signing autographs “le gra” or “with love.”

  4. Tim LeVier

    “Since the Catholic Church does not approve of homosexuality, I believe that it is doubly unethical for a gay man to be a Catholic priest. First, it is dishonest, and second, it is hypocritical.”

    There’s a point to be made here and I hope I don’t get tangled in trying to articulate it. Traditionally, the Catholic Church does not approve of “homosexual behavior”. It accepts people who are attracted to the same-sex so long as they do not act on those desires. (Speculation: Undoubtedly, devout members keen to obey the rules of their religion and avoid public shaming entered into celibacy and the seminary to commit their lives to God.) Since priesthood is a celibate position in the church, it’s a natural refuge for the devout and insecure.

    Therefore, I don’t see it as dishonest and if the priest did stay celibate, I don’t see why it would be hypocritical for him to counsel future members of the church to take a vow of celibacy.

    • Finally on this thread somebody articulates the actual Church position.
      There is no rejection of homosexuals in the Church but they are required to be sexually continent exactly like unmarried hetero sexuals are required,
      in & of itself having same sex desires is something that is tolerated by the Church & not sinful unless acted upon.

      • Rich (in CT)

        That is not quite true. The church considers homosexuality to be “disordered”, even if an individual bears no personal sin for possessing such traits. As recently as Pope Benedict, the church said that those who possess strong homosexual traits should not present themselves as candidates for the priesthood.

        Pope Francis provided some nuance and clarification, that those who live faithfully to their vow of celibacy are welcome to remain in their office. But even he would ask that those who are living double lives and having secret affairs come clean; resign if need be.

        It is also erroneous to say that the church says that single homosexual individuals should live “exactly” as single heterosexuals would. The church teaches that sexuality is fundamental to human identity. Even “chaste” relationships have a sexual element to them. Priests, for instance, though celibate, are called to serve in a literal father role to their parishioner.

        Fatherhood is an innately male trait, a natural desire to raise another individual. Further, Jesus spoke of the faithful as “bothers and sisters”; this is speaking to the complementary nature of men and women, even when no procreative relationship is or should be present. In the church’s view, homosexuality interferes, though does not prevent, the forming of friendships and familial relationships. Special, intentional, care must be used.

        Thus to say that the church says homosexuality is not “wrong, unless acted upon” misses what the church thinks. The church believes that homosexuality is a burden on a person at the deepest level. I’ve touched on this subject in another post; the church does not consider homosexuality to be a “choice”; it does not believe that people would choose this burden. But the church does call on individuals who face this involuntary to cross to be authentic; not to pretend away such desires, but work extra hard to live authentically. The church considers authenticity to be integral to chastity.

        Now, many will be quick to dismiss this as all homophobic hooey. I wish to point out that my own views are even more nuanced, while I strive to authentically present what the church teaches.

        However, consider for a moment the church’s bit of wisdom about “special, intentional, care must be used” to form authentic relationships with a homosexual son or daughter, mother or father, friend or co-worker. What has been the default response to homosexuality throughout history? Far too often, it has been recrimination, alienation, persecution.

        Today, there is a mantra, “homosexuals are just ordinary people – treat them like anyone else”. Yet, they are different from the majority, and humans have historically been intolerant of those who are different. The culture is changing today to be more accepting of homosexual individuals, and this, though some deny it, requires a conscientious effort.

        The church has difficulty addressing homosexuality, because it does not fit neatly into its theology. The Church’s structure makes it impossible that homosexuality will ever be fully accepted on par in theology with heterosexuality. The Church claims infallibility, and cannot contradict itself without discrediting itself. The optimist believes this is divine intervention, the pessimist believes this is Machiavelli at work.

        However, the church is struggling to incorporate authentic compassion into its teachings and foster authentic relationships with those who experience homosexuality. This models its founder, Jesus, who preached outreach and penance over rejection and vengeance.

    • Nice try, but the distinction is largely ignored by those who need the assertion made in #1 to fly.

      • Which part? If an openly gay priest would not be permitted to be a priest—i have been told by gay priests that they believe this to be true– then a closeted gay priest is implying by silence that he is not gay…and that’s a lie.

        Such a priest is also, as a priest, obligated to teach the Church’s tenets, one of which is that homosexuals cannot be priests, which he is secretly violating, or has.

        And yes, I do not believe that any man who says “I am gay” in public has been celibate. Losing one’s virginity as a gay man does not mean the same as the term means to heterosexuals. The fact that the Church either doesn’t understand that or refuses to acknowledge it doesn’t change the facts. The gay man knows that he has not been celebrate, even if technical celibacy has been achieved in the Church’s parsing, Clintonian, “eatin’s not cheatin'” sense. While I was at Georgetown, the gay sexual activities of the Jesuit priests were common knowledge and barely hushed up. But this priest, who calls himself gay, in public, is only gay in his mind? Possible but unlikely.

        • And note: THIS priest isn’t just saying he’s technically gay…he saying so in the context of approving gay marriage. f he believes gay marriage isn’t a sin, then he believes gay sex isn’t either…or is he just urging his congregation to vote for…what, chaste gay marriage?

          Th whole episode devours itself in hypocrisy and deceit.

        • “Losing one’s virginity as a gay man does not mean the same as the term means to heterosexuals. The fact that the Church either doesn’t understand that or refuses to acknowledge it doesn’t change the facts.”

          Subtle shift of terms there.

          I don’t think the Church is concerned specifically about virginity (whatever it means for whoever) but rather with sexual morality in general and celibacy.

      • That’s because the distinction is largely a myth.

        • And yet it isn’t. Every single human is a bundle of impulses and desires and every single human *can* choose not to act on those impulses and desires.

          • A man can act like a cheese or a marmoset, too. That doesn’t mean that it is natural, reasonable or right to expect him to, or to claim that it happens with any regularity.

            • Indeed. As I’ve pointed out, even the homo hierarchy itself is backing away from the “genetic predisposition” fraud. As with global warming, you can only keep such myths going for so long until people start tripping to the fact that the facts don’t bear out the claims… and that the whole concept is ridiculous to begin with. You just have to stop and think about it for a minute or so instead of blindly accepting the essays of Dr. Doolittle from Dartmouth on Wikipedia who mayyy just have a personal ax to grind.

            • “A man can act like a cheese or a marmoset, too.”

              If he has some impulse or desire to do so…I suppose…he can also choose not to act like one despite those impulses or desires. Not sure the relevancy of this comment.

              “That doesn’t mean that it is natural, reasonable or right to expect him to, or to claim that it happens with any regularity.”

              TOPIC SWITCH.

              We aren’t discussing the reasonability of the rule of “homosexual behavior is wrong” we are discussing the rule “priests should be celibate” and whether or not a person with homosexual desires who *chooses not to act on those desires* counts as “celibate” or not..

              Subtle shift, but still a diversion.

              • The issue is are men with “gay proclivities” considered by the Church as qualified for the priesthood as long as they keep it in their pants. There seems to be some technical disagreement, but I am still certain that the real answer is “no.” Did the priest tell his superiors as he prepared for the priesthood that he had “gay proclivities”? If he knew he wasn’t going to come out, fearing it would sink his ambition, then is it likely he avoided gay sex when his proclivities were already going to be secret?

                This all feels like spinning to me. I grew up in a Catholic community, and the attitude toward gays was much closer to SMP’s than this fabulous “we’re all sinners, and celibate gays are no different from any other priest” happy talk. Tell me that Catholics think “original sin” is no better in the eyes of the lord than “sodomy.”

                Patrice? Are you out there?

  5. crella

    “Now… let’s find out what Catholics themselves are saying. If the Catholic Church is as perverse as you say (and would like it to be), then it must be a hot topic among the numerous Catholic groups ”

    I wouldn’t think that Catholics would be having much to say, given the way the pedophilia was hushed up, and things like the laundry scandal. I do not think that any negative information about the Church has ever been discussed in the wide open while it was on-going. The Magdalene Asylum abuses took about 100 years to be exposed, I believe.

    I am from a Catholic family, two Irish grandmothers, one first, and one second-generation American (both grandfathers converted from other faiths in order to be able to marry them), so I have no motivation as a ‘basher’ but still cannot get around the Church’s history of dishonesty. There have always been homosexuals in the Church. A great-uncle of mine became a priest in the early 50’s and of course this was an era in which gays were not yet accepted. An extremely devout young man, he was shocked by the number of homosexuals in the Church, and quit the priesthood. It was all very hush-hush, the family didn’t hear why he quit until after he’d passed away. I realize that it’s only one man’s story, but the odds are that it was not just one parish in Boston.

    • I’ll try this again, Crella. Within the Catholic community, there are any number of branches, orders and groups. The groups I speak of are of the laity, not the clergy. While the clergy is less liable to be forthright about perversion in their ranks (as we know), the laity consists of large numbers of people who hold firm to the principles and virtues of their faith. These are people who will speak out when confronted with depravity of such a nature within the priesthood. And certainly, this problem- to one extent or another- is nothing new, nor is it confined to the churches; Catholic or otherwise. Wherever you have a situation where men are expected to hold authority over young men or children- be it churches, schools, the military, the theater, etc.- you will have deviants attempting to gain entry for the purpose of depredation. Therefore, such organizations must be held to the highest standards and best screening procedures. The purpose of the Pervert Agenda is to relax or abolish those standards so as to allow their fellows access to what it is they obsessively desire.

      • charlesgreen

        The “Pervert Agenda?”

        • Humble Talent

          I actually think he believes that shit. It’s the most glowing example I’ve ever seen of a person who’s generally a good and reasonable person have his brain utterly liquefy at the mention of gay people. It’s been eye opening.

          • It’s also instructive when you see the capacity of people to utterly deny self-evident truth to others (and even themselves) if it goes against the politically correct dogma of the day. Perverts and jihadists are “in”, Christians/Jews and American troops are “out”. To defend these arbitrary positions, you will employ any deceptive leftist source and twist events and logic like a mammoth corkscrew… and unabashedly. I don’t defend the positions, but the reality, Humble. That way, I’m not left out on a limb in the Al Gore tradition when the mandated orthodoxy eventually collapses under it’s own weight and from its rotten supports. My worry is not that your edicts will win in the long run, but that they’ll cause a lot of misery before they’re finally exposed for what they are.

            • Humble Talent

              Why is it that you can’t describe your points with logic? You tend to use these overly emotional buzzwords that have the effect of explaining nothing, but tugging on heartstrings. You call being gay a perversion…. But never explain why…. Just that it’s self evident. You lump being gay in the same category as pederasts (a term which hasn’t been in the common vernacular for 100 years at least), linked only by their “perversion” which you refuse to quantify. You link “perversions” with “jihadists” because their views are anathema to your faith. And now you’re tying in Al Gore. You have somehow successfully tied homosexuals, pedophiles, Muslims, and CLIMATE CHANGE together. Lord on his Throne.

              You’ve become a caricature of yourself. This must be satire. Please tell me it’s satire. Please take off the tin foil hat and join the big kids at the table of reason. Please.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                It’s not, HT. I have concluded that SMP is no different than those Jack Chick wannabes in the 1980s that told me I would go to Hell for playing RPGs, or the Muslims who say Jerusalem belongs to them because that’s what the Koran says, end of discussion (nemmind that Jerusalem isn’t mentioned once by name in the Koran). I am a believer, but I also believe faith is there to guide us morally and give us the hope that there’s something more to being here than just an electrochemical reaction and the drive to reproduce. It’s a map, not a straitjacket. It also helps if it’s informed by reason and if maaaaybe you take some of the more outlandish stuff as just illustrative legend or accept it as a mystery. That goes as well for the later miracles. Do you think it’s more likely that Attila turned away from Paris because of the prayers of a young girl, or because he saw the city’s formidable defenses? SMP, as a Southern Baptist (still one of the fastest-growing Christian denominations, btw) would scoff at the later legend, but probably still believes there was a real worldwide flood. You can’t argue with that.

                • Hold on, Steve. Just where in this thread have I been quoting Bible chapter and verse at anyone? Zero times. I’ve just reminded others (at long intervals) that the Bible backs up my contention that perversion is sinful and therefore destructive. My effort is been mainly on the secular side insomuch as I’ve pointed out the deceptions, political agendas/alliances, disease factors and threat to the physical and mental health of young children inherent in the entire grim “gay jeremiad”. I’m not that cartoonish bearded guy standing on the street corner holding a sign saying “Repent. The End Is Near!”. When I’m convinced it’s actually the End of Days, I’ll just drop you a brief note and let you take it for what it’s worth!!

                  • Humble Talent

                    “I’ve just reminded others (at long intervals) that the Bible backs up my contention that perversion is sinful and therefore destructive.”

                    You’ve reminded people that you’ve contended that, but you’ve never proven your contention, you’ve contended that your contention is self evident, but if that were true, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I challenge you to prove that 1) homosexuality is perversion and 2) that perversion is destructive, both without quoting scripture.

                    “My effort is been mainly on the secular side insomuch as I’ve pointed out the deceptions, political agendas/alliances, disease factors and threat to the physical and mental health of young children inherent in the entire grim “gay jeremiad”.”

                    You haven’t proven a deception, you’ve just told people they were wrong, and asked them to take your word for it. And as for agendas/alliances… You tied radical Islam to Gay people…. when in the Real World, radical Islamists kill gay people. In fact, on that point, radical Islam is probably more akin to Christianity, because while Christians won’t act on the verse, Leviticus does also call for the murder of gay people. You are INSANE on this point.

                    “I’m not that cartoonish bearded guy standing on the street corner holding a sign saying “Repent. The End Is Near!”. ”

                    If only you knew.

                    • No Christians or Jews are calling for the killing of homosexuals, Humble, as well you know. Just your Islamic buddies. YOUR political buddies- not ours. That’s what comes of your secular political alliances, when you can fit these guys together under one roof for the sake of votes. (Separate cages, of course!) In fact, you people are now facing a conundrum in this respect, as you are beginning to sense that there can be no reconciliation between secular humanism and fanatic Mohammedism. And this, along with a number of other stances that are becoming unviable as reality bites, is accentuated by the insistence that deviance is somehow normal and harmless. The Left is juggling quite a few razor sharp swords right now. For myself, however, I cannot see any single one more bereft of true logic and judgment than that of legitimized perversity. This is why we characterize liberalism as a mental illness.

                    • Humble Talent

                      As you come out with more of this stuff, it becomes incrementally more difficult not to devolve into full bore mockery. “Sure, A-Rabs might kill the Ho-Mo-Sessuals, but they vote the same!”

                      Did you ever think that idiots like you drive people who aren’t like you away, specifically due to your religion which you tie so tightly to your politics, in a two party system, per se get forced into the same tent?

                    • I assume your drollery was intended to make some sort of point, Humble. Perhaps you could abstain from your attempts at humor and ask a straight question? Hmmmm?

              • Humble: With you, the only “logic” is that which acknowledges without reservation the “correctness” of the approved attitude of the liberal elites. You will not allow me any degree of agreement in anything on this subject because it would violate what your secular “faith” has told you to believe. Yet, with utter hypocrisy, you not only automatically deny anything I present, but try to present me as a religious fanatic! You might want to check yourself as to that aspect. And spare me your schoolyard attempts at insult, huh?

                • Humble Talent

                  You are the extremist people use to make fun of moderates.

                  The difference between faith and skepticism is a requirement of proof. I don’t ask you to take my word for anything. I would love it if you questioned me, because it would highlight a capacity for critical thought and a will to learn. And that is probably the biggest difference between us. When you say something, I’ll ask you to prove your statements of fact, I’ll challenge you, I’ll give you the opportunity to defend your points. The fact that you refuse to is on you.

                  And if after all the years we’ve posted here together you want to tie me in with “liberal elites” for my views on gay people, you are 1) Cripplingly stupid and 2) The poster child for an us vs. them mentality that will by definition alienate you in the long run.

                  • Humble: You’d best look to yourself when it comes to a lack of critical thinking. Time and again, I’ve thrown your own lack in that regard back in your face. You are trapped in a dogma that requires your unswerving steadfastness to the cause of the most dehumanized subset of humanity that can possibly exist. Showing that, however (along with hinting that a Supreme Being might agree) relegates me to the ranks of the “cripplingly stupid” in your mind… as I must be if you are not to be classified as an illogical mess. To be free of your disapprobation I must surrender all logic, values and responsible action in protection of the innocent. Gee… that’s a lot like being a conservative Republican in the House of Representatives, isn’t it?

                    • Humble Talent

                      Once. Just point out ONCE where you actually used logic, and didn’t just ask us to take your word for it. You assert things without backing them up. It’s so…. dishonest. ONCE where you made an assertion of fact, that you backed up with facts. Just once.

                      To be free of my “disapprobation” you must DEMONSTRATE the logic, values and responsible action in protection of the innocent. And explain why those things ARE. Because unlike the perpetual echo chambers of your faith, this room requires thought.

                      “Gee… that’s a lot like being a conservative Republican in the House of Representatives, isn’t it?”

                      At least we’ve moved past calling me a lefty. I think.

                    • My logic, Humble, lies in the manifest nature of things that has been acknowledged down through the ages and is, despite desperate, long winded essays to the contrary, still quite viable. On a very basic level, it used to be called “the birds and the bees”. It’s based on human anatomy, genetics and the self-evident nature of the two sexes that results from that. The only real complexity here is those presented by those who wish to deny truth in its most prevalent form. Many things can change in the course of history. Human nature, however, is about as constant as you can get. It’s at the basis of all human endeavor. You can’t change it. You can only channel it into productive methods in order to effect a stable society. Marriage between a man and a woman is one of these methods.

              • Logic? I really hate to think on what twisted premise your personal universe must be based to find the concept of a small, utterly depraved substrata of humanity in ascendancy over Man, God and all the wisdom and experience of human history. Frankly, Humble, I don’t think you’d recognize logic if you saw it.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            It isn’t limited to that issue. The world is full of people whose brains liquefy wrt certain issues.

            • “Liquify”? I’ve been reasonable right down the line, Humble. I’m just not throwing out reality to satisfy the dictates of political correctness. It’s when that happens that the real “cranial liquidity” occurs… with hard core leftists!

  6. crella

    ” The groups I speak of are of the laity, not the clergy.”

    I see. I wasn’t sure, when you said ‘Catholics themselves’ were you referring to clergy alone, or the whole organization.

    ” the laity consists of large numbers of people who hold firm to the principles and virtues of their faith. These are people who will speak out when confronted with depravity of such a nature within the priesthood.”

    It took decades for the abuse of altar boys and other children to come out. Why? If these groups are so concerned, it would have been out immediately, decades earlier. People knew. They knew, or at least suspected, and said nothing. Priests were rarely defrocked, but were transferred around.

    The reality of gay priests is only now being addressed, in 2015, when it’s been hinted about for decades. I have very little faith in the Catholic Church’s ability, through either clergy, or lay groups, to police itself.

    • First of all, I’m not here to defend the Catholic Church on everything. I’m a Baptist. Secondly; if the parishioners weren’t aware that they had pervert infiltrators in their clergy before, they are certainly aware of it now. And third; when you have a toxic pro-deviant, anti-child and anti-Christian movement out there with a likewise hostile press supporting them, It’s little wonder that those dioceses were reluctant to speak about the predators found within their midst. They were wrong not to do so in the final decision and terribly wrong not to expose, defrock and prosecute these creatures to the fullest extent of the law. Were that to be attempted today by some diocese, they would likely have quite a few faithful Catholics (and Protestants!) breathing down their necks very quickly. Frankly, I’m more worried about school systems that do much the same thing. Wherever the children gather, so do the predators.

      • charlesgreen

        Are you equating “gay” with “pederasts?”

        • you do realize that there is a large segment of homosexuals who are pederasts, this is nothing new, it is there & has existed since ancient times
          & continues to exist as a form of *gay sexual expression*

          • charlesgreen

            “There is a large segment of homosexuals who are pederasts.”

            No, you are dead flat wrong about that.

            And I defy you to find one gay organization that considers pederasty a legitimate form of “gay sexual expression.” Gays are as appalled by that kind of deviant behavior as are straight people.

            Here’s some actual research on the subject from UC Davis that flatly contradicts your statement.

            “Reflecting the results of these and other studies, as well as clinical experience, the mainstream view among researchers and professionals who work in the area of child sexual abuse is that homosexual and bisexual men do not pose any special threat to children. For example, in one review of the scientific literature, noted authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:
            Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).
            In a later literature review, Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) similarly cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women” (p. 259).

            This well known lack of a linkage between homosexuality and child molestation accounts for why relatively little research has directly addressed the issue. For example, a 1998 comprehensive review of published empirical research on the sexual abuse of boys reported only one study (the 1994 study by Jenny and colleagues, cited above) that included data about the self-reported sexual orientation of perpetrators (Holmes & Slap, 1998).

            Source: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/faculty_sites/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

            • And that little diatribe, Mister, is a flat out fib of giant proportions. It was back in the 1950’s and 60’s that the pedophile wing of the emerging “Gay” movement (headed by a cretin called Harry Hay) were distanced from the rest, as the time was not yet deemed suitable to bring them out of the back alleys. They are and have always been part of the deviant subculture. In view of the movement’s recent successes, the NAMBLA types are starting to make noises again, sensing that the status of children has now been degraded enough to where they might make the advances through corrupt courts that their fellow perverts have. The great fear, of course, is that they may be correct. If you can anywhere arrange a scenario where “same sex” couples can gain custody of children (and this can now happen legally in some places in America) then the door may have been kicked open for the legitimization of what was once considered the foulest of all crimes.

            • Penn

              You are dead flat right, charlesgreen. Just wanted you to know you are not crying completely in the wilderness. You have entered an arena strewn with the familiar corpses of faith-based arguments. They will rise once again, zombie like, each time a rational discussion threatens to challenge them. But it’s nice to see a living thought like yours appear amidst the carnage once in a while.

              • Sorry, Penn, but it’s you who are flat out wrong; both in characterizing my arguments as faith based (something that obviously makes you nervous to begin with) and by stating that homosexuals are “appalled” by pedophile tendencies. First of all, how can anyone be appalled at any form of sexual deviance after having become an active sodomite? Secondly, not only is pedophilism an inherent form of deviance, but it’s becoming increasingly acknowledged by its practitioners. The only thing that “mainstream” perverts are appalled at is that this is becoming know sooner than they’d like.

        • Yikes! Surely you haven’t missed SMP’s many forays into this murky theory?

  7. I swear I didn’t think I was throwing chum into the water with this one, I really didn’t. Honest.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Oh come, now, you hit a lob, are you that surprised that readers returned the serve? That said, this appears to be one of those returns where Snoopy gets the ball in his mouth. SMP is on a particularly substance-free tear in this one.

    • Humble Talent

      It’s one of those catch 22’s. This topic is inflammatory. These are issues that are worth talking about, but you will always get threads like this. Sorry, by the way, I really did try to stick to the topic.

  8. Other Bill

    Catholic until I got my driver’s license and a car here. Catholic kindergarten, grade school, high school and law school. Altar boy. My mother wanted me (and my brother) to be a priest more than anything imaginable. Nuns and priests in the family. I taught in a Catholic grade school and a high school. That being said, I’m convinced the church’s hierarchy is nothing more than a gay cabal. Why not let priests marry? There would be WOMEN running around the rectory spoiling the party. The Church is the height of hypocrisy. I just walked away from being observant in the late ‘sixties. The church’s rottenness is unfortunate. The Church does many good things and educates a lot of kids pretty well. Georgetown was great for our daughter. But the church is a mess. But I’m still not thrilled about gay marriage.

  9. I know that in the comments at least one of these points has been addressed, but I’m not sure that all of them have so I apologize to the extent that I am repeating someone else.
    Taking your five points individually: 1) Assuming the priest in question is celibate, I’m not sure what the exception is. We all have a nature to sin; homosexuality as an orientation is a part of the same nature to sin shared by all. 2) Should we not (at least in part) consider the effect of national decisions on individuals, either ourselves or others? I’m not sure what is unethical about that. 3) Do those heterosexuals who believe that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional understandings of marriage have a personal stake in the vote in any different way than this priest does? 4) I’m not sure what this adds to the analysis that isn’t covered by #3. 5) I think you separate the political and the moral much too easily. Is there no moral dimension to my political actions? If a government is doing something wrong in my name with my money that does not have any other direct negative effect on me, why is it unethical for me to speak on the morality of that issue? 6) I understand your conclusion, but I don’t see how your previous points mandate it. 7) It may be a betrayal of trust, but it may also be ethical. Civil disobedience, even to ecclesial authorities, can be ethical if the subject is willing to plead guilty in whatever the appropriate tribunal is and accept punishment.

    • Substantive, thoughtful comment: thanks. Much appreciated.

      1) Assuming the priest in question is celibate, I’m not sure what the exception is. We all have a nature to sin; homosexuality as an orientation is a part of the same nature to sin shared by all.

      No, it’s not. It’s no sin, and the jiu jitsu of using so called “original sin” to make being gay ans “impulse to sin” is seeding bigotry. I don’t like being around people with “an impulse to steal” or murder, do you?

      2) Should we not (at least in part) consider the effect of national decisions on individuals, either ourselves or others? I’m not sure what is unethical about that.

      That’s a straw man: I didn’t suggest otherwise. The issue is a priest using himself as an emotional appeal for self-serving ends.
      It is unprofessional, and a misuse of the religious gathering.

      3) Do those heterosexuals who believe that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is a threat to traditional understandings of marriage have a personal stake in the vote in any different way than this priest does?

      Huh? He could get married if the measure passes. Heterosexuals do not benefit in any way if it fails, other than being able to continue looking down on gays as not deserving the right to have family units.

      4) It mitigates 3), that’s all. Disclosure of bias is a good thing. That was not intrinsic in what I wrote in #3. If you’re quibbling about numbering, why yes, it could have been a parenthetical or a footnote, or perhaps an a). So what?

      5) I think you separate the political and the moral much too easily. Is there no moral dimension to my political actions? If a government is doing something wrong in my name with my money that does not have any other direct negative effect on me, why is it unethical for me to speak on the morality of that issue?

      Wrong. He can speak up all he wants, without a captive audience that came there for spiritual enlightenment and worship, not to hear a political speech. He can discuss all the moral issue surrounding the matter as he sees them because that’s his job, and this is his workplace, but the second he says how to vote, he’s abusing his position, influence and power. If a CEO gathers his employees and tells them to vote for the candidate who favors policies friendly to the business, that’s the same misconduct.

      6) I understand your conclusion, but I don’t see how your previous points mandate it.

      Since you don’t understand the previous points, I’m not surprised.

      7) It may be a betrayal of trust, but it may also be ethical….

      Betrayals of trust are by definition unethical.

      …Civil disobedience, even to ecclesiastical authorities, can be ethical if the subject is willing to plead guilty in whatever the appropriate tribunal is and accept punishment.

      This scenario has nothing to do with civil disobedience, but you’re talking about courage, which is admirable, but not ethical in itself. A so-called “activating virtue.”

      3.

  10. “Pope Francis has reportedly rejected the nomination of a French ambassador to the Vatican because he is openly gay. Laurent Stefanini was nominated for the position back in January, but the Vatican has made no public statements on whether they will accept his credentials.”

    Now, why would the Pope do that, if it is only homosexual sex that the Church objects to? Hmmmmm??

  11. williams leiva

    Useful post . I loved the points ! Does someone know where I might be able to get access to a blank a form form to fill out ?

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