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By Rev. Roman Manchester
Read the previous installment of this series: "War on the Priesthood: A Culture of Cover-Up"
I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. I call it "the loop-hole." There is a blatant double standard in the priesthood when it comes to the requirement of celibacy. Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have tried to close that loophole by banning homosexuals from the priesthood, but they have not had much success due to the lack of cooperation by the American bishops.
The loop-hole is this: Technically, celibacy is not connected with chastity. Celibacy is only the requirement to abstain from marriage and/or any activity that could lead to having children. At least that's how the gay clergy see it, and that definition would be sufficient under the assumption that we have a heterosexual priesthood.
However, homosexual priests found a glorious loophole in that definition of celibacy. Since gays can't get married as a point of Natural Law and Church teaching, and since homosexual sodomy cannot lead to having babies, then, in conclusion, homosexuality is perfectly consistent with a celibate vocation because it demands nothing of them.
This is why our current Pope and his two immediate predecessors issued bans on homosexuals being admitted to the seminary. It was not because they hated gays, but rather because it is simply impossible for a homosexual to make the sacrifice of celibacy — the sacrifice of celibacy. In my 20 years as a priest, deacon and seminarian, I had never heard celibacy referred to as a sacrifice until Pope John Paul II issued his ban on gays in the seminary during my final year of seminary. When I heard those words, it was like a light went on over my head. I thought to myself, "Holy Sh**! That's exactly what it is! Celibacy is my sacrifice for the Church!"
You see, up until that point, celibacy had always been spoken of as a "gift." We had all been brainwashed into believing that celibacy was some great gift given by God to the Church, and this, of course, is how the gay clergy see it. It may be a gift for them, but it is a sacrifice for the rest of us. The idea of celibacy as gift was always a hard sell for me. In my gut, I always knew it was a sacrifice, and I frequently made the joke among friends that if celibacy was a gift, then it was like getting socks for Christmas when you were a kid — you know, like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. He was opening up that box really hoping for that Red Ryder BB Gun, but wound up with a crappy pink bunny outfit that his aunt made for him.
If celibacy is a gift, then it is that pink bunny outfit. Of course, celibacy made the transition from "sacrifice" to "gift" as a result of the homosexual infiltration of the Church. The ancients always saw it as the sacrifice that Christ demanded of his priests. It's time for celibacy to resume such status.
Read the next installment: "War on the Priesthood: Father 'Gay'"
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