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Pope to ban gay priests?

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

The Observer has a fascinating report this morning that The Vatican has drawn up an instruction banning gay men from becoming priests, but not due to some worry over the morality of homosexuality, rather because…

the presence of homosexuals in seminaries is ‘unfair’ to both gay and heterosexual priests by subjecting the former to temptation

It’s certainly an interesting angle to take, and not entirely the one I personally would expect from the Vatican, who I would expect to ultra-Conservatively condemn homosexuality as a whole. It smacks of a church with an attendance crisis, which can’t afford to alienate anyone, trying to couch their moral objections in flawed logical arguments to make them more palatable to objectors.

But, from a purely practical standpoint, how on earth do they plan to screen for homosexuals before admitting people to seminaries? After all, if they can’t even manage to screen for paedophiles with any level of success, one really wouldn’t think they have much of a hope screening for gay men. Plus, as the Observer article points out…

Studies show that a significant proportion of men who enter seminaries to train for the priesthood are gay. Any move signalling that homosexuals will not be allowed to join the seminaries, even one couched in the arcane language of the Vatican, could reduce the number of recruits to the priesthood.

It will certainly be fascinating to see where this one goes, and whether it does get published or just quietly forgotten about; I would personally be surprised to see this published any time soon, especially by this Pope.

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18:47
29th November 2005.



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