Jump to content
The Talon House

Barring gay clergy won't fix church


Recommended Posts

Barring gay clergy won't fix church

You can't be too careful these days.

At least that's how Archbishop Edwin O'Brien sees it.

O'Brien is the U.S. Catholic prelate overseeing a Vatican evaluation of American seminaries.

The idea, I guess, is to make sure they're all on the same doctrinal page and that no heresies such as gender equality or birth control are slipping through.

O'Brien raised a few eyebrows this week when he said most gay candidates for the priesthood who are trying to stay celibate probably shouldn't be ordained to "stay on the safe side."

O'Brien allowed that "there are some priests, I don't think there are many, some ordained people with same-sex attractions and they've done very well" with celibacy.

But he said these are the exceptions. In the all-male atmosphere that is the Catholic priesthood, homosexuals shouldn't be ordained because "the church really must stay on the safe side."

Of course all this comes in the wake of the monumental clergy sex scandal that has rocked the church the past few years.

The Vatican started reviewing seminaries three years ago in an effort to try to root out the causes of the scandal.

To date more than 11,000 abuse claims have been filed in the past 50 years.

That's a lot of claims and a lot of cash, enough to have forced a couple of U.S. dioceses to declare bankruptcy.

I suppose the archbishop thinks he's doing the right thing by targeting gays in an effort to help the church clean up its act.

Still, I wonder how many of the sleezeball priests who molested children were gay. Perhaps they all were, but somehow I doubt it.

Sort of sounds like a blanket indictment, but we all know nobody discriminates against gay people anymore just because they're gay.


Of course, nobody knows how many gay men are Catholic priests or, for that matter, are ordained in Protestant denominations. It's still a fact most people leave off their resumes, especially when you're candidating for a pastoral job.

But, as Forrest Gump might say, safety is as safety does.

Perhaps while they're at it, the evaluation ought to consider barring candidates who smoke.

These are undesirable traits.

Do you want your kids around someone who insists on voluntarily gassing out their lungs?

Or perhaps people in wheelchairs, the blind or those who deal with other disabilities should not be ordained because, well, they just shouldn't be ordained.

That would leave heterosexual males, who as we all know never break their priestly vows of celibacy and chastity.

There must be lots of ways for the Catholic Church to clean up its act and rid itself of the scourge of clergy sex abuse.

Arbitrarily barring gays from the priesthood does not impress me as one of them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...