Pope Francis’ Say— On clergy who are actively gay – By Yvonne Sam

Pope Francis’ Say— On clergy who are actively gay.

By Yvonne Sam

His expressed sentiments are very clear; homosexuality among the clergy is a veritable fear.  

In his soon- to- be published book, “The Strength of the Vocation”  based on interviews with a Spanish born missionary priest, Fernando Prado, Pope Francis dissertation  on the demands of being a priest, and bemoans the presence of homosexuality in the Church, saying that it is a serious matters  that truly bothers him. The issue of homosexuality is a grave situation that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates,” He further asserted that admission to the Catholic clergy should be denied males with ingrained homosexual tendencies, and actively gay priests should be encouraged to leave rather than live a double life.         

Speaking from a religiously correct perspective, priests who cannot keep their vows of celibacy, then in the church they should not be. Such admonitions are some of the Pope’s clearest to date, although he has previously spoken on the issue of improved evaluation of candidates for the religious life. In the book he says, “In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church”. An advanced copy of the Italian version of Francis’ book was made available to Reuters, but it is due to be published soon in several languages.

Francis said that the Church had to be demanding in their selection of candidates, for what is known as the consecrated life. He further firmly asserted that those tasked with the training of men to become priests, should ensure that the candidates are emotionally and psychologically mature before ordination can take place. Such a demand does not exclude women who desire to enter female religious communities in order to become nuns, for in the Catholic doctrine both priests and nuns take vows of celibacy .The 1961 document entitled Careful Selection And Training Of Candidates For The States Of Perfection And Sacred Orders stated that homosexual men should not be ordained. However, this was left to bishops to enforce and most did not, holding homosexuals to the same standards of celibate chastity as heterosexual seminarian.

https://catholicebooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/online-text-on-the-careful-selection-and-training-of-candidates-for-the-states-of-perfe

It is of some concern as to the way forward or backward on the current issue. In 2005, the barring of people who presented homosexual tendencies was first stipulated by the Catholic Church. In November 2005, the Vatican completed an Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html. Publication was made through the Congregation for Catholic Education. According to the new policy, men with “transitory” homosexual leanings may be ordained deacons following three years of prayer and chastity. However, men with “deeply rooted homosexual tendencies” or who are sexually active cannot be ordained.  Again in 2016 a decree on training for Roman Catholic priests stressed the obligation of sexual abstinence, as well as barring gay men and those who support “gay culture” from holy orders.   

The priestly aspirants were fully aware in their new life, of their expected sexual behavior in the absence of a wife. So, in essence and reality  Pope Francis is saying nothing new, it is simply that even with written rules the Catholic men of the cloth failed to carry out duties as they ought. On a point of recall, in 2013, a few months after assuming the papacy, Pope Francis said: “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” On a note of irony the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful in themselves, but homosexual acts are. On August 26, 2018 two weeks after Pope Francis had conducted a pre-publication interview, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Vatican Ambassador to the Vatican caused an uproar in the Church, by levelling a bombshell statement against the Pope and Vatican officials.  According to Vigano, a homosexual network exists in the Vatican, members of which help promote each other’s careers in the Church. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/world/europe/archbishop-carlo-maria-vigano-pope-francis.html.

Additionally, Vigano also accused Pope Francis of turning a deaf ear to the alleged sexual misconduct with adult male seminarians, by former American Cardinal Theodore Mc Carrick. Mc Carrick became the first priest to resign in early 100 years, following  U.S. Church officials allegations made in a separate investigation that he had sexually abused a 16-year-old boy almost 50 years ago proved true and corroborative. Mc Carrick claimed he had no remembrance of the alleged abuse of the minor, but has not commented on the allegations of misconduct with the seminarians, which allegedly took place decades ago. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/28/world/europe/cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-resigns.html

The Vatican claimed that Vigano’s allegations were replete with slander and defamation. If this is so, then why not to the world the truth show?  In June 2013, BBC World News reported that in a private meeting with a group of Latin American clerics, the said Pope Francis reportedly acknowledged the existence of a gay lobby within the Vatican. He also said that while there were good holy men there was a stream of corruption. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22869399. From as far back as memory can recall, it has been a commonly- held public belief that within the Catholic Church homosexuality runs rampant at the pulpit.  

Young males fall easy prey to the many clergy who are subtle gays (pederasty). Also of old, tales of gays in the Vatican have been told for more than a thousand years. Pope John XII, who reigned from 955 to 964, was accused of having sex with men and boys and turning the papal palace “into a whorehouse.” While trying to persuade a cobbler’s apprentice to have sex with him, Pope Boniface VIII, who reigned from 1294 to 1303, was said to have assured the boy that two men having sex was “no more a sin than rubbing your hands together. https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/12/gay-clergy-catholic-church-vatican.  In 1179, Pope Alexander III presiding over the Third Lateran Council in Rome which mandated(Canon 11) that all those guilty of sodomy be removed from office or confined to penitential life in a monastery, if clergy; and be strictly excommunicated, if laity. http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/LATERAN3.HTM

Pope Leo IX (d. 1054) labeled homosexuality “filthy”, “execrable vice” and “obscene”. Likewise around 1051, Saint Peter Damian wrote the Liber Gomorrhianus in which he argued for stricter ecclesiastical punishment for clerics guilty of “sins against nature” https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/st.-peter-damian-rebuked-silent-prelates-complicit-in-clerical-sodomy. Notwithstanding, the Catholic Church has been tormented for over two decades by evidence of thousands of cases of sexual abuse of minors by clergy around the world, in countries ranging from the United States to Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Chile. In June 2017, as reported in the Italian paper Il  Fatto Quotidiano, Vatican police carried out a raid at an apartment following neighbors’ voiced concern about multiple people acting strangely while streaming in and out of the residence. Inside the apartment, belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key adviser, police found multiple men engaged in rampant drug use and homosexual activity. On a note of sheer irony and clear visibility, the home, inhabited by Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s secretary, belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the arm charged with tackling clerical sex abuse. https://nypost.com/2017/07/05/vatican-cops-bust-drug-fueled-gay-orgy-at-cardinals-apartment/

It is blatantly obvious that the issue of homosexuality within the Catholic clergy is nothing new, and the fact that the Vatican houses a cabal of gay pontiffs is equally old news. One is then left to wonder what has caused Pope Francis to become so perplexed now about homosexuality in the clergy.  From whence has this concern about what he describes as the “serious issue” of homosexuality sprung? Is this not the same Pope who in 2013 responded, “Who am I to judge”, in diverting questions about a gay priest. These  latest comments of the Pope has caused some concern among his previous followers, who now feel that he is backpedaling on the more pastoral approach to LGBT Catholics that has been his trademark. Applying the same benchmark, if homosexual priests who struggle with being celibate should leave the priesthood, what about heterosexual priests who similarly struggle with their vows. Suggesting that homosexuality had become a “fashion” to which the clergy is susceptible in present -day culture has angered many. It is unclear whether fashionable meant that it is seen more and more in public life, or the fact that one is gay merely because it is fashionable.

Such an assumption is both wrong and hurtful, and somehow bolsters the idea that gay people choose their orientation. This means that the Pope’s ideas run counter to very reputable psychiatrists, as well as the lived experience of LGBT individuals. Basically the Pope has said nothing new, except reiterating and further acknowledging the existing mismatch between homosexuality and the demands of celibacy. In short, Francis reiterates customary Church teaching, entrusting it to the informality of a conversation-turned- publishing-venture. It is difficult to follow the Papal trajectory, especially on such a charged issue, especially since he has just banned U.S. bishops from voting on stringent measures against abusive clergy. Tete –a-tete with journalists have no substantive claim to authority, and are platforms for showboating, crowd pleasing or when needed floating trial balloons. The catholic priesthood has become a tainted profession, and it is hard not to see  Pope Francis” book as a  gimmick calculated to tell the Catholic faithful what it expects a pope to say on homosexuality in the priesthood—albeit in a manner that sidesteps Archbishop Viganò’s challenge.

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