Monday, April 29, 2002

The Natives Must Be Restless

As if some people weren't trying to ostracize segments of society as it were, some are now advocating the removal of priests who may or may not have "homosexual tendencies". Rather, than touch on this whole issue of how we even go about finding out who is or isn't homosexual, and if they're celibate whether such a distinction actually matters, let me touch on the comments of Cardinal Bevilacqua that some people are using to whip up a firestorm. The full article can be found over at the Philidelphia Inquirer. For the record, I will quote some of his comments (all bold emphasis is mine).

"We feel that a person who is homosexually oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood, even if he has never committed any homosexual act... .There's an obligation of celibacy in every priest. There's a difference between a heterosexual candidate, what his choice of celibacy is, and that of a homosexual celibate. When a heterosexual celibate chooses to become a celibate in the priesthood, he's taking on a good - that is, his own desire to become a priest - and he's giving up a very good thing, and that is a family and children that could follow. That would not be true of a homosexually oriented candidate. He may be choosing the good, but... he's giving up what the church considers an aberration, a moral evil."

What some people are construing this to mean, and perhaps the Cardinal did indeed mean it this way, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, is that homosexuals cannot be priests because they are "giving up" a homosexual lifestyle which is inherently evil. First of all, if a homosexual is truly Catholic, they're already living a life of celibacy that is asked of them by the Catholic Church, so they're already being obedient. It's not as if these guys are going to be visiting every gloryhole in the United States if they weren't going to be priests.

Second, if my memory serves me correctly, one of the most prominent Christians of all time, St. Paul, was called by God from a life of mortal sin. Now, people have stated that Paul condoned celibacy, which no one is going to argue, but God called Paul first and foremost from a life of gleefully persecuting Christians. He was responsible for the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr for the Christian faith, and if God hadn't knocked Paul onto his bottom, who knows how many more people he would have had put to death. Even Paul recognizes this very fact when he calls himself the "worst of all sinners" cause to persecute and execute Christians would certainly be a heinous crime... especially when one finally realizes (even if it takes getting knocked on your bottom) that they were persecuting the Truth.

What God did was take the worst of all sinners and turn him into one of the most potent preachers Christianity has ever known. God used Paul in magnificent ways, and I am sure Paul is responsible for multitudes of people coming to Christ. That should be something we all agree on, right?

Now, if God could do that, why can't He take a man who is tempted (but does not succumb) and turn this man into a fisher of men as well?

According to some people, God can't do this, and they're relying on the words of a good Cardinal to support this odd stance. Since when did Jesus Christ concern Himself with the type of sin of a person if they were truly remorseful. Then again, are we even talking about people who have committed sins here? The answer is a resounding No! Active homosexuals? I agree, active homosexuals would be bad to admit into the priesthood. On the same hand, it would be just as bad to admit whoring heterosexual men into the priesthood. But, if a man can stick to his vows, I find it very bizarre that we're going to deny a man from seeking a vocation for a sin they have never committed. Doesn't that seem a bit bizarre?

If people are going to be judged guilty before even committing a sin, I don't think any amount of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will ever help any of us come closer to God. Literally, we're all doomed, regardless of whether or not Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins.

So, are we picking and choosing which mortal sins are worse than others. Last time I checked, any mortal sin, unrepented, sent one to hell.

Rather, what we need are men who can stick to their vows of celibacy. I don't care if they've had heterosexual or homosexual urges. If they "keep it in their pants" they should have the potential of serving Christ in the priesthood.

Acts 3:18-21
But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.

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