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Friday, July 5


I want to thank the advocates and practitioners of Political Correctness for teaching my teen-aged son how to be a cynic.

We were watching the breaking news about the murders committed at the Los Angeles airport on Independence Day. After a while, my son observed, "Nobody is describing this guy. He's gotta be an Arab."

As it turned out, he was right. But that's not the point. After a lifetime of exposure to Political Correctness, he automatically assumes that when information is not forthcoming, it is being withheld to spare the feelings of some politically protected group. His reaction, moreover, is a perfect demonstration of why Political Correctness does not work. First, PC language is a lousy code, easy to break. Second, Political Correctness breeds suspicion, rather than tolerance.

The unidentified suspects of Political Correctness, whose motives are not yet clear, along with their various henchpersons, might want to reconsider their tactic.

12:51 PM

Wednesday, July 3


This came in from Episcopal News Service:

(Telegraph) During a two-day visit to visit Pope John Paul II, Archbishop of Canterbury George L. Carey suggested that the Roman Catholic Church may one day follow the path of Anglicans and ordain women to the priesthood. He also said during an interview that the fact that the Church of England ordains women while Rome does not was "an eternally insurmountable" problem.

Carey said that the Church of England's break with more than four centuries of an exclusively male priesthood meant that "sometimes churches have to change and to go with the leading of the Holy Spirit and sometimes this takes hundreds of years." Yet this "doesn't mean to say one church is right and another church is wrong," he added. "We move in different steps, different paces. We have lagged behind the Roman Catholic Church in many directions but maybe on this issue we are leading the way."

Comment: And what did the pope say to the archbishop of Canterbury? The article didn't say. I am also trying to think of some significant way in which the Church of England has "lagged behind" the Roman Catholic Church. The Church of England went to a vernacular liturgy; married priests; the end of (at least for a good while) monasteries; a "Reformed" theology; a national church; and so on, early on, for example. Maybe the Vatican had a website before Canterbury did?

1:57 PM

Sunday, June 30

LIBERALS AND GAY PRIESTS: Catholic conservatives and liberals suspect that a large proportion of Catholic priests are homosexual. Conservatives suspect that many of them are sexually active (although possibly not any more active than heterosexual priests). Homosexuals, no one denies, tend to be more promiscuous than heterosexuals, and therefore their behavior is more disgraceful. A long-term affair of a priest with a consenting woman is not a good thing, but it is more human, understandable, and therefore less disgraceful than dozens of anonymous sexual contacts.

Conservatives also suspect that homosexual priests are likely to be involved with teenagers, and that they preach dissent from Christian sexual morality.

Liberals have to do contortions. They can’t say that homosexual behavior is wrong, nor can they say that dissent from traditional morality is wrong. However, most heterosexual liberals share a visceral dislike for homosexuality, and also think they can use this dislike to advance their agenda of married priests and women priests.

Richard Hasselbach is a former priest who writes in Commonweal of his experiences with homosexuals among his fellow clergy. He did not like it:

When I got to the major seminary, I wanted to grow spiritually and challenge myself. I turned to a gifted young priest on the faculty for spiritual direction.

The spiritual director had other things in mind.

He welcomed me, closed the door and locked it, then gave me what seemed an inordinately long hug. He poured me a drink, we spoke about banalities for about twenty minutes, and when it was time to leave, I got another hug. It lasted twenty minutes. I timed it. Well, I thought, he's affectionate; I should be more open. Still…

One session led to another, and

When my spiritual director hugged me during the next session, he added a little pelvic motion. I was incredibly uncomfortable, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt. Not until our fourth meeting, as my spiritual guide tried to undo my zipper, did I finally know enough to get out of the situation—fast.

Hasselbach complained, and nothing was done.

Hasselbach was ordained.

Over my years as a priest I became increasingly aware of the gay culture around me; many of my clerical colleagues were quite open about it. Some presumed that because I understood gay issues, I must be gay myself. The reality of the priesthood's hidden gay culture was brought home when a fellow priest and close friend made insistent, aggressive sexual advances toward me over the course of an entire year. Because I rejected my friend's overtures, I was pushed to the fringes of the only community available to me.

Hasselbach guesses that the percentage of homosexuals "among the clergy under the age of sixty is well in excess of 50 percent.

What was the real problem: ”not that a spiritual director violated trust or that a friend broke faith with a friendship.” These sound serious enough to me.

The real problem was that:

These men were themselves victims of a system that simultaneously condemned homosexuality and tacitly condoned clandestine homosexual sex.

Of course, Hasselbach hastily adds, these gay priests are good priests:

The ministerial success of many talented gay priests suggests the importance of integrating sexuality into the lives of priests, and of finding ways to reconcile the deepest human needs of priests with the pastoral needs of the church.

Then what is the problem?

...the church cannot afford to have an exclusively or even predominantly homosexualized clergy—it is too narrow, divisive, and inbred.

But why? These are good priests, according to Hasselbach. If the church, he implies, would simply accept their homosexual behavior all would be well.

But of course, the implication is, that if the church accepts homosexually active priests it could hardly object to married priests Ý and probably women priests. So Hasselbach would get what he wants, and the homosexual priests would get would they want, and everyone would be happy, because the Roman Catholic Church would be in the same position as the Episcopal Church, which is of course noted for its moral leadership and dynamic growth.

2:54 PM

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