Catholic Bishops To Gays: Don't Act, Don't Tell genre: Gaylingual

Don't act, Don't tell

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a new document outlining the guidelines for ministering to gay Catholics. The general gist of the document states that having gay feelings isn't a sin but acting upon those feelings is in fact a sin. Read the full article at the Houston Chronicle.

BALTIMORE — The nation's Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved new guidelines Tuesday on outreach to gays, trying to support gay parishioners while strictly affirming the church stance that same-sex relationships are "disordered."

Gay Catholic activists immediately judged the document a failure that will push gay and lesbians away from the church.

The statement, "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination," upholds the Catholic prohibition against same-gender marriage and adoption by gay or lesbian couples.

Yet bishops insisted that they're trying to be more "welcoming than condemning."

From my perspective, the Bishops would be better served to implement this policy with their own priests. Given that the Church prohibits its clergy from engaging in sex, this new guideline seems perfectly suited for the many gay priests who have a long history of ignoring their need to be celibate and ignoring the laws regarding sex with minors. Further, their own experience with the repression of sexual identity should serve as an example of the fully negative implications of such practice...and yet they enact it as policy!

Still, under the guidelines, parishes must instruct gays to remain celibate. The bishops are also discouraging gays from making "general public self-disclosures" within their churches about their sexual orientation.

Sam Sinnett, president of DignityUSA, an advocacy group for gay Catholics, said the new guidelines reflect the bishops' ignorance about sexuality. He said the document would alienate gays.

"This document recommends the most unhealthy thing to do which is to stay emotionally and spiritually in the closet," Sinnett said.

Some bishops anticipated such criticism.

On another matter Tuesday, bishops overwhelmingly adopted a statement encouraging Catholics to obey the church's ban on artificial contraception.

Church leaders at the gathering are also discussing how Catholics can make themselves worthy to receive Holy Communion. Several bishops said Monday that Catholics who persist in ignoring church teaching, including gays who are sexually active, should not take the sacrament.

After decades of experiencing the ramifications of celibacy...both heterosexual and homosexual...the Catholic Church is once again proving its intransigence with regards to all things sexual. When Bishops moved pedophile priests from parish to parish as soon as their molestations were exposed, it apparently wasn't important to honor their own doctrines or the laws that existed to punish their criminal actions. Notwithstanding, they find it necessary to tell gays who are living loving and well-adjusted lives that their actions are unacceptable.

My own feelings regarding the Church and its need to dole out acceptance are one of rejection. The Church has nothing I need and therefore I refuse to give them any power or authority over my life. Frankly, given my many years in Catholic schools, I'm content to take my chances that if there is a god; he will not judge me any worse than the majority of priests and nuns I encountered.

Pardon my sarcasm, but if I am condemned to hell (which I don't believe exists) along with the many priests who committed crimes against innocent children, I would hope that the devil (who I don't believe exists) allows me and my gay friends who lived authentic lives to reject these misfits. I would suggest that god (who I don't believe exists) allow them into heaven (which I don't believe exists) so these righteous Bishops can minister to them. I see no reason to turn hell into a dysfunctional den of denial. Let's keep that reserved for heaven.

Daniel DiRito | November 14, 2006 | 1:21 PM
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