September 13, 2005
Losing their religion
Gays, according to the Vatican, just can’t control themselves:
The American prelate overseeing a sweeping Vatican evaluation of every seminary in the United States said yesterday that most gay candidates for the priesthood struggle to remain celibate and that the church must “stay on the safe side” by restricting their enrollment.
Archbishop Edwin O’Brien made the comments as Roman Catholics await word of an eagerly anticipated Vatican document on whether gays should be barred from the priesthood. O’Brien and several other U.S. bishops have said they expect that document to be released soon.
O’Brien, who leads the Archdiocese for the Military Services in Washington, said that “there are some priests ... with same-sex attractions and they’ve done very well” remaining celibate.
“But generally speaking, in my experience, the pressures are strong in an all-male atmosphere,” he said. “And if there have been past failings, the church really must stay on the safe side. ... The same-sex attractions have gotten us into some legal problems.”
O’Brien had told the National Catholic Register, an independent newsweekly, that “anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations, would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be accepted into a seminary,” even if they had been celibate for a decade or more. O’Brien told The Associated Press that the church is not “hounding” gays out of the priesthood but wants to enroll seminarians who can maintain their vows of celibacy. The church considers gay relationships “intrinsically disordered.”
A description that might more aptly be applied to the Catholic Church itself.
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