RomanCatholicBlog: It exudes clarity, certainty and fidelity to Tradition and Truth.
It therefore will drive the usual suspects crazy.
Mark Shea: Sounds about right, and so it will make everybody on the fringes angry.
Amy Welborn: Will this make no one happy? Probably.
My brother writes:
I read this,
“…[T]hose who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted
homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture… find themselves, in
fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship
with men and women.”
and immediately think, isn’t that what celibacy is all about?
The full text of the quote is:
In light of this teaching, this department, in agreement with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, holds it necessary clearly to affirm that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, may not admit to the seminary and Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.
The above persons find themselves, in fact, in a situation that gravely obstructs a right way of relating with men and women. The negative consequences that may derive from the Ordination of persons with profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies are by no means to by ignored.
The issue is celibacy, but not as my brother understands it. Celibacy has never been a negative discipline–not having sex. Rather, it’s been a means to positive character formation. With regard to priests, the Vaticans stated it this way:
Because of this configuration to Christ, the entire life of the sacred minister must be animated by the gift of his entire person to the Church and by authentic pastoral charity.
The candidate for ordained ministry, therefore, must attain affective maturity. Such maturity will allow him to relate properly with men and women, developing in him a true sense of spiritual fatherhood for the ecclesial community that will be entrusted to him.
Later, it states:
As regards to deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are present in a certain number of men and women, these also are objectively disordered and are often a trial for such people. They must be accepted with respect and sensitivity; every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter.
In other words, the call to pastoral ministries is about more than having the ability to not engage in sexual activity–it is about having affective maturity, or correctly ordered desires, emotions, feelings, etc. Something like Augustine’s ordo amoris–correctly ordered loves–seems to get at the appropriate interpretation. Celibacy is the discipline of sexual restraint in order to build affective maturity. The Vatican (rightly) is simply requiring the latter as well as the former from its priests.