Thursday, September 22, 2005

NYT: "New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests" (Ian Fisher & Laurie Goodstein)

Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests, a church official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on one of the most sensitive issues facing the church.
The official, said the question was not "if it will be published, but when," referring to the new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official, who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the church's policy of not commenting on unpublished reports.
He said that while Pope Benedict XVI had not yet signed the document, it would probably be released in the next six weeks.
In addition to the new document, which will apply to the church worldwide, Vatican investigators have been instructed to visit each of the 229 seminaries in the United States.

The above noted by Kara, Rob, Marcia, Joan, Brady and Zach is from Ian Fisher and Laurie Goodstein's "New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests" in this morning's New York Times.

Marcia wonders, "What's next? Purging the congregations?" Kara wonders what they'll do about the ones who are confused or haven't yet faced that they're gay? If they realize they're gay later on, will be they kicked out? Right now, they say it applies only to applicants but is this a first step?

Kara: Will the Catholic Church soon have to implement their own version of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for priests when they finish their witch hunt?

Zach wonders why, since no priest is supposed to have sex, it matters in one way or another what their orientation is?

Brady has a similar question, "Will they take someone's word? Or will whispers decide it? Will they use it as a smear to get rid of priests that they feel don't toe the line? 'Father Tom, you're just a little too socially responsible so we're letting you go and we can do that because someone told someone and it got back to us that you're gay.'"

Joan: What constitutes "evidence of homosexuality" anyway? Laughing too hard when watching an episode of Father Ted?

I'll fault the reporting for including this:

James Hitchcock, a conservative Catholic and a professor of history at St. Louis University, said some seminaries had reached the point of being "openly welcoming of homosexuals" and "don't even regard chastity necessary. "
"In that environment - and then you add to that the pedophilia scandals - probably the Vatican thinks that strong medicine is necessary for a serious disorder," said Mr. Hitchcock, who said he would nonetheless favor a system that allows for rare cases to be decided individually.

Without including this:

Experts in human sexuality have cautioned that homosexuality and attraction to children are different, and that a disproportionate percentage of boys may have been abused because priests were more likely to have access to male targets - like altar boys or junior seminarians - than to girls.

The above paragraph ("Experts in . . .") was included when the Times reported on it previously. It should have been. It's science. The conservative "professor" isn't an expert in this area but he's allowed to draw a relationship between pedophiles and gays. We've noted that paragraph before (last week), it appeared in Laurie Goodstein's "Vatican to Check U.S. Seminaries on Gay Presence" -- a similar paragraph should have appeared in today's article. Especially when a conservative "history professor" is allowed to weigh in. (God knows why. He's not an expert on the issue. They may as well have called Mike or Kat and gotten their opinions.) (Although, and I'm naturally biased, Mike and Kat are smarter Catholics than the blow hard pontificating about something he knows nothing about in the paper today.)

What are you doing today? Rod says you're making time to watch, listen or read Democracy Now!:

We talk to Peter De Mott, one of the anti-war activists who is facing federal conspiracy charges in the trial of the St. Patrick's Four. And we look at some of the concerns around re-building New Orleans with Bob Moses and Naomi Klein.

And we'll note the upcoming appearences for the Un-Embed the Media Tour:

* Amy Goodman in Washington, DC:
Fri, Sept 23
*TIME: 5:30 PM
First Annual Unvarnished Truth Awards
Amy Goodman will be a recipient.
Busboys & Poets Restaurant
14th and V St. NW
Washington, DC
5:30 Jazz Reception
6:30 Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Attire: Semi-formal
Reservations for the dinner and awards ceremony are $150 per person
(fundraiser for Pacifica Radio's Washington Bureau)
Reservations (no ticket sales) for this event will be taken at (202)588-0999 x 348
beginning Sept. 1

* Amy Goodman in Washington, DC:
Sun, Sept 25
Green Festival
Washington D.C. Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Day of Ticket Prices:
Adults--$15 each day
Kids 12 & Under--Free
Ride Your Bike--$5
For more information, visit

* Amy Goodman in Norfolk, VA:
Fri, Sept 30
Independent Media: A Primer
Keynote Speech
Naro Expanded Cinema
1507 Colley Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Minimum donation $10
Tickets available at Naro Cinema
For more information, visit

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