The following is not a parody.
Q In your last column, you said it wasn’t necessary to list hobbies (especially unpopular ones) on a resumé. I’m a 26-year-old, gay male thinking seriously about entering the Catholic priesthood. I’m sexually active, but only once a week, at a Saturday night club with a small group of friends. I think of that as my hobby.
Given the Catholic Church’s stance on gays in seminary, do I have to tell them about this? After all, even if I kept this up after ordination, I’d still be as celibate as most other priests.
A Celibacy is like pregnancy: either you are, or you aren’t. You aren’t, and more to the point aren’t prepared to be.
The Catholic Church does not consider its priests "employees;" the relationship, according to doctrine which you’d have to affirm, is more like marriage between the priest and the Church. So, yes, tell them. Whether other priests are celibate is not your concern; "everybody’s doing it" is a poor basis for ethical decisions. The fact that the Church’s stance on gays in the priesthood is morally wrong is also irrelevant. They’ve taken their position, you know what it is, so ‘fess up and let the pieces fall where they may.
I have another concern, though. Frankly, if you think of sexuality as a "hobby", you’re not likely priest material anyway. All the world’s major faiths consider sexual intimacy to be an expression of deep, long-lasting commitment and love. Many priests who violate vows of celibacy do so not simply because they are horny, but because they are deeply in love with another person, and consider that love a gift from God. Sex is not a game, and cannot be treated on a resumé or in life, as akin to playing crokinole or raising geraniums.
I think that both the questioner and answerer might have a promising career as writers for America magazine as evidenced by this editorial which is also not a parody.
There is a valid concern that the priesthood should not become exclusively or even predominantly the domain of gay men. In the same way that one would not want to see all or most priests coming from a particular ethnic group, or from a particular region of a country, one hopes that the priesthood reflects the great diversity of Catholics. Similarly, the concern that a man not so identify himself with the “so-called gay culture” that it obscures his fidelity to the church is a prudent one. And the document’s restatement of the need to remain faithful to the promise of celibacy is an important one for any candidate, no matter what his orientation.
Who knew that ethnicity was the same as an objectively disordered inclination? Though I think we can safely say that ethnicity is something we are born with. But I must say I am troubled by the ethnicphobic statement by America magazine.
It would be tragic, however, if this attempt by the Vatican to confront the sexual abuse crisis were the occasion for division within the church or prompted any increase in prejudice against gays and lesbians.
How often do we have to hear this canard about "the document™" which was started years before the abuse crisis was fully known. Though it appears the US bishops were sensitive to this interpretation and wanted the document to be delayed. If only the majority of bishops felt the same sensitivity towards the concerns of more faithful Catholics.
Oh by the way you can vote on America’s editorial at the bottom of the editorial. So far 57% agree with it and 43% disagree.