Monday, May 31, 2010

Gay, Catholic, Priest

One of the most enduring mysteries to me is how gay people are drawn to religion.

I maybe wrong, it is a personal observation…. But, given the fact that our numbers are small, and have always been so, it seems as if a disproportionate number of us is drawn to the priesthoods… depending on the religion.
If one is to believe Ssempa in Uganda, many Pentecostal pastors are, the likes of Kayanja, etc, etc. But that may be just a case of professional jealousy. Diversion.

I have been thinking of that, because apparently the Catholic Church is seeking ways of making sure that no gay men, or homosexuals make it into the priesthood.
I am not lying. And, this is the 21st Century. It is the last day of May 2010. The report is in the New York Times.

You see, there were the sexual scandals in the Catholic Church. And, they were blamed on homosexuals. Though there is this caveat.
the questions are also aimed at another, equally sensitive mission: deciding whether gay applicants should be denied admission under complex recent guidelines from the Vatican that do not explicitly bar all gay candidates but would exclude most of them, even some who are celibate.
 Scientific studies have found no link between sexual orientation and abuse, and the church is careful to describe its two initiatives as more or less separate.
But, the gist of what is happening is that it has been decided that gay and Catholic priest should not be something that is possible.
Still, since the abuse crisis erupted in 2002, curtailing the entry of gay men into the priesthood has become one the church’s highest priorities. And that task has fallen to seminary directors and a cadre of psychologists who say that culling candidates has become an arduous process of testing, interviewing and making decisions — based on social science, church dogma and gut instinct.
“The best way I can put it, it’s not black and white,” said the adviser, the Rev. David Toups, the director of the secretariat of clergy, consecrated life and vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It’s more like one of those things where it’s hard to define, but ‘I know it when I see it.’ ”
Many church officials have been reluctant to discuss the screening process, and its details differ from diocese to diocese. In the densely populated Diocese of Brooklyn, officials are confident of their results in one respect.
“We have no gay men in our seminary at this time,” said Dr. Robert Palumbo, a psychologist who has screened seminary candidates at the diocese’s Cathedral Seminary Residence in Douglaston, Queens, for 10 years. “I’m pretty sure of it.” Whether that reflects rigorous vetting or the reluctance of gay men to apply, he could not say. “I’m just reporting what is,” he said. 
So, will it be possible?

Personally, I dont think so.
We gay people are attracted to religion. And that manifests itself in many ways, part of which is that despite a lot of persecution, we still count ourselves as believers. And, of course, people have been looking for that litmus test for a very long time. To know what makes us gay, to be able to identify it. The Catholic church has fallen back to 'gaydar'? Well, mine works not so well, but am sure that a few of us will slip through that hoop.

And, of course there is that reality that quite a few of the most ardent homophobes are usually homosexual....

But, the church's initiative is only so much homophobia. A needless, baseless fear of all things gay or homosexual. For crying out aloud, all priests are supposed to be celibate. Homosexual celibate and Heterosexual celibate seem to be different. Hypocrites.

Here is to Mary Glasspool, and to Gene Robinson.

And to all gay people who try to break through that glass ceiling. I was in one of our bars last night and someone was pointed out to me as being a Pentecostal pastor.... Power to you, as long as you dont see fit in the near future to go on a gay bashing trip. [I must say that my solution to the whole religion and sexuality problem looks to be much more logical, but, I am not everyone, am I?]



Leonard said...

The Pope is a disgusting and irresponsible feardriven old dare he ignore the fine Homosexuals in the ranks of his clergy (and there are up to 40%) many who outserve, outperform and out minister many of their ¨heterosexuals¨ counterparts? None of this makes ANY sense and Benedict and his accomplices can huff and puff and try to ¨appear¨ like they are ¨doing something¨ and ¨know things¨ but their own bad judgment(s, GLARING EGOS and stinking policies of avoidance in the past harm them and others. The truth remains that the Pope refuses to take responsibility for his bad judgment and dangerous/shifty policies to protect agents of ¨mother church¨ and boost his sinking credibility...blame, shame, exclusion and marginalizing is a sin and not a sign of enlightenment at the Roman Catholic Church or the EQUALLY MESSED UP Anglican Church of Uganda.

Homophobe Henry and his monied puritan/Dominonist gang lurching around bad mouthing LGBT human beings they know nothing about (but make up ugly stories anyway based on the yammerings of American bigoted ¨Evangelical¨ extremists) is plain stupid.

The Church that stands for little other than the sound of it´s own nervous and strident acts of iniating fear and hate against fellow Christians/others is dieing a horrible death. Their is no leader able to face their own flawed character and take responsiblity for harming others...nobody is safe until old men and sick men start getting a grip on REALITY and facing their own lies and wrongs...ignorant acts of outcasting won´t solve THEIR problem of fear and self-loathing turned arrogant scapegoating! I suggest they become MORAL AUTHORITIES by taking responsibility for their very own unwise/ignorant actions against LGBT people in Uganda and abroad!

Yes, they piss me off...they initiate acts of crime in Uganda and beyond...they are irresponsible criminals pretending to be Godlike!

Rotten to the core and still defensive as Hell as they pretend to be fresh picked and spiritually healthy fruits (by which they are known)...poison to body and mind as they continue on creating more diversions by going off on irrational tangents by demeaning others!

Plain stupid.

spiralx said...

There is a difference between "spirituality", or being a spiritual person, and "religion". A lot of people are on the right path even though they may be atheists, or sceptics. And as we know, there are a lot of religious people who are not.

The Catholics, like the Greek and Russian Orthodoxies, seem to be locking themselves into blind dogma and ritual, and losing sight of true spiritual possibility. (Though naturally they would deny that!).

When you add to that their wilful ignorance of science, you do wonder what on earth they have to offer anyone... blind comfort, perhaps?

Tom said...

When I was ordained a Catholic priest in 2002, the vast majority of the guys in seminary were gay. I estimate about 80-85% were gay. The exact number is impossible to know, because no one could be open, even if he was celibate.

Since I left the priesthood in 04 and came out of the closet, I've heard numerous stories about other guys leaving as well because they are gay, and stories about those who stay slowly drinking themselves to death, or having sexual relations on the side, while publicly condemning gays. Combined, these stories number about 25 guys, as confirmed gay. I have one confirmed bisexual. And, only two confirmed straight guys (one who left to get married, one who a priest having an affair). Any diocese that claims to have no gay priest or seminarians is lying.

The thing about Pope Ratzinger's document (supposedly) barring gay men from the seminary is that, in the United States, most of the seminary faculty members are closeted gays, as are most of the vocations directors and directors of seminarians.

These men form seminarians to work the system and teach them how to answer questions about sexuality so that one passes as straight. Ratzinger knows that this happens. The bishops know that this happens. They want the gays to keep getting ordained, because they can use the closet to keep control of them. Living in fear of being exposed and booted from the priesthood allows bishops to manipulate gay priests, and all for the supposed glory of a god that promised the truth will set one free. Sadly, gay Catholics will continue to keep going to the priesthood in droves, because it's the only place where they can find acceptance and affirmation in the church.

I was told, by the priest in charge of recruiting seminarians, to flat out lie if asked directly about being gay. Truth is relative in the culture of Catholic priesthood. I was told it's only lying if the person asking for the information has a right to the information. We can all see how this seed of "wisdom" has played out in the sexual abuse/rape scandal.

The entire system is flawed. It's based on fear, control, masks, and lies; not truth.

Anonymous said...

Reading Heretic Tom'slast comment, I'm glad I subscribe to no religion whatsoever.

IN Homophobic societies like ours, some people might join the preisthood for safety from homophobes, atleast there, nosy relatives will not ask why You are not dating (a member of the Female gender) I personally know 2 friends who took that path for that reason, but since I'm not Catholic, I will have to find another excuse.

Anonymous said...

I would like to meet a catholic priest in Egypt (open minded so I can confess to him about my mistakes feel free to contact me at rvdelamode AT

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