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Understanding Pope Francis controversial remarks about homosexuality in the priesthood

In a new book based on interviews with a Spanish priest, Pope Francis says that homosexuality in the priesthood is…

In a new book based on interviews with a Spanish priest, Pope Francis says that homosexuality in the priesthood is “something that worries me” and a “very serious” issue. He points out that homosexual priests who can not keep their celibacy promise to leave the priesthood rather than live “double life” advises to admit homosexual men to seminars if their homosexuality is “deeply seated” and suggests that a social perception of homosexuality such as ” brave “Has penetrated Catholic culture.


The Pope’s comments have aroused fraud among former admirers, worried that he returns to the more pastoral attitude of the LGBT Catholics, who has been his hallmarks and rejoices among some of his usual critics who complain about that his persistent emphasis on mercy can sometimes break the doctrine of the church. Others simply believed in the wake of the latest controversy. Is the same guy who asked, “Who shall I judge?” In deflecting questions about a gay prince in 2013?

About homosexual priests who stumble upon celibacy should leave priesthood Catholics and church observers asked about social media What are heterosexual priests who are also struggling with their promises?

“For the first time, Pope Francis has not been misunderstood, and some authors gave people an incorrect impression.” America The editor in general, James Martin, SJ, said in an email interview on December 3. But his comments were quite confusing at first.

“Pope Francis has not for the first time misunderstood, and a few writers gave people an incorrect impression.”

“He speaks first of homosexual priests who express their” feelings “- that is to say sexually active – which, of course, condemns “Father Martin notes. “He says that they should not be accepted for seminars or religious orders, but then he says that gay priests should be” impeccably responsible “, which leads to the conclusion that he accepts them if they are celibate …. My feeling is that in essentially reminds gay priests of being celibates-as all priests are called to be. “

The Pope’s proposal that” gay sexuality “had become” fashionable “in modern western culture shook and plagued many. “I can not speak to Pope Francis, but I suppose” fashionable “he means seeing it more and more in public life,” says Martin. “But if he thinks he’s gay, simply because it’s” brave “, it’s not only wrong but harmful and prevents the idea that gay people choose” their orientation. “This would mean he goes against not just every reputable psychiatrist, but also the living experience of LGBT people. “

But did the pope really despise what the church has already said about homosexual men in the priesthood or preparing for it?

“Not really,” says Martin. “But it’s important to see his comments in the context of his previous comments about gay priests and LGBT people. His most famous quote,” Who should I judge? “Was a response to a question about gay priests. And later, he told his friend Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay man and a victim of abuse, “God did you like this.” “

Psychologist Thomas Plant, Augustin Cardinal Bea, SJ University professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California, traces the source of the last generation contestemps of the pope back to 2005, when the Vatican released an instruction to give men with “gay tendencies” to the priesthood. That document really suggests the same differences. Francis tried to briefly analyze his book-length dialogue with Fernando Prado, CMF, Vocation Force: Invited Life Today – It was acceptable to recognize candidates who had experienced “Transitional” Gay Sexuality to Catholic Seminars, candidates with “Deep-Seated Homosexuality” should be prevented from coming in if they are always treated with sensitivity and respect.

The problem is that such differences do not work well during modern psychological review. “Sometimes our beloved church is burdened with these documents in some respects,” says Dr. Plante. “I think the people in the Roman collar and red hats who write these documents can use some help from professionals in the field,” he adds. The teaching language does not reflect “what we really know now about human sexuality and homosexuality and how everything works.”

“Pope Francis, I love him, but he’s not a mental healthcare professional.”

Dr. Plant has conducted thousands of evaluations of seminar applicants and has substantially thrown hands with the seminars who consult with him – in attempting to make the distinctions that the Vatican obviously insists on.

“The critical problem is that people’s sexual orientation, from a psychological perspective and a risk factor view of the war crimes crisis, is irrelevant,” says Dr. Plante. “That’s how they handle their impulses that are important. How they handle their wishes, their impulses, homosexuals or straight, that’s really the question. “

When the pope speaks of the cuff on such a loaded subject, Dr. Plant is concerned that” gay priests are being shocked because of the fact that they are gay, not the fact that they do with their orientation … it is who They are, not what they do, and that is a really big problem.

Dr. Plants wonder why pop and other church leaders do not reach out to psychology or human sexuality professionals before talking about the subject. “You want clarity here because it’s so hot topic,” he says. “There is so much emotion, so much anger and hostility” around the problem. “You must take a deep breath and be very clear about your communication, because when you are not completely ready, other people will project their own stories, own stories,” he says, expressing concern that some will use the Pope’s inability as “ammunition” to bash homosexual men in the priesthood.

Father Martin agrees that the use of “unfair languages” or comments that “seem to contradict each other” can confuse people “and in some cases demoralize them”.

“They are also used by both sides and create additional divisions in the church,” he says. “We’re all talking from the cuff, but I suppose when you’re on your puppet, it’s more likely they will cause damage.”

Dr. Plants do not believe, as some headlines suggest, that the Pope Francis or Holy Week wants to drive gay men from the priesthood. “Let’s see how it works, if we really had an inquisition and took out all the priests who identify as gays,” he says. Dr. Plant speculates that it would mean a reduction of “one third to half” of the priesthood and the removal and degradation of “people who did not do anything wrong and handle their impulses, something you have to do if you are married or celibate or straight priesthood.”

“Pope Francis, I love him, but he’s not a mental healthcare professional,” says Dr. Plante. “Why not talk to professionals on the field?” There are many engaged Catholics out there who want to help and know something about this. Let’s help you. We mean well and we want to help the church. “

” If the Vatican had a delicious thank you, “says Dr. Plante,” you would not send a guy in a Roman collar and a red hat on a ladder to fix it, would you? “

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