Comments: Roman Catholic statement

I think the issue of the ordination of gay priests is overshadowed here by a couple of things said in the Instruction about gay people in general:

"...those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture. Such people, in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women."

and

"[the spiritual director] has the obligation to evaluate all the qualities of the personality and assure that the candidate does not have sexual disorders... [ie shows] deep-seated homosexual tendencies"

Whilst it is known that the Vatican line on gay people has been that homosexuality is 'gravely disordered', I don't think it has been quite so specific (and 'extra-spiritual') in saying in what way it is disordered.

Flying in the face of broad scientific consensus, the Vatican is, outside of the realms of spirituality where I had thought it was previously confining itself in regards to this issue, clearly attempting to re-pathologize homosexuality (on both personal and sociological levels).

THIS is gravely disordered, gravely dangerous and gravely evil. The whole document ought to be roundly dismissed because of this alone, before even bothering to look at the priest issue. So as not to take up too much space on these points while you discuss priests, I will just say that I explain these thoughts more thoroughly at:


http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/pope-authorizes-nazi-instruction.html">http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/pope-authorizes-nazi-instruction.html">http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/pope-authorizes-nazi-instruction.html
and
http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/three-steps-of-dr-death.html">http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/three-steps-of-dr-death.html">http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/three-steps-of-dr-death.html

In signing this document, the Pope loses all credibility.

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Sunday, 27 November 2005 at 3:39am GMT

Well, the document MUST be good if Timothy Radcliffe can give it such an illuminating exegesis. However, my reading of the directive on seminaries is that it is yet another over-detailed document, and therefore liable to be interpreted too legalistically.

Posted by k1eranc at Sunday, 27 November 2005 at 4:54am GMT

"...those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture. Such people, in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women." –Roman Church statement on gays and lesbians
What arrogant Roman rubbish! “seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women,” indeed! My friends, both gay and straight, male and female, would find this statement pure bigotry.
There is an element within the clergy of the Roman Church which sexually takes advantage of vulnerable boys and girls, men and women. (Much of the negative heterosexual abuse is not widely publicized.) But does this mean that all Roman clergy are predators or rapists? Hardly.
Whenever I become complacent in my Christian faith, the Roman Church goes and says and/or does something outrageous like this statement, and I feel ever so humble—but grateful—to be an Episcopalian; and I wonder why anyone with a brain in his/her head would want to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kurt at Sunday, 27 November 2005 at 2:54pm GMT

While I agree with the tenor of the comments from Augustus, k1eranc & Kurt, I believe that the document in question was issued without the pope's signature (although, obviously with his approval) -- by such oracular signs do our Roman brothers & sisters live to guess at the degree of their unofficial acceptance.

I too, am happy to be an Episcopalian!

Posted by Prior Aelred at Sunday, 27 November 2005 at 9:18pm GMT

That's a fascinating thought, Prior Aelred. Talk about crumbs under the table!

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Monday, 28 November 2005 at 1:17am GMT

Radcliffe's article is a hopelessly optimistic attempt to interpret this document in his own image. His whole major premise is that homosexual orientation cannot be meant here because there *currently exist* good priests with such an orientation. But why should this follow since the document is discussing what its authors reckon ought to happen from now, not what has been taking place up until now. Radcliffe is trying to make himself the final arbiter by claiming that "there are many excellent priests who are gay and who clearly have a vocation from God" (an argument from experience). Doubtless he is correct but I don't see why this particular experience of his should become the lens through which this document must be read.

Personally I think the second stipulation of this report (that "deep seated homosexual tendencies") should debar one from ordination is completely wrong. But that shouldn't prevent one from being realistic about what this document is really saying and trying to pretend it is something it is clearly not.

Posted by Sean Doherty at Monday, 28 November 2005 at 12:48pm GMT

Well, the long wait is over and the division is well underway. On one side are the ancient orthodox catholic churches--Roman and Eastern. Joining them are the evangelistic children of protestantism. On the other side are most of the dying liberal protestant denominations. And, in the middle--the ol' via media thing I suppose--the Anglican Communion, which is being slowly and painfully ripped into pieces.

It had to come sometime, the chasm has become too wide and deep--it was impossible to try and keep one foot on either side of the divide indefinitely. So, why fume? It was inevitable that Christianity and every christian would eventually have to take their position on one side or the other. The liberal paradigm and approach is at odds with traditional Christianity. One must eventually choose one or the other.

The split was predictable, the only question was who/what would end up on which side of the chasm. And, even there, the indignation of liberals seems to be mostly based on the fact that their imagined outcomes have been shown to be just that--a product of their own imaginations. Did you really think that the Roman Church, for all of its flaws, would become another easy conquest? It survived Arians and Muslims, why should it succumb to the Johnny-come-lately challenge of liberal dogma?

In any case, this is merely a first volley. The Roman church is not monolithic. I expect that there will be continuing struggles here as well as in Anglicanism as the children of liberalism are separated and separate themselves from the Church Catholic.

Steven

Posted by steven at Monday, 28 November 2005 at 4:07pm GMT

Steven,

The rate of population growth for the British Isles is much lower than that of China or India or Kenya or Nigeria, any one of whose population overall dwarfs the UK.

But wait it gets worse!! By 2060ish there is a projected decline in population growth in the UK.

Those poor people in the UK better just throw in the towel now on everything, don't you think? Why bother with anything?!! It's only a matter of time before they are even MORE grossly and irreversibly outnumbered by the Chinese or some such.

(All this according to the logic of your post, naturally.)

Posted by RMF at Monday, 28 November 2005 at 11:35pm GMT

Gee Steven, that's a pretty sorry-sounding post from someone who imagines himself on the *winning* side of this divide.

Our all-merciful, all-saving *God* reigns: everything else is distraction.(*)

Alleluia! :-D

(*) The God too many "Christians" have yet to meet, apparently (e.g., of the "ancient orthodox catholic churches--Roman and Eastern. Joining them are the evangelistic children of protestantism"?). Yet he still stands at the door and knocks! :-)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 12:06am GMT

Poor old dying liberalism! Small loss, right? What did it ever give us? other than constitutional democracy and religious pluralism (and that endangered American separation of things religious and secular; our owners and rulers are trying to bring us all the dubious benefits of a state church). And by contrast what did the ancient and orthodox "Church Catholic" bring us? absolute monarchy and religious warfare. As for why we have a thoroughly secular Europe now, I think that the answers can be found in things like the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Oliver Cromwell's Irish campaign, and the Spanish Inquisition.
I doubt that religious dogmatism is much of an alternative to ideological politics. We should be waiting in faithful expectation for the City of God, but in the meantime, we can share the Love and Grace of Christ by working for Bread and Freedom for all of the people that God created. We should raise our eyes from the Bible and the Prayer Book on occasion to find the Holy Spirit at work now in history making a new Creation.

Posted by Counterlight at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 2:13am GMT

All:

You're right in criticizing me for a fairly nasty post. I apologize--bad day, bad week, bad month. This does not mean that my underlying conclusions are any different, but I regret voicing them in such a hostile way.

In any case, my criticism is not one of "liberalism" in some sort of absolute sense, but of what is currently labeled as liberalism. To me liberalism in an absolute sense is merely a direction. And, it is a direction in which one can go too far, just as one can go too far in other directions (i.e., conservativism/ traditionalism).

I believe that Western society has already gone too far in this direction in what is generally referred to as the "Sexual Revolution" and its aftermath. (There are other areas as well, but I'd rather focus on just this one as it is the one most at issue in the present dispute). You obviously disagree and, as I repeatedly reiterate, there's no point in arguing the basic issues in this forum. It's time to part company.

I generally try to encourage an amicable parting, so I'm obviously sorry to stir up more irritation. Anyhow, C. S. Lewis has an interesting take on the overall issue I'm discussing in the "Screwtape Letters", where Screwtape advises his nephew Wormwood to always have "them" rushing to the side of the boat that is almost gunwhale under and running around with fire extinguishers when there is a flood. Most of you are probably aware of the passage, so I'll spare you a direct quote. Anyhow, I think you catch my drift. To me, when it comes to the area of sex, modern liberalism perches itself on the side of the boat that is already going under and runs around with a fire extinguisher in the midst of a flood.

Steven

Posted by steven at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 2:55pm GMT

In the good old days of Pope Leo XIII Vatican dicasteria were required to issue their teaching in Ciceronian Latin. If an attempt had been made to render the Italian neologism 'omosessualita''in language comprehensible to a Cicero or a Tertullian, a century of Freudians hopelessly slipping between adjective and noun, between feelings and acts, might have been helped towards the exit. If, as it appears, the Holy Father has not given his full weight to this document, this possibility remains open.

Posted by cbs at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 5:24pm GMT

cbs wrote: "In the good old days of Pope Leo XIII Vatican dicasteria were required to issue their teaching in Ciceronian Latin."

Are you sure? I always thought Church Latin was a byword for awfulness!

"If an attempt had been made to render the Italian neologism 'omosessualita''in language comprehensible to a Cicero or a Tertullian, a century of Freudians hopelessly slipping between adjective and noun, between feelings and acts, might have been helped towards the exit. If, as it appears, the Holy Father has not given his full weight to this document, this possibility remains open."

Isn't that rather wishful thinking? The document ends: "The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, on 31 August 2005, approved this Instruction and ordered its publication." And it seems to be completely in line with Ratzinger/Benedict's well documented personal campaign on the issue as summarised here: http://www.slate.com/id/2131019/nav/tap1/

Posted by badman at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 7:17pm GMT

Whilst agreeing completely with your second paragraph, Counterlight (and admiring the way in which you express yourself), I'm afraid the first paragraph is pretty poor history.

The sociologist of religion, Rodney Stark does an impressive demolition job of such "received history" in his two books "One True God : Historical Consequences of Monotheism" and "For the Glory of God : How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery". I heartily recommend both of them (and would even give an Amazon link if I could work out how TA allowed href html!)

Posted by Justin Lewis-Anthony at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 7:53pm GMT

This RC declaration seems centuries too late to be terribly useful. Haven't there for just forever been gay men in laity, seminaries, orders, the priesthood, the papacy--all levels of the church, with a range of contributions, but as with other identities in it, most serving the Lord well?

What is perhaps more surprising than this statement by Rome, is the dedication and faith to it, exhibited by those that this sort of paper targets. I suppose it is somewhat difficult for a person's reason to reconcile to being in a church where reason must so often dispense with church pronouncements and positions.

This report tends to make me think again, that what is so often lacking in Romish pronouncements is any indication of human error. Oh wait, nevermind, there is an encyclical that addresses this thorny issue. ;)

Posted by RMF at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 9:02pm GMT

Apology accepted, Steven, and kudos to your self-awareness in offering it. (I still kinda think your Lewis-ian "sinking ship" analogy misses the point that "to live is CHRIST and to die is gain" though---to "sink" is just to sink deeper into the Saving God :-D)

Back on-topic: re the "at least 3 years without" requirement. In various priestly tales (esp. over on EWTN), the reminiscence of "I kissed my girlfriend/ex-fiance good-bye as I entered the seminary" is one guaranteed to provoke misty-eyes. Could a postulant similarly kiss his boyfriend good-bye (or would that mean one kisses his *vocation* good-bye)? :-/

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 11:54pm GMT

Oh, one more thing: in light of the "gay culture" condemnation, could the new instruction actually ban some who AREN'T gay?

["Metrosexual" sorts---also, all those who've been members of PFLAG, for example? There are---THANKFULLY!---*many* heterosexuals who are entirely supportive "gay culture" (to the extent that neologism means anything *g*). Would cheering on a Pride March get you the Vatican heave-ho?]

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 12:07am GMT

Lord? How did you forgive them?

"It survived Arians and Muslims, why should it succumb to the Johnny-come-lately challenge of liberal dogma?"

Liberal dogma?

Where in Christendom is there any truth? Where in the world? The Catholic church has banned homosexuals, and those questioning, and those supportive of homosexuals from the priesthood-- this has nothing to do with an act! Or whether or not it is a sin. The priesthood requires celibacy! It would be like banishing all who have green eyes or brown hair--because it is a potential way to sin. Ach! We are all born to sin! Is the Pope so good that he possesses no potential to sin? Let the Pope be judged as he has judged, by the same standard that he has judged, that the potential to sin is as good as having sinned--he has denied the cross!

Oh, Lord! Do not forsake us!

Liberal dogma or refusal to accept this perversion, this blatant disregard of the firm teachings of scripture?

Posted by Annie at Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 3:05am GMT

Thank you, badman, for the Slate link. Extremely informative. Confirms my belief it's a bunch of old nazi nonsense, eg:

"In 1992, Ratzinger upped the ante. In an analysis of Legislative Proposals on the Non-discrimination of Homosexual Persons, the CDF repeated that "the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder" and extended this principle to civil law. " 'Sexual orientation' does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination," said the document. "There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account." The obvious areas were adoption and education, but the CDF sought broader precedents for antigay legislation in housing and employment, noting that "the state may restrict the exercise of rights, for example, in the case of contagious or mentally ill persons." If homosexual orientation was sick and infectious, why should purification stop at the priesthood?"

Also of interest is the only comment the Vatican has made in relation to this Instruction. It's an article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, released on the same day (as yet still in Italian) and reported on (in English) at the Catholic News Service. It is written my Msgr. Tony Anatrella - a PSYCHOANALYST and consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family. He said, 'In cultures where homosexuality increasingly is seen as a "normal quality" rather than as "a problem in the psychic organization" of a person's sexuality, the church's teaching needed to be reaffirmed.'

It sort of affirms that the Instruction as an attempt to re-pathologize homosexuality.
Links for these are:

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/index.html

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0506787.htm

and my take on them is at:
http://frontparlour.blogspot.com/2005/11/last-rites-for-vatican-papal.html

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 4:16am GMT

Isn't everyone kind of missing the practical side of this?

The structure of priestly training and priestly life revolves in large part around the idea of keeping males away from females (and vice versa) in private situations. Much about priestly training (and often priestly life) involves putting males together with other males in close, private and/or maybe even intimate circumstances.

Hmmm. Could we effectively train (and encourage) young males and females to maintain celibacy by putting them together in such circumstances? Wouldn't the same pressure exist for homosexuals placed in such a situation?

What about the affect on a pastorate? Many of the "pedophilia" situations that developed were only possible because no one was on guard about putting young males together with a male priest in private and/or intimate situations. Why?--because all of the safeguards of the system and society in general are directed to keeping young females from being unchaperoned with unrelated adult males in private and/or intimate situations.

This is what society's many rules of propriety often come down to--no one screams that such rules implicitly accuse all hetero priests of being potential predators. So, don't scream that I am accusing all homosexuals of being potential molestors--that's not the point.

The point is that the systems and the safeguards in the system were developed to safeguard priests and others against the temptation to heterosex and not homosex, against heterosexual predation and not homosexual predation. So, even accepting arguendo the proposition that homosexual priests can be very good priests, the whole system would have to be substantially re-vamped to effectively accommodate their particular orientation.

You may think this is worthwhile--maybe so. But, you'll have to admit that it is a pretty big job. Moreover, I think you're going to have a difficult time persuading the hierarchy and the laity of the RC that this is a worthwhile way to spend the vast resources that would be necessary.

Steven

Posted by steven at Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 6:53pm GMT

I think all this talk of “safeguards“ is nonsense.

Surely, the problem lies with the Mandatory Celibacy introduced from Lateran II in 1139, onwards. Resistance to it was fierce and it took many centuries in the making.

Some church provinces actually never had it.

Sweden and Finland never had it, nor did Iceland. Consequently, we have never had the predatory problems rife in the Roman church.

The problem with a mandatory celibacy seems to me to be coercion.

Celibacy itself is a particular calling from the Holy Spirit. Priests don’t get that calling more often than do other people – that is something we as a pre-Gregorian church are sure about.


Bud neither do homosexuals get that calling more often than does heterosexuals, and a great part of Rome’s recruitment for the priesthood (the little that is left) seems to be built on the priesthood being a socially acceptable way of not having to marry.

Rather than the social shame of being “gay”, people “choose” the priesthood.

Now, it is a well attested fact that coercion leads to coercion. Beaten children beat the best! One forth of persons, who have been victims to physical and psychological coercion, maltreatment and so on, will continue themselves to coerce and maltreat.

Surely, one needs look no further than that. Lateran II needs to be abolished.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 11:15am GMT

RE: the practical problems of accomodating gay seminarians and clergy;
I remember listening to a conversation on the radio some years ago among some American soldiers very anxious over the prospect of gay men being admitted into the military. They spoke about the dreaded shower situation and how uncomfortable they felt at the prospect of being sexual objects. At this point, a female recruit interupted and said, "Get used to it! I have."

Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 1:22pm GMT

No, Steven that won't fly as a concern simply because we KNOW there are already MANY homosexual priests, who live up to their vows appropriately, despite having been through a male-oriented seminary.

Your concern might work if they weren't already there, but they are. Given that there are many gay priests serving well, it's wrong of the Vatican to try to prevent any more gays from joining. Given that there are many gay priests serving well, it's also cruel of the Vatican to suddenly change its view and consider even the ORIENTATION is wrong. And by the way, it's also hypocritical of the Vatican to leave those gay priests there, if simply BEING gay is the problem.

This is scapegoating, pure and simple.

Posted by IT at Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 4:12pm GMT

Frankly, Steven, if the procedures you detail have to be carried out, it says far more about the Catholic church and their celibacy rule - if peopole need that much 'protection' from reality, then it is their rule which needs to change.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 10:04pm GMT

Goran:

Miracle of miracles! We are in almost complete agreement. (At least, . . . I think we may be close to complete agreement).

Merseymike:

See, above.

IT:

Hmmm. There are also **many** gay priests who have NOT been serving well--consequently, the RC will be paying through the nose for years to come. To a certain extent the RC are probably trying to cut their losses in future years, but they've had a big problem for a long time--not enough vocations. Hence, until they got whacked with a lot of lawsuits there doesn't seem to have been a lot of impetus to deal with this situation. The overall solution, as Goran suggests, is to begin moving towards married priests. This will greatly increase the percentage of heteros applying and probably end up solving the vocation numbers problem as well.

PS-the "many" (asterisked above) is a relative term and is not intended to indicate anything near a majority. Apparently most have been doing their jobs without falling into this type of sin.

PPS-I still think the "practical" arguments have to be dealt with. The RC are dealing with the problem in a way that seeks to preserve their celibacy rules. However, I think they'll have a lot fewer problems in the long run if they junk the celibacy rule and allow married priests. This does not completely eliminate the practical problems, but it does take a lot of pressure off of the "safeguards" as a necessary precaution. Overall, it is a far more "practical" approach.

Steven

Posted by steven at Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 10:44pm GMT

Steven,
"*many*"? What does that come from?

There are also Catholic priests who have abused women, who have slept with women, who have fathered children with women. Hmmm, not banning straight priests, are they.

There are straight and gay priests. And, sadly, pedophile priests, who may be straight OR gay. But to conflate the "gay" with the "pedophile" is an acknowledged error (by psychiatric professionals). This is scapegoating, all and all.

First they came for the gays.....?

Posted by IT at Friday, 2 December 2005 at 3:08am GMT

But surely Steven, if Mandatory Celibacy is oppression and the oppressed learns to oppress in their turn, this applies equally to heteros and homos?

So your "safeguards" are off.

Oppressors opt for the vulnerable or so percieved, not for a gender or an age group.

So the problem is much bigger, much more general than you think.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 2 December 2005 at 7:16am GMT

IT:

You seem to totally miss the point of my posts. Mandatory celibacy puts a lot of pressure on most people, hetero or homo. Some, hetero and homo, can't keep the standard. However, there are much better and well developed external systems and safeguards for preventing hetero priests from violating the celibacy rules than for preventing homo priests from doing so. Notice, I am saying "external"--not "internal"--indicating that I am not making a judgment at this point about the innate abilities of either group to remain celibate--its gonna be hard on almost everybody (at least without some special dose of grace from God--and maybe even then). It's just that the safeguards for hetero priests are better and stronger.

The attempt to ascribe the recent problems in the RC to "pedophilia" is an example of political correctness run amok in the media and intelligentsia (something that is not unusual these days). However, I have no desire to argue the point. Have it as you will.

Goran:

You are also missing the point of my posts, which I hope I have set forth more fully above.

As to mandatory celibacy being "oppressive"--I disagree (as discussed in more detail below). However, I certainly think it can be problematic. However, even this is going to depend to some degree on the individual. I believe that some are gifted in this way and inspired by the Holy Spirit. I.e., I do not believe that the old image of the selflessly dedicated and celibate priest is pure bunk. However, I think the numbers having this gift are obviously not enough for the needs of the RC. Moreover, if the mandatory celibacy rules were removed so as to allow married priests, those so gifted would be able to exercise their gift, and those not so gifted would not be burdened.

As to the other (more theoretical) aspects of your post--hmm. I don't equate mandatory celibacy with oppression, as it is voluntarily chosen by those opting for RC orders. To me it is merely an awkward and generally counter-productive requirement for the RC priesthood. As to your attempt to link this (as oppression) to subsequent acts of "oppression"--I think you're really reaching. The concept has a certain poetic symmetry, but that's about all it has going for it.

Steven

Posted by steven at Friday, 2 December 2005 at 2:11pm GMT

"However, there are much better and well developed external systems and safeguards for preventing hetero priests from violating the celibacy rules than for preventing homo priests from doing so."

Oh please, Steven: RC priests have had "housekeepers" for years---and the collar is just as easily removed from a straight priest on the prowl as a gay one. You're going to have to do better than that.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Friday, 2 December 2005 at 6:20pm GMT

The Outreau case in France is interesting. On the basis of informed psychological expert witness evidence 13 accused (including one priest) were reasonably incarcerated and condemned. Now it appears that most of them were nowhere in the neighbourhood at the time and their innocence has been resoundingly proclaimed by the highest judicial authorities.
It causes me concern that immature youths who may well in due course- through favourable circumstances, their own efforts and the grace of the sacraments - develop into saintly pastors may be excluded from the ministry by similar psychological evidence, rather than on the basis of specific reprehensible acts.

Posted by cbs at Saturday, 3 December 2005 at 11:55am GMT

JC:

I agree collars come off rather easily. However, the problems in the RC did not have to do with priests hanging around in singles bars (that I recall), but with priests taking advantage of young people in their own churches (i.e., in places where their collar was normally worn). This is one of the primary zones where safeguards are in place for heteros that don't exist for homos.

Also, as to the housekeeper issue--hmm, that obviously blows me out of the water. Everybody knows what total babes they use for housekeepers in the RC. Seems like there was a spread in Playboy or somewhere. Anyhow, aside from my heavyhanded and probably tasteless sarcasm the point remains: I don't think this realm presents much in the way of temptation to the young priest (hetero or homo).

Steven

Posted by steven at Monday, 5 December 2005 at 2:48pm GMT

In the same way all straight men have total babes for their *wives*, steven? (That's all I'm gonna say about that. Generally speaking, I'm more likely to have the Joe Jackson response: "Is she really going out w/ *him*?" ;-/)

"the problems in the RC did not have to do with priests hanging around in singles bars (that I recall), but with priests taking advantage of young people in their own churches (i.e., in places where their collar was normally worn)."

Well, in the most recent sensationalized cases, anyway. Knowing the commonly-measurable reticence of women to speak about such things, I think the reporting may well be slanted to the m/m pedophile cases (not that those can ever be under-reported when they occur, but you get my point)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Monday, 5 December 2005 at 9:47pm GMT

The problem is quite simply, that the current rules act as an encouragement for those who have not sorted out their sexuality, no matter what that happens to be.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 6 December 2005 at 7:52pm GMT

JC:

I remain unconvinced on both points, but--oh well, can't have everything. Besides, its time to move on. If there's one thing I've learned here, it's that you can't afford to hang around on any topic for too long--lest you be caught (after making a long detailed and fabulous post) by the archiving of the topic you're addressing. There's probably some deep life lesson there somewhere. Anyhow, adios for this thread.

Steven

Posted by steven at Tuesday, 6 December 2005 at 9:00pm GMT
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