Update Since I posted the original message (see…

Update

Since I posted the original message (see below) I had lunch with a priest friend. I mentioned the letter to him and lo and behold he told me that a priest friend who was at the same meeting had called and told him about it also. He said that originally the priest was going to fax him a copy of the letter, but then got cold feet and read part of it over the phone to him. The part he read, and the part that my source (a Bishop) mentioned to me was that the seminary was to enforce a missive that originally had been sent out in 1960. None of the parties that have heard this know what missive from 1960 is being referred to, but it could be this document that Rod Dreher refers to in his Monday column:.



Rome has explicitly discouraged the ordination of homosexuals since at least 1961. For the past decade, the Vatican has been ratcheting up the pressure against gay ordination — to little avail in most U.S. dioceses.

My priest friend seemed to think that the letter was sent just to the seminary that both sources say received it, but my source told me that he thought that it had been sent to every seminary in the US.

Again, the reason the letter (which supposedly was secret–but you see how well secrets are kept in clerical circles) was shared at the meeting was because the Rector evidently had no idea of how it was supposed to be practically enforced.

From my sources: A secret missive was sent to a…

From my sources:

A secret missive was sent to all seminary rectors in the United States last week, from the Vatican, ordering them to purge their schools of homosexual candidates for the priesthood.

My source told me that those in charge with carrying out this order have no clue how they are to carry out this command.

Do you throw out people who look like homosexuals (who may be heterosexuals who just are effeminate), do you throw out people that defend the rights of homosexuals (who may be heterosexuals who are interested in the rights of all people), or do you throw out someone caught in the act (most seminaries would do this already–so there really isn’t a change if that’s the case).

When I mentioned to my source (someone in a position of the Church’s authority), that seminaries should throw out anyone who is not chaste/celibate whether they be homosexual or heterosexual, he did not agree with me. I have problems with this, and I think this points to (as well as Cardinal George’s comments that sex between a priest and 17 year old girl is not all that bad) that celibacy is the problem because the bishops know that if they truly ordain men committed to a chaste celibate lifestyle that the numbers would quickly be reduced by at least fifty percent. But this is honest and true.

As to purging seminaries of homosexuals, you may wish to read my missive on the problems that exist in seminaries with regard to the faculty knowing the truth about those they are charged with evaluating, you’ll see I think that it is simplistic to think that this is an easy task.

Things that haven’t changed as a result of the Vat…

Things that haven’t changed as a result of the Vatican gathering:

The bishops still think they know best how to handle these situations, which if you read between the lines is not a lot different from how they have been handling them in the past. So expect the same in the future.

Secrecy is still the order of the day, (more on this above), for all of the talk about treating people with dignity–there is still the belief that lay people can’t “handle the truth.”

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritua…

This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous are posted below among the other posts and last week’s archives. Here is the Seventh Step:

7. Not to bear false witness (cf Mt 19:18; Mk 10:19; Lk 18:20).

Lying about what we witness in life, is one of those sins that always has the appearance of not being all that serious, until it continues to escalate like a snowball growing bigger and bigger; until we are no longer sure of what the truth is. It is not in our interest or anyone else’s to not tell the truth.

Jesus identified himself with the Truth. If we are in communion with Jesus then we too will be fountains of the truth. But the temptation to choose other than the truth is a large one and it almost always has as an underpinning the sense that to do so is in our best interest.

It is not.

Many times our inability to tell the truth reveals a deep spiritual void within. We bear false witness because somehow it will make us appear better, which at it’s heart means that we feel that there is something wrong with us to begin with. The temptation to bear false witness about another or an event I have witnessed is an invitation for me to ask, “What do I feel is wrong with myself?”

Why do I feel the need to speak about an event or a person in an untruthful way? The answer is more self-revelatory than illustrative of any real happening outside of myself? My answer allows me to peer into the hole within my soul.

Oh God help me to see myself as a valuable part of your creation. Allow me to see that the life I experience is alive with your presence and that others will always benefit from it.

But what about the other reasons, like, I don’t want to hurt someone?

Does the truth ever hurt? The answer is a loud and thunderous, yes it can hurt terribly. But is that bad?

Pain is a fact of life and to try to avoid it only delays the pain. Confronting it and accepting it leads to resurrection. The cross is a daily visitor to everyone. The choice is often whether we love people enough to be honest with them not hurt them but to help them to face reality in life.

Perhaps there is nothing more definitive about salvation than the one word–reality. A person who experiences the saving grace of God lives in reality, the world as it is.

The unsaved person lives a lie, perhaps it is a world of their creation. It is their fiction. It is impossible for others to be invited into this world of theirs because it is a non-existent place that they themselves do not even exist in. There is nothing sadder then to experience this firsthand, but it is the lot of those who refuse to accept the pain of daily life.

There is the obvious consequence of bearing false witness that I have purposely left to the end. Consequences are of little matter here, but for many they are the guiding force of their daily actions. St. Benedict did not counsel in his maxim—“consider the end when giving a witness.” He did not do so because he has already laid out for us what the end-(the consequence of every action is)—it is God.

God is the consequence for anyone who sets out on this path. My concern is for doing what God commands. True compassion results.

All of our excuses and reasons for not doing so—usually rationalized from a concern for consequences, are derived from a lack of respect for others (Benedict’s second maxim). We do not believe in our neighbor’s right to “handle” the truth. This is very sad.

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