Any illusions that Western Catholic might have had that the Synod on the Family might at least open up discussions on LGBT rights or loosening up restrictions on divorced and/or civilly remarried Catholics from taking communion were dashed when conservative bishops, led by what one might call “the African contingent” railed against such people as “the smoke of Satan.” It was Cardinal Francis Arinze who gave us these immortal lines, “Most people in continental Europe or even North America, when they hear of a synod they think immediately of divorce-remarriage and will they receive Holy Communion. And they even mention homosexual unions,” Arinze said in an interview. “Africans say ‘Lord help us! Is that what you understand by family? This synod is on the fa-mi-ly.”
Clearly, divorced Catholics and LGBT people are not part of the “fa-mi-ly.”
Several weeks ago, I wrote about the problem of sexually active priests in general and the ongoing situation of former EWTN friar/personality David Stone. In that post, I stated my belief that consensual relationships between priests and adults were abusive by definition, not just because of the power deferential but also because of the secrecy and lies that such a relationship requires. I recently finished “Celibacy In Crisis” by A.W. Richard Sipe, a former Catholic priest now turned psychologist, and I now realize that my previous assessment of priestly sexual relationships was too kind.
I see that a Brazilian traditionalist blog linked to one of my earlier posts on the dynamics of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church, which was unexpected to say the least. It was linked in the context of discussing whether married priests in the Roman rite would be a positive development, which has led me to write down my own thoughts on the matter of married priests.