Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Ordaining Homosexuals to the Priesthood

Some observations from a well-known writer on the topic:

“Van den Aardweg asks the question: ”why are so many protestant and catholic homosexuals, male and female alike, interested in theology, and why do they not infrequently want to be ministers or priests?” he says that part of the answer lies in their infantile need for sympathy and contact. and i quote: ”they view church professions as soft and sentimentally ‘caring’ and imagine themselves in them as being honored and revered, elevated above common human beings. they see the Church as a noncompetitive, friendly world where they may enjoy high status and be protected at the same time. for male homosexuals, there is the additional incentive of a rather closed men’s community where they need not prove themselves as men;

…. and in the catholic and russian orthodox churches, there is the attraction of the garments and the aesthetic rituals, which male homosexuals may, in their childish perception, experience as feminine and which enable a narcissistic showing off, comparable to the exhibitionist joys of homosexual ballet dancers …. These interests stem for the most part, then, from an infantile, self-centered imagination and have precious little to do with the objective contents of Christian belief. What some homosexuals thus see as their ‘calling’ to the priesthood is an attraction to an emotionally rewarding, but self-centered, way of life. these are self-imagined and ‘false’ vocations.”

(Typos in original...)

31 comments:

capper said...

Wow! I don't know this Van den Aardvark fellow is, but he has some serious hate issues. Not to mention a deep schism between him and reality.

Dad, that is about the most egregious display of homophobia I have seen in a long time. It is also totally beneath you.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it homophobic to quote another author who has professional expertise on the subject. The quotation is not kosher with respect to the PC-orthodoxy that we are so accustomed to, but that hardly makes it really homophobic. The definition of homophobia for the previous post seems to be that anything less than an unqualified an all-embracing affirmation of homosexuality is homophobic.

Quite frankly, I'd also like to know why so many liberals get involved on the professional side of the Church as well, and it seems to me that liberal relates to homosexual often as genus to species.

Dad29 said...

Capper, your ad-hominem is ridiculous on its face, and not worthy of a response.

The author's observations happen to coincide with mine, and I've been very involved in Church matters for quite some time.

He's right, you're wrong.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

Homophobia is an unreasoning fear toward homosexuals and homosexuality... I didn't take that out of the post at all.

Furthermore, Aardweg seems right on point.

3rd way said...

I don't know if it is homophobic, but it is certainly condescending to say that someones elses motiviations can only be rooted in an "infantile" need.

If we want to play psychic we can analyze anyones motivation for entering the clergy and prescribe what ever attributes to them that our preconceptions and prejudices can dream up.

Dad29 said...

The author's remarks do not indicate that such is the "only" reason; he merely postulates that it IS a reason.

However, the Vatican's ban on admitting homosexuals to the priesthood (1961) was observed largely in the breach over the last 30 years, and as we have seen, Van den Aardweg's observations are valid in most cases.

Of course there are exceptions; but that doesn't invalidate the rule.

Emily said...

There is no "rule" being laid down here, only ignorant supposition based on what is, indeed, a deeply homophobic world view.

In alleging that most homosexuals are attracted to the clergy because it brings an "honored, revered and elevated position above common human beings" is to say that the clergy itself must indeed be above common human beings, which I happen to think is a load of bull.

Wishing to be closer to God through study, worship, and the shepherding of parishioners is about as far from egotism and self-centered desire as you can get. Or are you both trying to say that the clergy are all selfish, flamboyant jerks?

Dad29 said...

Thank you for your comment, Emily.

Buh-bye!

Emily said...

Huh, why am I not surprised by your immature brush-off? Buh-bye then, indeed.

Dad29 said...

"Maturity" was expressed in the original post.

Your estrogen-fueled rant is not "maturity;" it's merely a screech in the wilderness.

With maturity, little one, comes the ability to render judgment based on reality.

You ought to try it sometime.

3rd way said...

Hold up there Daddio. Emily made a good point. I see far more immaturity in your quick dismissal.

I am amazed that you would criticize someones "ability to render judgment based on reality" in defense of a non-reality based post that laid bare the egregious prejudices of some homophobe.

I too thought this sort of stuff was beneath you. Capper and I stand corrected.

Dad29 said...

She did NOT "raise a good point."

She began with name-calling, which is, frankly, immature. You joined her in that---the shoe fits,3way.

She claims that the author "supposes," which is not based in fact.

In fact, contra Emily's rant, ordained priests ARE marked with a special character, and ARE held to a higher standard than non-ordained individuals. They also get esteem without preconditions from the laity.

Of course, they are also human beings, subject to faults--but Emily's false understanding allows her to establish a false dichotomy--another mark of poor judgment.

Join her if you like in the rant department. Line happens to form on the Left, 3way

3rd way said...

Your right, we should have known better than to try to discuss reality when it comes to matters of homosexuality and the church.

capper said...

The writer's reference to "there is the attraction of the garments and the aethetic rituals, which male homosexuals may, in their childish perception, experience as feminine and which enable a narcisstic showing off, comparable the exhibitionist joys of homosexual ballet dancers …. These interests stem for the most part, then, from an infantile, self-centered imagination and have precious little to do with the objective contents of Christian belief."

That statement is not based on reality, but on the authors perception. It relates a condescending, hostile tone, which would be indicative of hate, which is a reaction to fear. Fight or flight.

Thus it is homophobic and inappropriate. This may come as a surprise to you, but many homosexuals have a strong spiritual base, and can be more Christian than many others who would profess otherwise.

That is the truth and the reality. But if your faith precludes you from questioning it, and you accept that, that is your problem. Most religious leaders worth their title recognize that questioning their faith from time to time is usually a good thing. Even the famous "Footprints In The Sand" poem is about a questioning of faith, with a happy ending.

Faithful Catholic said...

This post is really interesting because I find myself usually referring to really repressed conservative priests as having a "childish perception." The post is right on, it's just targeting the wrong group of individuals.

Anonymous said...

The following remarks, admittedly, can be true about a lot of men who are priests or who are responding to what they understand as a call to priestly life:

Men can want to be priests for a variety of reasons, but not all of those reasons are good. Not all of them represent a genuine vocation. Some see it is a means of affirmation where they previously lacked it. Some see it as a means of legitimizing their own personal philosophy and theology -- be it moral, ecclesiological, etc -- such that they feel that they have divine approval to spread it upon receiving Holy Orders. Some see it on purely a human level, as a charitable organization. Whatever the case, there are a variety of reasons that are not sufficient to explain a genuine call. I don't mean to say that these are consciously held, but they may be there. I'd rather someone hang up all that baggage, or at the least recognize that he inevitably has it, and want to think and reason with the mind of the Church in the pursuit of gospel and the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God. I don't recall the saint who said it, but it is a good motto for those who seek to serve the Church: "Give me souls. Away with all else."

Given the recent controversies concerning our priests on public record in the pages of the Journal-Sentinel for instance, it is legitimate to ask what motivates them to try to agitate for the approval of what the Church resoundingly warns in her ordinary Magisterium is a path that diverges from the gospel requirements of love and jeopardizes well-ordered affectivity. What are the various agendae at play? Shouldn't they (and all of us) seek the salvation of souls and drive assunder anything that would be a false pretender to the throne of Christ in our lives in our lives? Pax per regnum Christi.

Dad29 said...

We'll simply ignore FC's comments (he hasn't yet proved he's actually Catholic) other than to concur, partially: I know some 'conservative' priests who have SSAD, and that's no better than 'liberal' priests with the problem.

The Church explicitly, and with good cause, prohibits Ordination of those with SSAD. I'm well-acquainted with good Catholic men who have SSAD.

And Capper, for the last time, making simple observations about personalities (or psychologies) is NOT "hateful." It's reality.

Your reflexive name-calling seems to be almost a religion to you, Cap. And it's probably a psychosis of some sort.

Tom in Houston said...

All the queers are ballet dancers, work in flower shops, and have to be the diva, act like drag queens, right? The person writing this article has apparently lived in a hole somewhere since, say, 1950 or so.

I particularly thought the part where Van den Aardweg talks about Gay Catholics not having to 'prove themselves as men' was instructive.

Oh..and don't give me your I have Gay friends bunk. I seriously doubt they consider people who propagate this garbage their buddies. Count on it.

capper said...

An observation of an individual's personality is not hateful. I'll would agree with that.

Making discriminating and condescending generalizations about an entire population is hateful. It is prejudicism. That is was Van den Aardweg does in the text you have cited.

That is hard reality, my friend.

Dad29 said...

OK, Cap: there are gay economics folks (Keynes, e.g.) and gay football players.

And there are straights who are artists.

Whoop-de-doo. All cohorts have subgroups. So what?

The point of the article was to demonstrate that the Church's ruling on ordaining homosexuals is well-founded; that, by and large, homosexuals have personality flaws which are seriously at odds with the vocation.

As for our Texan interlocutor: in the developed West, few if ANY priests 'prove themselves as men.' That's fact, not nastiness.

Fr. Mykel (NYFD) did so, and the (non-priest) who led the charge on the flight which crashed in Pa. on 9/11 did so. Kudos to them!

What does that have to do with typical life in the USA? Damn little.

One more thing, Tom: get better friends--like the ones I have.

Tom in Houston said...

So Fr Mychal Judge was a freak unfit for the priesthood? According to your argument that Gay men are wimpy freaks that should never be priests, it would follow.

You said "As for our Texan interlocutor: in the developed West, few if ANY priests 'prove themselves as men.' That's fact, not nastiness." No it the quote was within the context of stereotyping Gay men as wimpy fairies unfit for a man's work.

I'm sure your openly Gay buddies would be really proud of your arguments.

Dad29 said...

Tommy boy...learn how to read.

I referenced Fr. Judge (by the way, has anyone PROVED he's a gay?) on the post prior to your last spleen-vent.

capper said...

The point of the article was to demonstrate that the Church's ruling on ordaining homosexuals is well-founded; that, by and large, homosexuals have personality flaws which are seriously at odds with the vocation.

I concur that it would seem counterintuitive for gays to want to join a church that disrespects them. However, gays are allowed to have whatever beliefs that they choose. One can choose their religion, not their orientation.

But the comment relating homosexuality to a personality flaw is bigoted and untrue. It is no more a personality flaw than the color of skin, hair or eyes. It is no more a flaw than if there was a genetic likelihood of developing diabetes or cancer. For an educated man, which I know you to be, Dad, that was a damn ignorant statement.

Dad29 said...

OK, Capper, I'll clarify (which may serve as a partial retraction.)

The homosexual psycology is seriously at odds with the demands of the vocation to the priesthood.

But there's more, Cap. In fact, the psychological problem is a grave disorder. Your attempt to equate homosexuality with being a black (or Asian) will not be taken well by black people (nor Asians.)

Your turn for clarification, Cap.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I missed something big...I had thought that the reason for not ordaining homosexual men to the priesthood was that the ascetic theology of the priesthood required giving up a "good" (marriage). Homosexuals are not giving up marriage. Source: Cardinal Bevilaqua of Philly.

I sincerely doubt one can build a good theology of access to Holy Orders based on generalizations of psychology. It can't be a "most" deal - it can only be an "all". The psychological stability of the individual certainly matters, but good formation programs assess this. There are weird straight guys and perfectly "manly" gays.

There is solid, rational theology behind the denial of orders to women or gays (whether you agree with it or not), but I rarely hear it. Instead there are these withering descriptions - of "girly men" and "bossy old biddies" and "pagans". These are just dressed up ways of saying "I don't like it." In other words "phobias".

Stick to the Church teachings please AND the correct reasons behind them.

Dad29 said...

The 'ascetic good' to which you refer is not the principal theological reason. In fact, it's merely redundant, and it's psychological.

Of course homosexuals do not "give up marriage."

The theology is based on an understanding of Christ, for priests are 'other Christs' to the Church. Christ did not marry; that is, He 'forsook marriage.'

So the theology is actually Christology applied.

More to the point, Christ was capable of marriage; He did not have a "grave disorder." THAT is the theology.

capper said...

Dad-

We've already had this discussion. There is mounting evidence that homosexuality has anatomical causes. Same as skin color, eye color, or whatever other variable of the human body you wish to chose. Given that these characteristics occur without our conscious thought, it must be determined by the genes. Or if you don't like the skin color or other examples, how about whether the person has a taste for Brussel spouts?

But this train did remind me of a theoretical philosophical/theological question. Would you mind if I asked you out of public sight?

Dad29 said...

"Growing evidence"--none of which is peer-reviewed--ergo, none of which is "evidence."

Nor is that relevant to the question, any more than any other disorder (e.g., a birth defect such as mongolism.)

Sure. post your email address here. I'll delete your post as soon as I see it in my inbox.

capper said...

You can reach me through whallah@gmail.com. Then I can give you my personal email. Thanks dad.

capper said...

The studies follow standard emperical procedures and has been verified through independent studies. That should be enough to give it enough credibility for consideration.

And it is not a birth defect, merely a characteristic trait.

Rustler45 said...

Capper said: "We've already had this discussion. There is mounting evidence that homosexuality has anatomical causes."

Capper, there is no mounting evidence. This is kin to the ad populum fallacy and the anonymous authority fallacy.

Strange that you use the word, "mounting."