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From Brian Taylor. (Letters to the Editor).

The problem of homosexuality among priests cannot be dealt with truthfully without considering the integrity of the sacramental system, and the ability to "effectively" make (and keep) a vow of "chastity".

1) The sacramental system of God's Kingdom is central to its constitution, and "not" divided against itself. None of the three sacraments which bestow an indelible character--baptism, confirmation and Holy Orders--gives the recipient any right or power to exercise it in the service of a disorder, or undermine or overthrow any aspect of the other sacrament of service, Holy Matrimony.

2) Homosexual orientation, a disorder of the will, is opposed to both spiritual communion in Christ (cf. Frs. Cozzens and Colligan in Fr. Kennedy's article, C.I., Mar/02) and fecundity: it repudiates the ordering of goods which God intended and ordained in creation. The human person embodies two natural instincts: preservation of the individual and preservation of the species. Jesus said that no man has greater love than to lay down his life for his friend. This 'greatest love' subordinates "the instinct" for self-preservation to the--deemed greater--good of another. Beyond continence, which regulates the use of the procreative faculties according to the will of God, chastity subordinates "the instinct" for the preservation of the species to that "life to the full" which Christ offers through the sacramental system.

Can a homosexually-oriented person, though "called" to chastity (Catechism, 2359), "actually" do this? I think not, for this simple reason: accepting this disorder means turning away from transmitting life. Instead of subordinating this instinct to a higher good, one abandons the higher good as undesirable and useless. To jettison it as unwanted and superfluous is a radically different act from renouncing it for Christ's sake: one is temerity, the other is self-giving. The person called to chastity cannot make the sacrifice which chastity entails unless the thing to be sacrificed is alive and well in that person. Where it is already abandoned for other ends, a vow of chastity is a null act.

Thus, a person retaining a homosexual orientation should not be admitted to preparation for a state of life requiring a vow of chastity; or, if unwittingly admitted, must not be permitted to make even a temporary vow of chastity until able to make the personal sacrifice which is essential to chastity. Since many have restored right interior order with the help of God, anyone unable or unwilling to achieve it cannot be allowed to hope that he will be accepted without it. I also think that the further disturbances to community at any level as mentioned by Fr. Colligan and Michael Rose absolutely must be

curtailed. The only alternative is for the shepherds to indulge in self-preservation while the mystery of iniquity eats us up.

Toronto, ON
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:From Ron Bazinet re homosexuality among the clergy. (Letters to the Editor).
Next Article:From Paul Vandervet. (Letters to the Editor).

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