Possible Vocation to the Priesthood


#1

Hello, all.

I joined this site because I wanted to ask this question without too many people who I know seeing it, as it’s not something I’m terribly open about.

I am a 20 year old university student. I am on a full ride scholarship, and will have no debt when I graduate.

Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a priest. I was brought up in a Catholic environment but never baptized because of my agnostic mother. I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy (it was something) when I was 15, and finally became a member of the Catholic Church this past Sunday through solemn profession of faith. I’ve wanted this since I was little, so I’m so happy!

I’ll be honest with you all and say that I have a homosexual orientation, and am not attracted to women. This is not something I’ve ever had a difficult time with. I’ve never dated or anything, as I want to please God more than myself. I do not struggle with lustful sins at all, though I do still experience temptation since I am human. I do not identify as “gay” or “homosexual” but only use these terms in this context. I think it’s silly to identify with one’s inclinations to sin.

With that said, I’ve always planned on being celibate. I’ve never been interested in dating or relationships, and I feel that my lack of desire for a wife certainly is a sign that I am called to celibacy. I’ve accepted this.

Being in the Eastern Orthodox Church, I had planned on remaining celibate and (if I did not find my way home to the Roman Catholic Church) I would join a monastery. I desired to be a priest, but an unmarried Orthodox parish priest is unheard of.

Now, my friends keep asking me if I want to go to seminary. I don’t tell them, but I do want this. I want to serve my mother, the Church, in the way I’ve wanted to since childhood, as a priest.

I am discerning this, as I have been for a very long time.

My question is, can a man who is sexually and romantically attracted to men and not women but pursues a celibate lifestyle and practices strict chastity go to seminary?

I plan to bring this up with my confessor and a vocations director, but I also wanted to get your take.

Thank you.

-Halupki


#2

I think so, but it’s good that you are going to ask your confessor as he would be the best to answer this. I will pray for you.

mlz


#3

Dear Brother,

First off, congratulations on your reception into full communion with the Church! Thanks be to God! From your eastern background, the importance of committing yourself to a spiritual father may already be impressed on you. I will say that this is probably the best thing you could do right now. Find a good, traditional Catholic priest and entrust yourself to him.

Now to your question…Cardinal Ratzinger said that men with deep seated, homosexual tendencies should not purse a priestly vocation. Sure, the phrase “deep seated” may be a little ambiguous, but I think that you, in conjunction with your spiritual father, can determine what this means, and how it applies to you.

For me, I take it to mean that men for whom homosexual tendencies and same sex attraction is more than a “phase” or a “stage,” it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid a priestly vocation. When I first came to this understanding, I was devastated! I consider myself to be in the category of men I just described; I’ve had deep, real, sexual feelings for other men as long as I can remember, and don’t see that going away anytime soon. I had also dreamed of being a parish priest. I felt like, in a way, my dream was crushed. But now, a good while later, I can see the reasoning behind this. There is a sense of fatherhood, of manhood, that is warped in most serious homosexuals. These qualities are necessary for a good priest. And now, as much as I would still sometimes like to see myself at the altar, I know that following a personal dream of mine is not worth jeopardizing the souls of Christ’s faithful.

I can’t state, again, how important it is to come to terms with this issue in the context of spiritual direction. Each situation is different, and yours may not be just like mine. Your situation may be different, and so may the conclusion you reach.

Finally, I want to thank you personally for your honesty, and tell you how much respect I have for you for having chosen chastity. There has never been a time when men such as us have had so many excuses to indulge in sin as we have today, and yet you have, for the love of God, chosen to bear this cross with patience. You are a wonderful example.


#4

The only thing I can add to 2Hearts’ wonderful response is . . .

When you wrote “I feel that my lack of desire for a wife certainly is a sign that I am called to celibacy . . .” You might be mistaken here. Generally, it is said in formation circles that if a man does not think he can be a good husband and father, he would not make a good spiritual Father.

I will add you to my prayer list.


#5

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