Sunday, October 04, 2015

As the Synod begins

Father Krzystof Charamsa, who held a post in the Vatican's branch for protecting Catholic dogma, urged the Catholic church to change its 'backwards' attitude to homosexuality
Monsignors with their lovers is nothing new, often bishops are quite happy for problem priests to go off to Rome or somewhere else and to take their problems with them. I suspect this was the case with Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa. It is worth noticing that he has been sacked not for his 'gayness' but for embarrassing or compromising the Synod, read Lombardi's press release.
The Monsignor seems to be acting out a stereotype of "me, me, me" gay behaviour, it shows immaturity. Pope Benedict's prohibition of those with a 'deep seated homosexual tendencies' being ordained would apply to this man, I don't think it applies to everyone. It is after all a prohibition on a 'deep seated' tendencies.

One of the things I find sad about the majority of those who leave the priest nowadays is that they invariably leave not just the priesthood but the Church too. It indicates a lack of faith, a shallowness of faith. I really do not have a problem with a priest with same sex attraction, I have a problem with priests who do not have enough faith to overcome it, to prefer God rather than their own will, this applies to everyone, heterosexuals as well.
Christ taught us to say, 'Thy will be done', Our Lady says, 'Be it done to me according to thy word' and, 'Do whatever he tells you'. If those phrases mean nothing

As the Synod assembles in Rome, especially in the light of last years machinations and manipulations, what I am looking for are signs of faith, signs that they believe in the power grace. As Fr Tomlinson says:

...what is really under debate is the role of grace and sin, the nature of revelation and the way authority and fidelity are to be understood in the present age. The modernists want to overthrow traditional Catholic teaching and methodology to conform to the Spirit of the age. And with the Synod deck stacked in their favour, and with it now being a matter of public record that they have control of the Vatican and have been manipulating the process for years, we stand at a moment of genuine crisis for those whose desire is to be faithful to Christ.
Or as a priest said on the radio this morning, "No-one doubts Francis' ability to make a mess, what matters is his ability to bring order out of the chaos".


GOR said...

The recent ‘coming out’ of a Polish monsignor at the Vatican bears out the truth of Alexander Pope’s declaration: “A little learning is a dangerous thing…” But the priest’s words and actions hark back much further than the 18th century – all the way back to Lucifer’s: “Non serviam!”

It is a story that has been repeated again and again in the history of the Church and even before the Church was founded. It is a human story - a story of weak human nature getting above itself, thinking itself ‘divine’ and ‘knowing more than God’.

Inevitably, when this story repeats itself in every age, people are shocked and scandalized. “How could he do that?” we ask. “He’s an educated man, a theologian. Doesn’t he know better?” “What was he thinking?”

But should we be surprised or shocked? It’s not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. Given the effects of Original Sin, we are all capable of it, unfortunately.

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Vincent said...

I really think that your final quote describes this pontificate perfectly. I was very impressed when I heard it on the way to Mass. I doubt that anything but chaos will come out of the synod...

Anonymous said...

This comment on Monsignor Charamsa is a lot kinder and more charitable than many I have read over the last day. A few points occur:

1. I understand the dismay at what may seem like a very provocative 'coming out'. But for most gay people, coming out is provocative. It is a process, and experience, which nongay people find very hard to understand, because it is not part of their experience. Mon Charamsa doubtless feels that he has been living a dishonest double life for a long time. The desire to be true to oneself, and to publicly assert that truth about yourself, is understandable.It often feels like heteronormative society finds the simple existence of gay people provocative.

2. Mons Charamsa is in a fortunate position. Judging from his CV, his academic experience will make it reasonably easy for him to gain a post in a secular university. He is still young enough to make his way in the world. A lot of gay priests must be stuck living a dishonest double life. Can that be healthy?

3. Any experience of the Catholic Church will make it apparent that the proportion of gay men among the clergy is far higher than among the the population in general. It seems that the Church is more than willing to make use of the services of such people just so long as they are willing to be dishonest, to collaborate in a dishonest charade. Can this be healthy?

4. As you note, most men who leave the priesthood leave the Church. As you have commented on another recent case in Southwark Diocese in England, this must in part be down to a lack of support from superiors and fellow priests. For other Catholics simply to wash their hands of responsibility when a priest leaves the priesthood, and blame the man himself, his sinfulness, the devil, the world, is not good enough. Mons Charamsa probably just wants the experience of love and companionship. Most humans do. If he has been unable to find that in the priesthood, then that is probably not simply his fault alone.

I do not have answers to all this But I am sure that wishing that the genii can be put back in the bottle is no answer at all.

Fr Ray Blake said...

B de C,
Charamsa preferred his own will to the Cross, which either he had never taken up or chose to put down.
Yes, there is the loneliness of working in the Vatican, which I have commented on elsewhere but it is still a problem with his relationship with Christ - his fidelity.

Frederick Jones said...

"He who marries the spirit of the age will be a widower tomorrow".

I know a fair number of chaste Anglican clergy and Catholic priests who are homosexuals and respect them greatly. They cannot help their condition and their continued fight against sexual attraction makes them, in the present age, worthy of some admiration.

George said...

I'm grateful to Msgr. Krzysztof Charamsa for one thing, at least: pointing me in the direction of this stunning document by the 1975 CDF and published by order of Pope Paul VI.

Cardinal Seper seems like an interesting figure. We don't hear much about how the orthodox prelates intellectually dealt with the fall out of Vatican II. This account of an evening dinner with the Cardinal Seper written by Michael Davies provides some fascinating insights:

Unknown said...

B de C

You do make some fair points but I think we also need a bit of a reality check too; this priest (Monsignor no less...) is no poor little innocent mite but someone, who you note, has an impressive CV and career to his name. Whilst he may lack wisdom, he is not unintelligent. Coming out is one thing but to do it in the way that he has - very purposefully staying in his clerical attire and hugging his boyfriend in front of the cameras - is extremely foolish and his intention is clearly to bring scandal and damage the Church. Many souls will be affected by his behavior. I'm sure he'll come to regret the way he went about this fairly soon. Of course a great tragedy that he should end up in such a state of crisis and that's something that needs a lot of reflection.

JARay said...

The point is that the Media, ever looking for a 'story', blows this up and fills pages about it. Who cares?! I am always saddened when a priest gives up and even more saddened if he gives up on the Church. In time, he simply disappears. Who was it that used to be on EWTN every other day preaching repentance and then his misdeeds came out and there was a big shout about him. I can't even remember his name now!

Victoria said...

"Any experience of the Catholic Church will make it apparent that the proportion of gay men among the clergy is far higher than among the the population in general."

Oh dear, another comment with all the wisdom of a YouTube com box.

The only way to assess the percentage of same sex attracted men (celibate or sexually active) in the Catholic priesthood is for a trained person i.e. statistician/ sociologist to conduct an objective survey.

I have never met or suspected a priest may be same sex attracted (SSA) in the whole of my Catholic life; therefore there are no SSA priests in the Church.

Whose judgements are correct? Neither without the stats and professional conclusions drawn from the results and this survey replicated to see if the results are the same.

Truth is the accommodation of the mind to reality not to a warm feeling.

Gregkanga said...

This priest epitomises the narcissistic clericalism so prevalent in the Church in the West. The laity too have been infected by this self-indulgent culture in the Church. If Catholics have an erroneous and distorted vision of the Church, then they will not be able to recognise the truth about themselves. They will be unable to perceive their calling, and live it in its genuine value. Whatever their vocation in the Church, it will only be felt as a crushing burden imposed upon them. This is what happens with the loss of Christological faith which is inseparably united with faith in the Church.

White Owl said...

The world is changing. The church has changed. The official recognition of this change has not. Rather like the communist party in China. How do I know it's changed? Ask the people who go there what they believe. The vast majority will will be in favour of this priest. Time to wake up to ouch!

Paul Hellyer said...

You said "bishops are quite happy for problem priests to go off to Rome or somewhere else and to take their problems with them." Such bishops are in dereliction of their duty. They expect someone else to do their duty for them. There are homosexual priests being given shelter in UK dioceses. Why are they not given the sack? In the world of work an employee who was incompetent or brought disrepute to his firm would be duly given the sack.
But no we must shelter the poor little dears while they continue to do damage to the mystical body of Christ.

Anonymous said...


My comment may lack wisdom, but it lacks neither experience or personal knowledge. Anecdotal though it may be, it is that of someone who knows this world from the inside. My experience would suggest that the figure given in Cozzens' 'The Changing Face of the priesthood' (between 23 and 58%) are not wildly out of the scale of things - at least for certain parts of the US. The higher figure would seem to be about right for one East Coast archdiocese I know.

You may also like to consider the Linacre Institute's ' After Asceticism: Sex, Prayer and Deviant Priests', and the John Jay Report for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (which deals with abuse of minors, but whose figures show a marked 'preference' for boys over girls).

I fear it is you, not I, who prefers a warm feeling to objective truth.

Girrard .OP said...

You may wish to read the work of Donald Cozzens whose research in the area of homosexual priests, though limited to the USA, is a well recognised study. He was president-rector of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology.
In my own experience I know of many many homosexual religious, some are celibate and take their vow of celibacy seriously, whilst others do not. But then again I know religious who are having heterosexual relationships.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Lack and shallowness are (two facets among many) of Protestantism.

David O'Neill said...

Surely the greatest damage done to the Church is not the 'coming out' but the lack of firmness from the Vatican. Whilst a priest who is homosexual (I hate the misuse of the word 'gay') should & could continue in his priesthood, providing he remains celibate, the very fact that he has admitted being in a 'relationship' surely puts him outside of the clerical state in the same way that a priest who is in a 'relationship' with a woman does. It seems that the Vatican lacks backbone in not immediately laicising him rather than just stripping him of his Vatican posts. The question of his reasons for admitting his state is largely immaterial. Surely he can be laicised without recourse to his ordinary.

Gregkanga said...

So Donald Cozzens, a priest who treats the Church's clerical discipline with contempt, who advocated a self- styled priesthood at an Australian National Council of Priests conference some time ago, whose books are advertised by a heretical cyberspace community, called Catholica, is now a reference point on the divinely willed priesthood, instituted and definitively revealed by Christ, the eternal high priest and head of the Body, the Church, has changed. Wow! Eternal truth that comes from above has changed because of a study that was done by a disaffected priest in America. Well, Girrard. OP and Baron de Charlus so what has the priesthood, which was handed down from the Apostles to the Church changed to?

Anonymous said...


Have you actually read what Girrard OP or I wrote? Victoria asked about evidence of homosexuality among the Catholic priesthood. Cozzens provides it. I, for one, intended no endorsement of him or his conclusions.

As for who might sell his books, what on earth has that to do with anything? The British Nation Front, a far right racist group active in the 1970s, endorsed, for a time, the economic ideas of distributism. Does that mean we should not read the works of Chesterton and Belloc, wherein those theories are found?

Fr Blake's original post on this topic, on which we are commenting, was, as I noted in my first comment, marked by balance and charity. Not only those qualities, but also rationality, seem to be lacking in some of the more hysterical contributions here and elsewhere.

You ask me 'what has the priesthood, which was handed down from the Apostles to the Church changed to?' I cannot answer that historical question. I would assume that the Catholic Church would hold that it is unaltered.

Unknown said...

Sickening. And let us never forget the Truth about what they actually do sexually.
Is it any wonder that the Church hangs over a cliff by her finger tips, this monsignor worked at the CDF, for goodness sake!

nickbris said...

Not articulate enough to comment sensibly but I suppose it is LIFE and living in Brighton we should be used to strange,to us human behaviour.

It must not be allowed to increase our blood pressure,there are more than enough stroke sufferers in this City

Cosmos said...

B of C,

The literary virtue of "balance and charity" is subjective and may often serve rhetorical ends more than truth. In hindsight, balance and charity may be nothing more than a lack discernment and zeal.

You said, "It seems that the Church is more than willing to make use of the services of such people just so long as they are willing to be dishonest, to collaborate in a dishonest charade. Can this be healthy?" As Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote about, there is more than one meaning to the term "Church." The spotless Bride of Christ doesn't use people. Similarly, much of the laity are either naive regarding the number of gay clergy (as evinced here) or assume that the bishops are roughly following some version of what BXVI directed and Fr. Blake references (providing a vocation for gay men with tendencies, so long as they actively reject and fight their proclivities). I doubt most lay people would support a Bishop or Seminary that simply disregarded the Church's teaching on homosexuality as long as the priest kept quiet.

So I assume what you really mean is that some (maybe many) bishops and seminary directors are willing to use gay men for their own ends. These men fall in two categories. First, subversives who seek to change the Church through the illicit use of their office. These men deserve no sympathy. Second, weak "company men" who are simply are trying to staff their Churches. The latter indeed have some soul-searching to do.

You also stated: "For other Catholics simply to wash their hands of responsibility when a priest leaves the priesthood, and blame the man himself, his sinfulness, the devil, the world, is not good enough." This is high-minded, but hollow. The laity and priests are not bishops. Most have no role whatsoever in picking, training, or leading men such as Mon. Charamsa. In fact, the laity are often subject to these men and their decisions/counsels, which are often very favorable to their hidden, heterodox beliefs/agenda. The orthodox, at least, are hardly benefiting from them and often feel oppressed by them.

Moreover, this man departed on his own terms. He rejected the teaching of the Church on an important matter of morality, and left with a political flourish. He was no mere laborer in the vineyard, but a worker in a central office of the Church. To climb the latter that high, one needs powerful connections who aren't just trying to keep the ship floating. For the priest to accept a role in the CDF while harboring his beliefs is extremely dishonest and unfair to the faithful. I might sympathize if he were working quietly with the poor instead of making decisions on behalf of the Magesterium.

If a lay person choses to leave the Church because of its teaching on birth control, we don't all have to soul-search. Human beings are free creatures with free wills. There is a lot of sin in the world. Catholics are called to be compassionate, to pray for each other, but compassion does not require naivete. Sometimes men (including me), chose the bad over the good at times. It is what it is.

Gregkanga said...

Baron de Charlus, I read every word very carefully. On this blog I usually do, and consider the Catholic commentators here as my brothers and sisters in Christ. Suffice it to say I would not recommend any study which Fr Donald Cozzens has done on the priesthood and the Church to any faithful Catholic period. I wrote an article for Into the Deep at in the 2010 August issue, no 95 titled Revolting Priests and Bishops on page 7. Read it and weep for Holy Mother Church. It gives you some insight into the difficulties the filth made emeritus Pope B16 suffer during his pontificate.

Pelerin said...

Cosmos brings up the worrying point as to how the Monsignor managed to climb so high in the Church. Did he indeed have 'powerful connections?' Is there really a 'lavender mafia?' What can the Church do about it?

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