Mickens and “the closet”. Fr. Z responds.

fishwrapRobert Mickens, once a writer for The Tablet (aka The Bitter Pill aka RU-486) until he openly wrote that he wished that Benedict XVI should die, now writes for – who else – the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter).

Mickens posted a panegyric about suffering closeted “gay” (I hate the distortion of that word) priests whom he places in so many gradations that you’d think they were choirs of angels.

How horribly they are treated!  What an injustice it is that the Church says homosexuals shouldn’t be admitted to seminaries!  Ratzinger was a real meanie! If not this Pope, who?  If not now, when?

He also outs himself.

Mickens’ piece has a lot of yak yak, but it mainly struck me as frustrated, desperate.

It is hard for me to imagine what it is like to suffer from same-sex attraction. I know, however, from common sense and from a quarter century of hearing confessions that it is a terrible burden for those with that affliction. So I’ll simply cut to the chase with the most compassionate response I can think of:


Moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr Z. I have no sympathy for this disgrace of a journalist and his flimsy arguments. The seminaries DID allow gays in and reverse discriminated against heterosexuals who didn’t play with their gay agenda, or were too “holy” for seminary. The result: sexual abuses of minors, numerous vocations to the priesthood unfulfilled, numerous lawsuits that have bankrupted dioceses and aided in closing churches, and a highly significant loss of trust and authority in the world and amongst the Faithful in the Church.

    I say it’s only fair and just that the so called “discrimination” he claims against gay people, is enacted after such deplorable and devastating results to the Church. Oh wait, it’s not discrimination, it’s called “you guys screwed it up and destroyed people’s lives. For our Faithful’s safety of mind, body, psyche and Soul, we MUST protect them from potential predators and deceivers/narcissists who would abuse the Holy Orders to access minors.”

  2. majuscule says:

    Reading the comments on the article at the Fishwrap I am saddened, but not surprised, at the input from gay affirming men claiming to be priests with same sex attraction.

    Joseph Sciambra often blogs about the priests who are okay with the gay lifestyle telling same sex attracted and practicing men that they need not leave the lifestyle. And how harmful that stance is to those who wish to confess, do penance and amend their ways.

    Another “feature” of the Fishwrap combox is the nasty “flagging” of comments that have an opposing opinion. And the whining if said comments aren’t removed promptly!

  3. SKAY says:

    Progressive Catholic Theologians proposing re-writing the Catechism.


    “According to kathpress, another theologian, Stephan Goertz — a strong defender of homosexuality — sees that Amoris Laetitia has “made free [sic]the path for different interpretations in the local dioceses.”

  4. IloveJesus says:

    Well, I’m sure that while it’s difficult for heterosexual priests to imagine having SSA, it’s not that difficult to imagine the struggle with celibacy.

    All single Catholics can understand that struggle.

    I’m afraid that at this point if Pope Francis opens the doors to married priests, it may in fact also open the doors to same-sex married priests. It will be asked, “Why should only hetero priests have a sexual outlet and companionship? After all, this will be the solution to the pedophile problem which celibacy caused in the first place!”

    It happened in the Episcopal Church.

    The understanding of the word “gay” has changed just as much as the understanding of the word “chastity”.

  5. Ralph says:

    I believe that a “lavender mafia” does exist in the Church. (At least in North America) Too many good men that I trust have shared seminary stories with me for me to believe otherwise. Much of the grave evil that has battered the foundation of our Faith flows from this group. The sex scandals that tore apart our dioceses and parishes was nearly exclusively homosexual in nature – not pedophilia as many would have us believe.

    Unless we free our seminaries, chancellories, and rectories from this evil grip, we will continue to suffer as a Church. Good men, both lay and religious, must stand up and refuse to bend to this demonic wind that blows so freely throughout our world today!

  6. Gratias says:

    Pope Francis himself used the term Gay in his epoch making “Who am I to Judge” interview that changed the Catholic Church.

  7. kbf says:

    Well, according to Mickens, traditionalism and a propensity toward the aesthetic is the result of repressed, but raging homosexuality. Not that he would wish in any way to broadly stereotype…. surely not! [That is seriously messed up… and shallow.]

  8. Pingback: Robert Mickens, Enemy Of The Church, Outs Himself. | Mundabor's Blog

  9. benedetta says:

    How does it happen, that some people, organize their hatred into violence against, say, pro life, homeschooling mothers? Evil is a great mystery.

    I suppose if Mickens were harassed by, say, baseball catchers, constantly, everywhere he went, then, he might certainly develop a phobia against, and even blame, baseball catchers, particularly the ones who demonstrated harsh judgement towards Bitter Pill writers in the first place, back when Bitter Pill journalists and baseball catchers were in communion? Don’t know. Don’t really care. Not that important in the overall scheme of things which belongs to God alone.

  10. Ben Kenobi says:

    Great response, Father! Thank you for continuing to be a voice of clarity.

  11. hwriggles4 says:

    Back in the mid to late 1980s, I was a college student at a Catholic institution in the Southern United States. I remember a group of brothers had a formation house that I used to visit from time to time (no, this was not a Jesuit school), and after getting to know a few of the aspirants, I thought quite a few were not only socially awkward, but I thought some of them were homosexual. After a while, I lost interest in visiting the formation house, even though I had a fraternity brother who was in discernment, entered the order, and left about two years afterward. Two other friends of mine did the same (no, they did not stay long enough to take final vows). Out of the three who left – two have been happily married to nice girls and are still practicing Catholics.

    There was also a young “priest” in my diocese (about my age) who was ordained in 1999. In 2002, he left active ministry and confessed to being in a relationship with another “priest” he met online. The two “married” (no, this is not made up) in Canada when Canada approved “sodomite” marriages. I was really upset that the bishop at the time (as well as seminary staff et. al.) let this young “priest” continue in formation. Today, I think this “priest” would have been asked to leave during his formation.

    My point is: there were many lost vocations in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I know some priests who were ordained in the 80s and 90s who weren’t afraid to discuss some the behavior of their classmates. Places such as St. Mary’s in Baltimore (not to be confused with the orthodox Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg), St. Mary’s in Cleveland (which I think has come up, I know Mount St. Mary’s of the West and Sacred Heart Major Seminary have come up exponentially), Mary Immaculate in Pennsylvania, Vianney in Miami (the now Episcopal priest Fr. Alberto Cutie had a few stories of homosexuals there in his book Dilemma, and I had a female friend who dropped out of a lay theology program there circa 2002 because of liberal teaching) , Assumption Seminary in San Antonio (it was pretty bad in the 80s and 90s), and the old St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, which like Mary Immaculate in Pennsylvania is now closed. The newer seminary in Denver, St. John Vianney, opened in 1997, and is known for orthodoxy.

    Today in 2016, I think many dioceses (I don’t know if all of them do this) are more careful to screen candidates. This has been a practice since the scandals came to light in 2002. Some dioceses require candidates to submit internet records, cable television bills, have a psychological examination (I was asked by a good vocations director before being accepted to attend a discernment retreat about celibacy, marriage, abortion, drug use, etc.) , background check, physical examination, etc. Many dioceses today want a candidate who has been celibate for at least two years, and one southern diocese I considered during discernment wanted a recent convert to have been Catholic for at least three years prior to beginning seminary. There were also questions about dating, relating to women, etc. The southern diocese I considered was not closed to men who had been married and divorced (I’ve never been married), but a candidate who had been granted a decree of nullity would have his situation examined on a case-by-case basis.

    Ten years ago, I picked up an application for a large eastern diocese where I have family (as a “late vocation” candidate), and the application was 20 pages alone. It reminded me back when I applied for a military commission, where my medical records alone were 47 pages. I don’t know how long and thorough the seminary applications were in the 70s and 80s, but I did read a story about a priest who entered seminary circa 1980 who admitted to not starting the application process until after college finished in May, and he entered the seminary early August.

    Anyhow, I agree with Pope Benedict XVI that men with same-sex attraction should not be admitted for seminary studies. There’s some explanations in Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s book Priests for the Third Millenium, which I read during my discernment, of certain “habits” that men need to eliminate in their lives before entering seminary. Cardinal Dolan wrote this when he was rector at the North American College in Rome – considered the West Point of all seminaries.

  12. WYMiriam says:

    Mickens: “Church teachings, directives and pastoral practices should help all persons flourish and become fully themselves.

    Unfortunately, that is not the case for those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender persons.”

    This reminds me of something I heard from a psychiatric nurse in the late ’70s about people who are obsessed with sex and their sexuality: “You are not your genitals.” There, I’ve said it. Mr. Mickens, I hope you are listening, and that you come to realize that what you are asking is for carte blanche for any and all sexual behavior, no matter how unnatural, while simultaneously demanding that those who are repulsed by such behavior deny their own feelings of repugnance for acts that are offensive to them.

    Do I detect a pot calling a kettle black here?

  13. benedetta says:

    Was it j Allen who said in a column on persecution that some groups bring it on themselves? Some isolated groups acting in concert do very bad even inhumane abusive things to others for lots of reasons. If it’s gay versus a woman a mob will make the call there. Doesn’t mean that’s correct.

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