In its “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation” document, released today, the Vatican upholds its 2005 policy on “persons with homosexual tendencies” being admitted to the priesthood. And guess what! It’s some bullshit.
The section in question reads:
In relation to persons with homosexual tendencies who seek admission to Seminary, or discover such a situation in the course of formation, consistent with her own Magisterium, “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’ 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.
“Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”
Your sexuality “gravely hinders” you from “relating correctly” to people, and it also could be “the expression of a transitory problem” (thus convertible) and your culture, the actual practices and artistic expressions that result in part from the kind of inequality enforced here, are relegated to square quotes as though they aren’t really real, but make no mistake: The Church profoundly respects you. It can make this claim without supporting evidence and plenty of evidence to the contrary because that’s how faith works. :)
It’s kind of like how Pope Francis is marketed as the “chill pope,” except that he’s not. Gender inequality is still the law of the land (though maybe women could be deacons one day?), he referred to trans acceptance as “ideological colonization,” he’s spoken out passionately against same-sex marriage, he downgraded his plan to hold bishops accountable for what amounts to Church-sanctioned child abuse, etc. etc. He’s basically... what’s the word? Oh yeah, a pope.
But hey, you won’t necessarily go to hell if you get an abortion and are really, really sorry for it; gay people are actual people (if gravely hindered ones); and evolution exists, so that’s something. Take the stating of the obvious as progress within an organization that is often a purveyor of willful ignorance or, you know... don’t!
The Catholic Church’s antigay dogma has never stopped gay men from joining the priesthood—particularly those who figure strict celibacy is the only way to save their souls. And it still won’t—it’ll just reaffirm the self-loathing and shame they feel as gay devout Catholics.
Of course, a celibate guy schooling you on sex is about as useful as vegetarian schooling you on what meat tastes like (real meat, I mean). When it refers to “so-called ‘gay culture,’” the Church either doesn’t know what the fuck it’s talking about or it knows it all too well.