Quite a tantrum, all in all ...
... the Vatican issued an article, "Reflections on the Document", with the text of the Congregation for Catholic Education's new instruction on accepting gays for the priesthood. The commentary, written by Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family, was approved by the Secretariat of State and is the only explanatory text the Vatican published with the document.
The article makes clear that gay men are not suitable for the priesthood, even if they have had no sexual experience and are committed to celibacy: "Candidates who have 'deep-seated homosexual tendencies,' that is, an exclusive attraction to persons of the same sex -- independently of whether or not they have had erotic experiences -- cannot be admitted to the seminary or to holy orders. One must free oneself from the idea that leads one to believe that, insofar as a homosexual person respects his commitment to continence lived in chastity, there will not be problems and he can therefore be ordained a priest.." A man with 'homosexual tendencies', Anatrella said, "should not be accepted for formation or, if he was accepted before being aware of his situation, his formation must be interrupted."
The article, which is quite long, provides a lot of fodder for homophobes, inside and outside the Catholic Church, including these gems:
-- While noting that "sexual transgressions" are a particular concern, Anatrella opined that there are "collateral effects inherent" in accepting gay men into the seminary and ordaining them to the priesthood because of "typical behaviors and expressions on the part of these personalities." Anatrella said that gay men tend to have few friends, to close themselves off from others in "a clan of persons of the same type," to resent the claims on their time made by parishioners, to encourage other gay men to enter the priesthood and to deal with authority predominantly as a matter of "seduction and rejection."
-- "It (homosexuality) does not represent a social value and even less so a moral virtue that could add to the civilization of sexuality. It could even be seen as a destabilizing reality for people and for society. It (homosexuality) cannot be encouraged or even less so, supported with pastoral initiatives ..."
-- The Catholic Church has a duty to reaffirm its position that homosexuality is "against conjugal life, the life of the family, and priestly life".
-- "In no case is this form of sexuality a sexual alternative, or even less, a reality that is equivalent to that which is shared by a man and a woman engaged in matrimonial life."
-- Homosexuality is "a sexual tendency and not an identity" and "an incomplete and immature part of human sexuality".
Quite a tantrum, all in all.
I can remember a time -- not too many years ago -- when the Catholic Church spoke with hope and confidence, and sometimes -- some might say often -- a prophetic voice.
And now it has come to this -- a Church acting like a frightened, snarling dog cornered in an alley.
I am astounded.