I have read a couple of books that critizise Catholicism, and rather often I find that the author quotes a Catholic expert who says things that sound very un-Catholic — or anti-Catholic even.
For instance, Richard Bennett in his book “Catholicism east of eden” quotes “Donald Cozzens, leading Catholic priest and rector of St. Mary’s in Cleveland Ohio” as saying that studies show that anywhere between 23% and 58% of the clergy are homosexual.
The figure is of course outrageous, but I was wondering how Bennett could quote a Catholic for saying it.
Are there just some really “liberal” Catholic sholars out there, or is Bennett mis-quoting? When is a person called Catholic? Is it enough to have been baptized into the Church as a kid and never have renounced the faith officially?
These ‘statistics’ sound very contrived. People of a homosexual inclination make up a fairly small percentage of the overall population, and I think even Kinsey didn’t say more than 20% of men ever engaged in homosexual forms of activity. In any case, it seems highly unlikely the Catholic priesthood would have large numbers of homosexual men, as the CC has been one of the firmest opponents of homosexuality in the past century.
If something is true, then so be it. Is that figure true ? If it is true, then it is to Father Cozzens’ credit that he says something which will probably win him enemies. If it is not true - well, such things have been said before, & will in all likelihood be said again. What other mere human beings may say, should not be a consideration: God, & God alone, is to be feared - men are nothing by comparison.
AFAICS, facts are neither Catholic nor anti-Catholic; that, lies in the way in which facts (or fictions, indeed) are used. What a Catholic says may be unwelcome - that’s not the same as it’s being incompatible with being Catholic: Isaiah was far harsher in his condemnations of certain behaviours among his fellow-Jerusalemites, than any Catholic liberal appears to be. He refers to Jerusalem as “Sodom” (see chapter 1 for details) - what Bill Donohue would say if a “liberal” called Rome Sodom, I don’t want to imagine; I don’t think that he would be pleased
Amos was not a crowd-pleaser either - far from it. As for Jesus: if He had said of the Catholic clergy what he said of the Pharisees, He would probably have been very severely criticised by Catholics. Dante referred to Rome as “a sewer of blood and filth” (Paradiso, Canto 27), & put three, perhaps four, Popes in Hell; yet he has been honoured by several, from Pius IX to Paul VI - & rightly too. When he wrote, in the early 1300s, vigorous criticism of the Church & the clergy was usual among Catholics; there was much to criticise. Only since the Reformation has this idea made headway, that a “good Catholic” will not criticise either.
Surely it is better to point to what seem to be flaws, deficiencies, abuses, & sins in the Church, rather than that they should be misdescribed as good, healthy, desirable or right ? And surely it is better for Catholics to do so, than for us to wait until these things are so undeniable that those who love the Church not one bit, but see it as a synagogue of satan instead, even when it is healthier, should be the first to find fault ? If people love the Church, and criticise evil or seeming evil in it, because they desire that God should be glorified by its being holy & pure & spotless & obedient to Him - these surely are true friends of the Church, whether they are Catholics, or not. Such an attitude is a long way from enmity to the Church.
I can’t speak to the veracity of the quote, but yes, there are plenty of liberal scholars out there, just as there are plenty of liberal Joe and Jane Q. Catholics AND clergy.
I’ve heard it said that being a Catholic is sort of like being a Jew – you never stop being one, even if you turn your back on the faith. I think there’s some truth in that, but a “true Catholic” would obviously be one about who
participates in the other sacraments according to his/her vocation
acknowledges and abides by the teaching authority of the Church
lives according to Christ’s commandments to love God and love one’s neighbor
You cannot take statements as necessarily truth when people state that they are Catholic. I believe that many do it to gain credibility in order to damage the Church and the faith of its flock or for personal gain.
An example is John Edwards. He travels the country and has very popular television shows (Crossing Over) where he acts as a “medium” and communicates for people with their dead loved ones (he is actually using a method called cold reading, a scam used for a very long time). In his books and on his shows he claims to be a life long Catholic, although his profession is not “Catholic” on many levels. He may have grown up a Catholic, but he probably now claims to be one just to gain credibility with people of faith who are ignorant of their religion. “It must be OK to do if this cradle Catholic is doing it!”
I think it can be said that homosexuals congregate in different aspects of society.
For instance, I work at a small dinner theater. Of the dozen men who work there, seven are homosexual. One is a Catholic Church organist and very devout Catholic at that.
How does this relate to the priesthood? It really has no relationship. It is just an observation that suggests that homosexuals are attracted to certain aspects of society.
There is a young homosexual man there who has been to different christian churches, searching. This man wants God in his life, but finds christianity is rejecting him. One time his stepmother took him to a Born Again service. The preaching was completely about how homosexuals are damned. He walked out.
I was outraged when I heard this, it seemed so unchristian. I told him to talk to the organist and find out about his experiences in the Catholic Church.
Second, I do not believe that his idea of talking to those in heaven (even if it was legit) is the same as ours. In fact, I am not sure I have ever heard him ever mentioning heaven, just the “other side.” Perhaps this is a question for the professional apologists of this website, but I see his method as far different than speaking via prayer to our loved ones or the communion of saints. His method is more akin to going to the local gypsy for a seance, something I would never do.
Divination and magic
2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.