Sunday, October 21, 2007

Let’s get real about priestly ‘indiscretions’
The only thing I’d change in Fr Aris’ article is to say that orientation is a non-issue. Anybody remotely acquainted with Anglo-Catholicism has known holy men who were homosexual — like Fr Seraphim (Rose) in Russian Orthodoxy — and the English virtue of tolerant conservatism: don’t ask, don’t tell, we respect your space and God forgives but we don’t teach that it’s not a sin.
Persons who say "a sin is a sin" don't live in the real world. My wife is more than forgiving when I snap at her for no reason. I don't think that she would be that charitable if I were to come home smelling of another woman's perfume.
Score one for Roman Catholic moral theology (the gold standard): mortal (смертный грех) and venial sin.
I concede that we are all sinners, but clergy relinquish the right to even think of engaging in certain classes of sin. When a priest sins sexually he damages the Church the way that crooked judges, lawyers, and police officers damage the legal system. How can anyone not understand this?

Looking back on my seminary years, nobody ever told me that I shouldn't put my hand on an altar boy's private parts, leave my wife for a man, or go to bed with someone other than my wife. Come to think of it, they didn't tell me not to eat yellow snow, either. The faculty assumed that we all knew better.

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