Mr. Eric Stoltz, the openly 'gay' man who was ordained to the diaconate by Cardinal Roger Mahony in 2004, has been strangely quiet during the debates leading up to and following the Vatican's recent instruction on homosexuals and the priesthood. For an avowed homosexual who has boldly and broadly announced his disaffection with Church teaching, Stoltz' silence is queer indeed. I suspect that his boss told him to lie low for a while. Too much noise from L.A.'s most famous deacon might jeopardize the ordination plans of another openly homosexual Angelino who is currently in formation for the permanent diaconate. So I guess mum's the word, at least for now.
Fortunately, Eric Stoltz has strewn the world wide web with plenty of words which reveal as much about his archbishop as they do about himself. In August 2004, for example, the recently ordained 'gay' deacon wrote a letter to the editor of America magazine in which he stated:
In my class of 12 new deacons there were two physicians, a public-relations executive, a garment industry executive turned gardener, a vice president of a mechanical engineering company, an aerospace company executive, a parish business manager and a retired deputy sheriff, among others. They ranged in age from the minimum canonical age to the maximum. Single and married, Latino, Anglo, African American and Korean, gay and straight—we new deacons for Los Angeles are the new face of the clergy. Each year, more parishes like St. Brendan get their first deacon. I can tell you that the welcome and enthusiasm among these parishioners is overwhelming.The letter is signed, "Deacon Eric Stoltz," but it's vintage Mahony through and through.
There is no vocations shortage in the Catholic Church. We have lay and diaconal vocations sprouting up everywhere, even more than my archdiocese can handle. Our Diaconate Formation Office is faced with tough choices on whom they can accept, given their limited resources. So where are the priestly vocations? God only knows. Let us not bemoan the loss of the status quo, but look gratefully to the future God is setting before us.
See my previous post on L.A.'s openly 'gay' deacon, Preaching the naked truth in L.A.