And now class, a chapter from gay history.
I enjoy posting this on the feast St. Pius V, recalling his pastoral care of homosexual clergy. A priest from San Francisco who once read the blog dropped me a few years ago because I posted on this subject. For some reason, I don't have a huge readership amongst gay people - is it something I said? Or just my delivery? Truth be told, I prefer that people avoid this blog, that way I may be more inclined to quit it, I say that with the greatest sincerity, BTW.
The Church must do better for gays.
A few weeks ago in an interview Cardinal Dolan said the Church has to do better for gay people. The Church certainly has become much kinder and gentler since the 16th century, that is certain. Nevertheless, I wonder how much more the Church needs to do? How much more can she do? I sometimes think of that verse attributed to Abraham in the Gospel story of the Rich Man and Lazarus: "‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” To me it seems the Church offers the gay person more than enough: Reconciliation, grace, community, pastoral care in and through the sacraments, eternal salvation. Just as she accords to all. Of course there is Courage for those who want it, otherwise, there is the ordinary means of salvation, traditional spirituality for the single/married person ... what more is needed? But I digress and shouldn't generalize...
Now, without further ado, Pius V's version of pastoral care for the homosexual person...
St. Pius V
That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.
Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517] issued this decree: "Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature, given that the wrath of God falls over the sons of perfidy, be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery" (chap. 4, X, V, 31).
So that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the secular authority, which enforces civil law.
Therefore, wishing to pursue with greater rigor than we have exerted since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have sunk into this abyss. - Tradition in Action
He was so strict!
However, it is worth noting the Church has done better in modern times.
What's needed today
Pius V wasn't the fashion plate others claim.
Although Pius V is often credited with the origin of the Pope's white garments—supposedly because after his election Pius continued to wear his white Dominican habit—this claim must be regarded as legendary on account of the great number of contemporary portraits of earlier popes wearing the same white cassock he supposedly inaugurated. Much more likely is that his Dominican predecessor, Blessed Innocent V, was the first to give the Popes their white.
Burning sodomites. I've always thought this
practice most likely led to the
use of the pejorative term 'faggot'.
Disclaimer: I do not think burning people at the stake for any reason is funny nor warranted. That's about it for today.