By this time, the Vatican document on ordaining men with homosexual tendencies has been released and so it is good to reiterate what it stated:
[quote:27z5bf8l]The Vatican letter says that the church respects homosexuals, but that it “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”
The Vatican document (it is less than 10 pages) attempts some sensible refinements. Distinctions are to be made between “deeply rooted homosexuality” and “homosexual tendencies that are only the expression of a transitory problem such as, for example, an unfinished adolescence.” Homosexual leanings “must however have been clearly overcome for at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.” [/quote:27z5bf8l]
I dare say that the reason many of us find this issue difficult or confusing is that 90 percent, maybe more, of our education about homosexuality and its causes comes from the media, and from pro-homosexual sources. We also tend to see such isues as “civil rights” issues and we are uncomfortable with the idea of “denying” anybody what appears to be rightfully theirs, especially if we think their situation (in this case, homosexual tendencies) is “not their fault” or genetically caused.
We can become educated, however, about the causes of homosexuality from sources other than the media or militant groups with political goals. How about taking a look at research and information compiled by those who counsel men and women in this situation? At least their work and practical experience should be given equal time, should it not?
One such organization is NARTH. (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.) The website is [url:27z5bf8l]http://www.narth.com[/url:27z5bf8l]
One might also learn from the writings of a wonderful priest who for years has counseled men of homosexual orientation, father John Harvey. Father Harvey has written several books and is also the founder of [i:27z5bf8l]Courage[/i:27z5bf8l] for homosexual men, and [i:27z5bf8l]Encourage[/i:27z5bf8l] for friends and relatives of homosexuals. He has produced a three part video set that should be a “must have” for any parish library, called The [i:27z5bf8l]Cry of the Faithful[/i:27z5bf8l]. This is compelling information and rather than incite disgust or hostility for homosexuals, rather solicits greater understanding and compassion.
(One might distinguish between those of the more militant bent who really don’t want any compassion, and those who suffer quietly with the disorder.)
According to Narth, homosexuality in adulthood stems from something called GID or “gender identity disorder” in childhood. I’m probably going to oversimplify this, but basically you have a young boy who for one reason or another has a problem identitying with his father. The father may be aloof, or absent, physically or emotionally. He may be overly harsh and unloving. This little boy may also be lacking in physical prowess, or see himself in that way…maybe he likes to play with girls more…is musical or artistic… His mother also can contribute to this identity disorder if she is overprotective, or overly “needy” herself. (He can come to see female love as clinging and controlling…and therefore undesirable or repugnant) Perhaps this little boy is teased at school by his peers (a major negative) as being a “sissy.” So he has difficulty identifying with his father and with his own male peer group.
You might remember boys like this from your experience. In most cases, they grow up and become more masculine, have a group of male friends and have normal sexual orientation.
But sometimes, when puberty sets in, the seed for a disordered inclination can set in. This boy may idolize another boy in his school or some other place as being much more virile or strong or possessing physical characteristics he himself does not. We all can probably remember being attracted to older more popular boys or girls in this way. However, puberty offers the situation that these feelings which are rather common, to become “sexualized” or “eroticized.” This is one good reason why our Church teaches the moral values of purity of mind and heart, and encourages proper formation of conscience with regard to sins of thought. At least then the child is helped spiritually and is encouraged through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
(However, I don’t think our youth are being taught this anymore, in their religion books, but this is another question….)
This boy may try acting on his sexual feelings with another boy…there may be some sexual experimentation..but still this is not full fledged homosexuality…
However, now you have a teenage boy who is questioning his “sexual orientation…” and of course there are sources and groups out there to tell him, “You are one of us.” In addition, you might find this hard to believe, but it is now considered a status symbol in high schools to declare oneself “gay.” I know teachers who attest to this. Unfortunately, if homosexual activity follows repeatedly then the person can become hooked on such behavior. And it is a very dangerous lifestyle…one that usually ends much earlier than normal, is plagued with diseases associated only with homosexual practices…but you won’t read about these in the paper.
Dr. Joseph Nicolisi of NARTH states that “my wife tells me never to say “never or “always” but i maintain that in all my years of counselling homosexual men there was never a case where there was a normal father-son relationship…there always was a disturbed relationship of some sort…ALWAYS.
And contrary to what you migt have read in the media several years ago, [b:27z5bf8l]there is no gay gene.[/b:27z5bf8l] But yet people believe this. The man who set out to prove this was himself a homosexual, his peers in the research industry never accepted his findings and he himself stated there is no single genetic cause of homosexuality…you can read this at the Narth website. There are biological predispositions…like mentioned above of a more delicate physical build or more artistic capabilities…but no gay gene.
So we must love these people and pray for them…learn more…speak about what we have learned…but of course it might get us martyred in doing so!
How this relates to the priesthood is far more complex than sexual preference alone, due to the underlying disturbed father-son relationship…there can be associated issues with immaturity, self absorption and problems with obedience to authority, in this case the magisterium…
And despite what certain sources try to tell you, that “homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to abuse sexually”, 81 percent of the sexual abuse cases involved pre-pubescent or pubescent boys. You can read that online on the John Jay Report of the sexual abuse cases.
Please try to obtain and view the [i:27z5bf8l]Courage[/i:27z5bf8l] video set…it is extremely moving…I honor these men who had the “courage” to come forth in a public manner on film and reveal their souls to all…their suffering is deep and real. And they are remaining faithful to Christ and the Church. I believe some of them are saints.
I will try to post a link to the video…