Saturday, December 22, 2018

Father Prado on Pope Francis: Wants to Deny Access to Priesthood to Gays Because He's Catholic — I Have Questions

Father Fernando Prado, author of the book The Strength of Vocation, in which he interviews Pope Francis and gets the pope on record "worrying" about gay priests and opining that it's better to keep the gays out of the priesthood, recently spoke to Crux. In an article entitled "Pope doesn’t back down from skepticism about gays in priesthood," Inés San Martín reports about that conversation and about Pope Francis' view that, in Prado's words, "homosexuals" should not have "access to the priesthood." 

I have questions. I have questions for Prado and Pope Francis. 

1. Prado states, "I don’t know why people are surprised that he's Catholic."

And who, I'd like to ask the pope and Father Prado, has decreed that it's "Catholic" to treat a sector of the human community as less human than the rest of the human community, as deserving of fewer rights than the rest of the human community — because of how God chose to make that slice of the human community?

Who has decreed that it's "Catholic" to declare that men like you (and only men: another question that demands discussion!) count when it comes to being acceptable for ordination, but not "homosexual" men? 

On what gospel verses, on what words of Jesus, are you basing this cruel, exclusionary rhetoric? Please cite for me the verses in which Jesus condemned "homosexuals" and said that they are less fit for the kingdom of God than straight human beings are. And where, for that matter, does Jesus inform you that you have a right to lord it over others made different from yourselves, to denigrate and abuse them, and call that behavior holy?

2. Then there's this: San Martín reports,

According to Prado, what he describes as the "homosexual collective" saw itself "stopped" by Francis from "carrying their project forward," but "this is the Church."

Where is that "homosexual collective," Father Prado and Pope Francis? Can you provide me a link to its website and the address of its office? May I please have a list of its members? Can you point me to its achievements, to what it's doing in the church?

Since it seems to me that if said "homosexual collective" exists at all (and I'd propose it's a figment of the fevered imagination of bigots) it seems to have done a spectacularly poor job of advancing its goals of, as I assume, homosexualizing the Catholic church….

As you use such loose, dangerous, ugly scapegoating rhetoric, I hope you're keeping in mind what has happened in the past when Catholic people called Jews perfidious and spread lies about Jews murdering Christian children and mixing their blood with matzoh dough at Passover time. And what has happened when Catholic and other Christian people have talked about collectives of witches doing maleficent deeds to their neighbors….

Lies like these about non-existent "collectives" lead to abusive treatment of members of the human community. They can lead to murder.

Perhaps it's time for the church to grow up and stop telling such twisted tales about some hapless members of the human community, and to start acting as if the definition of "Catholic" is to welcome and include, not stigmatize and exclude, to embody mercy for all and to be a field hospital for all of wounded humanity.

You are accomplishing none of those goals with your loose, dangerous rhetoric about "homosexual collectives" and how it's "Catholic" to demean queer human beings and deny rights to them.

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