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There's good reason to bar gay priests

10/29/2005 10:34:00 AM by MICHAEL COREN - Toronto Sun

It is fascinating to watch all the Catholic-bashers come out of the secular or sectarian closet. Their pretext is that the Roman Catholic Church is codifying its position on potential priests who are homosexual.

With a mingling of ignorance, self-delusion and trendy cliches, the same sort of people who in the past often denied Catholics civil rights and employment have found another stick with which to beat their foe.

Nobody should be surprised why this happens. Catholicism is an immutable guide and guard, standing firm against moral decay and materialistic extremism. It's a mirror, reflecting the absurdity of the modern world. And the modern world doesn't like it one little bit.

Critics react when the Church stands up for social justice, calls for an end to the arms trade, champions the poor, denounces war and racism and exposes the appalling economic chasm between the developed and undeveloped world. Yet none of this provokes the same response as the Church's stance on homosexuality, because to speak out against that is to break the shining commandment of contemporary liberalism.

But the Church has good reason for its reluctance to admit homosexuals into the priesthood. It regards homosexuality as "objectively disordered" but also believes homosexuals must "be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity."

Pure Christianity. The nature of God's plan for creation, the exquisite beauty of the difference between those He made man and woman, the use of sexuality not merely as a means of gratification but also as a way to glorify God.

The Hebrew and the Greek texts are abundantly clear, the teachings of the early church and the traditions of Christianity equally so. Those who reject this are in a long line of alleged Christians through history who have preferred the praises of the times to the truths of God.

The other reason the Church is so determined is that the most extensive and objective study of the abuse issue, by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, concluded that 80% of the victims of Roman Catholic clergy in North America in the past 50 years were males aged between 11 and 17. Not girls, not pre-pubescent boys. (By the way, the rate of abuse among Roman Catholic clergy, vile as it may be, is similar to the rate in any other walk of life. It is just that the media give so much attention to sexual crimes within the Church.)

While it is comforting for some people to speak of the pedophilia crisis faced by Catholicism, the reality is that the Church, in fact, faced a homosexual crisis. Most gay men do not desire sex with 12-year-old boys and are repulsed by the idea. Also, some heterosexual men and some heterosexual priests abuse young women and pedophilia is a heterosexual as well as homosexual perversion. Gay people must be treated with love and protected by the same law and civility as anybody else.

But this must not obscure the truth. Even though some people would prefer the truth to merely fade away.

The origin of the problem is to be found in the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II in the 1960s introduced many fine reforms and was supposed to initiate certain necessary changes. Tragically, groups of zealots exploited the opportunity to twist Church teachings. Some seminaries became centres of homosexual recruitment and doors were opened that had previously been firmly shut.

Until, that is, the pontificate of John Paul the Great and now his successor.

Now that the Church is rectifying the situation, it is accused of, yes, homophobia, by people who seem to care more about fashionable political causes than about the well-being of young and vulnerable men.

 

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