Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pope bans homosexuals from ordination as priests

Well duh! As the article points out:

The "Instruction" does not represent a change in church teaching or policy, according to the Vatican.

Catholic leaders have consistently taught that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood. Pope John XXIII approved a formal policy to that effect, which still remains in effect. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, that policy was widely ignored, particularly in North America.

So basically this is the new Pope saying "I really mean it this time." Except it goes on to say:

Priests who have already been ordained, if they suffer from homosexual impulses, are strongly urged to renew their dedication to chastity and a manner of life appropriate to the priesthood.

I guess the Catholic church is finding getting sued weekly pleasurable in some wierd, Freudian, "we are all guilty in front of God" way.

Don't get me wrong. I think individual churches have a right to do their own thing. I am no longer a member of the Roman Catholic church. If you want your church to ordain gay men and let them live openly with their partners, go for it. In fact, from a human behaviour point of view these cases lean heavily towards getting rid of the celibacy requirement. But, IMHO, the fact that the church ignored violating its own doctrine on this for decades and did absolutely nothing to ensure that the kids were safe led to the problems and the lawsuits. Either admit that you are ordaining and sustaining people whose sexual predilictions are outside the norm so the parents know that, or get serious about it.

Before I get the standard "you bigotted blankety blank" let me point out that the molested children in the dozens of cases involving priests were mostly if not completely (all the cases I read were and statistics published by researchers were that 90%+ were) boys. This can be explained two ways. Homosexual men in chastity pledges may be more likely to molest boys than girls. Also, parents are more likely to not question little Johny spending private time with Father Whatever than little Janey. I spent a lot of time with more than one of our Parish Priests when I was a boy. Much of it was just the two of us, particularly with Father Day. My parents were not only aware of it but totally supportive of it. Father Day was a wonderful man and I assume still is. I do not believe he would hurt anyone, much less a child. I don't think my parents would have been supportive or even would have tolerated this if I were of the fairer sex.

There is no guaranteed "safe" when dealing with the myraid of human proclivities and chilren but most parents are more trusting of their boys spending time with community men alone (priests/pastors, teachers, coaches) than their girls. Period.

These may be stereotypes but they make a hell of a lot of sense and they are stereotypes that most people (including juries) accept. From a purely legal point of view this is stupid.


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