Thursday, June 13, 2002

Why do I so strenuously oppose banning homosexuals from the priesthood? My critics would say it's because I've been brainwashed by the PC culture and think gays have "rights" that they really don't have. But I have other reasons.

First, I want the Church to have the best priests it can have. I believe that almost all of those who make it to ordained were indeed called to their ministry by God, wheter they are gay or straight. So, I think it is wrong of us to place conditions on the gifts God has provided us, and the Church will be poorer if we do so. Again, Jesus didn't disqualify Matthew from being an Apostle because he was a tax collector; if we really are followers of Jesus, we should follow His example.

Second, I think that assigning all culpability for the current crisis to homosexuals is dishonest and unholy. I think that there's a lot of old grudges out there against gays that have been under the surface, and people are using the current crisis as an excuse to dig them out. I do think that there is an element of anti-gay bigotry that's behind this notion, and it must be confronted. I have immense compassion for gay Catholics who courageously struggle to be true to the sexuality they believe they were born with and the Faith that they believe to be true, but whose many members say and do things to make them feel unwelcome. I feel compelled through my solidarity with them to confront those who don't seem to care about their feelings.

Thirdly, I'm aware that these blogs may be the face of Catholicism for some people. And I am horrified that when others look into this face, they will see us not loving each other, but pointing fingers at each other. I know that I would think less of a religion if I visited one of its prominent blogs in the midst of a crisis and read about how they want to assign all blame to a certain group of them, and ban them from leadership postions. We evangelize by the way we live our lives every day.

Again, I'm not here to call people names or accuse people of "hate." What I want us to do is act from love and compassion rather than fear. And I want us to benefit from the many good men God has called to the priesthood, both gay and straight. And I want the "Catholic blogs" to be a sign of God's love in the world.
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