Does it matter?

I have to admit I was a bit shocked by some of the comments posted on here last week about a blog claiming our new Cardinal is gay. Not shocked that he may be gay, shocked at the hateful and judgemental tone of the blog.

It lead to an interesting discussion with my brother over lunch today. Does it matter whether or not a priest/bishop/cardinal is gay if they are celibate? 

My brother was arguing that what makes a person gay is their entering into a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender. So if they are not in a sexual realtionship then they are not gay. I disagree with that. There are many people who are not in sexual relationships, but that doesn't make those people asexual does it? And just because they are not in a sexual relationship doesn't mean that they are not attracted to people of the same or different genders. I believe that attraction to one gender or another is what defines sexuality.

So I believe that we do have gay priests, probably in the same proportion as in the general population.Priests are celibate, but they must still struggle at times with attraction to women (or men). What counts is that they stick to their vow and that they put the Church and their commitment to it first. 

So, for me, it wouldn't matter in the slightest if our new Cardinal was gay. He's celibate so what difference does it make? But then I don't have a problem with the whole gay thing anyway so maybe that's just me. I believe it's not my job to judge, it's my job to love.

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    Comments: 6

    1. Rubyshine January 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Hi M&M, thanks for bringing this up. I was struck by the article too.

      It was particularly, "We do not know about the sexual orientation of this walking disgrace. But the emotional “argument” of the man is so effeminate that one truly wonders.Are there no men left among the leftists?" That caught my attention.

      Firstly that they would call a person's sexuality into question when they don't know said person's sexuality is offensive. I look sideways at anyone who attempts to insult someone by suggesting or insuinuating that they are gay.

      Secondly I agree with you that his sexuality is irrelevant to his role.

      Thirdly I have no idea what an "effeminate argument" is.

      Lastly I thought this article raised some really good points about Dew's use of language which was interesting to consider, but they undermined themselves with this poor use of argumentum ad hominem. I always think this kind of argument assumes your audience is a bit thick and will buy into off-topic insults, but really it just makes the writer seem nasty.

      I agree with your summary that it is the same sex attraction that makes you gay regardless of whether you act on or not. It doesn't bother me at all if my Priest is gay because it's really not my business who he is or isn't attracted to, and like you say a celibate Priest will have that difficulty to deal with regardless of which gender they are attracted to.

    2. Teresina January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Yes, Mundabor's blog certainly pulls no punches and could have been written in a less aggressive tone but it opened my eyes to what the new Cardinal designate has been saying and I believe that is important.

      I think, if we are Catholic, we should be very concerned about what our bishops state and believe.  Bishop Dew said, "So, my intervention was: Let’s not be concentrating on rules, but looking for language that helps people and encourages people in their journey toward God".  The trouble is that in disregarding the rules he is encouraging people towards hell and not to God.  That is the realistic consequences of the proposals of Cardinal Kasper's and those bishops, who like Bishop Dew, appear to support him.

      What I think is important is that may be Bishop Dew, if he reads a hard-hitting article like Mundabor's, he may rethink his views and correct himself.  That is very important for both himself and for the future of the Church in this country.

      Yes, it is our duty to love the sinner but we also have a duty to make known what the Church teaches in regard to sinful acts.  We can all turn a blind eye to gays, prostitutes, murderers, rapists, pedophiles if we like but toleration doesn't help the sinner and is in fact uncharitable.

    3. Dominican January 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      I understood the expression "gay"  describes sexually active people who have same sex attraction.   If you are celibate you are not "gay" even if you are attracted to your own sex.  Have I got it wrong?

    4. Rubyshine January 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Is that true then also of heterosexual people. If I am not in a relationship or seeking to be in one, am I no longer heterosexual? 

      I thought the "gay" vs "same sex attraction" language was around the spectrum of "gayness" that people identify as. eg. I might consider myself to be heterosexual but at times experience attraction to the same sex. 

      I thought that a gay or straight person could be celibate or sexually active. That the participation in sexual activity doesn't change your orientation.

       

       

    5. Rubyshine January 14, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Teresina, I don't think Bishop Dew would be likely to read that article and correct his behaviours. Largely because to get to the really valid, well illustrated points, he would have to get past the insult and innuendo to read those good point.

      Even if he bothered to read the entire article he would have to be able to read it with an openness to self-correction, and I think that seldom comes in the face of insult. I think insult is much more likely to make people defensive and resentful.

      I'm not suggesting that he should be patted on the head and made to feel all warm and happy inside. It's just that I'm a big fan of unemotive, clear and open discussion, that lays out the points concisely.

    6. rosario January 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      How do we know a person is gay if he is celibate or sexually inactive?