Thursday, May 09, 2002

Critics of celibacy often bring up that today's culture makes celibacy difficult. John Derbyshire made a good case for this last week.

Proponents of celibacy (of which I consider myself one) respond that with grace, and with God's help, celibacy is not an impossible burden, and can be a great gift to the Church. Furthermore, we Catholics are called to help change the culture, and support our priests so they can faithfully answer their vocation.

The problem is that some of these same critics say that we shouldn't ordain gay men because they face "special temptations" that are too difficult to resist. This sentiment is the second part of Cardinal Bevliacqua's statement, the first part of which I examined earlier.

But if that's true, then aren't we called to help support these men even more? Shouldn't we pray for them, and honestly discuss these temptations rather than simply saying we don't want them as priests? I'm seeing no discussion of what we can do to help gay priests overcome these "special temptations," only discussion about why we should exclude them.

This sentiment could be taken too far -- not everyone is meant to be a priest. But it seems uncharitable to me to block a man from his vocation because of "special temptations" he might face. Every day, we face more temptations than if we just stayed in bed, but that doesn't mean we should just stay in bed.

"Nothing will be impossible with God."
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