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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
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)
“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.”
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.”
This was updated on 10/13/15.
No Ben Carson, Homosexuality Is Not a Choice | TIME time.com/3733480/ben-carson-gay–choice-science/ Mar 5, 2015 –
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…