Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why bother?

There are reasons why I posted the text of the Vatican document on the criteria of vocational discernment regarding persons with homosexual tendencies on the blog.

I have not completely lost the plot and will expand on them later following several decades of the rosary and reciting the angelus. (ok I am off to make the dinner)


Like a few other queers I know where I was when I first heard the words used in the letter of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith authored by Cardinal Ratzinger to Bishops in the US in 1992. Entitled 'Some Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on Nondiscrimination of Homosexual Persons,' it said that

It is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account
when making laws concerning adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches and in military recruitment.

But the contents that further hurt many people were the words 'morally disordered' and 'intrinsically evil' when referring to homosexuals.
13 years on, the document published today after many months of leaking is more carefully written. But its clear that its still couched in hatred and homophobia.

Regarding acts, it teaches that, in Sacred Scripture, these are presented as grave sins. Tradition has constantly considered them to be intrinsically immoral and contrary to natural law. These, consequently, may not be approved in any case.

Concerning profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, that one
discovers in a certain number of men and women, these are also objectively disordered and often constitute a trial, even for these men and women. These people must be received with respect and delicacy; one will avoid every mark of unjust discrimination with respect to them. These are called to realize the will of God in their lives and to unite to the Sacrifice of the Lord the difficulties that they may encounter.

...The above persons find themselves, in fact, in a situation that gravely obstructs a right way of relating with men and women.

That last sentence is most telling, nowhere in the document will you find mention of children or paedophilia. It is clear that the document feels that gay priests or priests with deep seated tendencies are not able to relate to other humans in the proper manner whatever that might be.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said on several occasions recently that this document and general church policy is egalitarian, active heterosexuals are also precluded from ordination. But this document does not talk about them. Heterosexual priests are not banned from ordination, how deep seated will the heterosexuality be before one is banned from ordination? Indeed in many parts of South America one cannot be a priest or respected by your parish if you are not an active heterosexual! It's a case if you haven't walked the walk, you can't talk the talk.

Some gay rights organisations maybe satisfied if the policy is applied equally, but that means these groups are sanctioning discrimination! We need to highlight this document as an attack on gays, ordained or not, and yet another attempt to link homosexuality with child sexual abuse and other forms of sexual abuse.

I'm off to mark my right to treatment involving 'delicacy' and give my partner a cuddle. It's all too easy to ignore the document and dismiss it. We need to name the hate and continue to call it like we see it and that includes blogging about it and not just mentioning the local bishops reaction as they are mere minions in Benny's plans for the future.


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