Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Think I'm Gay. Or Maybe Catholic.

In its frantic attempt to look like it is tackling the horror of pedophile priests, the Catholic Church is targeting homosexual priests and seminarians despite the fact that there is no scientific link between homosexuality and pedophilia.

In the past the Church made a distinction between the sinner and the sin, respecting the person as long as he did not engage in homosexual behavior. The demand for gay celibacy was fair, paralleling the same demand made upon heterosexual men aspiring to or already in the priesthood. The new Vatican policy, however, changes that, making being a homosexual rather than engaging in sexual activity the problem. The distinction between the sin and the sinner is lost.

According to the Vatican gay men are inherently incapable of sexual maturity; have problems with “psychic organization;” have “trouble relating to their fathers;” “are uncomfortable with their own identity; tend to isolate themselves; have difficulty in discussing sexual questions; view pornography on the Internet; demonstrate a deep sense of guilt; or often see themselves as victims.”

This comes from Andrew Sullivan’s essay in the 12/12/05 issue of Time Magazine. Sullivan makes it clear that there is “no serious psychological data” to verify the claims of the Vatican. I have no doubt that this is so, yet I cannot shake the possibility that the Church is right. And if they are, I am gay.

First, I don’t even know what sexual maturity is, but I suspect my laughing at the sexual innuendos on South Park and The Family Guy probably disqualifies me from having it. Second, my psyche doesn’t seem organized at all. My mind jumps around like a wild monkey even during meditation. Third, relating to my dad has never been easy, and ever since I gave up a six-figure income to focus on my writing, things have gotten worse. Fourth, I have no idea who I really am. My identify seems forever fluid and in flux. Fifth, I love to be alone. Sixth, unless I am relating a joke from South Park or The Family Guy— which once again proves my sexual immaturity— talking about sex is often awkward. And as far as guilt goes, I was born Jewish: guilt is a given.

According to the Vatican the only hope I have for not being gay is that I don’t watch Internet porn and I rarely if ever see myself as a victim. Yet the Vatican uses the word “or” in their document rather than “and” so any one of their criteria can disqualify me from the priesthood on the grounds that I am gay.

So I am having doubts about my sexual orientation. I have spoken to several gay friends about this but they aren’t Catholic, so maybe they don’t really get it. To know for sure, I plan to apply to a Catholic seminary and see if they out me. I’ll let you know how this goes.

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