Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Clairvoyant that I am, I stated that the pope's new title would be pope-emeritus. I was right as usual. He will be referred to as His Holiness, Benedict XVI and will wear the white cassock but not the shoes of the fisherman.

I've listened to some of the liberal press's reporting on the scandals and they report rumor and hearsay as though it was fact and CNN even took as gospel truth a former Dominican priest who has been actively gay for the past 25 years who stated that more than half of the clergy in the Catholic Church are actively gay or homosexual. Did she ask for sociological data? Was there a truthful survey that discovered the facts? So, a former priest who is actively homosexual states something and it fits the agenda of CNN in terms of gay rights and gay marriage and reports it as true. Such lousy reporting!

We have to keep in mind also the difference between moral teachings and pastoral practice. The moral teachings of the Church are absolute, more or less. However, when it comes to each bishop or religious order recruiting candidates for the priesthood, it is a pastoral decision as to whom will be accepted and eventually ordained. Heterosexual priests who feel called to celibacy sometimes fall and many have married. Was there a mistake in the screening process or did the candidate hide his true sexual needs an inability to live a chaste, celibate life? Who knows, we are all compromised and disordered due to Original sin and the temptation to concupiscence.

In the 1970's many bishops in consultation with psychologists (the same ones that told them that pedophiles and ephebophiles could be treated and returned to ministry) told them that they could accept homosexual men into the priesthood if they felt called to celibate chastity and gave evidence of an ability to live thusly. As vocation director from the mid 80's to the late 90's, I screened many homosexual applicants but soon discovered from simply asking the right questions that they were not and more than likely could not live a celibate life. I could not then recommend them to the bishop for acceptance. I must say, that at the time, I was open to considering a homosexual candidate or one with what is called "same sex attraction" based on workshops I went to and listening to psychologists who told us, as well as seminaries, that a same sex orientation should not automatically disqualify a man for consideration.

Let me add a caveat, I don't believe I ever referred to the bishop for acceptance into the seminary a man with same sex attractions and not out of prejudice, but simply because I knew that it would be profoundly challenging to them to be in an all male environment of the seminary and they realized it too.

But I ask you, the most well-intentioned celibate heterosexual and one who does have a calling to celibate chastity, would it be wise to send him to a seminary where (if this was the case and there is no such place) young women that candidate's age live in close quarters as men do in our seminaries? It would be quite foolish to put a heterosexual man, even if called to celibacy, in an all female environment such as in a seminary setting.

How much more for men with a same sex attraction living in an all male environment? In the 70's through the turn of the century, many bishops and vocation directors simply were naive or just down right stupid about human sexuality. We are now paying the price.

So much hinges on common sense and moving from naivete to reality.

With that said, though, I do know of priests who have same sex attraction who are very mature and live mature, celibate lives by the grace of God as do heterosexual men. It is the immature and arrested in psycho-sexual identity and development, either homosexual or heterosexual, that are the greatest threats to our young and not so young in terms of taking advantage of their position in the Church to harm the spiritual, moral and psychological health of those in their care.

Thus in reporting sex abuse, or sexual activity that might even be consensual, but nonetheless immoral, the media does so to undermine the truths of Scripture, Tradition and Natural law as though moral truths depends on people actually living it. Even if a bishop is guilty of adultery or fornication, if he teaches the truth with his words, he is teaching the truth even though his life may not do so.

So, I wonder if coloring book Catholics understand objective truth or do they think it should be based upon what people actually do regardless of Scripture, Tradition and Natural law?

But this is my point, the pro-gay media which is lobbying for same sex marriage and all the rest of it, thinks that just because there is hypocrisy in the Church about sexuality and acting out in one way or another that the Church needs to get with the secular agenda.

Balderdash! I say and I suspect the next pope will say the same thing, or rather, I know he will say the same thing, clairvoyant that I am.


Anonymous said...

I would add that there were probably many men with same sex attraction that entered the seminary with perfect intentions only to be corrupted by some there who were living the gay lifestyle and let it be known that they thought it was not a sin. I believe that men with same sex attraction are much more susceptible to corruption of all types because they are living with a disordered predilection. I also think that those with same sex attraction are prone to dissent because a large part of their predicament is to be affirmed at all costs. What better way to be affirmed than by changing the Church's teaching on homosexuality, which they think is inevitable.

Rood Screen said...
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ytc said...

Um, it's the Ring of the Fisherman, not the shoes of the fisherman. Red shoes have nothing to do with Peter, whereas the ring has his image on it. The red shoes are just flashy and attractive. Perhaps Pope Benedict should have his own line with Louboutin... he could make a nice salary off that.

Rood Screen said...

The red shoes of a pope are certainly part of the papal attire and have been so for centuries, the red color being an ancient symbol of the Office of Peter, the Fisherman. Speaking of the papal shoes as some sort of worldly vanity seems a little offensive to the Office of Peter, and especially inappropriate during this week, of all weeks.

Anonymous said...


What would Jesus wear?

Charles said...

Sorry, FRAJM, but my four plus decades of knowing priests in rectories intuits that those stats you challenge are likely true. And I don't think it's much of stretch to deduce that many of those who made it passed your "vocations" confreres' evaluations all the way to ordination easily figured how to game the system towards their benefit, even if their original intent was noble.
Of all the gay priests I've served with I can also state they come in 64 colors like crayons, and I won't illustrate that further. One thing they seem to have in common, is a sort of disdainful air of superiority to all the poor "breeders" who inhabit the Church as well. It is difficult for me to conclude thus, but I can't deny my "clairvoyannce" in these matters. YMMV

Joseph Johnson said...

But for a very long time, the red papal shoes had a gold cross (usually gold braid) sewn across the toe of each shoe. This was abolished by John XXIII who preferred a gold buckle instead. Paul VI eliminated the buckle.

I say let's put the Christian symbol (the cross) back on Peter's street shoes and bring back the liturgical papal and episcopal sandals and buskins (a kind of medieval sock-legging) as well. Episcopal gloves (with the ring worn over the gloved finger) should be a must as well. Priests should always remove wristwatches while vesting to say Mass and clerical collars should not be visible while vested. I say these things in all seriousness.

Will Cubbedge said...


Morris West wrote a very popular novel entitled "The Shoes of the Fisherman" about a pope from an Eastern Bloc country who brokers peace between starving countries and prevents thermonuclear war.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I do think some dioceses were much more liberal in accepting homosexual candidates and did little to challenge homosexual priests in their actual practices--this is an over all aspect of the scandal of the 1970's, a total abandonment of Church discipline and bishops not knowing the difference between a priest who molested adult looking teenage boys and priests in consensual sexual relationships with adult men.

Rood Screen said...

Father McDonald,
Please allow me to thank you for your efforts to apply appropriate filters in evaluating seminarians. In many dioceses, these filters were subverted to keep out truth-loving and virtue-loving candidates. You deserve recognition for trying to do the right thing at a time when it was popular to do the wrong thing.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I never took credit for any seminarians that I did recruit or eventually became priests, but I will take credit and certainly by God's grace, for those we did not have in the seminary or eventually ordained and they were many!

Pater Ignotus said...

Fr. Shelton - In which dioceses, and by which Vocation Directors (or others)were truth-loving and virtue-loving candidates kept out?

This is a serious charge, nut one that I have never heard supported by any evidence.

Templar said...

Please Fr Kavanaugh, don't attack Fr Shelton for reporting what has already been doucmented in "Goodbye Good Men". You can check a copy out at the Washington Memorial Library, or I think the St Joseph sharing library has a copy you can check out. It's all reported as documented by the Vatican's Visitation to the Seminaries ordered by Blessed Pope John Paul II. The active and systematic removal of any conservative or traditional minded Seminarians they could find by Homosexual Vocation Directors is WELL documented.

Pater Ignotus said...

Temp - I did not "attack" Fr. Shelton. I asked if he could provide information to sustain his assertion. Only those who are terrified of being found wanting construe such a request as an "attack."

Fr. Robert Barron, now rector of Mundelein Seminary, had this to say about "Goodbye" when interviewed for the NC Register in May 2012.

"[Tim Drake, Interviewer]: Several years ago, author Michael Rose wrote in his book Good Bye, Good Men about an active homosexual subculture at Mundelein. Is that a thing of the past?

[Fr. Robert Barron]: I know of the source for the Mundelein part of that book. Much of it came from a disgruntled, unhappy fellow. I was there during those years, and as I read that section it struck me as exaggerated."

Amy Welborn wrote on her blog: "There is, however a notable weakness in Goodbye! Good Men that should prompt the reader bring a healthy dose of skepticism to Rose’s claims, implied in the book’s title, that he’s offering an analysis of the complete picture of seminary education in the United States.

Goodbye! Good Men may contain lots of stories, and most of those stories may be true, but the fact is, this book is not a comprehensive look at all seminary education in the United States and shouldn’t be read as such.

In order to really prove his thesis that there has a been a church-wide conspiracy against the orthodox and the straight, Rose would have to get data from many dioceses, seminaries and religious orders about how many candidates have applied, how many of those have been turned away, and what the reasons for dismissal were. He might even have had to personally visit some of the seminaries which he critiques and do on-site reporting, rather that relying on the testimony of only the dissatisfied. As it is, all we have in Goodbye! Good Men is the story of what happened to a self-selected group of men who attended particular seminaries. It’s their stories, more often than not anonymously related. It’s their side of their stories.

Michael Rose is doing important and courageous work, revealing truths that many would rather keep in the dark. But it’s important to remember before being caught up in the sweep of salacious detail and wholesale condemnation of an entire system in Goodbye! Good Men that even though the stories he tells are valuable and important to hear, they're not, by any means, the whole story.

"The testimony of only the dissatisfied" has been well-documented . . . by Aesop. It is called "The Fox and the Grapes."

Pater Ignotus said...

Clarification - The last sentence regarding Aesop is mine, not Welborn's.

Rood Screen said...
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Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Well, I can testify that he is in denial about germs and the common chalice so maybe it does extend to other things.

Gene said...

Ignotus, The fact that someone may be angry and disgruntled does not invalidate what they may say. Aren't you the guy who is always whining about ad hominem?

Pater Ignotus said...

Fr. Shelton - I think that it is easy to make uncertain claims about unnamed people in undifferentiated places. Making such assertions doesn't make anything better and has no chance of making anything better.

If your claims are legit, you have nothing to fear.

Pin/Gene - Being angry and disgruntled leads a person to make exaggerations as Fr. Barron noted. The employee who is angry for being fired is not the person to seek out for a factual account of the boss' actions.

Good Father Chicken Little - If you were really worried about germs you'd not touch a door knob or door handle - anywhere. But I don't think you sit in your room all day, now do you?

ytc said...

Good Fr. Shelton, I did not mean by my post to ascribe worldly vanity to Peter by speaking about the Pope's red shoes. I simply meant that I don't see any particular symbolism of red shoes, that I thought the Pope wears them simply because the Pope wears them, just because it's a nice thing to do, I guess. I've never seen any argument that there is any symbolism to the red shoes.

Of course, until recently the Pope only wore red, white and gold vestments at Mass, those being the Papal colors and red and gold being the colors of the Roman Empire, so maybe that is it. No irreverence here.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Good Father PI, I don't put my mouth on door knobs, do you?

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father Chicken Little - I don't know what traditions your Italiano-Nova Scotian heritage may have formed in you, but, no, I don't put my mouth on any doorknob.

I ask, how many "Use Mothwash" signs do you see posted in hospitals as compared to, say, "Wash your Hands" signs?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Father Chicken Hawk, the point you miss is that putting your mouth, no matter how much mouth wash you use, on a chalice that has had up to 20 mouths on it is like putting you mouth on a door knob. Yuck!

Pater Ignotus said...

No, the point is that a common cup is no more likely to be a source of contamination than a common doorknob. But you don't want to abolish doorknobs, do you?

I have read of no epidemics traced back to the use of a common cup at mass - have you?

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father, the point is that doorknobs and hands can be as "dangerous" in terms of vectoring germs as common cups, but I don't hear you calling for banning them.

Isn't the real reason you hype the danger because you don't want people to recieve communion in the hand since you believe this practice has led to a decline in reverence?

And if you have read of an epidemic breaking out due to the use of a common cup, please send me the link.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Common sense is common sense. Pathogens live on surfaces and can survive there, in many cases, for a few hours. The simple act of wiping off a surface does not eliminate microscopic organisms. Again, you try to attack Fr.'s argument with an extreme response by your "epidemic" comment, which misses the point entirely. It is quite possible, even likely, that some people will contract cold and flu germs from the common cup. If you don't want to increase your chances of being one of them, don't take the cup. Now, see, wasn't that easy? Biology 101...Ta Da...!

And, yes, receiving in the hand has diminished reverence.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - "Of all the senses, common sense is the least common."

I never claimed that wiping a surface "eliminates" microscopic organisms.

I do not "attack" Good Father McDonald's argument - I suggest that he is wrong.

If and when you or Good Father McDonald find the DATA (not some liturgical ideology masquerading as "common sense") I'll be more than happy to read it.