Friday, 31 October 2008

New Vatican Document Urges Screening out of 'Gay' Priests

"God is not an obligation or a burden. God is my joy!" -- Fr. Mychal Judge

Damian Thompson posted a controversial blog yesterday about a new Vatican document encouraging "psychological tests" to screen out potential priests with a "deep-seated homosexual orientation". I think this is an over-reaction to the abuse crisis in the States. Some very good people could be screened out. Grace is an incredible thing. A man with same-sex attraction could still be very graced by God with the virtue of chastity and could live out his vocation as a Priest with great passion and love for God. If all candidates with "psychological" failings or flaws were screened out of the Priesthood there'd be none left. Jesus takes weak, frail human beings, with moral weaknesses and makes them into Saints. Were that not so, St Peter, who denied our Lord three times would not be up there waiting for us at the Gates of Heaven when we die.

Here is a link to a good blog on the life of Fr Mychal Judge. Above is a picture of Father Mychal Judge, who died giving the Last Rites to the dying in the World Trade Centre in 2001. His case for beatification was dropped rather unfortunately once the Church heard that some people said his orientation was homosexual. As far as I know, the patron saint of homosexuals or those who have the condition of homosexuality is St Sebastian, not because he overcame a same-sex attraction with a life of heroic virtue, but because of his martyrdom by many arrows.

Read the blog article here and let me know your thoughts. For the original source article click here.


madame evangelista said...

I've stopped being interested in anything Damian Thompson says. My personal feeling is that it's nonsense to block access to the priesthood to gay men and I hope this wouldn't happen in practise.

As for abuse, a child is more likely to be abused by their parents than a priest, and I'm quite frankly astonished that there are people so stupid that they think being gay makes someone more likely to be a pedophile than being straight.

The Bones said...

Thanks for your comment. I know its a fallen world, but I find it hard to grapple with it being a major issue for a candidate if he is firmly grounded in the Magisterium and is obviously capable of celibacy and has indeed embraced it.

My feeling is that the big problem at the heart of the Church is liberalism and watering down of the faith and Sacred Tradition, which has nothing to do with an individual's sexual orientation.

Mychals Prayer said...

With the clinical research suggesting that between 30-60% of priests and bishops are homosexual (Sipes, Cozzens, others) -- though most of them are hidden and celibate -- the priest shortage will only become more acute if this directive is implemented.

How ironic that men like Father Mychal Judge would be barred from priesthood today. God had no problem with Mychal’s orientation, but Rome does.

Even prior to his heroic death on 9/11, Fr. Mychal was widely seen by many New Yorkers as a living saint for his deep spirituality and his extraordinary work not only with firefighters -- but also with the homeless, recovering alcoholics, the sick and injured, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and anyone else seeking God’s mercy through him.

Fr. Mychal was open about his homosexual orientation and he was celibate, even while he disagreed in conscience with official teaching on same-gender relationships.

Mychal, a Franciscan, was celibate because he had an authentic monastic vocation. But when it came to other people's committed same-gender relationships, he was very much the pastor, counseling such couples to resolve their conflicts, to strengthen their commitments, and to put God at the center of their unions. He often asked, “Is there so much love in the world that we can afford to discriminate against any kind of love ?!”

Mychal’s affirmative blessing of gay people annoyed the diocesan hierarchy. But like his spiritual father St. Francis of Assisi, Mychal reported directly to a Higher Authority, as evidenced by several medically documented miraculous healings through his intercession.

His conscientious dissent would be a non-starter for Rome which too often emphasizes obedience over holiness.

I doubt we’ll live to see Mychal formally beatified/ canonized, but that’s OK. Many thousands pray for his intercession and already know him as a saint, doing God’s work from the Other Side.

In the much older tradition of the Church for the first 13 centuries, Mychal is already recognized as a Saint through the widespread acclamation of the faithful. Ultimately, God confirms saints, not Rome.

To learn more of Fr. Mychal Judge, “the Saint of 9/11,” I invite you to visit --

John M. Kelley,
Saint Mychal Judge website

PS: The term “same sex attraction” was invented by those who view homosexuality as “unnatural”. It’s a term laden with political meaning, but has no medical or clinical significance. The terms “homosexual” and “gay” are appropriate to describe same-gender orientation and relationships.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an over-reaction to the abuse crisis in the States.

By far the worst stories I have heard come from England, not the USA. But they do not come to light because it is more difficult to claim recompense.

The Bones said...

Good point, I should have said the abuse crisis as a whole.

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