Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The "Gay" Problem
This is an article written by Fr. Odon de Castro, a Benedictine priest, that tackles about the reality of homosexuality among seminarians and clergy. You may or may not agree with his opinions but one thing is for sure - we need to educate and inform the clergy on the nature of SSA and to treat people afflicted with it with utmost care and respect.
In this short treatise, let me attempt to describe how, lately in our times, many priests have deteriorated into becoming "gays" or "pedophiles;" and how they can eventually be restored to be competent priests at the service of Holy Mother the Church.
First, let us recall one general principle of the Spiritual life, the violation of which leads to perversion, while obedience to it will cure all perversions and lead one to holiness of life.
This general principle often mentioned by St. Thomas of Aquinas is this: "He who does not progress in the spiritual life will regress." The need to progress every second and every minute in the spiritual life is often referred to by great spiritual writers as "the sacrament of the present moment," and was the "Little Way" of St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church.
Now let us look at the different levels of human existence. There is the SUPERNATURAL level, which is when a person is in the state of sanctifying grace. Then there is the NATURAL level, which is the state of Adam and Eve after the fall and the state of souls without sanctifying grace. And lastly, there is the unnatural level which includes all perversions mentioned in Scriptures like the sins of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Let us skip the finer nuances of each level for the sake of brevity and deal with them in future.)
Applying the above principle of the spiritual life, he who progresses in the spiritual life within the SUPERNATURAL level will never regress down to the NATURAL AND UNNATURAL level. But he who does not progress towards the SUPERNATURAL level will regress down to the NATURAL level and even faster yet down to the UNNATURAL level.
Original sin is the inherited state in which, deprived of sanctifying grace, all men are born with the tendency to go down to the unnatural level.
Take a typical seminarian. Having been being baptized at infancy, he received sanctifying grace which raised him to the SUPERNATURAL level. This grace was what made him desire to serve God in the priesthood. But then because of a worldly way of life, he unawarely regresses down to the NATURAL level. But because he is still attracted to the priesthood, he still manages to enter the seminary in this NATURAL state. If, while in the seminary, any desire he has to love God is increased through sound teachings and deep spiritual life, he will progress from the natural level, and climb up the SUPERNATURAL LEVEL. And if this progress continues because the seminary continues to teach sound doctrine on the spiritual life, he will have no problem in becoming holy and an asset to the Church.
Another hypothetical case. If this baptized seminarian has lost sanctifying grace because of his worldly life, he enters the seminary in the NATURAL level. If there is a good theological curriculum in the seminary, but have a poor, or worse, no program in spirituality, he will NOT progress to the Supernatural level. So he remains as a seminarian in the NATURAL level. Though he could still desire to be a priest, he will have a strong tendency to regress. And the first sign of this regression is his desire to marry, though he may or may not retain a desire to remain a priest. This desire to marry shows that he is in the natural level.
If the seminary cannot raise him to the SUPERNATURAL level, they should encourage him to leave and marry because the Sacrament of Matrimony is precisely for that purpose: to keep him in the NATURAL level and prevent him from deteriorating down to the UNNATURAL level, with the hope that in the future he can progress again up to the SUPERNATURAL level, even as a married man.
But if the seminary does not have a good program of spirituality, thus preventing his spiritual progress that will cause his eventual spiritual regression, and they do not encourage him to marry, even when he has shown signs that he desires marriage, he will soon regress and descend to the UNNATURAL level.
Then the environment in the seminary will dictate the kind of perversion he will fall into. If his environment is with the presence of young children, he could turn out to be a pedophile. If his environment is just a seminary of men who would be priests, but does not offer the right curriculum as stated above; and because he is surrounded by men only (often not observing modesty) then he could regress to becoming gay. The culprit? A non-existent program of spirituality, thereby creating an environment conducive to homosexuality, i.e. the very ambience of present seminaries. Because the seminarian was not progressing in spirituality he regressed towards perversion.
The "reverse" of this sad plight of most seminaries, which is to progress every second and every minute in the love of God, is both the cure and the way to holiness. St. Therese showed this to us in her "Little Way," wherein she could make every tiny, insignificant acts into acts of love for God because her monastery had the right environment that could encourage progress in the spiritual life : a life of prayer, fasting, and good works.
Source: Gloria Olivae