Thursday, July 04, 2013

This is interesting: On clerical homosexuality.

East and West.

From the Orthodox Church. (Greek Orthodox Eparchy of Kifisia, Amoros and Oropos.):
It is understood that in the circle of priests homosexuality is unthinkable. Even the simplest carnal sins are obstacles to the Priesthood. The Saints of our Church believe that even the smallest hair in the eye of a person causes tingling and pain and it takes many tears to remove it from the eye. So also the candidate for the clergy, and much more the active clergyman, cannot rest in his priestly ministry, but is tormented and suffers, if there is the slightest carnal sin.
Homosexuality is the heaviest sin, which irrevocably and definitely prevents one entering the Priesthood (and of course the Church does not allow any homosexual to be elevated to the priesthood, even if he has stopped the sin for years). Basil the Great considers homosexuality or lesbianism a beastly sin: "Abusers of themselves with mankind and with beasts, as also murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, are deserving of the same punishment" (Canon 7 of Basil the Great). Saint Gregory of Nyssa characterizes homosexuality as "unnatural" in his 4th Canon. Saint John the Faster observes in his 19th Canon, according to the compilation of The Rudder by Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, the following: "A boy who has been ruined by any man cannot come into the holy priesthood. For although on account of his immature age he did not sin himself, yet the vessel of his body was rent and became useless in connection with the sacred priesthood."
Unfortunately there exists within our Holy Orthodox Church an organized group of homosexual clergy, who by their provocative behavior and by their obscene insistence on mortally sinning, take others by the neck and drag them to hell from this life, preparing them, alas, for eternal hell, even though they ought to grab them from the abyss of destruction and reconcile them once again with Christ. - Finish reading at Rorate Caeli 
And then...

What a contrast to something I just read on another blog:
"God calls homosexuals to Himself, just as He does all people. He uses them as priests and laypeople throughout His Church."
In response, a commenter wrote: 
If you were a Straight Catholic, you were free to date, get married, and have as many kids as possible. If you were a Gay Catholic, you became a priest: It seemed honorable to your family, and it helped deflect uncomfortable questions about girlfriends and marriage. 
And for Gay men who went into the priesthood, what wasn't to like? You were exclusively in the company of other (often like-minded) men, you got to debate weighty theological matters, and between the hymns, incense, candles, and fabulous robes, it was just a step away from musical theatre! That, plus the fact that priests are not allowed to marry to begin with, is it any wonder that the priesthood has historically been DOMINATED by Gay men? - Source

"God calls homosexuals to Himself, just as He does all people."

Absolutely.  God does indeed call all people to himself, and "he has given gifts to men" - to build up the Body of Christ - the Church.  Homosexual persons are called to holiness, to follow Christ.  "God calls homosexuals to Himself, just as He does all people. He uses them as priests and laypeople throughout His Church."  Obviously the last part of that statement may be slightly ambiguous, leading to the comment I cited along with it.  The ambiguity leads one to believe that  homosexuality itself is a gift, and that homosexual persons have special 'gay gifts' for the Church.  That is inconsistent with Catholic teaching.

The priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church is neither a gay refuge, nor an alternative to marriage.  The fact there are homosexual clergy does not negate Church discipline excluding the ordination of men with deep seated homosexual inclinations.

Catholics must remember that the Church does not require a person with same-sex attraction to change his/her orientation, but the Church does require the person to live a chaste and celibate life.  The Church asks the same of all persons, no matter their sexual orientation.  What is required for a person with same-sex attraction to enter the priesthood or religious life is another matter however.

Fr. John Harvey noted, "among American bishops and provincials of religious congregations of men there are divergent views...  The existence of the orientation itself is regarded as sufficient reason for excluding such people from the seminary or religious order." - Harvey, Truth About Homosexuality.

Here it would seem most Catholics could agree.  Although Fr. Harvey goes on to say, "So far as I know, there is no document from the Roman congregations that explicitly forbids a man who has led a chaste life despite a homosexual orientation from entering a seminary or religious congregation; nevertheless, ordinaries of dioceses and provincials of religious orders have the authority to set up such a policy, and some do.

However, some bishops of dioceses and religious provincials are willing to accept such candidates after careful screening by professional therapists and vocation directors." - Ibid

The confusion surrounding Catholic teaching on homosexuality does not have to be so confusing and ambiguous now, does it? 

Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way. - CDF 


  1. I think it's between the individual and the Superior or Vocation Director. Absolutely there should be rigorous screening, especially to include a psychological exam. Because we don't know what we hide from others, indeed, even from ourselves. Self-knowledge, openness to grace, humility, patience, courage, and understanding is needed in abundance.

    Some of the most loving men I've known were priests who were also SSA. I've also known gay priests who were accepted at Seminary at a time when a blind eye was turned to their difficulties and behavior, out of misguided charity no doubt. And it ruined the priest in the end and wounded the Church.

    But God draws straight with crooked lines.

    1. I believe you are correct - everything is possible with God.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.