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The Self-Destruction of the Roman Catholic Church

I have once again finished reading an official document issued by the Vatican in Rome that deals with the complex issue of gays in ordained ministry. Not since the document "CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS," issued two summers ago by John Paul II, have I been so absolutely dumbfounded at the total lack of knowledge, understanding, compassion, theological insight and right reason as it relates to the homosexual person exhibited by the Vatican hierarchy.

In the second paragraph of the Introduction to this latest obscenity from Rome, a clear unmistakable purpose is given as to why this document has been issued: "It (this document) contains norms regarding a particular issue, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is the admission or not to Seminaries and Holy Orders of candidates that have deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

The code phrase "norms regarding a particular issue, made more urgent by the current situation," clearly refers to the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the financial and moral underpinnings of the RC church throughout the world. In other words, this document seeks to scapegoat gay men for its own inability to police its ranks of clergy who are pedophiles. Not only is the Roman Catholic Church guilty of covering up for these pedophiles, but also it has enabled the continued molestation of innocent minors. There can be no greater example of this than the actions of Cardinal Law of Boston and his Bishops who facilitated further abuse by protecting the good ole boys of the diocese who were fishing in the tadpole pond. True to its nature, when the civil law started to close in on the ecclesiastical Law, the Vatican quickly cleaved Law unto its breast to protect him and the church from the prosecution that is so richly deserved.

This continuing misunderstanding of sexuality whereby a gay male is seen as a pedophile will continue to cause great harm to the Roman Catholic Church. In order to appease the Vatican's critics over its handling of the sex scandal, Rome has chosen to use a convenient scapegoat that is more than acceptable as an explanation for the origins of the scandal, especially in donation rich America. The Vatican has just thrown a large chunk of red meat to the rabid wolves of the radical right in America.

The next section of the document states, "Through the sacrament of Orders the Holy Spirit configures the candidate, with a new and specific designation, to Jesus Christ: the priest, in fact, sacramentally represents Christ, Head, Shepherd and Spouse of the Church. 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." Okay, so Rome wants mature people to minister to the faithful so that they can properly relate to others of the human species-and a gay man or woman can't do this why?

Next, the document rehashes the old tired nonsense about love the sinner and hate the sin. I take exception to all of the following: "Regarding acts (homosexual acts), it teaches that in Sacred Scripture, these are presented (as) grave sins. Tradition has always considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. As a consequent, they can never be approved under any circumstance."

As previously discussed in my response to the document on same-sex unions, the Vatican relies on Scripture as a basis of this homophobia that has obsessed it since the 12th century. However, many theologians have discredited the "on the surface" prohibition against the gay community. St. Paul was condemning male prostitution, especially as it related to temple worship. Further, Paul preached against man acting against his nature by having relations with his own gender. This latest document once again brings up "natural law" as a distinction between heterosexual and homosexual persons.

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae, Prima Pars, nature of man and whether or not man has free will states in one part, "....In order to make this evident, we must observe that some things act without judgment; as a stone moves downwards; and in like manner all things which lack knowledge. And some act from judgment, but not a free judgment; as brute animals. For the sheep, seeing the wolf, judges it a thing to be shunned, from a natural and not a free judgment, because it judges, not from reason, but from natural instinct." The Vatican presupposes that Homosexuals act out of free will and "choose" to be Homosexual, while ignoring the evidence that one who is Homosexual is Homosexual by instinct, and not by choice. Therefore it is a natural conclusion that Homosexuals would seek each other out and form life long relationships and families natural to their instincts. If Homosexuals are Homosexual by instinct, then they are of God's design, and therefore good in their very essence, for God cannot create that which is "intrinsically immoral, or objectively disordered." This issue is far more than sex - it is who gay and straight people by their nature can love. God did not want man to be alone according to Genesis and that applies equally to gay men and women. It is of the nature of both types of sexuality and life.

The document on one hand states that "These persons" (gays) are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's cross..." but on the other hand the Vatican refuses to acknowledge that God does in fact call gay men and women to be clergy! The Vatican "while deeply respecting the 'persons in question,' cannot admit to Seminary or Holy Orders those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture."

Are you kidding me? So, those who support the so-called gay culture, whatever that is, can't be admitted to the seminary or be ordained. This therefore means that any straight man or women who supports equal rights for the gay community is not welcomed in the Church as clergy. Absurd! If a man or woman has a gay brother or sister and goes out one night to a gay bar to dance, does this qualify as "supporting the gay culture?" Who defines the gay culture? The Pope? Where do these men get these phrases and ideas from-the Bush Whitehouse? It goes on to say "such people" - let's not humanize the gay community -"in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women." Huh? So a gay man can't relate to another man or woman "properly" because he is gay? They must have been passing a joint around when they wrote this one!

In the section dealing with the Churches responsibility for clearing candidates for ordination, it states, "It rests with the Church - in her responsibility to define the necessary requirements for reception of the Sacraments instituted by Christ - to discern the suitability of the one who wishes to enter the Seminary, to accompany him during the years of formation, and to call him to Holy Order, if he is judged to possess the required qualities." My question here is who discerns the suitability of those who are discerning everyone else? Is it men like Cardinal Law? Where was this discerning when he was coming up through the ranks to end up in the biggest scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in America? The clear intent once again is to say that the church must weed out gay men and women, although lesbians are never addressed in this matter, from the process that leads to ordination or reception into a religious community. Does that mean that Fr. Mycal Judge, who gave his life serving God at the World Trade centers should not have been a Priest? What of the gay priests who have died in battles around the world ministering to our nations soldiers? Should they have not been priests?

In the section dealing with the responsibility of the Seminarians spiritual director and confessor, the gay seminarian is urged to reveal to these people the fact that he is gay so that he does not arrive at ordination through "a gravely dishonest" process. "Such an inauthentic attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and availability that must characterize the personality of one who considers himself called to serve Christ and his Church in the ministerial priesthood." Huh? Okay, they were smoking crack when this one was voted on-they want gay seminarians who feel that God has called them to serve as a Priest to go through however many years of graduate level education only to "out" himself to the Church so that he can be tossed out on his behind without any kind of support from the church, without finances, without a place to live and without a job? Yes, this process is so conducive to open and honest dialogue between the Seminarian and the Seminary leadership that it's just bound to be a winner.

Finally the conclusion reached by this document urges all those in authoritative positions throughout the church to adhere to the dictates of this document "for the good of the candidates themselves and to always assure for the Church suitable priests, true shepherds according to the heart of Christ." These men would not know the heart of Christ if it fell into their laps. The Pope approved this drivel on August 31, 2005.

Now to the reality of the matter once again. The Roman Catholic Church is full of gay men at all levels of the church. From the Seminarian to at least two Popes in the 20th century, if not more, were gay. There are multitudes of gay bishops, gay cardinals, and tons of gay priests. If the Vatican is serious about not wanting gay men in the Church, than it should order all of its clergy to undergo testing to determine which clergy are gay. This can be done by attaching electrodes to their penises and showing naked pictures of men to them and thus measuring the penile response to gage arousal if any. That way, they might be able to free the church of all of the talented, creative, compassionate men that they want. Of course, if they do this, they will close 70% of their parishes and the College of Cardinals will become a mere supper club.

The only thing that will save the Vatican is the election of another Pope like John Paul the First. There was a man of vision, love and immense compassion who had no problem with gays at all, which is why they killed him in a very self-hating way.


by Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB
November 23, 2005

Note from Mary: Archbishop Bruce of the Old Catholic Church is a long-time supporter and part of our family. He is the author of several articles which appear on this website. Please see his published biography The Gay Face of God.