Friday, November 25, 2005

I just gotta go

My friend Joseph at Martini Republic has asked some of us LA bloggers to voice opinions on matters spiritual. He and I share Cradle Catholicism as a common heritage. There are a variety of reasons I no longer am a practicing Catholic. I can’t put my finger on that one defining moment I said I just gotta go. Recent developments in the Church just reinforce my belief it was best for me to step away from what felt like a dysfunctional family.

The Vatican is about to move ahead with a plan to lay the blame for years of sexual abuse of children at the feet of all gay priests. They are due to release a document next Tuesday stating policy dealing with homosexuality among clergy and future clergy. Their preventative medicine is to clean house at the seminaries. Men with “deep seated “ gay tendencies cannot become priests-only those who have “overcome” their homosexuality three years before will be ordained. With a shortage of priests and some estimates saying between 25 to 50% of them are gay, it seems again the Church is shooting itself in the proverbial foot.

A good deal of this homophobic hysteria comes of course from the right wing congregation. One revelation after another since 2002 of abuse has resulted in a witch hunt to divert attention from the Church’s own failure to deal with offending priests.

Our beloved Pope Benedict XVI issued a letter on the “pastoral care of homosexual persons” in 1986 when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His letter describes gays as “intrinsically disordered” and “homosexuality as a tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.”

Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation's "Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics" of December 29, 1975. That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being "intrinsically disordered", and able in no case to be approved of.

. . .

In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil…

In 2003 the Vatican issued a document signed by Ratzinger saying “Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.”

In the same document he called Buddhism an ‘autoerotic spirituality’ that offers transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations. He predicted Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic Church’s main enemy this century.

From the Boston Globe November 24, 2005

By Charles A Radin

Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley, reaching out to gays and lesbians just days before the Vatican is expected to issue a strongly worded ban on gays in the priesthood, yesterday called on Catholics to wipe out prejudice against homosexuals.

“There are many homosexuals out there who want to be faithful members of the church,” O’Malley said. “I don’t want them to feel the church is bigoted or that we want to discriminate against anyone…The stand on marriage is in defense of an institution we feel is crucial for children, family life, and society.”

In his letter, which was sent yesterday to the nearly 300 parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, O’Malley said: “Many homosexual persons in our church lead holy lives and make an outstanding contribution to the life of the church by their service, generosity and the sharing of their spiritual gifts. We must strive to eradicate prejudices against people with homosexual orientation.”

At the same time he stoutly defended the church teachings on sexuality. “If we tell people that sex outside marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people.” O’Malley wrote “If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible.”

“Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me,’ ’’ he continued. “In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: ‘Because we love you we cannot accept your behavior.’ ‘’

So I guess we must conclude that because a person was born a homosexual their celibacy is demanded. Living a life as a sexual being is out of the question because that will threaten the institution of marriage and ruin life for all children, family life and society? Oh please.

I have a beautiful cousin whom I adore. She helped me get through the decision to let my beloved father die. She is an R.N. and she helped bathe, shave, and comfort him in his last few days after we moved him to hospice. She helped me fight for his right to receive enough morphine to ease his considerable suffering.

For the past few years she and her life partner have taken care of their two elderly mothers and my cousin’s father. Her partner’s mom just died a few weeks ago. They both hold full time jobs as well. As my husband and I took care of my ailing dad for seven years I can only imagine the energy required to take care of three parents. My wonderful cousin besides being a lesbian is a devout Catholic. If there is anything threatening to the institution of marriage in her life I sure can’t see it. If she doesn’t make it to heaven then the rest of us are in big trouble.

I think it’s the church that’s in big trouble and with Joey Rats as Pope I don’t see things getting better any time soon.

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