Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Two Gay Catholic Factions

Lost Boys, John Kirby

I read the following today and it rang true.
N., an exceptionally well-informed lay Catholic, tells me that there are two basic tribes of gay bishops and priests. 
The first tribe is the Progressives — some sexually active, others not — who believe homosexuality should be normalized by the Catholic Church, and are pushing openly for the Church to change its teachings to reflect that. 
The second tribe are Conservatives who live a double life. Outwardly they advocate for traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality, but they also live homosocially (in the sense of socializing with other gay conservative priests), and some have gay sex. They therefore live in a state of cognitive dissonance. - Source
But ...

Janet Smith recently did an interview wherein she says:
“Eradicating the homosexual networks from the Church would do a lot to purging the Church of immoral priests,” said Smith, “and doing so should help us get at the other problems.” - Source
So it's the old gay-lobby again.

I seriously no longer know what to think, what to do.  The homosexual network?  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.  Yes it exists, no it doesn't,  Yes it does.  No it doesn't.  Well it's not monolithic.  Well it's not tightly organized.  It's not there.  This yes and no crap is a major, major distraction.  It exists!  Damnit!

Homosexuals are called to chastity.
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. - CCC
What more do people want from those who live with a condition which 'constitutes for most of them a trial? These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.'

Most are doing the best they can at great sacrifice, now with the double life of McCarrick and other devils exposed, there is a sort of witch hunt.  Churchmen and Church ladies want to dictate to ordinary people how to live their lives, who to live with, and what self-help organizations they need to be on board with, in order to be admitted to the Church, and/or Communion in some circumstances.

Stick to what the Church teaches, stop anticipating possible changes to the wording of the catechism.  Stop placing heavy burdens on people too heavy to carry.  Follow the rules - your rules - you don't want gay priests?  Quit admitting them to seminary- that's the rule you always and everywhere break.  Laicize the abusers.  Reform the clergy.  Get rid of gay cardinals and bishops who keep writing letters to recommend admitting the cute ones to seminary.

Remember, active homosexual priests are predatory.  They use people.  They use ordinary lay people and gay Catholics.  Sometimes for sex, sometimes for social advancement, and so on.  The problem of homosexual clergy is a problem of corruption.  The existence of a so-called homosexual network is a product of a corrupt clericalism.  It is only a symptom of a more profound corruption. The more hidden and closeted, the more it is denied, the creepier things become. 


Since the problem is clearly within the the clergy and their efforts to change Catholic teaching on homosexuality - concentrate on the reform of the clergy and the hierarchy.  Pope Francis recently said 'if you have doubts about a candidate to seminary - it's better not to admit them.'  Just because someone belongs to a Courage group is no guarantee he will remain chaste.  Just stop admitting gay people to religious life and seminary life.   Govern the canonical structures that exist, reform the clergy.  Priest who do not accept Catholic teaching - give them chaplain jobs or make them Simplex priests.  

There are different ways in which this operates: from the theology that is taught in seminaries and in pontifical universities that calls into question "the truth about the human person" - as Ratzinger says, to the increasing pressures to bless homosexual unions; from the pastoral care for homosexual persons which legitimises their sexual activity, to the request for civil recognition of gay unions. Let's also cite just a few more recent cases: the multiplication of vigils last May against homophobia in Italian dioceses; the pastoral care for homosexual persons entrusted in large part to associations and groups that pursue the recognition of a homosexual lifestyle; the preparatory document for the Synod of Youth, which for the first time adopted LGBT terminology; the open alignment of the Italian Episcopal Conference in favour of the recognition of civil unions (albeit in a more moderate form than the law actually approved); the important role that the Italian bishops daily newspaper Avvenire has been playing for many years in trying to change the mentality of Catholics regarding homosexuality; the appointment of the Jesuit Father James Martin, a well-known activist who promotes the LGBT agenda, as a consultant to the Secretariat for Communication; and we could go on and on adding to this list. - Source
Anyway - I'm very frustrated and I think this has turned into a gay panic fest.  Focus people.  Screw the dubia and all your other excuses for perpetuating a decadent culture in the clergy and the Church at large, and reform yourselves.  Quit using WYD and gatherings such as World Meeting of Families for ideological colonization purposes - to promote acceptance of homosexual activity into family life.  

NB:  I'm not sure what to make of the following article from our CatholiSpirit, but I will link to it to fill out my own commentary here.  I don't think I'm quite on the same page as Tushnet and Belgau - but their POV is curious and an interesting contrast to a couple of the articles I link to in my post today.  Celibate gay Catholics fear backlash.

That's all for today.


  1. Hi, Terry... This is cross-posted from a comment I put on Rod Dreher's blog.

    I do not go along with the idea of some commenters that simply screening out same-sex attracted candidates will solve the problem. For one thing, Haggard’s Law is in full force, and as relentless as the nemesis figure in a Flannery O’Connor short story such as the Misfit or Greenleaf’s scrub bull. So true is this that anti-gay enthusiasm should be as much of a red flag as being a gay activist. The case of Msgr. Tony Anatrella is an excellent example. He was part of the push to exclude even those same-sex attracted candidates committed to chastity on the grounds that they were interiorly deformed, narcissistic, and incapable of spiritual fatherhood. His own tastes for young men then became revealed, much to the embarrassment of conservatives. (And liberals in turn have their Weaklands to deal with).

    Perhaps the case of Henri Nouwen (a spiritual writer who was well-known a couple of decades ago) is more edifying than what we’ve been hearing about lately. Nouwen was same-sex attracted. He was out to his close friends and advisors but not publically, though it can be inferred from some of his diaries. When he became infatuated with a young man in an intentional community he lived in, he realized that this was fundamentally a challenge to his fidelity to God and the community. So he had to go off on a long, solitary retreat and process it: a painful time that was almost a nervous breakdown. But there is no evidence that he ever breached his vows.

    Nouwen was also aware of his narcissistic need for attention and affection. This cannot be broken except through a years-long dying to the ego; and probably very rarely in this life. The best remedy is perhaps paradoxical: recognizing and affirming faith in God’s love for oneself, that one is indeed special (Isaiah 43) while drawing one’s sense of being special and beloved from God and nearby friends while mortifying the insatiable appetite for outside affirmation.

    Nouwen repeatedly turned to his friends and mentors: people such as Jean Vanier, Fr. Thomas Philippe, and Fred Rogers of the children’s show. He was not particularly a defender of orthodoxy and probably would have been considered sloppy with the liturgy; he was part of an ecumenical L’Arche community with the mentally handicapped for the latter part of his life which would be, how might you say – informal? He even wrote about clowns and circuses. But he knew that God and the contemplative life needed to come first.

    By the way, I note that we don’t hear about Nouwen, or Vanier or their ilk anymore; though maybe I’m not frequenting the places where they’re mentioned. That troubles me: the replacement of the affective and the personal with ideologies or hedonism or rage. I am pretty sure that Jean Vanier is still alive, though he must be pushing 90. I suspect he is slowly disappearing into the Great Silence that Nouwen entered more than 20 years ago now.

    I don’t think that there’s any white knight out there that can save the church. I do think that the loss of moral authority due to the scandals now means that people are free to ignore the Church when it talks about climate change or economic affairs – they can listen to Trump instead. They are free to ignore the Christian tradition when it comes to sexual restraint – Dan Savage is much more credible now. Furthermore they are free from the obligation to pursue non-violence and reconciliation as taught by Christianity and recently proclaimed by Pope Francis regarding capital punishment; they can listen to Duterte or whatever strong-arm leader seems convincing.

    I think the penance that will be imposed on us will be the need to watch and participate in the unravelling of the planet and of civilisation recognizing that we can’t really do much now. To accept being unheard and unnoticed. To bury ourselves in God’s love and in a way, hope without hope.

    1. Thanks - all of these posts are more or less incomplete thoughts reflecting on the issues as they are discussed on other sites and in the news. I'm working through this stuff and I'm struggling. I just sent this response to another friend who didn't quite understand what I've been trying to say, and I answered with the following I'll share publicly.

      I’m basically throwing the responsibility onto the hierarchy and Church leaders, academic, curial and parish level. My quote from the catechism is more or less saying lay people have all they can do to live devout lives – despite the fact priests and educators lie and make the rules and so on. So many seem to want to politicize this or focus it just on the homo problem – which is important no doubt – by my goodness! This has gone on for decades and decades and bishops and educators have been saying one thing and doing another pretending to be faithful. So I’m always talking about corruption in the power structure, not ordinary people just trying to get to heaven. I’m also not fond of the ‘movements’ like Tushnet’s who find sponsorship from the ‘good’ gay priests, as opposed to the ‘bad’ ones who support movements like Dignity and New Ways – they are getting close to cult status in my opinion.

      I should really just stop posting about it. I have lost so much confidence and respect in religious leaders, I need to draw closer to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

  2. @hogtowner: best reply I've read yet

  3. Ah yes, Henri Nouwen. He spent time at the Trappist Monastery I go to for retreat. Wrote about it in his book Genesee Diaries. Almost joined, but for some reason did not. The Abbot at the time was a psychiatrist so perhaps this was a time to work out these conflicts you mention. Nouwen was a fine reflective writer. Glad to think of him again.

    1. I have heard great things about him and maybe even heard his stuff read in the refectory years ago. I've never been inclined to what he writes, though many people whom I esteem found great insight there. I'm not a Flannery O'Connor reader either. Nor Chesterton. I used to be dumb - but I'm better now.

  4. I think that Nouwen still has some ardent followers here and there, and I do wonder if there will be a renewed appreciation of his writings as time goes on. As for Vanier, no, he has not disappeared- l'Arche communities are still thriving around the world and Vanier himself lives quietly in France there where he began, alongside people with and without disabilities. A beautiful indie film "Summer in the Forest" was released about him and the heart of l'Arche this past year. He has not strayed from the original mission to which he was called.


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