Priests as targets under fire

Watch for lots of this in the future.

From the blog La Nueva Primavera:

FALL-GUY PRIESTS

It is an unfortunate fact that we live in an age when the priesthood is under assault like never before. Nowhere is that assault more visible than in the culture war of homosexuality.

Homosexuals have made great gains in their quest of acceptance by using the courtroom and cloaking themselves in the mantle of Civil Rights. However, mere acceptance is not enough. Militant homosexuals will accept nothing less than unconditional approval from all sectors of society and will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who stands in their way. There is apparently a three-pronged attack on the priesthood, orchestrated by militant homosexuals and almost transparent in its obviousness for those who take the trouble to look beyond the headlines.

PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT
THE PRIESTHOOD

[...]

PRONG #2: USE THE SULLIED REPUTATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD TO ATTACK PRIESTS

[...]

PRONG #3: USE THE “CIVIL RIGHTS” ARGUMENT
TO DISCREDIT AND REMOVE PRIESTS
WHO UPHOLD CHURCH TEACHING

[...]

Read the rest there.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Dogs and Fleas, Mail from priests, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Priests as targets under fire

  1. Kieninger says:

    As I say my weekly Mass at the local prison, I often wonder if I may some day find myself on the wrong side of those bars simply for being a priest. From the French and Mexican Revolutions to the Communist invasions of Eastern Europe and Asia, priests and religious were always among the first victims.

  2. Clinton R. says:

    Our priests need our prayers very badly. Especially good, faithful priests who uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, but also those who faith has weakened. And prayers are needed for the bishops to support the priests who are orthodox and true to the Church. It would be so easy for a priest to fall in line with the secular world, but they are called to be in the world, but not of the world. How Satan demands to sift through them! Serving God is first and foremost. Giving approval of sinfulness whether implicitly or explicitly is failing in priestly duties. Of course, condeming sinful behavior means the mainstream media tags them as ‘religious extremists’ and ‘bigots’. I would like to thank Father Zuhlsdorf, and the many good men who have heeded God’s call to His priesthood for their love and devotion to faithfully living their vocation. May Our Lord bless them and strengthen them and May Our Blessed Mother pray for them. +JMJ+

  3. xsosdid says:

    I highly recommend Michael Rose’s book “Goodbye Good Men”. I is a very revealing look at how thoroughly some seminaries have been compromised.

  4. ContraMundum says:

    “lots of this in the future”? This is nothing new. It has been going on for decades, as you well know.

  5. Darren says:

    I once had a fairly good friend and coworker who is lesbian. We became friends through many interests such as music, food, and other activities. There were two things we almost never discussed, religion and politics – because we were clearly polar opposites when it came to those matters. Yet in almost every other aspect of life, we had much in common.

    However, through the years we worked together, I started to notice the militant homosexuality coming through. It was very subtle, but over time I started to see this in her and how very uncompromising she was. We carpooled for a while and after 9/11 when a lot of people started flying the American flag on their car, and putting patriotic images in the back windows of their pickups, I saw her growing disgusted. She started to equate patriotism to an attack on her sexuality. She equated patriotism to conservative values which are contrary to her beliefs. Yet she beemed when she saw a rainbow sticker on someone’s car.

    The militant homosexual movement started becoming very apparent to me through her. She eventually left that job, moved to the west coast… we kept in touch for a while but then I felt it better to just let her go and we have lost all communication over the past few years.

    By knowing her, my eyes became very widely opened to this issue. I have seen no liberal movement full of such hate, such a desire to force everyone else to change – so deviously militant – as the so-called LGBT movement. The G used to come first, but now the L comes first, because it is the L that is leading the attack.

    Much prayer. Much prayer for our priests, and for the priesthood. Anything we can to help and support our priests, starting with prayer, we must do. Any simple words of support. I know that the priests of my parish, my pastor in particular, are under another attack…. more local, but from a very angry man who cares not what he does to affect the reputation of our pastor, our other priests if they do not agree with him, and our bishop and especially former bishop. Attacks are coming from all around. Pray… offer penance… offer to aid in the fight to protect our priests.

  6. brotherfee says:

    Well, look to the future; the church has survived how many catastrophes over the years? She is strong and will survive despite the hopes of some that the church will become obsolete due to the current scandals and a desire for a secular nation. Fallout from the sexual revolution that supposedly created freedom. Our priests need our prayers to persevere through the current climate.

    BTW: wonderful post Clinton R. , beautifully written.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD

    A gay man is going to go out of his way to fly under the radar for ten years in the seminary and become ordained simply so that he can discredit the priesthood?

    That is fairly twisted thinking. [Yes. It is.]

  8. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 wrote:

    PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD

    A gay man is going to go out of his way to fly under the radar for ten years in the seminary and become ordained simply so that he can discredit the priesthood?

    That is fairly twisted thinking.

    Agreed, frjim4321, if you’re referring to the motivation of the militant LGBT crowd. It’s twisted thinking because it’s a twisted movement.

  9. FXR2 says:

    FrJim4321,

    I just wonder how low a homosexual seminarian had to fly to be under the radar in Archbishop Rembrant Weakland’s diocese? Even allowing for their legitimate belief, I have to wonder how many men became priests not to teach what the Church has always taught, but rather to change the Church. Things may have improved in recent years, but quite a bit damage has been and continues to be done.

    I am just a married man with six children trying and failing daily to live as the Church prescribes. I do not envy the vocation of priests, I thank them all and keep all bishops and priest in my prayers.

    With respect for your office if not for your position,
    fxr2

  10. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD

    A gay man is going to go out of his way to fly under the radar for ten years in the seminary and become ordained simply so that he can discredit the priesthood?

    That is fairly twisted thinking.

    That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. There is an affinity of homosexuals toward the priesthood and, even more, the religious life because it’s a men’s club. And the doors are open wider (npi) with the vernacularization of the liturgy.

  11. Ralph says:

    Father Jim,

    How many young men went to seminary with the honest goal of living a chaste life only to find an environment that supported a homosexual lifestyle? A young man entered the seminary with “homosexual tendencies” but a solid chastity and left some years later as an active homosexual.

    Several good men that I know have shared seminary stories with me that make me want to cry. Several made it to ordination (they called themselves submarines – keep your faithfulness to the church under the surface) and several did not. All were hurt by the experience.

  12. ContraMundum says:

    @Darren

    The homosexual I knew best was a graduate student at a university where I was teaching. He made a big show of being “gay” — the characteristic over-the-top flamboyance that gave rise to the modern use of the word. It was obvious, though, that he was overcompensating for a deep, underlying sadness. I suspect this is usually the case.

  13. Centristian says:

    “PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD”

    Well…I don’t know about that one; it seems a bit fantastic and conspiratorial. The idea that droves of gay men over several generations have somehow been organized and deployed into the seminaries of the world seems highly improbable if not downright impossible. Why would such a vast number of homosexual men be willing to make such a disciplined sacrifice of lifestyle and education for the sake of discrediting the Catholic priesthood? Why would that be so important to them? And who on earth would be able to so masterfully organize such vast numbers of young gay men in a lifelong dedication to any cause, much less that one? Are there seminary recruitment posters and sign-up sheets in the gay bars, perhaps? “Forget about the stage and design school and the hair salons, boys; we need you to become Jesuits, instead!” I just don’t see it, I’m afraid. And talk about herding cats.

    I think it’s more likely that the many Catholic young men who were homosexually-oriented who did enter the seminary did so in order to hide their orientation in a time when it wasn’t at all accepted in society (and probably not even accepted by themselves). If they became priests, of course, their friends and families wouldn’t figure out their secret when they turned 20…then 30…then 40 without ever having had a girlfriend, much less a wife. Of course, using the Catholic priesthood to hide their orientation was a desperate move that ultimately had tragic results.

    I think the ironic thing about the current acceptance of gay men in society at large is that the seminaries will soon enough find themselves all but completely emptied of homosexual students. Now that homosexuals don’t have to hide who they are anymore, the priesthood, I imagine, will hold very little appeal for most of them. In the past it was a “beard”, a cloak. Today no cloak is necessary.

    In none of this do I mean to suggest that there are not militant homosexuals who are leading a charge against the Church from the outside. Of course there are. There are also homosexuals on the inside responding to that charge in different ways, even perhaps standing up to take leading roles in the effort, themselves. That I can believe. That one can see. But the idea that the homosexuals on the inside got where they are by way of a vast conspiracy to inflitrate the priesthood…that’s a bit silly, I think.

  14. NoTambourines says:

    I think there’s a broader issue at work here, and I noticed at the link where the author cited “Goodbye, Good Men.” Also on my long-term reading list.

    There’s a “dog-Latin” term called Reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein someone tries to stop (or win) an argument by saying that Hitler would hold a certain view the speaker disagrees with, and therefore his opponent is as bad as Hitler in every way.

    There is a similarly hollow argument against the Church. Call it Reduction ad Molestem (apologies for all of the massacred pseudo-Latin!). No matter what the topic, there was the molestation scandal, ergo, one’s argument is supposedly invalid.

    I’ve been in discussions where people — even family members — try to move the goalposts like that. We need to recognize that tactic when we see it, because it sure seems to happen a lot, and is employed on a variety of subjects including abortion, teachings on homosexuality, contraception, women’s ordination, etc., etc… Anything people decide they don’t like, basically.

  15. dominic1955 says:

    The way it was worded was unfortunate, but the problem is still there. I do not think of it as some sort of vast and conscious conspiratorial push by some powerful underground homosexual cabal. I think it was the result of simply psychological factors and the environment of the time. When men with homosexual tendencies, and not only them but also people with other problems, got into positions of power they surrounded themselves with like-minded people. That only makes sense, everyone does it.

    Add to this the perfect storm situation we had when practically all sectors of Church and society were in upheaval and all sorts of deviants and revolutionaries finally felt they could poke their heads out from the rafters without being crushed, you have a situation in which these people could finally work more openly to bring about their brave new world.

    There is no need to introduce “conspiracy” into it, bonds for mutual assistance with subverting the Church are made openly and without any sort of overarching cooperation.

    One small side note, I always thought it funny how progressives make fun of our penchant for lace and cassocks as “gay” or “feminine”.

  16. Choirmaster says:

    To all those who doubt the plausibility of “infiltrate and discredit the priesthood” I would like to offer a different way of looking at the issue. Rather than see it as an external conspiracy of militant homosexuals to make in-roads at seminaries, or a haven for embarrassed homos that can’t bear the thought of taking a wife, I see it as an internal policy which actively recruited or at least consciously filtered applicants to change the nature of the presbytery.

    The latter is probably much more plausible, if not more disconcerting. Indeed, there are more than enough anecdotal accounts of seminary life to indicate that a politically militant homosexual element in control of some–or worse, most–dioceses and seminaries, either formerly or recently, actively denying, expelling, or suppressing orthodox and/or non-homosexual seminary applicants and ordained priests.

    It’s still going on, but the difference is that they’ve been so successful that it’s now rather obvious and transparent. Also, there has been an increase in official resistance in the areas of ecclesiastical discourse (various papal publications as well as the Visitation of US seminaries) and matters of diocesan and seminary policy. None of this “official” activity would be taking place if the problems were imaginary or any less than ten times worse than any of us laymen are aware of!

  17. anilwang says:

    frjim4321,

    Twisted or not, it is based on truth. There are two aspects, one is the fault of common Catholic teaching on discernment and another is a direct documented attack on religious education.

    When I grew up, I was regularly taught that you should first discern if God called you to be married or single, and if he called you to be single, you must be chaste so you should consider the priesthood.

    IMO this is exactly backwards. People with homosexual tendencies cannot get married, so by this teaching, they should become priests. Is it any wonder that seminaries would be flooded with people with homosexual tendencies, many of whom never felt called to the priesthood? If discernment to the priesthood happened first, there would be fewer priests, but they would only be people who actually felt called to the priesthood, no matter what their vulnerability to sin. And if Catholic education has been infiltrated, to support the gay and sexually free lifestyle (see below), is it any wonder of the consequences? Fortunately this has recently been addressed:
    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=40889

    The second aspect is the direct attack on religious education. You really don’t need to look hard to find direct attacks on Catholic educational institutions over the last 70 years . You don’t even need to look a history, look at the curriculum of seminaries. How many are consistent with Vatican documents on priestly training such as Optatum Totius? For instance, how many spend more time on Hegel and Hume than Aquinas (which is treated in a glossary fashion)? How many of them teach Latin as an option rather than requirement? How many focus more on “social justice” and the “environmental justice” than actual Catholic teaching? Sadly, this has not been addressed (to my knowledge). Hopefully, a document with some backbone on religious education is currently in the works.

  18. acroat says:

    They have infiltrated social services also. One filed a civil rights complaint against me & a lesbian was sent out to “investigate”. The thing he alleged (disclosing he was HIV positive) was not done by me but by my bi sexual boss-go figure out that one.

    Another that worked for me had been in the seminary as a young man but left. He was also “married to a woman” I think it was so she could be covered by his insurance. He wasn’t in your face about it.

  19. Centristian says:

    @Choirmaster:

    Your idea has alot more merit than what I imagined the author was getting at; perhaps that’s what he meant to suggest.

  20. chantgirl says:

    From a priest family member who has taught in the seminary system- the boys’ club is no joke. In our diocese they are referred to as the “mean girls” for the way that they have been known to bully those priests who are openly critical of the homosexual lifestyle. There was recently in my diocese a brand new (straight) priest who was sent to a parish where the pastor would bring up gay topics and watch the homosexual channel in front of this new priest, trying to guage the young guy’s reaction.When the new priest felt uncomfortable with this and complained, asking to be transferred to a different parish, all sorts of hell broke loose. He did not get reassigned. Now, in the past, whether there was an active conspiracy to infiltrate the system to change it, or whether men with certain tendencies were naturally drawn to the priesthood, I don’t know. But, the result of having open homosexuals in positions of authority in seminaries and dioceses was that many normal men were chased off by the seminaries during the 70s-80s and many who should not have made it through the filtering process did and were encouraged in their behavior. It is interesting to me that in the wake of the sexual revolution, many priests left the priesthood to get married, but the homosexual priests tended to stay and just live a gay lifestyle as a priest, so there was plenty of sexual immorality all around. Some of these guys may have thought that the Church was about to change and declare all sorts of behavior okay- women priests, homosexual relationships not sinful, contraception accepted etc. I think there were some very unrealistic expectations on the part of some Catholics in the wake of Vatican II that the Church was about to change many of its’ disciplines and rules and get with the times. As for conspiracy, I have heard it alleged that communists from the Soviet Union also attempted to infiltrate seminaries in Europe to work against the church from the inside. I have not found documentation for this but would be interested if anyone could point me toward a good book.

  21. Choirmaster says:

    @Centristian:

    I wonder. The author was speaking more pragmatically or momentarily, rather than speculating on how or why the situation became what it is. However he does say this:

    In his book, Goodbye Good Men, author Michael Rose documents well how dioceses and seminaries across the country have been dominated by homosexuals for at least two decades.

    The language the author uses to summarize the book is still a bit vague. “Dominated” could be meant in the descriptive sense more than any other. But the book itself seems to take the same line I did, blaming an extant faction in seminary culture rather than pointing to an external, conspiratorial element. Still, that element would have to come from somewhere. Concupiscence is one vector, the Diabolical is another, but I find it difficult to believe it was grass-roots homosexuals storming the offices of vocations directors; still less accidental homosexuals flying to the priesthood for cover.

  22. Angie Mcs says:

    It always amazes me how quickly the support for the LGBT group literally exploded on the scene of American life. When I was young, homosexuality was completely intolerable and considered vile. Then a few movies and TV shows started sneaking in, always portraying the gay antagonist in a positive light, kind, loving but terribly victimized. Looking back, I think the bigwigs in the entertainment industry, which has a relatively large gay percentage, were testing the waters, and once they felt they had a small amount of acceptance, they kept pushing it. The public, over the following decades, was manipulatedby the media into thinking that gays should have all the same rights that straight people do because they are really the same. It is only with the complete support of the entertainment industry from performers to producers, that this has become such an issue and that LGBT felt they could stand up and speak out as vocally as they do. Politicians of course followed to get votes as they saw this movement emerging. It is just another logical step to attack the priesthood, as LGBTs feel they have the right to change the Church to their own way of thinking, no matter who gets hurt. In their twisted minds, even God will eventually be on their side, if He isn’t already.

  23. Mary Jane says:

    @ frjim4321 – it’s twisted yes, but it does happen.

    Perhaps some here have read “AA-1025″? This man wasn’t homosexual, but his story is no less (perhaps it is more) frightening.

    For those who do not know, AA-1025 is about a Communist who purposely enters the priesthood (he murders when he finds someone who opposes his entering the seminary because they feel he has no vocation). His intent is to subvert and destroy the Church from within. He was commissioned to enter the priesthood. There were 1024 “agents” before him (and who knows how many after). This man was eventually involved in a fatal car wreck, and a nurse who assisted him found his memoirs on his person. AA-1025 are the man’s memoirs.

  24. Liz says:

    It seems to be getting so bad. The amount of priests on our list of priests to pray for is getting so long I can hardly keep track. I do think we need pray very hard, offer sufferings for priests/bishops and especially the Holy Father, and have masses said for them. (To me masses seem like one of the best deals around. I hear people say they can’t afford that, but it seems little more than the price of a fast food meal. Eat at home. Offer it up.) Recently, I started offering up my sufferings and prayers on a particular day of the week for priests. It works well for me on that day and helps me to refocus and think of them. (As one of my children recently pointed out that it really helps to do something–like get out of bed in the morning–if you offer it for someone or something specific.) God bless and keep our priests! We owe them so much! Thank you, Fr. Z, and any priests who read this. We are very grateful to you and your love of Holy Mother Church.

  25. Elizabeth D says:

    I learned that a priest I knew who was for many years a formator of young religious was on the record teaching others that it is very important to counsel same sex attracted religious novices to own and embrace a homosexual identity and also to form their spirituality in keeping with their homosexual inclinations. He would also regularly speak against “homophobia”. I confronted him about his idea of forming novices toward disordered sexuality, and he affirmed that he absolutely continued to believe what he was on record saying, and dismissed the idea that religious life or seminary constitutes a near occasion of sin for such individuals or that guidelines of the Holy See contradicted him. It was disillusioning how someone ideologically committed could quietly and continually undermine, while enjoying quite a bit of respect from others. There was every appearance of an intention to use the priesthood to further acceptance of homosexuality.

    Pray for priests.

  26. Joseph-Mary says:

    Of course it happened that practicing homosexuals made it through seminary! I have had the misfortune of knowing some gay priests. And I used to correspond with an ex-priest who was actively homosexual in seminary and the bishop knew about it when he was ordained. YES, there was (is?) tha agenda to get these men through who have no vocation to the celibate priesthood. There certainly have been ‘pink palaces’ as some seminaries were called. We all know it.

  27. Sixupman says:

    Closing the stable door!

    Currently in the UK we have the homosexual “Marriage” issue in the headlines. The pro spokesmen state that there will be no imposition upon any church to celebrate such weddings and the government have indicated as much. However, using the ‘equalities’ legislation, the homosexuals will mount an attack to breakdown that conscience protection.

    It is now a criminal offence to voice anti-homosexual sentiments.

  28. happyhockeymom says:

    For those who can’t believe a conspiracy to infiltrate and discredite the priesthood, Google Bella Dodd and communist infiltration into Catholic seminaries.

    Bella Dodd was a high ranking American Communist party member who converted to the Catholic faith after meeting Bishop Fulton Sheen. Bella testified to more than 1,100 men were sent undercover into Catholic seminaries to destroy the Church from within because the Communists considered the Church their greatest enemy.

    In a speech by Bella Dodd that I have seen quoted, it is stated that these men will change the Catholic Church into something unrecognizable. This was a decade and a half before Vatican II. The communists had a long term plan. Who is to say they didn’t use homosexuals as infiltrators as part of their plan? It wouldn’t surprise me.

    I would provide links, but I can’t search out the links on another tab at the same time because this laptop is slower than molasses – it is very old. Perhaps someone else could help me with that?

  29. acardnal says:

    @frjim4321 who said:

    QUOTE: frjim4321 says:
    6 March 2012 at 7:07 am
    PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD

    A gay man is going to go out of his way to fly under the radar for ten years in the seminary and become ordained simply so that he can discredit the priesthood?

    That is fairly twisted thinking.
    UNQUOTE
    These seminarians didn’t have to “fly under the radar” because there are/were a number of bishops who were gay themselves, or who saw nothing sinful with homosexual lifestyles, so they maintained gay-friendly seminaries. They welcomed them. Moreover, they rejected heterosexual, orthodox seminary candidates who applied! These types of dioceses usually had few seminarians, e.g. AB Emeritus Weakland of Milwaukee is a case in point; whereas the orthodox dioceses usually had larger numbers, e.g. Arlington, Lincoln, Denver. I strongly urge frjim4321 to read “Goodbye Good Men” by Michael Rose.

    Why are homosexuals attracted to seminaries? Because that’s where the boys are to paraphrase an old Connie Frances song.

  30. chantgirl says:

    Elizabeth D- count bishops for some of that prayer too. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for bishops to know who to trust unless they have come from the diocese they are serving. All the more reason I say bishops should have secret-agent-spy-priests. I’m only sort of kidding.

    On another note, I’m not big on conspiracy theories, and I tend to be skeptical of many visionaries too, but after Pope Leo’s experience that led to his writing of the St. Michael prayer and the experience of the children of Fatima, I would say not much is beyond the realm of possibility when it comes to the Evil one’s working against the Church.

  31. acardnal says:

    Correction above: Connie Francis vice Frances

  32. philologus says:

    This is all very eye-opening and disturbing.

  33. Shonkin says:

    Eye-opening, disturbing, and unfortunately true.

  34. beez says:

    I don’t doubt for a moment the suggestion that the radical, militant homosexual movement will do everythng in its power to discredit priests. The great irony is that they attack the sinful priests of the past, those involved in abuse, over the very thing they are also trying to legalize (pedophilia and pederasty).

    I do, however, take except to the linked article’s examples of “discredited” priests. The reason is that it is a real violation of justice toward the bishops involved. Now, I know what everyone is going to say, “But, beez! Those bishops threw good priests under the bus! Just look at the support they had in the parishes!”

    Now, maybe they have support in the parishes and maybe they don’t. I do know that I know two individuals who were victims of priests and, in both cases, those victims were themselves villified by the supporters of these charismatic predators. Sadly, even support of parishioners and even being faithful to the Magisterium and Orthodoxy don’t necessarily make the priest completely right.

    Second, every one of the situations described on the linked page involve a bishop who, in justice and charity, are limited or even forbidden to give the fullness of their side. An offended priest can say, “The bishop just brushed me off and said, ‘I have other things to do,’” and in many cases the bishop can’t respond without violating confidences and even the internal forum!

    In fairness, I know people from two of the five cases mentioned on that page. I know some to resemble the portait painted there, and I know some to be very different. La Nueva Primavera himself frequently links to a site (now defunct) that debases the current ordinary form of the liturgy and encourages people to attend SSPX masses. This is no less an act of disobedience and an offense to Holy Mother Church than the very culture of libertinism they seek to expose.

    We should not be so quick to accept, at face value, the testimony of any person in regard to others. We should carefully consider the public and private characters of all involved and, with charity, give to each the benefit of the doubt that the full truth lies “somewhere in between.”

    If we accept solely the testimony of a priest because we think “well, he’s faithful to the Magisterium and the Pope,” then we automatically, although perhaps not consciously, imply that the others, even the bishop, aren’t. Not even faithful and orthodox priests have been conceived immaculately and are thus free from putting their story in terms that are most positive toward them and negative toward those with whom they disagree.

    I hope, in charity and prayer for all priests AND bishops, we can all remember that.

  35. ArtND76 says:

    @anilwang

    You get to the root of the problem of homosexual infiltration of the priesthood: it starts with the discernment process. Yes, indeed, before courting a spouse one should discern a calling to marriage – if not, one-on-one courting (or dating in some circles) is nothing more than an occasion of sin to be avoided. However, the Latin Rite imposes on young men an additional burden, for if a young man discerns a calling to marriage, that precludes any calling to clergy higher than permanent deacon, unless of course, his wife dies. So once the young man discerns marriage, there is no decision left concerning a calling to the priesthood except in what most people would see as tragic circumstances (I know 2 priests serving in my diocese who are grandfathers whose wives died tragically from cancer. They are extraordinary priests.). So what type of person does that leave for entering the seminary? What pressure does that put on seminaries when the first qualification is not calling and sanctity, but being un-married, then consider calling and sanctity?

    Forget about all the other arguments for the ordination of married men as priests, the simple undeniable fact is that Jesus founded His church on Peter, a married man, whose wife had not yet died. Peter was also a small business man, since he was a fisherman and owned at least one boat. I am sure there are good reasons for not allowing men like Peter to be a part of the priesthood anymore, reasons and discernment coming from people smarter and holier than I am and I have no desire to see this changed until such time as the Pope says so, because He is the one with the keys of Peter. But I do look at situations like homosexuality in the priesthood and wonder about it. It precludes a great number of mature, responsible men from discerning a calling to the priesthood later in life simply because when they were younger they discerned marriage, and responsibly entered the sacrament. They don’t seek an annulment for their marriage, nor would they qualify, because they “did it right”. Ironically, that disqualifies them from ordination to the priesthood, while a man who irresponsibly “married” and got an annulment is qualified and at least in one case I can’t remember specifically right now, gets ordained a priest (recently. I am not referring to Augustine of Hippo). Perhaps all of this is the right thing to do, but it really can look strange. And yes, I know many, many good celibate priests that serve the church well – we in the Body of Christ need them all.

  36. Centristian says:

    @chantgirl:

    “On another note, I’m not big on conspiracy theories, and I tend to be skeptical of many visionaries too, but after Pope Leo’s experience that led to his writing of the St. Michael prayer and the experience of the children of Fatima, I would say not much is beyond the realm of possibility when it comes to the Evil one’s working against the Church.”

    While the Church is doubtless beset with plagues, I wouldn’t accept the legend of Pope Leo XIII’s “visions” anymore than I would a conspiracy theory as credible evidence of anything. The various debunked versions of that bizarre tale rank right up there with all the other urban legends. If Leo saw hard days ahead for the Church I think we can be satisfied it was on account of his insightful brilliance (which few men would deny) without having to confect or perpetuate odd fantasies about him. Leo XIII was a visionary, to be sure…but not literally. He was a giant, not an oracle.

  37. Jim Ryon says:

    Now that all the hatred against Fr. Guarnizo has died down, does anyone know how he’s doing? Did he say his scheduled masses at St. John Neumann this past weekend?

  38. acardnal says:

    Good question Jim Ryon? Has anyone visited him or his parish to see if he is still there and functioning as a priest?

  39. Mary Jane says:

    @ Centristian, with respect to your last comment —

    I’ve read some of your similar comments on other posts of Fr Z’s. I want to point out that while you may feel that Fatima and the visions of Pope Leo XIII are “legends” or “fantasies”, there are those of us (and we are also good and faithful Catholics) who believe that Fatima and the vision of Pope Leo XIII were both real.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but it is just that — an opinion.

  40. Cantor says:

    Until all of the bishops in the United States issue a unanimous decree with the same moral courage demonstrated recently by Kirk Cameron, it won’t happen. Considering it took a month to get them all to agree that their paying for killing babies is bad, don’t hold your breath.

  41. jfm says:

    @Centristian: “I think it’s more likely that the many Catholic young men who were homosexually-oriented who did enter the seminary did so in order to hide their orientation in a time when it wasn’t at all accepted in society (and probably not even accepted by themselves). If they became priests, of course, their friends and families wouldn’t figure out their secret when they turned 20…then 30…then 40 without ever having had a girlfriend, much less a wife. Of course, using the Catholic priesthood to hide their orientation was a desperate move that ultimately had tragic results.”

    You hit the nail right on the head. As a Catholic high school student and college student in the 1980s, I was aware of my same-sex attraction. On a few occasions when I met with guidance counselors in high school and to whom I confided what I thought was my horrible secret, every single one of them told me that a same-sex attraction was God’s way of calling me to the priesthood. So did every single vocation director (diocesan and 2 religious orders). The AIDS era was enough to convince me that it was true. I never had the sense I was being recruited into a nefarious conspiracy. I had the sense that people were looking out for me, trying to save me from disease and dishonor, and genuinely trying to steer me in a safer direction. “This is how God calls you to live a different life,” was a refrain I heard several times.

    Single, somewhat effeminate men in their 30s, 40s, and beyond were frequently (but quietly) sneered at by most people I knew as being perverted. However, put a Roman collar on any man and he seemed respectable. And I did feel a kinship with many artistic, creative, sensitive priests. So the priesthood seemed like a good option: socially respectable and a good life.

    I know Father Z has often written about the masculine priesthood. Growing up, I recall only 3 or 4 priests whom I could consider as conventionally masculine (out of about 30 priests I knew then.) It was a concept that was so foreign to me that I am still sometimes taken aback when I see a priest who does not trip my ‘gaydar’.

    I never wound up joining the priesthood. It is a vocation I respect too much, and I knew that my calling did not feel genuinely authentic. Few if any gay men would ever try to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood now in this era of widespread societal acceptance of lesbians and gay men. That’s what the Anglican/Episcopal churches are for. Things will never go back to the 1940s and 1950s. Society now ostracizes those who think same-sex attraction is intrinsically disordered and same-sex activities are sinful.

  42. GirlCanChant says:

    I wrote to Fr. Guarnizo today. I hope it actually gets to him. I’m very glad the media uproar seems to have died down. Hope it stays that way.

  43. Uncledan says:

    PRONG #1: INFILTRATE AND DISCREDIT THE PRIESTHOOD

    A gay man is going to go out of his way to fly under the radar for ten years in the seminary and become ordained simply so that he can discredit the priesthood?

    That is fairly twisted thinking.

    Have you not been able to see what Sandra Fluke has been doing, and others like her? Her LIFE is devoted to taking Georgetown down a road to force them to accept LGBTQ lifestyles and implementation. Increasingly, it appears she is a lesbian spending huge amounts of her life in militant homosexual movements as well as lawschool… to achieve what we would consider fairly twisted thinking.

  44. Kathleen10 says:

    I have a question. I believe some time ago I also read “Goodbye Good Men”. You’d think I’d remember it, but, I read alot. Not to mention, sometimes I just don’t remember anymore.

    But my question is this…
    What is currently being done today to prevent gay applicants from becoming seminarians? I remember hearing that there were guidelines, that may have come from our wonderful Pope Benedict, but are these guidelines being utilized in practice today? In reality, or just in theory? Father Z would know more about this I imagine. Father Z, you are the resident expert. I wonder what your impression is on this.

    The topic is the elephant in the living room, and it’s so rare that anybody speaks about it. What a climate of fear we have now!
    When I think of the victims of the scandals, the young victims who fell prey to the predators, it’s just a matter that is beyond expression. Those scandals have opened the door for blatant expression of hatred toward the Church. But it’s so ironic because to me, it was always a homosexual problem, because I don’t buy the idea that heterosexuals bother boys at any age, and certainly not because of celibacy! How absurd! Yet here we are, wondering (at least I am) how to limit homosexuals from becoming priests, and at the same time beginning to really fight the culture that insists on everyone applauding homosexuality. All the while having that same culture deny that homosexual priests were the predators in most of the cases of molestation, as the predators were all male and the victims were by far mostly male.

    Is this homosexual climate still in place in seminaries? Has there REALLY been a true effort to address this problem in many/some/few seminaries? Until that happens, nothing will change, and we will have scandals and predators galore, which may eventually be more than the Church can endure.