Andrew Brown uses Pope Benedict’s comments on the inadmissibility of homosexuals to the priesthood in his interview with Peter Seeward as an opportunity to snidely, and groundlessly, mock the Holy Father as a homosexual.
‘This is ironic in view of the widely held view that he himself is not a man for the ladies (as a gay catholic once said to me).’
Brown seems to have a coitere of liberal and gay Catholics who provide him with poisonous little barbed comments and insults. Brown peppers his posts on the Catholic Church with them as if they give authority to his work. Brown seems to mistakenly think that if he quotes ‘catholics’ it hides the fact that he is just another anti-Catholic bigot playing to the other anti-Catholic bigots who read The Guardian.
Brown’s post on Pope Benedict’s comments on homosexuality is full of ludicrous exagerrations. He stupidly introduces his post by writing that the Holy Father’s comments are ‘hidden in Pope Benedict’s new book’. Also ‘hidden’ in Pope Benedict’s book is the entirety of his responses to Seewald’s questions.
He childishly thinks that celibacy means that priests live in a world devoid of women, when he writes: ‘What he is saying is that the priesthood must consist of men who have renounced the love of women, not those for whom it has never been a major temptation’. Priests may renounce the sexual expression of love for women or the exclusive love of marriage but they don’t renounce the love of women. Priests, like all Catholics, are enriched by the different types of love of women, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends.
The trouble with people like Brown is that they have such an impoverished understanding of love, and its expression. Brown and his kind reduce love to genital sex. As Mother Teresa warned us there are deeper, more damaging, types of poverty in the West.
Brown then goes on to present a nasty caricature of celibacy as if its an unquestionable fact, ‘The consequence is a widespread and rather poisonous culture of camp.This is well-known and admitted by anyone who has made a serious study of it.’ I admit that there may be pockets of camp culture but its definitely not widespread in the Catholic Church. As a deacon of the Diocese of Lancaster I can say categorically that I have not come across Brown’s poisonous caricature of celibacy. The priests I know are just ordinary men running parishes, working for the diocese and looking after their people.
About Pope Benedict’s point, it seems reasonable to hold that if a man has a deep seated homosexual inclination that affects the way he relates to men and women then he is not suited for the priesthood. When it comes down to it we can’t get away from the fact that the Catholic Church holds that homosexuality is an aberration, a disorder, of the normal, healthy human sex drive.
Pope Benedict writes:
‘At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual. We could say, if we wanted to put it like this, that evolution has brought forth sexuality for the purpose of reproducing the species. The same thing is true from a theological point of view as well. The meaning and direction of sexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman.
At the same time, though, sexuality has an intrinsicmeaning and direction, which is not homosexual. Wecould say, if we wanted to put it like this, that evolutionhas brought forth sexuality for the purpose of reproducingthe species. The same thing is true from a theological point of view as well. The meaning and direction ofsexuality is to bring about the union of man and woman and, in this way, to give humanity posterity, children, a
future. This is the determination internal to the essence of sexuality. Everything else is against sexuality’s intrinsic meaning and direction. This is a point we need to hold
firm, even if it is not pleasing to our age.
The issue at stake here is the intrinsic truth of sexuality’s significance in the constitution of man’s being. If someone has deep-seated homosexual inclinations—and it is still an open question whether these inclinations are really innate or whether they arise in early childhood—if, in any case, they have power over him, this is a great trial for him, just as other trials can afflict other people as well. But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed.’ (p151-152).
No matter how much liberals rant and rage about it, this is the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.