December 16, 2005

Letters to the Editor

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No letters to the editor were published this week, so here are the letters from last week.


Judge priests by all their attributes and how they serve the Church

As I continue to read of the Vatican decision to ban men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” from entering the priesthood, I am becoming more and more troubled.

I, like many of my fellow parishioners, feel that since the issue of celibacy faces all men who become priests, why turn those away by judging only this one aspect of their composition, and ignore their other attributes and how those could serve the Church?

I also fear that this may be a knee-jerk reaction to the exposure of the sexual-abuse scandals among the clergy. It seems that not only does the general populace need to be made aware of the fact that sexual offenses are those of power and not connected with their sexual preference, but some in the clergy may as well.

Obviously, those who have committed these heinous offenses toward children need to be punished and removed from having any contact with them, but to prejudge so many of the innocent and able men out there who want to give their lives to the Lord is both a personal affront to them and to the gay men who already are priests giving their lives to the Lord.

Aside from the sexual preference that I believe God himself gave them, homosexuals are no different than the rest of us. They are no more or less prone to be sexual predators than heterosexuals.

Please send us some guidance and a more thorough insight as to why these men are less able to serve the Lord than heterosexual men. They are God’s children as much as the rest of us.

-Jennifer S. Moore, Brazil


Parishioner finds Vatican document confusing

I just finished reading the article in the Dec. 2 Criterion about the Vatican’s document that outlines which men should be denied the opportunity to respond to God’s call to the priesthood. I confess that I am confused by two of the supporting reasons for this exclusion.

First, the Church continues to teach that homosexual tendencies are “objectively disordered” in the face of increasing evidence that homosexuality is a trait that a person is created with rather than a lifestyle that he or she chooses. Since the Church teaches that God “knitted us” in our mother’s womb, does this mean that he has missed a stitch somewhere in the formation of these men and women?

Secondly, I continue to be confused by the Church’s position that homosexual acts are sinful because they are “closed to the transmission of life,” at the same time putting a stamp of approval on sexual acts involving infertile couples and those beyond the age of conception.

Lastly, the fact that priests are supposed to be celibate, regardless of their sexual orientation, makes the whole discussion irrelevant in my opinion. Any sexual activity is “gravely sinful” if a vow to God is broken, isn’t it?

-Pat Browne, Fairland


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