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Vatican goes after ordained gay priests in letter

“We’re not talking about breaking celibacy here, or doing something criminal, we’re talking about tendency. How will they determine that? …I think this will put people on edge even more than the earlier document,”

— Dean R. Hoge, professor of sociology at Catholic University in Washington

“If that’s not a witch hunt, I don’t know what is. The only way to exclude gay men from faculties of seminaries, would be to ask, ‘Are you a homosexual?'”

— Rev. Richard Prendergast, pastor of St. Josaphat Church in Chicago

Well, Papa Ratzi wasn’t kidding. The NYT reports that a cover letter that was attached to the gay seminarian purge document tacked on specific punishments for homo priests that are already ordained — this letter says that they can no longer teach in or run seminaries.

Hoo boy, are we now going to see mass outings?! This letter really is worse than the document to which it is attached. Gay priests need to just come out of the closet.

The letter, first reported by Catholic News Service, was dated Nov. 4 and sent to Roman Catholic bishops and signed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Vatican’s congregation on education, which devised the directive. A copy of the letter was provided to The New York Times by Origins, a unit of the news service that publishes church documents.

Papa Ratzi by Mike Tidmus.

The directive “does not call into question the validity of the ordination” of priests “with homosexual tendencies,” the letter noted. But the letter said that “because of the particular responsibility of those charged with the formation of future priests, they are not to be appointed as rectors or educators in seminaries.” The letter and the directive do not define “homosexual tendency.”

…Some clergy members played down the possibility that the Vatican sought to purge seminary faculties of gay priests. “You would have to have some kind of presenting incident,” said Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. “The Holy See is the last one who would want a witch hunt over this.”

Now we have the new term “presenting incident” — WTF is this? Getting caught with a fellow priest in a compromising position? Reading gay porn? Being supportive of a gay parishioner? Good grief.

* What the flip is a ‘transitory’ homosexual tendency?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding