November 26th, 2005

I See You!

Theological Notebook: The new Vatican document and the ordination of homosexuals

A quick aside from grading: a number of people have asked me about the document that the Vatican is issuing on the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood. The document simply states, according to the news stories that have been eagerly previewing it, that
the church cannot ordain men who are active homosexuals, who have "deeply rooted" homosexual tendencies or who support the "gay culture." Those who have overcome "transitory" homosexual tendencies, however, could be ordained, it said.
That is the CNS's quick summary. I'm not sure that this is in any way a big deal. Certainly the media are making a great deal of noise about it, but as I wrote to arisbe earlier, I've rather thought that the coverage of the document says more about the news media and the weight of force that they are putting behind their own agenda than about the Vatican's. The Vatican has articulated this particular distinction, but it doesn't seem to be any more radical than other, unwritten and unsurprising "rules," such as that they would not approve the ordination of men in active heterosexual relationships, or actively and expressly committed to the "swinger," or "wife-swapping" subcultures.

Really? No kidding? The church won't ordain those who explicitly would reject the vows of ordination?! Shocking!!!

Priests who hold to their vows and are committed to an ethical lifestyle as regards their sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual, pose no threat to children. Oddly enough, this is true for high school teachers, coaches, psychologists, Moms and Dads, and all the others who are the major groups perpetrating the sexual abuse of children. Sexuality freed from the restraints and transformations of Love is all about catering to a swollen, engorged Self: it's true today and it was true in the hyper-sexualized culture at the decline of the Roman Empire. The Church's insight on this point doesn't seem to have changed since then. But then, neither have human beings.