the shock of many of us LGBTQ people of faith is the Vatican’s
recent decision in the document “The Gift of Priestly
Vocation,” to ban gays to the priesthood; thus, reaffirming
it’s 2005 stance.
of us who have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or who
“support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are
categorically denied to serve one of the church’s most revered
and respected posts.
to know that Pope Francis, our LGBTQ pope- friendly pontiff,
approved the document have many of us in disbelief.
all recall Pope Francis’s remarks when flying home after a week
long visit to Brazil in 2013 (which set off global shock waves) where
the pontiff was queried about the much talked about “gay lobby”
in the Vatican.
I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay
and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good
will, who am I to judge them?.”
public statement is the most LGBTQ affirmative remarks the world has
ever heard from the Catholic Church.
2013 "The Advocate," a nationally renowned and respected
LGBTQ ‘zine, named Pope Francis their “Person of the
Frances’ more liberal-leaning pronouncements, however, don’t
match his actions. But, in looking at gay priests within the
historical context of the Catholic Church the Pontiff knows that gay
priests have always been in the Vatican.
a matter-of-fact, the homosocial and homosexual milieu of gay priests
have always been part and parcel of the life and operations of the
Vatican as well as the Catholic Church for centuries. Their strength
to come-out now as a formidable force within the hallowed walls of
the Vatican is laudable on the one hand and a liability on the other
hand—especially in terms of casting a gay suspicion on all
priests as well as the potential to expose those priests who want to
remain in the closet.
Catholic Church needs its gay priests.
Rev. Donald B. Cozens, author of "The Changing Face of the
Priesthood," wrote that with more than half the priests and
seminarians being gay, the priesthood is becoming a gay profession.
Many who know the interior of the Catholic Church would argue that
the priesthood has for centuries been a gay profession, and not to
ordain gay priests or to defrock them would drastically alter the
spiritual life and daily livelihood of the church.
they were to eliminate all those who were homosexually oriented, the
number would be so staggering that it would be like an atomic bomb;
it would do damage to the church's operation," says A.W. Richard
Sipe, a former priest and psychotherapist who has been studying the
sexuality of priests for decades. Sipe also points out that to do
away with gay priests "would mean the resignation of at least a
third of the bishops of the world. And it's very much against the
tradition of the church; many saints have gay orientation and many
popes had gay orientations."
reality here is that as quietly as the Church has tried to keep it,
the Catholic Church is a gay institution. And that is not a bad
problem in the Catholic Church is not its gay priests, and its
solution to the problem is not the removal of them. The problem in
the Catholic Church is its transgressions against them. And I ask:
Who will remove the church from itself?
of homophobic church doctrine have made the church unsafe for us all-
young and old, straight and LGBTQ, adult and child.
Kennedy, a specialist on sexuality and the priesthood and a former
priest, wrote in his book, "The Unhealed Wound: The Church and
Human Sexuality, that the Catholic Church " . . .had always had
gay priests, and they have often been models of what priests should
be. To say that these men should be kept from the priesthood is in
itself a challenge to the grace of God and an insult to them and the
people they serve."
and activists of the “gay lobby” in the Curia
emphatically state that this brave and visible group is essential to
the running of the Vatican as well as protecting themselves from the
church’s hypocrisy in scapegoating them for many of the social
ills of the church.
Francis knows this which is one of the reasons he has commented
disapprovingly about the political and activist clout the powerful
"gay lobby” has in the Curia, the Vatican's secretive
problem is not having this orientation. The problem is lobbying by
this orientation...Being gay is a tendency. The problem is the
lobby,” the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Pope Frances saying
a press conference during his trip to Brazil in July.
now, the Catholic Church stands in the need of prayer.
the Pontiff knows it. Francis aptly stated in his a December 2013
interview with 16 Jesuit magazines that “the moral edifice of
the church is likely to fall like a house of cards" should the
Catholic Church, in this 21st Century, continue on it anti-modernity
trek like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
this pope, is like the previous one when it comes to upholding church
doctrine, but with a more friendlier and pastoral facade.
on church’s continued opposition to gay priests in light of its
history, reality and of the gifts they have given and continue to
give to the Catholic Church.