The Catholic Church painted itself into a corner with birth control. The Church still condemes it but nearly all its people practice it.
Now, it’s done it again with homosexuality. The new Pope is trying to find a way to tiptoe out, but all avenues have wet paint.
In 1961, an instruction banned from ordination anyone “afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pedenasty.” In 1986, future Pope Ratzinger, with his special hatred of all things gay, went even further. He issued a declaration affirming the evil of homosexual acts but also the inclination toward same sex attraction.
The new Pope told reporters on an airplane several days ago he does not pass judgement on homosexuals. Across the world, Catholic Bishops were quickly asked what they made of this new comment.
Without exception, they parroted the company line. This is not a change, they said, the Church’s positions on homosexuality remain.
They did not acknowledge the Church’s dilemma. It is that every Bishop knows of gay priests under his leadership. Apparently there are also gay Bishops.
Cardinal/Pope Ratzinger’s declaration means everyone of these clergy is evil, even if they remain celebate. And, with male clergy living together, who is to say there are not sexual encounters taking place.
The new Pope’s statement he will not judge is one the Cardinals have not touched. If they did, the next question they would be asked is whether if is acceptable for gay priests to be living together in parish housing.