A prominent Anglican clergyman known for his hardline stance on gay clergy and the ordination of women has been ordained into the Catholic priesthood.
Bill Edebohls, the former Anglican Dean of Ballarat, who is married with children, was ordained a Catholic priest in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral last month.
The Pope allows married priests who convert to Catholicism an exemption from the vow of celibacy.
A spokesman for the St Peter’s Catholic Church in the Melbourne suburb of Keilor East today said Father Edebohls was busy preparing for a Christmas mass at the church.
Rector of the Anglican All Saints Church in Brisbane and a friend of Father Edebohls, David Chislett, told ABC Radio there were a number of “Anglo-Catholics” unhappy with the direction of the Anglican Church.
Saying they can no longer remain silent, a group of Chicago area Catholic pastors denounced what they say is “vile and toxic” language from the Vatican aimed at gays and lesbians.
The group of nearly two dozen priests from parishes in Chicago and the suburbs sent a scathing “open letter” to church officials Friday. In it, the pastors blasted recent church pronouncements regarding gays as “divisive and exclusionary” and “increasingly violent and abusive.”
“As priests and pastors we are speaking out to make clear that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are all members of God’s family, brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus and deserving of the same dignity and respect owed any human being,” the letter stated.
The Cardinal Responded:
“Our language is exact, but it does not help us in welcoming men and women of homosexual orientation,” he wrote. “It can seem lacking in respect. This is a pastoral problem and a source of anxiety for me as it is for you. It would be good to discuss together.”
I am certainly glad that I am not a bishop, because I would be meditating on the tension between tossing these priests out on the street and stringing them up. I can put up with some priests questioning the discipline of celibacy, but to outright attack something that will never be open to discussion is plain disobedience. I remember reading LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS and it was in no way toxic, vile, violent, or abusive. In fact the letter does mention violence once.
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
To call homosexual activity “intrinsically disordered” is only to affirm that sin is always disordered. Will these priests also advocate for adultery and remind us that they are also part of God’s family? The Catechism is pretty violent on adultery also. Our stance on the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage is also not very welcoming towards those who have divorced and remarried and it can be pretty divisive and exclusionary to those who don’t except the words of Christ through his Church..
2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations – even transient ones – they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire. The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.
Sin does not take away our dignity, but it can take us away from living with God in eternal beatitude. To say otherwise is spiritual malpractice.