Banning Gays From Priesthood

There are some very reasonable, fair, open-minded, intelligent, and compassionate orthodox responses to the announcement of the new policy against the admission of gays to the priesthood, and the related inspection of American seminaries, to be found in St. Blog’s Parish. Examples are those of Mark Shea and Amy Welborn. If only we could get that side of St. Blog’s to talk peacefully to the other side, for whom I’ll use Nathan Nelson as an example.

I don’t know whether the discourse thus far has been civil because I thus far haven’t noticed any discourse (outside of echo chambers) whatsoever.

Update 09/23/05: Here are three more good responses to the policy (which I’m now hearing isn’t so new, just not enforced).

Kevin Miller
Gregory Popcak
David Morrison

The post by David Morrison is of particular interest. From David’s "About Me" page:

"David Morrison is the author of this web log and the book Beyond Gay, which Our Sunday Visitor press published in 1999 and which is still in print."

"He is also the found and moderator of Courage Online, an online support community for men and women living with some degree of same sex attraction who wish to do so chastely."

"Throughout his career so far David has written on human rights issues, population issues, pro-life issues and chastity issues. In addition to this web log and the writing for his day job, David speaks and writes on chastity and identity issues."

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) I try to avoid most memes that make their way 'round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don't we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that's the talk o' the 'sphere. I think it's a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood...*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller's answers and figured since he's a regular reader of mine he'd be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions. 1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why? Wow. That's a tuffy. It's hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn't really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it'd be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it's been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don't know why. That's a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It's not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man He's a rebel and a runner He's a signal turning green He's a restless young romantic Wants to run the big machine He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure Learning to match the beat of the old world man Learning to catch the heat of the third world man He's got to make his own mistakes And learn to mend the mess he makes He's old enough to know what's right But young enough not to choose it He's noble enough to win the world But weak enough to lose it --- He's a new world man... He's a radio receiver Tuned to factories and farms He's a writer and arranger And a young boy bearing arms He's got a problem with his power With weapons on patrol He's got to walk a fine line And keep his self-control Trying to save the day for the old world man Trying to pave the way for the third world man He's not concerned with yesterday He knows constant change is here today He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it --- He's a new world man...
2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church. At some point in '99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that's what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I'd decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism's wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn't sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran. During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today's Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.
"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite - a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer 'makes sense' to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, 'Seek and you will find.' The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is 'not there' is alive with faith."
At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil. 3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done? I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it'll be cool when it's finished. :) 4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman? "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." 5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be? That's a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably pick "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

8 thoughts on “Banning Gays From Priesthood

  1. John

    Well, it would seem that the Church is abandoning the platitude that it has nothing against homosexual people, just against homosexual activity.

    Is the most noteworthy thing I saw in it.

  2. Jerry Nora

    Andrew–I’m shocked, shocked to find a Protestant disagreeing with the Pope. 😉

    John–maybe you could blog on the issue (if this is the John I’m thinking about) and get a real discussion going on this.

  3. Tom Smith

    One tiny point of clarification. This is by no means a “new” policy. It is simply now being enforced. If I remember correctly, it was actually the “liberal” hero Pope John who instituted the policy of heterosexual-only seminaries. (I may be wrong, it might’ve been someone else, but I think it was Bl. John XXIII).

    Any thoughts on the matter, Eric?

  4. Nathan

    Eric, by referring to me as “the other side” (and by the way, there are quite a few other people on my side) — are you saying that my response was unreasonable, unfair, closed-minded, unintelligent, incompassionate, and heterodox? 😉

    I don’t think it was very unreasonable — rather, I said very reasonably that this marked a change in the Vatican’s thinking, from condemning behavior to condemning people. In that, I agree with the “reasonable” response of David Morrison. I don’t think it was unfair. Closed-minded? Well, I’m certainly not open to the condemnation of — well, me — anymore than I was open to the condemnation of behavior which I may or may not engage in later on in life. Unintelligent? I don’t know, I thought it was fairly intelligent. Incompassionate? Quite possibly, for I’m having difficulty holding out compassion for prelates who have utterly condemned me and people I love simply for being who we are. Heterodox? Well, you certainly have me there. I am heterodox, and so was my response.

    In any event, I will be sure to check out these “reasonable, fair, open-minded, intelligent, and compassionate orthodox responses.” Thanks for providing them. I just hope your readers haven’t gotten the impression now that I am some unreasonable, unfair, closed-minded, unintelligent, incompassionate, and heterodox ogre. Usually I like them to be surprised by that discovery when they visit my blog. 😉

  5. Funky Dung

    Oops. I didn’t word that well, did I? I meant mostly the heterodox bit, i.e. some in St. Blog’s are orthodox and some are heterodox.

    I didn’t think your post was not all the other adjectives. However, I do think the judgment that the Vatican is seeking to condemn people is unfair. To me that’s just a knee-jerk accusation. You’re not the only person from the left side of the pew to make it, though, or even the first.

    On the other hand, there are those on the right side of the pew that are using gays as scapegoats for the pedophile scandal. What caught my attention about Mark and Amy’s remarks was that neither was doing that. To date, I haven’t seen much inter-blog dialogue between your side and theirs. I truly believe it could be fruitful. That’s why I wrote this post wishing aloud for that dialogue.

    BTW, if I really wanted a post that was all of the above – unreasonable, unfair, closed-minded, unintelligent, incompassionate, and heterodox – I’d have linked to one of Andrew Sulivan’s vapid screeds. 😉

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