It just ain't natural.
Fr. Z rarely ever writes about homosexuality in the priesthood. In fact he rarely writes about anything homosexual. He tells why in his latest post:
I hate reading or writing about it.
[Speaking of a 'gay lobby'] I detest this whole story because I suffered at the hands of these types for decades both in my home diocese and in Rome. And to be clear, they weren’t always liberals. Most were liberals and dissenters, but a few were solidly on the traditionalist side which makes them even more loathsome. These evil twisted men need prayers for the shameful way they treat the priesthood and the Church and because they risk the eternity of Hell. If I sometimes seem to have little sympathy for homosexuals – including and especially pedophiles – in the priesthood, that’s part of the reason."I hate reading or writing about it."
I really do know some of what he speaks, and in a couple of cases, who. I can pretty much understand his point of view. I came back to the sacraments before he was ordained - I knew many of the same people he probably encountered. I've written about that before.
What I appreciated about Fr. Z's current post is how he speaks of the 'new normal' which is being imposed upon society and the Church. The 'new normal':
I may not write much on this blog about the whole “Vatican gay lobby” thing. It makes me pretty mad. But it is time for me to say this:
For decades our society has been slowly but surely and purposely shifted by those in control of the mainstream media and entertainment industry. At first, because of the rise of AIDS, active homosexuals were constantly portrayed as innocent, though perhaps quirky, victims. Once the notion of homosexuality was shifted from its moorings and a new status was created in the minds of the public, another shift took place in the media. Now, TV shows and movies are saturated with homosexuals who are far more sophisticated, with it, intelligent, good looking than their more dysfunctional heterosexual counterparts. Victim time is over. It is cool to be “gay”.
For years an artificial sub-culture was carefully crafted and now it is busting out into a “new normal”.
But – contrary to popular opinion – human nature and God’s revealed truths have not changed. Homosexuality is not normal.Did you hear what he said folks? Of course you didn't hear it, because he wrote it - and you read it.
"But – contrary to popular opinion – human nature and God’s revealed truths have not changed. Homosexuality is not normal." - Read his post here.
It's the truth - not that there is anything wrong with that.
Thanks for saying it Fr. Z.
As for rooting out homosexual priests...
On the other hand. Fr. Z hasn't said the Church must "track down the 'nest of homosexual priests' and make sure that they are 'rooted out.'" Mr. Bill said that one. It kind of has a Third Reich ring to it, don't you think?
How are they going to do that? Spy? Have undercover seminarians pose as gay priests to find out who really is gay? Or pretend to be call boys who make rectory calls? Can't do that - they'd be lying if they went undercover - faithful Catholics can't go undercover or lie...
I'm making light of it, yes - because tracking down and rooting out is not how the Church operates these days. Besides - most priests and bishops already know who's who in their diocese. In this archdiocese we already have priests who are 'out' - or were at one time.
So what would a reform look like? How would a gay lobby be handled?
First, the group, the cabal, the lobby - if it exists as a monolithic group - would be broken up: people transferred, retired, exiled - quietly. Unless of course, something criminal is involved. I doubt it is that well organized however - although I could be wrong. It's usually not like that. I think the 'network' is more likely how such things occur in business - the old boys club. Who is in power and those whom he promotes will be like him. Otherwise it is more simply a buddy system - or more precisely, a 'network'. One knows who is who - the result being a sort of built-in familiarity - a friendship perhaps, but more an alliance - which pretty much survives on gossip and staying in the good graces of those who have been promoted to higher places. I'm not sure it is necessarily overtly sinister, however, as Fr. Z notes in describing the Italian understanding of what a lobby is: "this is nasty business with lots of passive-aggression, villainous-smiling, lying-in-wait, and backstabbing." Life in the theater may be a good analogy as well. I think another characteristic of life in a clique is something St. Benedict discusses in the Rule regarding laughter. Fr. Mark interprets the Saint this way:
Saint Benedict would have his monk speak without laughter. The kind of laughter that Saint Benedict condemns is the laughter of cruel sarcasm; the mocking laughter of the worldly and the jaded; the shrill laughter of the shallow-minded and superficial; the idiotic laughter of one who makes a joke of everything, even of things sacred. - VCI call it bar talk/humor - filled with double entendre, cynicism, irreverence, foppishness, and so on. "The fool lifts up his head in laughter."
What to do?
Of all the voices out there on how and what could be done about the problem, I tend to agree with Jimmy Akin's take, when he speculated:
The Holy See would not be expected (under usual circumstances) to publicly out and fire the known members of the network, stating the reason why, given the firestorm of negative publicity that would produce.
However, it might well decide to break up the network by retiring or reassigning its members, without publicly stating the reason why.
The fact that Pope Francis is preparing a major cleaning-house and likely restructuring of the Roman curia (the departments that help him run the Church) would provide an excellent opportunity for doing just that. - Jimmy Akin
Disclaimer: Personally, I believe there are very good priests who may have experienced homosexual attraction or inclination as a temptation, yet remained chaste and celibate, devout, faithful to their vocation and the teaching of the Church. In turn, they would support and promote the same for all Catholics.
I also want to add something from Fr. Oko, the Polish priest who did a study on the problem of a homosexual network/'mafia':
But what can you do to help the priests with homosexual tendencies and gay priests?
Men with homosexual tendencies already ordained deacons, priests and bishops retain the validity of their ordination, but they are obliged to observe all the commandments of God and all the provisions of the Church. As with other priests, they should live in chastity and cease any action against the well being of the human person and of the Church, any activities with mafia characteristics and especially attitudes of rebellion against the Pope and the Holy See. Priests afflicted with such disorders are to be strongly directed to undertake appropriate treatment as soon as possible. - Don Dariusz Oko
Works for me.
Update: Seems to be a website in Rome for gay priests and seminarians called Venerabilis ... If it is authentic, it appears I may be wrong in my assumption the network is not all that well organized. Holy Baths of Caracalla!
I think that's all I got. I'm going to grab a donut. TTYL!
“Look, it’s no secret...
Hello? Hello? Father?"