Saturday, November 26, 2005
More On Much Ado ...Nathan said that " ... your dismissal of the Vatican document has offended me." I'd hope my dismissal of it bothered the St Blog's Echo Chamber even more. I can't see that this document has a lot of steam (hot air's another thing). It's treatment of homosexuality is vacuous. The theology is poor. I'd hope that calling it an embarassment and moving on is enough. The document calls for men whose "homosexual tendencies" are a "transitory problem" to not be ordained unless they have proven for three years that the "transitory problem" is gone. Well ... Most of us realize people are born homosexuals or that their homosexuality is deeply imprinted so early in life so as to be beyond conscious and personal choice. Does the Vatican really see "homosexual tendencies" defined by personal actions? The Church has already conceded that for many men and women, homosexuality is part of their human psychological and biological make-up. In other words, they are what they are, not necessarily what they do. In other words, the Vatican document does not allow for the ordination of gay men under any circumstances. Okay, sure. But bishops and their seminary and vocation personnel who were targetting gay men for denial or expulsion will continue to do so. And those who were not will read the document liberally and continue with good candidates, homosexual or not. This document changes nothing. Well, that's not quite true. It gives the Vatican a very convenient out: "We told them not to ordain homosexuals" or "We left them wiggle room; why didn't they exercise prudence?" Buck passed to the local level. Mischief managed. It only allows for the ordination of gay men who have become straight, something that is, according to scientific consensus, impossible.The Vatican document, therefore, does not allow for the ordination of gay men. That is a big deal. The document adheres to the fiction "you are what you do." That's a basic fallacy. My opinion: the document collapses under the weight of its own bogus errors. I suppose, though, that this will not be a big deal to some of our straight sisters and brothers -- even the liberal ones -- whose personal lives are not affected by it. But I would point out that such indifference to the plight of one's neighbor is hardly Christian and is an affront to liberalism. Like I say to the Echo Chamber: I'm not the enemy. But at some point if you really believe the curia is howling in the wind, consider a better solution. Instead of howling back, why not just shut the door? People were thinking like this long before the document was published, so these sentiments are not new to Roman Catholicism. What's the diff today? It came out on Vatican parchment? Is that it? Authority needs credibility to maintain itself. Playing the victim card plays into the hands of those who are smirking largely over this document. (Note: while they grit their teeth about its being watered down.) They want to see someone else go into a screaming fit. Instead, I wonder what would happen if thousands of gay Catholic men upset about this each made an appointment with their diocesan vocation director. Likewise married men, women, or other "excluded" folks. Hundreds of VD's all over getting an earful instead of a nice chat with a potential candidate. Wouldn't that be a great way to spend the next few months? Or not. But it would be a more dignified protest than other things I've seen or read. Catholic gays are too strong to play the victim over a new document which does nothing. Laugh it down. Ignore it.