Friday, July 24, 2015

So. Michael Voris got it wrong? Again?

Bathrobes for seminarians.

That's what she said.

I did not know that.  Evidently Voris misrepresented the priest/formator when he reported that the priest in question asked seminarians to wear bathrobes to avoid being an occasion of sin to the gay seminarians.  It appears the priest was suggesting the bathrobes just in case there may be a seminarian with ssa who might be tempted.  The respective corrections here:
Sacred Heart adheres absolutely to the Church’s teaching regarding those who experience SSA. Unfortunately, Voris did not check the story with the formator whose alleged comments he quoted. The formator did not use the term “gay,” but rather “same-sex attracted.” He asked men to wear bathrobes to the shower for the sake of decorum and charity. As an example of potential uncharity he said, “What if unknowingly one of your brothers suffered from SSA? Your lack of modesty would be uncharitable considering your neighbor’s needs.” The men understood this completely.
“…the claim that there is a significant or even nominal presence of homosexuality at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is patently false.” - Source
So the formator didn't use the term 'gay' and did not suggest any of the seminarians were gay or ssa, he was simply asking for greater decorum and modesty, citing an example of charity out of consideration for a brother's weakness.

I still think it's weird.  Although I understand the desire for decorum and to avoid the appearance of a frat house, and so on.  But.

 “What if unknowingly one of your brothers suffered from SSA?"

The example doesn't work for me however.  Like I said, if someone who experiences same sex attraction is in the seminary and feels his classmates are an occasion of sin - or indeed, suffers lustful thoughts and serious temptations against a brother, a fellow seminarian, priest, or any guy - he doesn't belong in the seminary.  If he has issues with masturbation and homosexual fantasy, he doesn't belong in the seminary.

Temptations against chastity are one thing.  Temptations to homosexual behavior is not so worrisome, grabted it be a temptation to unchastity.  Temptation is normal - it tries and proves virtue.  However, the 'habit' of masturbation, as well as the attraction to any guy without a shirt, in a towel, or even naked - as in a shower or at the beach, that's a problem.  Living in a same sex environment and regarding your brothers as an occasion of sin.  That's a huge problem.  That is deep seated homosexuality - and should be considered an impediment to Holy Orders.  It also suggests a creepy - voyeuristic creepy.

Former priest, Curtis Carl Wehmeyer - someone the formators missed.

Recently the Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop, as well as a couple of other priests in the chancery in the Archdiocese of MPLS/StPaul resigned over sex scandals - especially one involving a gay priest.  When this priest was a seminary candidate, and in a diocesan community, he was corrected for cruising.  Later he was cited for other homosexual behaviors.  Nevertheless, he was ordained and then was promoted, given a parish; this despite all the warnings.  He had sex with boys in a trailer he kept in the parish parking lot.  He also tried to pick up teen boys in a book store.  The priest is in prison.

The Archdiocese filed bankruptcy and is selling off some of its real estate.  The priest in question is not a pedophile - he's gay.  Gay is as gay does.  Call it same sex attraction - it's gay when it acts out.  Keep the terminology up to date - lest the meaning is obscured.  Seminary rectors can call it same sex attraction for the sake of decorum - but when it goes to court, even Archbishops can't cover-up the fact it's gay.  So knock off the pious decorum BS.

Something is off with the formator in Michigan if he's worried about same sex attracted students finding classmates an occasion of sin.  I had a formator like that once ...

The point here is to follow the guidelines long established by the Vatican - yet unfortunately long ignored:
2. Homosexuality and the Ordained Ministry  

From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.  
Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.  
Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter.  
In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture".  
Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.  
Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate. - Link
Notice the three year chastity time limit - or period to overcome such tendencies.

That needs to be taken seriously way before ordination to the diaconate.  If a seminarian finds his brothers an occasion of sin - he isn't likely to overcome that within any time frame.  Don't kid yourself.  He's the source of his own temptation - it is his desire.

Homosexuality is not normal - that's the mistake formators make.

When you call it same sex attraction, you give the impression it is just another temptation against chastity.

I've known guys who enter religious life/seminary, leave, and immediately fall back into their old patterns of sexual activity - they're not just ssa - they want sex with men - they are gay.  Others enter religious life, continue the habit of auto-eroticism and fantasy.  That's so mature - not.  I know of others, scandalized by something which happened, and boom, picks up where he left off and abandons ship.  That's pretty deep seated stuff.  "Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women."  Did you get that part?  "gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women."

Perhaps there are success stories - such as Fr. Acton Institute - but it seems rare.  Gay priests tend to form cliques, and tend to attract other similarly inclined men.  I understand that - there's nothing inherently wrong with that, except it creates a sort of culture - it's a sort of gay-clericalism - and it usually amounts to favoritism.

Charitably covering the sins and weaknesses of others is one thing, forming a culture of gay-protectionism is another.  If a priest is gay - who am I to judge?  I'm serious.  The time for discernment is past - he got through the hurdles of seminary life.  If he leaves ministry to marry the choir director, or ends up in jail for having sex with the teenage altar boy - blame the seminary rector and formators who asked the other seminarians to be more considerate and not be a source of temptation to their ssa brothers.

Doesn't anyone else see how absurd this is?  How dysfunctional?

Seriously, spiritual directors are not doing gay men any kindness by encouraging them to become priests.  Just because priests are celibates and gay men are expected to remain celibate doesn't automatically qualify them for priesthood or religious life.  Deep seated homosexual inclination doesn't just suddenly go away - and more frequently or not, it is the default behavior pattern.

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. - Proverbs 26:11

"Le souffle au coeur" - Louis Malle


  1. Great post. Wise, clear and no-nonsense. The Portland, OR diocese has also had some struggles of late. In the last 18 months or so we've had three priests implicated in sexual crimes with minors. Make of it what you will.

    1. That's too bad. I just heard from a friend a priest friend of his - who is gay - is leaving - he wants to get married and have a family. He told his friend he lost his faith - no longer believes - so he's looking for a husband. I'm thinking seminaries are not understanding these things - unless it is just denial. The Patheos post I link to has some interesting commentary - right in line with the current mindset.

      I think Voris opened a can of worms and many are scrambling to make excuses.

    2. I always thought it was odd when people say the WANT to get married and they aren't even with was usually women but now its all these gay guys like its a requirment..if I was a divorce lawyer I would be getting ready to hang out my rainbow shingle and start making some money.

      And while I know you don't approve Terry, I think gay marriage is really good in showing people they have their options in life, its not "Get married to some poor woman to hide your gay" or "Go into the priesthood to hide your gay." Maybe now guys wont use the priesthood as a refuge from their own sexuality and we will get people who really have a calling, be they gay or straight.

    3. "people who really have a calling"

      I think that's God's plan for our times. My previous bishop was really proud of his last class of seminarians, but they were mostly recruited from abroad! He produced few home-grown vocations for the usual reasons--as have all Bernardin proteges. The three priests I mentioned above are all from abroad: Mexico, India and the Philippines. If you're from those countries, the priesthood looks attractive for natural as opposed to supernatural reasons: you'll be a hero back home and at the parish, you'll be more financially secure than back home, etc.

      We need better seminarian screening, and established diocese should always be able to produce most of their vocations.

  2. Maybe they should just issue bathrobes upon entrance to the seminary. Then they'd be sure everyone has one.


  3. I heard that Mr. Voris has countered, or will be countering, the accusations of the article by "she said." I have not read his response yet but I understand that he is one step ahead of his detractors.

    1. Well - he is certainly not wrong in his concern and he has inadvertently stumbled upon a genuine problem - as far as I'm concerned. If I can gather my thoughts I want to do a follow up post. I was at the grocery store this evening - two young men - one did the check out, the other bagged. High school students. Handsome, well behaved, educated - extremely polite. I left praying so much for them - praying they would never fall into mortal sin, nor ever be the prey of a homosexual. I thought of their parents - who would never want their sons exposed to a voyeur attempting to become a priest - or indeed, exposed to a priest who would caution them not to be an occasion of sin to another boy. How absurd the entire notion is to normal people. Gay people, and obviously priests, have no idea what an affront this is to the family. They have no idea how corrupting they are.

      I'm sorry - I can't tolerate it any longer.

    2. You posts on this topic are excellent and I have been tweeting them regularly.

    3. Thanks very much Elena.


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