Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why Marriage Equality Will Destroy the Catholic Priesthood

     Here is the response that I posted to an online editorial in The Baltimore Sun concerning the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.'s threat to stop providing social services to the poor if marriage equality is granted to same sex couples in D.C.

A Reading from the First Letter of Heretic Tom to the Baltimorons:

     Catholic moral theology is full of glorified language concerning the preservation of "the dignity of the human person." There are many actions, procedures, and policies that the United States government enacts that violate the Catholic Church's "moral" compass: abortion, artificial contraception, teaching non-abstinence sexual education in the schools, the death penalty, stem cell research, the invasion of Iraq, etc.

     Why hasn't the Catholic Church withheld it ministries in protest of these actions, many of which result in the loss of the potential of life or the termination of an existing human life? Why make such a stand about same sex couples and their CIVIL marriage rights?

     Because they are afraid.

     If same sex couples can be civilly married and their unions recognized as valid, if gay closeted seminarians and priests suddenly see happy and healthy gay men living in committed marriages, then the church's supply of prospective priests will dwindle.

     When I was a seminarian studying at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Roland Park, I was told by the closeted gay priests that were in charge of my "formation" that celibacy was my only option and that even if I left the seminary (and eventually the priesthood) that I would never find true and lasting intimacy because gay men are incapable of sustaining real intimacy in "committed" relationships.

     Fear. They formed me with lies and fear to keep me in the same closet that held them captive.

     If gay Catholics have civil marriage, they will have another option other than the Church's mandatory celibacy for homosexuals.

     If the Church of Washington is serious about not renting Church spaces to homosexual groups, then they best start by refusing to rent spaces to their own seminary faculty, seminarians, religious, and parish priests.

     For you gay men, still petrified in fear and living in the clerical closet, there is life outside. You can find true and lasting intimacy with a man outside the walls of Theological College and the Pink Palace.

     The word of the Blog.

     R.  Thanks be to Fear.

Image Credits 
Pope Ben Flowing: Enlightened Catholicism
Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore: Eight-Stone Press
Priest Sexual Abuse Logo:

      Postscript: The men interviewed in the article link about Theological College were from my archdiocese in Iowa and Mr. David Kucharski was my classmate.  The ordination he mentions at the end of the article was my ordination.  I wonder where he is today.


Deldachez said...

Let's go on a pilgrimage to Washington.
How cool would it be to have a sit-in protest at the head quarters of the US Catholic Bishops?

Heretic Tom said...

Trust me. If I lived within driving distance of Baltimore, or if I had the money for a plane ticket this week, I would be there protesting at the convention.