What a statement!
Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph posted a Twitter thread responding to the New York Times article, “‘It Is Not a Closet. It Is a Cage.’ Gay Catholic Priests Speak Out.”
The New York Times report discusses interviews conducted with several priests in the United States who have “come out” as gay, and insists that the ability to do so is freeing and allows them to “be themselves.”
However, several faithful Catholics have responded to this article, including Fr. Thomas Petri.
Read his powerful response below:
“I have no patience for priests who ‘come out’ as gay and insist the priesthood is some sort of cage. Nobody forced you to become a priest. The faithful don’t need to deal with your issues, pal. They don’t deserve to deal with any of our issues. We serve them. Period.
“Priests who insist they ‘can’t be who they are’ in the priesthood mean to say ‘who they are’ isn’t a priest as the Church has ‘always’ understood priesthood. The last thing the faithful need are priests who make their sexuality their primary identity.
“‘Being gay’ and ‘coming out’ may seem to you, Father, as being true to your authentic self, but that’s contrary to your ordination, which makes your authentic self a person in persona Christi in the service of the people of God.
“If you can’t live that way, if you can’t give yourself freely, without making your sexuality “a thing” in this equation, then be a man, be noble, and as our Holy Father Pope Francis says: leave the priesthood.
“The same is true, btw, of any priest who finds himself engrossed and completely distracted by the attention and subtleties of the fairer sex. If your priesthood is about being with women you’re attracted to, your thoughts and language always sexual, you’ve got a problem.
“A Father cannot help his children if he’s a broken distracted mess of a man requiring them to pick him up and set him aright. That’s the classic role reversal of a dysfunctional family. It has no place in the priesthood and the Church.”
Here’s screenshots of his Twitter thread:
Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality:
The Catholic Church teaches that people with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but that homosexual acts constitute “grave depravity,” are “intrinsically disordered,” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved.” Instead, “homosexual persons are called to chastity.” (CCC 2357-2359)
Catholic Church teaching on celibacy within the priesthood:
“All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’
“Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to ‘the affairs of the Lord,’ they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.”