Now we learn that the ban will only apply to non-celibate priests. I have seen a few mentions of this on some of the blogs I read regularly with very little comment on the news, and as far as I can remember the news was on the whole welcomed as a positive step.
I am afraid I can not agree with this rosy view of the situation. Considering the Catholic Church's track record on gay rights (they are considering banning gay friendly politicians from receiving communion for example), I think this is just another ploy to appease the media while pushing through with their nasty witchhunt.
Knowing what is at stake, is the Church seriously expecting future priests to come out? How will the Church decide who to investigate? Or will they investigate anyone?
The idea of this amendment to the original idea is that priests or seminarists will have to prove that they have been celibate for at least three years. Sexual experiences are by definition something that most people will keep private. The occurence of an intercourse would be hard enough to prove several years down the line, but what about the absence of it? What evidence will be considered legitimate? We need to see what happens but I think we can safely expect that the Church will never find itself sufficiently convinced by the arguments put before it.
I is interesting to note, that this move is very much Vatican (Pope?) driven, and that the Church is not united in its speech (the comments on this page are truely enlighteming and show how christian, charitable and loving catholics and religious zealots can be, by the way).
This whole business, once again begs for me the question of why gay men, who can not ignore the position of the Church on who they are, can still consider joining its ranks?
New Rules Affirm Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays,
by Daniel Williams, Washington Post Foreign Service.
Originally posted: 08 October 2005, 4.10pm
Tags: gay rights, gay, christianity, religion, human rights, catholicism, homophobia.