Monday, November 28, 2005

No gay priests, part 3: It's logical

Having posted two rants, I have to admit that the Vatican's latest move against gays in the priesthood is the logical outcome of its official teaching that a homosexual orientation is an "objective disorder." This expression, coined by no less than the current pope in 1986, was a reaction against some who were arguing that a homosexual orientation was morally neutral. Not so, said then-Cardinal Ratzinger, and he backed it up by silencing Sister Jeanine Grammick and Father Robert Nugent, founders of New Ways Ministry (for gay Catholics and their families), some years later.

If you think homosexuality is indeed a disorder, especially one that seems to prevent "affective maturity" according to the latest document, then how could you possibly ordain a homosexual person? You can't.

And so the real problem is not the latest document but the teaching itself, which is more Aristotle than Jesus anyway. There is no scriptural warrant for it, it doesn't follow directly from the deposit of faith, and it flies in the face of common sense and modern psychology. Whether the church wants to admit it or not, gay and lesbian people are just as healthy, just as capable of forming stable relationships and creating families, and just as capable of contributing to society as heterosexuals. There may be a debate about the morality of sexual behaviors, but it's time to acknowledge that calling homosexuality an "objective disorder" is just plain wrong. And it's only a 20-year-old teaching for crying out loud; that's hardly straight from the lips of Jesus, or St. Paul for that matter.


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