A new exposé on homosexuality in the Vatican is coming out next week. What can we expect?

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A new book claiming to expose what the author alleges is hypocrisy from leaders of the Catholic Church over issues of homosexuality will be published next week, coinciding with the start of a much-anticipated Vatican summit to discuss the church’s ongoing problems in addressing clerical sexual abuse—leading some to worry that gay priests will be blamed for the crisis.

According to a press release from its publisher, Bloomsbury, In The Closet of the Vatican, by the French journalist Frédéric Martel, “exposes the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today.” Mr. Martel, also a sociologist, is reported to have spent four years conducting more than 1,500 interviews, including conversations with 41 cardinals and dozens of priests and other Vatican officials. That is according to the British journal The Tablet, which also says that the book claims 80 percent of priests working at the Vatican are gay, though not necessarily sexually active.

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The central thesis of the 576-page book, according to the press release, is that “the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.”

An excerpt of the French edition of the book was published in the French magazine Le Point on Feb. 13. According to that article, Mr. Martel explores attacks against Pope Francis, whom Le Point calls the “hero” of the book, but spends much more time looking at the papacies and aides of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

The central thesis of the 576-page book, according to the press release, is that “the more a prelate is homophobic, the more likely it is that he is himself gay.”

In previous decades, a number of high-ranking Catholic officials have been at the forefront of the battle against same-sex marriage and other L.G.B.T. rights. But Pope Francis has tried to strike a more welcoming tone in recent years, upholding church doctrine on sexuality and marriage but urging the church to be less judgemental in how it approaches the L.G.B.T. community.

The Rev. James Alison, a British priest and theologian who has written extensively about sexuality and the priesthood, told America that when it comes to gay priests, “what really makes a difference is honesty.”

Father Alison, who was interviewed several times by Mr. Martel for the book, said that a system that prevents priests from being honest about their own sexuality creates conditions susceptible to scandal. Officially, gay men are barred from the priesthood, a teaching upheld as recently as 2016 by Pope Francis. But critics say the ban does not really work but instead effectively pushes gay men who still wish to be priests into the closet.

“That there is a large number of gay priests [working at the Vatican] should be neither here nor there,” he said. “The fact is that they’re in the closet in one way or another and therefore they are liable to blackmail. That’s the problem.”

Father Alison said that kind of secrecy can lead to some bishops and priests living double lives, a phenomenon that Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned, and this contributes to the financial and sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church in recent decades.

 

In the Closet of the Vatican is due to be released in eight languages and in 20 countries on Feb. 21, the same day that the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world begin a four-day meeting with Pope Francis in Rome, where they are expected to discuss best practices about fighting child sexual abuse.

That release date has some people concerned.

James Martin, S.J., an editor at large for America, whose essay “The Challenges and Gifts of the Homosexual Priest” was published in 2000, said he is disappointed.

"Sadly, the timing of the book’s publication makes it inevitable that the conversation around it will conflate the question of gay priests with sex abuse,” Father Martin said, adding that early reports describe the book as having “an almost impenetrable layer of gossip."

Sean Larsen, a theologian and the managing editor of the online academic journal Syndicate, said that he sees in the early reception of the book a Rorschach test on issues of homosexuality.

"Sadly, the timing of the book’s publication makes it inevitable that the conversation around it will conflate the question of gay priests with sex abuse.”

“I do have the fear about the equivocation of pedophilia and sex abuse with homosexuality, but that equivocation only works if you see homosexuality as a problem or a scandal” to begin with, Mr. Larsen said.

Experts in the United States have said sexual orientation does not correlate with the sexual abuse of minors. While a few bishops have in recent months suggested the church look more closely at any link between a high proportion of gay priests and abuse, several high-ranking church leaders, including Pope Francis, have said a clericalist culture was to blame.

For his part, Father Alison said the secrecy required of many gay priests can make them “incapable of looking at what is going on around them,” even if they have never engaged in abusive behavior themselves.

“That’s where the book is really helpful. It points out just how mendacious the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ world is and how it sets all those involved up to be unable to deal with the truth,” he said. Referring to any priests whose behavior goes against what is expected of them, Father Alison said, “They merely need to feel blackmailable.”

As for how to “solve” the cultural challenge, Father Alison said that in theory, the fix is simple.

“It will happen when young people entering the priesthood are able to be honest about who they are and bishops are able to be honest about who they are ordaining,” he said. “At the moment, neither is possible.”

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Bev Ceccanti
1 month 1 week ago

This article calls to mind a comment I remember from' Judge Judy', i.e.,'Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining'. I'm one of the chumps in the pew who never imagined the extent of homosexual activity among those sworn to celibacy. But my eyes are wide open now. These guys have been living a sordid lifestyle while persecuting those who are true to their vows. I will never support a diocese, or a ministry, or an order that singles out homosexuals for a special ministry. What about the poor Catholic men and women who have been abandoned by their spouses at a young age, and are then called to celibacy till their rightful spouses have passed away? I refuse to feel sorry for self absorbed narcissistic men who have chosen for themselves a convenient sexual opportunity on the Catholic dime. We are called not to put ourselves into situations of temptation of serious sin, Divine Tradition trumps Social 'Science' in the Catholic Church and those with homosexual orientation should not be accepted in seminaries any more than heterosexual priests should be housed with heterosexual nuns. The pedophile problem will be taken care of by legal authorities, but it is up to the Church to remove homosexual priests from persistent temptation if those priests don't take responsibility on their own and remove themselves. . And may God bless all of those who carry burdens without allowing their identities to be consumed by them.

John Sharpe
1 month 1 week ago

...what she said.

Will Nier
1 month 1 week ago

maybe those with heterosexual tendencies should also not be accepted for priesthood; how can they be trusted

Bev Ceccanti
1 month 1 week ago

Will Nier: One would assume they wouldn't be living with women.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

When we ordain women Priests it is quite likely they will share rectories with male priest. This is fine because most rectories have private bedrooms with private bathrooms and showers and bedroom doors that can lock, rather like living in a hotel.

Lisa M
1 month 1 week ago

That's it exactly Bev!

Tim Donovan
1 month 1 week ago

I'm a Catholic who's gay, and as I was growing up, I was fairly frequently taunted by my peers by being called the hurtful terms "sissy" and "faggot." Three points: I was taunted by people who correctly assumed that I was homosexual, although I didn't publicly reveal my orientation until I was 3 2 (I'm now 56). However, I did have feelings of lust but also strong emotional attachment to my best friend, "John" (not his real name) and when I was 19 (in 1981) I did tell him in private, "I love you." He was straight, and i certainly had no expectation of. our friendship developing into a sexual relationship. " John" made it clear that he didn't want me to express my feelings for him even privately (again, I hadn't publicly revealed my orientation yet, and expected no more from "John" than the continuation of our friendship). Finally, it wasn't only Catholics who taunted me with offensive, hurtful terms, but people of various faiths, including those who didn't attend any church. There is a ministry for Catholics called Courage for people with same-sex attraction. This ministry has a position which affirms authentic Church teaching regarding the immorality of gay sex, and of course sex outside of marriage (the union of one man and one woman) for straight people as well. Courage is a ministry which offers a community for those who recognize their sexual orientation and provides prayer and friendship as its goal. Courage does not attempt to change a person's sexual orientation. Dignity is a group of Catholics that has gay men and women who believe that same-sex relationships are moral. Consequently, Dignity is not supported as a valid ministry by orthodox Catholic clergy and laity. I must say I'm relieved that Courage doesn't attempt to change a gay person's sexual orientation. Although I have often found being gay to be difficult, I certainly have never been sexually attracted to women. Finally, according to an article in a publication by New Ways Ministry on May 26, 2018 (which essentially condones same-sex relationships, if I understand the information on their website), Pope Francis "affirmed a gay man's sexual identity as created by God" but at the same time warned "against gay men entering the priesthood." Although I believe that a gay man might be a good priest, I do believe that Pope Francis has a valid concern about gay men entering the seminary.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month 1 week ago

Tim Donovan: Thank you for enlightening me. I would, of course, support the Courage ministry.

Colin Jory
1 month ago

That's thoughtful and enlightening, Tim. However, as I understand it, Pope Francis, if one reads his fine print, hasn't put an absolute bar on the same-sex attracted being admitted to the priesthood. Rather, he stands by the established Church policy, which is that young men who are that way inclined can be admitted if they are have all the general qualities indicative of a genuine priestly vocation; are resolved on chastity; do not seem to be unduly impaired in their ability to remain chaste by contravening habits or psychological factors; and -- I think this is implied -- are not obviously, scandalously homosexually inclined (camp).

Eddy LeRoque
1 month 1 week ago

Dear Beverage Chianti. I truly feel sorry for you that you need to watch Judge Judy. "as a chump in the pew", you never realized there are sinners around you? Pick a sin any sin. Sin requires free will. You do know St Paul had a "demon" and was friends of a Greek body builder.? 1 Timothy 4:8 and 1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Do us all a favor and drop the pious puritan routine. I can give you hair raising stories on "godly" John Knox, Martin Luther and John Calvin

Antony P.
1 month ago

@Eddy LeRouque. Before you ask others to “drop” this or that, perhaps you could drop the condension ... just a thought...

Antony P.
1 month ago

Well said, Bev.

Colin Jory
1 month 1 week ago

A pertinent fact not reported here, but reported elsewhere and apparently part of the advance publicity information for Martel's book, is that Martel is himself homosexual. His claim that 80% of the Vatican clergy are homosexual sounds to me like a glutton fantasising about a banquet.

John Mack
1 month 1 week ago

Here we go again. facts are not facts, well conducted studies are an offense to the willfully blind and should never be published. It's all the media's and book writers' fault.

Jay Kay
1 month 1 week ago

Not really. It falls more into the category of "it takes one to know one." Most Catholics in the pews have been in denial, completely fooled. That, in spite of all kinds of evidence for years. Most Catholics still can't recognize a gay man, despite the fact that most of them know at least one if they know more than 2 or 3 priests.

Deplorable Me
1 month 1 week ago

Martel said he didn’t tell his subjects he was writing about homosexuality in the Vatican. But he said it should have been obvious to them since he is a gay man who was researching the inner world of the Vatican and has written about homosexuality before. He said it was easier for him, as a gay foreigner, to gain the trust of those inside the Vatican than it would have been for an Italian journalist or Vatican expert.

“If you’re heterosexual it’s even harder. You don’t have the codes,” “If you’re a woman, even more so.”

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

The problem won't be fixed until we start ordaining women called to priesthood and to every other level of ministry in our church.

Between the new Yorker article recently and this one, it is clear that women don't count at all, to either these writers, or to any of our priests or hierarchy and big part of that lack of concern is that our church's hierarchy is made up of men who aren't attracted to women and therefore have no use or respect for them as equally valuable.

I would not be shocked that seventy percent of clerics in the Vatican are gay since most of the hatred of women seems to always come straight from Rome. Also, there was Frontline documentary which had video of priests and bishops even dancing almost naked but they were taken by a priest and the room was too dark to see which bishops the two were or Frontline blurred the party footage somewhat. It was revolting!

Sexism has been proven, not merely opined, to lead directly to child and teen sexual abuse as well as to the abuse of women.

I have often wondered if our current Pope and the last two Pope's before him were not gay.

It would explain our current misogyny above all other priorities stand and why even though neither Jesus or the original twelve ever wrote or stated they were against women being priests, or bishops, or cardinals, or Pope's, or presbyters (and some women were) or deacons or apostles, that our Pope's insist it is a subject that can never be discussed. Why? Because women will blow the cover off the big fat continuous Roman Gay Party.

How long are we going to continue to allow these sinful men, sinful on account of their clear unjust treatment of women and children, continue on this path? When is it going to be enough wrong for us to demand real justice and a righteous based set of laws for all of our members.

Shame on these men and shame on us lay people for letting this happen for centuries!

lurline jennings
1 month 1 week ago

Your suggestions mirror the Episcopal Church in the US and the Anglican Church of England. This transition in these churches has caused many of the traditional members to leave and go to the Roman Rite. Allowing women clergy at any level would destroy Mother Church. Like Humpty Dumpty it could never be put back together again.
There is a place for both men and women in the church. The church defines where each can function and lists the requirements. Look at some videos of ordinations of women in the churches in England and the United States. A woman dressed in a Miter and Cope is not a pretty sight. It is nothing more than a divisive move creating a more unstable church. How anyone can state hatred of women by male clergy is common I would urge those to review the devotions to the Holy Mother. When you celebrate the life of the Queen of Heaven, you can't hate her daughters.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

Nothing in your statement has any basis in fact or biblical support.

There is nothing ugly in seeing Episcopal women in clerical garb or wearing a miter.

Episcopal parishes led by women priests do as well as those run by men. The Episcopalian church has gained more ex Catholics than we have gained ex Episcopalians. The largest reason Episcopalians and Anglicans have lost members has been due to the openly married gay bishops, one in particular who later divorced, and also due to the lowest birth rates compared to other churches.

The majority of Catholics want women priests and bishops and that majority would be much greater if we had not already lost most of our western membership due to our stubbornness to keep on hating women and putting them in demeaning roles.

Loving Mary does not equate to loving women if you are just using your profile of Mary as only worthwhile because she was a mother.

Women and men equally have same value as parents and in all other roles, including ministry and includimg ordained ministry.

Jesus had no problem with narrow minded people leaving if they were against his commands to love God first and treat and love all others the same. This leaves no room for discrimination against women. Sexism is sin and leads to sin and our church has proven that better than anyone else.

You clearly have problems with women and that is sad but hate is hate and when you or our leaders treat women differently or less than men you are guilty of the sin of hating your sisters.

Deplorable Me
1 month 1 week ago

Nora, nothing in your Bible gives any support for the priesthood...PERIOD...male or female.

Will Nier
1 month 1 week ago

correct and also not until we start ordaining homosexual men and women who are also called to Priesthood and the Order of Deacons.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

Thanks. I have no problem with homosexual people being ordained priests, or married priests, as long as women are being ordained priests first before married men are given priestly ordination as a matter of justice. I will never support full gender segregation. I do think that gay people need to be willing to commit to lifelong relationships just like strait people. But I don't see why these relationships can't be equally respected and their families equally welcomed in our church.

As for permanent deacons, this is a ministry that needs to go right back into hibernation and never come out again. It was taken out of hibernation fifty years ago to make rich, white, western, married men feel more important than poor laypeople and all women. Proof of this is the fact that, globally, for at least the last forty years, and still now, this ministry has consisted of over ninety percent white, fairly wealthy, married, western men. This is proof of sexism, clericalism, racism, ethnic and wealth and class bias being supported, ongoing, by this ministry that has no reason to exist, in the modern age since no parish has ever failed due to the lack of a permanent deacon.

Since trained lay women and men have been doing all the sacramental and other ministries deacons have been doing, and legitimately, with bishop's approval, in countries that could not afford these expensive, sixty thousand or more, a year, per diocese, deacon programs we can demand an end to this harmful ministry. Also the parishes that have had trained lay people to do these ministries instead of deacons are often more active parishes and healthier parishes.

So I am for dumping the harmful diaconate altogether. We need to start making the choices that build rather than break down parishes. We need to face the facts about what that really entails, even if it upsets rich white men, we must do this for the sake of our future.

Crystal Watson
1 month 1 week ago

I agree. Most Catholics do also - 59% want women to be priests. But the pope is a sexist who won't even allow us to be deacons.

Tim O'Leary
1 month ago

Crystal - what do you mean "us." You're not even Catholic and you don't even care for the Church. Many protestant churches allow women to be clergy so you have many choices. Here's the thing. It is infallible teaching that only men can be priests. So, if some bishop attempted to ordain a woman, it would be a forgery. She could try to celebrate mass but the bread and wine would still be bread and wine at the end of the event, just like in the protestant churches.

Mark M
1 month 1 week ago

The problem won’t be fixed until Siamese cats can be ordained, no wait, not until German shepherds can be ordained; no wait, wait...not until married Texas longhorns can be ordained. That’s it, Longhorns. Then it will all get better.

Kathy Glaser
1 month ago

Nora, your response is very well written and I agree with you.

John Stevens
1 month ago

"The problem won't be fixed until we start ordaining women called to priesthood and to every other level of ministry in our church."
Firstly, women cannot be ordained as priests, precisely because they are not men. Even if some in the Magisterium did so, the ordinations would not be valid, as the Church has not the power to do so, nor the ability to change objective reality.
Secondly, there is simply no relationship between such a heretical move, and a solution to this problem. Women simply commit different sexual sins. One need only look to the huge number of women giving birth out of wedlock to recognize this as fact.
"I would not be shocked that seventy percent of clerics in the Vatican are gay since most of the hatred of women seems to always come straight from Rome. "
The Church does not hate women. They do recognize the truth: that God created us male or female, and that the differences in the sexes is by design, to fulfill God's purpose and end. That this opposes the lies of modernism is something that heretics and schismatics define as hate, but in truth, it is love of the highest order: the truth that sets you free from the kind of ideological possession that so many suffer from.
"It would explain our current misogyny"
Speak for yourself. The Church is not misogynistic. It is your doctrine of radical equality that is misogynistic. Even some feminists are beginning to realize that.
"why even though neither Jesus or the original twelve ever wrote or stated they were against women being priests"
Jesus did not need to say, explicitly, something that obvious. Indeed, there is a whole lot he didn't explicitly forbid. That he did not forbid a thing explicitly, however, does not mean it is allowed. He never explicitly forbid bestiality or pedophilia, either. He did not need to, as such things were already covered by the Law.
We know what he intended by looking at what he did. He chose only men for his Apostles, ordained only men, reaffirmed and upheld the Law (which allowed only men to be priests). Furthermore, we can know that the priesthood is reserved to men by unaided human reason. One need merely consider the end result of sending women into ISIS controlled territory to preach the Good News.
The simple fact is that the Church has no power to ordain women, as women are simply not the proper matter for the sacrament.
"that our Pope's insist it is a subject that can never be discussed. Why?"
Because the question is settled, authoritatively and infallibly.
It seems that you want to start your own Church, or join one that fits your beliefs. I would remind you that there is a special circle of Hell reserved for schismatics. The humble, faithful Catholic gives religious assent to the teachings of Holy Mother Church. It would seem your besetting sin is pride. The sure cure for that is regular doses of humility.
"How long are we going to continue to allow these sinful men, sinful on account of their clear unjust treatment of women and children, continue on this path?"
The Church as always had sinful men in the Magisterium, and in the pews, along with sinful women as well. One of the proofs of the truth of Catholicism is that Holy Mother Church continues to teach the truth, regardless of social pressure, the evils of modern philosophies, the sins and sinful nature of her priests, and the pride and other sins of the laity.
It's miraculous, all things considered.

John Mack
1 month 1 week ago

A blanket exclusuon of ordaining gay priests is hardly loving the sinner but not the sin when an ordained homosexual vows to be celibate and keeps that vow. It use to be a joke in Ireland that liberal bishops have relations with women, conservative bishops with boys. As pointed out in the article, it is the pretense, the lying that is the problem, not homosexuals committed to the vow of celibacy. But it is the church that imposes that pretense and pushes people to lie.

Will Nier
1 month 1 week ago

very well said and I say that because I happen to know two excellent clergy in the RC Church who are homosexual and keep their vows. They even publicly stated so.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month 1 week ago

John Mack: It has nothing to do with not loving the sinner . It has to do with not putting a person in a situation that would require extraordinary self discipline to refrain from mortal sin. It is not loving to put someone in that position. Do you think heterosexual priests and nuns should be housed together? I think not.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

Yes I do believe nuns, brothers, and priests should be housed together.

Jesus tells us we are a family. In what family do the sisters and brothers live in different buildings. As it is there are many monasteries and convents that opposite sex religious and non religious stay in due to retreats or renting the rooms to make travel cheaper. Most of these rooms have their own private baths and showers. There is nothing that can happen at night that can't happen in the daytime when two people decide to do it.

Housed together or apart a person either cares enough about their vows to keep them or they don't.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month ago

Nora: You are touting the idea of seminarians and novitiates , young men and women religious( who have taken vows of chastity), living together. Passion is a gift to be directed toward the Will of God. To deliberately put people of vows, especially the vows of Ordination, who have attraction to each other, in that long term situation is to deny they have passion. If they have no passion, they have no fire to redirect to their holy journey. You apparently put no value on vows, which include ALL of one's life. It includes not wasting time on inappropriate distractions even if genital sex is avoided.. None other than Satan is The Father of Lies..

Bev Ceccanti
1 month ago

duplicate

Robert Lewis
1 month ago

Actually, many Benedictine monasteries and convents WERE conjoined with houses of religious of the opposite sex. Abbesses once presided over monasteries, as well as convents. I myself know of a monastery in New Mexico that is also a convent. Sexual temptations are part of human nature, and sequestration of one sex apart from the other is not the way to deal with them.

John Stevens
1 month ago

"A blanket exclusuon of ordaining gay priests is hardly loving the sinner but not the sin when an ordained homosexual vows to be celibate and keeps that vow."
That really makes no sense at all.
Firstly, love does not require that the Church ordain everybody who wants to be ordained. Indeed, a big part of the discernment process is discovering if the man who wants to be ordained should be ordained. Many men are rejected for cause, and should be.
Secondly, same sex attraction is itself objectively disordered. This is not a sin in and of itself, but men with objectively disordered desires are simply not fit for the priesthood. One should not ordain a kleptomaniac, an objectophiliac or a zoophile to the priesthood, nor someone who has any other kind of disordered desire, regardless of their willingness to take a vow.
You do not put an alcoholic in charge of a distillery, even if he vows to never drink again. Remember, we should avoid the near occasions of sin.
"As pointed out in the article, it is the pretense, the lying that is the problem, not homosexuals committed to the vow of celibacy."
Sorry, but the objectively disordered desire is indeed a problem. The article is simply wrong.
"But it is the church that imposes that pretense and pushes people to lie."
The Church imposes no such pretense, and it is the person who lies who is responsible for that lie. If you suffer from same sex attraction, you should simply be honest about that, and accept that you are not fit to be ordained.
The fundamental error you make is in equating a properly ordered desire with an objectively disordered one. That one has disordered desires does not make one a sinner, but it does make one unfit for the priesthood.

Will Nier
1 month 1 week ago

The problem is not with having a homosexual or heterosexual priest. The problem is one of UNFAITHFULNESS. We are seeing the same thing evidenced by the high divorce rate within today's society.

John Sharpe
1 month 1 week ago

Here is the evolution of urban churches

(1) Middle class Methodist leave the pews, rainbow flags show up, the church sells all their real estate.

(2) Middle class Lutherans leave the pews, rainbow flags show up, the church sells all of their real estate,

(3) Middle class Catholics leave the pews, rainbow flags show up .... end of story.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

John,
You seem unaware of our huge losses and huge amount of church closings. Rainbow flags and women priests are not what is causing the decline in all christian churches, membership.

In fact, poor treatment of LGBT and lack of women priests and bishops are among the top seven reasons given for leaving Catholicism.

There are different reasons for declines in some churches verses others but sexism and poor treatment of LGBT are reasons for leaving a church for most ex catholics.

The majority of Catholics are not traditionalists. They realize that our church has changed laws and traditions in the past to correct itself and it will continue to do this in the future.

John Sharpe
1 month 1 week ago

“There are different reasons for declines in some churches verses others but sexism and poor treatment of LGBT are reasons for leaving a church for most ex catholics.“

That’s not true otherwise the mainline Protestant Churches wouldn’t be closing. That was my point., it’s the same tribalism and intersectionality myth that society is preaching.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month ago

Nora: Anyone who truly believes in Transubstantiation, who truly believes in the Real Presence, the real PHYSICAL presence of Jesus Christ, in the Holy Eucharist, is not likely to leave the Church for ANY reason, especially those you persistently try to sell.. Those that don't believe in the Real ( physical) Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist don't have the Faith anyway.

Crystal Watson
1 month 1 week ago

The problem is not that there are gay priests. The problem is that a significant percentage of both straight and gay priests don't take the vow of celibacy seriously. Allow men and women, straight and gay, celibate and married, all to be priests and these acting-out problems will go away.

Nora Bolcon
1 month 1 week ago

Amen! Along with our hallucinated vocation crisis. Truth is we have never ever had a vocation crisis but we have had an intentionally mis-titled misogyny crises for centuries.

Jay Kay
1 month 1 week ago

We don't have a clergy shortage. We have a building surplus.

JulieinSeattle .
1 month 1 week ago

Christ never said a word about homosexuality, and yet, no amount of ink spilled or arguments endured seems to quench the appetite of some Christians (regardless of denomination) for categorizing and judging their fellow human beings based on their gender and sexuality. The Catholic Church is hardly alone in being consumed alive by sexual controversies and crimes, but we're certainly in the lead right now. If we spent one tenth the energy focusing on the Great Commandment, recorded in Mark 12:30-31, I'd be more hopeful about the future of Christianity. As it is, I comfort myself that the Church and the faith are eternal, and the Lord who said: "Let the one among you who is guiltless cast the first stone..." will return.

John Sharpe
1 month 1 week ago

“Christ never said a word about homosexuality”

Jesus didn’t write anything down so you don’t know that for sure. We have compilation of writings from apostalic fathers and early church fathers that formed the church we have today.

Christopher Minch
1 month 1 week ago

The "compilation of writings from apostalic (sic) fathers and early church fathers" are not inspired, informative of their times and their concerns but not inspired. Some of the writers wrote very holy and informative tracts and history of the early Church. But still not canonically inspired. Do you not think the inspired Gospel writers and Jesus in what we have of his sayings and parables might have given us this distinction if he/they wanted too? I hear a lot of inclusiveness in the Gospels and concern for sinners, those with demons that drove themselves and families mad, the sick and the oppressed to bring them to and into the Kingdom of God. He was not very fond of the self-righteous or the proud it seems to me or the authoritative scribes & pharisees too, or the nit-pickers and judgement seekers.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month 1 week ago

Christopher: You're apparently uninformed of History. There is nothing extant written about the gospels before 75 years after Christ. The first known Christian writing is the Didache. The Gospels were reported orally . The Church did not come out of the Bible . The Bible came out of the Church. 27 manuscripts were selected out of over 400 that were circulating in the 300's. They were canonized by the Successors of the Apostles (Catholic Bishops) at the Council of Nicaea in 325 and these became the New Testament. They were originally part of the Oral Tradition of the Church.. .

Christopher Minch
1 month ago

Bev, you really are very disputatious. Did I say anything about when the Gospels were written versus when the Epistles were written. No. My argument is based on the status of what is considered inspired by the Church and what is not. The Didache was known at the time but the Church chose the current Gospels and Epistles as being inspired. Just because the Gospels started as notes and oral traditions does not mean that you can give the Didache or any other early writings more authoritative status than what we have now in the Gospels and Epistles. I accept what the bishops at Nicaea decided about all these writings at that time. Do you? It's hard enough to decide what is right and wrong without someone coming along and saying, "but what about this writing" or "what was said here". Essentially its changing the rules, the goal posts. I have no problem with considering and even appreciating "these outside the inspired writings" and even including them in some of my meditations but when I want to be really sure I go back to my meditations on the Gospels and Epistles and try not to confuse the two.

Bev Ceccanti
1 month ago

Christopher: To clarify: A practice can't be legitimately impugned because it's not mentioned in the Bible. The Didache isn't canonized and isn't considered inspired : however, the Bible is but a portion of the Deposit of Faith, or Divine Revelation. which comes directly from Christ and is ,by definition, inspired by God. Divine Tradition includes the whole of God's Revelation. Divine Tradition is inspired. The New testament is credible because it's witnessed, or canonized, by the Catholic Church. There are many things in Divine Tradition not specified in the the Bible but the Bible is never inconsistent with Divine Tradition. ... The Old Testament came out of the Jewish communion. The New Testament came out of the Catholic communion. All of God's Revelation is included in Divine Tradition. A portion of Divine Revelation is contained in the Bible but all of God's Revelation is included in Divine Tradition., Thus, a practice can't be legitimately impugned because it's not described in the Bible.

Deplorable Me
1 month 1 week ago

Jesus (like it or not) came to His own to talk to them about them. There is no evidence that homosexuality was a problem at that time in Israel, so Christ may not have had much to say about it. But, were you there? Do you think every word He said is written down? His stance on the issue was already quite clear to His audience.

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