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11.23.2005    |    25 percent to 50 percent
This is the estimated percentage of homosexual men now in the pipeline for the Roman Catholic priesthood. Hmm. Perhaps this is what prompted, after a mere ten years in the making, a forthcoming "instruction" with Pope Benedict's imprimatur.

According to the story in today's Washington Post,
The document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education says the church deeply respects homosexuals. But it also says it "cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."

"Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies," it said.

"If instead it is a case of homosexual tendencies that are merely the expression of a transitory problem, for example as in the case of an unfinished adolescence, they must however have been clearly overcome for at least three years before ordination as a deacon."
This "instruction" has some weight under the teaching authority of the Magisterium, but here's where we sola Scriptura folks trump their "instructions": homosexual behavior is condemned as a sin by the God through His Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

So, now that the horse has fled the barn, so to speak, the RCC gets it act together. After finding out that between one-fourth and one-half of its priests-in-training are gay. All the usual suspects will be up in arms about this 11th-hour and probably too-little, too-late effort by Rome to clean up its act. From the Post, we have unnamed "critics" warning that
...if enforced, it will likely result in seminarians lying about their orientation and will decrease the already dwindling number of priests in the United States. Estimates of the percentage of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a research review by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood." (emphasis added)
If enforced. Well, I'm pretty sure that Pope Benedict is serious about morality, and having all these violet femme priests isn't quite copasetic or consistent with Scripture.

It's a tough call, and Benedict's the guy to make it. Perhaps the celibacy thing should be revisited in order to allow more hetero men to serve? Just asking. For now, I'm including the Roman Church in my prayers, that they may be guided to do what is both Scripturally sound and survive as a church.

And, mostly, that the RCC does not succumb and do the easy thing, look the other way, as those who wear the collar flaunt black-letter Scripture.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.