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Author Topic: '"Overcome" Homosexuality'
Caliban3
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Does that just mean "bisexual"?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gayrights/story/0,12592,1653351,00.html

Posts: 2813 | From: The Tempest | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The cantering captain
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Gay rights groups say this may force new clergy members to hide their homosexuality, burying the issue rather than confronting it.

Surely all priests have to hide their sexuality. Or are they allowed to have sex now ?

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Spearmint Rhino
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You know, what OTF needs is more threads about the Catholic church.
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Femme Folle
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Apparently not. I have a friend who recently overcame his gayness [apparently] and is now dating women. No plans to become a priest though, as far as I'm aware. I think he just wants some nookie.
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Super Sharp Shooter
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quote:
You know, what OTF needs is more threads about the Catholic church.
Yes. I think everyone enjoys them, don't they?
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Caliban3
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quote:
Apparently not. I have a friend who recently overcame his gayness [apparently] and is now dating women. No plans to become a priest though, as far as I'm aware. I think he just wants some nookie.
How can you just switch sexuality? How? Surely he's just been bisexual all along, and not realised?
Posts: 2813 | From: The Tempest | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Super Sharp Shooter
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I think it was Leo who recently used the word "mercurial" to describe human sexuality, and I think that's a very good term to use. What you like changes all the time I think. Granted, for most people nothing as polar as chaging preference from male to female, but I don't think it's that unfathomable. Straight / Gay / Bisexual are all terms better suited to describing activity than to describe anything especially intrinsic, I reckon.
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Caliban3
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I've always considered sexuality to be more about who you are than what you like, and something that's already formed before you know about it. However, as I'm saying all this I'm realising that I know several women who seem to have changed sexuality quite late on in life. Perhaps it's more fluctuant than I think.
Posts: 2813 | From: The Tempest | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Not me
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I was probably describing James Dean Bradfield's voice, SSS, but I'll happily take credit on for having said something intelligent (or even intelligible) in recent months.
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G-Man
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Hmm, let me have a stab at a bit of analysis, specifically from a Catholic rather than a secular perspective. And before my little friend gets to accuse me of all manner of horrid things, let me point out from the off that I find the document deplorable and its existence utterly indefensible, its scant redeeming features notwithstanding. So I'll address rather the impact of the document than its desirability.

This document is a very strange fish. On the face of it, the instruction (not guideline, as some news outlet have it) pretty much proscribes the ordination of even celibate homosexuals. If a vocations director or seminary rector wishes to interpret as such, he will not see a way to ordain almost any homosexual, because the bar seems to be set impossibly high.

However, it would be deplorably narrow-minded if a vocations director or seminary rector were to interpret it in such a way. The document contains loopholes big enough for a seal to jump through. Certain elements are so vaguely phrased and so loosely defined (or not at all defined) that a vocations director/seminary rector could effortlessly justify the admission of suitable homosexual candidates to the seminary and to the priesthood.

In my opinion most of those faced with making such a decision would oppose a blanket ban on homosexuals entering the priesthood. The document gives such decision makers licence to give the document various interpretations -- I suspect this was so by design rather than by oversight, because the opposition to earlier, more hardline drafts was very strong.

One key issue concerns the emphasis on a ban on men with a "homosexual tendency" (rather than, say, the more unambiguous term "homosexual orientation"). One could reasonably understand "tendency" to mean something akin to "inclination", with the implication that such a person is prone to violating his promise of celibacy and therefore unsuitable for the priesthood (as a heterosexual would be as well). If one applies that definition -- and the document does not define what exactly is meant by "tendency" -- then those with a homosexual orientation who are likely to remain celibate can be ordained.

The flip side is that one can also interpret "tendency" to equal "orientation", in which case such a decision-maker might not admit a homosexual to the seminary or priesthood. In short, the document invites semantic manipulation.

I presume that the wording was intentional strong, and the loopholes subtle and vague, for two reasons:

a) the document is supposed to appease the homophobes who would like to purge the priesthood of homosexuals (it also makes nice noises about how homosexuals should not be discriminated against, which takes the hypocritical buiscuit really).

b) it may very well be intended to scare off homosexuals from even applying to a seminary (an indefensible notion).

While I'm pleased that in the instruction there are escape clauses from rampant homophobia, I am quite disturbed that it exists in first place.

For one, it smacks of scapegoating. If it was not meant to scapegoat, then the Vatican surely might have issued an instruction on the admission of all candidates to the priesthood, perhaps with a sub-section dealing with matters relating specifically to the question of homosexuality (for example the issue of the reported "predominance" of a "gay subculture" in many seminaries, which is said to alienate many heterosexual seminarians. Of course, at the same time a hyper macho subculture in a seminary would be equally undesirable).

But it didn't, and it is difficult to see the instruction as anything else but discriminatory.

My second concern is that the document seems to suggest that the many exemplary priests with a homosexual orientation are in some way unworthy of the priesthood. What the Vatican is telling these clerics is that they are priests only because of the vagaries of their date of birth -- that they shouldn't really have been priests in first place. The document is a brutal slur on these priests, and that is simply inexcusable.

So, there certainly will still be homosexual men ordained to the priesthood. I rather suspect that the document will be widely forgotten and ignored once the hype has died down.

Clearly this happened to the more general 1961/2 instruction which proscribed homosexuals from becoming priests. Given that in some areas the proportion of homosexual priests is very high (in Cape Town they are said to be in the majority), that directive obviously had no effect at all.

I am quite confident that this deplorable document will likewise have little practical relevance in the long term.

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Ginger Yellow
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quote:
One key issue concerns the emphasis on a ban on men with a "homosexual tendency" (rather than, say, the more unambiguous term "homosexual orientation"). One could reasonably understand "tendency" to mean something akin to "inclination", with the implication that such a person is prone to violating his promise of celibacy and therefore unsuitable for the priesthood (as a heterosexual would be as well).
At the risk of becoming SSS, for fuck's sake. If that's what they meant they needn't have bothered mentioning homosexuality at all. They could have just sent an e-mail round saying "No sex please, we're Catholic".

quote:
My second concern is that the document seems to suggest that the many exemplary priests with a homosexual orientation are in some way unworthy of the priesthood.
Where on earth would they get that idea? The Catholic Church has always been so understanding and respectful of homosexuality. It's just that homosexuals are objectively disordered.

quote:
Clearly this happened to the more general 1961/2 instruction which proscribed homosexuals from becoming priests. Given that in some areas the proportion of homosexual priests is very high (in Cape Town they are said to be in the majority), that directive obviously had no effect at all.
Apart from reinforcing the idea among millions of Catholics that homosexuality is evil, no effect at all.

[ 29.11.2005, 20:49: Message edited by: Ginger Yellow ]

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Ginger Yellow
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Oh and 'tendencies'? Here's what they mean:
quote:
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski elaborated on the meaning of "transitory" problems in an interview on Italian radio.
"For example, during an adolescence not yet completed, some curiosity; or, under accidental circumstances, when drunk, or other particular conditions such as a person who has been in prison for many years. In these cases, the possible homosexual acts do not come from a deeply seated tendency, but are determined by the circumstances," he said.
"Or, these acts are made to please someone and obtain advantages ... These acts in such cases do not originate from a 'deeply seated' tendency, but from other transitory circumstances, and these cases are not an obstacle to the admission to the seminary or to holy order. In this case though, they have to end at least three years before the diaconal ordainment."

Sounds like orientation to me.
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G-Man
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GY: "At the risk of becoming SSS, for fuck's sake. If that's what they meant they needn't have bothered mentioning homosexuality at all. They could have just sent an e-mail round saying "No sex please, we're Catholic"."

Er, I'm making exactly that point in my post, though differently out.

GY: "Apart from reinforcing the idea among millions of Catholics that homosexuality is evil, no effect at all."

Well, no. The early '60s directory was not publicly circulated. So you can't hold that document liable for that. Try the Catechism of the Catholic Church to back up that argument; it's a little goldmine for that sort of thing.

Having said that, the Carechism uses very similar theological language about "objective disorders" and "intrinsically evil" acts in regard to masturbation, which only the craziest Catholics would still bother to regard as a huge sin.

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Purves Grundy
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quote:
though differently out.

Arf!
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Tubby Isaacs
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At the risk of becoming a poor man's GY being SSS, how can you say something in 1961 had little effect on the basis of one place in 2005 having an anecdotally high number of gay clergy? And did not the restricted people who read this document not act on it?
Posts: 18279 | From: Georgica | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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