Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Considerations on the new document from the Vatican

There are so many people who have commented on the new Instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education that to put up the links would take up a whole blogging page. But here's the gist of what they're saying --

"This document is supposed to deal with the sex abuse scandal. It's not going to do it because homosexuals don't do pedophilia. Anyway, the Vatican doesn't understand that homosexuality isn't something that comes and goes; it's inherent and can't be changed. Besides, if a priest is supposed to be celibate, what difference does it make what his orientation is?"

First things first. The document isn't supposed to deal with the sex abuse scandal. That is a myth perpetrated by the MSM. The document was begun in 1996, six years before the Boston Globe's stories on Cardinal Law.

I'm not going to really comment on the claim that homosexuals don't do pedophilia because it's tedious -- and wrong. Suffice it to say that pedophiles come in all sizes, shapes and orientations, including homosexuals -- just ask the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Ask the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that break up child sex rings, a lot of them where boys are gotten and brought in for men from all walks of life -- from the CEOs of major companies to the janitors of those companies -- to abuse. And the fact that the vast majority of the boys abused by priests were those who were in their adolescence and in the prime of their lives speaks for itself.

Now that those two points are cleared up, what the document is supposed to deal with is a problem in many seminaries that has been there ever since the end of the Council and that is a prevelance of homosexuality. I would guess that many "gay" groups would rather not have the issue addressed at all and would rather see the priesthood riddled with priests who are "celibate but gay."

But all that does is undermine the Church's teaching ability on this and other very serious moral matters. If a priest has a homosexual orientation and is part of the "gay" culture, or even if he's not part of the culture but has sympathies towards it and friends in it, then he is not really going to be able to address firmly the issues of homosexuality, contraception, abortion and a whole host of other sexual and biological moral matters. He will be seriously compromised.

The reason for that is because homosexuality itself is intrinsically disordered. The phrase "intrinsically disordered" raises, of course, all sorts of hue and cry about how that must mean the homosexual himself is, therefore, intrinsically disordered. Not true. The person struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA) is as disordered as the adulterer, thief, murderer, wife-beater, liar, child abuser, cheat, blasphemer, tyrant, traitor -- in other words, as disordered as the rest of us.

But the nature of this intrinsic disorder is different from these other sins. St. Paul says that those who do other wrongs sin outside of themselves, while a sexual sin is a sin against our ownselves. Because of that, anyone who yields to these temptations or who has sympathies towards them can't think clearly about the nature of the sin and those sins which are close cousins to it. So a priest who has homosexual proclivities cannot teach the fullness of the faith.

The claim that SSA is permanent is nonsense. Why is it that a female basketball star is not questioned when she claims she just became homosexual? Why are those folks who were in the homosexual lifestyle, who went through therapy and are now no longer struggling with SSA ignored? One of the "gay" publications had this headline: "Vatican to gays: Grow up!" Well, yes. We all need to grow up and those in SSA situations may need it a lot more than those who are not.

What really peeves me is that many men who claim to be homosexuals are those who were abused by other men. That warped their image of themselves. In that case, it's not genetic anymore than when a tree has barbed wire placed next to it and the tree grows around the wire and eventually engulfs it, is genetic

Finally, to the last claim. The Church rightly says that a man with homosexual tendencies can’t fulfill that role because he can’t properly relate to men and women. A man who claims to love another man as a man and a woman would normally love each other is not relating properly to men and women. It is simply impossible.

Besides that, there is the fact that two men who claim to love each other as men and women normally would cannot be fathers. It is biologically impossible. Well, a priest has to be a spiritual father and the spiritual is reflected in the physical. If a man cannot bring forth biological children because he is suffering from SSA, then he has no business trying to act like an alter Christus.

Plus, if a man does not look at the vocational options (marriage, priesthood, religious life, single life) available to him and freely choose one over the others, then there is something wrong with his choice. So if a man looks at the priesthood because he cannot marry a woman because of SSA, then he has not made a free choice for the priesthood and the validity of his vows can be called into question. (Of course, the Vatican hasn't said anything like that -- this is merely my interpretation of the law, for what little it's worth.)

This reflection of the spiritual in the physical is what a sacrament is all about, isn’t it? Take a look at Baptism. We don’t baptize with Coke or beer or even dirty water. We baptize with clean water because it reflects what happens to the soul. The Holy Spirit cleanses the soul from original sin just like clean water cleanses the body from dirt.

We use physical signs that point to a greater reality, but the signs have to be an accurate reflection of the spiritual reality. This doesn’t mean, though, that other things are bad. Beer isn’t bad because it can’t be used for Baptism. Rice isn’t bad because only wheat can be used for the Eucharist. Canola oil isn’t bad because only olive oil can be used for anointing.

In exactly the same way, women or married men aren’t bad in the eyes of the Church because we can’t be ordained. It doesn’t reflect our worth, it only shows that we can’t accurately point to what the sign of ordination is supposed to be – an alter Christus, another Christ. In plain and simple terms, Jesus wasn’t married and Jesus was a man. It’s that easy. So women and married men cannot reflect that image in a sacramental way. And neither can someone who has such a serious disorder as homosexual attraction. (Neither, by the way, can someone who has a tendency to murder, to fornication, to theft, to serious selfishness, or to any of the other deadly sins.) If a man can't act in the way he was created to act, he cannot accurately reflect the truth of who God is.

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