Nov 26, 2005

'Dignity' condemns Vatican instruction

In a statement condemning the forthcoming Vatican instruction on the unsuitability of homosexual men as candidates for the priesthood, the leaders of DignityUSA, are calling upon bishops and those responsible for seminary admissions to simply ignore the document. They also encourage homosexual men "who have been called by God" to be "courageous" in seeking admission to the seminary.


"In the face of this latest move by the Vatican, we remain hopeful that many Catholic seminaries will continue to admit and provide a welcoming environment for gay candidates for the priesthood."

Unfortunately, there are seminary "gatekeepers" like Father Charles Bouchard of the Aquinas Institute of Theology who, if allowed to stay in place, give the DIGNITY folks reason to hope.

"Many American bishops recognize the outstanding contributions faithful gay priests and bishops have made and continue to make in service to the Church."

Apparently there are more than a few U.S. bishops who are in this "pro-homosexual priest" camp and who therefore would not be in agreement with the thrust of the Vatican instruction. Here is a short list.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, California.
Bishop William Skylstad, bishop of Spokane, Washington, and president of the USCCB.
Bishop Matthew Clark, bishop of Rochester, New York.
Bishop Patrick McGrath, bishop of San Jose, California.
Feel free to add to the list in the comments box.

I hate to say it, but I think Pope Benedict needs to start kicking ass.


Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I hate to say it, but I think Pope Benedict needs to start kicking ass.

Start cross-training the Swiss Guard with the Marines down in Pendleton? I can see the Swiss Guard now kicking in doors to the Notre Flame Seminary in New Orleans, and the Washington Theological Closet in DC.

Yeah... that works for me.

3:55 PM  
Blogger bobnd said...

Three of the four bishops you mentioned are bad. Two of the four bishops were not out of line. Bishop Skystad is not out of line nor is he a heretic. He is an orthodox bishop who is getting vocations. He actually is one of the good guys. Be careful in bashing him because he has done one hell of a job in the diocese he is in. His predecessor made him a mess and created a scandal, so Skylstad qualifies as one of the good guys. Clark is a liberal and he is not out of line either, but he has no vocations. McGrath seems to be another Mahony in the aspect that he promoting dissent. So you are right in naming the bad guys, but you don't name the good ones either. Spokane is not in bad shape clergy wise. Last time they were 5th for priests to people and northeastern Washington is not real Catholic either.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Tito said...

Skystad went against the Vatican in his statements before the Vatican released their doc. He was apparently pro-homosexual, hence why his name belongs on the list.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Quintero said...

Point of clarification. I have not bashed any bishops here. I have simply listed four who have made statements which would seem to be at odds with the mind of the Church.

Regarding Skylstad in particular, I can only provide this quotation which was linked in my post:

"There are many wonderful and excellent priests in the Church who have a gay orientation, are chaste and celibate, and are very effective ministers of the Gospel. Witch hunts and gay bashing have no place in the Church."

Why does Bishop Skylstad use the politically charged term "gay?" How does he know how many priests are in fact homosexuals? Which witch hunts is he referring to here? And who are the 'gay bashers' he is alluding to?

Strange language from a bishop.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Iosephus said...

I doubt Benedict will kick any butt-- though it would be cool to see, if he did. Rather, it will have to come, I think, through the new bishops who get appointed. Maida in Detroit, McCarrick in Washington, others here and there, the big test will be to see who replaces them.

No more consistories where the likes of McBrien in Scotland are made cardinals at the same time as men as solid as Pell in Sydney.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Quintero said...

I agree with you, Iosephus, regarding the replacement of bishops. The reform will not come so much with new documents, but rather with new pastors of the Church who will teach, sanctify and rule in communion with Peter.

BTW, isn't it (Keith) O'Brien in Scotland that you had in mind, not McBrien.

8:48 PM  
Blogger OrthodoxWarrior said...

I think that you guys are right. The key to winning the Church back in America is through bishop appointments. Msgr. Robert A. Kelly does a good job explaining the problems with these bishops in Catholic institutions in his book "Fight For The American Church (Revisited)." The original one was in the 1970's I believe, but the Revisited version is more recent. The publisher is Ignatius Press.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Quintero said...

I think the correct title is, "Battle for the American Church." Great book.

8:58 PM  
Blogger OrthodoxWarrior said...

Your right Quintero, maybe I should have not been lazy and got out of my chair to pick it off my shelf to verify. But its a hell of a book!

9:06 PM  
Blogger thirsty scribe said...

Speaking about bishop appointments, maybe it's time someone take a close look at how this crucial office is filled.

For most of us, it all seems secretive and hidden. That is most unfortunate, given the enormous power that local bishops have.

Sure, we say 'the Pope has appointed X as bishop' but we all know it's more complicated than that. With all due respect to the late Pope, I have to wonder if something other than the Holy Spirit is responsible for some of our episcopal appointments.

Consider this: if new bishops are appointed by first consulting the clergy of a diocese, and in particular, the retiring bishops of the region, doesn't that reduce the likelihood that regions with lukewarm clergy will ever see a reform minded bishop? Lukewarm clergy are likely to nominate other lukewarm clergy.

I know of priests who have the faith and expertise to make excellent bishops, but the established chancery circles view these priests as 'overly conservative.'

Anyone interested in restoring my faith in the process of episcopal appointments, please go ahead and try.

9:46 PM  
Blogger OrthodoxWarrior said...

From what I've heard from a really reliable source who has his degree in Sacred Church History from Rome. He told me about 6 or 7 years back when Bishop James S. Sullivan of Fargo was getting ready to retire, that the outgoing bishop can make 1 recommendation to the Vatican or Pope. Though they do consider the recommendation, it is unclear what effect it really has.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Quo Vadis said...

I have heard that the country's Papal Nuncio picks 3 candidates and presents them to the Pope. The Nuncio is supposed to get input from the community so I suppose a retiring bishop would get his word in. But it seems odd the way bishops have been brought in from other diocese as that has me thinking the current Nuncio is just picking priests he hears about and likes regardless of what the locals say since they would have never heard of some priest 1000 miles away. DId a little search and found this:

and this:

Surprisingly it all comes down to the Nuncio which can be good or bad depending on the orthodoxy of the Nuncio.

12:35 AM  
Blogger thirsty scribe said...

Well, my suspicions are confirmed upon reading the links.

While the Papal Nuncio is evidently the most significant player, the fact that 'priests are nominated by fellow priests ... and bishops choose from among those nominated' is enough to tell me that that is something of a popularity game.

If a large number of clergy in a given diocese or country are lukewarm, it's only logical they will nominate someone just like themselves.

It seems the only chance of a reform candidate being nominated .. is if those clergy make a mistake, or if the Papal Nuncio/Vatican bypass the nominations, and hand pick their own candidate.

6:22 PM  

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