Saturday, June 22, 2002

I haven't blogged in a few days because I am in Buffalo for some much needed R&R. It's been good given me more time to reflect. It is amazing how close the scandal is to home, you just never know who has been abused by clergy. I hope the Bishop's realize that there is a systematic problem. (I guess they don't, what was I thinking.)

I think it is so unfortunate that too many conservative Catholics have found a way out by blaming the issue on homosexuality. That's grossly unfortunate because there is a legitimate concern as well with the issue of involuntary celibacy. Paradoxically, in principle, celibacy, in my opinion, is a great thing. But just as you cannot force someone to love you, neither is involuntary celibacy worth anything. It sounds harsh but from my days as one who considered religious life and considered different communities and from my schooling situation in which I have had the opportunity to be around seminarians in formation and many priests, I am no longer convinced about the supposed benefits of celibacy.

While it is true that the issue of homosexuality among seminarians ought to be given a close look, that is not the sole problem. Should they change the rule of celibacy? May be, maybe not; but they need to rethink it and stop making it a standard for orthodoxy and a flash point for controversy. The arguments for celibacy no longer make sense. There were times in the past when I argued passionately for celibacy,but the primary reason was to defend against liberals and because I perceived the value in the ascetic life. Now I understand that the ascetic life only means anything to God if it is voluntary and taken up without hope of reward and as for the liberal-conservative issue, i am neither now. So that's that.


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