From a reader:
I hope you will not take this the wrong way but given certain sad realities of our time, do you think priests who are unusually effeminate in manner (e.g. speech) should work to minimize this aspect of their personality? Just the other day my wife’s friend told her she’s fairly certain her pastor is homosexual, but I have known of him for a number a years and am certain he is a holy, orthodox, priest. In fact, she also related how he alienated a good number of parishioners when he first came to their typically-liberal parish, which I take as a sign of his faithfulness.
Alas, I think very few people have a clear understanding of their own quirks of manners and ways. And this would be an extremely difficult, delicate, dangerous work of fraternal correction, for a priest friend or other to point out these traits.
This is also complicated by the fact that the entertainment industry has relentlessly tried to run down priests and the priesthood, to distort the very concept of priest in the minds of… well… everyone who watches movies and television.
But, yes. I think a priest who comes to realize that people may be thinking he is homosexual because of his manners and traits of speech should undertake the arduous work to correct them.
I’ll leave the combox closed. People can email comments to me and I will consider them as it may be opportune.
UPDATE 14 Jan:
I’ll make it possible to post comments, but they will all be filtered through the moderation queue. I will probably release only a few, and those well-thought and not repetitive.