Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sexuality in the priesthood

In November 2005, the Vatican released a document stating that men who have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" are not to be allowed to enter the seminary. (Those with transitory urges can enter the seminary, provided that they have been "overcome" for at least three years.)

Holding aside the fact that I don't agree with the moral censure of same-sex sexual and romantic relationships, I still wonder:

Given that all priests take a vow of celibacy, why does it matter what "tendencies" they have? Clearly, priests are not supposed to be sexually active, whether hetero- or homo-, but that applies equally to those with deeply rooted heterosexual tendencies. Why deter those who have same-sex sexual desires, as long as they can resist expressing them -- why not have the same behavioral standards for everyone and not worry about their sexual orientation?

Ok, let's say that the answer to that question is that homosexual desires are immoral, but heterosexual desires are not, and those with immoral desires can't or shouldn't be priests.

Then we need a similar stricture against all those who have deeply rooted desires which are considered immoral by the Catholic church -- lying, cheating, desire to use contraception, you name it. Heck, they need a screen for those who have deeply rooted masturbatory tendencies, since those are considered immoral, too!

I know the document specifically states that the church "deeply respects" the homosexual persons in question (while at the same time specifically excluding them from the seminary). But I can't see respect here. I only see prejudice and discrimination. And I am deeply disturbed by it.

No comments:

Post a Comment