Friday 27 August 2010

John McNeill: Theology of Fallibility, Part III

How LBGT Should React to the Fallibility of the Hierarchy

The day I read in the New York Times that the Vatican under Pope Benedict, the former Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had made the decision to bar all gays, even celibate gays, from the priesthood, my immediate reaction as an ordained gay priest was great sadness for the Church I love, then rage at the injustice of it all, and then painful awareness of all those good and holy gay men in the priesthood who will feel betrayed and abandoned by their mother Church. I then entered into prayer and asked the indwelling Holy Spirit to help me discern what this is all about!

First, the Spirit assured me that this decision has nothing to do with God or the teaching of Jesus Christ. Notice the total absence of any sense of love and compassion for all the suffering this will cause gay Catholics in general and, especially, gay priests. The hierarchy is aware that the child abuse crisis and its cover up by hierarchs has seriously undermined their authority and power. This purge is a political move by the sinful human church to try to repair the damage done to their power and prestige by scapegoating the gay members of the clergy. They are ignoring all the expert advice from professional psychologists and psychiatrists that gayness was not the cause of the child abuse crisis. By this move they are trying to avoid their responibility for the crisis and the need to reform the Church. The Holy Spirit is still ultimately in charge of the Church and the Spirit will call the shots on how the Church will evolve and be transformed! Our task is to prayerfully discern what the Holy Spirit is about in this moment of crisis and support the transformation of the Church coming from God's Spirit.

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Books by Fr John McNeill:

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