By Ed Kohler
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.
5 It would be more effective, however, to require homosexual priests to manifest their spiritual impotence by wearing a pin, similar perhaps to the Hitlerian triangle.
6. The Cardinal contradicts himself by asserting on the one hand that homosexuals may not be ordained and on the other hand to maintain as he did earlier (Nov., 2005) that their ordinations are valid.
7. The Cardinal's comments may reflect a deep seated homophobia.
8. Since his comments are not grounded in any of the generally accepted fields of human inquiry, the Cardinal should be removed from office.
9. In everyday parlance, the Cardinal is blowing smoke. The smoke, however, is malevolent and potentially lethal because the Cardinal's language squares perfectly with the first three of Gordon Allport's five steps of prejudice, Antilocution, Avoidance, Discrimination. If his remarks along with other proclamations emanating from the Vatican and local chancery offices lead to (4) Physical Attack and (5) Extermination, Cardinal Grocholewski, the Vatican, and local ecclesiastics will be culpable of additional acts of prejudice.
Ed Kohler was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul in 1957 and married in 1972. He is at firstname.lastname@example.org.