Fall and fresh air.

Ahh, fall. The leaves are starting to turn here…a bit later than last year I think. The smell of the air, the return of the rain, pulling out the old winter clothes.

In the Northwest we hardly ever bother with jackets or umbrellas because our rain is so light and temporary and frequent. Umbrellas don’t really keep one dry here at all, and they just get lost.

Our grass will go back to being green. I didn’t bother to water this summer. I said it was a statement on social responsibility, but really it was cos I was too lazy to move the stupid sprinkler all over the place and then pay a big water bill. Ha, any attempt at activism/conservation on my part is too often just a thinly veiled exercise in laziness/poverty. I’m ok with that.

OPB was talking to a gay priest about the Vatican decision to ban gays from the priesthood. I was not expecting that the anonymous gay priest they spoke to would have anything that could change a person’s mind about what seemed like a no brainer following the pedophilia scandals, but I was very wrong. Heres’s the linkHe was well spoken and had things to say about homosexuality and religion. I will summarize what he said about the subject of gay priests.

  • He said that gays, by necessity of profession are called to a life of total celibacy. He said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” couldn’t work with priests. Reason being that it doesn’t work to cover up your sin with lies, and that it is not consistent with the level of spiritual relationship with God that they are called to have. Additionally, covering up is basically a form of lying about it, and it makes it that much harder to maintain a life of celibacy when you have not been honest about this one powerful part of your life…one is stunted if they try to go this route, stunted spiritually, stunted in an attempt to maintain celibacy…it just doesn’t work

I am paraphrasing here because they don’t offer the transcripts online for this one interview.

  • He also asserted that gay men were uniquely suited for the priesthood. Because the suffering inherent in being gay, going against societal expectations, parental expectations and living pretty much all your life knowing that you didn’t really fit in in this way, gays are uniquely acquainted with suffering in a way that a person who has lived a life relatively untested cannot relate to. This gives them an ability to relate to parishioners on a deeper level. There is not much they can’t handle because their own lives have already exposed them to so much more hardship in terms of personal issues.
  • And because of their celibate gay status, he said it was amazing how much people would open up to him and how intimately they would share their difficulties because there was no sexual issue.
  • Also because his attentions to his parishioners weren’t divided by the needs of a wife and children. He said that if a parishioner woke him up at 2 in the morning with a catastrophe, he could respond if it was necessary without worrying about his personal life, because effectually, his parishioners were his personal life.
  • And that, as well as his celibacy, allowed him to build incredible relationship with people to help advance them spiritually and show them Christ’s love.
  • Another point he brought up was that gay men are often attracted to the priesthood because they want an escape from their own sexual selves. The priesthood allows them to focus on a higher calling, access the power of God rather than pursue their own nature. He said for this reason, there were more gay priests than probably what people would estimate.
  • He said that he sometimes wonders if God didn’t give him this because he had plans that would require a higher level of closeness with Him that he could potentially find as a priest.

There is much static in the conversation on this social controversy.  Homosexuals seem to want their lifestyle validated as an alternative and Christians are often too busy saying things like “love the sinner, hate the sin” or other simple-minded dogma.

That’s why I appreciated Mr. Anonymous Gay Priest. He had clearly spent some time thinking about the subject clearly, praying about it and had some wisdom and clarity to impart.

Duane in Ecuador took it. I am jealous of his being able to live down there and be a photographer.

Hopper is one of my favorite artists because of his colors, his shadows and his solitude.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather says:

    I had to do a double take thinking about your grass turning green now… how odd, ours is just starting to yellow a bit. Hmm, no nasty comments from me; I think I would have liked to hear that interview though, sounds interesting. I haven’t read that Dr. Seuss book, but I might have to look it up now. I like the colorful picture. We had to paint optical illusions in one of my art classes in high school. That was one of my favorite projects ever, mine is huge, and it’s still hanging on my wall.

  2. RunningWheel says:

    I used to be very judgemental toward homosexuals. I saw it as oh so very wrong, and never really listened. Of course, within my own life I was doing things which were even more reprehensible. How very disturbing is that. It does, however, seem to be a terrible human flaw…to be so appalled by something, but meanwhile doing something at the same level of depravity or worse.I too listened to the NPR interview with the gay priest. Everyone where I work listens to it, and I never miss a beat as I walk from room to room. He did do an amazing job at getting to the root of it all. I wonder, though, if he believed that his own homosexual desires were sinful or not.I do not believe God sets us up to be sinful. Sin is in our nature and sinning is our choice. Someone who has an anger problem can not say that God made them that way. Nor a thief, nor a liar. So if the priest agreed with the Bible and felt that homosexuality was a sin, then I sure hope that he didn’t think God set him up.I do believe that God allows us to make certain decisions in life that, over time, leads to us having certain tendencies. And I do think that God is loving enough and wise enough to use those tendencies, as wrong or distructive as they are, to bring about some kind of good. And so I agree that homosexual priests may have an “in” with certain parishioners. So would others who went through seriously difficult times: someone of a minority living under racism, someone with a major physical deformity, someone who was physically or sexually abused. I believe that God allows us all to have our own piece of the pain, and through that we have a bond with each other. By denying our piece we put up a wall between ourselves and the rest of humanity.That gay priest seems to have embraced his piece and is probably helping many as a result.

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