Friday, September 16, 2005

What have you done for your priests lately?

I haven't posted on the subject of "gay" priests myself before, though I have commented in a few different places over the last few months.

If you don't know, teams are visiting seminaries all over the US right now asking specific questions of the seminarians about homosexuality in their seminaries. The pope is considering a document which would ban all men who have homosexual tendencies from the seminary. All of this, and I know you will correct me if I am wrong, is in response to the scandals in our dioceses.

Will banning men who have had a same sex attraction (SSA) keep our kids safer? Will this action make our priests holier?

I think, as others like Amy Welborn (open book-see sidebar) and Tony from Catholic Pillow Fight (see sidebar), feel that there is an important distinction to make. Men who have embraced the American culturally "gay" lifestyle (having a same sex partner, one or multiple, supporting "gay marriage") have shown an unwillingness to abide by the church's teaching about sexuality and ought not be permitted to enter the seminary. There are also men who have maybe felt an attraction, have never acted upon it, perhaps have sought counseling and prayer to keep those feelings in check. These men have embraced the Church's teachings and ought not be denied entrance into a seminary.

I think you could also say that men who have had multiple female partners, who have shown no regard and/or true disdain on the church's teachings about ANYTHING really ought not to be admitted to the seminary. We've got enough problems with the laity's lack of education of or unwillingness to embrace the Church's teachings without a confused or belligerent clergy messing it up further. Some of the clergy are already messing us up--let's take care of those guys first before we think about ordaining more of the same, OK?

What makes men holier is prayer. What will make our priests holier is the laity making sacrifices for the sake of our priests and praying for them. So many of us are quick to accuse our priests. "What's the matter with those guys?" "Aren't they supposed to be better than us?" "They just don't make 'em like Monsignor so and so anymore." Well, what have you done lately for your parish priest(s)? Said a Rosary for Father lately? Did you fast for your parochial vicar who said something in his homily you disagreed with?

Served by a diocesan priest? When was the last time you asked St. John Vianney to pray for him? Did you even know that St. John Vianney was the patron saint of diocesan priests? Served by the Benedictines? Franciscans? Jesuits? Have you tried talking to St. Benedict, St. Francis, or St. Ignatius on their behalf?

My point: ALL OF US (the CHURCH) are responsible for encouraging one another to grow in holiness. Your priest is praying for you. Are you praying for him? He can't stay holy on his own. He needs the help of the Lord, but he also needs our help. Pray for the priests of your parish right now. Before you head to the comment box.

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