Austen Ivereigh — biographer of Pope Francis and founder of the Catholic Voices media organization — is asking an unusual question as of late: Why would you think Jesus wasn’t gay?
While discussing the issue of gay priests working in the Vatican, Austen tweeted (in Spanish – translation courtesy of LifeSite News via Google Translator) his mind:
“The issue, as the priests make clear, isn’t celibacy and chastity, but having to hide who they are. The denial makes it impossible to live the vow in freedom. That’s what they’re saying.”
One user responded with the assertion that only heterosexuals should serve (also in Spanish, of course):
“They must serve God and his people without the entanglement of manifesting or hiding a hidden tendency. The priests, I believe, must be heterosexual. They act in persona Christi. And I do not think our Lord had homosexual tendencies.”
And here we go:
“Why do you say that our Lord did not have homosexual tendencies? From what signs or sayings or gestures do you deduce this?”
Quite the question. Why would anyone think Christ was straight?
Austen seems to have a fairly substantial Catholic pedigree, though some may disagree. In addition to the aforementioned laurels, he’s served as Director of Public Affairs for the late Cardinal Murphy O’Connor.
As pointed out by LifeSite, here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about homosexuality:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.
As recently as 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated thusly:
“The candidate to the ordained ministry, therefore, must reach affective maturity. Such maturity will allow him to relate correctly to both men and women, developing in him a true sense of spiritual fatherhood towards the Church community that will be entrusted to him.”
Regarding the LGB’s:
“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”
Homosexuality is certainly rearing its head withing the 21st century church — in the courts (here), in the area of therapy (here), in property battles (here), and in the arena of general doctrine (here and here).
What are your thoughts about Austen and his position? What about the state of the contemporary Catholic church, or the Christian church more broadly? Many of you have deep understanding, experience, and insight here. I hope to enjoy an enlightening discussion in the Comments section below.
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