Monday, January 26, 2009

More on "Spiritual Paternity"

The latest posting over at the Progressive Catholic Voice is an interesting piece by Ed Kohner on “Homosexual Priests and Spiritual Paternity.” (You may recall that Paula Ruddy had an article on this same topic published in the PCV last week.)

The term “spiritual paternity” refers to what is supposedly carried out by the very nature of the priesthood. Of course, when one defines (and limits) the nature of priesthood in this way, one can then argue that gay men, like women, lack this particular male and straight and celibate spiritual quality. It also helps when one buys into the Vatican’s erroneous and irresponsible view of homosexuality as a disordered behavior, a deviation that retards human maturity and spiritual development.

Following is an excerpt from Ed Kohler’s reflection on this idea of spiritual paternity. As you’ll see, it deftly exposes the hypocrisy of the Vatican’s stance on homosexuality and the priesthood.


Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, made a number of allegations about homosexuals and the Roman Catholic priesthood in a press interview October 30, 2008.

The Cardinal maintained that no one may be admitted to Holy Orders who has a deeply seated tendency to practice homosexuality. He labeled homosexuals defective human beings who lack the normal heterosexual tendency, deviates of a certain type, irregular males with a disordered psyche, all of which combine to create, if ordained, a type of wound on their priesthood and in forming relations with others.

The following conclusions may be drawn from the Cardinal’s allegations:

1. Seminarians with this tendency must be weeded out, a pogrom initiated to expel them from the seminary.

2. The pogrom should also include homosexual priests and bishops because they too have the tendency.

3. Sacraments administered by homosexual priests are invalid because they lack “spiritual paternity” which is of the nature of the priesthood itself.

4. It is a legitimate pastoral concern to ask a priest if he is homosexual before confessing or scheduling a baptism, or a bishop before he administers confirmation or holy orders.

Kohler goes on to list several other “conclusions.” To read them all, visit the Progressive Catholic Voice, here.

Recommended Off-site Link:
“Spiritual Paternity”: Why Homosexual Men Cannot Be Ordained Catholic Priests
- Paula Ruddy (Progressive Catholic Voice, January 13, 2009).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Homosexuality and the Priesthood
Vatican Stance on Gay Priests Signals Urgent Need for Renewal & Reform
A Humorous Look at Internalized Homophobia

Image: St. Francis Seminary, Milwaukee.

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