respect your views although I must disagree with the belief that gay men
and women of good faith are restricted to a celibate way of life in attempting
to fulfill their baptismal vows. I realize also that that puts me, and other
religious, outside of the teaching of the Magisterium. Even so, I believe
that Gods mercy and love will embrace those of us who, in good faith
and conscience, may be in error. . . . I [am] concerned
with a held belief that homosexual men, simply by virtue of their sexual
orientation, would not be appropriate candidates for the priesthood and/or
religious life . . . [even though] their vow or promise
of celibacy would be as binding as for any other candidate. That is not in
question. Would you be so kind as to respond to that for me?
o begin with, we must understand
the difference between ones sexual desires and ones sexual
lifestyle. Ones desires are a combined
product of social influence, psychological responses to childhood experiences
and conflicts, and certain genetic characteristics. Ones sexual lifestyle,
though, is a free choice.
Through the ages,
Scripture, the Tradition
of the Church, and the Catholic mystics have all asserted that
chastity is an integral aspect of Christian spiritual
life. As a result, everyone, man or woman, who dares to call himself
Christian (that is, all the baptized,
not just those under religious vows) must freely choose to live a pure and
This is made clear in Matthew
19:11-12 where Christ gave us two options: celibacy, or Holy Matrimony in
which a man and a woman, under Gods blessing, join together until death
for the sake of family and
This means that all sexual activity
which is not open to procreation between a man and a woman within the
indissoluble bond of Holy Matrimony and family is a
sin and is merely a
psychological way to hide our essential
vulnerability and brokenness by defiling
the body, the temple of the Holy Spiritthat
is, making the body into a toy for our pleasure
and amusement. We can hide our emotional wounds from ourselves as much as
we want, but only in chaste holiness through Christ can we
repent our sins and be
In regard to
repentance, we need to understand something
here about the difference between Purgatory and
If you read Saint Catherine of
Genoa (who literally wrote the book about Purgatory), you can learn something
remarkable about the concept of remorse. No matter how miserably we have
sinned, if we come to feel sorrow for our behavior,
to the point of disgust for our sins, then we have set ourselves on the path
to Purgatory, to be purified of all stain that would prevent us from standing
in Gods holy presence. But if we have no remorse for our sins, whether
out of pure malice or whether out of a
disobedient refusal to
recognize sin as sin, then we set ourselves
on the path to hell and eternal separation from Gods holy
the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather
than the creator [emphasis added], who is blessed forever. Amen.
Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged
natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations
with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things
with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their
perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God [i.e.,
repent], God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is
improper. . . . Although they know the just decree of God
that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but
give approval to those who practice them.
faith and conscience
must of necessity strive to exclude all error.
Now, I do understand that sometimes
we have difficulty comprehending what sin really is, and we are tempted to
step outside the Magisterium of the Church in order to preserve our
self-interests and claim tangible satisfaction in the moment. Yes, you can
take the risk of asserting that Jesus made
mistakes in His teachings, that
Tradition and Scripture
are dated and no longer relevant to modern society, and that God doesnt
really care about anything we do as long as we
believe He exists. But to say any of
this is like playing Russian roulette. You take a big risk gambling that
you can live a Christian life outside of the Faith
that has been handed down to us through the ages.
If you risk your soul, you risk
it because you lack faith. You cannot risk your soul in good
faith. The love of God is too precious to
risk it for anything. The only path to
true love and total surrender to God is through
a total acceptance of our essential
broken emptiness and a commitment to
chaste purity of heart. Clinging to a belief that you can reject the holy
importance of chastity fools only yourself. And the more we try to
fool ourselves the less we can accept the
healing of our lives through the broken bread of
the holy Eucharist.
Thus the very act of gambling
with your soul is a declaration of
disobedience, and disobedience in itself is
a grave sin.
And anyone who persists in
disobedience should not be allowed to be a priest.
The issue here, then, isnt
about homosexuality or heterosexuality per se, nor is it a matter
of being condemned for who you are. The real issue is about whether
or not you choose to preserve your own self-interests by misleading others
and telling them that sin is not sin.
gamble with your own salvation is one thing,
butwhether by what you say or what you fail to sayto encourage
others to commit sin is too horrible a scandal, and too lacking in
compassion, to contemplate.
Saint Francis of Assisi, the
saint everyone likes to think of as the most free-spirited and happy saint
of all, nevertheless told us in The Canticle of All Creatures, Woe
to those who die in mortal sin! And if
a priest encourages others to sin, he will pay not just for his own sins
but for the sins committed by those he misdirected (see
So unless sincere and all-pervasive
remorse for sin in all its human entirety is at the core of a mans
life, he wont have a clue about his own brokenness, and, consequently,
he wont have a clue as to what the priesthood is all
Canticle of All Creatures
all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weathers moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.