I received this from a military chaplain of many years, including service in Iraq. He reacted to the Hell’s Bible piece about priests who are “gay” (I hate that word) who whine about being “trapped” in the priesthood. My piece HERE.
Here’s the chaplain:
In reading the NYT diatribe of the gay priest and his pain, and the responses of others to said article, it occurred to me that there is a parallel. Holy Orders is a sacrament of service to the Church. The military is a service to the nation. As my former Soldier-blogger wrote, we have to remember that we are all sapiens, human beings with respect, dignity, and basic human rights. In order to become a citizen, we do give up certain rights (one may use “social contract theory” if desired to elaborate on this). To be a Soldier, in service to the nation, one gives up additional rights, though. The same is true of the priesthood. It seems unfortunate that I read so frequently about the rights of priests, most often in reference to persecution by some in the episcopacy. Rights ALWAYS carry duties, though. There is no such thing as a right without a duty. This is a contributor to the idea of freedom as license, “freedom from,” rather than freedom to be whom God made us to be in relation to Him.
Additionally, service is a privilege; it is never a right. Yes, as one priest respondent to the NYT article alluded, any of us are free to leave – that is a right that you have. No one has a right, however, to enter into service expecting the terms of that service, which are known before entry, to change to suit our own whims and desires. This is one of many pinnacles of hubris.
In these dark days, let us all pray fervently. I’ve joined Fr. Heilman in the USGF Operation Reparation 54. May God have mercy on us all.
Si vis pacem para bellum!