Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Pope to Gay Man Rejected By Seminary: Continue On!

Just a few days after the pope received heat for using he word "faggotry" in Italian, he now is on he news again for another "gay story." 

This time, according to the Rome publication Il Messaggero, 22-year-old Lorenzo Michele Noe Caruso wrote to Pope Francis about not being accepted to the seminary because he was gay.  The young man expressed disappointment and concern after a seminary in Italy turned him away. He felt compelled to write to the pope after this experience and after seeing on the news that the pope used a homophobic slur and cautioned Italian bishops to admit gay men into seminaries. 

Caruso wrote about feeling bitter and disappointed at how he and others like him are treated by the Catholic Church. He referenced his work as a catechist. The young man says he is called to the priesthood and blames toxic clericalism for blocking his path. The pope responded to him via email sending a scanned handwritten letter endorsing the young man and telling him to continue his vocation. He agreed with the young man's description but never offered to order his acceptance to the seminary or any attempt to intervene in his situation. 

The young asked Pope Francis to revise a document published under the pontificate of Pope Benedict the XVI which states:



Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations

with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question [9] , cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture" - 

 (see: https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html)

This story is confusing because it comes days after Pope Francis said a homophobic slur regarding the entry of gays into the seminary system. He made the comment to Italian bishops including the one in charge of the seminary that turned down the young 22 year old who wrote to him.  How can the pope show concern over "faggotry" in seminaries and then encourage a gay youth to continue his vocation?  Moreover, why did the pope not intervene on the part of the young man like a shepherd would?  

The whole story makes no sense and is indicative of the problem with Pope Francis since 2013: inconsistency and confusion. He says one thing and they says another.  If the pope truly is concerned about "faggotry" in the seminary then he should have reaffirmed the words in the Congregation For Catholic Education document quote above. He should have made it clear to this young gay man that homosexuals are not to enter seminary.  On the other hand, if the pope is truly open and accept people where they are at, he should have not only encouraged the young gay man but stepped in to investigate and possibly overrule the rector who turned the young gay man away.  

It seems the pope wrote this letter to down the fire from his previous gaffe regarding "faggotry" in the seminary. He is now playing it safe by simply encouraging the young gay man in his alleged vocation and not directly stepping in to help him.  Doing so would contradict his "faggotry" comment and the document of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He would then come across as welcoming homosexuals into the seminary and adding to the "faggotry."







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