If this is the level of thought among “professional Catholics” thn the Church is in more trouble than I thought.
But the Catholic Church is not the same as society at large. It defiantly stands out against the tolerant tide of a secular and sceptical society and claims to represent a more enduring set of values. And in many ways that is a positive thing, when it comes to challenging prevailing economic arguments, or rampant individualism, consumerism and the celebrity culture.
It is why I keep going to Mass every Sunday and send my children to a Catholic school.
You’re going to the wrong church for that matey. That’s the CoE. One Nation Labour at prayer. But it’s this about gay priests that is worse:
It is impossible to sit in the pews and not be concerned by the present unhealthy state of affairs where a Church that in essence preaches that homosexuality is wrong attracts and admits so many gay men into its priesthood.
No, the teaching is not that homosexuality is wrong. It is that sexual acts that do not lead to the possibility of conception is wrong. Homosexual acts cannot lead to conception therefore they are wrong. There is no stricture at all that “being” is wrong or sinful. It is acts here which are, not desires.
If we are to have the sort of root-and-branch examination Benedict wants of why the child abuse scandal happened, then the question of what prompts a vocation needs to be examined. I am not being so crass as to suggest that allowing a married priesthood would solve this problem at a stroke. Some of the most notorious child abusers are “happily married men”. And neither am I falling into the same mistake so often made by Church leaders who, knowingly or not, equate homosexuality with paedophilia.
I agree that a married priesthood would be a useful idea. But this doesn’t then solve that gay priest problem, does it? For the act would still be incapable of concenption and thus is sinful.
Yet it is hard to escape the conclusion that all this hypocrisy around sexuality has to be renounced, if only so we can get on with the real business of the gospels.
But this isn’t hypocrisy about sexuality. This is one of the core teachings of the Church. You’re entirely free to reject it (I do for example, which is why I don’t call myself a Catholic). Sex is just great, one of God’s gifts to us all. But it must be open to hte possibility of conception: thus no to contraception, no to gay sex and, yes, no to certain practices even within a Catholic marriage.
There are plenty of churches out there that don’t teach this and if you want one that doesn’t you should go join one.