Monday, August 29, 2005

Benedict, It's The Way You Tell Them

Say what you like about the Catholic Church - and I frequently do - it provides us with excellent entertainment.
On the weekend that the British Army were recruiting at Manchester's gay festival and joining in the march through the city, we learn that the Pope is to prevent anyone who is gay from entering the priesthood.

One of the greatest crises threastening the Catholic Church in Western Europe is that hardly anyone is entering the priesthood. Logically, the response should be to relax the criteria, something the police have sometimes done in the past to improve recruitment.
But the intellectual Benedict reasons as follows:
Fewer people are entering the priesthood.
It has always been the case that a significant proportion of entrants have been gay.
So let's stop anyone who is gay entering the priesthood!

In the past, because of the rule of celibacy, a person's sexuality was deemed not to be an issue. Of course, many priests argue that celibacy means not marrying rather than not having sex and have had active but discreet sex lives. Indeed, I think it was a priest who explained this convenient theory to me as we were enjoying a post-coital cigarette.

And how is the Church going to enforce this ban on gay people? When people join seminaries today they don't say "Oh, by the way, I'm gay."
Are they going to wire people up to sensors and make them watch gay videos and measure the result on some kind of penile Richter Scale?
"Oh come on, Father! It was only a semi."
Sorry, young man. That's not the meaning of 'seminarian'. But you might be allowed to be a Deacon, once the Bishop has studied the print-outs and the Polaroids."
[Incidentally, it was a similar scientific test that recently found that homophobic straight men produced a greater response to gay porn than non-homophobic straight men. Now there's a surprise!].

According to the Observer article, the new instruction will seek to avoid controversy by eschewing a moral line (What?) and argue that the presence of gay men in seminaries is unfair to straight ones because it will subject the latter to temptation.
"Get thee behind me, gay boy. No, on second thoughts."
Sweet Baby Jesus and the orphans! I never thought I'd write a gag like that. You see how corrupting it can be to muse on Catholicism?
Anyway, according to this theory, all my valued straight male readers should delete this blog from their Favourites folder immediately before they start registering with Gaycom and ordering Pet Shop Boys albums from Amazon.

At least I managed to get through this without writing the line: 'Ve have vays of making you straight.'
Well, almost.


At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Alan said...

I take it paedophiles are still welcome, otherwise Maynooth College is going to be looking awfully bare next year.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

So long as they are hetero paedophiles, presumably. But at least that means the altar boys will be safe.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Urban Chick said...

granted, the armed services seem a little less homophobic these days, outwardly at least...

isn't it funny how no-one bothered if you were gay when the army were recruiting people to act as cannon fodder in WW1 and WW2?

ac-tu-ally...maybe that's just it! keep quiet, conscript all gays, stick 'em on the front line


At 8:24 PM, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

The fewer Catholic priests in this world the better, is my opinion after being raised and educated under the Catholic church. So what if this rule is pure evil? Sometimes you've gotta take a step back to get a mile ahead.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

UC: outwardly, yes. I can't believe that barrack room culture is much less homophobic. Or misogynistic for that matter.

pn, yes, evil acts can sometimes have good outcomes, one of the great moral conundrums. But I can't see how this rule can work. When the forces ban was in place there were still lots of gay people in the forces.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Alan said...

Actually it's quite simple Willie. In the US forces the ban on gays is still in place, but they have adopted a policy known as "don't ask, don't tell". It should be simple for the Catholic church to adopt the same policy. They've got plenty of practice at it, after all.

Like the new photo.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Merkin said...

Very interesting that the Army and RAF were marching in Manchester Pride, but the traditional favourites - the Royal Navy - were nowhere to be seen. I'm also guessing that there's unlikely to be an altar-boy-festooned Roman Catholic float winding its way down Brighton seafront any day soon - but imagine the photos...

Maybe the sailors and priests were - ahem - busy that day.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

alan, I read recently that the US forces have kicked out a lot of people who had served with distinction in Iraq. They didn't tell but it was discovered that they were gay. Remind me, what was it the US was fighting for in Iraq....something to do with freedom and human rights?

My niece says the new pic is too revealing to anyone who knows me. Plus I'd never realised that I have the eyes of a serial killer. So may have to change it again.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

merkin, apparently the RAF is now the most gay-friendly of the services. Must be the irresistable appeal of the joystick.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Merkin said...

Or the fact that unlike the Army and Navy, the RAF uniform is laughably horrible and people forced to wear it want to rip it off at any opportunity to avoid the shame of mincing around in a light blue Thunderbirds outfit. And this, of course, leads to rampant gayery. Or something.

Anyway, I'd say that with the exception of anyone who reads the Daily Hate Mail, people in the UK are rather non-plussed/fond of the homos of the world. With many many exceptions, of course.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Cut-Rate Parasite said...

The appeal of the joystick? You must resist, on occasion anyway.

I went to see an IMAX movie (to see a big screen - not for any other reason). It was about fighter pilots. The audience was inordinately gay, with occasional Mormon families sprinkled among the room. So maybe the lure of young men in crewcuts manipulating joysticks drew in the audience.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger zaphod said...

I must tell you Mr Lupin that Mrs Zaphod is a big fan of the Pet Shop Boys.
I can guess you really wanted to know that.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

merkin, I'd guess that even many Mail readers are more tolerant than their choice of newspaper might suggest.

c-r parasite: thank you. The thought of a convivial concatenation of gays and Mormons in a Texas cinema has made my day.

zaphod, the more I hear of Mrs Zaphod, the more I like her.
I went through an intense Pet Shop Boys phase a few years ago and became satiated. Maybe it's time I re-discovered them, just as I've now re-discovered the delights of Boys Town Gang.

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Cut-Rate Parasite said...

Willie - I'm not sure the Mormons had any clue that the close-cropped, well-dressed pairs of men were gay ... probably considered them/us budding fighter pilots. But the gay men definitely saw the Mormons for Mormons, and most were no doubt thinking of how to get their clutches on the famous secret Mormon underwear.


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