Padré Alberto: Churches need to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, too

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In column for AOL Noticias, Father Alberto Cutíe praises the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and says:

The time has come for other sectors of our society; starting with our families, churches and communities begin to consider their own repeals of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. There are too many teenagers being bullied and attempting suicide because of the rejection and harshness they so often experience in places where they should be experiencing understanding and greater compassion; especially in their own families and religious institutions. There are too many churches that are preaching homophobia and practice exclusion; as if God did not love all of his children in the same way. What is even worse is that too many people are still unable to have intelligent conversations about issues of human sexuality, without almost immediately resorting to condemnations based on what they believe to be right for everyone…..

Recently, I was reading a 2010 book by Pope Benedict XVI, whom I believe to be a very bright theologian and certainly one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world. But, I have to confess that I was bothered with his words in answer to the presence of homosexuals in the priesthood. The Pope says,

“Homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation. Otherwise, celibacy would lose its meaning as a renunciation. It would be extremely dangerous if celibacy became a sort of pretext for bringing people into the priesthood who don’t want to get married anyway. For, in the end, their attitude toward man and woman is somehow distorted…” (Light of the World p. 152)

I would just say one thing to the Pope and other religious leaders who share his views: Too late! Homosexuals have always been in the priesthood and they never had to really make a choice of whether or not to marry a woman. The fact is that the imposition of mandatory lifetime celibacy for all priests and excluding homosexuals from priestly ministry are two impossible things. How can the Pope honestly insist on that position? Answer: Simply by enforcing the Church’s long-sustained version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. Most church leaders are well aware of the fact that there are thousands of homosexuals who are monks, nuns, priests, bishops and Cardinals. Many of them are some of the finest people and most dedicated servants of God. As long as they stay “mostly” quiet about it, the Church is happy.

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