Sunday, January 08, 2006

Catholic priest reveals to parishioners he is gay

Here is a link to the story: Link.

Basically, Fr. Jim Morrison has revealed to his parish that he is a celibate gay priest. They, for the most part, have no problem with it. The bishop, Sam G. Jacobs, has no problem with it. And, for those of us paying attention, the Church has no problem with it.

There has been alot of talk about these things lately, and what the media never comments on is that being gay is not a sin in the eyes of the Church. It is the homosexual act that is considered sinful.

Fr. Morrison does have a problem with the fact that gay priests, celibate or not, can not teach at seminaries. He addresses his opinions in the article. I don't think that he has revealed himself in order to garner publicity, or fame. I believe he has done it to be more honest with his flock.

I am conservative and a Catholic. I am a Traditionalist in many ways, and Fr. Morrison is in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church on this one.

What I found funny, is that a news search revealed one article about this. Granted, it is a new stroy, but if the bishop was against him and removed Fr. Morrison, I would have seen this on the television this morning. I would have also seen articles and stories about how Catholics hate people. The bishop accepted him, according to Church law, and it is a silent story for the most part. This is, in fact, the bishops' statement:

"As Jesus says, one judges a tree by the fruit it bears. A good tree does not bear bad fruit and a bad tree does not bear good fruit," Jacobs wrote. "In my short tenure as bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, I have known Father Jim Morrison to be a compassionate and energetic priest who has provided good pastoral ministry to the people he has served. Unless I discover otherwise, as with all of our priests, I support him in the good that he does for our people."

Now, before overly conservative Catholics pitch a fit, let us look at Bishop Jacobs. First off this alone gives me respect for him:

Houma diocese call for cooperation with authorities. HOUMA (LA) (AP)

A new policy for dealing with sexual-abuse allegations within the Catholic Church's Diocese of Houma Thibodaux calls for unprecedented openness and cooperation with authorities, a spokesman says. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs ordered a week ago that the new policy, modeled closely on principles adopted by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops last year, take immediate effect. The policy eliminates the long-standing practice of confidentiality agreements between the diocese and complainants, except in those cases where victims or parents request them and even then only under restricted circumstance. The policy also calls for the naming of a coordinator to help with spirtual care of any victims, an independent review board to review actions by the diocese and reporting allegations to police. "The policy will be published in booklet form and given to all clergy, seminarians, religious, lay employees and volunteer workers" diocese spokesman Louis Aguirre said. -- The Times-Picayune, , The Associated Press, Oct 31 2003

A few people have some problems with bishop Jacobs because he is a Charismatic Catholic. He is, in fact, former chairman of the U.S. National Service Committee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

A lot of people are put off by the nature of Charismatics, and I admit, I can be one of them. I do however, see the value in what they do and strive to imitate their love and deep connection to the Holy Spirit in a more personal and subdued fashion. All I can say is that the recent Popes have had not problem with the movement in general (link). He is also the chairman elect of the USCCB Evangelization Committee.

All in all, we will have to wait to see what the media, and Catholics make of this. I could be wrong and this could be a publicity move, but I give Fr. Morrison the benifit of the doubt. And I pray for the continued success of his ministry, in cooperation and union with Rome.

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