Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Joshua Gill Is Not Quite Correct

Didn't know that the Daily Caller had a "religion reporter."  But they do, and he's on shaky ground here:

...According to the church’s theology, homosexuality in and of itself is an aberrant sexuality that is contrary to natural law. Therefore, to identify as gay and so embrace the mentality and lifestyle associated with homosexuality, rather than striving to live in accordance with what Catholics believe to be the divinely intended order of creation, would be problematic for a priest, according to current Catholic doctrine, since they are charged with guiding both men and women in relating rightly to one another and to God.

From the church’s perspective, the answer to the problem of priests who identify as gay and are unwilling or unable to overcome those tendencies and are dishonest about their orientation would not be to embrace that position. Nor would it be to expel them from the church, so long as they are celibate. The Church’s answer would be, however, to remove them from the priesthood....

Let's unpack a bit.  The Church teaches that the condition of (being) homosexual is "a grave disorder."  But his next sentence is confused because of his conjunction "and."  Yes, 'to embrace the lifestyle associated with homosexuality' is 'problematic,' if this includes homosexual activity.  But merely 'identifying as gay' is not necessarily so.  Further, this doctrine is not merely "current;" it has been in existence from Day One, as is all doctrine. 

(There is a lot of room for debate in defining the term "embracing the lifestyle," by the way.  Maybe we can have fun with that later.)

That said, 'guiding men and women in right relations...' has nothing to do with whether one is homosexual.  Rather, it has to do with faithfully transmitting the Church's teaching on the topic.

Finally, regarding the last sentence:  the Church does NOT 'remove from the priesthood' those who are celibate.  The sacrament of Orders leaves a permanent mark on the soul, so while the Church may restrict the activity of a priest, and in certain cases bar them from all priestly activity,  that mark never disappears.  But these disciplinary actions are taken only if the priest is guilty of serious activity and is found so by a Church court proceeding.  (Usually, these cases involve rape of adolescents or scandalous open homosexual activity with adults.)

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