Sexual Sin and Holy Orders

Vanity of Vanities — There is Nothing New Under the Sun...

++ Michael Callahan

Presiding Archbishop, The Catholic Church in America



Greetings, in the Name of the +Father, and of the +Son, and of the +Holy Spirit.


It is my prayer in writing this document that those reading will recognize a loving spirit and intention. This writing is intended to prayerfully, gently, and firmly present our position regarding a very controversial subject — human sexuality in the context of the sacramental priesthood.


The Church, in this post-Christian era, is besieged by the winds of change. Primary among the changes that are being demanded is that sexual sin, of virtually every sort, is of no consequence. There is a growing movement afoot to normalize both homosexuality, and heterosexual sexual sin, not only in the world at large but also within the Church of God.


At the outset of this discussion, it is important to note that God calls all of his people to love one another. We are not “called” to marginalize or condemn any class of individuals. Therefore when we use the phrase that we are “not inclusive and affirming,” we are not making the distinction that “gays” and homosexuals are somehow discouraged from worship or entering into ministry within the Church. Hopefully, our position of love and acceptance will be better clarified below. This document is not intended to be a commentary on so-called “gay rights” or the trend of modern societal norms. Our concerns here-in are strictly concerning Christian teachings and morality as we view, within the context of the CCIA, not any other ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

(following the body of this article I am including a few pages of documentation and foundation materials)


In this context, it is especially cogent to present a clear understanding of our position regarding human sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular, for those within the ordained ministry. The basic position of the Catholic Church in America (CCIA) is three-fold:

  1. All have sinned and have fallen short of God’s ideal,

  2. All are called to reconciliation with God, and

  3. All people who are reconciled with God and understand the need for traditional biblical morality may be considered for holy orders.

This basically translates to our position that while not being particularly “gay friendly” (with what this implies in mainstream culture, in our teachings, "sexual orientation" in and of itself is not a negative consideration for “holy orders.”


The sin of “Modernism” is inculcating much of the “church” now, in the twenty-first century. New age theologians posit that theology and church teachings are fluid, and must bend and change with the dictates of cultural expectations. In this theological understanding, an abundance of modern church leaders feel empowered to not only disregard huge swaths of scripture but also about two thousand years of teachings and tradition. Some of this has to do with the resurgence of Gnostic teachings, where things done in the flesh, have little to no impact on the spiritual, as well as new age scholastics which minimizes or disregards the spiritual importance and inspiration of our Holy Texts.


Nowhere is the sin of modernism more prevalent than in the realm of human sexuality and more specifically — homosexuality. One only needs to tune into the mainstream media, both news and entertainment to witness the social engineering that is virtually transforming the morality of this age into something patently anti-Christian.


Christian theology has always been focused on both reconciliation with God through the blood of Christ, and personal transformation (sanctification) to holiness. Reconciliation with God has always required recognizing our personal sinfulness and sinful actions, seeking forgiveness, and having those “sins” washed away through the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Modernism is seeking do just the opposite — transform the church in its own image of propriety. Our modern, politically correct culture finds the need for reconciliation with God and transformation to holiness to be foolishness.


Modernist culture warriors are virtually denying even the concept of sin. Those within the homosexual/Christian paradigm are teaching that the authors of scripture were simply men, and had no understanding of the concept of homosexuality as an “orientation.” This teaching takes God and “inspiration” out of the equation. Without a view of the bible as carrying the inspired imprimatur of an all-knowing God, we are left with a book that has virtually no authority for either faith, morals, or salvation.


The CCIA rejects the tenets of modernism. We continue to conform our theological polemic to Holy Scripture and the teachings of the primitive Church (see article below on teaching of the Church Fathers). We recognize that we live in a sinful, and yes, “fallen world.” The “fact” that certain people may have an “orientation” to homosexuality (and thus an affinity to homosexual sin), is virtually equivalent to those, who being heterosexual succumbing to sexual sins of fornication and adultery. Modernists view their position as enlightened, and morally superior to that which has gone before. In the book of Ecclesiastes, we read that the pride of man is nothing more than “vanity,” and that "there is nothing new under the sun."


We recognize that humanity was created with a biological sexual drive. The requirement and history of certain churches and religious orders of celibacy and commitment to remaining unmarried are littered with failure. The sexual urge is strong and not limited to heterosexual individuals. Scripture tells us that it is a good thing to remain single and celibate. However, if we cannot control our lusts, we are instructed that it is better to be married. Those discerning a calling to Holy Orders, who also see themselves as ‘homosexual” need to be particularly concerned with their ability to conform or their dedication to being transformed by the Holy Spirit, in a commitment to a perpetual state of celibacy.


The problem which we are presented in the context of this writing is that Christian moral theology limits marriage and thus sexual activity to what we view as the norm — between one man and one woman. Persons who believe that they are homosexual don’t, in the Christian context, and wishing to be reconciled with Jesus Christ, have the option of being married (to a same-sex partner).


Both homosexual and heterosexual priests within the Roman Catholic Church have abandoned their priestly faculties because of their desires for sexual intimacy. Likewise, historically, sexual sin within the celibate clergy and religious has not been limited to one particular sexual orientation.


Prayerful discernment is key to priestly formation for any person. Both so-called “straight” and “gay” postulants to the priesthood need to have a clear understanding of God’s requirements for sexual relations. Within the CCIA, fidelity to biblical and traditional sexual morality is of great importance. This is not only for personal piety and holiness, but also to maintain a priesthood that is committed to teaching traditional spiritual truth.


The modern sexual abuse scandals within the Roman Catholic give light to the difficulties that have been encountered by a “gay” friendly episcopacy and their approach to admitting homosexuals into the ministry. The link between homosexuality to the sex scandals in the church has been largely ignored by the media and the church. However, research does indeed cast light on gay priests as at the core of the scandal. (read the article below)


The CCIA takes the position that ministers of word and sacrament have a particular calling to be faithful in teaching the truths that we find in the deposit of faith — Scripture and Holy Tradition. It is in this light that we take particular care and discernment in considering whom we elevate to any office in ministry — regardless of professed sexual orientation. Those within the Episcopate, Priesthood, and Diaconate, in particular, are especially admonished to inculcate traditional exegesis and maintain moral orthopraxy.


Those who are either incardinated into the CCIA, ordained into Holy Orders, or elevated to the Episcopacy, who succumb to sexual sin (regardless of “orientation”) will be subject to correction and discipline according to the CCIA constitution and canon law.


Prayerfully submitted,


Michael Callahan

Presiding Archbishop

The Catholic Church in America

+++


Teachings of the Church Fathers

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

All Is Vanity


1 The words of the Preacher,[a] the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 Vanity[b] of vanities, says the Preacher,

vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

3 What does man gain by all the toil

at which he toils under the sun?

4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,

but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,

and hastens[c] to the place where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south

and goes around to the north;

around and around goes the wind,

and on its circuits the wind returns.

7 All streams run to the sea,

but the sea is not full;

to the place where the streams flow,

there they flow again.

8 All things are full of weariness;

a man cannot utter it;

the eye is not satisfied with seeing,

nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done,

and there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there a thing of which it is said,

“See, this is new”?

It has been already

in the ages before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things,[d]

nor will there be any remembrance

of later things[e] yet to be

among those who come after.

Early Teachings on Homosexuality


Some argue that neither the Bible nor apostolic tradition condemns the practice of homosexuality. Passages such as Leviticus 18:22–30, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7 serve as ample proof that Scripture indeed condemns homosexuality. Below is ample proof from tradition. The Fathers are especially harsh against the practice of pederasty, the homosexual corruption of boys by men.


The Didache

"You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born" (Didache 2:2 [A.D. 70]).


Justin Martyr

"[W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And anyone who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods" (First Apology 27 [A.D. 151]).


Clement of Alexandria

"All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians" (Exhortation to the Greeks 2 [A.D. 190]).


"[According to Greek myth] Baubo [a female native of Eleusis] having received [the goddess] Demeter hospitably, reached to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted with the sight—pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records" (ibid.).


"It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these—so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods" (ibid.).


"In accordance with these remarks, conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately termed filthy [shameful] speaking, as talk about adultery and pederasty and the like" (The Instructor6, ca. A.D. 193).


"The fate of the Sodomites was judgment to those who had done wrong, instruction to those who hear. The Sodomites having, through much luxury, fallen into uncleanness, practicing adultery shamelessly, and burning with insane love for boys; the All-seeing Word, whose notice those who commit impieties cannot escape, cast his eye on them. Nor did the sleepless guard of humanity observe their licentiousness in silence; but dissuading us from the imitation of them, and training us up to his own temperance, and falling on some sinners, lest lust being unavenged, should break loose from all the restraints of fear, ordered Sodom to be burned, pouring forth a little of the sagacious fire on licentiousness; lest lust, through want of punishment, should throw wide the gates to those that were rushing into voluptuousness. Accordingly, the just punishment of the Sodomites became to men an image of the salvation which is well calculated for men. For those who have not committed like sins with those who are punished, will never receive a like punishment" (ibid., 8).


Tertullian

"[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities" (Modesty 4 [A.D. 220]).


Novatian

"[God forbade the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the law mean when it . . . forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice. . . . Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women" (The Jewish Foods 3 [A.D. 250]).


Cyprian of Carthage

"[T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle. . . . Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon—oh shame!—and looked upon with pleasure. . . . Nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination . . . that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders . . . now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion" (Letters 1:8 [A.D. 253]).


"Oh, if placed on that lofty watchtower, you could gaze into the secret places—if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight—you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do—men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them" (ibid., 1:9).


Arnobius

"[T]he mother of the gods loved [the boy Attis] exceedingly, because he was of most surpassing beauty; and Acdestis [the son of Jupiter] who was his companion, as he grew up fondling him, and bound to him by wicked compliance with his lust. . . . Afterwards, under the influence of wine, he [Attis] admits that he is . . . loved by Acdestis. . . . Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage. . . . Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy’s being torn from himself and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness; the Phrygians shriek, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods. . . . [Attis] too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, ‘Take these, Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions’" (Against the Pagans 5:6–7 [A.D. 305]).


Eusebius of Caesarea

"[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it’ [Lev. 18:24–25]" (Proof of the Gospel 4:10 [A.D. 319]).


Basil the Great

"He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers" (Letters 217:62 [A.D. 367]).


"If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. . . . At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary" (The Renunciation of the World [A.D. 373]).


John Chrysostom

"[The pagans] were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty . . . should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. . . . As for their passion for boys, whom they called their paedica, it is not fit to be named" (Homilies on Titus 5 [A.D. 390]).


"[Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment" (Homilies on Matthew 3:3 [A.D. 391]).


"All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26–27] . . . were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases" (Homilies on Romans 4 [A.D. 391]).


"[The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men" (ibid.).


"And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment" (ibid.).


Augustine

"[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way" (Confessions 3:8:15 [A.D. 400]).


The Apostolic Constitutions

"[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious" (Apostolic Constitutions 6:11 [A.D. 400]).


=====================

PRIEST SEX ABUSE IS ALL ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY

(from an article on ChurchMilitant.com)


One of the biggest lies of the sex abuse scandal is that "pedophile priests" were the culprits

In spite of the well-deserved acclaim received by the film "Spotlight," which highlights the Boston Globe's investigative work exposing the massive sex abuse cover-up in Boston under Cdl. Bernard Law, the film is not perfect. Namely, it exhibits a distinct discomfort in pointing fingers at homosexuality — the same discomfort exhibited in large part by the Church hierarchy, which, in spite of tough measures implemented after the sex abuse crisis, fails to look at the root cause: homosexual priests, and the gay-friendly bishops who protect them.


"Spotlight" deflects from the issue, one of its characters insisting in one scene, "This has nothing to do with homosexuality." The character claims the abuse happened to both boys and girls — and to drive home the point, "Spotlight" ends on a scene with a couple little girls waiting in a law firm conference room while their attorney, Mitchell Garabedian (played by Stanley Tucci), makes clear they are yet more abuse victims in need of help.


Statistically, though, girls are only a fraction of the victims in the Church sex abuse scandal. After the crisis revealed itself to be much bigger than Catholics ever knew, stretching far beyond Boston — to date at least 11 dioceses have declared bankruptcy within the past decade as a result of lawsuits (Duluth being the latest), with settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars — the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 commissioned a study to examine the root causes of the crisis.


The National Review Board, recruiting a research team from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, released its initial report in 2004. The results were conclusive: This was not a "pedophile" scandal, but a homosexual scandal. Eighty percent of the alleged victims were male, and nearly 90 percent were post-pubescent, with "only a small percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children." An updated report, issued in 2011, revealed similar numbers: 81 percent of sex abuse victims were boys, and 78 percent were post-pubescent.


Both findings put the lie to the oft-spoken claim that this was a "pedophile priest" scandal.

Not Pedophilia, But Homosexuality Pedophilia proper involves children under age 11; but the 2011 John Jay study showed the majority of abuse victims were adolescents and teens between ages 11 and 17 — a pathology more properly termed "ephebophilia." Even Newsweek acknowledged the distinction in 2002: "The great majority of cases now before the Church involve not pedophilia but 'ephebophilia,' an attraction to post-pubescent youths.”


Not all are buying the phraseology, though. Author Mary Eberstadt, for instance, calls it a "pseudo-scientific distinction" that is "useless" in categorizing offenders. Some of the priestly sex abusers abused both young children and adolescents, and may also have had relations with adults. There was crossover — most notably in the case of Fr. Paul Shanley, one of the most notorious names in the Boston sex abuse cover-up. According to Eberstadt, Shanley was not a pedophile, but "a sexually active gay man with a taste for children and adolescents." Not only was he an active member of the gay community, often giving talks to Dignity USA as well as speaking on homosexuality in various seminaries, he and a gay priest co-owned a gay resort. Shanley was a homosexual before he was a pedophile.


The homosexual subculture has always involved sexual attraction to youths, and is a well-accepted part of the gay lifestyle. (The term "twink" denotes an adolescent sex partner, a common occurrence among active homosexuals.) And evidence shows homosexuals abuse children at far higher rates than heterosexuals. According to one study, "homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls." This bears out: Although homosexuals comprise only 1–3 percent of the entire population, they are committing up to 33 percent of all sex crimes against children.


Establishment Church Denial

The Boston Globe's 2003 findings corroborate the link between homosexuality and priestly sex abuse. "Of the clergy sex abuse cases referred to prosecutors in Eastern Massachusetts, more than 90 percent involve male victims, and the most prominent Boston lawyers for alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse have said that about 95 percent of their clients are male."


But the establishment Church continues in its denial. The 2011 John Jay report itself refused to make the connection, writing off the high incidence of male abuse as no more than a matter of easy access; these priests simply "had opportunities to abuse (for example, unguarded access to minors)." Without addressing the real issue — homosexual priests — no real reform in the Church will ever take place.


The Boston sex abuse scandal could not have happened without homosexual priests, a number of them fostered in its own archdiocese. It's a fact that a disproportionate number of sex abusers in Boston came from St. John's Seminary, a hotbed of gay activity. According to a Boston Herald report, "One student described an atmosphere of frequent experimentation. Gay students quickly identified each other ... and established networks that would last in some fashion until years after graduation and ordination into the priesthood."


A number of those same gay students went on to abuse boys in the archdiocese.


The USCCB initially acknowledged the problem of gay priests. In 2004, it declared that "80 percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature" and went on to affirm that "an understanding of the crisis is not possible" without referring to "the presence of homosexually oriented priests." Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins, a member of the National Review Board, confirmed that the priestly sex abuse scandal was "homosexual predation on American Catholic youth."


But, as Fr. Regis Scanlon notes, "that warning soon disappeared from the public perception. The John Jay conclusions began to be explained as an 'environment' problem. This new interpretation was made official in a 2011 John Jay report, 'Causes and Context.'" That 2011 report characterized the problem not in terms of homosexuality, but rather as a result of stress, psychological difficulties, and greater access to boys. And the USCCB has apparently never contradicted this conclusion.


Gay-Friendly Bishops — The Problem

The problem is not simply homosexual priests — it's the bishops who protect and promote them, or at the very least tolerate them. Just a few examples suffice.


The case of Cdl. Bernard Law shows how one single bishop can be the cause of massive damage — to thousands of souls, and to the Church's credibility. Law spent decades shuffling around hundreds of predator priests in Boston, resulting in thousands of victims; it strains credulity to think he was unaware of those priests' sexual orientation, or that he was unfamiliar with the reputation of his seminary, which was churning out a number of these sex-abusing men to serve his diocese.


Over in Pittsburgh, we know then-Bishop Donald Wuerl allowed pro-gay Dignity Masses to continue for eight years under his watch (in not one but two parishes in his diocese). And in 1991 he allowed dissident New Ways Ministry (whose founder has since been censured by the Vatican) to offer a homosexual presentation on diocesan property. New Ways itself came into town carrying letters of recommendation from bishops in dioceses stretching from New York to California.


And in Detroit, Dignity flourished for 22 years under the protection of the archdiocese, whose priests took turns offering the gay liturgies. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton was supportive of the group (whose support continues to this day), while then-head of the archdiocese Cdl. Edmund Szoka did nothing to stop the gay Masses. His successor, Cdl. Adam Maida, denied the existence of Dignity Masses, but was forced to finally acknowledge them and put an end to them once they became a national scandal. Even so, Dignity continues its sacrilegious Masses in the archdiocese weekly at an independent Catholic college — all with the full knowledge of the current archbishop.