Ah, men. . .

Relax everyone. Just relax. The Catholic Church has been doing some very, very deep thinking indeed and has finally reported back on its policy regarding gay priests. “At last!” I hear you cry. Indeed, I feel your pain, because I haven’t been able to function properly either, I’ve been that tense.

But now we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief because the verdict is out and, well, to quote Frank Carson, it’s a cracker. Are you ready? Take a sedative and make yourself comfortable as we run through the gist of it.

Contrary to popular conception, and demonstrating the Church’s ever-present ability to fly in the face of reality, homosexuality has been deemed a “tendency” rather than an uncontrollable orientation. This makes sense, because who hasn’t woken up one morning and thought: “You know, I’m sick of the other sex. I just don’t find women attractive anymore. What I fancy today is broad shoulders and a big hairy arse. But only for a while.”? Sure we’ve all done it.

Anyway, it seems that the path to priesthood is open to anyone. As long as they’re male and have either left all that man-fiddling behind or have never succumbed. Strange, because I was under the impression that priests take a vow of celibacy anyway. So what difference does it make about their prior sexuality – they’re not going to be getting any either way are they? Oh, but there’s a caveat: if you have ever succumbed to man filth, you must not have indulged for three years (the minimum time for sin to heal, I guess) before you can enter the Church. So that’s clear then. Homosexuality is a “grave sin, unforgivable under any circumstances” (because it says so in the Bible. Somewhere in the middle.), but as long as you put it (ahem) behind you and don’t touch any man parts (except your own, but only if you’re going to the toilet, or if you touch it by accident in the shower or something – never for self-beastliness) for three years, and then vow never to have any sex with anyone ever again, then you can, in theory, train to be a priest.

Oh, nearly forgot. It’s not just practising homosexuals that are contraband: “supporters of gay culture” are also barred. Whatever that entails. Watching Will & Grace? Buying the new Madonna album? Going to the theatre? Taking a keen interest in home furnishings? What on earth is that supposed to mean?

But don’t get the wrong idea. They wouldn’t want you to think that they were prejudiced, not in this day and age. Heaven forbid! So they’ve stressed that the Church has deep respect for homosexuals and they shouldn’t be discriminated against. You couldn’t make this shit up could you? They haven’t got anything against them, they just don’t want them near their Churches.

God welcomes all His children. (Except bummers.)

Meanwhile, speaking of children, another abuse scandal has broken out, this time in Brazil – home to the largest population of Catholics in the world. But I’m sure this will be brushed under the carpet, like all the others. After all, the Vatican is too busy wasting time creating risible policies that result only in its further alienation from the rest of the rational world, hastening its own well publicised demise.

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Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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17 comments on “Ah, men. . .
  1. tafka PP says:

    Hmm- perhaps we can nip this in the bud, as it were, by nominating Pope Benedict for the next season of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”? Once he’s had a few grooming tips and the Vatican had been made over, there might be room for some revision…

  2. Laura says:

    “God welcomes all His children. (except bummers”

    brilliant! Superb! Genius!

  3. mAc Chaos says:

    I’ll never understand the obsession of non-Catholics to dictate to Catholics the finer points of their own religion.

  4. Citizen Sane says:

    But I’m not dictating anything, I’m just mocking a really quite laughable policy. Not being gay or Catholic, none of it matters to me in the slightest. But this is highly amusing stuff. Unintentionally hilarious.

    The only “dictating” going on is by the Vatican. They are deliberately excluding people based on their sexuality which, despite their illogical claim to the contrary, is not a matter of personal choice. That is discrimination in its very purest form. This policy is utterly ridiculous.

  5. Laura says:

    Mac Chaos. The catholic church (and indeed all churches) dictates how people should live their lives. Surely we’re allowed to challenge it? If no-one had challenged the church would we still be denying the existence of the sun and that the earth revolves around it?

  6. ph says:

    When I was at university in the 1980’s the ‘bien pensants’ of the students union dictated that gayness was a matter of upbringing. I always thought that this was rubbish, but said nothing just in case I was strung up with piano wire from a lamp post in Oxford Road. Now the ‘bien pensants’ tell us that people are born gay. At what point did they change their mind?

  7. Hobbzee says:

    Mmmmm, don’t think the nature nurture debate was ever resolved. Not unless I missed a meeting. Our real father who art in heaven (Bill Hicks) would be having an absolute field day over this latest garbage to be spouted from the Vatican….it really is laughable that anyone with half a brain (believer or not) should be expected to accept this crap…..and there was me thinking we were living in the 21st century. How quaint.

  8. Citizen Sane says:

    At what point did they change their mind?

    I have no idea.

    Then again, I never said anything about people being “born gay” either. I said it was not a “choice”. You don’t “choose” to be gay any more than you “choose” to be straight. Whether it’s from birth or the result of something else, I have no idea. I don’t think it’s important either.

  9. ph says:

    It might matter as far as the church is concerned. Yet again harking back to the mid 80’s, there seemed to be some who believed that those who were not gay, were not gay because they were somewhat closed minded and repressed, so infact homosexuality was a matter choice. If you have a club (or church) and you deliberately choose to disobey the rules just for the hell of it then it is not the club (church for you).

  10. Citizen Sane says:

    But they don’t “choose” to disobey the rules, any more than anyone “chooses” to have bushy eyebrows or size 8 feet. That said, I think gay Catholics are a very strange phenomenon. Kind of like a Christmas Fan Club for Turkeys.

    But! There are a lot of them and they are being purposefully discriminated against by the leaders of their own faith. I’d have thought the Catholic Church (in Europe, at least) would be desperate to cling onto as many members as it can. Apparently not. Oh well.

  11. mAc Chaos says:

    I’m not agreeing with the policies of the Vatican. I just think that any reform is going to have to come from within, not without, since it makes little sense for someone within a religious enterprise to base their decisions in theological matters on someone outside of that domain.

    You bring up an interesting point, though, CS, regarding the rigidity of a Church’s teaching and how often it should stick to them rather than accomodate culture. There’s certainly times for change, but I think that in general, there’s something to be said for a Church that stands against popular culture rather than becoming a product of it. It’s supposed to be unmoored from temporary cultural shifts and preaching a universal, timeless truth, etc. Also, the kind of watered down, religion-lite that some Churches peddle doesn’t provide as much meaning in terms of faith to people. The Churches that stand firm actually tend to attract more believers than those that dilute their teachings until someone wonders why they should bother; just look at the progress evangelicals have had within the US.

  12. mAc Chaos says:

    By the way, I can’t quite recall if it was you or the Realist that asked about what I’d say about Clinton invading Iraq, but don’t think I forgot about it. I’ve just been busy.

  13. ph says:

    It is generally agreed today that being gay is not a choice. However it was not long ago that this view was not universally accepted, and in some quarters it was believed that those who held this view were obviously reactionary homophobes. Maybe the church is just a decade or two behind the times.

  14. Citizen Sane says:

    Mac – I asked that question. Glad it didn’t bypass you – will be interested to know your answer.

    ph – I think a decade or two is a bit of an understatement!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think the Catholic Church is entirely wrong on its attitude towards gays.

    That said, why is pretty much all abuse exposed within the church of a homosexual nature? One could say it’s because “born gay” Priests are being asked to deny their sexuality – or something (not that I’m excusing paedophilia).

    I just think that often gay men can be very “pushy” in their promotion of a homosexual lifestyle inside and outside the church – more so than heterosexuals – towards other men they think might be for “turning”. But yet they get all flustered if told it’s a choice to be gay.

    DA

  16. H says:

    Anonymous, What century do you live in? You do know that Priests fiddling with little boys has nothing to do with homosexuality, right? That is to say, it is not a desire for men, that makes dirty priests fondle boys.

    Infact paedophiles who also express an interest in setting up “normative” adult relationships are nearly always heterosexual. Most social psychologists actually atribute heterosexual men’s desire for women to shave those areas which become hairy after adolescence, as a semi-paedophilic tendency for small pre-pubescant girls.

    H

  17. Anonymous says:

    But I do not think that we should give the views of (social) psychologists views too much credence. After all they have research grants to maintain.

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