aside THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON CELIBATE OPENLY GAY PRIESTS

Pope Francis and Kim Davis
Pope Francis and Kim Davis
the hoax behind the meeting between pope francis and kim davis” … and WORDS FROM YAYO GRASSI, GAY FRIEND TO POPE , at grondamorin.com are two blogs that I have written in the first week of October, 2015 in defense of Pope Francis, regarding his meeting with Kim Davis. I became convinced that Pope Francis was duped by two hardliners into being a participant in this compromising situation. I like many others have been enthralled by Pope Francis’ focus on the messages of mercy, inclusion, and tolerance. I want to believe in this Pope’s words of hope and love.
This is why I was surprised to read recent news reports referring to a priest who had been fired for coming out about being gay. When I learned that he went public to the press, with the introduction of his long time partner, I felt this priest couldn’t expect to keep his job while breaking the vow of celibacy. He did this at a time when Pope Francis is fighting for timely reforms with strong intransigence from conservative hardliners. (The vows of celibacy and poverty are taken before anyone can serve as a Nun or a Priest.)
POPE IN TIMES SQUARE
POPE IN TIMES SQUARE
But then I remembered that in the past, many U.S. clergy across many denominations, have a history of being anti-gay. Within the Catholic Church’s teachings, the act of homosexual intimacy is a sin even in the context of a long term, monogamous relationship between two same sex, psychologically sound, consenting adults. If a gay person does not act on his/ her desires, then there is no sin. 
The question I have is: if a priest is honoring his vow of celibacy but becomes openly gay to his flock, can he continue to do his priestly duties ,with the blessings of his superiors in today’s Church? The Catholic Church still sees homosexuality as a choice vs. my belief, that this is an inborn trait. Heterosexuals do not choose their sexual leanings or who they are attracted to anymore than  homosexuals do.
When I read the bible verses frequently pointed to as being anti-gay, I am not reading about two same sex people demonstrating loving affection after years of tender companionship towards one another.  Instead, the scriptural words refer to peoples doing something with each other involving various body parts without the context of an intimate, caring, long term, and committed marital partnership. When the bible was written, the word homosexual did not exist. I’ve often wondered what terminology the authors used as a reference to these texts.
This is when I started to do more research on this subject for the rest of the story…

Pope Francis US visit with gay couple, who were married in 2010, Yayo Grazzi, Iwan Bagus and family

(Photo)US visit with gay couple, married in 2010, Yayo Grazzi, Iwan Bagus, family

Fortunately, I came across a news story which is right on point.

The 5/29/15 NJ.com press article titled, “Can an openly gay man be a Catholic priest?: N.J. case continues debate,” by Kelly Heyboer tackles this issue and the following are some excerpts:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? They shouldn’t be marginalized . . . They are our brothers,” the Pope told reporters on a plane as he returned from Brazil.”

“A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark echoed the Pope’s remarks Thursday, the day after the Rev. Warren Hall, a local priest, came out as gay in a magazine interview.”

POPE FRANCIS AT GROUND ZERO
POPE FRANCIS AT GROUND ZERO

“Hall has been in a public dispute with the church. He alleged earlier this month the archdiocese removed him from his campus ministry position at Seton Hall University because he posted a message on Facebook in support of a gay and lesbian group.”

“The archdiocese denies Hall was reassigned because of his social media comment.” ( He was fired! On Facebook, he favored NOH8 “NO HATE” campaign which promotes LGBT causes including same sex marriage, counter to Church’s teachings.)

“On Wednesday, Hall told Outsports, a magazine for gay athletes, that he is gay.”

POPE'S PHILADELPHIA VISIT
POPE’S PHILADELPHIA VISIT

“Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, responded to Hall’s revelation by quoting Francis’ “Who am I to judge?” statement.”

“Goodness said there is no reason a gay man can’t be a priest, if he follows the church’s rules on celibacy.”

REV. WARREN HALL
REV. WARREN HALL

“Sexual orientation or attraction isn’t in itself a hindrance to a man’s ability to continue to serve as a priest,” Goodness said. “What is important is a priest’s commitment to living his ordination promises and embracing honestly what priesthood requires in the Latin Church: to live a life of prayer and chaste celibacy in imitation of Christ, to support and promulgate the teachings and traditions of the Church, and to respect and obey the authority of the Church.”

“However, it is unclear if Archbishop John J. Myers will reassign Hall to a public ministry after his public dispute with the archdiocese and revelation that he is gay.

“But the church remains opposed to gay marriage and says people should not act on homosexual desires. Priests are expected to uphold those teachings.”

“It is unclear how many gay priests are in the clergy worldwide. Some surveys and studies have estimated less than 10 percent are gay. Other studies estimate the number could be as high as 60 percent.”

“There are many good priests who are out to a large audience or a select group,” Bretzke said.”

“Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood,” estimates more than half of priests are gay, based on research he did for his book.”

POPE IN PHILDALPHIA
POPE IN PHILDALPHIA

“I believe these men are some of the most gifted priests  serving the church today. But they are in a very tough situation. They sense their superiors and bishops prefer they keep their sexual orientation to themselves,” said Cozzens, writer in residence at John Carroll University in Ohio.”

“He compared the current culture in the church to the military’s now-abandoned “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay soldiers. But, a priests’ sexual orientation probably has minimal impact on church members, Cozzens said.”

POPE FRANCIS
POPE FRANCIS

Reality is that the Pope’s verbal expressions of compassion and tolerance lack power, if the Church does not come to terms with highly valuing the openly gay, competent, caring, hard working priest who is true to his vows of celibacy. Words without action mean little. 

Priests are crucially needed to advise LGBT YOUNG PEOPLE  in how to deal with bullying, harassment and their other pertinent issues in order to lower suicide rates. Priests will require guidance and clear rules as to how they, as openly gay, celibate clerics can help this flock within the constraints of Church teachings.

PAPA FRANCESCO WITH YOYO GRASSI AND IWAN BAGUS
PAPA FRANCESCO WITH YOYO GRASSI AND IWAN BAGUS

This is all set in the background of recent scandals where many children were harmed for years by pedophilic priests while the Catholic Church turned a blind eye. Both seem to be protected if they practice the unwritten rule of remaining silent. Dear Catholic Church Leaders, How well has this policy served the Church?

This is what Jesus says about those who hurt little ones:

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. (Mark 9:42)

Pope Francis departs after presiding over evening prayers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, September 24, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX1SCMA
Pope Francis departs after presiding over evening prayers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, September 24, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – RTX1SCMA
 In the interests of full disclosure, I am one of those long time lapsed Catholics who still admires this Church. Whenever I hear negative comments about the Catholic Church from self professed Christians, I start bragging about its consistent stance in honoring the gift of life from birth until death; their management of schools which welcome children of all faiths to provide an exceptional and affordable education; their commitment to help families in financial distress, through their Catholic Charity organizations; and their institution as the world’s largest non government provider of health care services.
POPE FRANCIS
POPE FRANCIS
 Catholic social teaching encourages concern for the sick, the poor, the disaffected and the outcasts. According to the New Testament, He and his Apostles went about teaching, comforting, curing  and anointing those who surrounded them. Their example is reflected in the Gospel of Matthew 25:35-46:

“For I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you received me in your homes. Naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me … Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

pope-vatican-embassy_wide-be8acca427b113c2b35387d385b4351966776bf4-s1300-c85

But I digress. The Church’s rules bar me from continuing to be a Catholic. My story is that right after giving birth to my son in a  Belgium Catholic Hospital, I was rushed into the operating room for emergency surgery with a complete body blood transfusion to save my life. I remember observing the doctors resuscitating my baby. To have me avoid future high risk pregnancies, my husband submitted to a medical procedure, which along with any overt form of contraception (except abstinence) is a sin and not acceptable in the Church. This is just one example of how the Church interferes with women’s reproductive health because of doctrine.

In summary, there is much that I admire about the Catholic Church but I with others, no longer feel at home, safe and welcome here.

I did reach out about this subject to a priest whom I have known for enough years to trust his sound judgment and good sense. These are his thoughts: “I read through that blog, not sure what is yours and what might be others. I just received a brochure from New Ways Ministry advertising a retreat for gay brothers and priests.  The presenter is a priest who has been out to his parishioners for a long time.”

“Certainly, some gay priests have made their sexual orientation known to their parishioners.  Fr. Mychal Judge, the Franciscan priest who died in 9-11, was certainly out to all who knew him.  One can serve quite faithfully as a gay priest.  The recent announcement by the priest who works in the Vatican, of course, knew he would not be keeping his job since he also announced he has a partner.  The Catholic church is certainly not ready for that! Anyway, I think you are on the right track with your thoughts.” (Hardline US Bishops are resistant to “New Ways Ministry as of 2015.)

This was updated on 10/13/15.

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hermeneutical issues in the use of the bible to justify the … phc.edu/gj_haas_hermen.php/ Patrick Henry College

Suicides among gay and lesbian youths www.religioustolerance.org/h…Aug 1, 2008 – Numbers of gay and lesbian youth suicides: … approximately 1,488 suicides per year are committed by homosexual youth.

Gay Catholic group gets VIP treatment at Vatican for first http://www.reuters.com/…/us-pope-gays-Feb 18, 2015 – Sister Jeannine Gramick and Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, … co-founder of New Ways Ministry, which ministers to homosexual …

LGBT groups criticize decision to eject them from church http://www.religionnews.com/…/lgbt-groups-criticize-…Aug 19, 2015 – The Catholic gay rights group New Ways Ministry criticized the decision by the Philadelphia Archdiocese to cancel the organization’s workshop… 

8 comments

  1. Hi, dear friend …. I just saw your emails related to this post. I sent a response. I’m so sorry … I even missed this post … reblogging now. I hope that you don’t think I was ignoring you. THAT would never be the case. When you have a chance … please check your email. hugs …. 🙂

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