If Bishop Wilton Gregory includes homosexuality as an “unhealthy psychological behavior” (“The Major Factor in Abuse Study Is Homosexuality,” March 21-27) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines homosexuality as an “objective disorder,” then why in the world is the bishop “leaving room for the continued ordination of homosexuals”?
Bishop Gregory goes on to say that he doesn't want anyone in the priesthood who is “selfish … or has a distorted view of himself.” He equates these [traits] with homosexuality? In the face of evidence of the root cause of the sexual-abuse scandal (homosexuality), it is unbelievable, disheartening and embarrassing that Bishop Gregory still finds it acceptable to admit homosexuals to the priesthood.
The bishops should take a lesson from the Boy Scouts of America. They used common sense in refusing to accept homosexuals as leaders. The question is: Why don't the bishops, at this juncture, face the facts about the problem of homosexuals in the seminaries and priesthood?
Furthermore, there is no evidence that a person is “oriented” toward the same sex. This suggests some genetic or involuntary response. While some, because of the environment and conditions of their childhood, might be inclined to think they're homosexual, they are not born that way. Catholics are doing just what the homosexual-rights movement wants — sympathizing with their “condition” so much so that we finally accept it as an acceptable, alternative lifestyle. Let us beware: Look what has already happened to our children! They have been preyed upon by homosexual priests.
As someone who has come out of the homosexual lifestyle and who has found victory through the Catholic faith, it goes beyond all reasoning as to why the bishops' conference and lay review board still shrink from banning homosexual men from seminary and the priesthood.
Homosexuality is a very predatory lifestyle. It's not that those afflicted are always looking for teen-age boys but that they are always on the lookout for another “conquest.” The bishops are doing these men no favor or kindness by refusing to ban them, and, more than that, they are failing the people given into their care because an important element — trust — is lacking. By this I mean trust in our parish priests to be the kind of men God and the Church have called them to be.
My heart goes out to those priests who struggle with homosexual temptation, yet with God's help they will stay true to their promise . God alone knows how hard that struggle must be. But that does not excuse the bishops from allowing men who are known to be homosexual from remaining in seminary or the priesthood when their lives are controlled not by God but by lust. As for the idea that homosexuality cannot be “helped,” how is that an excuse for these men's behavior as priests? If they mean that it cannot be “cured,” that may be true, but there is no moral sin that cannot be overcome with the help of God. Prayer, meditation, devotion to Our Lady, avoidance of temptation are also necessary in this battle. God never promised it would be easy. He did assure us that we could find victory.
Think of what was required for the sacrificial lamb. It had to be perfect and without blemish. Jesus Christ, the ultimate Sacrificial Lamb, is exactly that — a man without blemish. It would seem to me that there are many men of worthy character for the priesthood without the acceptance of so many with obvious character flaws. May God move our bishops to take a firm stand and unite on this once and for all.
LARRY A. ANDERSON