A critique of Gordon's theology of sexuality

Spero News obtained the transcript below of Dr. Gordonís talks at a recent congress. Inserted amidst the transcription are observations written by Rev. Charles Zmudzinski.

According to the website for the 2006 Religious Education Congress held in California, Dr. Greer Gordon is Director of the Frederick Douglass Unity House and faculty member of the Department of African/African American Studies and Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth. Dr. Gordon is the author of a recent book entitled “Symphonies of the Heart”. A native of Louisiana, Gordon is currently a consultant, having also worked as a teacher and religious education director. According to a May 30th article by Matt Abbott at www.michnews.com , Dr. Gordon has been involved in presentations on catethetics and pastoral outreach developed by the National Center for Pastoral Leadership. Among the clergy involved with the NCPL is Jesuit Father Dan Schutte, who has written a number of hymns familiar to post-Vatican II Roman Catholics.

In 2006 she gave a talk entitled “Catethetical Perspectives: US Economic Policy and Catholic Social Teaching” at the congress held on March 31 in Anaheim CA – within sight of Disneyland. According to the congress website, the served to “explore the social gospel tradition concerning the rights and responsibilities of individuals and states in times of economic crisis. Practical strategies for effective catechesis and stewardship will be offered, reflecting lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina (a national perspective), the Sudan crisis in Darfur (an international perspective), and ways in which American economic interests stand in tension with Church teachings. This session is ideal for adult educators, youth and young adult ministers, and parish finance committee members.”

Speroforum obtained the transcript below of Dr. Gordon’s talks at the congress through the courtesy of Kenneth Fisher of Concerned Roman Catholics of America. Inserted amidst the transcription are observations written by Rev. Charles Zmudzinski, a priest of the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy, who is a candidate for a graduate degree in canon law.


Gordon Greer said:

“I think I would self-describe primarily as a catechist, and I know so many of us are catechetical personnel here today. I'm also a Catholic school teacher, having cut my teeth teaching in New Orleans, Louisiana, many, many years ago; high school, and that's because the sisters whom I entered, I believe in graduate school, thought I was arrogant and I needed to learn how to be a teacher, and I'm grateful for their recipe for my arrogance . . . And the result is that they did in fact make me, hopefully, a very good teacher.

The other part of what I would offer as insight at this time is just to remind all of us that we're Church. So, as we come into these conversations, as we engage in all manner of speculative thought, and we begin to put forth ideologies, the fact of the matter is we're Church. And it appears right now that some of us have forgotten what Church means.

It means that when we step outside of these walls and anywhere else, we are probably the closest thing to Jesus Christ anyone else in the modern world will meet today.”

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Just because a person is a baptized member of the Church does not guarantee that person is the closest thing to Jesus Christ in the modern world. Obedience to God's commandments is necessary to be the closest thing to Jesus Christ. Obedience to all ten commandments - including the sixth and ninth commandments.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And that if we think of ourselves as being part of a body that is in fact Christ Himself, then perhaps we'll begin to clean up our thought process and really
begin to focus on the matters at hand. There are people dying in Iraq. There are people dying in Afghanistan. There are people in New Orleans, Louisiana trying to
clean out their homes, thinking that a little bit of bleach is going to get them safely back in, not realizing that the toxic waste site that is now New Orleans is nearly irretrievable. And yet we as Church sit, taking apart one another and taking apart Christ's children, and in the midst of that the real job and the real task that we ought to be about is going undone (applause).


Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

????????????????????????????????? I don't know what she is referring to here. Perhaps it is a way to suggest that anyone who criticizes her views on sexual morality are guilty of causing people to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, or prevent people in New Orleans from being able to clean their city. I don't see the connection. It is good to go and help people in Iraq and Afghanistan and New Orleans, but it is also good to exhort people to avoid sin, and warn people that certain theories of morality are unacceptable to Catholics, especially when those theories are being presented as if they are authentically Catholic. It is a great deception to claim the name Catholic for a moral theory that is extremely anti-Catholic at its core.


Dr. Gordon Greer said:

[Referring to those who might disagree with and write about her later] Those of you who have placards, who have all manner of thought to put forth next week, tonight or tomorrow morning on the Internet, I spell my name G-R-double E-R and [my last name is spelled] G-O-R-D-O-N. And I do that not in arrogance but simply to
say to them the process of fracturing this body and attempting to put it forth that any one individual has the right to serve in any fashion as a watchdog for Holy Mother Church, I grant you I don't recall we named any of them Pontiff (applause).

And so I say to myself, as well as to the rest of us and to my brothers who know so very deeply that people are after them, I say to them what I hear so very often and what is recited to me so frequently by my mentor, a now-aging abbess in a monastery. She reminds me so very, very often, "Be not afraid."
The words of Jesus, the words of the scriptures are consistent in saying to us, "Be not afraid." And as we come together to talk about this really problematic situation in the Church, we have to do that in a spirit of listening to one another, a spirit of prayer, and a spirit of being about the work of God. We have an awful lot of evangelization to do, and I don't know about you all, but now that it appears that the Lord has allowed me to return from being in public institutions back into working in
Church institutions--for which I'm just profoundly grateful, I must say--I have to say to us, "It's time. We have an awful lot of work to do." And we're going to need every able-bodied individual who can possibly begin to preach, teach, witness to and be present for Christ in the midst of this very, very problematic, schizophrenic
world. Amen (applause).

And thus I want to start with three approaches, please. The first is a reflection on what is so appropriately referred to as "The Instruction," but really is titled, "Concerning criteria for the discernment of vocations with regard to persons with homosexual tendencies" and yada-yada-yada-yada. So I'll just begin by offering
some reflections on the document. The second is to offer some reflections on the document in relationship to the tradition of the Chuch, and the third is just some general reflections I think that are needed at this time to be put forward. The good news is the document wasn't as bad as I expected. Given the press that was out there and the statements that were made about it, I expected it to truly be horrific. There are some really very solid and very sound statements in it, and I would be remiss not to admit that and not to say that. It is simply that: an instruction. It is an instruction attempting--and it is, I must say, given how some of the more recent documents have been written on the subject of homosexuality--it is a very well-written document. I think the document reflects very well, in my opinion, the perspectives of the Church. And that's going to frighten some people, but the fact of the matter is we all get on a big frenzy of beating up on one another. We have to look seriously at the words being said, and what shall we do, and what shall we do with this document.

The bad news of the document is simply the basis upon which it was put forth. It attempts to find a way to address a problem that we as a Church have had for a very, very long time, and that is that somehow or other, across a significant moment in the life of this Church, we have had individuals slip into our midst who are in fact predators, who prey upon our children and prey upon the children of others. And that's a fact. And we've attempted to address, with a
document about homosexuality, a problem called pedophilia.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

No, the sexual abuse cases, for the most part were not about pedophilia, but about the abuse of adolescent young men by priests, and that is not pedophilia, but homosexuality. In fact, the John Jay College study commissioned by the US Bishops found that, in contrast to the general population, more males than females made allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The study reported that 80 % of the alleged victims involved in the sexual abuse crisis in the Church were male.
Very few of the cases involved true pedophilia; most were homosexual in nature.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

Rather than writing an instruction on how to discern, determine, find and prevent from entering seminaries men who have any tendency
toward abusing children and others, we have written something about homosexuality.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

But, as noted above, homosexuality was clearly the main problem. Too many homosexual priests took advantage of confused adolescents, making
them think that homosexual contact between the priest and the adolescent young man is good. It is a horrible sin even for a layman to commit, and
the sin of sacrilege is added when a priest does it.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And one more time, each time we have to deal with pedophilism [sic], we pull out homosexuality, run it up to the gang pike, and begin to beat it up.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

The Church has the right to teach morality, and that homosexuality is an objectively disordered condition that makes a person unsuitable in a person for exercising the sacred ministries, especially because the highest moral character regarding all virtues, including the virtue of chastity as expressed by an authentic promise of celibacy, is a necessary condition for ordination. A homosexual man, by definition, simply does not have the requisite virtue of chastity, even if he does promise
celibacy, to be suitable for the priesthood, because the virtue of chastity involves much more than simple abstinence from sex, but also a successful integration of a person's sexuality with the objective nature of man and woman as God created them. By the objectively disordered sexual desire for persons of the same sex, homosexual persons have not successfully integrated the gift of their sexuality with the objective moral order concerning human sexuality.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I actually sat in Boston. Every single morning following some news article or story that came out about some pedophile individual, we ran a story the next morning talking about homosexuality and the Church. Our bishop--now cardinal--spoke about it. We have individuals running around saying things about homosexuals rather than really saying we need to talk about pedophiles.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

No, as I said earlier, the sex abuse scandals demand that we talk about homosexuality because most of the scandal was caused by homosexual priests. It is necessary to emphasize that it is an objective disorder because it is oriented towards acts that are, objectively speaking, gravely and mortally sinful.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I went to college with one who's doing 36 years to life in a penitentiary in Louisiana for rape of children. I had no idea as a student that the individual had any tendency toward abusing children, nor did I have any knowledge of how we could deal with those kinds of issues or how to recognize them. We need to begin to
give individuals some kind of cue, some kind of clue to deal with these people.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

For starters, try excluding persons who refuse to accept the fullness of Christ's teaching on human sexuality as it is revealed to and explained by the authentic Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church. Exclude persons who rejected Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae and instead embraced the "new morality" that insists that sex between persons of the same sex is not always sinful, and even questions whether or not we can be sure sex with children is always sinful. That would be good for starters.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We've not made any effort forward on the question of homosexuality because of the fact that we really are trying to talk about
preventing pedophilia, pedophiles from entering the Church. We need to come clean now as a church. We need to write an instruction. We need to tell catechists how to recognize the fact that there may be others around us who are abusing our children or have some tendency toward abusing our children. We need to prepare some type of pamphlet, some kind of insight that will assist them in feeling that they can speak up and can in fact have a voice in this Church to say that it's unacceptable to put our children at risk. It does not benefit us as a church to continue in any way to guard or bring in people who may in fact be pedophiles.


Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Or in any way guard or bring in people who may in fact be homosexuals because, as noted above, the problem is about homosexuality between priests and young adolescent men, and I might add, young men of legal age who cannot claim a crime in civil law, but certainly are victims of abuse just as much as the adolescent young men who have sued the Church or pressed criminal charges against the priests in civil law. There is a tragic story reported in the Washington Post on April 27, 2006 about a 25 year old seminarian who was raped by a homosexual priest in 1970. You can read about it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/26/AR2006042602338.html.
It sounds like Gordon Greer is only concerned about abuse when it might cost the Church money, and could care less when homosexual priests rape seminarians who are of legal age and therefore are unable to claim financial damages against the Church in civil law.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I don't know about you, but after having been with that particular individual, I recognized the fact that I knew there was something different about him, something odd, something I couldn't put a finger on. There I was, studying systematic theology at the hands of some of the most incredible scholars in the world,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Like Charles Curran, Richard McCormick and their disciples who dissent from the Churchs moral teachings on human sexuality? It is not surprising there
was an abuser in those classes, where he was probably taught there could be proportionate reasons or better consequences if he judged in his conscience it is OK to have sex with children and others outside of marriage.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

and no one could tell us that in our midst was someone who was predatory to young children.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Perhaps it would not have come to that if the teachings of the authentic Magisterium were given in those classes in their fullness, rather than
dissenting teachings of so many theologians that refused to accept Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae and instead gave everyone license to, in their conscience, decide for themselves that sexually abusing young persons or committing pedophilia is a good and beautiful moral action.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

Thus, it is a problem, and until we get to a point where we can recognize and see these people, we will continue to have this
problem just absolutely rock us and rock our world. It's not a Roman Catholic problem. It's not a Christian problem. It's just we're talking about it, and frankly we're paying for it in a sense with money, and people get upset about that.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Yes, it seems unjust to pay out lots of money on the basis of an
accusation without proof the priest is actually guilty, apparently
just to get the media and courts off our backs. There is lots of money to
be gained by making false accusations against innocent priests, and it's
almost certain some have made false accusations and profited from it. It
also seems unjust to pay out large sums of money to alleged victims when
the wealth of the Church was built on the donations of hard-working,
honest Catholics, especially if it is done without verifying that the
accusations are true. Also, the lives of good, innocent priests are ruined
by this kind of action against accused priests without proof the priest
actually committed a crime.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I don't know about you; I'm not too concerned about the fact that
if we once again have to use beat-up cups on the altar, if it gets
us to the point where we have healthy children and gets us to the
point where we truly become Christ, then maybe the loss of our
revenues will finally get us around to dealing with the fact that
we must be the ones to lead the tide in ridding the world of
pedophiles. Amen (applause).


Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

The assumption here is that pedophiles are bad but homosexuals are not
bad. But, as noted earlier, it is homosexuals, not pedophiles, who are
primarily responsible for the priest sex-abuse crisis.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We do need--and I do say this in all sincerity and a spirit of the
most profound confidentiality--we do need to encourage our bishops,
just as they have placed exorcists in our dioceses--I do sincerely
believe that our bishops should appoint one priest to be the one
who is the individual who asks all the pedophiles, "Who did you
rape?"

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

If so, then we should also ask all the homosexuals this question.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We need a list of names. We need a list of families and
parishes. And then we need to begin a systematic process of
contacting those individuals out of a spirit of Christ's love to
see to their healing.


Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

I would do everything in my power to keep persons who promote
homosexuality and refuse to accept the fullness of Christ's teaching on
human sexuality from trying to help the victims. While they may have
good intentions, they will certainly do more harm than good.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

Two things will occur from that. One is that we will own the fact
that we have a moral obligation and responsibility to attend to
anyone who has been raped by any person connected with the Roman
Catholic Church in the world, and not just in America. This is not
an American issue. It is a Church issue. And as we deal with this
issue, when we ask, "Who is it that you raped?" we are also looking
for other pedophiles,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

and for homosexuals who prey on young men.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

because people who are abused go in one of
two directions. If they are untreated, they either become abusers
or they become lifelong victims.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

This is an oversimplification, and an assumption that "treatment" can
solve the problem. If treatment is given by Fr. Harvey of courage or
other competent experts who accept the fullness of Church teaching, then
I do not disagree. But if treatment is given by psychologists or other
therapists who use their credentials to undermine the truth and meaning
of human sexuality as the authentic Magisterium teaches it, the victims
will suffer even more.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

The lifelong victim will continue to be victimized by anyone and
everyone and come all takers. And the abusers will be the ones
victimizing those who have already been victims, even though they
might have been their peers. And thus we do need to engage in a
sincere process of ridding ourselves of this situation.
Now, it is true that we have an instruction that states up front
what everyone in the Vatican is thinking about regarding
homosexuality and homosexual candidates for the priesthood. It's
really very interesting--and I found myself just profoundly
overwhelmed in hearing . . . some of the interpretations that are
coming from individuals in Rome. What's frightening about it is the
fact that we would have us, once again, beat up on people who are
simply, out of a profound sense of the love of Christ, working to
serve the Church, the Gospel, and the people of God.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Many of those homosexual priests abused adolescent young men.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

Perhaps the Instruction needs to be much more explicit. I don't
know about you, but I don't really know what a "gay lifestyle" is.
. . Rather than using euphemistic speech, we have to begin the
process of being the good, competent . . . scholars that we really
are, and that is be precise, be specific, state it, put it on the
line, leave the rest, and let us move forward.
When we look at the questions of this document, we also have to
ask, "Why is it that we have no similar document about heterosexual
priests?" (applause).

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Heterosexual priests who violate their promise of celibacy are also
guilty of grave sin and, because of the fact they are priests, also
commit the sin of sacrilege. But the document about homosexuality is
necessary because homosexual acts are a different species of sin that is
even more grave. As the Scriptures say, they are abominations. And there
is much confusion about this in the Church, as this talk by Gordon Greer
proves. The document was necessary, apart from a document about
heterosexual priests, because there is nothing about heterosexuality
that is objectively disordered, and as a consequence, there is nothing
about heterosexuality that would disqualify a man as being unsuitable
for the priesthood. But, as discussed above, homosexuality, in itself,
even with a promise of celibacy, makes a person unsuitable for the
priesthood, because it means the man has not successfully integrated his
sexuality in a way that is compatible with the life of virtue required
of a priest, a life that goes beyond mere abstinence from sex and
embraces the virtue of chastity.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

It's very interesting to me that the assumption is that we need to somehow
curb the sexual urges or desires of our homosexual presbyters.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

This statement is absurd. If we refuse to curb their urges, homosexual
abuse of young men will continue. We also must curb the sexual urges of
heterosexual presbyters, in fact, of all persons in a way that is
compatible with the virtue of chastity - sexual activity is only for
marriage - one man and one woman, and always open to the gift of children.
Period.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

But frankly, as a woman, as
just a woman . . . as a good middle-aged woman, I can reflect back
in my youth, when frankly, having to deal with passes, unwanted
interest, whatever from some of our ordained members of the clergy.
I'm sure there are countless numbers of other women who can speak
to that issue.

The fact of the matter is we have a climate in our priesthood that
says sexual activity is okay. You can be sexually active as long as
you go to Confession and you don't let anybody know you're doing it
in public. Perhaps what this document is really uncovering for us
is the fact that we do have that issue and we do have that problem
in the Church. We do have sexually active gay priests. We do have
sexually active heterosexual priests. And the problem is we need a
redefinition, recommitment, re-understanding of the word
celibacy.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

This is absurd. Redefine celibacy so it is not celibacy? How is that
going to prevent priests from engaging in illicit sexual activity?

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

By making statements such as we have in this document,
that says all homosexuals are called to celibacy, it does in fact
cheapen and give us once again confusion around the meaning of
celibacy.
Celibacy, as I understand it--and I think as most of the Church
history teaches--has meant that one has decided, in a very intimate
and singular way, to make his or her life devotedly and devoutly
with God in Christ. It is not about the fact that I choose not to
have sex; that's called abstinence.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

This is absurd. If we redefine celibacy this way, all priests, whether
homosexual or heterosexual, will feel even more license to engage in
illicit sexual acts, and there will be more, not less, sexual abuse in
the Church.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And we may choose to abstain from sex.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

If we are not married, we are morally obliged, under pain of mortal sin,
to abstain from sex. If one is married, one is morally obliged to only
engage in sex exclusively with one's spouse, in a way that is always open
to the gift of children, and in a way that respects the dignity of each
spouse.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

There are people who are in fact married who have for
whatever number of reasons had to abstain from sex. Some because
they've simply forgotten how to engage in it (laughter) . . . and I
say that because of the fact that as we know within our positions
[as catechists] we've had so many, many people who have been put in
the situation of having to be repressed about their sexuality.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Here, apparently being repressed about their sexuality means being made
to feel guilty for engaging in illicit sexual activity by the authentic
teaching of the Church on human sexuality. By this reasoning, Gordon
Greer's hard-line stance against pedophilia makes those poor pedophiles
repressed about their sexuality. How dare you do that Gordon Greer!

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

My fear of this document, unless it has a comparable heterosexual
document, is that it will in fact simply, once again, force us into
repressing other people about their sexuality.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Like the homosexuals who have been abusing young men. Now, all of the
sudden, in Gordon Greer's mind, the homosexual abusers have become the
real victims of this anti-homosexual document from Rome that causes them
to repress their sexuality. But, Gordon Greer, the real victims are the
ones abused by those same homosexual priests.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I'm sorry, but the asexual nun just doesn't do it in the world anymore. We
don't need to put thousands of pounds of coif on our women, or we don't
need to suddenly make our men walk around as if they're all macho butches.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

As a priest who knows many good and holy consecrated priests and nuns in
the world, I find this statement extremely offensive and patently untrue.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

But what we really need to do is to have very real human
beings who have that life-giving force known as our sexuality that
allows them to engage in affective, meaningful relationships with
men and with women--and respectful relationships.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

As long as actual sexual activity is reserved for the only place that it
can be morally allowed - Holy Matrimony, two words that are conspicuously
absent from Gordon Greer's talk.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

That kind of
scenario presented to us in doctrine does not intentionally call
for repression, but it certainly can be read and be interpreted in
that fashion.

When we deal with our sexuality, I think we must be very cautious,
and I don't know about you, but I really don't care to know anyone
else's orientation.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

When it comes to admission of men to the seminary or of men and women to
the religious life, you should.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I have far too many other issues, far too many other concerns in my life
to worry about with whom, where and how someone else fantasizes to do
something privately with another.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

What if they fantasize about doing such things with children or young
adolescent men or women? Both civil and canon law call doing such
things with children or young adolescent men or women a crime, and
the Church calls it mortal sin. Gordon Greer says she has too many other
concerns to worry about trying to prevent such crimes.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I leave matters of one's orientation between the individual and his
or her God, and if the individual is so inclined, perhaps between
the two of them or himself and his confessor.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Does Gordon Greer grant the same privilege to a pedophile? If not, why
not? If Gordon Greer could start to give a coherent answer to this
question, one might be able to get somewhere in a discussion with her.
But if not, dialogue with her would be a waste of time.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

But we've forgotten about the fact . . . because we're too busy forcing
people out of the Church.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

No one is being forced out of the Church. Many freely choose to leave
the practice of the faith because they are unwilling to follow the moral
demands of the faith, but that is not forcing them out of the Church.
And they are always able to return to the practice of the faith with a
good confession.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We have to begin the process of looking at the questions, asking
others, forcing others, or even creating a climate in which others
feel that they must step into the public to proclaim their
sexuality,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

That they are oriented towards the commission of gravely sinful actions.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

says right then and there we are morally and sexually in
trouble.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Not because the Church created a climate that encourages this, but
because the dissenters from the Church's teaching on human sexuality and
the morally bankrupt culture encourages this.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

As Church, we need to begin a process of growing up . . . We need
to deal with our sexual ethics in a way that really allows our
moral theologians to really give us some solid, sound reflections
on what it means to live not in the year 1549 about sex, but to
live in the year 2006.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Human beings live by the same laws in 2006 as they did in 1549, as they
did at the time of Christ, and as they have since God created them male
and female: God's eternal and unchanging law.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

It's a whole new ball game. It's a whole new world.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

But there is no change in God's moral law for human beings.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We've lost an awful lot of credibility.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

We lost credibility by disobeying God's commandments, especially by
disobeying the sixth and the ninth commandments.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We need to regain our credibility,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

We do this by obedience to God's laws, not by trying to change God's
laws, as Gordon Greer suggests we do by saying homosexual acts are not
sinful.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

and we need to assist our bishops in being the most credible individuals
they can possibly be as they lead this Church and lead us hopefully
deeper into Christ and God.
When we look at the questions presented to us in this document, I
see, to put it succinctly, four problems that need to be addressed
here. One is that we need to address the question of pedophiles in
our midst. Second, we need to address the question of sexually
active gay priests. We need to address that. We need to assist them
in finding once again their lives as members of this Church and as
individuals who have professed celibacy. If you do not wish to be
celibate, it is fine; we need once again to make laicization
available. It is okay if you want to live in a selective
relationship,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is not fine for a homosexual to not be
celibate. Homosexual acts are against God's law.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

but it does mean that that individual makes that choice as an adult and
not as one who chooses to hide.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

The secrecy of homosexual acts is not what makes them bad. They are bad
in themselves - intrinsically evil, as the Church's moral teaching
puts it.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

Third, we have to address the question of our sexually active
heterosexual priests, and in the same fashion that I would say to
our gay brothers, we must also say to our heterosexual siblings,
you too are called to be celibate, and if so, be celibate. If not,
once again, we would ask Rome to make available laicization.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

In fact, laicization is not an impossibility, but neither is it a
right. And I trust the Popes judgment on who should receive this
favor much more than Gordon Greer's judgment on who should receive this
favor.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And then the crunch word, that it's time for us to simply calm down
and be honest about who we are and what we have been about.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Yes, we are sinners and need to repent of our sins, and recognize that
homosexual acts are always sinful.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

It also means, parenthetically, we have to make certain that we as a
Church never return again to a practice of taking 13-year-old males and
placing them in same-sex environments and telling them that this is
the natural path to the service of God, the Church, and the Gospel
(applause).

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

It is not the natural path (marriage is), but it is the supernatural
path and God can call 13-year old boys to be priests. I know many good
priests who were called and went to seminary at that age. This statement
is an insult to them, and, as a Catholic priest, I am extremely offended
by it.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I say to you, both our gay priests and our heterosexual priests, I
know it is hard to hear me say so pointedly and so directly what
I've said about being inactive sexually. But I do say to us as a
Church part of the reason we have this problem is because we did
not allow these men the grace of growing up to be men who
understood what it meant to be sexual human beings.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Certainly some of them did not understand it properly, but neither does
Gordon Greer, who thinks that we should not try to curb the sexual
desires of homosexuals who prey on adolescent boys and young men.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

We rarely did that to women, and we do have some nuns and some sisters who
are still paying the psychological price for having been pre-pubescent
individuals who were suddenly being trained to live a lifestyle
that was never meant for anyone who did not have the maturity to
fall deeply in love with the Lord God and develop a relationship.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

I don't know of anyone who was encouraged by the Church to enter the
convent as pre-pubescent individuals (i.e. before age 10 or so). St.
Therese the Little Flower did fine at the age of fifteen.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And those are the facts, and that is who we are as a church. And we
need to be very honest as a church . . . To those of us who would
like to continue to force everyone else not to know or understand
their sexuality,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

The Church is certainly not doing that when she proclaims the fullness
of the teaching on human sexuality, which is intended by God to be
expressed by sexual acts only in marriage, and always open to the gift
of children. Certainly Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI are not
guilty of forcing everyone to not know or understand their sexuality
when they give us the truth, fullness, and beauty of this gift that is
so intimately connected with marriage, family life, and the transmission
of human life - the creation, with God's help of persons created in the
image of God. It is Gordon Greer's depiction of sexuality that causes
people to be confused and not understand their sexuality by making them
think that God's law regarding human sexuality is totally irrelevant to
their sexuality.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I really invite the repressed among us and those
who are very taken with the sexual orientations of others, to
kindly seek and find what we have at Catholic Charities as some of
the best and the brightest psychologists and therapists on the face
of the earth (applause).

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Not so, if they use their expertise to promote the idea that the
homosexual orientation is good, and the idea that the Church's teaching
that it is disordered and leads to objectively grave sinful acts is
"repressive."

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

So, once again, we must deal with the facts of being Church. The
issue of homosexuality and the priesthood frankly is a non-issue.


Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

No, it is a crucial issue, because priests are called to imitate Christ,
who was chaste, poor and obedient. To say the issue of homosexuality and
the priesthood is a non-issue is absurd. The fact that many homosexual
priests who are not chaste go out and abuse young men is a very
important issue.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

This is about individuals called by God to serve the Lord, the
Gospel and the Church.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

Homosexual persons can do this by struggling to live chaste lives as lay
persons, but they should never be involved in any kind of ministry,
whether as priests or as lay persons until they are healed of their
disorder. It would be extremely irresponsible for the Church to allow
them to prey on the boys and young men.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And it seems as if it's a big issue because
of the problems and the issues that affect us around pedophiles, et
cetera, but we really have to begin the process now of healing, of
moving forward, and being about the work of spreading the Gospel.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

In the Gospel, Jesus said that he came not to abolish the law, but to
fulfill it. But Gordon Greer's version of the Gospel would abolish two
commandments - the sixth and the ninth. Her idea of the Gospel simply is
not the Gospel. You can't give what you don't have, and Gordon Greer
can't give the Gospel, because she doesn't have the Gospel in her heart.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

I want to add one further proviso on this. One of the things we do
want to remind ourselves: We don't take any litmus test at baptism.
We really don't try to figure out who's going to grow up to be gay
or who's going to grow up to be straight, or who might have some
confusion later in life about orientation.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

These problems would not occur so often if so many in the Church had not
rejected Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae. And they will only go
away in places where Humanae Vitae is accepted, lived, and loved.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

And that's what that means, is that as long as we're going to practice
infant baptism, we had best be about the business of accepting the fact
that we are going to have gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals--although I
have a problem with bisexuality--we have to deal with those questions,

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

The search for an answer to such questions, apart from the moral
teachings of the Catholic Church that have been revealed by God,
including her teaching that homosexual acts are always gravely sinful,
is futile.

Dr. Gordon Greer said:

and we are going to have to be conscious of the fact that we baptize as
infants all the members of the Church. All stand equally in
Christ's love. We cannot continue to beat one another, but rather
we need to invite one another to be Christ in the midst of this
world. Amen.

Fr. Charles Zmudzinski replies:

To be Christ in the midst of this world is to live by His law. That means
we cannot neglect to call all persons to follow Gods law, including His
law against homosexual acts which are always intrinsically evil. To preach
this truth is not beating one another, but a great act of love that might
prevent homosexual persons from ending up in hell for all eternity.

For further information about the Religious Education Congress, see: http://www.recongress.org/
For information about the National Center for Pastoral Leadership, see: http://www.ncpl.org
and for the Fathers of Mercy, see: http://www.fathersofmercy.com/about/home



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

Comments

Attorney General Eric Holder has feisty encounter with Republican congressman

Attorney General Holder claims he has 'vast amounts' of discretion in enforcing federal law. He was dismissive of Republicans' questioning on Capitol Hill.

Fort Hood shooter is dead

At least one person is dead and 14 wounded in the April 2 shooting at Ft Hood TX. This is the same military installation where a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 13 in 2009.

That Tell-Tale Heart: Questions to ask in cases of comatose patients

Proponents of organ donations have played fast and loose with the defintion of death in order to advance their goals. Obamacare may have irrevocably changed the physician/patient relationship, thus encouraging euthanasia.

Titanic survivors recall previously unknown gruesome details

Two sisters recount seeing 'Titanic' officers chopping off the hands of survivors grasping at lifeboats.

This page took 0.1563seconds to load