Thursday, September 22, 2005
The Vatican wants to stamp out gay seminarians. Again.
Periodic purges of Roman Catholic seminaries have taken place for years, because the Roman see believes that gay people are "intrinsically disordered"," and therefore unfit for ministry. (Here's an old Slate story, from which I stole the graphic by Robert Neubecker). Now, per the AP story above, they are adding the claim that they want to help people keep their vows, and "it's harder to stay celibate in an all-male environment."
How humanitarian of them! And heaven knows, after seminary is over, there aren't any women in parish life. Except the women, I mean. The ones who are the week-to-week core volunteer group in nearly every parish, the altar guild and the social workers and the nuns, secretaries, housekeepers, friends, confidantes, colleagues . . . . You get the idea.
The truth, quite obviously, is that Roman Catholic bishops, having failed for years to deal effectively with the genuine deviants in their corps, are still trying to convince us that if they could just get rid of the gays, then there wouldn't be any more priests diddling altar boys. Richard John Neuhaus , the tired old drumbeater of yesterday's orthodoxy, has argued, pathetically, that child molestation is a homesexuality issue, rather than a ... well, a child molestation issue. But what these guys are selling, ain't nobody buying.
Here's the commonsensical bottom line: if you are going to insist on celibate priesthood, then, by gum, you ought to insist on a celibate priesthood. In which case, it ought not to matter who a man wants to sleep with, if he isn't sleeping with anybody but his teddy bear. And if he slips, it's a breach to be disciplined, regardless of whether he slipped with an xx or an xy. And if in the course of slipping -- here's the big point -- if he commits a crime, you kick his sorry cassock to the curb.