Churches are running out of priests and are having incredible problems trying to find recruits. A June, 2000 study done by US Bishops reported that 27% of parishes don’t have a priest (gay or otherwise). Although many parishes are being merged, this will not solve the priest shortage problem in the long term. More than half the priests in America are over the age of 55. There doesn’t seem to be a big rush by the younger generation to go to seminary school. When the priests die, they will most likely not be replaced.
The churches need all of the help they can get. For that reason alone, gays and women (no matter what their sexual orientation) should be ordained as priests. Since a priest is supposed to be celibate, it shouldn’t matter what their orientation is – they can’t do anything about it. (Not unless they want to break their vows, of course).
Is Being A Gay A Sin?
Apparently, the Bible condemns homosexuality, even though Jesus never mentions it, according to the Gospels. Because homosexuality was condemned in the Old Testament, for some reason this law also invisibly carried over to the New Testament, even though other Old Testament laws, such as not eating pork, have not.
But the New Testament also condones SLAVERY. This is especially in Ephesians 6: 5-8 when St. Paul counsels all slaves to return to obey their masters:
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
Paul wrote that and yet became a Saint and still considered a Saint. Some Paul apologectists argue that Paul counseled as he did because escaped slaves were put to death when caught. However, Paul does not mention this during the passage.
But the modern Church condemns slavery, even though St. Paul condoned it. If views on slavery can be changed in the Church, why not change views on homosexuality or allowing women to be priests?
Not Just A Catholic Problem
If Catholicism or any denomination of Christianity that requires priests is going to survive as a way of life, let alone an organized religion, it has to adapt. Nothing stays the same. Look how many times God changes His mind in the Bible. First you were not supposed to eat pork (Deuteronomy 14: 8) then it was okay (I Timothy 4:1- 4.)
Although being gay has not been proven to be a sin, according to the New Testatment, many Christians still think of homoseuality as a sin. Christians are supposed to forgive — then prove they should prove that they can forgive by ordaining gay and women priests.
Priests, pastors and other church leders should be judged as individuals and not just as their job. Give gay priests and women priests a chance — let them prove they can do the job without incurring the wrath of God. Maybe their parishioners will see that gay priests or women priests are nothing to fear after all. Then perhaps more non-Christians might think there could be something to this Christianity thing after all.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Study of the Impact of Fewer Priests on the Pastoral Ministry.” Bishop C. Richard Hanifen. http://www.usccb.org/plm/studyifp.shtml
Religious Tolerance.org “Using the Bible to Justify Slavery.” http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav1.htm
Washington Post. “Bishop Says Edict Allows Some Gay Priests.” Alan Cooperman. Nov. 30, 2005.
Wikipedia. “Conversion Therapy.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy