The Papists

Apologetics and Evengelization
  • July 29, 2013 2:11 pm

    On Admitting Men with Same Sex Attraction to the Seminary

    bannerofthecross:

    Everyone outside of the Church seems to be celebrating Pope Francis’s “change in teaching” on homosexuality. This post is to show that what Pope Francis said is not anything new. 

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly says, in paragraph 2358, that people with same sex attraction must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and that “every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided.” So Pope Francis, in not judging, is doing what Jesus and the Church tells us to do.

    In 2005, the Vatican issued the document Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders which says:

    It is necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called “gay culture”. 

    Different however would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only expression of a transitory problem…Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

    This means that men with very strong homosexual tendencies cannot be admitted to the Priesthood. In the same way, a man with very strong pornography tendencies will not be admitted to the Priesthood. As a requirement for Priesthood, all men must show a high degree of Sexual Integration where they have overcome their temptations of lust and have developed the freedom to authentically love.

    When the Church talks about the “gay culture”, She is referring to people who promote the idea of gay marriage, which is a direct violation of Church teaching. Pope Francis referred to these type of people as “being part of the lobby.” The Church will not ordain any man who is not in Communion with the Church on any issue. Priests are representatives of the Church and must adhere to all Her teachings; as should every Catholic.

    When Pope Francis says “the problem isn’t the orientation. The problem is making a lobby,” he is repeating that the real issue is when a man openly dissents from Church teaching. That’s when a man cannot be ordained. 

    Father Brett A. Brennan put it this way in his book To Save a Thousand Souls (which was published in 2010):

    The Vatican Instruction indicates that a practicing homosexual or a man with deep-seated homosexual tendencies ought never to be ordained a priest. The Church cannot allow ordination of men who are active homosexuals or who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

    But a man can be accepted for study if he has a significantly lesser degree of same-sex attraction which he has completely disclosed. He should completely and enthusiastically embrace the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. He should be growing in affective maturity and must have clearly overcome the transitory same-sex attraction, living chastely for at least three years before his diaconate ordination.

    Pg 245

    So yes, a man with Same Sex Attraction can become a Priest, but it’s a case by case basis. There is no solid answer.

    What Pope Francis said is far from a “reversal” of Church Teaching, or a “new sign of openness”. The Church always has and always will welcome anyone, no matter race, gender, or sexuality, who is seeking Truth and seeking to do God’s will.

  • July 27, 2013 9:12 pm

    A Call for Reform in the Catholic Church by an Austrian priest

    existenceandidentity:

    thepapists:

    existenceandidentity:

    Fr. Schüller proposes the following:

    • allowing priests to marry
    • allowing women to become priests
    • allowing lay people to have communion services without a priest present
    • giving lay people much greater control of church policy and practice and local and higher levels
    • allowing remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist
    • honoring loving committed gay relationships

    Just a warning, it’s late, I’m tired, I should probably gather my thoughts but I feel the need to respond to this article.

    Also, this is not directed explicitly towards existenceandidentity, this is directed towards this article. 

    The need for reform of Church teaching, doctrine, dogma, traditions, and the like is not a need at all. Vatican II already made its reforms, the council is over, the Church has spoken, let’s move on. 

    The crisis in the Church does not call for a reform of the Church; it calls for a reform of the hearts of Her members.

    The reforms of the Mass, from what I’ve understood, was an attempt to re-ignite the Faith of the 20th century. The Novus Ordo was supposed to help the laity become more involved, more active, and to better understand what the Mass is about. 

    What has happened in the last 50 years?

    A decline in Church attendance, poor catechesis, decline in Priestly and Religious vocations, and Catholics are living no different than the secular world. 

    Is this the fault of the Second Vatican Council?  No. It’s because the implementing of Vatican II exploded and people took it and ran with it.

    So what’s my point? Institutional reform without proper instruction results in crisis. Priests and Bishops at times, whether knowingly or unknowingly, veered away from what the Council taught. We have the reform already, now we need the proper instruction.

    Hence the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith; these help us rediscover what it means to be Catholic. 

    We can’t solve this crisis with more reforms. In my opinion, asking for more reforms is showing a lack of faith in Christ. “We are running out of Priests, we need the laity to be able to perform communion with no Priest present, we need Priests to be married, we need women priests”. Why don’t we just ask God to give us more Priests? 

    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

    Mt 7:7

    How much clearer can Christ be?

    By constantly seeking reform, we continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We give into the temptation of the serpent to become like gods, and instead of trusting in God providence, we begin to play god by saying “No, God’s church is wrong about what God thinks.”

    Are the Church’s teachings hard? Yes! Of course they are! Why? Because the Church is our Mother and She challenges us to be more than what settle for. God gives us this challenge because He knows that we’re up for it. 

    All the reforms listed here are based on a misunderstood secular definition of love; that love is tolerance, acceptance, and warm fuzzies. Love is to will the good of the other and to act on it, which often includes being harsh. Denying someone communion who is not in communion with the Church is not meant to be a punishment; it’s meant to protect them from committing a sacrilege. 

    The Role of the Church is to bring Her people to the fullness of Truth and Salvation. Changing Her teachings would be an injustice to us. It’ll be uncomfortable, but as Pope Benedict said: “We are not made for comfort, we are made for Greatness.”

    I’ve written about the lay Catholic equivocation of the clergy with the Church before on this blog, so I won’t go into. Suffice to say that I think it’s a silly view to equate a very small percentage of men with the entirety of the Church. None of the reforms this priest is calling for are really out there. And allowing more lay involvement in church policy and practice is a necessity if the Catholic Church wants to remain relevant. It doesn’t affect teachings or dogma, and it decentralizes power away from the clergy. If the Church needs an example, they can always look at the Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, or any other Protestant denomination to see how it works.

    Priestly celibacy is a historically recent practice, there’s no reason to keep it for some nostalgic tradition. That level of sexual repression isn’t healthy, and quite honestly it’s probably why the sex abuse scandal is so big among Catholic clergy.

    The prohibition of women from the priesthood is based on a shaky interpretation (of faulty logic, no less) of the fact that Jesus only had men as apostles. The fact that he only had male apostles is not a command to never ordain women. If anything, a look at the Protestant churches that allow female ministers/priests shows that women are often better pastors than men. 

    And affirming gay relationships is a matter of human dignity. On this the clergy/Church is unequivocally wrong.

    Why you see reform as a lack of faith is beyond me. Lack of faith in the clergy, perhaps, but not lack of faith in God, Jesus, or Christianity. Jesus was a reformer. Reform is the entire message of Jesus. In the Gospels, he is always saying, “repent, return to the basics, forgive your enemy, love God and love your neighbor.” In essence he says, “reform yourself”. 

    Of course, I’m not Catholic anymore, so I don’t really care what happens in the Church. But I think if it wants to continue being relevant in the world and retain members, it needs to change.

    But the thing is, some of these reforms are out there. I’ll admit I was a bit harsh on the Priestly celibacy and on Communion services with no Priest. As catholicninja pointed out to me, Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma, so that can be changed, and Communion services already exist where it’s needed. Celibacy isn’t kept for nostalgic purposes. Practically speaking, a celibate Priest allows him to be more readily available to his parish, not to mention it is in imitation of Christ who was celibate. 

    As for the sex scandal:

    -Philip Jenkins, is a professor of history and religious studies at Penn State University, and has written a book on the topic. He estimates that 2% of priests sexually abuse youths and children.

    -Sylvia M. Demarest, a lawyer from Texas has been tracking accusations against priests since the the mid-1990s. By 1996, she had identified 1,100 priests who had been accused of molesting children. She predicts that when she updates the list, the total will exceed 1,500 names. This represents about 2.5% of the approximately 60,000 men who have been active priests in the U.S. since 1984.

    -Conservative columnist Ann Coulter claimed, without citing references, that there are only 55 “exposed abusers" in a population of 45,000 priests. This is an abuse rate of 0.12%.

    -Various news services reported that 200 Roman Catholic priests in the Philippines have been investigated for “sexual misconduct and abuses" over the past two decades. That would represent almost 3% of the total population of about 7,000 priests. However, it appears that misconduct includes many offenses, from child abuse to rape to keeping adult mistresses.

    And I found some sources, not nearly as authoritative that say less than 1%.

    -  Cynthia Stewart’s “The Catholic Church: A brief popular history.”

    -In England according to  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/16/catholic-church-vatican-letter-child-abuse , The percentage is less than half of one percent.

    Credit to nikosnature for the stats.

    Also this video.

    Most Priests are good holy men. I think what you said about lay Catholic equivocation of the clergy can be applied here: “it’s a silly view to equate a very small percentage of men with the entirety of the Church.”

    As for women priests, part of it is following the example of Jesus in only ordaining men, but it goes much deeper than that. As human beings we are incarnate spirits; our bodies reflect our souls. I am male both physically and spiritually. When a Priest is administering the Sacraments, he is in persona Christi; "in the place of Christ". In that moment he spiritually becomes Christ. Jesus is male, and only a male body can represent a male spirit. 

    The Catholic Church does acknowledge the dignity of people with same sex attraction.

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358

    (emphasis mine)

    Saying no to gay marriage does not mean saying no to the person.

    I agree with you, Jesus does say “reform yourself”. He desires for us to reform ourselves to His Truth, and how do we know what His Truth is? Through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Church’s goal is not to stay relevant but to bring the world the Truth and to bring Her Children to Salvation.

    I’m sorry you decided to leave the Church, but know that we’re always ready to welcome you back. I’ll be praying for you

    In Christ,
    Javi

  • April 28, 2013 11:43 pm
    Anonymous:  [trigger warning: lust] Is the light, "butterflies in your stomach" feeling you get when you encounter an attractive person lust/sexual desire, or harmless "crushy feelings" (as I've seen it described on LifeTeen once)? (And "harmless" given that you do not mistake these feelings for love and turn them into an unhealthy infatuation)

    Anon,

    I’d say at face value, they’re not lustful. Lust is a desire to use the other person for our own sexual gain or pleasure, and butterflies are simply feelings we get when we encounter someone to whom we’re attracted. I think that if you, as you say, turn the experience of those feelings into an “unhealthy infatuation,” then it could turn into lust. If you do encounter someone who’s really attractive, thank God for their attractiveness, tell Him He did a good job, and move on. As a guy, I can tell you this is really important and effective in making sure we respect and love women rather than using and lusting after them. Hope this helps.

    Your friend,

    Olivier

  • April 28, 2013 1:32 am
    Anonymous:  My good friend is not Catholic. We are in college & I have known her since the first day. It is likely that when the time comes, she will be unable to have children. If it wasn't against Catholic teaching, I would be completely willing to be a surrogate for her. I see this as a huge act if sacrifice out of love for her, but because of the IVF and such involved, I can't and stay in good terms with the church. Other than praying she will be able to carry her own child, how can I deal with this?

    Anon,

    Forgive me for assuming, but it seems like you might not have a real grasp of why the Church teaches against IVF methods. BadCatholic offers a nicer explanation than I could ever give, so I suggest you take a look at what he has to say. I just got a feeling that you saying “If it wasn’t against Catholic teaching…” might mean that you don’t know why the Church teaches against IVF. And that’s okay, of course. I myself have a long way to go when it comes to Church teaching.

    Now, onto your question. In terms of concrete acts, I would highly recommend your friend to chart her cycles/start looking at NFP methods. Natural fertility methods are surprisingly good at helping women conceive children. Q or anyone else who’s familiar with NFP, would you want to offer a comment?

    Finally, good on you for praying for her, Anon. Pray that whatever the circumstance, you and your friend will give glory to God. 

    Your friend,

    Olivier

  • January 13, 2013 1:17 am
    Anonymous:  Is making out a sin? If so is it venial or mortal and where is the line between the two? Thank you!

    Hi Anon,

    I think the contributors to this blog have different opinions, but I’ll link you to something Father Angel wrote recently. I hope it can shed light on your questions!

    Your friend, 

    Olivier

  • November 30, 2012 10:22 am
    Anonymous:  I would also like to thank you for defending homosexuality (well, maybe not defending, but clarifying for that ignorant anon.) Question. If you (general you) were to fall in love with someone without knowing their gender- you just loved them, as a person- is that sinful? Or if you are truly in love with someone and then you find out they're your same gender (hypothetical situation okay), I don't think it's possible to just turn those feelings off, and the love is no less true.

    That’s true, but is the love of marriage one that can be done without knowing the other person’s sex?  I mean, obviously one can feel a great attraction to someone before knowing their sex, (either because they met over a social networking site and the person didn’t divulge their gender, as is the case on tumblr) or in the rare instances where one meets someone with a gender neutral name who’s appearance is fairly androgynous.  But for any true love to develop between them, even one such as friendship which has no sexual dimension, the self-disclosure of one’s sex is required, and this seems even more true for a romantic love. 

    I mean, in my ethics class we talked about how almost every philosopher of the modern era, (and even many older philosophers) noted that self-disclosure is a necessary part of love, and since our sex is probably the second most intrinsic part of our nature after being human, it seems that without self-disclosing one’s sex a true love (any love) could not develop.

    So, to be honest, I’d say its impossible to fall in love with someone without knowing their sex.  One can feel attraction, sexual or not to them, but love is much more than feeling attraction. 

    -Niko

  • November 24, 2012 7:58 am
    Anonymous:  I don't understand. You have the right to believe what you want, but allowing gay people to get married should be a right. It does not directly harm anybody (except for your pride I guess, but it is NOT a violation on your privacy or your rights), therefore it is a right. You of course have the right to protest it, but to vote against allowing people to have that right seems incredibly cruel.

    Here’s the thing, your argument only holds up if you can prove that gay marriage is a human right.  Until you do that, claiming it is a human right is an unfounded claim.

    Furthermore, we believe gay marriage does harm people, 1. the people in the gay marriage because they do risk harming themselves when sodomizing physically and psychologically.  (Check out the wiki page)  2.  It harms society because that society sees marriage as divorced from the natural law and  therefore may seek to impose its will against the natural law elsewhere and in doing so, harm others.  3.  Also any children who are adopted by such a couple would lack the benefits of having a mother and a father.  They would be placed in a situation where it would be unlikely for them to develop a true appreciation of sexual ethics.

    Thus, voting against same sex marriage is not cruel.  It is love for children, love for society, and love for those with same-sex attractions, because it is protecting them from themselves.

    -Niko

  • November 15, 2012 2:38 pm
    Anonymous:  So what's your position on the whole issue with abusive priests getting moved rather than drummed out of the clergy? The Church seems to be making positive steps now that the matter has been brought to light, but it seems like they knew there was a problem before the rest of us knew.

    Anon,

    It’s at the discretion of the bishops to decide what to do with priests who are abusers (I believe Church policy right now is to automatically take priests out of ministry if they abuse). 

    If the main advice from secular psychologists thirty or forty or fifty was to simply relocate abusive priests, then we can say in hindsight that it was a terrible tactic, but we can’t say that we were deliberately dealing with the situation in an ineffective way, for how could we know that what we were doing was the not the best possible solution?

    And if the bishops hear of an instance of abuse, I’d say it’s up to their discretion to decide when the congregations are allowed to hear of it. I think this could have partly to do with making sure that the accused priest is indeed guilty, so that an innocent priest is not stigmatized for the rest of his life. I think there are other factors (could anyone else chip in?), but I also want to say that if there is a problem in the Church, the people need to know it exists. It’s just up to the bishops to be prudent about when they release such information. 

    Your friend,

    Olivier

  • November 15, 2012 1:15 am
    Anonymous:  Not a very persuasive argument. Incidence of child molestation among the general population is lower than 2%. While joke posts such as the one you're responding to are unproductive, so is refusing to concede that the catholic church has a problem with child abuse.

    Dear anon,

    We’re not refusing to concede that certain individuals in the Church have made great mistakes regarding sexual misconduct involving minors in the last fifty or so years. We want to approach those who have been affected with love and compassion, and we want our bishops to take appropriate action with both those hurt by the scandal and those who’ve committed the sins. 

    However, we refuse to concede that the Pope and all priests are child molesters, or that the Church has an extraordinary case of men who abuse children. All other institutions have/have had this problem, and while priests are held to a very high standard, it’s not fair to single out Catholic priests as the only perpetrators of this grave offense.

    Your friend,

    Olivier

  • October 31, 2012 6:35 pm
    Anonymous:  I wonder how you all will respond to evolution in the RCC toward pro-marriage equality. You affirm, and rightly so, the tenets of the RCC with such fortitude, which I respect. Yet, what about when some of these precious teachings start to change? When the Church, in a major way, starts to shift via power of the conscience of the laity, toward a pro-LGBT stance? It is coming, whether you like it or not. How will you deal with that?

    In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

    The Church has seen two thousand years of dissenting laity (and even dissenting clergy). It has been given the authority to preach and defend the truth, and will continue to preach and defend the truth, regardless of who agrees or disagrees with it.

    Your friend,

    Olivier