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Unreasoned Ignorance Abounds

Everywhere I turned today, I read yet again another perversion of Holy Scriptures with a decidedly anti-gay twist. It is an epidemic of ignorance and misplaced righteousness.

First, the Vatican is at it again, or should I say still at it. What I predicted last year has come to pass: The Pope has banned gay men from becoming Priests and has launched a new inquisition which he is quite experienced at as he came from the Office of the Inquisition. This Pope has sent squads of clergy to visit all of the 229 American seminaries in order to ferret out any gay men; even those who might have a "close friendship," as observed by other seminarians and faculty. He is also calling in Priests who have been ordained within the last three years for questioning. In fact what this Pope has done is turn Seminarians and Priests into KGB type spies who report on their fellow clergyman to the Vatican. It disgusts me to no end. Major Archdiocese like Washington, D.C. could not function without their gay clergy. There are many more Dioceses that this holds true for also, including those led by gay Bishops.

The tragedy here is that these "learned gentlemen" in the Vatican have decided to use gay men as scapegoats for their sexual abuse scandal that half the Bishops should probably be locked up for aiding and abetting. They don't understand the difference between a pedophile and a gay man. Additionally, they are paying no attention at all to the straight Priests who have girlfriends and sex regularly. I knew one Priest who was dating a married woman, caused the breakup of the marriage, and left the Priesthood to marry her! What of Priests who assault little girls? As long as they fail to understand the dynamics of celibacy on the clergy, they will continue to have all kinds of problems. Celibacy needs to go or be made optional for the individual Priest who wishes to make that vow. The sexual ignorance of the Roman Catholic Church is nothing short of astounding.

Currently American Seminaries hold about 4,500 students across the nation. If they throw out any suspected or confirmed gays, I fully expect that enrollment will fall to about half of what it is now. How will Rome handle such a sudden lack of Priestly candidates? Do they realize that they are setting the American Church up for a disaster of immense magnitude in that they will have to close many parishes for lack of Priests? And what of the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals who are gay? The Pope does not plan to throw them out as of yet, but that could change. The Vatican truly appears to be ignorant of the amount of gay men in the Priesthood. I can tell you from personal experience with friends in the Roman Catholic Priesthood, that some entire parishes are staffed with gay Priests. None of this really even acknowledges that there have been gay Popes and in all probability at least two in the 20th century.

This witch-hunt will have a severe psychological impact on those gay Priests serving honorably in the trenches day in and day out. Many of the seminarians come from the parishes and are nurtured and motivated by the Parish Priest and the laity. Now, Rome is going to throw these men back into the faces of the people who they sought to serve.

It can be no plainer than it is now: Rome does not want gay men involved in the life of the Church. In fact, they have restated their position that "gay men suffer from acts of grave depravity -- which are intrinsically disordered and contrary to the natural law." Therefore, I cannot understand organizations like Dignity. While Dignity has been a comfort to many gay men and women in the past, the rejection of this group by Church officials is now combined with the notification that they are not even welcomed into the Priesthood, regardless of whether or not they are called by God to become a Priest. This is the essential element of a vocation: has the man or woman been called by God to service in religious life? This entire question now is mute. God is irrelevant in the vocations process if the candidate is gay or lesbian. I call once again for the entire glbt community to leave the Roman Church, or at least cease all monetary support, for you support your spiritual oppressors. To the gay Clergy already serving in parishes: Please consider if that is really where you belong. There are other churches that do not suffer from this poison where you can continue to serve God and the people. We in the Old Catholic Church would welcome you with open arms for who you are and what you are called to do.

This is just the latest Roman insanity. There is more.

In almost my own backyard, the parents of one student told the local School board that unless they disbanded the Gay/Straight Alliance, that God would send a hurricane such as Katrina to wipe out Lebanon Pennsylvania! They repeated the notion that God destroyed New Orleans as punishment for "Southern decadence" that was scheduled to take place in a week's time before the hurricane hit. As the wife was enlightening the school board about potential weather forecasts, her husband was handing out pamphlets from the "American Family Association Journal," that told the story of a lesbian who converted to being straight after becoming a Christian. The wife claimed that the student organization "promotes this behavior," and referred to the gay students as "sodomites."

In another pathetic news story, Starbucks coffee has become a target of conservative Christian groups in New York because the company has started to put sayings on their cups from Americans such as Armisted Maupin. It was specifically his quotation that caused the beehive to go on red alert and the subsequent buzzing all around New York City.

And finally, news that a formal split is occurring between the Nigerian Church and the Anglican Church of England over Gene Robinson and gay clergy in general. This is the country whose major export seem to be Internet scams of all kinds.

One thing that ALL of these incidents have in common is that they are following the Old Testament of the Bible. Take the lady and the school board for example. She says God will destroy the city if they don't do this or that. That is pure Old Testament, the God of revenge and violence. Why do none of these groups follow the New Testament that is the Christian Church? Where are the lessons and teachings of Christ in all of this? Did not Jesus die for all of our sins? Did he not say that the greatest commandment was to love God and each other above all other commandments? Why are these groups including the Vatican stuck in the Old Testament? My suggestion is that they become Jews whose Tanach is the Old Testament of the Bible, for they never quote Jesus Christ the Son of God and the new testament. As for hurricanes being used by God to destroy - nonsense. Government is responsible for the intensity of these storms through global warming, an issue that this republican administration won't even address, much less do anything about. Don't blame God for George Bush.

by Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB
September 21, 2005

Email: Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB
Website: The Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved

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.