Friday, June 19, 2015

"Gay saints"

I'd say he's sending mixed signals:
An interview with Donald B. Cozzens

I would also really like to see the bishops agree to full disclosure on how the laity's money is being spent, and, of course, full disclosure of credible reports of misconduct by priests that would put young people at risk.
I see what's happening today as a manifestation of an unraveling of the clerical culture. By clerical culture I refer to a system of privilege and deference, exemption, status, and especially secrecy that seems to be part and parcel of the celibate priesthood.
I'm not aware of reliable studies about the incident rates of misconduct against minors by Catholic priests that compare them with clergy of other denominations or to other professionals that work with youth-teachers, coaches, scout leaders, social workers, or counselors. In the absence of those studies, I can only extrapolate from what I experience, what I read in the papers, and what is reported.
Authors such as Philip Jenkins feel that the incident rate is definitely not higher among priests than among clergy in other denominations. I respectfully disagree, especially when we consider that so many of the abuse allegations led to secret settlements. So it's hard for us to know how many credible allegations have been brought against priests, especially when the church until recently has been unwilling to make the numbers known.
If the bishops wanted to, they could easily find out if the incident rates are lower, the same, or higher compared with other clergy or helping professionals.
The church has been served well by gay and straight priests throughout its history. We've had gay individuals who are saints. We've had outstanding gay bishops. 

In addition, we would see our already critical seminary situation worsen. If the church tried to drive gay priests from the priesthood, it would significantly weaken our ranks. And if we wanted to be consistent, then we'd also have to ask the gay bishops to leave. 

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